View Full Version : Strictly 4th Axis Work

Guy Mathews
02-03-2009, 8:28 PM
I have started this thread on CAMheads and CNCzone as well. Share your 4th axis work, questions, tips and tricks here. I will also be starting threads that deal with laser scanning and digital reproduction.

More photos of this project and some of my other 4th axis work can be seen at camheads.org

You may need to register to view photos.


Guy Mathews
02-03-2009, 8:50 PM
This video was the first cuts we made with the new Recoil Mill. I am working on a second video for the owls from the previous post.


Guy Mathews
03-08-2009, 3:10 AM
These are the Hooter's I carved a few weeks ago.


Guy Mathews
03-09-2009, 5:59 PM
Just finished my transition to a gear drive on my A axis... (indexer, lathe, 4th axis rotary, choose whichever you are comfortable or familiar with.)

New resolution for A axis is dialed in to my Wincnc.ini files and I am ready to run. Broke 2 belts on 2 different programs.

Torque from the spindle puts to much tension on the belts when the side of the bit encounters end grain during certain milling operations. The gear system and compensation idler on this setup alleviates the problem of broken belts. Should too much torque arise now, the spring will let the drive gear pop away from the gear on the headstock. It will cause a missed step or two, but that is about it. More then enough time to stop the machine and correct the problem.

Not nearly as bad as when a belt breaks and the part starts free spinning because the bit is turning at 15K!!!

The first time was a "Depends moment!" The second time, I ordered my gear system and went to work with the aluminum! http://www.camheads.org/images/smilies/smile.gif

I even put brass inserts in to keep the aluminum from wearing. The inserts can be replaced if needed.

More photos in my album at CAMheads.org

I need to send Sawmillcreek some money and become a contributer. Will take care of that this week and start a few photo albums over here so Creekers won't have to jump around looking for stuff.

Money is on its way Keith. Hope you take Paypal!

Guy Mathews
06-11-2009, 5:27 PM
A customer down in Philly asked me to make them 4 legs based on the model that was provided by them. (See leg on left in photo)

The leg was drawn using Rhino and portions of the leg were laser scanned.

Leg is 28 inches long and 3.5 inches in diameter at the largest bead. They are being used on a custom vanity.

Visual Mill 5.0 provided the G-code for our FANUC 10 Series and 10 Spindle CNC.

Total project time start to finish...

12 hours! Not all at once... A few hours here a few there...:D

My ribbon is a little off from the original and there are some small discrepancies. The original leg is not going to be used in conjunction with the others so the subtle differences are non-issue.

The 3D model of this leg can be milled on any 4th axis that can handle a 28 inch travel along the axis with a 5 inch throw. Bits used were a 3/4 inch hogging end mill, 1/2 inch ball mill, 1/8 inch ball mill and 1/16 inch ball mill.

The last photo is the 3D rendering of the model.

Skip Weiser
06-11-2009, 11:22 PM
These are the Hooter's I carved a few weeks ago.


Two of my favorite things.... no wait... three of my favorite things. Great piano music and two really nice hooters. That's an awesome machine, Guy.

Guy Mathews
06-12-2009, 4:17 PM
A local Well-driller has contracted our company to build a poker table for him. When I showed him some pedestals for the table to sit on he was not very impressed. He asked me if there was anyway I could make a pedestal that looks like the bit that is used for drilling wells.

"Of course I can!" I said.

The photo shows 1/3 of the pedestal. This piece was the proof model that I ran on the 10 spindle. The actual will be made up of 3 pieces of glued up clear maple. My CAMaster was restricted by Z height and throw.

The proof model took about 2 hours to carve out.

The finished poker table will appear on this thread in a few weeks.

It is 7 sided and to date every part involved with the table has been cut using a CNC machine. A table saw was used to cut the angles on the apron and that was it.

It boast carved inlaid walnut chip trays on maple rails, stainless beverage holders (trying to find brass or copper) that also have a walnut band inlay. Walnut inlay adorns the edge of the maple rails. The maple aprons have mahogany hearts and diamonds and walnut spades and clubs on them as well.

When finished, it will have a chocolate brown leather top, and clear finish.

The pedestal will sit atop a smaller 7 sided base on bun feet with an area of walnut that is being carved to look like dirt and rock milling coming up around the base of the bit.

I will keep you all posted.

Angus, I am starting the skulls on Monday!!!!!!!!

Angus Hines
06-13-2009, 4:08 PM
YAY Skullz looking forward to seeing them !!!!

AL Ursich
06-14-2009, 6:11 PM

I borrowed a picture from your EXCELLENT post above to spur some discussion on the CarveWright Forum. Hope you don't mind I borrowed your picture.

It has many of use dreaming of a 4th axis and some interesting discussion. I post under digitalwoodshop.



Guy Mathews
06-14-2009, 8:49 PM

I borrowed a picture from your EXCELLENT post above to spur some discussion on the CarveWright Forum. Hope you don't mind I borrowed your picture.

It has many of use dreaming of a 4th axis and some interesting discussion. I post under digitalwoodshop.




No problem borrowing the photo, you may want to copy and paste my entire article from here to your forum as you missed a few details.

Also, my 4th axis that made this leg is not homemade. Actually none of my 4th axis setups are. The machine that carved these legs cost 250K, tooling not included. I can also produce the same leg on my ShopBot or on my CAMaster with the same results.

When our company got the ShopBot, they had purchased one of the first available 4th Axis setups there was. I have been making 3D models and programming 4th axis now for a little over 3 and 1/2 years.
Rarely, I am at the Shopbot forum and only recently have I actively engaged in the forums here and at CAMheads. The skull that is my avatar was done over two years ago. The 4th axis programming is done using Visual Mill. In fact, most all of my programming is done using Visual Mill. There are times I write the occassional hand program because it is faster.

I have made so many variations of furniture legs using 4th axis that I can't even remember 10% of them anymore.

Al, since you are in Shohola PA, you should hop on Route 6 and head up to Honesdale. I would be more then happy to spend some time with you and have you tour our shop.

Thanks again for the admiration of my work.

AL Ursich
06-14-2009, 11:19 PM
Wow !!!! 20 miles away.... WOW !!!! And THANKS for letting me post the picture. Should have asked first...

That is fantastic work..... !!!!! And a $250K Plus machine..... And yes, I did get the details wrong... Oops...

Found your profile and work website on CAMheads.org and enjoyed seeing the High Tech Equipment in my own backyard.... WOW.....

My CarveWright Neighbor Buddy Chris, would love to join in the tour.... He has done some great pattern work.

As you saw if you looked at my website, my business is divided between Wood Signs and Fire Department Stuff that I sell through Signal 1 Fire in Honesdale and on my website. Just a one man shop.

Made the Wayne County Fair Fire Awards from Oak last year. Post 5 here has pictures http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=97967

I am excited to learn more about 4 Axis work....

Thanks for the Post, you made my day. 10 PM on a Sunday night and my machine just finished cutting a oval sign, I love this stuff.....


Guy Mathews
06-18-2009, 9:26 PM
Just made two walnut corbels on the CAMaster today. I did the program in multiple parts. Finished proof program will now be edited to reduce cycle time as well as to edit the tools used.

We can now manufacture this particular Corbel either 2 at a time or 20 at a time on our 10 spindle machine.

Enjoy the photos. Questions are always welcome.

AL Ursich
06-19-2009, 11:30 AM
Excellent project !!!!


Guy Mathews
06-19-2009, 9:47 PM
Here is the link for the Corbels on Youtube.


Guy Mathews
06-20-2009, 7:31 PM
Just so there is no misunderstanding. I made a recent post over at Vectric and it was deleted because I mentioned Visual Mill in a 4th Axis thread. Make no mistake fellow CNC'ers. I do not hawk software, I do not sell CNC machines. I am on a referral program with Polhemus if someone I send to them buys a laser and that is it.

I am here to showcase 4th axis and help people along the way.\

Below is a copy of my latest post at Vectric.

We will wait and see as to what transpires now...

"Guy Mathews wrote:
Information deleted because it was simply an attempt
to promote 'competitive products'.


"Okay Tony, out of repsect for your company I will rephrase my statement. Will Cut 3D allow myself and other users to generate toolpaths for 4th axis setups like the one that is in the picture of the CAMaster machine that James Mcgrew posted a few threads ago?

In addition, does it give me the ability to reduce cycle times by allowing me to import stock that closely resembles the finished product model like the one in this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I5NKZkLuw0
Do I have horozontal roughing and finishing at my disposal. How about 4th axis parallel finishing within a containment field. Is there a 4th axis engraving feature? That is one I could really use.

If so, I will gladly buy, try and endorse if I can do the exact same corbel with the exact same strategies that I used in this video.

Jim knows me through various emails and PM's, and I am sure he will tell you that I shoot from the hip.

I would be more then happy to help Vectric in the 4th axis arena.

Chances are, I have already drawn, toolpathed and cut more complex shapes then you can imagine on the 4th axis setups that are in my shop.

I would love to see the finished work of other people here as well.

I do not sell software, I do not sell CNC machines, I do get a referral fee for the sale of laser scanners, but will not mention the company name. Do not want to be accused of endorsing a competeing product again.

The ball is in you court Tony. I am here to help people learn 4th axis, not hawk software!!!! "

Guy Mathews
08-23-2009, 9:53 PM
I made these the day before I made the cremation urn. The lathe pattern was made using a ShopBot. After our Turner made the finials, I throw each one onto the CAMaster and did the carving. Each finial took about a 30 minutes for the machine to carve.

The original model finial was actually hand-carved by my boss. You should have seen his face when I reproduced the 3D profile while he was talking to me in less then 10 minutes!

He was even more impressed when just a little over an hour later when he saw me sanding the first 2 that had come off the machine!

This is just one more example of how CNC will change woodworking as future generations, computers and machines become more mainstay. It is also another example of what can be achieved on a 4th axis setup.

Once again, I would love to see some 4th axis work from other people. Nothing fancy, just something. I feel pretty lonely out here with this 4th axis stuff!!!

Khalid Khattak
08-27-2009, 10:39 AM
Guy Mathews:)

I am really impressed... I am also planning to make some console table legs, but the time to make 3D is scarce..:).. I always like the things you post..keep up the great work..

AL Ursich
08-27-2009, 10:29 PM

Excellent WORK.... Do you feel Guilty getting PAID to have Such FUN?...:D

It is always good to impress the boss... Especially when He would not accept no for an answer when he wanted you to come work for him.....

Good Match.... You, Your Boss, and your talent and toys....

Take Care,


Guy Mathews
09-27-2009, 11:20 PM
Here is my latest addition to youtube with a little help from Marshall Tucker!


Khalid Khattak
09-28-2009, 1:42 AM
Here is my latest addition to youtube with a little help from Marshall Tucker!


Impressive work GUY.. Thanks for sharing :)