Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How to make a custom wooden keychain on the CNC machine

Recently Inventables sent to me a box with some interesting materials. They also sent to me a set of V carving bits and gave me access to Easel Pro software. 

So I decided to do a project that wood include V carving. My logo is fairly complicated and I thought it would be perfect to test how detailed work I can achieve.

My keychain is made out of wenge wood. I Cut two pieces of it on the bandsaw. I glued the two pieces together with their grain perpendicular to each other. This way I created a kind of plywood which is much stronger and perfect for the work I wanted it for. 

I then secured the material on the x-carve cnc with double sided tape. I did that in order to avoid using tabs on my carving.

I then designed my keychain in illustrator. I exported the design as an SVG file which I then imported in Easel pro. 

The carving would be completed in three stages. First a detailed pass with the v carving bit. Then a roughing pass with a straight bit. And then another roughing pass with a straight bit to cut out the material. V carving and carving in detail and roughing passes are features available only in Easel Pro. Easel Pro also has a detailed preview and a carving simulation. This way you know the course the router while take while carving.

Because I completed the carving in three stages I always made a copy of the original easel file. So I worked every stage in a different copy of the original file.

After the carving procedure was done. I sanded the piece with 240 sandpaper to remove any burrs. I then sprayed a coat of white paint on the carving side. When the paint dried out, I sanded again with 240 and this way the design remained white in contrast to the really dark wenge surface. I also did not sand the paint all the way. This way my keychain had a kind of rustic look which I think fits better the whole scrap wood city concept of my channel.

I finished the piece with mineral oil and added the chain.

I am really happy with the way it came out, especially it’s texture!

Many thanks to Inventables for the really cool stuff they sent to me!

If you want to make this project yourself, you can find the easel file here.

No comments:

Post a Comment