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Re: Are CNC machines ready for Fine Woodworking?

Since the beginning of woodworking it has been a process of shaping wood to suit our needs. From stone tools to today's tool steel and carbide edges the aim is to get what we need (or want) from what we have.
CNCs don't operate any differently than any other tool that uses a metal edge to shape or cut wood. If you'r not getting the cut you want, then your not using the tool properly, or you'r using the wrong tool. I can turn a table leg in about 12 min. and do a set of them all the same. The CNC takes 90 min. and corners are not as crisp as the ones I turn by "hand". It depends on what the customer wants.
I once read "it's a poor workman that blames his tools".

Re: Are CNC machines ready for Fine Woodworking?

First I should say I am very flattered to have my work shown here.
I would like to add my two cents worth to the fray.
I choose to employ CNC work for mostly the following reasons , it allows me to create things I could not or would not do otherwise. It frees me from tedious work , like cutting out kitchen cabinet parts. The resulting geometry , as in the first Asian sideboard , is perfect , which I love. Whatever work it is doing it allows me to do something else , thereby increasing the shops productivity.
I would like to tell you some other things about my work ( pictured here). First ,when I can , I do things " because it is my whim". Styles come and go ...and come back again , a little different.
In the second Asian sideboard the scroll work was the least amount of CNC working the piece. The underside of the top (in both pieces) was curved and textured with the CNC. The posts were cut out , and also the mortises and rabits and dodos were all cut on the CNC.The door panels were hand planed on the back to fit , just because I hadn't done that in a while.
I have friends who would be delighted to know I could make something "goofy" , this pineapple post I am keeping for myself and I am making two more , one in walnut and one in maple...and maybe one in mahogany. I was inspired to make this by a fellow woodworker in Florida who was working on a house that had five of these , at about $1000. US each.

I do very much enjoy the silence and peace of an all hand tool shop , some day , when I don't need to make money anymore , I may have that kind of shop. There is something to be said for the experience of handwork. Getting to know every turn of grain in a piece of wood.
It is never a matter of "simply" putting work on the table and letting the machine do the work. The programming of a project requires that every detail is dealt with before anything is done. Really you have to know the job to be done as intimately as if you were doing it by hand , in some cases more so. All in all I guess some things may be lost and some things may be gained.

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