It's finally Autumn! I'm fairly busy in the shop, working time is 2 weeks prior to ship.
It's finally Autumn! I'm fairly busy in the shop, working time is 2 weeks prior to ship.
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Tour

shop picture1. A few sheets of each type of hardwood plywood are kept on hand, ready to cut as demand requires.

2. The CNC machine is the heart of the shop. A typical CNC program takes a few hours to run and somebody needs to babysit to make sure something doesn't go wrong and crash or get smashed.

3. After the program on the CNC is finished, a sheet remains with a bunch of parts held lightly together with small tabs of wood.  Parts need to separated, trimmed, test assembled, and finally glued together. 

4. The shop divides with a canvas curtain. When products are complete they must have varnish applied to protect and enhance their beauty. Finish is sprayed on and a small amount drifts in the air afterwards.  Thus the curtain.  

5. When complete, everything is packed for shipping. Only paper based packing supplies are used with the goal of keeping everything as recyclable as possible.

6. Finished goods waiting to be shipped are stored on shelves above.  Once an order is complete it all goes out together.

 

Shop layout

The shop is a 15' x 16' vaulted space.  The high ceiling helps it feel airy and comfortable. There is a window which looks out on a field of waving grass. Two sliding doors open to the outdoors on sunny days.

The CNC machine enjoys about 1/3 of the space. The tabletop doubles as an assembly space as well when the machine isn't working.  A dust collector removes all the wood shavings from CNC and routing and sanding operations. 

Supply shelves are adjacent to the CNC.  They hold various endmills and drill bits for the CNC, threaded inserts, dowels, plugs and other various items needed on a daily basis.

Hand tools fill the drawers of a stand up desk area.  While most of the cutting is done under computer control a fair amount of hand work is still required after the computer is done.

Finished goods packed in their boxes rest in the shelves in the high ceiling. A ladder is brought in to take them down to send them on their way.

 

The CNC Machine

CNC machine in the Modern Ethic shopIt's a totally custom machine made from scratch. I used local steel tubing and sheet metal and a wide variety of global components in the build. It doesn't follow any specific set of plans other than my own, but borrows from many ideas and invaluable wisdom from CNCzone.com

Basics:

Work area: 49"x96"
Bearing system: 15mm Hiwin linear rails from ebay
Motors: 1000 oz Nema 34 from Automation Technologies
Gear Reduction: Pro Rack and Pinion from Avid CNC
Drivers: Gecko 203v
Chip: UB1 from cncroom
Software: UCCNC
VFD: GS2 from Automation Direct
Spindle: 3HP aircooled from Automation Technologies