The Argument Within.... (Warning: May Be Lengthy)
Oh My... *Deep Breath* this is gonna cause a stir - I just know it is...
Everyone who knows me, knows my views on CNC machines. I've always felt it was cheating, as the machine is doing the actual cutting. A CNC is run mechanically that won't be "thrown off" by the grains in the wood you're cutting like they can throw a router being held by hand.... takes true control to do free hand; with CNC, the programmer puts in a design, pushes a couple buttons, and the computer controls the machine doing the work, while you're on your deck sipping a cold beer.... I've held that router for every curve in every letter & line within my pattern driven by the power of my hand and gotten cramps in my hands from holding that router keeping within the design.... No, I can't get 3D, or the different depths that a CNC can do... and remember, I'm self taught, with refinement from many wonderful people who have guided me; anyway, y'all know my arguments; I'm sure many a post can be found about my feelings on CNC machines. I can, however, respect the effects a CNC can get, that I can't. I love the creating, and the cutting. What I don't love is repetition, sanding, staining, and spraying of poly. (This is usually where Ken comes in *giggle* He and I both do the painting of the lettering, but he usually does the rest... and he's good at it, to boot. If I poly? You're gonna have runs down the piece.)
So I'm blaming it all on a couple things: One: two projects I know were done by a machine, not by hand, and knowing there's no way I could do it by hand, and Two: these two projects were shown a mere couple of days before my Handsome One (Ken of course, the man I live for) comes to me telling me that he fears his days are numbered in the Working World. He's not ready to quit, it makes him mad, but truth is truth. His words: "I'm not ready to give up!" (His foot injury from 2016 is starting to catch up to him, and if he does end up having a fusion done, then he won't be able to work any longer.)
Now, this is not in stone - I go Wednesday evening to investigate/witness a CNC machine that is up for sale (with the Aspire program) for $2400 (maybe as low as $1800; reason to be explained). It's owned by an older gentleman, who won't be able to use it any more. It's only been used a handful of times, (he made his own airplane model pieces, I guess) and had to stop due to his health. Well, his health has worsened, so he has it for sale. First and foremost, I still have the issue of finding the funds; secondly, and I say this light-heartedly, so don't get offended, CNCer's; do I "Go Over to the Dark Side" and set up a filthy, cheating CNC in my precious shop? The machine would definitely be a starter machine, as it's older, no longer in production, the bed is 2' by 2' and runs on a router, not a spindle. I had been talking to a couple of the guys on here about a machine, when I get a call from a friend that I've knows for well over 40 years, who I let in on my dilemma last week; at first, the recommendation was to pass on it; too small, I'll grow out of it in 6 months, the programming is probably the cheap stuff they come with, etc. etc.
I got a text this evening: It comes with Aspire, which we all know isn't cheap. I'm basically going to be buying the program, and getting a free machine, is one way to look at it. I've had lengthy conversations over this thing, and to explain why I may get it as low as $1800: At best, the machine has been in storage for two years; that means the program would have to be upgraded to the latest version. Cost: $400. Then I have to transfer ownership to even upgrade, another $50. My friend says he would probably reduce the price by what it would cost to transfer and upgrade, bringing it technically to $1950, but if I go in with $1800 in cash, he may take it.
In one of my conversations, a comment was made that if I get this machine, I would "have to go on the forums and confess." I started laughing. What am I confessing? That I've accepted the cheaters way of routing? Well, if it means that Ken will be able to cut the signs and do what we can't do right now with both of us working, then, I guess the answer would be "yes." Do I relish the thought? No. I lose the right to say that all my work is cut free hand, by my hands. The advantage would be that I don't have to repeat signs over and over, as the computer will do it, not caring. I hate repetition. Once I cut a couple, I'm ready to move on!
So there's my Argument Within... the jury is still out, and the biggest obstacle of course, is the funds. But, I guess if I have to go to the "Dark Side" I'll do it, because Ken loves this woodworking gig, too. His initial isn't in there for looks; Of course, it does look good in there, if I do say so myself...
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
Henry A. Kissinger
If you choose to poke at a bee hive, be prepared to get stung.
Last edited by OutoftheWoodwork; 09-28-2020 at 10:26 PM.