Do you guys do this strictly for fun or side gigs or both??

Im looking at building a cnc router to learn at home to help with my day job in manufacturing. Im hoping maybe I can get good enough to sell a few wood items to make a few bucks here and there eventually. Although right now my local FB groups are littered with wooden flags so might have to get more creative than that lol.

My plan was to make the MPCNC purely for fun, for private projects. Mostly for woodworking, but also for making complex cuts and shapes in plastic sheets for a bigger project - a water wheel to run a small electric motor as a turbine.

The thing is - when I was hanging out at the local hardware store, my new Makita router was standing on the counter - while I was drinking coffee and chatting with some people I know. On two separate occasion, some randoms saw the Makita and was curious about what I would use it for. When I told them that I was (trying) to build a DIY CNC they immedieately asked me if I could to some routing jobs for them! The first guy wanted a huge Tottenham sign to piss his Liverpool neighboor, and the other one was a carpenter that wanted help with some deteailed piecec of wood for a job they were on.

SOoo… gulp… now I just have to make this machine work!

Haha thats awesome get on that!! Have you thought how much to charge? Flat rate vs hourly?

I honestly have no idea!! I’m just happy if I’ll get it to work at all! Perhaps I’ll charge the price of the mill ends necessary for these specific projects, in addition to material costs of course.

I do it for fun. I honestly like building stuff for my shop more than I like making things that come from my shop. The things that I hate the most are finishing and sanding. There’s a lot less of that with shop projects. :slight_smile: .

It would be nice if someone were to post about what they learned with their business. Things like what things take the longest and what to charge, lessons learned, etc.

I think it’s very conceivable to pay for the machine pretty darn quick, charging for time and materials. Charging $60/hour doesn’t seem unreasonable to me at all on a custom project. If you were chaining your jobs together, you could be working on CAD/CAM while babysitting the CNC and you’d be flying through the projects.

Neither. Fulltime Job! Started with the MPCNC, made enough to get a Workbee, Then enough to build a Joe’s Hybrid. At the point, I actually had to choose between the hybrid and a Shopbot, but I detest their software, so modified Hybrid it was.

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Thats awesome!!! What kind of stuff are you doing if you don’t mind me asking?

I do all kinds of stuff, I have a log and stuff in the “Things you’ve made” section of the forums.

I do small wood/resin jewelry, I do signs out of dibond, PVC, wood, mdf. I make furniture. Usually get contracted to do promotional stuff like award plaques, cuttingboards, coasters, etc. I also do name cutouts, centerpieces, and cake toppers for weddings and birthday stuff. Lots of stuff. The MPCNC was mostly retired from cutting duty last week, usually just does small laser or easy vinyl cuts now, but the MPCNC was instrumental in building my small business.

I do mine mostly for fun. There’s times that my wife needs 32 copies of something for her classroom and the MPCNC is perfect for cranking those out.

I mostly like to piddle-fart with the technologies, but I don’t have the funds to keep replacing hardware as much as I’d like.