I always wondered how an M&M was made. Even as a kid, I couldn't help wondering how they got that sugar coating so perfectly formed around that chocolate core. Every time . . . ! I don't think I ever found one that showed any sign of actually having been made by a real person. I never have been able to tour that M&M factory but I did figure out how to make a few other things. So I decided now it's time to see what I can share about making stuff - and perhaps see what I can learn as well.
I'll start with this:
These cameras entailed more trickery than I had originally anticipated. (If you are a maker of things, you probably just thought to yourself "Imagine that!") Part of that trickery evolved from my fateful decision to use a lot of curves for this design and to make them from cross-laminated, wood veneer parts.
The back of the camera includes a removable curved back and a top and bottom strip of material that becomes part of the camera's body. The trick was to make these three parts in a way that would allow them to fit together in the same "plane" while also managing the difficulty of holding the pieces during fabrication. The next three photos show the solution I came up with.
This image shows a vacuum fixture for holding the raw part on the left, the gang saw that does the cutting and an example of a raw panel ready to be cut. A rotating fitting for the vacuum line is visible at the top of the vacuum fixture.
This view show the saw gang arbor just past the end of cut. The handle visible just to the right of the saw arbor would have been used to rotate the vacuum fixture with the part in place past the gang saw while the vac fitting on top of the fixture allows the vac tube to remain stationary. You can see the three parts along with the leftover waste strips at the top and bottom.
Once the basic fixture design was checked out, the base of the fixture was reconfigured to allow for the attachment of a dust collection/safety shroud. A standard shop vac hose connects to the port on the right side of the shroud. Just enough of the gang blade set protrudes to cut the stock without undue risk to the operator. As the parts come off of the fixture, they were taped together to keep them in grain matched sets. With this fixture setup, a whole stack of raw panels can be cut into parts (that require only light edge sanding) in a very short time.
There naturally would be many ways of doing this but my particular procedure reflects my own experience and the tools and machines available to me. I am fortunate to have an Aciera milling machine in the shop (that should be a post!) so this procedure was largely driven by the milling machine mode of working.