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CNC for MDF cabinet panels

Discussion in 'd.i.y.' started by Adam N, May 18, 2020.

  1. Adam N

    Adam N pfm Member

    I'm just wondering if anyone here uses a CNC or has access to one and can machine some 12mm MDF panels? There are a few places online but many won't take the order as it's relatively small or the costs are prohibitive.

    I wanted to cut and route some test panels in 12mm MDF which I could probably do with the rip saw and router but wanted to try here first before I dust off my wobbly Black and Decker workmate!

    Cheers

    Adam
     
  2. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    The cost will be in programming and set-up, so for what you want, the cost will be totally horrible. You might cut the cost somewhat if you can give them a file that they can generate a program from (can't remember the file type).
     
  3. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Usually a DXF file, find a local CNC firm to save postage.
     
  4. orangeart

    orangeart KJF Audio Ltd.

    Even if you can provide a DXF they'll need to produce the code for the cutting and work out the tool paths. So a one off will still be expensive.
     
  5. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    I'd still get a quote if I were you. A signmaker or sign trade supplier may have a flatbed, an outline with driver holes is pretty basic stuff and you could add finishing touches with your own router etc at home.
    For 2D you should be able to provide them with a suitable vector format file which they can rip to a cutting file.
    I think Tenson of this parish had a DIY flatbed on which he cut the panels for his Kickstarter kits, he's maybe willing to advise and maybe help you get the files into the correct format.
     
  6. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    Find your local kitchen fitter. I got my Tannoy front baffles cut and rebated by a local company from my plans. £40 the pair.
     
  7. cooky1257

    cooky1257 pfm Member

    Ah harrrr.....and here's me thinking jeez John is a dab hand..;-)
     
    orangeart, Fatmarley and Rockmeister like this.
  8. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    Damn...I did do the rest tho
     
    cooky1257 likes this.
  9. cutting42

    cutting42 Arrived at B4 Hacker Erg \o/


    I once jokingly said that pfm should club together and get a CNC router table. The cost for a basic 8'x4' machine used to be around £10k but I saw this DIY version recently http://sheetcnc.co.uk/

    They are quoting under £3400 to get it up and running. I just need a bigger shed.
     
    Adam N likes this.
  10. cutting42

    cutting42 Arrived at B4 Hacker Erg \o/

    The other potential way to get your work done is to see if you have a "maker space" near you. They often have CNC and experts willing to teach you how to use it. There will be a membership fee and a usage fee but usually not high.
     
    Adam N likes this.
  11. Adam N

    Adam N pfm Member

    Great idea, thanks!
     
  12. orangeart

    orangeart KJF Audio Ltd.

    Those cheap/DIY CNC machines are usually not stiff enough so you either end up with a bad finish because the bit chatters around or you break a lot of bits.
     
  13. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    Yes, some do have too weak a frame if cheaply made but for most, it also depends on what speed you're trying to route a particular material at and the router itself. They're not AXYZ's but I've seen a couple of well built DIY jobs do a good imitation.
    Having said that, seeing an AXYZ 6010 in action is great, it just looks so effortless.
     
  14. orangeart

    orangeart KJF Audio Ltd.

    Before I bought a decent one, I had one made from aluminium extrusions, which was just about stiff enough, but you were forever tweaking all the bolts tighter.
     
    JimmyB likes this.
  15. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer 432 Point5

    Try Wilmslow Audio, they'll do it no doubt!
     
    Adam N likes this.
  16. Adam N

    Adam N pfm Member

    Quick question, what gap do you leave between panels for push fit and for glue? Currently I'm leaving 0.25mm so a total of 0.5mm for two edges, but that may be a bit mean.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Depends which glue you use, water based PVA shrinks and liquid or gel PU glues expand.

    Is 0.25 mm really that critical on speaker cabs ?

    Does the CNC machine compensate for wear on the cutter for example.
     
  18. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    Out of interest, what did you buy in the end? Was looking at these when I ran my own business but decided I couldn't get the throughput to justify it.
     
  19. Adam N

    Adam N pfm Member

    It's not quite that, the panel has to drop in to a frame so needs clearance. If it's cut true it won't actually fit or would be difficult to push in so I was wondering what sort of tolerance all the way round for the panel to go in but not be too loose.
     
  20. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer 432 Point5

    .25mm all round so .5m O/D
     
    Adam N likes this.

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