Butler table

Computer Numerical Control

Butler table

Postby loyd » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:29 pm

IMG_20180609_190631_273 (Copy).jpg


I purchased a set of butler table hinges from Henry at the Club's tool sale in May. Got a bargain btw! Now for applying them to an actual piece of work: I planed some curly maple down to 9/16" thickness for this application but I hope to dye it if it all works out.

The CNC is an ideal tool for this sort of work. You can program it to make a 'climb' cut without losing control so it does a pretty good job on the maple. I usually don't use the CNC for obvious straight cuts because with a little planning those cuts go best on the table saw, but curved cuts come off the CNC requiring very little sanding. I cut the wings on the table saw prior to doing the curves and finger hole on the CNC and fastened them to an MDF substrate to protect the CNC table.

The mortises for the eight hinges are next. To avoid an embarrassment with my actual workpieces, I plan to do a trial run using a 24x18 inch piece of MDF. I can gage the depth of the mortises that way and readjust the tool path before running it on my workpieces. This is what the MDF should look like when it's run. Doing this whole run will take less than 10 minutes and should be worth the effort for the reasons given above.

trial run.jpg
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Re: Butler table

Postby sid_matheny » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:43 pm

That is going to be one nice project Loyd and I agree the CNC is perfect for that! I have never made a butler table but have always loved the way they look.
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Re: Butler table

Postby loyd » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:41 pm

IMG_20180610_145633_587.jpg


The accuracy of Vectric's imaging is amazing to me. This photo is on MDF which I ran today to test my layout before committing it to my real workpiece.

I learned a lot doing this not the least of which is the price you pay for working with MDF: dust all over the shop. The other thing I learned but should have known is that when you make a mortise for a hinge you need to make it a little bit larger than the actual hinge if you want it to go into the mortise. :oops:
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Re: Butler table

Postby henry » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:47 pm

You see--- you can't ever tell what great bargains you can find at the club's annual tool sell !
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Re: Butler table

Postby loyd » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:23 pm

The learning process continues. I'd like to have those hinge mortises cut so they have enough clearance to let all eight hinges go in but leave as little as possible edge gap. That's important for someone who has very poor hand tool skills because if they mortise is too tight the only solution seems to be a chisel. To accomplish this dream I've run 4 [so far] trial runs on scrap wood to try to get it right. The trial runs themselves take just a few minutes on the CNC machine but doing the design work and setting up the run is another story. I've decided that if one had in mind making just one of these things, the CNC isn't the ideal tool. But my plan is to make several as Christmas presents so it's worth the effort, I think. On the 4th try, the results are good. I plan to tweak it one more time and, assuming that works, I hope to go to the next level and make some real cuts.




IMG_1247 (Copy).JPG
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Re: Butler table

Postby sid_matheny » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:51 am

Sure looks perfect to me!
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Re: Butler table

Postby rgulley » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:59 am

There's a feature in Aspire, and I'm sure in VCarve as well, that lets you model the mortise exact and then pocket it with a plus or minus offset. I think the minus offset makes the mortise larger. At least I remember it being counter intuitive. I've also used my scanner to scan the object you want to model (the hinge, in this case) then import the image and draw vectors around it. The hinge is probably uniform/simple enough to draw direct though. I made some grips for a 45 caliber derringer using the scan method and it worked very well. I scanned the pistol handle without the grips then drew vectors from that image.
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Re: Butler table

Postby sid_matheny » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:17 pm

Yes offset refers to the tool size so if you if you go minus the machine thinks the tool is undersized and moves over to cut what it thinks is the correct path.
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Re: Butler table

Postby loyd » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:32 am

Well, let me tell you about CNC. What it does is what you program it to do. Example: When you get the hinge to fit right and commit to the final woodpieces you MUST be sure you make the mating pieces exactly match. In my case the wing pieces matched the base piece almost perfectly except the longest sides not so well. The end pieces are OK but the side pieces mismatched the base by a little less than 1/16". That was due to the fact that I programmed the base so that one of the hinges [one for each long wing, of course] was "a little less than 1/16"" less than it needed to be to make the match with the wing. :oops:

I remember this defect in my thinking dating back to getting calculus problems "almost" right with the exception of one little mistake in the basic algebra.

Well, the CNC makes it very easy to fix those sorts of things and the burn barrel is handy for other cases. :roll:
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