Author Topic: Is Dust a Problem when cutting wood with CNC equipment?  (Read 1560 times)

Offline Gary Campbell

  • Custom Call Maker
  • ****
  • Posts: 18
  • Age: 66
  • Location: UP of Michigan
Is Dust a Problem when cutting wood with CNC equipment?
« on: August 09, 2014, 01:38:52 PM »
Hey Guys...
I am new here, lots of woodworking CNC experience, zero game call experience.  I posted an intro post that shows some cutting that may or may not be relevant here:  http://thogamecallsforums.com/index.php/topic,20919.0.html

In that thread VECtor Calls posted this:  "The biggest hurdle I have always heard about CNC for wood call parts is controlling the dust to keep it out of the computerized parts.  I would be interested in hearing your take on this in a new topic in the CNC section."

My answer would be that there are thousands of CNC's cutting wood based products out there.  Perhaps more than any other material.  Personally I believe that some care has to be taken, but there are no issues that require more than a few minutes of monthy maintenance. 

Should any of you have any specific questions, I will try and answer them to the best of my ability.

Thanks, GC
Gary Campbell
Custom CNC builder
GCnC411@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/Islaww1

Offline Wade@WEBFoot

  • THO Recommended Advertiser
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 569
  • Location: Wiggins, CO
    • WEBFoot Custom Calls
Re: Is Dust a Problem when cutting wood with CNC equipment?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2014, 04:05:05 PM »
My feeling on the matter is not so much a concern for the computer side of things...  fans, filters, etc...  the big issue I feel comes when one is aiming at using a machine initially intended for metals.  Ball screws, ball nuts, linear rails, gibbs and box ways, dove tails, what have you - all require lubrication... and we all know how oil attracts dust... (kind of like floors attract the jellied side of toast).

Thats my concern, and why I dont run wood on my Okuma.  Setting up to protect the ways, balls screws, and such to maintain accuracy is not a simple thing, plus keeping dust out of the coolant sump, and to have to make it where you can install and remove it when going from a dry run (wood etc) to a wet run with coolant (acrylic or metal) is even more daunting.  So for me personally, I wont run wood on it.  When I get another machine, the lesser of the two machines will be set up to run wood or other materials, but only dry.  Coolant removed, cleaned out, protection for the ways and motion hardware, and a dust collector. 

But a machine that is built and intended for wood in the first place, has a lot of that accounted for already - at least from what I have seen.  But I also have not seen a lot of CNC lathes specifically for wood. 

On a hobby machine... Id be less worried I think... as parts arent as expensive, usually less complicated, fewer things to deal with (no turrets or tool changers, etc) and you can do a hell of a lot with an old bed sheet.  An industrial turning center...  different story in my eyes.  I still get the shivers when I see videos of RNT or Zink running wood in their Haas - and piles of dust and chips everywhere....  having run wood on a regular manual metal lathe, and spending all the time getting the saw dust sludge out of everything so the power feed would work again... I shutter to think about it on a machine with servos that cost thousands, and multithousand dollar ball screws, and so on.

I thought about building my own, but by the time you get all the stuff to make one (at least the way I want one) you might as well just buy a used turning center, outfit it with stuff to protect the important areas, and go to town.
But Im also one of those guys that needs speed, efficiency, and out put...  For example, in my situation, if I had to use a mandrel making barrels on my okuma, or a blind mandrel for turning kegs, the time investment would probably double - per part.  But a lot of the current call makers probably dont have those needs as they are probably running more hobby type quantities, and that sort of puts them in a position to not have to worry about some of the same things I do.

But in the end, it really comes down to the needs of each individual, and what they plan on doing with it.

Good to have ya aboard!
Wade
www.webfootcustomcalls.com
Call Making Tools, Parts, Services... and calls when I have time :D

Offline Gary Campbell

  • Custom Call Maker
  • ****
  • Posts: 18
  • Age: 66
  • Location: UP of Michigan
Re: Is Dust a Problem when cutting wood with CNC equipment?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2014, 05:09:54 PM »
Wade...
Thanks for the welcome.  You are spot on.  There are very few places where a tool made for metal or wood will do a good job with the other.  We have a couple HAAS VF4's at work and would surely never throw wood into one of them.

There does seem to be a shortage of moderately priced CNC wood lathes out there, unless you get into high production models.  I have not figured that one out, metal lathes and mills, even at the hobby level are all over the web, but nearly nothing for wood.
GC
Gary Campbell
Custom CNC builder
GCnC411@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/Islaww1