ShopBot Production Support

Like many ShopBot owners I keep a list of maintenance and improvement projects that I fully intend to get around to doing at some point. Routine maintenance such as replacing pinion gears and filing rails, upgrades like adding the spindle control card or cleaning up messy wiring, even “emergency” repairs like removing the broken off …

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Secondary Operations and Machine Calibration

 

One of the tasks at which the ShopBot excels is processing sheet materials. I love that I can slide a sheet of melamine or plywood onto the table and a few minutes later pull off a small pile of parts, ready for edgebanding and assembly. If you have done your design and …

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ShopBot Mods

I was taught that most tools, when first taken out of the box, have only been started by the manufacturer; it’s up to the user to fine tune the instrument to enhance its qualities and the quality of its performance. My teacher was talking about hand planes but the concept is the same with more …

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More Solid Wood Machining – Curved Mullions

Here’s another, somewhat more complicated solid wood machining project I completed a while back. In order to get a nice kitchen cabinet job for a contractor I had worked with before, I had to match some curved mullions for several glass panel doors which the client had fallen in love with from a competitor’s catalog. …

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Machining Solid Wood – Mortises

I’ve been working on another dining table, this one a “Prairie Style” table for a client out of quartersawn white oak. The design includes a bunch of mortise and tenon joints, which of course I decided to cut on the ShopBot (is there another way?). A dilemma stemmed from my lack of either a tool …

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My Magnum Opus

Occasionally I get to enjoy the satisfaction of seeing a long-term project come to fruition. I recently completed an odyssey that began over 5 years ago when a large black oak tree fell over across the street from my house, and ended recently with the completion of a twelve-sided dining table.

I had only …

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Cabinetmaking Software

Well, I finally took the plunge. A little over a year ago I reached the point where drilling and cutting full sheets of material was pretty routine, but having to manually draw, nest and toolpath the sheets full of parts was so time consuming – and occasionally error-prone – that it was becoming obvious that …

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The Year in Review

I thought I’d take a break from the technical side of things and look back over the last year to see what kinds and quantities of jobs passed over my ShopBot table in a typical twelve months. I’m talking about the twelve months of 2008 – I’ve been trying to finish this column since January. …

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Ready-to-Assemble

OK, as promised I’d like to explain how I use the ShopBot and VCarve Pro/Partworks, along with my favorite CAD program, to nest and cutout parts from full sheets of material, including working with the RTA (Ready-to-Assemble) fittings that you are probably familiar with. Some people have a less-than-favorable impression of those sometimes-annoying little studs …

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Customizing VCarve Pro and PartWorks

Well I know it’s been too long since my last installment, and I have a bit of a backlog of ideas to write about. I’d like to detail how I use VCarve Pro and my ShopBot to work with the RTA (Ready-to-Assemble) fittings, but there is something else I need to explain first. I’m going …

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