Frozen North Projects

With our long winters here we decided to make better use of an under stair space in our basement. The kids love it and it was a fun project for mom and dad. The super cnc made some fun stuff possible and it turned out great.



Next is figuring out a good joint for a seating bench to joint two bench tops together. I’m not sure I’ll do anything this complicated but I’m in the experiment phase and pine boards are cheap so test time.





Cool projects.

I had a little brain fart, thinking how the hell do you cut a board into two pieces like that?! Then after a few minutes, oh wait, it’s two boards cut separately…

1 Like

I always want to see joints that can only be made by a cnc. No way you can make that joint with chisels or a bandsaw. There are some neat examples here too:

Someday I’m going to make some furniture with a bunch of details like that, just to flex some CNC muscle.




So major workshop changes are complete (ceiling height increase, insulation, venting, sheathing, and heating) so back to some projects but woot woot! heated workspace in the frozen north!

Trying my hand/cnc at crib board creation.

I drafted the design for a friend and tried out some tool changes in the gcode with some success. I’ve decided that yes I can do the tool changes but a number of items for me at least made it make more sense to just break the job up into segments as opposed to one big long program. I also saw Ryan post about almost never doing tool changes and with that, I may abandon the idea.

What I struggled with most and realized immediately after being prompted for the first tool change was how would I get my bit back to the exact same z-height? I know it’s a gcode line item but for the tool change despite what I expected the bit lifted up off the work piece probably the 5mm I ask it to for movement clearnace. Without a collar on the bit, I was guessing putting it back and… yeah, air milling when I resumed.

Not all was lost as you can see but rather than have all of it run off one cnc program, I’m going to break the job up by tool, and simply return to origin in the settings, change the tool, start new program from the same origin. This way I can manually home my z-axis, so lets say x0,y0,z-2, reset the origin on program start to be my x0y0z0 once more and on I go, new tool in the works.

The last part here is is there any way around the burning in the hole drillings? I needed 361 (yeah I know I only have 360… holes) but this in in maple and it smokes on every single hole. I used a conventional twist drill bit for the holes but at the rpms for the spindle, there’s not much to be done? For the hold down pilot holes my cordless drill was doing the same at ~300rpm? so maybe it’s a lost cause. I used the slowest router setting, and plunged each 12mm deep hole in a single pass quickish at 5mm/s for z plunge. The drilling was no problem other than the smoke. Not sure the edge on the bit will hold up but it did one test board just fine.

Good to back and learning so much.


Setting the Z again is pretty easy with a makeshift Z probe. I think some old guy coding has a video, I might as well. You use two pauses, one to change the bit, then resume ti will touch off your plate, then pause so you can remove the plate. I have that code in the milling basics page.

For the holes you can “peck” by setting the depth of cut lower, and turning down the rpm down will help (you can get a dimmer if you don’t have one).

I did think about pecking but opted to go full depth in one shot. I didn’t think it would make a big difference considering the smoke on the hand drill holes. I’ll check out the options in the milling basics page once more for tool change codes. I just need to be able to pause the program, move the z down/up whatever, then resume from the tool change. Fun learning but this would be pretty awesome as the tool change is handy to have as an option. Thanks.

Is that a custom cribbage board? :slight_smile:

Yep. Still a work in progress though.

Continuing with trials, better results with slightly different cutting plans.

1 Like

Finally gave a downcut bit a go and wow that made a big difference for the masking. Aside from one very thin portion all the masking stayed in place.


What material are you using for the masking?

I am using Oracal 631. I’m still figuring it all out but the product has worked well I just need to refine my techniques.20191215_225502 20191215_173021

That’s what I use as well and what I have found to work the best. Keep it up!

For now I’ve abandoned the paint. These crib boards are xmas presents so they must finish. These are nearly done. Just some boiled linseed oil to finish then off they go. I’m really happy with how they came out.


Cutting it close! Those look great.

1 Like

A little yes. These are the final cut bits at least so essentially done.


So much learning all in one project for me so it’s been really good that way. I feel more ready to tackle some other items now.

These boards weren’t perfect, some symmetry issues with the text and I also skipped out on peg storage. What i really wanted was handy access to a thickness planer, I had to do this:

which worked well but feeding boards into a planer would have been much easier.



Started to work on V2.0 of my lowrider table with some different ideas on how I want it to work.

I’m going to be using hold down clamps instead of screws like I have been. With the left over maple boards I have some fantastic stuff to cut.

I scaled these back and had to manually drill out the cutout to fit for my clamp idea but boy, the maple is nice to cut.