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Browsing articles in "Techniques"

Complete Guide to Getting the Most from Your Mini, Desktop, or DIY CNC Machine

Aug 12, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Router, DIY CNC, FeedsSpeeds, Products, Software, Techniques  //  2 Comments

Today’s Mini, Desktop, and DIY CNC Machines are capable of some truly amazing work…
Are you struggling to get the best performance from your mini CNC machine?
Maybe you built a DIY CNC Router Kit like a Shapeoko (CNCCookbook has one!) or Inventables X-Carve.  Perhaps you’ve converted a mini milling machine like one of the…

9 Helpful But Random Shop Tips

Aug 9, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Manufacturing, Techniques  //  No Comments

Because we all like helpful shop tips, even the random ones, right?
Use a Sharpie to Locate Your Vacuum Fixture Gaskets
Vacuum Fixtures are the bee’s knees for a lot of jobs, but you need to be aware of where the leaks are going to appear as your part is cut out and use gaskets…

Easy Guitar Drawing for Custom Guitar Bodies, Part 1 [CNC / CAD Project]

Aug 7, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

Need a guitar drawing so you can CNC a custom electric guitar body?
Me too!  Ever since I got in our new Shapeoko CNC Router Kit, I’ve been thinking about what projects I want to build with it.  Custom electric guitars are very high on the list.  And a little DIY CNC Router like this…

First Blog Post: How to Become a Blogger With Easy Examples

Aug 5, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Business, Techniques  //  No Comments

If a bulldog can ride a skateboard, you can write your first blog post.  It’s easy, and I’ll show you how.
If you’ve been reading my business tips and my entrepreneur blog, you’ll name I’m a huge fan of using content as your primary marketing tool.
But I’ll bet a lot of you, when you…

[CNC Chef Video] CAM Toolpath Tips to Improve Tool Life and Surface Finish

Aug 4, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Techniques  //  2 Comments
cam toolpath tips

Just released another edition of my monthly video column over on Cutting Tool Engineering magazine. This one is all about some of the ways you can optimize your CAM Toolpaths for better tool life and surface finish.

The CNC Chef: Toolpath Tips from Cutting Tool Engineering on Vimeo.
For more CAM Toolpath Tips, check out…

Have You Seen Our Ultimate Fly Cutter Page?

Aug 1, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, CNC Router, Cool, DIY CNC, FeedsSpeeds, Manual, Products, Techniques  //  No Comments
fly cutter guide

Clickspring’s holographic fly cutter finish…
Do you use a fly cutter in your CNC work?
Maybe you’re a pro who views fly cutters as a throwback to the days when there was no CNC and we were winning a war with Bridgeport milling machines.  There is an element of truth to that, but fly cutters…

[Cool Project] Shapeoko DIY CNC Kit: Part 2 Assembly

Jul 30, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Projects, CNC Router, Cool, DIY CNC, Products, Techniques  //  1 Comment

Here’s the second installment of the CNCCookbook CNC Kit build.  In the first installment (unpacking the CNC Router Kit), I introduced the project, discussed why I picked the Shapeoko over other kits, included some details about how to do a time-lapse video, and gave a time-lapse video of unboxing the Shapeoko XXL we are building.…

Tool Centerline Tolerances for Turning: Expert Techniques

Jul 25, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Manual, Techniques  //  8 Comments
turning tool height gage

Every machinist knows things work a whole lot better when turning if you can get your tool tip right on the centerline.  During my trip to Tormach to test their CNC lathe before I got one, I saw this first hand.  I “eyeballed” a tool tip to center and made an OD turning pass.  The…

Blog Post Ideas: How To Find the Best Ones

Jul 25, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Techniques  //  No Comments

How do I discover great blog post ideas?
My last business related article about the evils of cold calling struck a chord, if your email response was any indication.  I had a lot of questions about the technique of inbound content marketing.
One of the most common was where will I get enough blog post…

Guilloche, Rose Engines, Jeweling, & Engine Turning for Artistic Machining

Jul 18, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, Techniques  //  1 Comment

Classic engine turning by Eamonn Keogh…
Machining is often about mechanical precision and function, but not always.  There is a huge body of knowledge concerned with machining for artistic effect.  This article will sample some of the techniques involved.
Jeweling and Engine Turning
The beautiful patterns on the pieces in the image at the top…

Button Cutter, Copy Mill, or Toroidal Cutter: Round Insert Milling Cutters

Jul 12, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Products, Techniques  //  1 Comment

Have you ever tried a button cutter for milling?
If so, you’ll know that these versatile tools can really do a good job for you.  They’re commonly used for pocketing, die/mold roughing, face milling, slotting, step milling, and even helical interpolation of holes.
There’s a lot to recommend round inserts as they have a number…

CAM Tips: Optimize Toolpaths for Better Tool Life and Surface Finish

Jul 10, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  3 Comments

Optimize your toolpaths for better tool life and surface finish…
How much time do you spend optimizing your CAM software toolpaths?  Do you usually just take what it gives you out of the box, provided it machines the part properly?
Don’t feel bad, most people do the same.  Not many CNC’ers realize that a few…

Jigs and Fixtures: Show Me the Money [Video]

Jul 1, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Manufacturing, Products, Software, Techniques  //  2 Comments

There’s an old saying among machinists–fixtures are where you make your money.  If you’re good at making fixtures that save time, you’ll turn a bigger profit.  Or so the saying goes.
But is it really true?  Is it always true?  Will every job benefit from fancy fixturing?
I put together a Free Fixture Calculator that…

[CNC Chef Video] Turret vs Gang Tooling on CNC Lathes

Jun 27, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Business, Manufacturing, Products, Techniques  //  3 Comments
turret vs gang tooling

For this months Cutting Tool Engineering Video, the CNC Chef (that’d be me!) goes over the pros and cons of Turret versus Gang Tooling:

Turret vs Gang Tooling for CNC Lathes…
I’ve also got an in-depth article that goes over the material if you prefer to read text than watch a video:

[ Turret vs…

Introducing Free DXF Files: Ready To Cut CNC Designs

Jun 24, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Projects, CNC Router, DIY CNC, Products, Techniques  //  3 Comments
free dxf files

There’s a lot of fun to be had with decorative and artistic CNC projects.  Such projects don’t require a lot of precision and are usually 2 to 2 1/2D, so they’re easy to make with a CNC Router, Laser, Waterjet, or Vinyl Cutter.  Sometimes we’re adding a design as a decorative element on top of…



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