Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

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BillK
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Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

Post by BillK »

Maybe 6-7 years ago I wanted to try and carve a ball and claw furniture leg. Thought I could do one with the older version of Aspire and the 3D program I had at the time, but it never worked out. Either my skills weren’t there yet, or I just wasn’t seeing it clearly. So now I found a new 3D program and coupled with Aspire 9.5 I was able to create an STL model which I like. Thinking of using these on a footstool with a live edge top. 

I tried to adapt some hand carving instructions, but I think that threw me off. Plus, I didn’t like the claw on each corner, wanted to look more like a bird claw with 3 in front and one in back. What’s unique about the carve is I set up a 2”x2” block so the corners face up when cutting. This is my first successful prototype on my second jig. I made this little indexing jig for it, use just the center pin and top pin. I drill 5 index holes on the ends with the CNC. The side edges of the plastic align with the center hole (within .001-.002”) so I have a good zero point. This a basic design, so I can do other neat designs with it. 

The limit to the 2”x2” is because of Z height. Turn it 45° so the corner faces up and its 2.828” high. Add a longer reach ball end mill and you use up most of your 5”. Presenting the corners saves a lot of wood as well.

Really happy with this even though its just doug fir from a ripped down 4x4 and I had a goof ball moment and didn’t Z zero on the first finish cut and went in search of a direct route to China, lol. Filled that with shavings, dust, and glue so it would look nicer in pictures, haha.

I carved this just with a 1/8” ball end mill. I will do just the claws with a 1/16” in the future. The fixture and the 4 pins held everything in place very well.

Getting back to the design, I first designed just one claw as a two sided job in Aspire. I then save that complete as an STL and exported it to Shapr3D on my iPad and did the rest there. Imported into Aspire the whole STL object into four separate files: front, left, right, and back. This provides access to carve the backs of the claws so they are true 3D objects. I had to scale it down a little in Aspire and keep straight the heights so that would be the same in each file. That was an error I had in earlier prototypes. Remember, 2.5D + 2.5D = 3D but also 4(2.5D)=3D if you need it to.

When I add these to a stool, I think I’ll leave the ends in place to mortice it. Could also do that in the CNC.

As part of the prototype, I used a profile cut to do the 3D roughing for the back when I was cutting the sides. It worked well and I will do all rough cuts that way in 2 set ups next time saving a ton of time. The 4 finish cuts were very fast, less than an hour total.

I’ll make one more doug fir prototype before going to a nice hard wood.

Thanks for reading!
Attachments
Holes in the end of the block
Holes in the end of the block
One side of fixture
One side of fixture
Completion of the last cut
Completion of the last cut
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4BF14E04-4A67-4E8D-9ED3-C220C2B3AD16.jpeg
EC85047F-8CF7-4939-89B5-D15002A333EB.jpeg
BillK
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Rcnewcomb
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Re: Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

Post by Rcnewcomb »

I really appreciate your write up on your process. Thanks for the inspiration.
- Randall Newcomb
10 fingers in, 10 fingers out
another good day in the shop

BillK
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Re: Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

Post by BillK »

Randall,
You’re welcome for sure. I feel obligated to share more information in these types of posts where I feel I am demonstrating a different or less used method on something. I love to try these types of items that have been more traditionally hand carved and make them on a CNC.
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scottp55
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Re: Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

Post by scottp55 »

Thanks for that post Bill(and the detailed instructions!).
Think I might try something like that for tiny stuff with undercuts sometime:)

One question though....On the right hand side in pics, is there some sort of quick release for when you rotate the piece 90 degrees? (I'm imagining it's the left side that is fixed?).

NICELY done!!
"A perfect universal hold down is "Unobtainium"
Brady W.

scott

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Re: Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

Post by BillK »

scottp55 wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:07 pm
One question though....On the right hand side in pics, is there some sort of quick release for when you rotate the piece 90 degrees? (I'm imagining it's the left side that is fixed?).
Scott, you’re welcome.

For this fixture I used a Bosch extrusion and an indexing plate made from 1/2” thick white HDPE. The left side is tightened down to the table, the right side is clamped, but I want to change that so both sides are tightened down.

So here’s the neat thing about setting it up. I use on the center pin and the top pin, the other 3 holes on the fixture are not used. I fix the left side to the table then indicate it straight (have a nice Starret indicator from my Dad). Then I take the indicator out and mount a 1/4” pin that is 2” long. With the top pin in place, I jog over to it and using a feeler snug the two pins. This point is my Y axis plus .250. Then I mount the block between the fixture halves. Jog over to the right side with the same pin and then push the fixture to make contact with its top pin. So now the two halves are in-line on Y. Next I put a 1/4” bit in for roughing and zero of the step on the HDPE part. When its time to rotate, just pull the two top pins on both sides, rotate 90°, push the pins back in. X zero is just the middle of the 10” block. Very solid fixture.
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DD234339-110F-4EDA-B358-28D735037DF0.jpeg
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scottp55
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Re: Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

Post by scottp55 »

Nice solution Bill!!
Thank you very much for explaining in detail....Much appreciated!!
scott
"A perfect universal hold down is "Unobtainium"
Brady W.

scott

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Re: Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

Post by BillK »

Scott,

Thanks for asking. Anytime.
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BillK
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Re: Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

Post by BillK »

Thinking of adding some faux feathers to the bottom cone.
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Re: Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

Post by Bobtail Farm »

thank you for the fixture idea. (and for including a reference to this post from your post regarding the live edge feet stool).

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Re: Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

Post by BillK »

Bobtail Farm wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:30 pm
thank you for the fixture idea. (and for including a reference to this post from your post regarding the live edge feet stool).
You’re welcome. You need to also see this post viewtopic.php?f=27&t=35941&p=262828#p262828

That issue was easily solved. Importing an STL like the ball and claw the size accuracy in all 4 files is of the highest importance. Once I found Aspire was increasing the size I just reset it back to the size I wanted. This cleared all the issues and the part cut great. Designing some other small column pieces to give them a try with this method.
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Re: Carving the Ball and Claw Prototype

Post by Bob Jr »

Thank you Bill,
I knew this post was here somewhere, but couldn't find it. Now it's bookmarked for future reference.
Bob
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