I wanted to learn CNC so I started off with a simple project. I was in the market for a cribbage board so instead of buying one I thought it would be fun to make my own.
5 minute epoxy
black epoxy resin
CNC Mill (I have a Sherline 5400 but you could build your own . see www.buildyourcnc.com)
1.35mm End Mills (www.store.yahoo.com/drillcity)
7/64" Drill bit
flat wood scrapper
EMC2 (download from www.LinxCNC.org)
LibreCad (Opensource version of QCAD)
Step 1: Design the board.
I used LibreCad to design the board. You could use any CAD program as long as it can work with DXF files.
Step 2: Convert the CADfile to CNC
I divided the board into two CNC steps. One for the lines and one for the holes. From the CribbageBoard.DXF file save the line level to a file called lines.DXF and the hole level to a file called holes.DXF. Then I used an open source python script called dxf2gcode to generate the CNC files. The generated CNC files were not perfect so I tweaked them by hand.
Step 3: Carve out the Lines
Load up the lines.ngc file in EMC. Install the 1.35mm end mill in your CNC machine. Square up the piece of Maple. Then fire off the program.
Note: During the Line carving phase I added to "Dots" one ay point (0,0) and the other at (9.1638,1.375). These will be used to line up the board during the drill phase
Step 4: Fill in the Lines
Now we fill in the lines with epoxy.
First step mix the epoxy with a "Little" bit of black resin.
Second, "frost" the face of the board with the epoxy.
Then scrap the excess off the board.
When the epoxy is dry, use a wood scrapper to finish it off.
Note: The photo shows 20 minute epoxy but it bleed into the wood. I found out that 5 minute epoxy worked better.
Step 5: Drill the holes
To drill the holes, place the board back in the milling machine. Use the "Dots" to align the board. Open the Cribbage.ngc program in EMC2 and fire it off.