Just finished my first "production piece and have a few learnings to share…
- Always remember to hit Reset Zero
- When the job finishes, raise you Z height before hitting Return to Zero
- Trust the Probe and the zero it establishes
- When attaching the magnet to the router collet, make sure the router is off
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for V1.01
Yikes I hope this was just a safety reminder and not a “learned it the hard way” comment?!
No, it was the hard way! Now it is a safety message. Fortunately no digits were harmed in this episode of eagerness to complete a project. The only damage was the magnet insert.
Glad you are ok. I once did something related but someone opposite. I was sure the spindle was on (but it was a different background noise in a shared space) and in my enthusiasm to get the project moving, I launched the gcode and drove the spindle -without- the bit spinning in to the piece. Thankfully I realized it during the approach and stopped major damage, but wasn’t fast enough to stop from breaking the brand new bit.
For item 2 as I always add comments to my gcode file (wood & bit sizes etc) for future reference before using I also “ctrl-end” to the end of the file & increase the safe height setting before the bit is sent back to zero which is done within the gcode file. Helpful if bit is running close to clamps…
Trust the Probe - top picture I thought I needed to reset the location and the project was shifted by exactly what I “corrected” by.
Raise your Z height _ you can see the drag under the “B” where I stopped the run and hit Return to zero.
Shut off the router - the 3 silver objects in the bottom right are what remains of the magnet in the touch plate router attachment.
All in all, not a bad first attempt at various strategies…
Those are great ideas. The move to the safe height at the end is something that you could add to the post-processor itself to automate that step. I think that’s a great practice. I can’t imagine there are two many people, especially those new to CNC or who don’t do it often, that haven’t dragged a bit across a work piece because they forgot it was down and jogged the machine.
Wow! One time I changed a bit in my router, stupid me didn’t tighten it down enough so when I plunged the router into the wood the bit went crazy. Thankfully it flew out the back and not into my face. I was lucky then. That only happened one time, but that is all it takes for and injury.
Oh wow you are very fortunate nothing hit you - That would have hurt.
Dumbest thing I have done in the shop was turn off my 12" disc sander then point at it to tell my wife something. Pointed a little too close and it ripped the tip of my finger up pretty bad.
Why I try to unplug my router when changing a bit, and why I unplug everything related to the CNC machine when leaving the garage.
I have a large sander with a 36 inch belt and 6 inch round. One time my hand slipped and took off the tip of my finger on the 80 grit belt. It happens fast. I scrape a knuckle here and there. Guess it’s part of it. Loose clothing is the worst, I always make sure nothing is hanging from me, I roll up my sleeves too. Also watch out for that scroll saw blade, it will bite you if you don’t pay attention while cutting tiny pieces. I am very careful, and in all the years I have been working with wood only had 2 minor injuries that a bandaid would cover.
These moments really drive home how critical ANSI rated eye protection is for anyone in the work area when the machine is energized… and also how a flying router bit isn’t really that different from a low caliber bullet in a worst case scenario.
I think this is generally good practice. I was alarmed to discuss CNC work with someone at Lee Valley who has a small commercial machine in his garage and he happily leaves it running over night doing long hole boring operations and is completely satisfied it will be safe. I don’t think it’s especially good practice, stuff happens.
Agree. I was in the garage while cutting out something on the long mill, the plywood was a touch bent so the clamps had a little tension holding it down. the tabs on the one piece were not strong enough and the piece came loose - I heard it and was able to walk over and pause the machine long enough to remove the piece before something bad happened.
That being said I have set up a v carve and wandered off to let it carve - I was pretty confident it would work alright and checked on it every 15-30 minutes to make sure it was good. was working on a big piece of well secured MDF, and generally trust the machine to do a carve with no drama.
I also do a quick pre-flight check of the acme rods and retaining screws, etc to make sure nothing is loose.