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Old 25th February 2016, 05:30 AM   #1
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Default CNC for Speaker making ?

I hope this isn't too much off topic, but it IS about speaker making. I've been having great fun (hah!) making circles with my Jasper Jigs and Bosch router. Especially the sawdust going everywhere. I'm doing this all in a hallway shared by my clothes rack, bathroom and shower.

I'm wondering if anyone here has experience using a "desktop" CNC machine for routing speaker baffles, and if you'd recommend any particular software/hardware or either.

It's definitely not production volumes. At most my own 5.1 home theater. What I'd love to do is put a baffle on it, hit go, close it, come back and find it perfectly cut out.

Thanks!


Erik
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Old 25th February 2016, 06:18 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eriksquires View Post
I'm wondering if anyone here has experience using a "desktop" CNC machine for routing speaker baffles...Erik
A 2HP 1" router is the common tool for baffle construction, including edge round overs and holy-holy-holy crossbraces. BIG...HEAVY...POWERFUL...DANGEROUS.

A BIG CNC machine is required to control powerful milling tools.

I suspect you could:
1) find diyAudio companies which sell CNC flatpack cabinets very close to your DREAM which you can add modest customizations.
2) find reasonable cost CNC shops near your home/work, plus free CAD tools to create CNC files for perfecting your clever stuff.

SPRING and SUMMER = work outside or work at a friend's garage.
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Old 25th February 2016, 06:54 AM   #3
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....or work at a friend's garage.
.... or work at a friends place in general !!!

regards

Charles
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Old 25th February 2016, 07:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LineSource View Post
A 2HP 1" router is the common tool for baffle construction, including edge round overs and holy-holy-holy crossbraces. BIG...HEAVY...POWERFUL...DANGEROUS.

A BIG CNC machine is required to control powerful milling tools.

I suspect you could:
1) find diyAudio companies which sell CNC flatpack cabinets very close to your DREAM which you can add modest customizations.
2) find reasonable cost CNC shops near your home/work, plus free CAD tools to create CNC files for perfecting your clever stuff.

SPRING and SUMMER = work outside or work at a friend's garage.
I'm not even making anything that big. 1" baffles for Dayton cabinets. Pre-fabricated except for the driver holes. I may go down to the local maker shop and see if I can contract the whole thing out. I'd much rather have some one else futz with the latest CAD software.

Best,


Erik
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Old 25th February 2016, 07:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eriksquires View Post
I hope this isn't too much off topic, but it IS about speaker making. I've been having great fun (hah!) making circles with my Jasper Jigs and Bosch router. Especially the sawdust going everywhere. I'm doing this all in a hallway shared by my clothes rack, bathroom and shower.
Erik,

If you use "down spiral" router bits almost all the sawdust goes straight down. With a shop vacuum and a funnel (can be made from cardboard and taped on the hose) below the hole, clean up can really be minimized.

I need to get some more down spiral bits, they were out of them the last time I went to the wood worker's store that carried them, so have been again putting up with the dust cloud from straight bits on the few projects done lately. Should have ordered them online instead of settling for straight bits, but needed some non-smoking bits right away...

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Last edited by weltersys; 25th February 2016 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 25th February 2016, 07:50 PM   #6
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that is ironic. I started out with a down spiral bit but all the sawdust jammed the slot I was carving and it didn't work well so I switched to an up spiral bit, which did indeed spread the dust all around. My DeWalt router exhausts dust up through the tool but its only 50% effective so I need to fab a transparent shield for the opening in front of the bit and then find a way to keep the vacuum hose from tangling as the tool traces the circle.

My buddy's ShopBot has a nearly 100% effective dust collector and the dust it misses isn't mine to clean up. He only charges me $50/hr for machine time (otherwise it would be more). If you just need to cut out large shapes, you can do a full sheet in less than an hour. If the shapes have holes and dadoes you can double that but you save time assembling the pieces when they just fit together precisely. My current project has one sheet with an estimated 2.5 hr cutting time. So it can get expensive.

I've spent the last year learning how to make my own tool paths. I go Sketchup to Gcode through Vectrix VcarvePro. It wouldn't be much more than a day's work to prep the SynTrip sketchup files for CNC, for example.
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Old 26th February 2016, 12:27 AM   #7
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Thanks NC!

The jig maker recommends an up spiral bit. I think the person recommending a down cut was assuming we could make the full cut in one pass. Then that makes more sense.

I have found though that the dust is controllable with a few sheets of cardboard strategically placed.

If things get more serious I'll go down to the local MakerSpace and have one of their geeks do the digitizing and cuts for me.

Erik



Quote:
Originally Posted by nc535 View Post
that is ironic. I started out with a down spiral bit but all the sawdust jammed the slot I was carving and it didn't work well so I switched to an up spiral bit, which did indeed spread the dust all around. My DeWalt router exhausts dust up through the tool but its only 50% effective so I need to fab a transparent shield for the opening in front of the bit and then find a way to keep the vacuum hose from tangling as the tool traces the circle.

My buddy's ShopBot has a nearly 100% effective dust collector and the dust it misses isn't mine to clean up. He only charges me $50/hr for machine time (otherwise it would be more). If you just need to cut out large shapes, you can do a full sheet in less than an hour. If the shapes have holes and dadoes you can double that but you save time assembling the pieces when they just fit together precisely. My current project has one sheet with an estimated 2.5 hr cutting time. So it can get expensive.

I've spent the last year learning how to make my own tool paths. I go Sketchup to Gcode through Vectrix VcarvePro. It wouldn't be much more than a day's work to prep the SynTrip sketchup files for CNC, for example.
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Old 26th February 2016, 01:05 AM   #8
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I cut out baffles with a jigsaw.
If you go slowly and carefully it doesn't do a bad job.

I get the panels cut by my local plywood vendor so I know the yare all the same size.
That saves a lot of grief when I come to glue the parts together.

I use a circular saw for cutting panels to size.

I work in small outhouse where there is just enough room to work.
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Old 26th February 2016, 03:09 AM   #9
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CNC milling entire periphery of each panel (& all joints, etc), certainly makes for well fitting assembly. Plan your cuts, swapping clamps, 2 parallel edges at a time.
With oversize stock you can even veneer prior to machining.
Use carbide cutters. HSS dulls fast w/MDF, wood etc. Suggest using 3-flute rougher, leaving stock for finish cutter, especially if veneered: Give nicer finish/edge and the bonus of having a sharp cutter throughout process. More toolpath yea, but much more efficient.
Put the work into it 'up front', before any cutting.

If you go to job shop, be sure your design, dimensioned drawing and/or CAD file (even better) are finialized and complete before releasing to shop. Want to keep their effort to minimum.
Time is money in a job shop & NC can stand for 'not cheap'. Poor communication is a job killer.

Me, I've been in NC far too long.
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Old 26th February 2016, 05:02 AM   #10
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What I'd love to do is put a baffle on it, hit go, close it, come back and find it perfectly cut out.
That is what you DON'T do. If you do get a CNC router, you stay at the machine while it is cutting. If something breaks or jams and sets fire to the wood and dust, the consequences can be disastrous.
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