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Is CNC Woodworking?

by DS
posted 07-17-2017 05:04 PM


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109 replies

109 replies so far

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

5332 posts in 4182 days


#1 posted 07-17-2017 05:06 PM

Sure, why not?

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View gargey's profile

gargey

1013 posts in 1076 days


#2 posted 07-17-2017 05:30 PM

Its not woodworking unless you rip the tree out of the ground with your bare hands.

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 2762 days


#3 posted 07-17-2017 05:36 PM

I am doing come custom cabinets for my wife’s office… I have to be honest, next time I am doing the design in a program and having the pieces CNC’d.

Is it woodworking, that depends on your philosophical tilt. If you are in business to make money, CNC probably becomes a no brainer/ must do. If you are a hobbiest and you get a existential high from cutting the most intricate dovetails, probably not.

at this point I’m a CNC and HVLP guy all day, im sure there are others that disagree

View DS's profile

DS

3086 posts in 2721 days


#4 posted 07-17-2017 05:38 PM

CNC machines have been around for decades.
The hardware of the machines hasn’t changed much since the beginning.

The real innovation has come with software. CNC woodworking used to be very inflexible. An engineer would take a month to manually write g-code and then that code was used to produce thousands of identical parts.

Today, our g-code is disposable. Use it once and forget it. The 3D design tools are incredible. The post-processing links from 3D models to g-code has enabled us to very rapidly produce custom items that were once thought to be prohibitive.

That said, there are two skills that are essential for CNC woodworking. 1) CAD/CAM design (computer skill) and 2) Woodworking skill.

In early 2000 I put together a ten person team to create designs and programs for a large custom shop. Unfortunately, the pool of people with BOTH of the necessary skills just didn’t readily exist at the time.

I hired people from both schools. I hired CAD artists and taught them woodworking and I hired woodworkers and taught them CAD/CAM. In all cases, those who knew woodworking first were more successful than those who knew nothing of woodworking but were computer geniuses.

The CAD artists were very proficient at making wonderful pictures and designs, but struggled to produce anything that could be built successfully in the shop. The woodworkers struggled with basic computer skills and abstract designs, but, their work nearly always produced something we could build and sell.

Much of woodworking cannot be taught in a classroom setting. It is learned in the shop, often with hard lessons learned from mistakes. This re-enforces to me that CNC IS woodworking.

Your thoughts?

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1726 posts in 1515 days


#5 posted 07-17-2017 06:05 PM

DS- I have been pro CNC since 2013. I got the bug after watching Andy Pitts master woodworker on YTube https://www.youtube.com/user/AndyPitts1000/videos?&ab_channel=AndrewPitts~FurnitureMaker
He adds a CNC to his shop. If you watch his videos; his projects seem to use all aspects of woodworking. Regardless of what others may think, it is like the Shakers early table saw, corded drill to cordless the evolution of woodworking…
Attached is a project, of mine, that is made of “maple” 5×7”, 20 hours of continuous machine time… I may add more comments as this forum develops.

In parting as I say to posts like this – thank you for promoting CNC in woodworking.

-- Desert_Woodworker

View Robert's profile

Robert

3316 posts in 1781 days


#6 posted 07-17-2017 06:10 PM

Got the popcorn popping, but I’ll chime in.

Woodworking, like any other craft, involves art & craftsmanship (skill). You can be born with an artistic ability, but craftsmanship can only be mastered through study and practice. Even the most naturally gifted musician or painter must still practice his craft.

IMHO with CNC someone with zero ww’ing skills can create perfect projects and carvings. Yes, they deserve credit for a design (if its original) but its difficult to see how they can take credit for craftsmanship.

As a carver, I am proud of the carvings I do by hand. So long as the machine gets credit OK but a carving done by hand should always demand higher praise.

That being said, I believe there is a place in the ww’ing shop for CNC. Huge time saver for tasks such as making templates.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View EricLew's profile

EricLew

237 posts in 1666 days


#7 posted 07-17-2017 06:18 PM

I agree with rwe2156

I don’t have a CNC, and therefore have never used one. Yes they do incredible work, but if I ever made something on one, I would never be able to be proud of it as my own work. I didn’t make it, a computer did. People want to use them, no problem, but to me, it’s like creating a document in Word with an fancy font, then printing it out and saying, “Look how nice my handwriting is”

-- I love the smell of coffee in the morning, and sawdust in the afternoon

View DS's profile

DS

3086 posts in 2721 days


#8 posted 07-17-2017 06:59 PM



IMHO with CNC someone with zero ww ing skills can create perfect projects and carvings.

- rwe2156

My experience differs on this point. Of course, there are pre-made designs one could buy and run on a machine and your statement could be quite true. However, if this carving is an apron panel on a very ornate side table, someone without woodworking experience would have a board that was machine carved, but not a table with appropriate joinery and proper accounting of wood movement et al that makes it a functional piece – a.k.a. woodworking.

That said, I find it easier to make ornate carvings by hand rather than by CNC. However, I have spent most of a week once programming the tool paths and running multiple test pieces trying to get things just right for a nice carving. PIA for that work IMHO.


I don t have a CNC, and therefore have never used one. Yes they do incredible work, but if I ever made something on one, I would never be able to be proud of it as my own work. I didn t make it, a computer did.

- EricLew

EricLew, I have never seen a computer make or design anything by itself. I have never met a computer programmer that could design and build any woodworking project remotely functional without any prior woodworking experience.

There IS some element of woodworking required to make it happen.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5364 posts in 3544 days


#9 posted 07-17-2017 07:17 PM

This thread has been asked before on this forum and the consensus then, appeared to be yes! CNC is woodworking. FYI, I just came across a portable CNC machine called “Handibot”. https://handibot.com/handibot.php. It is a bit pricey @ $2895, but it will work with non ferrous metals like aluminum and of course wood. This may be the beginning of new CNC tools for woodworkers and other crafts people. I have been looking for a tool such as this to work with aluminum, but alas, it is somewhat out of my budget range. Hopefully, prices will drop as more similar machines hit the market. I suspect China will soon have them on the market.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10489 posts in 4353 days


#10 posted 07-17-2017 07:32 PM

IMHO, YES!

If it is doing anything with wood, it is woodworking.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3183 posts in 3531 days


#11 posted 07-17-2017 08:06 PM

The CNC is opening up a whole new world for me. I have done my share of woodworking projects, and the fever struck me hard. Now I have more ideas than I can shake a stick at! And my wife is adding to my idea list daily! :-)

So, yeah it is woodworking. Somebody has to prepare the material if wood is being used. And finish it after the job is done. And being a little bit computer savvy, learning the CAM software (V-Carve Pro) hasn’t been too difficult. That was what had me skeered from the git-go.

Needless to say, I have a long way to go.

Note: I figured out a couple of designs that will cut the dadoes and shelf pin holes in the cabinet sides for 13 kitchen cabinets I am building! I will pre-cut the material to the finished sizes and the CNC will do the rest while I work on something else…or just stand there and watch it work!!! :-)

So here are a couple of examples I could have never done without the CNC.

Plaque for a heart disease surgery survivor as requested by her husband when he saw my new toy.

Donation to a benefit for my wife’s cousin. Sadly, he passed before the benefit, but there was a huge turnout and this donation helped. There was a lot of interest.

Jack Daniels sign.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7772 posts in 3214 days


#12 posted 07-17-2017 08:27 PM

IS TYPING ACTUALLY CREATIVE WRITING?

Hmm… ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1286 posts in 1974 days


#13 posted 07-17-2017 08:58 PM

All the major contemporary guitar factories are now CNC based. Entry level instruments have never been better, at a time when amateur and boutique building have never been more popular, with many skilled makers. An acoustic instrument’s top is the most important tone/response component. An optimum balance between timber species, individual top thicknesses, and bracing dimensions is, at the moment, a human activity in the custom shop. The line instruments are all carved to a mean. Play 10 identical line instruments and one will stand out from the rest as optimum. Will the day come when a machine can successfully evaluate the tap tone/voice of each top? Probably. This won’t stop passionate amateurs from building, top boutique builders will most likely still hand voice and continue to have a small share of the top end.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

427 posts in 889 days


#14 posted 07-17-2017 10:48 PM

If all you do is download & carve, that is not ww’ing.

If you draw it originally and pass it to the CNC that is ww’ing.

CNC can do a lot but not everything. CNC can be a central part of a project and still need hand work (with or without power) to be complete.

I use laser CNC all the time but the projects are ‘hand’ maid.

M

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woodbutcherbynight

5938 posts in 2709 days


#15 posted 07-18-2017 01:45 AM


IS TYPING ACTUALLY CREATIVE WRITING?

Hmm… ;-)

- HorizontalMike

ROFLMAO, good one

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2058 posts in 2098 days


#16 posted 07-18-2017 03:14 AM

Some of the woodworking competitions out here have banned CNC projects so they are not compared to regular woodworking.
And I agree with it.

-- Aj

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1726 posts in 1515 days


#17 posted 07-18-2017 03:33 AM

As stated before, I am pro CNC. I hope to encourage other to the marvels of this machine used in WW. Let’s do a comparison woodworking and astronomy –
Router table deluxe version and CNC Both do tasks in wood; both can do woodworking.
Telescope for astronomy- the first one uses manual locations and setup of the scope and the second one a computer aided star locator and positioning of the scope to see the area.
The comparison is that the CNC and the new fangled telescope are not just plug and play tools. A new learning curve (your time) is needed to achieve your results.
Therefore, not to call a CNC a woodworking tool could be said, of the new electronic computerized telescope is not an astronomy tool.

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Desert_Woodworker

1726 posts in 1515 days


#18 posted 07-18-2017 04:31 AM


The CNC is opening up a whole new world for me. I have done my share of woodworking projects, and the fever struck me hard. Now I have more ideas than I can shake a stick at! And my wife is adding to my idea list daily! :-)

So, yeah it is woodworking. Somebody has to prepare the material if wood is being used. And finish it after the job is done. And being a little bit computer savvy, learning the CAM software (V-Carve Pro) hasn t been too difficult. That was what had me skeered from the git-go.

Needless to say, I have a long way to go.

Note: I figured out a couple of designs that will cut the dadoes and shelf pin holes in the cabinet sides for 13 kitchen cabinets I am building! I will pre-cut the material to the finished sizes and the CNC will do the rest while I work on something else…or just stand there and watch it work!!! :-)

So here are a couple of examples I could have never done without the CNC.

Plaque for a heart disease surgery survivor as requested by her husband when he saw my new toy.

Donation to a benefit for my wife s cousin. Sadly, he passed before the benefit, but there was a huge turnout and this donation helped. There was a lot of interest.

Jack Daniels sign.

- MT_Stringer

Excellent job on the lettering with the various fonts, kerning of the letters, fit, finish and the quality – job well done
As an aside, I do not believe that the nay Sayers, understand what it actually takes to create something like your projects. For instance, first you type the letters on the computer screen and what happens next- you apply your CAD design knowledge to accomplish it. No push and play.
Best to you

-- Desert_Woodworker

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

956 posts in 3383 days


#19 posted 07-18-2017 10:13 AM



I hired people from both schools. I hired CAD artists and taught them woodworking and I hired woodworkers and taught them CAD/CAM. In all cases, those who knew woodworking first were more successful than those who knew nothing of woodworking but were computer geniuses.
- DS

x100
There is a MASSIVE difference between a simple operator, a designer/operator and an experienced woodworker/designer/operator, particularly in a custom environment.
Any bozo can load sheet goods onto a cnc and cut plywood stair treads all day long…not even remotely woodworking.
If I need custom designed, one of, $800.00 (or more)newel posts milled on the cnc….the guy above will be pushing broom while a ‘woodworker’ programs/operates, otherwise I’ll end up with a pile of junk.

The naysayers need to spend a week in a custom cnc shop environment….without a doubt you’d change your minds.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10489 posts in 4353 days


#20 posted 07-18-2017 07:17 PM


IS TYPING ACTUALLY CREATIVE WRITING?

Hmm… ;-)

- HorizontalMike

Mike, you added the word “Creative”, conditioning “writing”...
In this case & question, “woodworking” is not conditioned… assuming all woodworking…

If your question had been “Is typing considered to be writing”, then, of course typing is just a mechanized way of writing. BUT, when you add “Creative” writing, it changes the whole question.

Like “Is using a CNC machine, Creative hierloom furniture Woodworking?” ... Not quite the same.

Using a CNC on wood is woodworking (good or bad woodworking).
Using a typewriter to write is writing (good or bad writing)
Using a typewriter to write is NOT necessarily Creative writing.

Just imho… LOL

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1199 days


#21 posted 07-18-2017 07:34 PM

Any bozo can load sheet goods onto a cnc and cut plywood stair treads all day long…

- Tony_S

I resemble that remark! uh, ....Are you hiring?

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4529 posts in 4043 days


#22 posted 07-18-2017 07:35 PM

If you put the CNC carvings of a woodland scene on the headboard of a bed… do you still say “Hand Crafted”?

I really like Scott Grove’s woodworker and designer in his TedX talk on exactly this subject (8 minutes).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfCOBDx4tvg&feature=youtu.be

He uses examples like laser cut marquetry? Do/Should you tell people that you didn’t cut it out by hand. Does it matter? does the customer care?

If the machine cuts out all the parts, and you assemble it… is that ‘hand – made’?

If you make the original, then scan it in and have it mass produced… what is it then?

If you use a dovetail jig, rather than ‘hand cut’ dovetails…. what counts as craft?

Still all woodworking. Scott talks “tradition craftsman” and “autocrafter”.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1726 posts in 1515 days


#23 posted 07-18-2017 08:20 PM

Dr Dirt- on the otherhand watch Andrew Pitts furniture maker, he shows his product and they speak for themselves. Fine Woodworking! end of story. Should the craftsman disclose what the percentage of his project consists of CNC, the table saw used, dovetails- hand cut or machined; similar to the auto industry part contents.
Thanks for the video- he talks about himself as a craftsman who uses his hands. Guess what I use my hands in all of my aspects of my work. From hadling the sheet goods, cutting them on a panel saw and placing them on the CNC to finishing. Scott uses his hands on his power carver but what causes his hands to move the grinder. Answer his brain. Compared myself; I use my hands and brain with the software-(CAD) then transfer to knowledge to the machine (CAM). If our brain is experienced and is functing properly the results are a success. Any goof up on the machine, in my case comes from my “brain”Good or Bad”
here’s an aside- Is Sketch up considered a woodworking tool?

-- Desert_Woodworker

View DS's profile

DS

3086 posts in 2721 days


#24 posted 07-18-2017 08:26 PM

When we think of the literary classics, do we remember if the manuscript was handwritten, typed, or word processed?
Not really. We remember the content of the story above all else. (a.k.a. Creative Writing)

A fine piece of furniture will be appreciated more for what it is than which particular tools were used to arrive at that fine piece.

I use the qualifier “fine” to eliminate mass produced junk from that analogy, fyi.
BTW, I’ve seen both fine furniture and mass produced junk produced on the same machines, so, the machine itself is not the differentiation, per se’. More, it is about the creative influence of the woodworker using the machine, I think.

Now, how you represent the end product, e.g. “hand made”, etc, is an entirely different question, IMHO.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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ArtMann

1324 posts in 1116 days


#25 posted 07-18-2017 08:39 PM

This issue reminds me of the Amish people. They chose an arbitrary point in time, an arbitrary lifestyle and an arbitrary level of technology and defined that as the ideal way to live. It seems that some woodworkers are doing something similar with their definition of woodworking.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1726 posts in 1515 days


#26 posted 07-19-2017 12:49 AM



This issue reminds me of the Amish people. They chose an arbitrary point in time, an arbitrary lifestyle and an arbitrary level of technology and defined that as the ideal way to live. It seems that some woodworkers are doing something similar with their definition of woodworking.

- ArtMann


Yes but- Even the Amish…. You bring up good point of Amish woodworkers as a lot of people see them as “handcrafted purists” but there is more to the story-
Here is an example how things change
“Because Amish beliefs prevent the use of electricity, many woodworking tools in Amish shops are powered by hydraulic and pneumatic power that is run on diesel compressors. Most communities permit some technology, and allowances can be made in the case of woodworking, as the craft often supports multiple families within the community.” Also should someone want to research more- read about how some secretly work with second parties to sell authentic stuff on the internet.
Just saying,

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Tootles

808 posts in 2802 days


#27 posted 07-19-2017 01:00 AM

No, CNC is not woodworking.

CNC is a tool.

Making something out of wood using a CNC is woodworking. You were not expecting me to say that, were you?

It is like the debate between those who only use hand tools compared to those who only use machines. neither are considering efficiency as a factor. I frequently cut large boards with a hand saw (rough cuts) because it is too much effort to set up the board to cut it with a circular saw. I often chamfer wood by hand because it is quicker than setting up the router table. I use machine sanders for the bulk of my sanding and there are things that I can do on my table saw that I would hate to do by hand.

I have a job on the go at the moment where a CNC would be a wonderful thing to have. As it is, I am going to have to do the work with a hand-held router and a jig that I still need to make – and then I will throw away. that’s inefficient.

Perhaps I can sum it up this way, which is not very different to what Horizontal Mike was getting at. There are tools and there are skills. It is the skills applied at using the tools to make a wooden product that makes it woodworking.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1726 posts in 1515 days


#28 posted 07-19-2017 01:32 AM

T- ” Making something out of wood using a CNC is woodworking. You were not expecting me to say that, were you?” Nope!
Next! “I have a job on the go at the moment where a CNC would be a wonderful thing to have. As it is, I am going to have to do the work with a hand-held router and a jig that I still need to make – and then I will throw away. That’s inefficient.”
I would not expect someone in your situation to “instantly” add a CNC. In the states we have jobbers and fabricators who offer “outsourcing” CNC services, which are similar to door and drawer suppliers.
Your comparison to H Mike? I don’t understand the correlation, with your ending point.
Just saying,

-- Desert_Woodworker

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oldnovice

7447 posts in 3668 days


#29 posted 07-19-2017 03:27 AM

In my humble opinion, true woodworking does not invole any power tools!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1726 posts in 1515 days


#30 posted 07-19-2017 03:42 AM



Its not woodworking unless you rip the tree out of the ground with your bare hands.

- gargey


In my humble opinion, true woodworking does not invole any power tools!

- oldnovice

You guys could right! The beaver use his teeth to create wooden structures….

-- Desert_Woodworker

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7772 posts in 3214 days


#31 posted 07-19-2017 12:26 PM


IS TYPING ACTUALLY CREATIVE WRITING?
Hmm… ;-)
- HorizontalMike

Mike, you added the word “Creative”, conditioning “writing”...
In this case & question, “woodworking” is not conditioned… assuming all woodworking…
If your question had been “Is typing considered to be writing”, then, of course typing is just a mechanized way of writing. BUT, when you add “Creative” writing, it changes the whole question.
Like “Is using a CNC machine, Creative hierloom furniture Woodworking?” ... Not quite the same.
Using a CNC on wood is woodworking (good or bad woodworking).
Using a typewriter to write is writing (good or bad writing)
Using a typewriter to write is NOT necessarily Creative writing.
Just imho… LOL
- Joe Lyddon

Hey Joe, I’m glad you caught my “conditioner” use, as you put it. It was/is meant to spark conversation with/of those who constantly think that woodworking itself, must be “inspired” or “creative” just in order to qualify as WOODWORKING.

Of course we know that:
  • Hand-tool woodworking CAN BE “INSPIRED” or “CREATIVE”
  • Power-tool woodworking CAN BE “INSPIRED” or “CREATIVE”

HOWEVER, that does not mean either of the above actually is, could be, or is not. And the same can be said of CNC woodworking. So Joe, we are on the same page here and in agreement. 8-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Robert's profile

Robert

3316 posts in 1781 days


#32 posted 07-19-2017 02:36 PM

I think the question is really “Is CNC craftsmanship?” It depends on how you define it. I define it as skill + artistic ability.

Its quite simple. If you do a carving and use a CNC its not hand carved, period end of debate. If you don’t give a disclaimer to that effect, then you are falsely taking credit for a skill you may not possess. And BTW saying “I did it on a CNC” is not really truthful is it? More accurately “it was done on a CNC.”

So what about using a machine to punch out mortises or make tenons? Yes, you’re using a machine in lieu of a hand skill, so can you still say it was “handmade”. Yes because it is not a factory. Kind of like “made in the USA” vs. “assembled in the USA”.

But where’s the artistry in a mortise?

What worries me the most is that CNC and computers do not further one’s skills and skills cannot be passed on to the next generation.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View DS's profile

DS

3086 posts in 2721 days


#33 posted 07-19-2017 02:48 PM


Its quite simple. If you do a carving and use a CNC its not hand carved, period end of debate. If you don t give a disclaimer to that effect, then you are falsely taking credit for a skill you may not possess. And BTW saying “I did it on a CNC” is not really truthful is it? More accurately “it was done on a CNC.”

- rwe2156

I’m not sure why “taking credit” is even important.
We service a very particular clientelle at the very high end of our market. We offer pretty much everything under the sun woodworking-wise. We sell dovetail drawers on nearly every job, but it is extremely rare to get a request for “hand cut” dovetails instead of machine cut dovetails.

Only in a few cases of reproduction furniture do we hand cut dovetails. To the other 99.9% of clients, they don’t care. In fact, they seem to prefer the perfection over the handmade imperfection. (Stainless steel drawers seem to be popular with the “in” crowd right now)

There is no disclaimer anywhere that says “our dovetails are made on a CNC dovetailer” (which they are) and we don’t claim that they are hand made either. They simply look through our showroom, see our various drawer options and go, “Ooh, I really like that one right there” and done. (or words to that effect) ;-)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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DS

3086 posts in 2721 days


#34 posted 07-19-2017 03:32 PM


No, CNC is not woodworking.

CNC is a tool.

- Tootles

Yes, Tootles wins the prize!

The ignorance in the question was left intentionally. I was quoting a fairly well known (semi-celebrity) woodworker from this site who should have known better than to phrase it that way. It was his comments that sparked my interest in this discussion.

Obviously the machine is the tool and not the woodworking. :-)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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Woodknack

12647 posts in 2680 days


#35 posted 07-19-2017 05:36 PM

Woodworking is working with wood. I think the OP meant”craftsmanship.”

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4529 posts in 4043 days


#36 posted 07-19-2017 07:26 PM

If you 3D print a faberge egg… are you an artist?

I imagine as 3-d printing is moving to actually printing flesh… we will get to a point that we can “print Walnut” When we can 3-d pring a jewelry box

I don’t believe you need to be Roy Underhill to be a craftsman.

But at some point, it seems you cross a line, where you are not really in control of the TOOLS… the tool is now doing the work, with little input from the user. A lot of CNC is point and click, it is not as though many are spending days writing computer code.

I think the fact that this thread exists shows that we all struggle, some defensively, but I believe we see the problem to varying degrees with how automation and craft merge. The product that comes out, do you go sell in your tent at the Central Pennsylvania festival of the Arts in July?

If you have two tables at a show, one of these CNC made… one hand carved with a chip carving knife… should the price be different? Should the sign with the price tag mention anything about method?

or should they both just say ‘Carved Jewelry box $175

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10489 posts in 4353 days


#37 posted 07-19-2017 07:26 PM


No, CNC is not woodworking.

CNC is a tool.

- Tootles

Yes, Tootles wins the prize!

The ignorance in the question was left intentionally. I was quoting a fairly well known (semi-celebrity) woodworker from this site who should have known better than to phrase it that way. It was his comments that sparked my interest in this discussion.

Obviously the machine is the tool and not the woodworking. :-)

- DS

YES!!

Now, we enter another area of the Craft…
If one shows real Skill in using the tools, he might be said to be a Craftsman.
If one does NOT know how to Skillfully use the tools, he might be said to be a Hack / Butcher.
One can be BOTH types and STILL be called a Woodworker; therefore, anything he does with wood could be called Woodworking… no matter how skillful he is.

CNC requires a skill of writing a program, or interfacing with a program, that has definite bearings on the quality of the end product… No matter how good/bad the result is, it could still be called Woodworking… being a Craftsman or a Hack/Butcher. :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

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bigblockyeti

5508 posts in 2021 days


#38 posted 07-19-2017 07:49 PM

Is NASCAR racing a sport or a skill?

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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bonesbr549

1579 posts in 3367 days


#39 posted 07-19-2017 07:52 PM

If you put the CNC carvings of a woodland scene on the headboard of a bed… do you still say “Hand Crafted”?

I really like Scott Grove s woodworker and designer in his TedX talk on exactly this subject (8 minutes).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfCOBDx4tvg&feature=youtu.be

He uses examples like laser cut marquetry? Do/Should you tell people that you didn t cut it out by hand. Does it matter? does the customer care?

If the machine cuts out all the parts, and you assemble it… is that hand – made ?

If you make the original, then scan it in and have it mass produced… what is it then?

If you use a dovetail jig, rather than hand cut dovetails…. what counts as craft?

Still all woodworking. Scott talks “tradition craftsman” and “autocrafter”.

- DrDirt

I went to the Martin Guitar factory in PA and took the tour, and they had a dandy of a cnc cutting the tops and back’s out.

I’d dare someone to go take that tour and tell those folks they not craftsmen.

I find the folks that poo poo cnc don’t know much about it. I’m a computer guy from the days of punched cards, and can tell you it’s not just “PUSHING A BUTTON”.

When I started thought it would be easy. The past year was an intro to reality. It takes creativity and skill to make something whether with a hand saw tablesaw or router or CNC.

as the old saying says when you are a carpenter and your only tool is a hammer, all problems are nails.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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Joe Lyddon

10489 posts in 4353 days


#40 posted 07-19-2017 09:26 PM



Is NASCAR racing a sport or a skill?

- bigblockyeti

BOTH… (?)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

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DS

3086 posts in 2721 days


#41 posted 07-19-2017 09:29 PM

I can just imagine the conversation 20 years from now.

Guy A; “Are holographic cabinets woodworking?”
Guy B; “If it ain’t done on a 3D printer, it ain’t woodworking!”

LOL!

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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MrRon

5364 posts in 3544 days


#42 posted 07-19-2017 10:41 PM

My definition of “woodworking” is: “Any time a tool creates a feature on a piece of wood, that is woodworking”. That is a very basic definition, but from the beginning of civilization, tools became more sophisticated, evolving into the computerized tools of today. Nothing has changed; a tool is still a tool, wood is still wood and a human has to operate the tool. Now if you are comparing a “traditional” woodworker to a machine oriented woodworker, there is a difference. Roy Underhill would probably condemn CNC as a work of the devil and Norm Abram would consider it a blessing. Now compare the latest, 3D printing. Although not a woodworking tool, it does create something from nothing. It does require material and an operator. The operator is combined with a computer program. The creativity comes from the mind of the operator converting, with the aid of software, an object from raw material (plastic or metal). In this case, I would not consider it woodworking as no wood is involved.

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JackDuren

388 posts in 1260 days


#43 posted 07-19-2017 11:26 PM

As long as the goal can be reach machine or hand its the same…

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EricLew

237 posts in 1666 days


#44 posted 07-20-2017 12:13 AM

I think there are 2 different debates going on here.

If you use a CNC on wood, it is by definition, woodworking.

If you are running a production shop, and need to churn out quantity, of course you will use a CNC, because you need to produce numbers, meet quality control, and deadlines.

I think the majority of people who are not fans, (like me) are not running a business, or do not produce high volume. They are people who do this as a hobby, full or part time, and don’t see the justification for a CNC. We make things for ourselves, family and friends, people that we see on an ongoing basis. If you have a business and sell to clients, the product goes out, and I assume you never see them again.

The picture of the carved jewelry box above posted by DrDirt is perfect example. If I made that on a CNC and gave it to someone, I would never be able to say, “I made this for you” because, to me, that implies I hand carved it. I make some Keepsake boxes with 1/8 inch finger joints that I cut on my tablesaw with a jig, if I made those on a CNC, I just wouldn’t be as personally proud of the work.

That is just my opinion, for me. Anyone else who wants to use a CNC, enjoy

One question though…. I’m guessing everyone on here was a woodworker before they had a CNC. If there was a different model that cut marble, would you instantly be a Sculptor?

-- I love the smell of coffee in the morning, and sawdust in the afternoon

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JackDuren

388 posts in 1260 days


#45 posted 07-20-2017 12:22 AM


I think there are 2 different debates going on here.

If you use a CNC on wood, it is by definition, woodworking.

If you are running a production shop, and need to churn out quantity, of course you will use a CNC, because you need to produce numbers, meet quality control, and deadlines.

I think the majority of people who are not fans, (like me) are not running a business, or do not produce high volume. They are people who do this as a hobby, full or part time, and don t see the justification for a CNC. We make things for ourselves, family and friends, people that we see on an ongoing basis. If you have a business and sell to clients, the product goes out, and I assume you never see them again.

The picture of the carved jewelry box above posted by DrDirt is perfect example. If I made that on a CNC and gave it to someone, I would never be able to say, “I made this for you” because, to me, that implies I hand carved it. I make some Keepsake boxes with 1/8 inch finger joints that I cut on my tablesaw with a jig, if I made those on a CNC, I just wouldn t be as personally proud of the work.

That is just my opinion, for me. Anyone else who wants to use a CNC, enjoy

One question though…. I m guessing everyone on here was a woodworker before they had a CNC. If there was a different model that cut marble, would you instantly be a Sculptor?

- EricLew

You still have to assemble and finish it correct?

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ArtMann

1324 posts in 1116 days


#46 posted 07-20-2017 12:23 AM

I’m from the stone age and I think using bronze tools isn’t woodworking.

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Desert_Woodworker

1726 posts in 1515 days


#47 posted 07-20-2017 12:36 AM

Vetric just released – Aspire 9

Sports- NASCAR here’s one for the CNC
Triad CNC, a new manufacturing division of Triad Racing Technologies, will adorn the #96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota Camry driven by D.J. Kennington in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on May 7.

Triad CNC is a full service CNC machine shop with capabilities of 3, 4 and 5-axis simultaneous CNC machining that will focus on servicing the current auto racing community and also expand into the aerospace and military industries.

“The NASCAR platform, and the Talladega race specifically, provides a launching pad for Triad CNC,” said Triad general manager Mark Chambers. “Engineering excellence is at the forefront of both the sport and Triad’s commitment to providing outstanding performance, service and reliability to our customers.”

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Desert_Woodworker

1726 posts in 1515 days


#48 posted 07-20-2017 03:21 AM



I can just imagine the conversation 20 years from now.

Guy A; “Are holographic cabinets woodworking?”
Guy B; “If it ain t done on a 3D printer, it ain t woodworking!”

LOL!

- DS

My version of A and B

Gender neutral person A: “Hey look over here in the Lumber Jocks archives- These guys are arguing over a CNC in woodworking (laff)

Gender male, in the process of change B: (laff) “A, do you remember, how that was (a word similar cool). By the way have you actually handled any wood lately?

Seriously, “woodworking”- My concern is with the passing the love and beauty of wood. There is a division in woodworking similar to the Protestant religion. Take note, they have one thing in common. Therefore, take time and post on the “LJ Projects” and encourage them.
Part 2
A: says “Wow! that Desert_Woodworker makes some interesting stuff”
B: says (whatever you want to add, but make sure your dialog contributes to advancing our craft)

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Underdog

1262 posts in 2336 days


#49 posted 07-20-2017 01:11 PM



My definition of “woodworking” is: “Any time a tool creates a feature on a piece of wood, that is woodworking”.
....... Now compare the latest, 3D printing. Although not a woodworking tool, it does create something from nothing. It does require material and an operator. The operator is combined with a computer program. The creativity comes from the mind of the operator converting, with the aid of software, an object from raw material (plastic or metal). In this case, I would not consider it woodworking as no wood is involved.

- MrRon

Actually 3D printing is still in its infancy, but they’re starting to use everything from concrete to human tissue in them. And yes, even wood products are used in them.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

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DS

3086 posts in 2721 days


#50 posted 07-20-2017 03:03 PM


The picture of the carved jewelry box above posted by DrDirt is perfect example. If I made that on a CNC and gave it to someone, I would never be able to say, “I made this for you” because, to me, that implies I hand carved it.

- EricLew

So, you are saying, if you made a jewelry box and some of the parts of the box were carved on with a CNC, you would present it and say, “Here is something my computer made for you” and you would be ashamed (not proud) of the box?

I feel that the perception of CNC as this tool of cheap mass production parts has somehow limited some people as to the new potential art forms that are opened up by using a CNC. We are doing things we never would have considered possible before CNC machines became more ubiquitous.


If you 3D print a faberge egg… are you an artist?
...
But at some point, it seems you cross a line, where you are not really in control of the TOOLS… the tool is now doing the work, with little input from the user. A lot of CNC is point and click, it is not as though many are spending days writing computer code.
...
- DrDirt

BTW, if you can 3D model a faberge egg well enough to 3D print a convincing replica, I would be major impressed and not think one should be “not proud” of that accomplishment.

CNC tools only do precisely what the g-code tells it to do. (The woodworker, with software tools, usually creates the g-code.) If the code is garbage, the result is garbage. If the code is terrific, the result is terrific.

At no time are you NOT explicitly in control of the tools. (Way more so than with conventional tools) It does precisely what you told it to do. There is no creative interpretation by the machine of what you meant it to do. It goes to X, Y, Z coordinates at this feed rate, this spindle speed and with that tool, period. If you make a mistake in the code, you’ve made a mistake in the wood too.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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