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 Post subject: anything new?
PostPosted: May 15th, 2011, 7:19 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2009, 1:21 am
Posts: 236
Hey Rod,

Haven't seen you post any new builds lately, just wondering if you have any new builds in the works


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 Post subject: Re: anything new?
PostPosted: May 16th, 2011, 7:40 pm 
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Joined: March 10th, 2008, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1196
Location: Seattle, WA USA
my "pays the bills" job has been on overdrive since shortly after NAMM, so new builds have been somewhat delayed of late :cry:

I do have that VRB-MM5L seen in a thread in this forum that's about to ship out ... I shipped a Lake Placid Blue metallic VRB-DS4L (with a Maple/Birdseye 1-5/8" nut) out this morning to a customer in the South East US ... I have a vintage burst Heritage Tribute '55 lefty that just needs a couple free hours so I can finish the wiring and set-up and then get it posted here as available for purchase ... and the other lefty currently in process is the first M-Series lefty 4-string that's a tummy cut and final sanding away from heading off to the paint shop (the Birsdeye/Birsdeye 1-1/2" nutted neck on this one is already back from the paint shop)

I also have several righty basses in the works, and am also getting close to having the first of my vintage Tele influenced 6-string geetars ready to offer up. this one is a near clone for a 52' Tele and features a superb 1-piece Swamp Ash body and Maple/Rosewood neck. those who've been to my shop and handled this geetar have had very encouraging feedback on it so far ... I'm hoping that it will exceed all these comments once I get to show it off sonically as well

Lastly, I have new computer hardware on order for the new CNC system so I can work my CAD designs in the relative comfort of my office instead of the dusty environment in my shop

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: anything new?
PostPosted: May 17th, 2011, 1:33 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2009, 1:21 am
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sucks about the day job, if you dont mind me asking, how does CNC work? do you manually create templetes and it copies them or, do you make a CAD design and it reads them and makes them to spec? i was always curious as how those things worked, we had one when i was in high school but only the after school club was allowed to use it


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 Post subject: Re: anything new?
PostPosted: May 17th, 2011, 4:29 pm 
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Joined: March 10th, 2008, 7:00 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
here's a somewhat simplified view of my CNC process -

my workflow is to work an initial full-scale sketch on paper, messing with it until I'm happy with the overall flow of the design. I then scan this sketch into Rhino and develop a detailed 2D representation of the design that is 100% accurate to scale. I then develop a full 3D model that includes all of the various cavities, neck pocket, tummy and forearm contours, contoured top (if the body has one, which none of my designs to date do), etc ...

From this I will 'backwards design' this from a solid block representing the body core, and at this point I also include and reference location holes that align on my tooling so I canaccurately align the blank and then accurately flip the body so the opposite side can be carved by the router head.

Lastly I design all of my tool paths and optimize them for the various kinds of woods I will utilize. I run a simulation of these tooling paths so I can validate I've made all of the logical step breakdowns that will give me flexibility where I need it. An example of this last thing would be to utilize a library of pickup cavities so that I can easily utilize a P/J configuration instead of a dual SB should a client wish to differ from my standard configuration

Once it's all done from a CAD/CAM perspective, I'll test my tools paths on a big chunk of pink high density foam, and if I'm still liking everything I'll rough out a prototype body out of Poplar or Alder

there is a significant upfront time investment prior to seeing anything tangible on the CNC table. it's definitely not a plug-n-play kind of endeavour

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: anything new?
PostPosted: May 17th, 2011, 11:11 pm 
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Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:57 am
Posts: 2660
Rodent wrote:
here's a somewhat simplified view of my CNC process -

my workflow is to work an initial full-scale sketch on paper, messing with it until I'm happy with the overall flow of the design. I then scan this sketch into Rhino and develop a detailed 2D representation of the design that is 100% accurate to scale. I then develop a full 3D model that includes all of the various cavities, neck pocket, tummy and forearm contours, contoured top (if the body has one, which none of my designs to date do), etc ...

From this I will 'backwards design' this from a solid block representing the body core, and at this point I also include and reference location holes that align on my tooling so I canaccurately align the blank and then accurately flip the body so the opposite side can be carved by the router head.

Lastly I design all of my tool paths and optimize them for the various kinds of woods I will utilize. I run a simulation of these tooling paths so I can validate I've made all of the logical step breakdowns that will give me flexibility where I need it. An example of this last thing would be to utilize a library of pickup cavities so that I can easily utilize a P/J configuration instead of a dual SB should a client wish to differ from my standard configuration

Once it's all done from a CAD/CAM perspective, I'll test my tools paths on a big chunk of pink high density foam, and if I'm still liking everything I'll rough out a prototype body out of Poplar or Alder

there is a significant upfront time investment prior to seeing anything tangible on the CNC table. it's definitely not a plug-n-play kind of endeavour

all the best,

R


Dang!
And there i was thinking that you just tossed a hunk of wood at the CNC machine and yelled "GO!" :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: anything new?
PostPosted: May 18th, 2011, 6:14 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2009, 1:21 am
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so bascially once you have the designs plugged in how you like them it stores it so you can call it up for later builds, or are there certain things you have to program each time you use it for a build? and if you dont want to go into thats fine but how much time do you think it shaves off a build? was it worth the purchase or are you still figuring all that stuff out


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 Post subject: Re: anything new?
PostPosted: May 18th, 2011, 8:03 am 
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Joined: March 9th, 2008, 7:46 am
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Location: West Orange, NJ
So does this mean that no body design is beyond producing for a truly unique custom instrument, Rod, or will you still be limiting your available design options?


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 Post subject: Re: anything new?
PostPosted: May 18th, 2011, 2:16 pm 
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Joined: March 10th, 2008, 7:00 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
Quote:
And there i was thinking that you just tossed a hunk of wood at the CNC machine and yelled "GO!"

hey - you got a hidden camera in my shop? I need to puff the mystique to keep others away from this kind of tooling configuration :lol:

Quote:
it stores it so you can call it up for later builds, or are there certain things you have to program each time you use it for a build? and if you dont want to go into thats fine but how much time do you think it shaves off a build? was it worth the purchase or are you still figuring all that stuff out


yes, each CAD design and tool path code file is saved for future reuse. more important than saving time roughing out a part, the key benefit is increased accuracy and repeatability. it's cool to carve the mother of all neck contours - but what counts for building is to be able to reproduce that contour on every build I wish to use it on. repeatability become achievable with a .005" tolerance (depending on the skill of the finish sander) in less time than it would take to carve a neck by hand ... for reference, getting two necks dead accurate to each other in every aspect within a 0.01" tolerance is difficult to do quickly

Quote:
So does this mean that no body design is beyond producing for a truly unique custom instrument, Rod, or will you still be limiting your available design options?


I'll eventually have my stock lines, and also be able to offer one of a kind builds where all of the critical interface details are cut with the CNC. an example would be to cut a neck with CNC. I'd also cut the neck pocket, control cavity, pickup routes, bridge mounting holes, etc ... with the CNC into a body blank, but I'd then carve the outer profile and all contours by hand should someone have the budget for the added expense for the added shop time to do so. This is an eventually ... I still have a lot of work to go before I'm ready to branch back out into these semi-custom builds

all the best,

R

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