Enjoy a Festool Cabinet Ckass

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Leon, Swingy: this one's for you:
NEW from THISisCarpentry:
"Festool Training Class" by Matt Follett.
"What do a real estate agent, a dentist, an architect, a couple of woodworkers, and a father/sons machinist trio have in common? They were all attendees of the two-day Festool Cabinet Construction Class that I was lucky enough to get into...."
Read the full article by visiting THISisCarpentry.com, or by clicking the following direct link:
http://www.thisiscarpentry.com/2012/02/17/festool-class-follett /
LJ sez: It's chock full o' green stripeded thangs.
-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner, so if one's life is cold and bare he can blame none but himself. -- Louis L'Amour
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On Fri, 17 Feb 2012 22:20:58 -0800, Larry Jaques

Yeah, it could be for many more if they'd bring some of these #$*!+# training classes up to Canada.
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On 2/18/2012 12:20 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:

They've been holding these things for quite a while, but always too far to walk to be carrying my Festoolies. ;0)
Laughing aside, and considering what it costs to tool up for a 32mm cabinet shop - and the space to set it up in - Festool is waaaay less expensive by comparison.
That's why so many operations load up on Festool ... you can do it onsite without a lot shop space and that constant, eroding, monthly, making-money-for-a-landlord, ongoing, overhead.
Keep poking fun of Festool, C_Less ... while some of us laugh all the way to the bank. :)
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Yeah, I can see that it would.

You do that! My direction is a way other than as a cabinet shop, but I have been bitten by the plunge saw bug, you bastids. Dina may be replaced by a Makita SP6000K1 some day soon.
Parts have been pouring in from around the country this past week for the CNC router build I'm planning. 4' x 4'. It's a modified PDJ Pilot Pro.
Do you know how hard it is to get a new parallel port card for a new computer? None of the computer shops around town had one so I had to eBay it.
-- The ultimate result of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools. -- Herbert Spencer
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On 2/18/2012 6:23 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:

That's amazing that a part once that ubiquitous would be hard to find.
CNC, eh? Now that is something I would like to get into in my old age. I envy Rob his already accomplished foray into that world.
The other thing that interests me, and along that line, is 3d printing.
Years ago I made the remark that one day we would be able to digitize and store our "stuff" on a hard drive ... and just print it out when we needed it.
Be damned if that time isn't here!
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Yeah, isn't it, though? $13 delivered, but it won't be here until next week. they couldn't ship yesterday (too late) and aren't there today to ship. Then Monday is a farkin' holiday. <grumble, grumble>

Ditto. I've decided that it's time to get out of my current rut, so it's off to CNC school I go. I've read a couple books so far, and bought a set of plans which seemed to be the direction I wanted to build, so I am poring over them.
I picked up a Hitachi M12VC and it arrived yesterday. It's a heavy little beast for 2.25HP, but it's quiet and very smooth. The soft start is great. You know what this green trim reminds me of, don't you? <snort>

Yes, that's interesting to me, too, but I don't see how I could put one to practical use to earn a living. I still haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up.

...and the old media turns out to be incompatible.
-- The ultimate result of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools. -- Herbert Spencer
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wrote:

Parallel port? I thought everybody was doing the USB2 thang now. Which controller software will you be using, keeping in mind it is REALLY handy if Vectric supports the controller. The things which made me decide not to go the kit route, was support and compatibility. I already did some wild and wooly mods and departures, like going to FlashCut. I often read reports of home-builds costing close to proper units, say from ShopBot... assuming you want steel frames, solid power supplies for the drive motors. etc.
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Oh, and C-less, do what you can to go to a spindle, you will NOT be happy with a regular universal router motor. Even a 2HP spindle will be a HUGE improvement over ANY router body.
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On Sat, 18 Feb 2012 08:45:12 -0800 (PST), Robatoy

The Hitachi will get me in the door, and a nice spindle will be one of the upgrades I do in the future, when the cash flow reverses.
-- The ultimate result of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools. -- Herbert Spencer
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On Sat, 18 Feb 2012 08:41:05 -0800 (PST), Robatoy

Gecko isn't. And from what I've read, USB is generations slower than parallel when it comes to CNC flow.

Even with the software, my cost will be half that of a Shopbot. A513 hot rolled steel from Online Metals looks to be $350 unless I can find it locally for less.
Softwarewise, I went over to the dark side. BobCAD made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I bought a motor kit with BobCAD v21 Express in it and BobCAD talked me into going with a tutorial CD set, a copy of V24, and a crispy fresh new copy of BobART Pro. I saved about a grand and a half and when I asked how it compared to Aspire, he said "It's very similar, but I like BobArt Pro better." I guess I'll see, and if I don't like it, I can always upgrade later to Aspire, which is what I preferred.
-- The ultimate result of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools. -- Herbert Spencer
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wrote:

way to retrieve the files.

Hey, more power to you, let me know how you make out.

I know a few BobCAD users who are furiously saving up their coin for Aspire. In the end, everything can be made to work, but I like producing product without sweating all the software/hardware issues. I was $4,000.00 short in income just because my box went for an upgrade. Money can be made and lost very quickly with these machines. A couple of toolpath errors can ruin a piece of pricy material real quickly, being Corian, or walnut burl... or signfoam even. I do wish you godspeed, bro' and happy build! <<the key to success, is a spindle, no shortcut there.>>

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On Sat, 18 Feb 2012 16:47:47 -0800 (PST), Robatoy

My new computer has plenty of USB2 ports, but de Gecko, he wants parallel.

Will do. I'll likely hound you to death asking for tips and clues as to how to do something or make something work.

Absolutely; I would, too! I'm already having problems getting a wireless connection up so I can download things from the shop on the new comp. I finally got Internet but I can't see the other computer. The homegroup wizard is outta juice, it would appear.

Danke mucho, monsieur.
<<the key to success, is a spindle, no shortcut there.>>
2 questions: Why? and What spindles do you recommend/why?
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wrote:

A
Many files, in particular 3D carvings, can have very long run-times. The duty-cycle of a universal (brushed) isn't rated in hours. More like minutes. Also, with a VFD controlling the spindle's speed, torque distribution at the set RPM is a lot more uniform. Universal motors don't 'lock' into a preset RPM. Then there are cooling and bearing issues that spindles deal with handily but router bodies don't. And then there's the noise difference. Very telling that spindles run at those speeds much more comfortably is by the quietness of their operation. Columbo, Elte and HSD are are pretty good brands. 2HP is enough in most cases, IMHO. If you can afford it, 3HP is nice. When you get into 5 HP, you're also upping the VFD expense. Also, the bigger spindles require heftier tracks etc... CNC-Zone has some cool discussion groups.
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On Sun, 19 Feb 2012 19:32:33 -0800 (PST), Robatoy

So a spindle would also require a VFD? ChaChing! How much quieter are they than the routers? I'm following CNC-Zone, Signs101, RouterForums, BobCADforums, etc. trying to get into the mood. What cutters do you find that you use most often, Rob?
-- The ultimate result of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools. -- Herbert Spencer
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wrote:

The spindles I am familiar with (with which I am familiar) are 3 phase 220 volt. The variable frequency allows speeds much higher than a basic 2-pole 60 Hz induction motor would allow. 3600 RPM is the max for a 2 pole 60 Hz and just too damned slow. For a VFD driven spindle, mine goes from 8000 to 22000 RPM without sacrificing power. Also, my VFD has programmable run-up speeds and braking. When changing bits, often, the braking is a very nice feature. Also, when changing bits, often, the collet and nut set-up on a spindle is far more secure and 'professional' than the crap they stick on regular routers. 1/2" shank is a must. I don't have any numbers memorized in terms of 'quietness', but my hunch is a solid -20dB down from a router, and I suspect much more. The hum of my dust collector is much louder than the spindle. It is relatively quiet, until the bit hits the material it is cutting. A spiral upcut 1/4" bit entering the side of a 1/2" thick slab of Corian at 50in/min@18,000RPM makes a lot of noise... carving a slab of cherry with a 1/4" ballnose is barely audible.
Bit selection is simply too varied to have a 'stock' arsenal. There are those you'll use all the time, at least I do, such as 1/4" spiral, 1/4" ballnose for rough carving, V-bits of varied angles (Insert bits are highly recommended.) Then there are the umpteen different bits just for different alupanel and plexiglass, (a different bit for extruded acrylic vs cast acrylic) and so on and so on. Compression bits are fun. I price the bits I need into the job. If I already have it, good for me.
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On Mon, 20 Feb 2012 09:50:12 -0800 (PST), Robatoy

That's a definitely quieter beastie.

Interesting. How do you deal with your waste? Do you have separate cans for different materials, swapping them out from under a vortex separator? The mixed fine dust would go to the waste stream and the wood to recycling, I'm guessing.

Insert bits? Do you have a toolchanger? Is the ballnose a milling cutter?

Compression bits? Oh... http://tinyurl.com/6qzgmgk EIGHTY SEVEN BUCKS APIECE? That's crazy. Um, why "fun"? Combined up and down spirals to prevent chipout on double-sided cutthroughs?

That's what I was figuring, too. Price it in whether it's needed or not. What kind of bit life do you get on the various materials? Is it measured in minutes, hours, or weeks?
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wrote:

they're figured soapstone, exotic woods etc. SignFoam pieces can be glued together to make new ones, seamless (wavy bit, Gorilla glue).

holder. like: http://www.carbide.com/catalog/RBits-insert-start.cfm The Ballnose could be called a milling cutter, again, another reason for high torque/slow speeds for use in some materials.

Hardly crazy. V-bits with a pack of inserts go for a lot more. Two-sided letters, laminated or melamine, shelves, etc. A very useful bit which can save a lot of work.

sense.
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On Mon, 20 Feb 2012 13:39:30 -0800 (PST), Robatoy

Nononono. I meant sawdust-type waste sucked into the DC.

Oh, you meant it literally. OK. I thought it might be a specific length, like jobber, for use in holders or special collets.

I only saw the solid carbide style, no inserts. Now I've seen diamond bits at $252 apiece. <thud> I guess production shops need those to stay productive.

Figure a decent quality bit/insert bit.
Carving wood Carving melamine/mdf Carving solid surface Carving HDU/foam board Cutting acrylic/lexan Cutting aluminum
Ballpark is OK.
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wrote:

clean cut in harder materials whilst a $5.00 straight bit will cut SignFoam all day long. The reverse, of course, is not true. So buy the best you can afford from a reputable supplier. The carbide.com catalogue has them all and their pricing is competitive.

type of wood that there really isn't even a ballpark. Carbide quality from one mfg to the next varies hugely as well.

don't overheat the cutters, they will keep cutting MDF a long time.

smaller the bits, the more likely to melt/jam the bit in a blind cut. Chip removal is the key here. I usually price a new bit for each job. Can never be sharp enough. Profile bits, like ogees don't have much of a lifespan. I buy them on the Intarweb and treat them as disposables.

case of a screw-up. I use the retired bits (from Solid Surface etc).

finished edge with which you'll be happy. The thinner stuff, which you can cut in one pass can look nice enough once you get your feed rates down. The stopping and starting of direction changes will set up wobbles which are hard to eliminate and you can't just slow down your feed rates as you run into the risk of melting/puddling/grabbing the spinning bit. Acrylics take a lot of practise, especially over 1/4" thick.

mist and that gets messy. I stick to AluPanel for the 'aluminum look'. http://www.multipaneluk.co.uk/products/sign-materials/alupanel / That stuff is awesome.

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On Tue, 21 Feb 2012 07:12:28 -0800 (PST), Robatoy

Not enough to recycle, huh?

Bueno.
Excellent tip.

I've heard horror stories.

How is it used? Do you carve and paint it, or carve shapes/letters and glue them on?

OK. Thanks for the info.
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