Oops, I only attached the 4 examples. You really want the big zip.
Once you have the right zip, unzip it, then find the .DXF file for the joint you want, you can either:
- Use something like libreCAD (my personal favorite for 2D CAD) or OnShape to import the dxf, and move the parts around on your larger design. This is the C_001_2.DXF file opened in libreCAD:
- Load it straight into your CAM software, like EstlCAM, and just make the CAM software make only the joinery, save that tool path, and then have the CNC cut just the joint. You’ll have some work to do to make sure everything is lined up, and you will want the tool paths to only do the joint, not cut the piece out completely. This is that same file with the tool paths layed out in EstlCAM.
You can see on the left part that what I’m doing is just cutting the edge out. Since I don’t want it to cut the entire part out, I couldn’t just use the “Outside” tool, I had to actually do engraving, and click the points around on the trail I wanted to cut. Now that I look at it, I should probably have made the two shoulder cuts as well. The benefit of doing it like this is that you can just attach a 10 foot board, and just make the joint on the end. There are a lot of gotchas though, because you have to worry about:
- Getting the width of the joint the same as the width of the board. (and scaling the hole with the key the same way, so that they mate when you are done).
- Getting the joint in the right place on the board
- Getting the board perfectly parallel to the x axis (in this case, you might need to be aligned with something else in some other case. (Use the CNC to help you here, you can have it cut some holes for dowels in a perfectly straight line along the x axis, or have it carve the edge of a “fence” board.)
- Getting the origin of the toolpath in the right place when you start cutting.
- I would do this by moving the “Zero” in EstlCAM to a place on the joint, like the bottom of the board, on the shoulder cut.
- Move the machine’s head to be touching the material, directly above where that “Zero” should be.
- Reset the zero position of the machine (by selecting the option with the LCD, or power cycling it).
Either way, this won’t be a 5 minute deal. You’ll have to learn some tools and understand their issues. It’s doable, but this is really a case of “what works for you”, not a “here’s a step by step”.
If nothing else, if you want to start working in something like openscad, then you can just design the joints yourself, using these as inspiration. I think openscad can support reading in DXF files. I know it can output them.