Category Archives: Karv Woodworking

X-Carve Programming … Shop Floor Programming … with KipwareM®

As we continue to ramp up our sister woodworking company … KÄRV … we continue to demonstrate  and prove our mantras for our Kipware® machine shop software. Metalworking operations … woodworking operations … both have a lot of similarities and requirements and we continue to prove our Kipware® real world machine shop design and features in our now real world woodworking environment.

We recently blogged regarding how we utilize our KipwareCYC® and KipwareQTE® machine shop cycletime and cost estimating software to estimate retail costs for some of our wood products. If you missed it … see the full article HERE.

We are also proving our “not every job requires a CAD/CAM system” programming mantra at KÄRV as well. We recently put our KipwareM® – conversational CNC programming software for milling … to work on a shop floor programming project we were working on in the KÄRV workshop. If you haven’t read our article on shop floor programming vs. CAD/CAM programming … it’s quite the eye-opener … you can read the full article HERE.

The Rest of the Story …

We came up with an idea for a unique clock design that featured a quartz clock movement inside a slice of an oak log. To house the clock body … we needed to mill a 3″ diameter hole in the slice … and we wanted to use our X-Carve CNC router to mill the hole. Simple enough … and it really illustrates how a simple programming project could turn into an overblown programming project if we were to use a CAD/CAM program to create that G code program.

Here’s the finished product

In a CAD/CAM system we would have had to first create a drawing … why? … and then use that drawing to create the toolpath. Some extra steps that would not only cost us time but that time expense has to go somewhere and that would mean additional labor costs associated with the cost of the clock … which would eventually be for sale on our website. Want one … get it HERE !!

So we started KipwareM® … no drawing required … and with a couple of fill-in-the-blank forms completed … we had our G code program to rough pocket and finish mill … using a helical milling routine … the 3″ hole needed to mount the clock movement. Here are some screenshots of the forms … simple, plain english, fill-in-the-blank forms with tons of machining options that created a quick and efficient toolpath … no drawing nor drawing time required Bang bang done !!

As I mentioned we roughed the pocket using a pocketing routine … but we finished the side walls using a helical type cutting routine. Very easy to create in KipwareM® and posted out using KipwareXC® with our X-Carve Profile. We sent the G code and drove the X-Carve using the Universal G Code Sender application. The results were outstanding and the fit for the clock movement was perfect … first shot.

Needless to say we saved ourselves a ton of time by not having to create a drawing and by using our shop floor programming ( not CAD/CAM programming ) model and KipwareM®. We did the programming right at the machine … no expensive CAD/CAM system required and no drawing or CAD/CAM experience required.

AND … we like the results !!

Another unique wood design produced in the KÄRV workshop !!

If you would like to learn more about KÄRV woodworking and see our other products and designs … please visit our website … www.KarvWoodworking.com

If you would like to explore our conversational, shop floor programming applications or any of our other REAL WORLD machine shop software … please visit our website … www.KentechInc.com

Kenney Skonieczny
President – Kentech Inc.
Woodworker – KÄRV Woodworking

Cost Estimating for a Wooden Plaque with KipwareQTE®

If you have followed our Blog … you might know that back in October of 2015 we started a sister company to Kentech Inc. called KÄRV. KÄRV is a woodworking business … is just getting started … and will be producing custom, handmade furniture and unique wood carvings for resale.

 

www.KarvWoodworking.com

We are using the Kipware® software from Kentech Inc. in KÄRV to both create the G code programs for our X-Carve CNC router and to estimate cycletime and costs for the products we will be producing for resale. So we are putting Kipware® to the test in the real world … this time the world of woodworking … for additional in-the-trenches use.

We also wanted to document some of the use of Kipware® in various areas of KÄRV … so this post is dedicated to the cost estimating of a wooden, 3D carved plaque we have for sale on our website.

We wanted to illustrate through the video available below how we used our KipwareQTE® to create the retail price for the plaque considering material cost, tooling cost, labor cost and non-machining costs. Metalworking … woodworking … they both have very similar aspects as they relate to manufacturing … so this video is a great way to see KipwareQTE® in action in a woodworking environment … but with a lot of similarities with a metalworking one.

For additional information on all our Kipware® CNC and Machine Shop software titles … please visit www.KentechInc.com.

For additional information on KÄRV woodworking … please visit www.KarvWoodworking.com

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Building the X-CARVE for KÄRV Woodworking

As mentioned in our previous post … we are in the process of creating and setting up a sister company to Kentech Inc. … called KÄRV.

KÄRV will allow us to take our metalworking talents … along with the Kipware® software we designed and built at Kentech … to the woodworking stage as we create custom, handmade furniture and unique wood carvings and introduce them to the KÄRV product line.

We will be using our quoting and estimating software to help determine pricing … and our conversational CNC programming software to help create G code programs for our X-CARVE CNC router.

And all along the way … we will be blogging about it all here. So we invite you to visit often and see Kipware® in action … and maybe even discover some KÄRV products that you might like to own !!


We began back on October 22 by registering KÄRV as a business in our city … started setting up our workshop … ordered our X-CARVE … and now we have completed the build and test cut for the X-CARVE.

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We waited for a little over (3) weeks to receive the X-CARVE … which seemed like an eternity … after we placed the order. That was a little disappointing. Of course the X-CARVE came un-assembled … and in many many pieces. But the good new was the step-by-step instructions available from INVENTABLES … the creators of the X-CARVE were just fabulous. Very in-depth … easy to follow … and coupled with some patience we went from box to completed assembly in about 24 total hours. One not-so-nice event was that while we were able to build the complete machine … the controller was back-ordered. So the completed machine sat and waited for almost 1 week while we waited for the controller. Finally we had to make a few calls to INVENTABLES to gently nudge them and we received the controller … and set out to test carve.

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We decided to program some simple lettering for our test cut … and make a little sign for the workshop. We used Vectric VCARVE software which we bought from INVENTABLES when we purchased our X-CARVE. The software appears to be quite powerful and it was real easy to create our desired toolpath.

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We cut the letters reversed … leaving .010 of material on the back edge just to hold everything together. Then we glued the letters to a backing piece of wood … turned the whole assemble over and sanded off the .010 of material to reveal the letters. Not bad for a first sample.

So now we are ready to move onto bigger and better things !!
Stay tuned … or visit us at www.KarvWoodworking.com

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

We’re taking our talents to …

After 30+ years in the metalworking industry … we are about to expand our scope as I TAKE MY TALENTS TO … WOOD !!

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On October 22, 2016 … KÄRV was born !!

Personally I have been dabbling in woodworking for quite a while and I felt the time had come to take it to the next level.  I mean why not?? Through Kentech Inc. we have developed all the software needed to operate a manufacturing business through our quoting and estimating … CNC programming … and shop utility software. When you come right down to it … making products from wood is very similar to making products from metal. A collaboration between Kärv and Kentech is a NATURAL !!

We invite you to follow our progress along here at the Kipware Blog and on our CNC Machinist Blog as we rev up. We will be detailing our progress as we receive and set-up our X-CARVE cnc router from Inventables. We we will be illustrating and blogging all the steps from unpacking to first cut at the blogs … so please follow along.

After we get the X-CARVE up and running we will be illustrating and blogging about how we integrate our Kipware® quoting and estimating software and Kipware® programming software into winning work … and producing work !! … so please follow along.

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We will also be publishing more on the offerings from Kärv on the Kärv website … www.KarvWoodworking .com. So please visit the website as well. Who knows … you might even find some items of interest for yourself or for gifts.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Craftsman and Maker … www.KarvWoodworking.com

At Kentech Inc. … We’re MAKERS and DIY’ers Too

There is no doubt that a lot of folks are letting their creative juices flow today and becoming members of what is touted as the “maker community”. It is so great to see … and to see that great American ingenuity in play in so many ways.

Being a machinist for almost 30 years now … I like to think I have a little of the MAKER in me as well … and not only in metalworking. Here at Kentech Inc. … our various Kipware® machine shop software software titles are used by thousands of professional machinists and machine shops around the world … and also by thousands of MAKERS as well. People doing everything from woodworking to metalworking in garage shops and professional machine shops around the world. We like to think that if a product is good … it finds it’s way into many places. And we are proud of the fact that our Kipware® conversational CNC programming software has made parts for SpaceX as well as that coat rack for Average Joe or Jane.

Kipware® software is also running our sister woodworking company — KÄRV. From quoting and estimating to CNC programming … Kipware® software gives us THE EDGE. Check it out at www.KarvWoodworking.com.

With that MAKER and DIY spirit bubbling inside ( watching Yard Crashers on the DIY network with some java certainly HELPS ) me and my wife decided that this summer would be the summer of our personal YARD CRASH. And so it began.

The Vision

Looking aerially at the yard … I laid out my vision to see if the wife approved. First … a curved walkway leading from the house to a brand new firepit. Not one of those metal, cheap firepits … I mean a new brick firepit with a metal inner ring and nice stone cap. Halfway down the walkway … a detour to our own designed and constructed water feature … waterfall or fountain.  And here’s where the wife chimed in. “How about this” she says later in the evening. She shows me a pic on Pinterest of a bamboo themed waterfall. “I like it” I reply … we’ll think about the design in more detail as we get closer. But there it is … our vision.

The START of Construction

The DEMOLITION and DESIGNER MAKER

The next day we begin the layout in the space where we decided to work … marking the area with string … and removing all the sod. Big job … but we get it done in a couple of days … and start the remodel.

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Aerial view #1 of the “construction site”
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Aerial view #2 of the “construction site”

PHASE 1 – Privacy Panels

The CARPENTER MAKER

The first item in the rebuild was to install some privacy panels to insure our nights spent by the firepit were nice and cozy and private. My wife had a “bamboo theme” in mind … which carried over from the waterfall idea … so we got to designing. We came up with a wooden frame clad on both sides with bamboo fencing. Came out and looked great … just the right amount of light coming through and bamboo effect was very elegant.

PHASE 2 – The Fire Pit 

The MASON MAKER

We purchased a stone firepit kit from a local stoneware vendor and during the week I got the area prepped and the firepit installed. Leveling and preparing for the first layer was quite a job … but it came out great and the feeling of accomplishment was fantastic. If you’re a MAKER … you know what I’m talking about. Friends always say “We just have someone build it” … but there is nothing like that feeling of accomplishment that lasts for years as every time you look at it .. you can proudly say “I built that !!”.

With the fire pit installed … I lay out the artistic walkway … line the outer edge with cobblestones … and fill the inside with stone dust. I was a little apprehensive about using the stone dust as a bottom … it was quite dusty to start with … but it turned out fabulous. Once a good rain shower did it’s thing … it hardened up nicely and makes for a great walkway.

The completed fire pit.
The completed fire pit and walkway area around the pit. The right hand side leads to our nature trail through the woods behind the property.

PHASE 3 – The Water Feature

The ENGINEER and PLUMBER MAKER

The more I viewed my wife’s idea for the water feature … and the more we discussed the details … the more confidence I gained that I could do it. I don’t think my wife was quite as confident though … a lot of probing questions like “How you gonna do this?”

First … we needed to bring electricity from the house to the waterfall area. Following the local code … we dug our trench ( what a b*&%$ ) … layed our cable inside our PVC piping … and presto. 4 new plugs … an outdoor switch … and plenty of juice for our pump. Tough job but very professionally done … and all to code. The wife was the hardest worker through it all. Chipping in with the ditch digging … and keeping me straight and focused through all the aggravation and  at times frustration and hard work.

Next … I bought some reclaimed wooden beams … 6x6x10 … that were once used in the old railroad yard in our city. They became the perfect uprights to support our bamboo “waterfall”.

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Reclaimed railroad ties in cement and in position.

After the ties had set in their concrete moorings for a week … and another trip to Home Depot ( it became our Saturday morning breakfast trip ) … I began the plumbing work. Again … with the constant nudging from the wife to keep me on the straight and narrow … we got it all in and we’re ready for the big reveal. Remember this was only a vision and a theory … we had never really tried the design. Judge for yourself with the video below :

You can see it all in the video … the bamboo privacy panels and the working waterfall feature. Below is a closer look at the design “behind the scenes”.

Behind the scenes of the waterfall.
Behind the scenes of the waterfall.

The BIG REVEAL …

And that was that. After the wife lent her gardening touches … the big reveal :

The big reveal
The big reveal

… and CONFIRMATION !!

As I mentioned above … I’m a big fan of YARD CRASHERS on the DIY network. A lot of great memories of sitting and binge watching the show on rainy days … getting stoked to start projects of my own around the house … fueling the MAKER spirit if you will.

So when the project was completed … I couldn’t resist tweeting a pic to the host of the show, Matt Blashaw. And low and behold … it got his attention and he replied … AND APPROVED !! WoooHooo !!

Matt Blashaw approves !!
Matt Blashaw approves !!

As the summer nights and weekends go by … we are enjoying the fruits of our work with fabulous fires in the pit with friends and family … accompanied by the zen like sounds of the waterfall. In fact … we have christened the garden with the name the KenZenSue Garden.

Being a machinist I always took a ton of pride in my work … but a lot of it was “business”. It was great to unleash my MAKER side and work on a “for fun” project … and to enjoy the results. To all the fellow MAKERS out there … be proud and go get’em.

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.