I have always been interested in working with my hands, and I grew up with my best friend’s dad being a home builder and a cabinet maker. That’s where I learned quite a bit about working with wood. Back in the late 80s, early 90’s I started on my own building homes. I had a small shop and would build cabinets and such for some of the projects we were working on.
As you can tell, this machine has done the majority of the work on these projects. It has enabled me to complete them in an incredibly short time, and I can complete other tasks while running. It's not just the actual parts being produced but the hours it would take me to build fixtures to accomplish these tasks. This machine will give me a whole new avenue of possibilities to expand and grow my business.–Alvin Schultz
Alvin’s CNC Journey
After a while, the cabinet side grew enough that I needed to purchase new equipment and had been reading some about CNC. Somewhere around ’08-’10, I really wanted to invest in a CNC machine, so I started getting really in-depth with research. I researched a plethora of manufacturers until I ran across Legacy. I was super interested in your machines. From what I saw it looked like they fit my needs exactly. I talked to someone, I don’t remember who, a few times and was invited to your online classes. It just never worked out for one reason or another. The timing just wasn’t right.
A few years ago, I was In Chicago on a business trip, and while checking out your website, I found out you were going to be in Milwaukee at a show, so I ran up and saw your machines in person. I was blown away. This leads me up to how I was able to purchase the Maverick.
How Alvin Bought His Maverick
I have a customer I’ve been doing business with for quite some time. He is a D.D.S. and has a building which is an old mansion built around the late 1700’s or early 1800s for an office. This building still has the original windows in it and they are falling apart. He has been asking me for a couple of years about replacing them. This year I finally had time to pursue this and was able to find only one manufacturer that would run these.
There are 60 windows in this building, and it is on the historic register, so they all have to be exact replacements as far as designs. It would cost $300,000.00 to have these made, which was obviously out of the question. I approached my customer with a proposal. I could make these windows for him, but I would need a CNC to do it. He asked me if he paid for the machine would I make the windows. After going over the numbers, here we are.
Alvin’s Personal Start with a Legacy
I have finished only a few projects as I have only had my machine for a short time. The first thing I did on this machine was to surface/flatten the bed. I leaned on Tracy quite a bit for this. I have run a few practice things such as small rope turnings, just simple things from the online video classes, trying to get a feel for how things worked. I have finished only a few projects as I have only had my machine a short time. The first thing I did on this machine was to surface/flatten the bed. I leaned on Tracy quite a bit for this. I ran a few practice things such as small rope turnings, just simple things from the online video classes, trying to get a feel for how things worked.
Alvin’s First Big Personal Project
The very first real project is the fireplace surround Tracy and John had classes on the past two weeks. I had a customer ask me to build this piece for them, and I thought it would be something I could get my feet wet with. I designed every piece on the surround in Aspire and ran all of it on the Maverick. I surfaced all the flat stock.
The miters were designed with male and female keys so I could glue them without slippage. The profiles for the trim pieces used for the decorative squares I drew in Aspire and carved with a 1/16″ tapered ball nose cutter; I also carved the crown molding the same way the base molding.
The cove molding under the mantle was a little bit of a challenge. I couldn’t figure out how to clamp it on the table, so I designed a clamping fixture that I mounted on the table and clamped the piece for the cove. This allowed me to run a Core Box bit and create the profile. As for the corbel, I got in over my head to a certain point as I thought I would be able to make them on the turning center with a G code from Aspire. I was able to figure out how to download and insert the corbel model into Aspire by watching your and Aspires videos, but I couldn’t get it to run, so I went back online trying to learn what I was doing wrong.
I ran across one of, I believe, John’s videos on slicing models, so I gave that a try and was somewhat successful but still didn’t have the desired results. All this time, I was running downsized versions of the corbel so I wouldn’t waste the Poplar I needed for the actual ones. After these trials and errors, I reached out to Tracy once again. After looking at the model and program files, he referred me to John, stating this is quite an advanced project.
I can accomplish what I have in such a short time is a testament to everybody at Legacy and the business model you use. The training, videos, support, and dedication are second to none. I have always used this type of approach in my business with great success, and it shows why Legacy is so successful.–Alvin Schultz
Tracy told me John would set up the project in Aspire and create the G codes for me. At that time, I requested to work with John so I could learn how to do this. John was great. Everything ran only required minimal sanding. All of the pieces went together as expected. I finished the surround with a primer-sealer and two coats of lacquer paint. As the pictures show, this turned out better than expected. My customers love it.
Alvin’s Birthday Present Project
The next project was a lithograph for my wife. A few days before her birthday, I tried to figure out what I could do for her and remembered the lithograph Tracy did a class on. I proceeded to watch his video as well as the Aspire video. I went to Menards, and they sell small solid surface cutting boards for $10.00. They are ½” thick, and I believe 10″ x10″.
I also picked up a LED light strip. I used a picture taken of us at Mount Rushmore. We stopped there on the way back to Illinois from picking up the Maverick at your factory and taking the classes. With the material being so thick, I ran a roughing pass and then carved the lithograph.
I designed a stand-in Aspire and ran it on the machine. It was two-sided, so I could chamfer the outside edges and create the dados inside for the back, lights, and Lithograph. The base is removable for servicing if required. She absolutely loved it. Every person that sees it is going through pictures wanting to order one for themselves. It also turned out better than expected.
In-floor Radiant Heat Project
The next project is in a completely different direction. I am in the process of building a house which we are installing in-floor radiant heat. We are not using the lightweight concrete method; and rather, we are using an alternative. This system uses ½” Pex which is routed via 5/8″ OSB installed over the subfloor. The OSB has 5/8″ channels which routes the Pex where it needs to go. After the Pex is installed, we cover the entire floor with a thin layer (coil stock) of aluminum and then the finish floor. We had done this to a small part of the house before getting the CNC and had to cut every straight run piece on the table saw.
The u-turns were done on the band saw with a fixture I built. Virtually every piece had to be installed separately while we held Pex down as spacers. It took forever to accomplish. Since getting the Maverick, I have finished a larger part of the house to the point of needing the floor heat installed, so I took the room measurements and layout, put it into Aspire, and designed the heat loops.
A few years ago, I was In Chicago on a business trip, and while checking out your website, I found out you were going to be in Milwaukee at a show, so I ran up and saw your machines in person. I was blown away.–Alvin Schultz
I then overlayed this with 48″ x 96″ grids to reference where the loops would line up on a given sheet of OSB. After that, I opened separate sessions of Aspire, each having a material size of 48″ x96″. I then went to the original drawing, copied it, and pasted it into the other Aspire drawings.
Next, I moved the pasted drawing to line up the different grid layouts I placed on the original, deleted everything that wasn’t in the material, and labeled each one with a letter. When I created the toolpaths, I put tabs in not only to hold the material while being cut out but now we’re able to install the loops in full sheets using the letters for placement. The tabs kept everything in place while we screwed everything down. I made a fixture for my small router that glides in the 5/8″ channels with a 1/8″ end mill to remove the tabs.
The result is two guys installed this system in a 26′ x 28′ room with a 10′ x 10′ dormer in about 4 hours. The previous part we did before the CNC was an area of 8′ x 20′ and we had 4 days installing that. I’m working on other projects, one of the large but haven’t gotten them to the point of running yet.