Cache River Mill & MetalWorks is a one stop custom wood and metal shop located in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Cache River Mill & MetalWorks offers a large range of services for your personal or commercial project. If you need help with a small part of your kitchen remodel, or you need us to take the lead of the milling portion of your contract work, we would be excited to help.
CNC Milling ServicesWood
Cache River Mill & MetalWorks has a 5-axis CNC machine that provides almost infinite possibilities when it comes to the production of part shapes and sizes. "5-axis" refers to the number of directions in which our cutting tool can move. Our cutting tool not only moves across the X, Y and Z linear axes, but it also rotates on the A and B axes to approach the work-piece from any direction. In other words, we can work on five sides of a part in a single setting.
Below are two examples showing how the 5-axis CNC machine functions. You can see that the material is mounted firmly to the table of the machine, and then the cutting tool moves in all directions around the material.
The big advantage that we have here at Cache River Mill is that we 3D model our projects before we touch any real material. This allows us to construct the project in a virtual world, and then run the project on a virtual CNC machine in real time. This process allows us to confirm that everything is correct before we actually start the project in the real world, thus reducing the amount of material wasted and ensuring that the CNC machine will run safely and efficiently.
Our 5-axis CNC machine allows us to get very detailed when it comes to woodworking. Our programmers have the experience to create your project in a virtual, 3D world, and then program our CNC machine to replicate each part of your design. The below picture shows a mahogany retail sign that we did for our friends at Natural Gear Camouflage. Our team was able to replicate their logo in our software program, and then program the CNC machine to make all of the necessary paths that brought the Natural Gear logo to life!
Another advantage of our 5-axis CNC machine is we can now not only make complex cuts and paths with ease, but we can also add detail to those paths. Take our duck chair, pictured below, for example. Many of the pieces that are used in the assembly of this chair are not only curved in various directions, but they also have detailed carvings placed along those curves. There are a total of twenty two pieces that make up our duck chair, and, with our CNC programming and machining, we can ensure that each one of those pieces comes out the exact same time and time again.
If you would like to find out how our Cache River Mill & MetalWorks CNC Services can benefit your project, please contact us. Whether you need a small arch produced for your home remodel, or you would like to talk to us about your large commercial project, we will be happy to help.Metal
Cache River Mill & MetalWorks also houses a metal fabrication shop for smaller, more detailed projects.
We have a metal CNC mill that has the capability of producing ornate items out of various types of metal and plastic. Our metal workers have extensive experience, whether it is milling aluminum parts for machinery or shaping custom window latches out of solid brass.
Because materials like wood and steel have different physical properties, different tool bits are needed to properly machine the materials. We have many different tool bits that can help us achieve almost any type of detail or finish that you need.
Metal materials that can be milled range from aluminum to stainless steel and almost everything in between. We can also machine various types of plastics. Oftentimes, we will use plastic to machine a product before we machine the final version in metal. This process keeps the cost down when we are working through the different prototype versions.
If you have metal that needs to be cut, trimmed, welded or smoothed, check with us. We may be able to help you with your next metal project.
Cache River Mill & MetalWorks offers modeling services for your project.
Do you have an idea but are not sure how it will come out? Let us build your idea in a 3D virtual world using our modern CAD (computer-aided design) software. We can show you your project from every angle, show you every detail and show you how any moving parts would perform in the real world.
If your project is something that needs to fit into a certain space, we can build the model so that it shows the specific area where the project would go to ensure proper measurements and double check that all moving parts would function properly.
If your project involves an entire room, we can build the room to size and then construct your project inside the room. This process gives you the exact look and feel of how the room would come together.
Once we get the final design of you project modeled, we can add textures, patterns, finishes, hardware and other details that gives your project life and provides an incredible idea of how it will look in the real world.
Raw Lumber Services
Cache River Mill & MetalWorks has the proper equipment and experience to take your raw lumber and properly cut it to size and then finish it for your needs. Some of the pieces of machinery that we use include:
We use a jointer to create flat surfaces along a piece of lumber's edges and faces. Typically, when you purchase lumber, not all of the surfaces are even. The jointer works by flattening the faces and edges of the wood.
We lay a piece of lumber onto the infeed table, and then the board is fed across the cutter head and onto the outfeed table. The knives in the revolving cutter head remove an amount of material and the relationship of the two tables and the fence keeps the board oriented in such a way that the result is an edge which is flat along its length and perpendicular to the board's face.
A jointer cannot be used to create a board of even thickness along its length. For this process, we use our planer after jointing one face of the lumber.
A thickness planer works on one side of the lumber at a time, giving the piece of lumber a constant thickness and a smooth surface.
The planer consists of a set of rollers that feed the material through the machine, a cutting head that contains a set of knives used to cut away and smooth the material, and an adjustable table that is relative to the cutter head allowing the user to control the resultant thickness of the board.
In order to properly finish a board that is flat and of uniform thickness along its length, we use our jointer to create one perfectly flat reference face. Then, we take that board to the planer and feed the board through the planer with the perfectly reference face flat on the table. The cutter head then removes the set amount of material from the opposite face so that it is made parallel to the reference face.
Often times, it takes multiple passes through the planer to achieve the desired thickness of the lumber since the planer can only remove so much material in each pass. However, the end result is that the lumber is equal in thickness from end-to-end.
The Wide Belt Sander
We use our wide belt sander to rapidly remove and smooth material. Our wide belt sander houses an electric motor that turns a pair of drums on which a continuous loop of sandpaper is mounted. Material is fed into the wide belt sander from one end of the machine, and as the material passes through the machine, it is smoothed by the sanding belt.
Our wide belt sander is capable of handling material up to 36" in width. Whether you need your raw material sanded to a specific thickness, or you have wood that needs the paint or finish removed, contact us and we will be happy to discuss your project with you.
Wood Turning Services
Cache River Mill & MetalWorks is proud to have very experienced woodturners in our shop. Woodturning is a craft that uses a lathe to rotate a piece of wood in such a manner that tools can be used to cut a shape that is symmetrical around the axis of the rotation.
The lathe is a tool that rotates a piece of wood at a predetermined speed. Tools are then applied to the rotating wood to create an object with symmetry about the axis. Think of a lathe as the opposite of a drill. The lathe spins the material against a drill bit, while a drill spins a drill bit and the bit is then put into contact against the material.
Our turners possess the skills to create a variety of items. However, the most common things we produce are custom balusters. Our turners can create a baluster to your exact specifications, and then build a duplicating tool to ensure that every baluster we turn from then on is an exact match of the original.
A variety of tools are used in the wood turning process. While many complex shapes can be produced on the lathe, there are only a few types of cuts that are used to achieve the finished product:
Parting - Parting establishes the depth in cuts
Planing - Like a wood planer, planing uses a tool where the bevel below the cutting edge supports wood fibers
Bead and Cove - Beads are a convex shape relative to the cylinder while coves are concave
Hollowing - Hollowing is the combination of drilling and scooping out material
As the lathe rotates the material, our turners use various tools to shave away thin sections of wood to create the overall shape. The cleaner the cut, the less time our turners have to spend sanding the material at the end of the process. When the material does need to be sanded, our turners use different abrasives while the lathe rotates the material at a slower speed.
Once the material is properly shaped and sanded, it is removed from the lathe and is ready for finishing.
There are many items that Cache River Mill & MetalWorks can produce for you through our woodturning services. Let us know how we can help you with your next project.
Cache River Mill & MetalWorks also offers resawing services.
We employ a large bandsaw that allows us to resaw large amounts of material in a uniform manner. The bandsaw is a saw with a long, sharp blade consisting of a continuous band of toothed metal stretched between two or more wheels to cut material.
Resawing is a fundamental type of cut used on wood. Like cross-cutting or ripping, resawing is cutting a board to thickness. Many of our clients have wider boards that need to be cut down to thinner pieces. Our bandsaw gives us the capability of doing just that.
Other clients are looking to have their lumber resawn so that they can have complimentary grain patterns. When you cut a board down the middle, the outcome is that you now have two pieces of wood that almost mirror each other. The mirroring grain patterns can add that much more detail and become a focal point to your finished project.
Contact us to find out how we can help you with your resawing needs.
We offer all of the above services, and more here at Cache River Mill & MetalWorks. It doesn't matter if it is personal or commercial, just get in touch with us and we will be happy to help you with your next project.