I was sitting on the fence about putting the community challenges on hold during these troubled times, but I figured that we could still use this opportunity to take a break from the news, and have some fun in the shop (hopefully, many among you still have access to their machines)
The goal is to make joints that look fancy or interesting/unusual.
Many of you may not have a vertical workholding setup in place at the front of the machine, so the joinery does not have to be between two parts at 90°, it can be between pieces in the same plane. Think interlocking 2D pieces, using inlays as joints, etc…
The rules for this sixth challenge are:
use a Shapeoko or Nomad
submit your entry in this thread:
It must include CNCed joints
include the associated design file(s) and tell us about the steps you followed to create it.
you can post multiple entries if you want.
deadline is set to April 5th, midnight PST
there will then be 7 days for voting.
voting will be open to legit community members only, and the jury reserves the right to remove votes from “outsiders”, and will also break any tie.
The prizes for this challenge are sets of ZrN-coated endmills from the Carbide3D store, and mainly single-flute ones (you’ll love them if you intend to start cutting aluminium)
First place : 278Z (1/4"), 274Z (1/8"), 282Z (2mm), 201Z (1/4" 3FL), 203Z (1/4" stub 3FL)
Folks doing this sort of thing will probably want to use a fixture to cut parts held vertically in the overhang area at the front of the machine. One such design is:
I suspect that working up a design which allows for adjustment in the other two axes, rather than just Z will help (I’ve considered trapping the speed nuts in a circular cutout which allows angular adjustment but never worked up the specifics) will be needed for some joinery designs.
A list of joint types for which designs have been published already to use as either as a baseline or starting or jumping off point:
Great site for inspiration. Some of those are very well suited to easily produce on the CNC with basic tools. I’m sure however, the designing could in some cases be challenging for tight fitting joinery.
I actually started off that way, but I don’t believe its possible to keep it down to two pieces, and show correctly on both sides of the joint. Thats probably not important… but It drove me to this version for now.
I really didnt have one in mind to be honest, but after I started to model it, I am thinking of making a new table for my XL and I think this would look good on the corners and be stronger than simple butt joints.
Here is a lighted shelf i made for over my desk. Its made from just some cheap scrap i had. The program i used was called Fingermaker. I looked for the link to it but i guess the programmer discontinued it. it was done with a 1/8" ball mill.
Saw this challenge and thought I’d try to come up with a different joint, that would help with clamping and glueing the two leg pieces. Got some inspiration from those excellent joints shared on the links above. This was my first test: