Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Going CNC!

I have a very important announcement today :)
On the beginning of 2014 my brother and I decided to make CNC machine to be use in our knifemaking and other projects. The main reason for this was to be able to do knives without a workshop. I can visit my workshop only one, two times in a month but with the CNC machine, located near my house I will finally be able to go further with my knifemaking projects.
 My brother was a general constructor in the project as he has experience in building a CNC and is unstoppable when it comes to the construction of machines ;). As he suggested for a base element for it we have used a manual mill/drill machine. It was improved by addition of 3 stepper motors and an automatic numeric control which consists of controller for motors and PC with a freeware operating system Linux CNC. What is more we have made many many improvements like cooling system or dust suction. Of course it is easier to say than done but now, after half a year, the machine is ready for work!

The machine weights over 100kg and with a base we build for it it weights over 200kg and is strong enought to mill steel and titanium. We are steel making test and buy more and more equipoment for it but I can already show some results of our work. I hope to show more CNC creations in the near future.








   
Making a Victorinox SAK scales was one of the first task for the machine. We have used micarta and titanium. I have done a lot of custom SAK scales in the past and really like making them. Now with the CNC, results are much better than when I make it only by hand. Also it reminded me that years ago I made a tutorial "how to make scales for SAK" in polish language. I have to translate it and put on the blog as well as some pictures of the scales I made. Maybe it will inspire someone to make his own customized Swiss Army Knife.
   
We have made many tests in milling titanium as it is one of mine and my brother favourite materials. It is also a very difficult to mill.. A lot of coolant is needed to prevent titaniuym and cutter from 'burning''. We cut a bottle opener and a couple of two-finger neck knives from the drawings I made. Of course still a lot of work has to be done by hand to finish them, but the most time-consuming part of the job was done.
   
Our first knife! It was cut with the mill and we also use the machine to make a rough grind. We are really proud of it and it is a proof that the machine we have constructed, will be able to help us during the most important stages in making a knife. A huge success!

2 comments:

  1. Keep that rough grind rough, it looks totally awesome.
    Congrats for building that machine.

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    1. Thanks :) I have never think about using milling to make final grinds but I will check it. After a stonewashing process or a heavy polishing, a knife with a grind like this should look really interesting

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