Dick Bipes – Carving Time
Dick started woodworking as a kid in his dad’s basement shop, cutting cartoon characters out of plywood with a scroll saw and painting them. He took a semester of wood shop in high school, but otherwise was self taught by reading woodworking articles and gradually tackling more complex projects. He built his shop and skills up over the years, starting with a radial arm saw and a few hand power tools. Dick built many pieces of furniture for his home and for relatives, including tables, bookcases, and entertainment systems.
In 2009, Dick wanted to make a special mahogany dash panel for his classic boat, but did not have the tools to do what he wanted. A search led him to the CarveWright system, an affordable CNC machine with software that could do the job. This dash panel became his first CarveWright project.
Dick long had a fascination with wood gear clocks, every so often looking at various scroll saw plans to build one. The CarveWright seemed to be the ideal tool for this. Dick enjoys the challenge of designing his own projects as much as building them. So, Dick used the CarveWright system to develop and build his own clock designs.
An electrical engineer by profession, Dick designed a unique electromagnetic pendulum wood gear clock that runs on batteries and, with the help of a microcontroller circuit, keeps perfect time.
Dick also designed and built novel wooden digital clocks.
His clocks won first place in the 2013 and 2014 CarveWright Conference contests. Dick was also a featured speaker at the 2015 CarveWright Conference. Dick’s clock plans and other projects are available in the CarveWright Pattern Depot as Projects, and Dick offers clock hardware kits for all of the non-wood parts including the electronics.
Dick’s woodworking hobby is also a small business – enough to keep him busy, but not too busy! He has a website, carveshop.com, but also gets business through custommade.com. Customers of custommade.com post projects that they would like, and makers such as Dick respond with proposals. Dick enjoys the challenge of unique, new projects more so than cookie-cutter repeat projects. An example of this was a customer request to have a chocolate box made like the one in the movie “Matilda”, which the customer could not find anywhere. Dick designed and built a box which with the customer was really happy. Many other customers saw Dick’s design and asked for one the same or similar, some with personalization. Dick says that the CarveWright system makes it easy to alter designs and personalize to individual tastes.
He has also designed and built many custom clocks to customer’s exact specifications, such as this Harry Potter Golden Snitch clock and the Millennium Falcon clock.
Dick is a frequent contributor to the CarveWright forum (DickB) and CarveWright Carvaholics Facebook group. He has posted .mpc files for his “Matilda” style box and other projects for others to use on the forum.
How does he keep the machines working?
Learning your system, doing routine maintenance, and working with the multiple levels of CarveWright support can keep any machine operating for many years.