CNC Woodworking G-Code Creator #1: Introduction and Jointer Module

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Blog entry by Dirk Van Essendelft posted 02-17-2014 04:07 AM 3188 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I have a cnc router and have used it heavily in my shop because it is an extremely useful tool. However, it is not really the quickest and easiest tool to use. To make a simple cut, I have to go through as many as 3 programs, make a few calculations, set up the workholding, etc, etc. It was getting old for simple work. I was just about ready to go out and buy a sawstop and a router table, but then I thought, why not make a simple program that will make the router into a very easy tool to use for the most common kinds of woodworking operations (jointing, straight line cuts, profiling, slotting, rabbits, datos, dove tails, mortis’ and tenons, etc). Basically, anything that can be defined by a very simple and small set of numbers. I can quickly go through the settings, generate some g-code and go. I don’t have to draw, do tool paths, and then go to the machine and hope I didn’t make a mistake.

I know that this has to be an impediment for others too, so I decided to write the code in python and make it open source so anybody can use it, contribute to it, and modify it to suit their own needs. No more closed source tools that only do just a few things. Also, this is free as in speech and beer for non-commercial applications (for the 21st century woodworker hobbyist).

Here’s my first tutorial.

-- Blending Traditional Woodworking with 21st Century Tools

2 comments so far

View Texcaster's profile


1293 posts in 2919 days

#1 posted 02-17-2014 07:59 AM

Thanks Dirk,
I would love to have a CNC, my only problem is I would need a full time programmer. A very good mate, who builds guitar basses, build a CNC with a trimmer as the router. He uses it to make all his patterns, then pin routs.
This is a Southern Jumbo half pattern and neck/ neck block patterns he made for me.

I’m interested in 3D carving of archtop guitars, mandolins, fiddles. I like the new “handmade ” question: If I design the arching patterns, the body, program the machine and remove the last few millimeters with a tiny plane,tap tuning as I go, is it handmade? For me it is. The real question is, how does it sound? The main difference these days between a top brand factory guitar or their custom shop guitar is hand voicing the CNC produced tops & backs. Onward!

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Dirk Van Essendelft's profile

Dirk Van Essendelft

58 posts in 3139 days

#2 posted 02-17-2014 07:05 PM

I would say that finishing by hand is still “handmade”. Blank shaping isn’t what makes something hand made.

CNC equipment is getting cheaper all the time. I am hoping I can make this as easy and as simple as possible for the “traditional” woodworker to start using a cnc. We all still think in terms of simple woodworking operations when we build projects, so I want to develop a tool that will help us do that with a CNC.

-- Blending Traditional Woodworking with 21st Century Tools

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