Boy oh boy I found a reason for another (tool) toy! One of my hobbies is woodcarving caricatures; cowboys, hobos, hillbillies, and such they vary from 6 to 18 inches tall. The bigger blanks are four inches square. Yep they are cut up fence post from the lumber store or picked up from where ever. Now being retired and at the point that my arthritis complains from the stress to my wrist and fingers. As the arthritis has progressed Iíve moved to carving larger figures. Now seeing some of the examples of thingís people have done I got to thinking. Well I could build a CNC controlled machine to rough out my figures. Then I only have to do the details by hand. From some of the examples Iíve reviewed, it looks like the machine could do a lot of the details. After all I have been using my Fordham for the detail work a lot more lately because of the strain/pain. But Iím not sure which software I should use to develop the image of the figure, and then develop the tool path, then control the router. Although 3DMAX, MAXScripts and CNC toolkit look interesting. Then maybe use TurboCNC or Master5 to do the controlling? Mach1 intrigues me but my shop computer is Win98.
Iíve reviewed and dreamed about some of the 5 and 6 axis gantry machines, Most of these would be great just to have around, you know once you have a new tool you begin to dream up all kinds of things you can do with it. They for the most part, look like they could route something in the round. I know the Z axis travel distance might be a problem with it being up to 18 to 20Ē. Although in roughing it out I could have quite a bit of error and that wouldnít hurt anything, you know say plus or minus one eighth of an inch. Now if it were on a CNC lathe type setup that would solve that issue, I could see working between centers and in the round would do it. Because floor space is at a premium in my work shed maybe I could construct it as an accessory for my antique Logan lathe? Maybe hang it from the ceiling when I donít need it. I just havenít seen much discussion about routing in the round or CNC lathe work. Another idea is a turntable as one of the axis rather that an X, Y table. So I guess the X-axis would be wrapped around its axis. Hum now that idea has merit, and I could leave my Logan alone. But itís still back to the ďrouting in the round issueĒ. Iím looking for direction so what the consensus of this group.