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Old 02-18-2021, 11:28 PM   #218
Ten Point
Spoiled_TN_boy's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Bastrop
Hunt In: Public Land

Lessons learned:
1) Just because the routing is easy doesn't mean charge less
2) Finishing is a lot of work
3) epoxy fill is a lot of work

No one will ever pay the prices that should be charged.

Unless you measure density and convert.
Mix per instructions! Do not skimp on these steps unless you want tacky not fully cured epoxy. Adding mice powder or dye slows the process. If you want "harder" epoxy let let it start heating up in the mixing container before pouring/dispensing. WARNING this will shorten the amount of time you have to dispense before it thickens beyond use.

To get really good epoxy finish one needs to sand 80, 120, 180, 220 then poly, wet sand, more poly, wet sand, wax.

Each sanding removes scratches from previous grit. At 220 I cannot feel the changes in any finer advancements.

90% of my products are Texas Mesquite kiln dried to 6-8% MC.
10% is Texas Pecan kiln dried to 6-8% MC.

I practice each file on "wet" Mesquite scraps I get from work.
Once the bugs are worked out I run on good dry product.

Ensure that you know thickness of each part ran. This is most helpful after knowing or planing spoiled board flat. I find myself milling ~0.020" off of boards even after running through a jointer and planer due to snipe. Otherwise you see tool runout for example a round over will be tangent on one end and have a 0.010" recess in opposite end. This isn't the end of the world but does lead to more finishing time.

Pay attention to toolpath sequence and think outside of the box to reduce tool changes.

I had 15 parts to make but all of my lumber was different widths. After planing to same thickness I drew the part file with lines at each thickness to show where boards were. Dimensions were taken from xy 0 end and measured consecutively to the end.ex. 0, 3, 5.875, 9.25, 11.625, etc. Thus was to reduce compounding error of trying to measure each board individually. Gorilla double sided tape was used to hold each board down. 3 pieces each running in shirt direction, left, center, right sides. All cutouts were left with tabs.

Although I charged $35/ea for 15 of these parts, which isn't too bad for 26 hours of actual labor, I should have charged 50+ due to the manual finishing labor involved. I'm already working on ways to reduce hands-on time after routing.
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