Benchtop CNC machines seem to be catching the attention of woodworkers everywhere, both professional and hobbyists. The new wave of CNC machine products that has hit the market in recent years brings an incredible amount of capability, with exceptional precision and capacity. Even with the incredible level of automation that these machines bring, however, there is still a good deal of CNC training necessary to develop the skills and confidence to make these machines do exactly what you want them to.
One of the first aspects to learn in CNC training is how to properly locate the work piece so that it precisely aligned with the axis of the CNC. If this step is skipped, or done incorrectly, the error will be echoed throughout the project, and can potentially place your project on the firewood pile rather than the trophy case.
In this CNC training video, George walks through the steps to create a “cheat sheet” that can be used for any future project, enabling you to quickly locate your project piece so that it is in perfect alignment.
Set correct depth.
For this CNC training exercise you’ll want to run grooves that are shallow; only deep enough to be easily visible. With the v-bit spinning at full speed, slowly lower the bit along the Z axis until it makes only the slightest impression in the work piece.
One axis at a time.
In order to ensure that the bit is traveling in perfect alignment to the CNC axis, you’ll want to isolate the variables and move the CNC arm along only one axis at a time. You’ll make all of your passes along that axis, and then set up the CNC machine to make grooves along the other axis so that you create a grid for locating your projects.