CNC proposal

I made a proposal at the meeting last night on a plan to get our CNC area finished and ready for certification and classes. I have already talked with Dustin and Brad and they are on board with helping to get these things accomplished. I am giving us a time frame of 4 months (through the end of July) with the hope we can finish sooner.

Here is what I propose:

  • Finish the CNC machine by finishing up the wiring, endstops, and auto squaring.

  • Organize and clean the space so everything is easy to use.

  • Create/make a CNC station to hold the computer and all tools that you would need while using the CNC.

  • Work with Dustin to create a clear path to certification along with direction and materials to reference while using the machine.

  • Large sign to display the steps needed to have a successful cut

  • Videos to show each step

  • Written handbook to also provide these steps

  • Have a budget of $200 to be able to purchase miscellaneous items like small tools, endstops, etc (I will provide receipts at the end of the project to show all money spent on the project.)

If you have any questions or input on this proposal please let us know as we are open to suggestions.


I’m Brad Walsh and I endorse this message.


Sounds good.

I suggest a closed tower for the computer (and a keyboard membrane) to keep dust and aluminum chips out!

Also I would suggest designating a shop vacuum for the CNC area, so it’s always there to use.


I think we all agree on the need for more classes at the Hive. Producing self-paced educational materials as an alternative to formal classes is a great idea, as is further organizing the CNC area. If there are times in the evenings when I could come down and assist with wiring or furniture assembly for a few hours here and there, I’d be happy to help in whatever limited ways I can.

The only question that occurs to me is whether or not this requires a separate vote. We already have money available for small expenses like this through the area warden operational budget. Brad appears to be on board, so perhaps we might manage purchases with the existing process rather than making a seemingly redundant allocation of funds.

  • Ry

When I made the original proposal I already accounted for Brad being on board and using the warden budget.


The 250 budget for area wardens is for all wardens, I feel this would be best to spend a separate amount if the total will be nearly $200. This would limit the warden budget dramaticly for next month for everyone else.
That being said if this goes slightly over the $200 budget it’s good to have a small amount to fall back on with the area warden budget through brad.

I am in favor of this proposal.

Daniel McNamara

Coy -

Perhaps I missed something. Could you clarify this? The original proposal post does not contain the word “warden.” Do you mean that the proposed $200 is intended to be covered by the warden budget?

  • Ry.

Now I’m confused :slight_smile: I’m not sure where things are getting lost in translation.

I never intended to have the $200 request be part of the warden budget. If I had, I would have just worked things out with Brad and not proposed the vote. That would have made things easier.

The request for $200 is above and beyond the warden budget. When I made the original proposal I already assumed that I would go over this amount and just cover the rest out of my pocket. This amount is just so it doesn’t hurt as much.


I think the confusion is about the additional money which is proposed to clean up some of the CNC’s and get training stuff together. I think this may exceed the “normal” warden stuff so Coy wanted a small pot of gold to work with. We could call it CNC upgrades if that sounds better. I’m working with Coy to bring the CNC area to awesome status. :grinning:


Coy -

Here’s where I got lost. I didn’t initially think that you’d intended to use the warden budget, but you then said you’d considered it. This seems to lead to one of two possible conclusions. Either you didn’t think there was enough slack in that budget to cover $200 spread over four months, or you expected that some of the warden budget would be used, but would not meet the total expense.

In the former case, the warden budget is less heavily used than people probably assume. Actual monthly expenditures rarely exceed $150. There are months when nothing at all is purchased and the entire amount would easily fit.

In the latter case, this reads like $200, plus some undetermined amount from the wardens or your own pocket. This has me concerned that the CNC is becoming the Hive boat. Just a large hole in the floor we occasionally throw money into. In the past year, the Hive has approved $700 for electronics, $350 for a replacement spindle, $700 for Vectric VCarve (which became a $100/yr expense through sheer luck). Now we’re voting on $200 for a computer cart and signage before the critical bits (your point 1, endstops and squaring) are complete.

Everything seems like a reasonable expense taken separately, but we’re burning a considerable amount of money in total. At some point, we need to either stop the scope creep and ship something, or stop throwing money in the hole.

Would it be reasonable to consider just trying to hit that first target before taking on new work? Focus purely on the limit switches and wiring to get the machine performing repeatably and reduce manual calibration?

  • Ry