Incorporating CNC Technology

Inspirational Starting Point

Inspirational Starting Point

One of the most attractive aspects of the inspirational toy chest was the personalization. I’ve never carved anything and I really wasn’t interested in doing it anyway. It’s a skill for another time.

At the community shop I belong to (NCCW) we recently incorporated a pretty large scale CNC. I setup a meeting with the member who owns and operates it to figure out if this was going to fly. I was hesitant to say the least, since everything was ready for assembly and then it was just a matter of adding the base moulding and finishing. I put my nerves aside and started taking measurements for the input file.

The software was pretty intuitive. If you’ve made a powerpoint presentation or “drawn” anything using a Microsoft Office product you can get by for a good long while. It was hard to visual the scale so we played with a few fonts and spacings. Everything is based on centerlines so once we had a rough idea of the center we decided to test on a practice piece.

I was completely shocked this only took seven minutes to complete. The first run showed the font was a little too big and the delineating line was too deep so we made some adjustments and went for the second try.


Second try

The second attempt went swimmingly so I took another deep breath and put the real piece on the platen. Seven very long minutes later things looked great.


I couldn’t be happier with the results. I am so glad I took the chance to try something new. I highly recommend you try incorporating CNC into your work. The world is awash in many maker spaces, both public and private, where you can experiment with CNC. I’m not giving up my hand saws and rasps any time soon but this sure does change the way I look at potential production work in the future. Who knows, maybe this device will fund the purchase of hand tools in the future. That’s a juxtaposition I’m willing to explore.

About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
This entry was posted in General Philosophy, Kids Furniture, NCCW, Toy Chest and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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