Rick Hebert's greenBull 6X CNC machine kit
One of the joys of being in the business that we’re in is seeing how our machines have helped people save time and money. BuildYourCNC’s goal has always been to provide affordable digital fabrication tools to people who need them. We recently made a visit to Rick Hebert in Lake Charles, Louisiana to see his machine and how he uses it to grow his business.
Rick is a cabinet maker by trade. He uses his greenBull 6’x12’ Heavy Duty CNC machine kit to produce his cabinet parts. Rick not only built his machine to serve his cabinet-making purposes, but he also added plenty of his own customizations to tweak his production process.
Rick constructed his own vacuum table for his machine. The vacuum table has 10 different zones and 4 very large centrifugal blowers. The piping under the machine is pulling air through the material and exhausting it out. His vacuum table is sized for the sheets that he’s cutting. He typically mills 4’x8’ and 5’x5’ sheets, so his vacuum zones are configured to hold the particular size sheet he’s using.
We were excited to see Rick using a triple edge finder made by The Maker’s Guide which is also Bill Griggs who does the CNC Router Tips podcast which we enjoy. The triple edge finder is a touch plate and a calibration tool. There is a homing sequence used through a circle of a known radius which allows Rick to calibrate his machine each time before he uses it.
Rick has a pneumatic nail gun which he uses to nail down the small pieces on his table so they don’t shift during the cutting process. Even though he has a very strong vacuum system, it only pulls on the area it is in contact with, so he needs to nail down certain pieces that are above the suction zone.
The whole process from putting the material on the machine to finished product took 13 minutes total to produce 10 cabinet parts. The machining process itself took a little over 6 minutes. Rick comments “The time the machine saves on material and labor (versus doing it by hand) is ungodly.” Rick also goes to say that some of these cuts would nearly be impossible to do by hand.
Rick not only gets the material savings of being able to nest his parts, but the labor time by machining parts them as well. Rick says “For me, this machine paid for itself on the first job. The machines out there that cost $30,000 may have better looking tables, but for functionality this dude (the greenBull) will match it!”
Rick also says “The gantry is strong as hell, she’s ain’t got no give!”.
Another clever hack Rick invented for his own machine for putting pocket holes in the cabinet sides and faces that he makes. He created a foot-pedal and a wooden lever. As Rick says “Put the pedal to the metal baby! Rock and roll!”
Rock on Rick. Rock on.