It's all a load of Baubles

Knocking out a batch of tree baubles ready for Christmas. 29 different styles/ colours, 3 in a pack, 24 packs of each,288 packs, 864 baubles in total.
Some pics;


Mark - You are on top of it! Nice jig.


Thanks, Its all a learning curve at the min, being new and all.
I’ve already worked out how I can double up (almost) on the number going from 24 baubles to 42 but for now this will do. Biggest headache is the gold, the stencil just gets soaked with paint and its slowing things down.

I wonder if I can use the shapeoko to print??

Update: Some pics

Some reindeer waiting final finishing

and Santa

A sprig of holly

Just finished

Final Update: Ready for the shops!

OK this project is done. Although this was a real project in that we intend selling these items, it was also a test and a learning experience.

A test to see how viable it is to use the Shapeoko in small scale manufacturing, think cottage industry. A test of production process and scope.

What did I learn, tons as it happens but these are the highlights;

  1. If it’s a simple design then the Shapeoko is more than capable of knocking out multiples of items within a reasonable timescale.
  2. Jigs, Jigs, Jigs no 1 is not possible without a jig of some kind, in this project 3 were involved one on the machine and 2 off.
  3. Even basic 2 sided machining requires good alignment, I first thought (naively as it turns out) that the A4 plywood panels would be uniform in size, so all I would need is a corner reference and just flip it! No, if you cannot guarantee absolute stock dimensions each and every time you really need alignment pegs, 2 in my case.
  4. Using bolts as alignment pegs sort of work but slop in the thread will bite you … a bit or a lot depending on your required tolerance.
  5. Try and keep your jig height as low as possible and recess any fastener’s where possible otherwise you will end up with a high safe Z increasing machining time.
  6. Don’t forget to double check your safe Z!! or it will hurt you … a lot!
  7. Four separate panels is not a great idea for yield and keeping labour (biggest overhead by a country mile) down. If there’s a next time it will be a single panel 700mm x 700mm increasing the yield from 24 to 60 a time using nesting.
  8. The longer it’s on the machine “finessing” the less labour involved in “fettling”, so using up cut and down cut passes and maybe a finishing pass to keep the cut as clean as possible.
  9. Amana bits are worth their weight in gold especially when pitted against an End mill made from Chinesium. Using cheap bits will/ could increase costs on a tight budget project like this.
  10. I’m not as sick of Xmas as I thought I’d be after completing.
  11. I could go on but that’s the main stuff, I think.

Now for the other dozen or so festive products, but I’ll keep those to myself.