This is the most time consuming operation in the project. Each of the pockets must be cleared to a depth of 3mm. The geometry defining the pockets is all in a single sketch and a single pocket operation has been added.
Ideally, the cutter would move forward as it descends into the material, either in a ramp or a helical motion. Unfortunately, HeeksCNC doesn't have the ability to calculate those entry moves so I have to use a cutter that can 'plunge'. In this case I'm using a fairly small (1/4") router bit. That means the paths have to be close together and the overall cutting time is going to be large. If I was going to do this commercially, I'd have to find a way to use a larger cutter.
O.K. It's time to get this project rolling. I've already finished the design, now it's time to turn it into some plaques. I'm going to be making nine plaques and each plaque is going to have numerous operations including
- Pocketing the holes
- Profiling the curved edges
- Engraving the names and other information
- Drilling the holes for the arrow holders
- Drilling a keyhole for the wall hanger on the back
The first problem I have to solve is holding and alignment. Since I'd like to do the same operation on all nine before moving to the next operation, I need to find a way to hold the stock material securely and repeatably. Here's the solution I've come up with: I'll attach a piece of MDF to the router table and pocket out a large area to exactly fit the stock. The pocket will only be a 1/4" deep or so to keep the stock from sliding sideways with the force of the cutter. Then I'll attach each piece of stock in the pocket with double-sided tape.
The other advantage of this is that I can cut the stock to the exact dimensions on the table saw and avoid having to profile the entire edge. The only section that will have to be profiled is the two curved corners. This will help speed up the machine time.
In the picture above, you can see the design for the 'jig pocket'. The pocket has round corners to let the cutter move in. Without that, the corners would be cut round at the radius of the cutter and wouldn't accommodate the square corners of the stock.
My son wanted a skateboard for his pinewood derby car this year. We designed in qcad and cut it on the router all in 1 day. Not too shabby.
My son is moving from cub scouts to Boy Scouts this year. He's earned his Arrow of Light which is the highest rank in Cub Scouts. I'm working on a design for the plaques we'll give out at the end of year ceremony.
Unfortunately, I've found that my router table isn't flat enough to do engraving well. I'm not sure how I'll fix this yet.
Our local cubscout pack has an "open" class meaning Dad's, siblings, Mom's or others are welcome to participate. I helped my boys build their cars and then built mine. My goal was to design the whole thing in CAD and machine it on my router. I ended up using the pocket operation to cut a recess in the bottom to accept the weight and a zigzag operation to cut the basic shape.