Ok, the kikori has officially surpassed my expectations.
A couple days ago it made it’s first thing: a balisong screwdriver I designed which you can see here. I wasn’t that impressed with this since a couple pieces didn’t survive the milling process and the ones that did didn’t fit together that well. While reviewing the video I took of the milling it occurred to me that one reason for this might have been very small movement of the spoil board the material had been taped to (spoil board is what goes under your workpiece so that when you cut all the way through it you’re not cutting into your table). Sure enough, when I compared the first and last frames of the video you could clearly see a small shift.
The next day, with this in mind, I taped down the spoil board and ran a set of parts for another design of mine: a folding tablet stand (pictured above). Right after the job was done I could tell there was a lot of improvement, but I didn’t see just how much until I cleaned off the parts and started putting them together.
This picture shows the main arm of the stand that has a slot cut in it. Sitting perfectly in the slot is another piece. When I designed this stand I made the smaller piece to be just 0.02″ narrower than the slot so it would sit in there loosely. When I measured these milled parts the actual size difference was 0.022″. This means that my machine was only 0.002″ off.
That is a ridiculously small error margin, far smaller than I thought I’d ever achieve with this machine. I’m amazed.
Unfortunately, I was unable to use this first set of parts because I discovered some small flaws with the actual design, but an hour later I had applied the necessary changes and I milled out the version pictured above. I accidentally milled those parts out at twice the speed of the first set, so they don’t have the same tight tolerances, but they still fit together beautifully.
Today I’ll finish up some other designs and perhaps get to some more milling tomorrow. I’ve started a new Flickr set called Kikori Work where I’ll be posting pictures of stuff as I mill it out. Now that the kikori’s up and running, I’ll probably be adding to it quite frequently, so be sure to check it out for the latest stuff.
I’m also getting ready to launch my Kickstarter project sometime next week, so stay tuned for updates on that. I’ve got a potential list of rewards I’ll post here soon, and I’d love everyone’s feedback.