First post here. Seems like a great place with lots of friendly folks! Apologies up front for this long of a post.
I build speaker cabinets and have been using to great success my current setup but it is an all manual process so far and I am looking at the X-Carve to add some capabilities.
I have a background in CNC from a few years back in the sign industry. I routed a many an aluminum sign face and 1/2 plate letters on a 5’x10’ bed with vacuum table and 5hp spindle. That machine rocked and set a pretty high bar in terms of my expectations.
I am very interested in the 1000 x 1000 X-Carve as that size is just past the max of what I need and it’s not so big as to take over the shop.
My cabinets are very strong and every single joint either has a dado, rabbet or tongue and groove. This is pretty easy to do with my current setup and the repeat-ability of it is also quite easy since I have digital scales on everything. (I also modded my table saw to the max by replacing the stock fence railing with Biesemeyer styled fencing and a router lift table with a JessEm lift)
But there are parts that are time consuming and not necessary to the function of the cabinet so I don’t do them… like recessing the handles and top hats for examples.
So, this means routing both sides of the plywood and also high degrees of accuracy in terms of depth of cut on the Z Axis for the dado and rabbet joints.
That the X-Carve can get that accurate mechanically I’m not too worried about and I know if I set the cut jobs up right then the working both sides of the plywood is also not an issue.
Sadly plywood, while a great medium to build cabs out of, it is rarely flat.
My questions center around getting the bed of the machine flat enough and holding down the plywood enough to make everything come together as it should.
So, my thinking is, get the X-Carve and use some aluminum extrusion for the bed (or some 1/2 plate). I’d put some maybe 1/2 MDF as a spoil board on top of that. Then I could drill holes, thread them and use some bolts to pull the plywood and spoil board to the bed, kinda like Travelphotog did with his setup. Would also likely use some edge clamping too.
Sound doable or worth the effort?
I’ll also be doing stiffening mods to any and all rails that need it. The DeWalt 611 is a no-brainer for sure as well.
Regarding repeat-ability and two sided cutting, is the homing of the X-Carve accurate and repeatable enough to maintain sufficient accuracy over time? Along that line, can the limit switches be set such that they provide a permanent homing point and that point be accurate time after time? Stated differently, can the limit switches double as a homing point and be accurate over time?
Dust collection. I modded my Harbor Freight dust collector to use a Super Dust Deputy for chip collection and a ,05 micron canister filter to keep things clean and it works quite well. Question; is the Fein Turbo I sufficient to keep things clean given the proper dust shoe and air diverter are used? I’d use a smaller Dust Deputy inline with that as well to keep the Fein filters as clean as possible as long as possible. Is there anyone doing this already?
Software. I currently design in CorelDraw and this works quite well given that I have digital scales on my saw and router table. I can design what I want and it all comes out as expected. Corel will output SVG files and I have imported some into Easel and it seems to be pretty accurate as far as I can tell. What bothers me though is the internet connection part of things. I have internet in the shop of course but am wondering how Easel will react if/when the internet hiccups… will it resume from where it left off or will the job it was in the middle of be toast and I’d have to start all over? Does (the potential of having) limit switches to home everything negate any possible issues with Easel and internet connectivity?
Would V-Carve be a better place to start?
Thanks for reading this far and any thoughts or observations are appreciated! I am excited to get into this given my tendencies to mod stuff… seems like this might scratch several itches!