This was not as much of a success as I was hoping. Turns out making things fit nicely is hard.
The concept was simple – a custom pot rack for my apartment reminescent of something like this, but in wood.
So I sketched out a simple form
My initial plan was to only CNC the side panels. I was going to cut the top from a stock piece of plywood and connect the side to the top with miter joints. I’ve never done a miter joint, but I went ahead with my design assuming I’d be able to figure it out after the fact.
The vectorworks drawing was straightforward, but the question I was left with was how do I define the pockets that share an edge with the outer edge of the panel? I dropped a rectangle right on top, hoping that the overlapping lines wouldn’t be a problem.
I took the file into Mastercam and after struggling for about 20 minutes trying to properly select the lines I wanted, I managed to coerce a gcode file out. Mastercam wasn’t too bad though, after I got the hang of it. Time to head to the CNC.
Setting up was straightforward, and I was up and running quickly and smoothly. But about a minute into the cut I realized that I had sized the hole cutout incorrectly. I set it at 1″ radius when what I wanted was 1″ diameter. These things happen.
After fixing that up, I started again, and it all went super smoothly.
I cut the aluminium rod to the length I wanted and ground down the end to take off any sharp edge.
I used the panels with the bar in place to figure out the size I needed for the top panel.
After cutting, I used the table router to create the joints I wanted. I abandoned the miter joint because it seemed a little too complicated to get right without knowing how to properly make it. So I took the hand router, hooked up to the router table, and took out some material from both the top and side panels.
Eventually I ended up with something like this:
Not perfect. I took out too much from the top panel so there was a small gap left over. I could have tried to tighten it up, but without a way to make really accurate cuts it would be have been a bit of a blind man’s game. So I decided to push forward.
After some sanding, I fit everything together.
Lastly, I epoxied it all into place, and voila, a highly mediocre pot rack for my kitchen.
1: Know not only what joints you want to use, but how to actually make those joints.
2: I could have easily designed the joints I used to be cut on the CNC. This would have ensured they fit perfectly
3: Do a lot more measuring and planning before cutting. I could have saved myself some trouble if I took the time to figure out exactly how long things needed to be.
4: Don’t use the hand router for joints that require precise depths…
5: Think about what parts are round and what parts are flat. On the front face, where the side panels meet the flat face, there’s a mismatch between the roundness of the panels and the flatness of the face. It doesn’t look great. Doing this again, I would have had a flat face on he side panels that may curve once it’s away from the front face.