How do I make this? (Machined carvings and etchings)

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Dear Newsgroup Folk,
I would like to know what my options are in making the kind of carvings on wood panneling like you see on antique medicine cabinets, book shelves, etc. I first thought I needed a lathe, but found out that lathes turn pieces around, and are good for making things like the legs of chairs. I just want a machine that I can bring down to a piece of wood and do my design work. What machines allow me to make the types of carvings seen in the follwing images?
http://i3.ebayimg.com/02/i/06/0a/fe/94_1_sbol.JPG
http://80.237.209.26/ebay/userdaten/i/Ingzeh/Medizinschrank/5.jpg
Thank you,
Raffo Aspiring woodworker
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Raffo Aspiring woodworker
Seems you want the machine to do all the work, ie., instant results. Everyone has ideas. If you don't know what a lathe is, then I suspect you are, what, 7-8 yrs old? Just how old are you?
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Hi Sonny. I'm 23 years old, and yes, until recently I wasn't sure what a lathe was. No, I don't want instant results, but at the same time I don't want to use a mallet and a chisel. I want to guide a machine by hand to make the cuts and shapes I want.
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Wed, Feb 8, 2006, 3:40am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Raffo) doth sayeth: Hi Sonny. I'm 23 years old, and yes, until recently I wasn't sure what a lathe was. No, I don't want instant results, but at the same time I don't want to use a mallet and a chisel. I want to guide a machine by hand to make the cuts and shapes I want.
I know what I want, and I want it right now, eh? Well, yeah, a machine could do that. But, how much you willing to spend? From what I know about such it would be 'spensive. So, unless you've got loads of money to burn, or would be making a heap of those things, I'd say pass.
Or, you could buy one of what you want to make, use it as a pattern, with a router, and some sort of pantograph, and make one. This would take some money too, and if you made copies and sold them, that'd be copyright infringement - I wouldn't advise that.
You "could" use a sabre saw to cut out the outline, then paint the patterns on. Or, carve the patterns. Then peopl'd say, "You're kidding, you didn't do that.".
I'd cut it out, then carve - which is what I'll eventually do on a bed for myself, once I get the design finalized.
JOAT Don't believe everything you think.
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Wrong approach.
Learn the art first, then decide how to automate it. If all you want are carvings from your designs without personal effort, then you should hire someone to produce them.
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Raffo, allow me to appologize. My initial reply was rude. More appropriate, as Dave has said, learn the art of woodworking, learn to enjoy woodworking, first, before you jump head-first into a bunch of tools. As you acquire each tool, learn all aspects of your tool well, and each will reward you. Woodworking will be a life long experience with many, many rewards.
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That's okay, Sonny. Thanks for your advice.
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Hey guys, after reading the posts above I now see that it is a router that I need. I'm very excited, and have been reading up on all the types of routers: D-handle / regular handle, plunge base / fixed base, table router / home-made table router. And I have been reading up on all the different types of router bits and their functions. Thanks a lot guys for pointing me in this direction.
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One more question - Can anybody here recommend a good book on routing and routing techniques and bits? I'd prefer an illustrated type of book.
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Raffo wrote:

Here are two good ones: <URL:(Amazon.com product link shortened)(3155> <URL:(Amazon.com product link shortened)(3155>
JES
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On Wed, 08 Feb 2006 14:56:42 -0600, with neither quill nor qualm, Dave

Wrong approach for US, maybe, but perhaps not for him.

Judging by his link I think he's after a dead mechanical look rather than a custom, handmade item. While this may gag us with a spoon, he apparently likes it.
Raffo, the first link (headboard) could be done with a router duplicator but you'd have to make one first to use as a pattern.
The second (mirror) could be done with a rosette cutter on a drill press, a table saw, a router and some bits, some glue, and a (IMHO, lousy) stain job.
G'luck!
- Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag? - http://diversify.com Full Service Web Application Programming
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Machines? Um.... ok...
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=3&cat=1,130&pC701 http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=3&p0003&cat=1,41504 http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=3&cat=1,130&pF099
Sorta like machines, only better.
Michael Latcha, at home in Redford MI

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Wed, Feb 8, 2006, 11:17am (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@twmi.rr.com (MichaelLatcha) doth posteth: Machines? Um.... ok...<snip>
Yahl, but these little thingies CAN be made on a lathe. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=3&p=30003&cat=1,41504 I muchly prefer to make my own. Different sizes, different woods, give different weights. Fun to make too.
JOAT Don't believe everything you think.
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The round circles at the corner can be made with a cutter in a drill press. Sometimes you can buy squares of wood with these already done.
The grooves on the side were made with a router.
The top and bottom edge are moldings, and you can either buy them pre-shaped, or you can use a router to make your own.
The grooves in the top and bottom are called dentil molding. Thse can be made with a table saw, or a router.

Wood carving tools. Perhaps a router, or a molding plane for the horizontal part. This mostly looks like it was done with few power tools.
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Thanks Bruce.
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Raffo, the second link shows clearly machine-generated "carving". There are shapes that a rotary cutter (i.e. machine driven) can't reach that a chisel can. To the educated eye, there is world of difference.
The machine that you're asking for is a CNC milling machine. It is not necessarily what you want. The digital design process does not take into account that wood has direction and grain and very real structural properties that require that you take this into account. To put it another way, you can't expect to mill wood in the same way that you would a homogenous material like corian . You have to be concerned about the orientation of the material.
High tech tools will will releive you of the requirement of manual skill, but will not help you produce artistically pleasing forms. Just like Adobe illustrator in the hand of a technically proficient artistically challenged user will generally produce crap. Classical forms have been influenced by both the materials and the traditional tooling. Without at least a basic understanding of both you will have a tough time reproducing those forms with a high-tech tool.
Conspicuously absent from your question, is any knowledge of how wood components could/should be fastened to one another. Material orientation is essential or the piece will simply fall apart (no joke).
I think you should back up and give us the 30,000 ft view of what you would like to accomplish.
Cheers,
Steve
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It's also not necessarrily what you can afford. Home made ones asside, the smallest CNC tools I've seen still start at around 5K. Reasonable if you need to make lots and lots of something, but generally out of the price range of the home shop/
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There is a lower cost option for CNC:
www.lhrtech.com
This small company is producing a machine that can do some amazing things. It's still expensive, but that cost is far lower than what automated machining used to be. It uses very sophisticated graphical CAD software to design objects. The design file is loaded onto a memory card and taken to the shop where the machine does the dirty work and turns out a beautiful piece of work.
It's a very much different approach to working with wood than the traditional methods (which I enjoy greatly!) but it has its place too. There are things a CNC type machine can do well that would take half a lifetime of practice to do by manual methods. If as much value is placed on the end result as the path getting there, the means may be valid.
Cliff
On 8 Feb 2006 11:10:52 -0800, "Devon Miller"

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For that, the tool you want is called a rosette cutter. It MUST be used in a drill press, NEVER in a hand-held portable drill.

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On Wed, 08 Feb 2006 12:59:32 +0000, Doug Miller opined:

Given the existence of "chainsaw carving," I imagine that somewhere there is someone using a rosette cutter on a hand-held drill to carve wood. I'm not endorsing the idea, mind you, just extrapolating. (shudder)
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