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Forum topic by Scott1712 posted 11-27-2017 05:32 PM 746 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 958 days

11-27-2017 05:32 PM

I build custom turkey calls and other game calls. I would like to speed some of my work up with some kind of cnc machine but I have no clue where to start. Can someone give me some advice on what kind of machine to look at, or where to start looking for affordable machines.

4 replies so far

View DS's profile


3503 posts in 3197 days

#1 posted 11-27-2017 09:15 PM

When it comes to CNC, there is NO quick solution. The learning curve is STEEP. If you are just starting out, I’d say get a basic machine and run a bunch of tutorials for practice. Time will be the uncontrolled variable there though. It sounds like you want something near term to speed up production.

Here is what I might do in your situation:
I would find someone who advertises for contract CNC machining services in my local area. This fellow will already have loads of experience and equipment and will know which type of machine will be required, which tooling to use and may give you some valuable recommendations for getting started with your own machine. That would, 1) avoid pitfalls you are unaware of, (Buying a machine that won’t quite do what you want would really suck, or, perhaps your widget doesn’t lend itself to CNC machining at all – or whatever.) and 2) immediately get some increased production by outsourcing the first CNC units to him. (Side benefit: you will have to pay him to write your code, but when it comes time to run on your own machine, hey, you already have a professionally written code that you know works)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View MrRon's profile


5913 posts in 4020 days

#2 posted 11-27-2017 09:16 PM

If the game calls are a lathe turned item, then you would want a CNC lathe. It would need to be of the metal turning variety with longitudinal and cross feed screw drive. The screws would be driven by small motors, controlled by CNC software. Not being very large, you could go with this lathe:

View DS's profile


3503 posts in 3197 days

#3 posted 11-28-2017 10:32 PM

If, in fact, you do need a CNC lathe, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a metal lathe. Most CNC wood lathes have an additional mill option (router spindle) to detail your parts similar to what a metal lathe does, but, unlike a metal lathe, they will usually have a basic woodworking tool carousel and dust collection.

Additionally, there is what is being termed a router-lathe, which cuts solely using a router spindle rather than lathe turning knives. Sometimes, these are also achieved with a regular CNC router table by adding a 4th-axis option for turnings.

The trick is avoiding overspending for features you don’t need and won’t ever use.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View oldnovice's profile


7563 posts in 4144 days

#4 posted 11-30-2017 01:44 AM

Perhaps a Legacy Ornamental Mill would help?
Not as costly as a CNC but more capable than a hand held router.

However, I don’t know if Legacy is still in business or what the entry level machine would cost!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

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