Week 5 – Joinery

For my two week CNC project I’ve been playing around with a couple different ideas — a lamp, side table, coffee table — but for now I’m just starting with the side table idea. I’d like to build a side table that can fit right in the niche of my window. The structure will be simple with only two different shapes, one for the top and base, and for the two sides.

Here are a couple of photos, one of a generic sketch for my shelf I plan on building, as well as the lamp inspiration.

Drawing up the pieces in Vectorworks was challenging at times, figuring out the software and doing and redoing dimensions, forgetting a piece and redoing it again. But eventually I got a drawing that would work. I also made two different versions with slightly varied dog bone joints.

Then I was reminded of … TOLERANCE !!! After adjusting, I eventually did my first cut with a tolerance of 0.003 — the hole for the joint was 0.003 smaller.

Since I just wanted to do a joint test, and avoid wasting a bunch of wood, I removed parts of my drawing and cut out two smaller pieces.

MasterCam is still tricky to use but after doing using it and having to redo the process over and over again I’m slowly getting the hang of it.

Halfway through my first cut, it failed. I hadn’t realized that the spacing between the two pieces was quite wide and so it reached the x-axis soft limit. But at least I had one of the two pieces, I would just need to cut out the second piece.

Fantastic cinematography done by Sarah.

After going back to MasterCam once again and finally getting the right contour cut and file, I cut out the second piece needed for my joint.

Fantastic cinematography done by Yan.

The pieces fit! The tolerance was a little too drastic and the pieces were slightly loose fitting, so I might try a 0.002 or 0.001 adjustment instead for the next round before I make the entire table.

Thanks Yan for capturing my astonishment that it worked.

Like I mentioned before I also want to build a lamp that resembles a little person. This sketch was a lot hard to draw as I had to think about the side of each piece that the CNC would mill and how everything would fit together. These are the drawings I currently have–

I also drew up another design for a coffee table, it is made of three parts — the base which is two pieces that slot together to create an ‘x’ and the top that sits on top with pockets that fit the ‘x’ shaped base.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: