MPCNC Cabinet transformation

The MPCNC can turn an old, cruddy cabinet into an old, cruddy cabinet with a beer logo on it!

More pics, and one obligatory cutting video:

This used to be in my kitchen, but the previous home owner moved it to the shed. This particular cabinet was falling apart, so I built a new one, and used the old door. I decided I should probably cut something on the front because… You know, I could.

It worked pretty well. These are the steps I took (loosely):

  • searched for something like, “new belgium black and white” and found this image on their twitter account:
  • Imported it into inkscape. Then I used the “trace bitmap” feature, saved it as an svg.
  • Opened it in EstlCAM
  • Made the origin be right in the middle with the three point/circle center zero tool.
  • I added a visualization of the workspace, but since I couldn’t figure out how to center it, I made it 1/2x1/2 So I could image it being twice the size.
  • Scaled the sketch to be about right in the work area.
  • Added the outside edges of all the inside objects first, then I did the inside part and chose island.
  • I saved the gcode, with a depth of 1.5mm.

On to the milling:

  • I started the machine in one of the corners, with the cabinet door loose on the table. Then I moved only in the x axis, and made sure the cabinet door was aligned with the x axis. Does that make sense? I was trying to make sure it would end up straight, so I checked something like 0,0 and 600,0 and made sure they were both on the same line on the door.
  • I clamped it down there, then just using a tape measure, I centered the tool in the middle of the door (I made the middle of the drawing the origin).
  • I moved the bit down to where it was just touching, re-zeroed the machine coordinates, and started cutting.
  • After the cutting, I finished with some boiled linseed oil.

I had a hard time telling exactly how thick the door was, and it’s an old door, so there are some ahem inconsistencies. It was difficult to measure around the frame. I took some scrap pieces and tried to do some crazy clamping and one measurement, then some math. I ended up with 4mm, and I tried to cut 1.5mm in, but that was obviously wrong. The end result was that it cut almost completely through at the top of the design. I also only clamped the outside edges, so I wonder if the board flexed a little after some of the material was removed, because there were parts that weren’t at the same z height for different tool moves.

Anyway, it turned out looking nice (IMO). If I was going to do it again (which I probably will, I have 15 or so more of these cabinets in my shop), I would stick a piece of MDF under it to support the panel, and clamp that down instead of the edges. I would also start with a few (4 maybe) holes at the right depth to make sure I wasn’t plunging through the material. I didn’t actually make it all the way through, you can see in one of the pics the light coming through, and that darker color on the top is actually the paint on the other side of the door.

You never know with old cabinet doors what you’re getting into until the dust starts flying. I milled a dragon into one and found it was actually particleboard. Still turned out really nice, still haven’t painted it yet though.