The Machines are Coming!
I confess that I’ve been very interested in the concept of computer-controlled routers for a long time. Back in the day, it was because I worked at my dad’s woodworking shop, and we did a lot of production work for industry that was right up the CNC alley.
After I got into home shop woodworking, I became fascinated with the smaller versions that made sense for the consumer. I have been playing with them for a very long time.
I am well aware of the challenges folks have with CNCs in the workshop. They are complicated to learn how to use (although perhaps not as complicated as you might think). Some say they are not “real” woodworking (similar comments have been made about many new technologies in the shop), and others believe they are too expensive. Perhaps…
In the mid 1980s as I was setting up my shop, my first purchase was a Delta contractor’s saw that I bought for about $900. In today’s dollars, that 1985 expenditure would be about $2,147 — or about the cost of a Shaper Origin.
Now, I don’t have $2,500 lying around these days with nothing to do, but in 1985 I can tell you that $900 was just as dear. CNCs may simply not interest you and that is more than fine, but don’t let perceived obstacles stop you if you are interested.
Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal
Making a Set of Dominos
Making a Game Table with the Shaper Origin Router
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Today’s desktop CNC routers can accurately cut multiple parts and can cut decorative carving. The new smaller machines are also much more affordable than their industrial big brothers.
Why would CNC routing be a benefit to a home shop woodworker? We explain some of the benefits of adding technology into the workshop.