I have a small business on that side of building skateboardss. I've been using a bandsaw to cut them out, but I am planning on switching to a homebuilt cnc machine to save time.
I've looked at quite a few plans, but thought I would ask for advice from experienced people that use these machines for woodwork before I even get started.
I have access to some great equipment to help build this CNC. I am very fortunate in that the place I work for will let me use their waterjet and they also have several lasers including one designated for wood. Not to mention a welding department and a small woodshop. I am generally skilled in all these departments.
My main concern is finding the right plans/parts for this. It doesn't need to be accurate to the thousands of an inch. It just needs to be able to cut out the board(s) somewhat fast. I would need a Z axis for the tail and tip of the board, the travel would need to be 3" on it. It would be nice if it could cut out 2 boards thick (just under 1 inch). The table size could vary. 70" x 14" so that I could set two boards end to end(prefered since I would use it for snow board cores also) or 36" x 36" to set three boards side by side.
My funding is not the greatest, But I am sure I can scrape what I need together.
If anyone has the time to point me in the right direction to start at it would be greatly appreciated. Such as plans, suggested motors, ball screws, software, router motor, bits, etc.
A couple of questions for you if I may; what method are you using at present to finish the edges of the boards after the band saw?
Are you planning to do more than just edge the boards on the cnc, drilling and the like?
Are you planning to mass produce your product?
How do larger board manufactures machine their boards?
You talk about saving time and cutting some what fast.
A couple of things that might be worth thinking about before embarking on your quest for cnc plans.
You say funds are not great but as soon as you talk about speed the funding cost swiftly increase, speed costs money.
The time involved in building, education to use and programming your boards to be cut on a cnc machine equates to a large number of boards made with your present methods.
I myself have not made skate boards so could not say for certain what would be the best method but I know some times the more traditional method of products are the way to go.
Just some things worth thinking about while your waiting for cnc plan suggestions.
1. What method are you using at present to finish the edges of the boards after the band saw?
A roundover router bit and a inflatable drum sander are what I use and what many people in the industry use.
2. Are you planning to do more than just edge the boards on the cnc, drilling and the like?
I plan on drilling prior to cncing since it will give a measure point on where to set the board on the table. It would be nice to router edges, however, boards can be off a 1/16th of an inch(warping) sometimes and that would screw up the router process. Unless of course you have a good clamp system or some type of Z axis that could read the curves of the board($$$$)
3. Are you planning to mass produce your product?
Depends on how you define 'mass' i guesse. I would like one person to be able to produce somewheres in the area of 50-75 boards per day. I probably won't hit that number in sales though.
4. How do larger board manufactures machine their boards?
Smaller companies tend to use the bandsaw, while many larger companies lean toward cnc. The cutting on a bandsaw doesn't take that long. But a cnc obviously has a lot less room for error and the capability to move faster.
The building time for me is not a huge problem. I put in at least 10 hours every day working at my job and my side project. It never seems like that much since I enjoy it This would be a perfect project to work on in spare time. This is more of a hobby that I enjoy, I love building skateboards, and I enjoyed building all the hydraulic presses, rollers, and other machinery for it.
The education and programming side I'm sure won't be easy. I have some knowledge with using autocad for my workplaces waterjet and lasers. I also have used coreldraw quite a bit. I'm sure I can learn the programming with some work. One advantage is that I only have, at max, 10 different styles of boards to create.