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Hi all, first time posting. I have run into a problem that I cannot think of how to solve effectively. I have come up with an idea for a product that I would like to sell and I have successfully made the wood tool repetitively. However, to be viable for selling at the price I want to sell them at, I need to make them quicker and without flaws (I'll explain the flaws later). So I have come to the hivemind to get ideas to better make the shape. Before I explain, the piece I'm making is only 1/2 thick.

First let me run you through how I have been doing it, then I will attempt to explain why I'm doing it this way, and then hopefully I can get some better ideas to speed up the process.

1) Take my master piece (same shape as final design just with no routered edges) and trace a new piece.

2) Take Forsner bit and drill hole in piece.

3) Take Router with a 45 Chamfer bit and route the hole on both sides.

4) I then cut the shape with a scrolling saw/jigsaw slightly bigger than the final product.

5) Take my master piece and piece I'm working on and using a LARGE bolt and nut, attach both on top of each other to my workbench. (for reference, the bolt is a flathead/martini style and sits in the hole of the product below the top so I can run my router on a flat surface) I then take my router with a straight cut bit with a bearing and essentially route the slightly bigger one to get the exact shape as my master piece. Then unscrew them from table.

6) I then take the piece I just routed, now it has the exact shape I want, and attach that to my workbench with the large bolt and nut. I then take my 45 degree chamfer bit, set it to half the height (1/4) and route.

7) Flip the piece over and repeat with Chamfer bit.

So this process is obviously long but it does work pretty well! This may seem like I'm changing bits out alot, which is one of the problems I want to solve! But if I'm doing 10 of them at once, it isn't so bad.

BUT WE HAVE SOME REAL PROBLEMS!!!

1) The process isn't exactly slow, but I want it to be much simpler. The faster I can make them the better.

2) Router table - I've thought about attempting this with a router table, and I'll see what you have to say but it just seems really dangerous and also if someone suggests using a guide handle thing on top of it, please read on to the chamfer bit problem.

3) Chamfer bit. - My biggest problem that has stalled this project. Because I am routing the piece to to come to an exact point around the entire piece, that means the bearing on the second pass (Step 7) does not roll along anything. and let me be clear. I'm not trying to make this come to an exact point. I'm leaving maybe a 32nd of an inch between the 45's and I want to continue to do that. The problem is that the bearing on the second pass, does not hit anything. BUT the little ring on top of the bearing does hit there. So essentially I have something that still follows the shape and lets me finish the product. HOWEVER, It burns the wood badly and leave a small groove right at the tips of those 45s. One of the things i'm trying to eliminate is having to excessively sand any part of the tool. I want to route it and pretty much be done with it. The chamfer bit i'm using has the bearing at the bottom. Could my answer lie with a bearing at the top and follow the master shape again?? Is there a chamfer bit like this?

4) Edge Banding Dual 45 router bit - This isn't a problem as much as it was an idea. I thought maybe an edge banding router bit would be my answer. and if the product I'm attempting to make was bigger, this would be the solution to my problems and maybe still is. BUT, I attempted it tonight and what it did was cut into my master piece as well. Which wouldn't be a big deal except that with as large as the edge banding bit is and as small as my piece is, it cut to much out of the master to make this a viable option. Essentially, if you look at the big hook on my final piece, the master that is underneath it would probably get cut all the way through. (I stopped before this happened).


So hopefully that wasn't confusing. If it was I will repost with alot more photos. But I'm looking for all the ideas you can think of because I'm out of them.
 

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Senior Sawdust Sweeper
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Looks like it would be better done with cnc if you are looking for production numbers. It would take some special holding jigs for that odd shape.
Doing it by hand all I can suggest for the second chamfer pass is a guide you can stick to the finished side with double side tape, maybe with contours on it to lock in to the chamfers on the first side.
 

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David
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Welcome to the forum, Brendan! Add your location to your profile, please.

Unless you're just doing a dozen or so I would find someone with a CNC to cut these for you. Or if you're planning on a LOT of these then get into CNC yourself.

Failing that I would build a fixture to hold this not only for safety but for repeatability. I would use a toggle clamp to lock the piece down, using the hole for a locator, and have half the piece exposed for beveling, then place it into another fixture for the remaining half to be beveled. Rinse and repeat for the other side, so four fixtures in all, maybe more if you want to use the router for shaping to a template or pattern.

David

Edit - Gary and I were typing at the same time but same basic idea
 

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welcome to the forum, Brendan - what part of the country are you in ?
a few questions: what is this tool used for ?? (if you don't mind shedding some light on it).
the thought in my mind requires some epoxy molding to make a "cup" to hold one half
for the bearing to ride on.
but the problem with that is that each item must be exactly the same to fit in that cup.
the more suggestions that pop up will eventually lead to a CNC solution.
what quantity do you want to produce at a time ?
I've never seen anything like that before - and am really curious as to the use of it.
 

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If I were doing thousands of these I might get a custom made router bit and build a simple pin router and do the entire outer profile in one pass. Tens of thousands and I might add a custom made drill bit to do the hole in two passes.


Edit: Oh yeah, replace that nut with an air cylinder.
 

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sticking a bit more manual....


make a permanent pattern for each side to trace with the router


layout multi-pieces on one long board
jig saw the rough outline
router one edge, flip router second edge
drill&router holes
jig saw the rough outline on opposite edge

slice it apart into individual pcs
router the second edge...
s2.jpg
 

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CNC sounds like a good approach, but expensive. If I had to make a lot of them without a CNC, I would do it this way, with two routers. What separates this idea is the concept of making the two sides separately, then glueing them together:

Side A Workpiece:

* Jig 1: Drill guide for two holes - one for the large Forstner bit, and the other for an alignment hole outside the shape.
-> Drill the two holes. Cut the rough shape with a bandsaw or jigsaw. (... or scroll saw, but slower.)

* Fixture 2: Has outside shape with two dowel pins on top.
-> Press the workpiece over the two dowel pins to hold it in place. Use one router with a flush trim bit to make the outside shape, then a second router with a chamfer bit to make the chamfer for the outside shape.

* Fixture 3: Has a single Forstner dowel pin and the inside shape, but also an alignment guide (either shaped, or with a couple short dowels) that matches the previously cut outside shape to prevent the piece from moving.
-> Press the workpiece over the dowel pin and align it using the guide. Use one router with a flush trim bit to make the inside shape, then a second router with a chamfer bit to make the chamfer for the inside shape.

* Fixture 4: Aligns the workpiece with a Forstner hole below.
-> Place the workpiece in the fixture and use the hole to guide the chamfer router for the inner hole.

Side B Workpiece:
Repeat jigs and fixtures 1-4 to make the inverse jigs/fixtures 5-8 for Side B.

Glue and clamp Side A workpieces to the corresponding Side B workpieces.

That is my basic idea. Additional supports may be needed for the fixtures to support the routers.

You could also do this with a router table. With one router or one router table, you could do the shapes first, then the chamfers, but that would require more workpiece transfers between jigs.

It could be done to make a single piece, but jigs 5-8 for the second set of chamfers would be very tricky to make. I would not be able to do it.

I hope this helps to stimulate better ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi John, it is a massage tool used on the fingers and forearms for a specific customer base I'm looking to target. Essentially, the tool is designed very specifically with all the curves and points doing specific things/contouring to your fingers and forearms.
 

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thanks Brendan.
does it have to be wood ?
other than the aesthetic value (such as hot stones and aroma therapy)
I would look into casting them in resin to resemble carved stone.
with a multiple item mold, you could turn out a dozens a day.

I am not into massage things. but, from a personal standpoint, what you have
is a little too rough to be rubbing on people's skin.
the sharp edges should be completely rounded over smooth and no sharp or irritating lines.
for a mass population usage, you may want to fine tune it a little more for better acceptance.
(just me thinking out loud here).

.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey John, Yes I have been looking into resin pouring as well for this. Haven't made up my mind I guess..I appreciate the input, but your wrong about the roughness. It's not for rubbing like you might see from a plastic tool with some type of lubricant. (That was not supposed to be sexual). It's more for digging and isolating certain parts of the tendons or muscle fibers and digging the tool back and forth over a a scarred tissue area. I have tested it with others and it works just how I want it to. But not a bad thought.
 

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CNC would be the best way, as mentioned already, but brings a whole host of unexpected setup costs with it. Unless you need to be making these a few hundred a day, a CNC router might honestly be more trouble than its worth to get set up

What you need is a second router and a vacuum chuck. The second router is self-explanatory, keep one loaded with the pattern bit and the other with the chamfer bit, that way you dont have to switch. The vacuum chuck would replace the bolt for holding the piece down, might be a touch of work making one to fit your workpiece but after the 20 minutes it would take to build one, and the $100 investment in a vacuum pump, clamping a workpiece down would be a matter of throwing the lever on a valve

Also, resin casting is a good way to make something thats a little under mass production. Feel free to message me if you need a hand going that route, i actually do some moldmaking and casting work. I wear a lot of hats
 
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