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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Why are the vast majority of cups spun rather than CNC machined? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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fortasse
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Is this purely a function of cost or are there other factors such as long-term durability of the end-product, or manufacturing skill?

Fortasse
lint
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I would guess the initial material cost has something to do with it (having to use blocks of metal rather than discs). There is a lot of waste material using CNC to make cups. This is resold but I don't believe you regain full compensation for what you initially paid. I am sure there are many more disadvantages as well as a few advantages.

I would love to see a computer program be programmed to "come up" with stackable cup designs.

-todd
"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip..." -English Proverb
Bill Palmer
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I think it also has to do with the wider variety of materials that can be spun. For example, copper has a tendency to gall when machined by CNC. That's why van Dokkum doesn't use it.

But the amount of waste is a key element.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Pete Biro
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Not only that, few have the proper CNC machines. Very expensive. Also there are lots or metal spinners around looking for work.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Donnie Buckley
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CNC shop time is expensive. Not as expensive as last year, but still expensive. It's only more practical for less expensive metals (steel, aluminum rather than copper or brass) & very large volume runs.
Just my opinion.
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
lint
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Johnson really got it right by following the inversion of the beads on their cup on the inside.

I have always thought CNC cups always "appear" gimmicked in some way to the spectator as they seem a little too perfect, solid and unblemished in any way.
"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip..." -English Proverb
mballen11502
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Spun cups have more character...
Colonel Clark
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"characters" have a lot of spun cups!
pabloinus
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I think the waste of material is a factor, the type of material and the quantity are factors to define the manufacturing process.

The "character" comment is more a subjective appreciation on the assumptions that all lathe cups are CNC (automatic process) and all the spun is an artisan making the cup one by one.

I am sure that there are CNC Spun processes for high volumes cups that take away the artisan component and at the same token there are lathe cups that could be made 1 by 1 by an artisan.
kentfgunn
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I'd guess the preponderance of spun cups is because spinning has been around longer. CNC machines can, of course, can be used to spin metal. So you could have the best of both! Perhaps one of the spinners on this forum can let us know if they're using CNC tools to spin with.

There is far more craftmanship in a hand-spun cup. For me, I fell in love with the Paul Fox design years ago. I like spun cups because my memories of cups and balls magicians have spun cups firmly entrenced in them.

I know it doesn't matter if you use engraved silver, hand-spun cups or the fine product Johnson puts out. I sure do like the shiny cups though.
Donnie Buckley
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RNT II uses no Computer Numeric Controlled processes in the production of our cups. From the mouth beads to the center beads, it's all done by hand. Not necessarily "in the air" (we care about quality!)), but not by machine.
And again, I'm telling you, the deterring factor in CNC production is the COST of the shop time and materials. Wasted copper can be reclaimed, but would you rather buy copper in .050 sheets and stamp out 5 inch discs or buy copper in 4 x 4 solid bars and machine a cup? The upfront cost of the raw materials is crazy expensive, even if you are reclaiming all the waste.
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
jordanl
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Weren't SOME (not all, or even most)of the Jake Era cups CNC'd? I thought the Delrin cups and the Foxy 1 and Foxy II's were produced via CNC.
Dave V
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Not all lathe machining is done with CNC. Some is just a master craftsman standing in front of a lathe. Delrin cups were machined (pretty much impossible to spin plastic). I don't know about the Foxy's. I would guess that most of the lathe work was to fabricate chucks (or masters for chucks to be made from)for the spinning part of the operation.

I don't need to know the intimate details or trade secrets, but I'd be interested in hearing a general overview of how cups are spun. It might help us to understand the costs involved and why we pay as much as we do.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
cupsandballsmagic
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Dave,

This might be of interest...

http://www.jamesriser.com/MetalSpinning/......le1.html

examples of beading

and spinning Ramsay cups
http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/JohnRamsay/Cup.html



Bri
Donnie Buckley
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Jordanl, You are correct about the cups you named. The delrin cups and the little aluminum Foxy 1 and Foxy 2 cups were produced by CNC process. Those are all retired now. When the Foxy 2 is resurrected it will be hand spun. The tooling will be created on the lathe from the original (CNC'd) cups. Yes, all spins (chucks) are hand made on the lathe as well.
There are some great videos on You Tube of actual Metal Spinning taking place. I put a couple of links to them on the RNT2.com website a few months ago on this page: http://www.rnt2.com/index.php?target=pag......ing_faqs
And this video in particular shows a large .080 aluminum nose cone for a wind vane being hand spun (this is how we do it PLUS the mouth beads, center beads, trim lines and dimples - it takes a lot longer than 3 minutes each like it does in this video!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um-biLfru-c
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
MickeyPainless
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I've had some very informative conversations with Jake in the past about Spinning and CNC metal work and I think I'll stick with wood! Smile

I would however like to take a crack at CNC on wood for the reproduction aspects!

MMc
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2009-08-19 12:29, pabloinus wrote:
I think the waste of material is a factor, the type of material and the quantity are factors to define the manufacturing process.

The "character" comment is more a subjective appreciation on the assumptions that all lathe cups are CNC (automatic process) and all the spun is an artisan making the cup one by one.

I am sure that there are CNC Spun processes for high volumes cups that take away the artisan component and at the same token there are lathe cups that could be made 1 by 1 by an artisan.


I've not inferred any assumption from anyone that all machined cups are CNC, and that all the spun cups have been made by an artisan spinning cups one by one. Roy Kueppers made cups that were machined from aluminum. They were not done by a CNC process. He machined each individual cup by hand.

CNC is not always a machining process. Some spun items are made using CNC techniques. As has been pointed out in other posts CNC means Computer Numeric Control. It is simply a technique for getting the computer to control the machines that make an item. The machine can be a cutting lathe, a spinning lathe, an inlay cutter or even an engraver.

While CNC controlling units can be very expensive, there are also some cheap ones around. Cheap is a relative figure, though. You can get CNC wood carving machines for about $2500.

Most modern fretted instruments that have fancy inlays in the fingerboards are inlaid using a CNC process. There are a number of reasons for this, not the least being inlays that are so close to perfect that little, if any, filler material is necessary. It's also safer to do inlay via CNC, because the dust particles from the mother of pearl and some of the woods are toxic. And contrary to the situation with cups, CNC inlay work saves money in wasted material. There is less waste with CNC inlay work. That's because the inlays are basically two-dimensional. The thickness of the material is less than 1/16". You don't have great chunks of material that are being hogged out from inside a block of metal.

Many companies that make musical instruments can CNC as many as a dozen fingerboards simultaneously. It takes about 10 minutes to cut the inlays and the openings in a fingerboard. Assembly takes about 10 more minutes. That's 20 minutes of work. Inlaying a complete fingerboard, including the cutting, if done by hand, will take about 4 to 8 hours, depending on the skill of the inlay artist.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Dave V
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Bill,
Thanks for the explanation. I knew what CNC stood for but it didn't "connect" somehow that it could be applied to spinning. I always imagined either a lathe or an XYZ programmed router table.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
MickeyPainless
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I did not know mother of pearl dust was toxic! I swear I learn the coolest things from Bill!

I have not been a smart craftsman over the years until striking up a long distance friendship with Jake. Almost every conversation about wood starts with YOU ARE WEARING A RESPIRATOR these day RIGHT?!?!?

MMc
tabman
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Quote:
On 2009-08-19 14:38, Dave V wrote:... Delrin cups were machined ...


What is Delrin plastic?? Is it anything like Bakelite??

-=tabman
...Your professional woodworking and "tender" loving care in the products you make, make the wait worthwhile. Thanks for all you do...

http://Sefalaljia.com
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