Recently I needed to align my CNC router spindle to the table. Part of doing this involved tapping on metal parts here and there. Not wanting to damage them, I needed a “soft” hammer to use, so I quickly made a brass hammer.
I have been rather impressed with the accuracy of our CAMAster Cobra 508 ATC CNC Router. Here is a picture of a similar machine:
For having a travel of over 5′ x 8′, it still handles the fine details with quite a bit of repeatable accuracy. I helped to make a candle holder out of a piece of curly oak. It turned out to be very pretty.
In the following picture, you can see 4 toolpaths. The large circular pocket (0.25″ deep), the small inner pocket, the radius around the edge of the circle, and the engraving.
The rest of the project was completed using a bandsaw and conventional tools. CNC brings a lot to the table (pun intended), but it is more amazing what a craftsman can do by hand.
Did you know that Okuma, who is a manufacturer of state of the art CNC machines, hand scrapes all the seven components of a machine foundation?
Unfortunately, there is still no technology available to achieve the geometric precision that hand scraping does. Components need to be aligned within a millionth of an inch. And it’s where that kind of precision is needed that makes it even more critical: your machine’s foundation. The seven components of a machine’s foundation simply must be hand scraped to create ideal flatness, to develop proper oil pockets, and to achieve those tight tolerances.
In the world of CNC routers, we talk in “thousandths of an inch”. But in the above, they are talking in “millionths of an inch” and “by hand” in the same paragraph. That is simply amazing to me.
Here are some pictures of the finished product. The sum of some of the efforts of man, machine, and nature.
Here is a video of our CAMaster Cobra 508 ATC CNC Router cutting hardwood plywood for a Ballista.
Our South Bend Model A Lathe was rather stiff when we started working with it but we have been cleaning it up a lot since then. Now it is running very smoothly by hand – we still do not have it under power yet.
WD-40 has been a great cleaning agent. It cuts through old dried up oil really well. There was a slight bit of rust on the ways, so we used some steel wool and very fine-grit sandpaper (400 grit) to clean them up.
Basically it boils down to a lot of time and “elbow grease”. Thanks to Ezra, it is looking a lot nicer now.
That is all for now!