To make a long story short, we went to Atlanta at your encouragement and found exactly what we wanted! I felt overwhelmed when I first walked in but after sifting through all the info, we pulled the trigger on a CNC. I was so excited that I could hardly sleep for a night or two afterwards (thought I was more mature than that but felt like a kid in a candy store). Anyway, I'm thinking I should change my joinery method to blind dado but eventually move toward doweling. My questions: 1. Are there any tips or modifications that I should be considering in setting up a blind dado that would make the process more efficient - such as assembly marks or accommodating pocket screws? 2. My finished ends (3/4" thickness) are also the cabinet side, so how do I get them to stay on without exposed fasteners? 3. My backs are 1/2" thickness, currently let into a rabbet - will this need to take on a different form of joinery? 4. If I eventually move to doweling, will I be able to get my cabinet faces to align (seems like I hear a lot of complaints about this) ? Again, this is for custom euro style residential cabinetry using CV with S2M. Thanks for your encouragement and help with this! Still soaking it all in!
I opted to go with a New cnc - http://newcnc.com/ - smart series 2 (5 x 10) for the following reasons: 1. From everything I could see at IWF (which was a lot), it appeared to be a very well thought out and built machine - very much on par with some of the more expensive machines I was looking at. 2. It weighs in at about 10,000 lbs which, from what I was consistently told, really helps with cut quality. 3. From talking with some of their past clients, it sounds like their technical abilities and customer service are excellent - which is important to me being new at this. 4. It was in my price range. As much as I would love to say that I could spend whatever I wanted, that is definitely not me. I had a budget and stayed with it - and sleeping well, too. It is a simple three axis machine. I was worried about whether or not I should get the 4th axis but after looking at 98% of what I do, and my budget, couldn't justify the additional expense and software at this point. Somebody told me to master the three axis first and then, if there was a call for that fourth, consider upgrading at that point - seemed to make sense to me.
1. Are there any tips or modifications that I should be considering in setting up a blind dado that would make the process more efficient - such as assembly marks or accommodating pocket screws? We mark the top of the back with a 5mm hole so that we always get the correct end on top. 2. My finished ends (3/4" thickness) are also the cabinet side, so how do I get them to stay on without exposed fasteners? We use Hafele Rafix fitting to secure the sides on finished ends . Work very well. We also went from doing a full top to top stretchers, much easier on materials and allows to nest better.
3. My backs are 1/2" thickness, currently let into a rabbet - will this need to take on a different form of joinery? We swithced to doing a 3/4" back with the blind dado. Virtually no difference in cost, nests in with all the other parts on the job and reduces waste, no second rack full of odd size material. No need for nailer
4. If I eventually move to doweling, will I be able to get my cabinet faces to align (seems like I hear a lot of complaints about this) ? Again, this is for custom euro style residential cabinetry using CV with S2M. You can set up 2 different construction methods in CV and do either. Once you get the blind dado set up you won't even think of doing dowels.
Thanks for the encouragement! Derrek, that makes a lot of sense using 3/4" for your backs as well. I'm curious - how do you blind dado your backs in? On a face frame application, how would you attach your frames?
Backs are blind dadoed into the sides just the same as any other part. The tenon would be on the back while the mortise would be cut into the sides.
On face frames, the mortise would be cut into the back of the face frame while the tenon would be cut on the top, bottom, and or unfinished ends. This makes for an extremely solid cabinet. Make sure you let your customers know the strength of your cabinets because you should be able to use that as a great selling feature when bidding for a job!
Thanks, Frank! That's very helpful. So, when you blind dado your backs in (presuming you're using a 3/4" thick back), do you split it and do a 3/8" tenon and 3/8" mortise? And, is there a need to still use an occasional staple or screw to keep the back tight and avoid minute racking? Also, do you use your cnc to mortise the back side of your face frames? Thanks for the help!
Unfortunately, I don't make cabinets on a regular basis anymore. I and my wife own Cabinet Pro, software for Cabinet & Door manufacturers. But all day, every day, I work with some of the most gifted cabinet makers in this industry and am blessed with our customers being friends and partners a lot more than they are "customers".
Those who make face frame cabinets and blind dado their parts with their CNC machines do so quickly, efficiently, and accurately. And yes, staples are commonly used in place of clamps in order to hold the tenon of one part tightly into the mortise of another part until the glue dries.
Also, those customers who dado their tops, bottoms, and sides into the back of their face frames have their face face frames machined on their CNC. They HAVE TO, in order to ensure everything lines up correctly!! Cabinet Pro allows the speed of the spindle to be increased or decreased automatically based upon the material that is being used. So when lumber is being machined the speed of the spindle along the X-Y plane is automatically decreased in order to avoid splintering. The ROTATIONAL speed is kept high to avoid burning.
If you are using 1/4" material for backs, then there is no need for a blind dado. A full 1/4" dado will do. But if you are using 5/8" or 3/4" material, then you may want to consider a blind dado of 5/16" or 3/8" rather than a full dado.
I just bought a router that's coming in for delivery tomorrow. Just wondering how your installation went as well as your CV Implementation (did you go with the on line version?). Are you all up and running at this point? How has it changed your day to day operations at your shop? I'm very curious to hear about your experience. Thanks.
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