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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I don't get out into the shop as much as I used to, or should, but I thoroughly enjoy , and look forward to, each week's email. Lately, I have been fairly disappointed in the direction of the content. It seems like the content has gravitated very much to discussions of issues with CNC routing. Personally, I think that this is a far different subject from where this forum started. I believe that letters dealing with CNC, should be spun off into their own community. I have nothing at all against CNC, although I don't feel like investing the time, space and money to get into it, learn how to program the toolpaths, set it up and then let the machine do the woodworking, all by itself. I find it rather irrelevant to the basic routing and woodworking issues that many of us have, plus, I enjoy the feel of cutting and shaping the wood with tools guided by my own hands.

So do others agree with me, that CNC should be spun off into its own community?

Brent
 

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Mike
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The Router Forums is dedicated to all types of routing and any question you have about any type of woodworking would be acceptable and answered. Remember CNC routers are also routing, just using different tools. This forum was set up to help others with router use but also included all woodworking techniques. It was created to share techniques and projects with other aspiring woodworkers.

If we chose to ban the CNC content and created a separate forum for CNC then we would also have to look at banning all of the other subforum posts and moving that content to its own special forum.

I for one, like having everything under one forum so I can keep up on new techniques in every facet of woodworking.

I think the problem, for you and a few others, right now is that there are just no posts coming from the other types of woodworking.

Do you have any questions that you would like to ask? I am sure that there would be plenty of opinions on how to handle any problems you might be having or tips on a technique you might be wanting to get more information on before trying it yourself.
 

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Doug
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Brent,

A lot of us 'old guys' use both a CNC and a router table. You can't be a successful CNC woodworker unless you know how to use other woodworking machines. There are many jobs that are still so much faster and easier on a router table than on a CNC.

It's still a handy tool to have.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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let the machine do the woodworking, all by itself
Nothing could be further from reality, Brent. I have yet to do a project on the CNC that didn't involve 3 or 4 other tools in the shop and if I didn't know how to use those the CNC would be worthless.

The CNC, to me, is just another tool in the shop. It's as specialized as my 1944 Delta scrollsaw; I use it when that's the right tool to use. The CNC is also a general use tool that you can adapt to other functions, like leveling a slab that won't go through the planer or drum sander. I could build a router sled to level large pieces but I built a CNC that also performs that function and is far more versatile.

I also have designed and created jobs and projects that would've never been considered if I didn't have the CNC. Just like people with lathes; they come up with some really cool turnings that aren't easily done without a lathe. If they didn't have a lathe they probably wouldn't have designed those turnings. We design and produce jobs based on the tools we have or plan to acquire for a specific job.

If all you're seeing are CNC projects then build something with the tools you have and post it - we'd love to see your work along with everyone else's who do woodworking and use routers and other tools in their shops. There's plenty of room on the forum for all of us, regardless of the tools we use.
 

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I wouldn't recommend spinning off CNC, mostly because doing so would not solve the problem you note - the relative lack of non-CNC discussion. My personal opinion is that you would see even less non-CNC discussion if the CNC related topics were banned. I turn up on this forum every now and then, usually when I'm re-evaluating my inevitable decision to stay away from CNC production of the stuff I make. In the process, I end up contributing non-CNC discussion as well.

Forums are not really zero sum. You want to attract people interested in a broad range of subjects. After participating in a number of woodworking forums over the last 20 years, I'm struck by how unusual it is to see machine specific forums like this one. Its not like you see forums dedicated to just table saws or just planers. Many woodworking forums are more general in topic, with tons of OT posts. I think the problem of lack of traffic has more to do with the forum having a fairly specific focus more than anything else.
 

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Brent - you have been a member for eleven years - and only 15 posts.
what would make this forum different (or better) for you if the CNC had its own sub-forum ?
what projects do you like to do the most often ?
what are your favorite tools in your shop ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi again

I would like to thank everyone that replied to my post. You all have given me a new perspective on CNC. I think that Mike most accurately stated my problem. It's the recent lack of posts that are related to other types of woodworking.

To John, my favorite tools are my table saw, compound miter saw, routers and router table that I built.

I bought a house a couple years ago, and have been slow to get it and the garage organized. I am starting to get some working room in the garage for a shop. I've put some wheels on my router table and woodworking table, to make them easier to move around.

I haven't made any projects lately, mainly due to a lack of ideas that intrigue me. That's one of the reasons that I come here.
Note: repairing a couple sections of a redwood fence that blew down in a windstorm doesn't count (for me) as a project. That's just necessary maintenance.

Right now, I'm off work for 3 months, due to surgery on my right hand to correct rather severe Dupuytrene's contracture. Even though there is absolutely no pain (thankfully) my hand is almost completely immobilized due to a splint and wrapping. That all comes off in 4 days, then some physical therapy starts, but for now, I can only use my thumb.

Once I'm able to use my hand again, I might be interested in doing some projects that wouldn't cause it too much strain, but for right now, I'm bored to death.

Thanks again for all of your replies.

Brent
 

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that's great Brent.
have you visited other Wood Working forums over the years ?
www.woodworkingtalk.com and www.lumberjocks.com are our sister sites of this company.
many members here are also members in those forums. both are structured more towards woodworking projects and both have sub-forums for the CNC enthusiasts. Although just like here, when you press the "new" button, all new and recent posts come to the top in no particular order or sub-forum. (it's the nature of the beast). you would still have to weed through and read the topics that interest you the most and skip over the rest.
you would have a well rounded interest in those two as well as here on RouterForums.
all the best and hope you hand gets back to normal soon.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Hi Brent,
Some use CNC, some use the router as a stand alone tool and some like turning on the lathe, all woodworking to me.
One section I do not look at is the "word games"......LOL;)
 
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I too use a CNC, but probably use my router table, lathe, and other equipment more often. The CNC is just another tool in the shop but it can do some amazing things. The drawback is the time and effort to get the files and toolpaths done properly. That's one reason that there are so many posts on CNC is the complexity of the process, thus the questions. On my router table, I simply have to use the right bit, get everything aligned properly and go. I might have to do a couple of iterations of the CNC toolpath depending on the complexity of the cut.

I certainly understand your concern, but we all learn from one another on all the subjects as there is always someone here who has a better idea or a new technique for doing something no matter what the tool. There are some real experts in the "school of hard knocks" around here willing to help one another!
 
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Hi all

I don't get out into the shop as much as I used to, or should, but I thoroughly enjoy , and look forward to, each week's email. Lately, I have been fairly disappointed in the direction of the content. It seems like the content has gravitated very much to discussions of issues with CNC routing. Personally, I think that this is a far different subject from where this forum started. I believe that letters dealing with CNC, should be spun off into their own community. I have nothing at all against CNC, although I don't feel like investing the time, space and money to get into it, learn how to program the toolpaths, set it up and then let the machine do the woodworking, all by itself. I find it rather irrelevant to the basic routing and woodworking issues that many of us have, plus, I enjoy the feel of cutting and shaping the wood with tools guided by my own hands.

So do others agree with me, that CNC should be spun off into its own community?

Brent
I agree with you, but I am retired and doing woodwork for pleasure. Were I still trying to make a living I would certainly invest in CNC equipment. For the end user it really means little whether hand tools, power tools or CNC tools are used one is no better than the other. It is simply the quality of the finished piece that matters. It does, however, seem that the use of CNC machinery removes one from woodcraft a bit. After all, why not have someone who is computer savvy write the program. You tell him what you want it to do. Then later you could hire someone to mount the wood on the tool and even turn it on. It still would be your project—your inspiration. However, you are slowly becoming management rather than an artisan.
 

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Hi all

I don't get out into the shop as much as I used to, or should, but I thoroughly enjoy , and look forward to, each week's email. Lately, I have been fairly disappointed in the direction of the content. It seems like the content has gravitated very much to discussions of issues with CNC routing. Personally, I think that this is a far different subject from where this forum started. I believe that letters dealing with CNC, should be spun off into their own community. I have nothing at all against CNC, although I don't feel like investing the time, space and money to get into it, learn how to program the toolpaths, set it up and then let the machine do the woodworking, all by itself. I find it rather irrelevant to the basic routing and woodworking issues that many of us have, plus, I enjoy the feel of cutting and shaping the wood with tools guided by my own hands.

So do others agree with me, that CNC should be spun off into its own community?

Brent
I agree 100%. It is two completely different genres. One is for adult computer program enthusiasts. The other is in regards to those of us who enjoy using our hands to make something.
If the powers at be would like to discuss it with me I'm readily available
The Router Forums is dedicated to all types of routing and any question you have about any type of woodworking would be acceptable and answered. Remember CNC routers are also routing, just using different tools. This forum was set up to help others with router use but also included all woodworking techniques. It was created to share techniques and projects with other aspiring woodworkers.

If we chose to ban the CNC content and created a separate forum for CNC then we would also have to look at banning all of the other subforum posts and moving that content to its own special forum.

I for one, like having everything under one forum so I can keep up on new techniques in every facet of woodworking.

I think the problem, for you and a few others, right now is that there are just no posts coming from the other types of woodworking.

Do you have any questions that you would like to ask? I am sure that there would be plenty of opinions on how to handle any problems you might be having or tips on a technique you might be wanting to get more information on before trying it yourself.
This site is broken down already into several other areas. And members are rather quick in telling someone to repost it in it's proper place. CNC anything should have it's own place. The use of numeric controls is moving way beyond just routing and my guess it's going to move in that direction rather fast when microchips are again readily available.
Just my two cents.
 

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I just finished 13 cedar plaques. I cut these logs into boards and let them air dry for a year. Used a grizzly 17" bandsaw and a resaw sled that uses a winch to pull the 4' long logs through the saw. A year later it took a table saw to rip them down to glue up blanks. Then the table saw to cut out the bad knots. Then jointer to clean up the edges. Then the table saw to cut the plaques to 5"x7" and the bench sander to sand the edges so it would fit in the jig. Now on to the CNC. Made a jig to hold the plaque blanks and placed 4 CNC made cam clamps to hold the plaque in place. Used drill to attach this jig and the cams. Chucked up a 2" planner bit into the router on the CNC and flattend one side of the plaque. Put a keyhole bit in the router in the cnc and cut a picture hanging slot. Used table sander and orbital sander to clean up the planner marks on the plaque. Put a 60 degree bit in the router on the CNC and vcarved a tag shape, ship shape and 3 lines of fine text. This vcarving took about 10 minutes. Then back to the orbital sander with 220 grit. Then 2 coats of shellac spray and a resand with the orbital lightly. Sprayed plaque face with gold paint. Let it dry 4 hours then sanded it off leaving the vcarves with gold paint in them. Used lazer to carve in a emblem in the sail of the boat on the plaque. Sanded with orbital 220 grit lightly. Placed the plaque back in the jig and cut the 60 degree chamfer with the router in the CNC. 2 minutes. Back to the table sander and orbital sander and then 2 coats of clear spray finish.

Bottom line is it takes the whole shop to use a CNC machine. The CNC makes it repeatable but it takes great skill to get it to that point. This last year I have made over 150 projects with my CNC but it took every tool in the shop to do it. With out the other tools the CNC would not be producing the good quality it is capable of. Made 24 wooden canteens, 25 frontiersman lamps cedar, oak, walnut, mohogany, maple all parts innerchangeable. The CNC has made woodworking much more fun with the cool stuff I can do with it. Engraving designs and text and shapes easily adds much more value to my projects.
 

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I just finished 13 cedar plaques. I cut these logs into boards and let them air dry for a year. Used a grizzly 17" bandsaw and a resaw sled that uses a winch to pull the 4' long logs through the saw. A year later it took a table saw to rip them down to glue up blanks. Then the table saw to cut out the bad knots. Then jointer to clean up the edges. Then the table saw to cut the plaques to 5"x7" and the bench sander to sand the edges so it would fit in the jig. Now on to the CNC. Made a jig to hold the plaque blanks and placed 4 CNC made cam clamps to hold the plaque in place. Used drill to attach this jig and the cams. Chucked up a 2" planner bit into the router on the CNC and flattend one side of the plaque. Put a keyhole bit in the router in the cnc and cut a picture hanging slot. Used table sander and orbital sander to clean up the planner marks on the plaque. Put a 60 degree bit in the router on the CNC and vcarved a tag shape, ship shape and 3 lines of fine text. This vcarving took about 10 minutes. Then back to the orbital sander with 220 grit. Then 2 coats of shellac spray and a resand with the orbital lightly. Sprayed plaque face with gold paint. Let it dry 4 hours then sanded it off leaving the vcarves with gold paint in them. Used lazer to carve in a emblem in the sail of the boat on the plaque. Sanded with orbital 220 grit lightly. Placed the plaque back in the jig and cut the 60 degree chamfer with the router in the CNC. 2 minutes. Back to the table sander and orbital sander and then 2 coats of clear spray finish.

Bottom line is it takes the whole shop to use a CNC machine. The CNC makes it repeatable but it takes great skill to get it to that point. This last year I have made over 150 projects with my CNC but it took every tool in the shop to do it. With out the other tools the CNC would not be producing the good quality it is capable of. Made 24 wooden canteens, 25 frontiersman lamps cedar, oak, walnut, mohogany, maple all parts innerchangeable. The CNC has made woodworking much more fun with the cool stuff I can do with it. Engraving designs and text and shapes easily adds much more value to my projects.
True! But for my woodworking I would be making 1 of each; perhaps 2. If woodworking ever became WORK not fun I would not do it. Were I trying to make money I would farm it out to a production shop. That shop probably pays the actual worker $20 an hour. I don't want to work for that wage.
 

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True! But for my woodworking I would be making 1 of each; perhaps 2. If woodworking ever became WORK not fun I would not do it. Were I trying to make money I would farm it out to a production shop. That shop probably pays the actual worker $20 an hour. I don't want to work for that wage.
Ha. I am retired. Already made my money and over 40.00 per hour most of it. I work with a Royal Ranger group 30 years at it(church boyscouts) there is thousands of things I can make to help these boys and leaders. I found many years ago over 40 that to make money in woodworking I needed to make 6 of each of them. Making fine woodworking stuff I told people go to the top furniture store and pick out a piece they want triple the price and I may make it for them.

Using a CNC I can put all the time into the design and prototype make it perfect and then continue to let that setup and design make it again and again when I want to. It's fun and a whole lot less work then rethinking the wheel each time.

I used the CNC to customize 13 lanterns Fundraiser by donation that brought in 400.00 for our Royal Rangers in our District. The CNC had the names carved in the top of the lanterns. It took about 3 minutes to do that carving but it made them special to these people who donated money for them.

Made a cup rack out of cedar and plywood. Carved a rinse your cup! and couple of logo's and our Outpost number then laser engraved number 1- 36 on the clothes pins that are placed upside down to hold the cups so the younger boys get the bottom rows of cups. CNC made this project go from a good idea to a very cool good idea.

Through the years I have seen guys that used only hand tools to make stuff. I said thats great I like your work. I however prefer to use power tools and can do a lot more work with those power tools. If you choose to use just a router and not use a router in a CNC than I like your work as well. I have done just the router stuff for 30 plus years and made some great stuff with it. CNC just allows a whole new world of creativity.
 

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back when the "CNC Craze" became affordable, a lot of my colleagues in the Sign World, that only did 99% vinyl stickers and "some painting" on vehicles, plastics and metals . . .
after they purchased the ShopBot or similar CNC platform, they had no clue as how to finish or install wood or HDU signs of some weight and size - compared to their vinyl sticky letters on plastic or lightweight metal substrates. right from the git-go, some were in way over their heads in the handcrafting and craftsmanship areas.
many knew that I was very proficient in fabricating and finishing wood and HDU signs and they actually paid me to come to their shop and spend a few days in the "after the sign is made" arena. (I have zero experience with a CNC).
so yes, there is oh so much more "craftsmanship" involved before and after the CNC does its thing. as said over and over here and elsewhere, the CNC is just another tool at your disposal to get the job done.
if you don't have the expertise of cutting wood to size, gluing up panels, sealing, priming, finishing (or painting), then you are at a disadvantage before you ever start.
pursue your dreams - reach for the rainbow - or else life will pass you by in a cloud of dust.
 

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Ha. I am retired. Already made my money and over 40.00 per hour most of it. I work with a Royal Ranger group 30 years at it(church boyscouts) there is thousands of things I can make to help these boys and leaders. I found many years ago over 40 that to make money in woodworking I needed to make 6 of each of them. Making fine woodworking stuff I told people go to the top furniture store and pick out a piece they want triple the price and I may make it for them.

Using a CNC I can put all the time into the design and prototype make it perfect and then continue to let that setup and design make it again and again when I want to. It's fun and a whole lot less work then rethinking the wheel each time.

I used the CNC to customize 13 lanterns Fundraiser by donation that brought in 400.00 for our Royal Rangers in our District. The CNC had the names carved in the top of the lanterns. It took about 3 minutes to do that carving but it made them special to these people who donated money for them.

Made a cup rack out of cedar and plywood. Carved a rinse your cup! and couple of logo's and our Outpost number then laser engraved number 1- 36 on the clothes pins that are placed upside down to hold the cups so the younger boys get the bottom rows of cups. CNC made this project go from a good idea to a very cool good idea.

Through the years I have seen guys that used only hand tools to make stuff. I said thats great I like your work. I however prefer to use power tools and can do a lot more work with those power tools. If you choose to use just a router and not use a router in a CNC than I like your work as well. I have done just the router stuff for 30 plus years and made some great stuff with it. CNC just allows a whole new world of creativity.
No argument at all! You are generous with your wood work and when some organization needs to make money selling your efforts do it the easy way. However, after making the first one the rest is just labor, not wood crafting. Nothing wrong with that. I know of an artist, good enough to have his work in the LA County Museum. He comes up with a concept and has a company make the items out of metal. I know the company that makes them. Her is still an artist for thinking up the subject and designing it but he is not the maker. Each person has to decide what and who to get help from. I use power and hand tools. Some of them I have modified. I don't make my own saws, planes chisels and gouges, I also don't cut down the wood I use. I am happy with my level of creativity.
 
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