So thanks for all the lovely comments and suggestions on what to do with the ultimate plywood. They were really imaginative and fun, from the toothpick to the computer mouse. Although I didn’t really appreciate the gun handle suggestion. I just don’t like guns, no matter how much craft or skill goes into making one. Simple as that.
So you must all want to know what I’m going to make, and it’s actually an egg cup holder. But it’s going to look a little different, maybe a little bit modern. And no-one ever got killed with an egg cup holder before, so we should all be safe.
Anyway I’ll crack on and will let you know the winner of the mouse mat at the end.
Ok so I’m going to test the Gcode file out on this bit of laminated ply. Obviously it’s very similar so I should be able to gauge the effect quite well. And I’m going to be using a ball nose bit. This is a 1/4 inch ball nosed two flute bit. So I’m just going to change that over now and do the test carve.
Just in case you didn’t know what I was going to do, I’m doing a test cut.
So I found it difficult to figure out how to make a hemisphere in any of the software I had available. Artcam is a bit of a scam, as with many of the other pro CAM softwares because you have to constantly buy expensive modules to do just that little bit more.
So I decided to use easel and programme a series of circular cuts at various depth with diameters which would create a similar shape. The first attempt looks more conical but with very defined steps, but I kinda liked the effect.
So I’m going to need to increase the resolution, maybe do each step down at 1.5mm and maybe reduce it down even further for the centre. I kinda like the idea of it panning out a little bit around the edge, but I could always do that with a round over bit afterwards. It doesn’t all have to be done on this.
So I’m using the offset tool and spacing around 14 circles at 1.5mm from the centre. I separated the individual rings and manually adjusted the cutting depth again by 1.5mm and centred them all. I want to try get two egg cup holders out of this ultimate plywood.
There is a ridge of lip here where I must have written the calculation , the depth incorrectly. I think I need to go grab an egg just to see whether this even holds one. I kinda like the fact there’s a shadow around the egg – a shadow gap.
I feel like this would have been better size wise.
Decision making – eeni meeni miini moh.
I identified the incorrect toolpaths, and CNC’d one more test. I did this at 4x time the feed rate I intended the final job, as there little point waiting around. It cut correctly and I was happy with the effect, so it was time to have a go with the ultimate ply.
Before I did, I made sure I cut the piece into two equal halves, taking the blade thickens into account. And then positioned them onto the wasteboard between four pieces of scrap ply.
The front of the block being parallel with the front of the wasteboard.
I began by setting the home position of the machine to the edge of the ply but this caused problems as the initial pass seemed off-centred. I decided to start again and home from the centre of the block.
I decided to start again, homing from the centre of the block.
So what I’ve done is I’ve centred the circles on zero which means I can actually start by placing the bit on the centre of the material which I can easily measure. There’s a little notch underneath the bit which I should be able to line up on there. And at least, my thinking is by working form the centre the file and on the material, any proportional errors will look even.
Well I’m bloody relieved that worked. It looks really nice. I’m going to do the second one now, give it a sand and make sure there’s no glue on anything and then I’ll have to decided how to finish it. Whether to use oil or spray varnish.
So providing these are the same… size, and it looks like they are. I should be able to use the same home position.
Ok that so that’s number two, and it looks pretty much the same as the first one which is a relief.
I’m going to have to just tidy up now. That’s the plan.
Ok here they are. They are like eyes. Like owl eyes.
The base veneer is birds eye maple and the top layer is aa species called castello, so if that was important to you now you know. 47 species of veneer just to hold an egg.
Ok so I’ve just given them a couple coats of spray lacquer. I think I’m going need to do a few more and sand them as I go along. But I think they look pretty nice. You can kinda see a bit of a shine to it, because it is satin. But that’s what it’s mean to look like. Ok so I should also announce the winner, although I have decided to give two mouse mats out. And they’re going to go to David Hall who suggested the toothpicks because that really did make me laugh and also to Cristiana from get hands dirty for the mouse suggestion, because after all I was giving a mouse mat away. It would have been pretty impressive if I could have made this into a mouse but I just didn’t have the confidence to risk it to be honest. But I’m really happy with these egg cup holders. If you’d like to see me using them I’ll probably upload some picture so Instagram so check out the link in the description and er you may get to see these in action.