Gadgeteer "Base Camp"

@ Dave, @ Jeff

Thanks. Partially, yes. The problem was the backer was just a piece of scrap balsa which simply deformed. The part without the backer (as mentioned in the post) had the worst tearout, of course :slight_smile:

Woodworking/carpentry is another hobby of mine

Very good idea.
How much do you think the base camp could cost?
I could be interested, I spent one afternoon to make something similar in plastic.
40 holes… A nightmare…



Looking good, @ Pete.

Do you have standoffs, or should I plan on picking some up before our talk on Saturday? Any recommended suppliers?

HomeDepot hardware section they have nice plastic ones of different length

I found a supplier of good quality birch plywood in my area so I ordered a few sheets of 3mm and 6mm. It should arrive in time to make some more Base Camps this weekend. I’m thinking of pre finishing the boards with Danish oil and them drilling/cutting them on the CNC. Then spray them with polyurethane. That should give a durable finish with a nice color contrast.

@ jeff

You probably already know this, but if you plan to spray a topcoat, you may want to make the holes a little larger.


@ Pete, your right about a spray on coating causing build up.

I just applied a coat of Danish Oil to the Base Camp I have already made. Danish Oil soaks into the wood rather than building up on the surface. It actually hardens in the wood thereby providing very good protection. Applying it post machining also means that it will soak into the holes and strengthen them as well.

I wonder how poplar will end up using your hardening technique with Danish Oil.

Danish oil works very nicely on poplar. The coloring and density of poplar can vary a lot so its harder to get a consistent finish using standard stains. Danish oil is very forgiving. You can get poplar plywood in these small sizes and it is a little less expensive. I’ve never been really happy with it though as it tends to warp. The Baltic Birch plywood is much more stable.

The second coat of Danish oil is now on the Base Camp so well see how it works in the morning.

Don’t forget to post some pictures. ;D

Finally finished mine. Had a few CNC issues due to it not being tuned up. I had to mill one set, flip it around, modify the G code to offset in the opposite direction, then run again.

No finish :slight_smile:

Not bad! How long did it take to do that?


Learn G-code and mess up an initial part: one afternoon and evening :slight_smile:

Fix the g-code, write a second prog that will handle the flipped part, and re-run: just today. It took a couple hours total to mill, then a few minutes to trim on my table saw and sand with an orbital.

When milling and trimming, I stacked two on top of each other with a backer underneath, so I got two decent boards out of it.

You can see directly underneat the USB module, to the left of the Spider, my mill choked for two holes, but then fixed itself after that. I have no idea what happened there. Could be EMF, it’s unlikely to be lost steps as those servos are powerful enough to loosen the pre-load nuts on the bearings if I accidentally overrun the axis (happened).

Video of hole drilling (much faster feedrate this time)


BTW, what I’d really like to see is these made out of 1/4" or 3/8" laminated phenolic resin with a nifty laser-engraved G logo or something. Phenolic machines well and is durable (we use it a lot for woodworking jigs), but can be hard to find and does tend to be expensive.


Wow…I about fell asleep watching that… About as exciting as soldering this LED cube together I’m working on at the moment. I definitely will not be attempting to drill all those holes with my drill press :frowning: That’s a handy machine you have there.

@ ianlee

If it helps you, I’m pretty sure I can record a video of some paint or shellac drying, maybe with some Kenny G or something dubbed in :wink:


Now, Pete, I’ve been nothing but nice to you so far. Don’t go threatening me with Kenny G! What would be exciting would be a video of those holes being zapped with a laser. :smiley:

@ ianlee

When I was 19, I worked at Ames department store. They had their own dedicated radio station that played nothing but muzak versions of tunes, plus a lot of Kenny G.

I still wake up twitching sometimes.

Why do you move back to the start of the X-axis to start new row? Would be faster to go down and start drilling in opposite direction. Should save some time.