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This is a long shot, but has anyone used a CNC cutting service?

(12 Posts)
shovetheholly Tue 10-Jan-17 13:21:01

I need to make a large bookcase for my new extension, and a couple of built-in cupboards. I've seen really good stuff made by companies using plywood and a CNC cutting machine, and I was wondering about the cost/practicality of this? Does anyone have any experience of using such a service?

PigletJohn Tue 10-Jan-17 14:35:50

I've had boards (for the kitchen) cut to order. I didn't concern myself with how they did it. I'd assumed it was manually run through a saw. I had it done mail-order as it was a company that holds stocks of a vast range of material, and cuts them, which is not available locally.

AFAIK CNC is more common for engineered parts machined out of metal or some plastics.

shovetheholly Tue 10-Jan-17 14:44:22

Thanks pigletjohn - you're a mine of information as usual. I'm trying to figure out if having some fitted furniture machined up in ply is cheaper/easier than having a joiner come and construct it from scratch on site. Part of the issue is that I want a very large bookcase, with shelves that can be repositioned (rather like a very much larger version of the Ikea Billy system). Apparently, this is difficult to do with joinery since the holes have to be drilled, but simple to do with CNC? The thing will have to be custom-designed anyway in either case. (The obvious solution would be rails for wall hanging, but I think that this is not structurally possible over a 4 m x 4 m area, which is what is needed).

PigletJohn Tue 10-Jan-17 15:41:35

there's a thing called Library Strip, or Bookcase Strip, intended for shelves that may need to be moved. It can be fixed to the uprights but looks better rebated into a groove.

www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/search?SearchText=bookcase++strip

shovetheholly Thu 12-Jan-17 14:16:57

That is BRILLIANT - thank you so much pigletjohn. It'll allow me to compare costs from a joiner to costs from the CNC company. Rough estimate from the latter is £3300.

Pradaqueen Fri 13-Jan-17 09:30:10

Have you had a look at Jali? They cut to exactly the size you put in on their website whatever you want cupboard/shelfwise.byiu then construct on site. You can order pre-primed also. I've used them previously for exactly what you are describing (minus the shelf repositioning bit) my carpenter said he could not have constructed the same for the same money.

shovetheholly Fri 13-Jan-17 09:33:37

Thanks pradaqueen - that's really helpful! I hadn't thought of Jali as I didn't realised they made really large pieces! I'll check them out, thanks!

shovetheholly Fri 13-Jan-17 09:36:03

I'm on the 'custom' section of their website, and the max height you can have seems to be 3 metres. sad What a shame - they would have been MUCH cheaper.

FallenArchesBrokenDreams Fri 13-Jan-17 09:40:38

Could you somehow design 2 smaller bookcases (2x2) for Jali and get a joiner to fix them together.

A friend got Jali to make her alcove bookcases and was very pleased with them

HiDBandSIL Fri 13-Jan-17 17:37:02

This probably isn't helpful but Neptune Pembroke storage is semi-bespoke and has nice adjustable shelving.

Difficultyear2015 Sat 14-Jan-17 00:18:14

Sheet materials aren't available much longer than 3m. So if you are designing something that is taller than that you will need to plan it to be constructed from 'stacked' cabinets if you see what I mean.

Things will work out a lot cheaper if you can maximise the use of sheer materials without too much wastage.

You can download a free program called maxcut which is relativly simple to use but you will need to input the material sizes you are planning on starting from which will most probably be - 2440x1220, 3050x1220 if using Mdf for a paint finish.

If you plan it out on there you could send the 'cutlist' to a cut and edge company which specialise in just supplying cut and edged panels.

The cost of a sheet of mdf is only £16-18 depending on where you buy it, so allowing for processing time and mark up it won't be too expensive (depending on the size of your project)

Typically a full cutlist to construct a kitchen from scratch can be anywhere from £500-1000 depending on size and materials, so it's a very cost effective option.

Some of these companies offer extras such as drilling holes in the cheeks for shelf studs and predrilling for dowels/connectors if that's how you plan on assembling.

Difficultyear2015 Sat 14-Jan-17 00:22:36

When searching for companies to do this for you don't search CNC as that will grow up a lot of manufacfueing companies who don't nedsecarily use their machines for supplying the general public. CNC machines cost upwards of £250k so the time they are used is charged at a premium.

The standard cut and edge companies tend to use a mixture of machines including beamsaws for precision cutting and then smaller CNC type machines which are just multi drillers /routers.

Some have online price guides for what they charge per panel so if you calculate the amount of materials you need you will get a good idea of cost before even picking up the phone

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