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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

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DS

3377 posts in 3059 days


#51 posted 07-20-2017 03:21 PM

Here is a sample of g-code. This is about as simple of a program as it gets.
It’s only job is to route a decorative groove on the face a 14” X 32” cabinet door. (A simple rectangle)

In the old days, we would use a router with a jig and quite often the operator would flub it and get unsteady lines, machine marks, and the occasional slip up. In those cases the door would usually need repaired or remade.

The groove enhances the appearance of the door. Something most of our competitors don’t offer at all.
The CNC router makes this operation feasible when once it wasn’t.

O0001
(R660101N)
N1 G00 G17 G20 G40 G49 G80 G90 G90.1
N2 G61
N3 G54
N5 G00 G49 Z0
N6 M05
(Tool: 1/8 V GROOVE)
N7 T4 M06
N8 M03 S12000
N9 G43 H4 Z1.1125
N10 G0 X14. Y18.75
N11 Z1.0625
N12 G1 Y18. Z0.6875 F100
N13 Y4. F300
N14 X4.
N15 Y32.
N16 X14.
N17 Y18.
N18 Y17.88
N19 Y17.13 Z1.0625
N20 G0 Z1.1125
N22 G00 G49 Z0
N23 M05
N48 M08
N49 G00 G53 X24.0000 Y99.0 M05
N50 M30

This program was ran once then discarded.

The groove was hand distressed to appear hand carved.

-- "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

1467 posts in 1455 days


#52 posted 07-20-2017 03:43 PM

It is no use. For the most part, critics of CNC technology are completely unaware of what it takes to use this tool and are committed to remaining that way. They will never see that it takes just as much skill and creativity to create beautiful things with this tool as any other. They will never see a CNC router as anything other than a 3-D copy machine.

This attitude is no different than that of people who think that “real” woodworking must be done with hand tools.

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EricLew

251 posts in 2005 days


#53 posted 07-20-2017 03:51 PM


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?

- DS

Well, that wouldn’t happen because I don’t have a CNC, and don’t plan on having one. But if I did and gave it to someone, when they raved about how incredible it is, I would tell them it was made on a CNC and explain what that is. I would never let them think I made it by hand.

Again, this is Just Me. I have no issue with people that use CNCs, I don’t think they should be outlawed, or automatically carve “Made on a CNC”, or are ruining woodworking…. To each his own.

Based on just this thread, it seems that people that like and use CNCs are upset, or annoyed, by people that don’t like them. I don’t know why, there is no right or wrong here, it’s just different opinions. Nothing, at least nothing I am contributing, is personal.

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

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Mainiac Matt

9423 posts in 2967 days


#54 posted 07-20-2017 04:01 PM


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. DS

I still make everyone of my guys write at least one simple G-Code program during their training, as it helps them understand what the software is doing for them, and how it can screw them if they’re not careful.

Hogging out with a rougher bit and then making finish passes to the line with a finish bit?

When to climb cut to get a better finish (with the spindle and the work piece both under positive control, this is most always safe)?

And then we have tooling decisions…

When to use spiral bits (up or down)? when to use compression bits? when to use straight flutes? when switch to a peck drilling cycle with a drill bit? How many passes to take? what % step over to use when routing a pocket?

... and then you get into true 3D contour cutting and the knowledge base and decision making goes up by another order of magnitude. And then you can go hog wild with a 4th axis and do Corinthian columns.

There is a whole heck of a lot of “woodworking” that goes on with a CNC that most woodworkers might never even get exposed to.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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MrRon

5830 posts in 3882 days


#55 posted 07-20-2017 04:37 PM



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


I wonder when NASCAR will go driverless cars?

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DS

3377 posts in 3059 days


#56 posted 07-20-2017 04:41 PM


Well, that wouldn t happen because I don t have a CNC, and don t plan on having one. But if I did and gave it to someone, when they raved about how incredible it is, I would tell them it was made on a CNC and explain what that is. I would never let them think I made it by hand.

- EricLew

EricLew; Several times now, you have indicated that there is some deception involved when using a CNC to do tasks traditionally done by hand. In my experience, that doesn’t happen much, if at all. (Surely someone, somewhere is misleading people, or you wouldn’t feel that way)

In our shop, we give all new prospective clients tours of the facility. We show off the machinery as well as the final products. We are not ashamed of using state-of-the-art tools to produce the highest quality products out there. In fact, it is touted as a positive thing.

For me, it is frustrating when people discount the entire idea of CNC as not actual woodworking ” ‘cuz you just pressed a button”.
CNC machining is merely one portion of the process that makes the final product.

Hopefully, our discussions will help enlighten ourselves somewhat on both sides of the issue.

-- "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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MrUnix

7706 posts in 2837 days


#57 posted 07-20-2017 04:46 PM

you have indicated that there is some deception involved when using a CNC to do tasks traditionally done by hand. In my experience, that doesn’t happen much, if at all.

But… in a previous post, you said:

The groove was hand distressed to appear hand carved.

Curious position.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Robert

3635 posts in 2119 days


#58 posted 07-20-2017 04:56 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) ;-)

- DS

I was referring to carvings. Everything else you referred to is fine. If I had a production shop I’d be doing machine DT’s too.

DrDirt makes my point. You don’t sell it as a handcarved box. And if someone asks, you better tell them a machine did or you definitely ARE taking credit for a skill you did not use.

As I said in my previous post, CNC is ww’ing but it is not craftsmanship. Using a machine is fine if you are actually operating it. There is the potential for human error. Not so with CNC.

Its a personal thing. If I were building a bed with CNC carved bedboard, I would let the client know that in the description. I would be embarrassed if the client said, “Wow, you carved that?” when I didn’t.

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

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EricLew

251 posts in 2005 days


#59 posted 07-20-2017 05:23 PM

DS

In my previous posts, I have never used any form of the word “deception”. Nor have I used the word “ashamed”. That was a word you theorized I would say. All I have said is, I would explain how it was made so there was no assumption I hand carved it.

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?

- DS

What I did say, and seems to be true is

“people that like and use CNCs are upset, or annoyed, by people that don’t like them.”

This is an endless debate, and seems to be a very Hot Button topic. Having already said all I have to say on this matter, I am done.

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

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DS

3377 posts in 3059 days


#60 posted 07-20-2017 05:36 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”

- EricLew

EricLew; here is where I heard you say “ashamed” (highlighted in bold above by me)

DISCLAIMER: An automated computer controlled spell checker was used to correct many of my numerous hand-made spelling errors in this post. (I will never be able to be proud of that – ashamed even.)
;-)
———————————————————————————————————————————————


you have indicated that there is some deception involved when using a CNC to do tasks traditionally done by hand. In my experience, that doesn’t happen much, if at all.

But… in a previous post, you said:

The groove was hand distressed to appear hand carved.

Curious position.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Yes, even the reproduction furniture pieces with hand cut dovetails will use the CNC to mill most of the case goods that wouldn’t make a visual difference to the piece.

WE make no secret of it. We are not deceiving our clients.
They still want it to LOOK hand carved even if it isn’t.

Now, what they tell their friends about the product I have no way of knowing.

EDIT: Much of our work ACTUALLY IS hand carved BTW.

-- "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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Mainiac Matt

9423 posts in 2967 days


#61 posted 07-20-2017 06:30 PM

Just as an aside note…. regarding the chip carved box that was shown earlier… I suspect that it would take longer to make one using a CNC than to carve it by hand.

First you have to model it… which takes quite a bit of time…. then you have to figure out what tools can produce the cuts and how… some may not be able to be accomplished using a rotating tool (i.e. unsymmetrical profile cuts). Then you have to generate your tool paths in the CAM software, and there are a lot of tool paths in that carving. Then you have to decide how to sequence the tool paths so that the walls are not made too thin to early in the process, where the cutting forces might damage them on subsequent passes on adjacent cuts.

The program for that carved box may well have up to 50,000 lines of G-code.

Then there are work-holding and fixturing concerns… It may well take a week of 8 hour shifts to make that little box on a CNC.

While I suspect an experienced chip carver (like Fancy Chip, here on Lumber Jocks) may be able to do it in less time than that.

Now if you wanted to make a hundred of them…. that’s where the CNC pays off…. production quantities and/or standardized product lines with limited variables (kitchen cabs, etc…). These are where a CNC shines.

Custom artistic work like the bear carving shown early in the thread likely have hundreds of hours into them.

We live in a time of rapid technology development and society struggles to keep up. Few who didn’t tinker with computers in high school make the transition… and that makes people feel threatened, even scared, and that’s where all the intense emotion comes from.

My Dad was in the printing business and made the transition from light table layout to desktop publishing. He was was eager to learn new technology because he saw how much it could do for him. He had a computer in his home office before there was such a thing as DOS and was a life long learner. Yet as an award winning photographer, when he made the switch to digital photography he had to endure the scorn of all the purist who thought that digital was some type of blasphemy.

Less kind individuals would say things like “keep up or shut up” ... but I suspect that is because they too feel criticized and disparaged by the Luddites of the this modern age.

A little sympathy, empathy, kindness, mutual respect and common courtesy can go a long ways towards making this world a better place for everyone. Criticism and ill-informed judgments… now so much so.

Alvin Toffler tuned into this at the onset of the information and automation age, in his book Future Shock (1970), and management types sold a lot of books writing about how to deal with rapid change in books like Who Moved My Cheese (late 90s). These were both pretty good books.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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DS

3377 posts in 3059 days


#62 posted 07-20-2017 06:45 PM

Matt, you are correct about the modelling process taking lots of time.

FYI, Vcarve Pro by Aspire has a canned cycle for the basic chip carve triangle. It uses a standard v-groove cutter (you select the angle in degrees) and then it figures the tool path from your CAD triangle. The tool is ramped from the corners down to the center of the triangle. It handles curvy “triangles” and odd shapes as well.

The REAL trick to that particular box is wrapping that cycle around a radius top. Though there are some advanced functions that make this possible, I don’t really know what all is involved. (I don’t actively use the software. Using the demo version, I walked through some of the online tutorials.)

-- "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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Andybb

2506 posts in 1242 days


#63 posted 07-20-2017 07:12 PM

Yes. If we don’t cut down the tree with an axe and use only hand tools to build something that means that none of us are woodworkers. That means that buying a live edge slab to build a table is not woodworking if it was cut and flattened by a saw and plane controlled by a computer. I would imagine that 99% of everything at the lumber mill is cut by computer controlled machines.

Seems to me to just be the evolution of a tool. I will never be able to hand cut dovetails like Paul Sellers nor do I plan on investing the time to learn. But after I use all of the other tools at my disposal to build something from scratch I don’t think it takes away from the effort if I use a dovetail jig and router to make the drawers.

Well, that wouldn t happen because I don t have a CNC, and don t plan on having one. But if I did and gave it to someone, when they raved about how incredible it is, I would tell them it was made on a CNC and explain what that is. I would never let them think I made it by hand.

- EricLew


Understood, but where do you draw the line? “I didn’t round over that edge, I used a hand held CNC with an 1/8th inch roundover bit”

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Desert_Woodworker

1985 posts in 1853 days


#64 posted 07-20-2017 07:15 PM

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.

- DS

Here are some of my mishaps with the CNC and occurred, in the CAD and CAM process. I am thankful for no injuries. Blame in these cases, fall on my incorrect design input and machine tooling setup. When I tell it to go and do something it does. This ain’t a Saw Stop.
MM nice post above.

-- Desert_Woodworker

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AlaskaGuy

5542 posts in 2948 days


#65 posted 07-20-2017 07:28 PM

I had to go make another box of pop corn.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Mainiac Matt

9423 posts in 2967 days


#66 posted 07-20-2017 07:30 PM

DS…

I’d love to get Aspire, but the 2D seat of Enroute we use at works meets 99% of our needs and I can’t justify the expense.

With the chip carving, i was thinking that the profile of the hand cuts may not be perpendicular to the plane of the surface or may not be symmetrical, and that one might have to make passes with different bits. Cutting with any rotating tool limits one in very fundamental ways.

DW…
I have broken carbide cutters, sending them shooting across the shop on more than one occasion. Fortunately, I’ve never hit anyone and we now have our gantry router in a more remote area.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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DS

3377 posts in 3059 days


#67 posted 07-20-2017 07:40 PM

Matt, sounds like your reasons for not having Aspire align with mine.

The tool used for “chip carving” is not a straight cutter. it is a v-groove cutter, 30, 45 or 60 degrees most commonly.

By going deeper into the material a wider cut is made. A triangle “Chip Carved” cut consists of three passes with the v-groove tool starting at one corner at the top of the board and ramping or diving down to the mathematical center of the triangle. The cut is repeated from each corner of the triangle making nice pointy corners all around.

-- "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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Underdog

1454 posts in 2674 days


#68 posted 07-20-2017 09:16 PM



Just as an aside note…. regarding the chip carved box that was shown earlier… I suspect that it would take longer to make one using a CNC than to carve it by hand.

- Mainiac Matt


Nope. At least not the chip carved part. You use a V-bit and engraving tool pathing. (That’s what it’s called in ArtCAM, Aspire and others may use a different term.) I’d estimate off the top of my head that the top of the box would only take a few minutes….. say about 20?

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

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ChuckV

3268 posts in 4166 days


#69 posted 07-20-2017 09:31 PM

Yes, CNC is woodworking, as long as the program runs on a wooden computer. Below is the original TinkerToy computer built in 1978. It is now at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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DS

3377 posts in 3059 days


#70 posted 07-20-2017 09:43 PM

Hmmm… a wooden CNC controller (computer).

Makes me wonder if the early water wheel/belt driven power tools had come up with some version of automated control, would we even be having this conversation?

Now someone just HAS to do it!

Maybe some version of the punch card rolls, like the old player pianos used – coupled with a water wheel/belt driven router, X, Y, Z, etc.

Fascinating indeed! Kind of a steam-punk CNC machine.

-- "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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Desert_Woodworker

1985 posts in 1853 days


#71 posted 07-20-2017 10:17 PM

3d printing for wood has arrived-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4ZUJ1d-Jks&ab_channel=BarnaculesNerdgasm

Alaska do you make your popcorn on something like this-

or do you use a newer CNC version with GMO free corn?

-- Desert_Woodworker

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AlaskaGuy

5542 posts in 2948 days


#72 posted 07-20-2017 10:42 PM


3d printing for wood has arrived-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4ZUJ1d-Jks&ab_channel=BarnaculesNerdgasm

Alaska do you make your popcorn on something like this-

or do you use a newer CNC version with GMO free corn?

- Desert_Woodworker


I use a hot air popper. I get all the hot air I want for free off of LJ :)

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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ChuckV

3268 posts in 4166 days


#73 posted 07-20-2017 10:43 PM



Hmmm… a wooden CNC controller (computer).

Makes me wonder if the early water wheel/belt driven power tools had come up with some version of automated control, would we even be having this conversation?

Now someone just HAS to do it!

Maybe some version of the punch card rolls, like the old player pianos used – coupled with a water wheel/belt driven router, X, Y, Z, etc.

Fascinating indeed! Kind of a steam-punk CNC machine.

- DS

The use of punched cards with looms is fascinating. Check out the many sites describing Jacquard’s Loom. These used punched cards in the very early years of the 1800’s!

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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Desert_Woodworker

1985 posts in 1853 days


#74 posted 07-20-2017 10:58 PM

Under dog- here is an art deco frame 24×12” picture frame 35 minutes machine time…..

-- Desert_Woodworker

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DS

3377 posts in 3059 days


#75 posted 07-20-2017 11:27 PM

If I made an all wooden machine controlled by punch cards and powered by a water wheel, (no electricity), but, then I use a modern computer to punch all the cards for me (‘cuz apparently I despise doing things myself by hand), is it still woodworking? LOL!

Mmmm… the popcorn is starting to smell gooood!

-- "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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ChuckV

3268 posts in 4166 days


#76 posted 07-20-2017 11:43 PM



If I made an all wooden machine controlled by punch cards and powered by a water wheel, (no electricity), but, then I use a modern computer to punch all the cards for me ( cuz apparently I despise doing things myself by hand), is it still woodworking? LOL!

Mmmm… the popcorn is starting to smell gooood!

- DS

I have the answer to your question, but some of my TinkerToy pieces are getting loose on my laptop. I need to get off the internet and work on this – it could take months.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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oldnovice

7522 posts in 4006 days


#77 posted 07-20-2017 11:47 PM

This forum has taken a turn and caught me reminiscing deep into my history!

The first program I ever wrote was in Fortran (10 years before the first PLC by MODICON) and the last one I was an IEC 61131-3 compliant Allen Bradley PLC, Programmable Logic Controller, controlling a proprietary DNA printing and synthesizing system in real time.

Things really have chaged in programming and woodworking!

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

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MT_Stringer

3183 posts in 3870 days


#78 posted 07-21-2017 01:02 AM

Punch card programming! Now that is something I haven’t done in a loong time (1968)!

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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Desert_Woodworker

1985 posts in 1853 days


#79 posted 07-21-2017 02:47 AM


If I made an all wooden machine controlled by punch cards and powered by a water wheel, (no electricity), but, then I use a modern computer to punch all the cards for me ( cuz apparently I despise doing things myself by hand), is it still woodworking? LOL!

Mmmm… the popcorn is starting to smell gooood!

- DS

DS Yes to it being woodworking, BUT could your product be comparable to the products that you are producing today, with technology? If so, please post. Also, what do you use for popping your popcorn?
Alaska, you are correct! I did a test run with the LJ comments- Bingo.

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Joe Lyddon

10899 posts in 4691 days


#80 posted 07-21-2017 04:27 AM

The 1st program I wrote was in SPS for the IBM 1401, in about 1962, to print Name & address labels.
SPS – Symbolic Programming System.

I was “HOOKED”... from there, learned Autocoder, RPG, COBOL, FORTRAN, Assembly Language, Basic…
Taught FORTRAN & COBOL… all IBM and some PC.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: https://www.ncwoodworker.net/forums/index.php?media/albums/users/joe-lyddon.1389/

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Bill Berklich

1013 posts in 1027 days


#81 posted 07-21-2017 11:51 AM

Lol – if I download a plan and make something it’s not woodworking either. BUT if I design it myself it IS woodworking? Is it metalworking if I use my anvil and a gas forge? Or does it have to be coal? Or if I use a power hammer instead of banging it with muscle and blood? What happens when we get into additive manufacturing (3D printing) with wood particles in a glue matrix? (we could do this now if there was an interest in developing the techniques – great way to reuse all that sawdust). We don’t nap flint to make arrows to hunt anymore either but it’s still hunting. So “Yes Virginia” it really is woodworking and it will still be woodworking even when we learn to disassemble and reassemble wood molecule by molecule.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

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Bill Berklich

1013 posts in 1027 days


#82 posted 07-21-2017 11:56 AM


If I made an all wooden machine controlled by punch cards and powered by a water wheel, (no electricity), but, then I use a modern computer to punch all the cards for me ( cuz apparently I despise doing things myself by hand), is it still woodworking? LOL!

Mmmm… the popcorn is starting to smell gooood!

- DS

DS Yes to it being woodworking, BUT could your product be comparable to the products that you are producing today, with technology? If so, please post. Also, what do you use for popping your popcorn?
Alaska, you are correct! I did a test run with the LJ comments- Bingo.

- Desert_Woodworker

Hey – I haven’t seen one of those in a 100 years! Are you sure that’s actually corn popping?

-- Bill - Rochester MI

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ChuckV

3268 posts in 4166 days


#83 posted 07-21-2017 12:17 PM


Hey – I haven t seen one of those in a 100 years! Are you sure that s actually corn popping?

- Bluenote38

We have one just like that. It sounds like a 747 lifting off, but it still pops the corn.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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jeffswildwood

4284 posts in 2616 days


#84 posted 07-21-2017 12:49 PM

Taking a slab of wood and letting the CNC draw on it….no. Building a beautiful box or other aspect of traditional wood working and using CNC to enhance it…..yes!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

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WAPY

56 posts in 965 days


#85 posted 07-21-2017 01:08 PM

wow, what a mess!
this is, in my opinion, a nonsense issue. This question involves so many aspects that it’s almost impossible pretend a solution, or a sort of ultimate answer.
The CNC technology developed to eliminate “human imperfections”; no matter where we apply it, to metal or to wood working. It exployted the computer science where programmers instruct a machine to do something. BUT mankind took advantage of it, affording levels of perfection never achieved before. But that machine can only repeat the same programs and nothing esle !
On the other side there is the strife: do we work wood for earning money or for passion only?
I believe this is the main watershed to this issue; those who want make money certainly will approve time and effort savings granted by CNC. The amateurs will not, probably. I’m also sure that Antonio Torres, the best guitar maker ever existed, wouldn’t accept a machine making guitars on his behalf, and even actually, industrial made guitars cannot reach the perfection and sound warmth of hand made guitars.
If we ask this same question to a famous professional wood carver, I bet he/she will answer that there is no way to loose creativity.
If a tool is driven and controlled by our hand, even a power tool, well I think we are on the woodworking side; if the tool works alone, even though we programmed it to do a very intricate pattern, I believe it’s not .
So, are we wood workers or programmers?
Let’s see what the LJ’s community says….

-- the good woodworker feels what the tree wanted to become

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JAAune

1873 posts in 2955 days


#86 posted 07-21-2017 02:14 PM

The OP question is not all that important. Amateurs can just do whatever makes the hobby enjoyable. Pros do whatever allows them to provide what the customer wants for the best price.

In reality, most customers don’t care how things are made. In fact, a search on google regarding the meaning of “handmade” indicates that a lot of people consider the word synonymous with “junk”. This idea comes from the fact that a lot of handmade items often are inferior to similarly-priced commercially-produced counterparts.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View DS's profile

DS

3377 posts in 3059 days


#87 posted 07-21-2017 05:48 PM

What I think is cool is this new technology has us thinking in a whole new way.

There are artists creating in this medium that would be doing something different otherwise.

A quick image search found a couple good examples.

Could these have been made without any power tools at all? Sure. But they drew at least some of their inspiration because of the strengths of the new tool they used. (CNC)

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

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

609 posts in 2108 days


#88 posted 07-21-2017 07:59 PM



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

I think one of the key takeaways here is that, most of the time, when someone that CRAFTS or MAKES an item for a friend or loved one, the item isn’t the gift. The item is a manifestation or representation of the feelings that are being conveyed.

When someone BUYS an item, like a CNC-carved box, from a shop or a vendor, they define what that item means TO THEM. They don’t care what the box meant to the person who created it, and thus they don’t care how it was made.

The people that are staunchly opposed to CNC equipment have likely never sold to the general public. To them, giving someone a gift that was made mostly by a machine feels like cheating.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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Robert

3635 posts in 2119 days


#89 posted 07-22-2017 03:33 PM


I use a hot air popper. I get all the hot air I want for free off of LJ :)

- AlaskaGuy

At least you get it. You didn’t say “I made popcorn”.

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

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1588 posts in 3706 days


#90 posted 07-25-2017 06:51 PM



The OP question is not all that important. Amateurs can just do whatever makes the hobby enjoyable. Pros do whatever allows them to provide what the customer wants for the best price.

In reality, most customers don t care how things are made. In fact, a search on google regarding the meaning of “handmade” indicates that a lot of people consider the word synonymous with “junk”. This idea comes from the fact that a lot of handmade items often are inferior to similarly-priced commercially-produced counterparts.

- JAAune

Wish we had a like button :) Cheers.


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

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1588 posts in 3706 days


#91 posted 07-25-2017 06:53 PM

I’m sorry if you don’t use a Diston #8 to cut your lumber, you are not doing by hand and not woodworking! So there

http://www.disstonianinstitute.com/8page.html

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

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5830 posts in 3882 days


#92 posted 07-25-2017 07:36 PM

Is opening a can of beans “cooking”?

View DS's profile

DS

3377 posts in 3059 days


#93 posted 07-25-2017 08:40 PM

I open cans of beans all the time and I put them in a pot with onions, green peppers, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, ground pork, diced bacon and diced tomatoes (also from a can).

Admittedly, I DO call it “cooking”, er, Mexican Chili.

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

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1467 posts in 1455 days


#94 posted 07-26-2017 01:22 AM

Let me give you a real example. I make and sell this and many other trivet designs in solid walnut, cherry and maple.

It takes about 10 minutes to do the carving. I would guess it would take an artisan at least 10 times that long to hand carve one. Even though it takes a lot longer to mill the blank and finish the piece, I can still sell these to customers who are as happy with the price as I am. That would be impossible to do with hand carving (assuming I had the skill to do it) and make enough money to justify my efforts. My customers know exactly how they are made and they don’t care. They would laugh at anyone who claimed I am not a woodworker. They are the people whose opinion matters to me.


Just as an aside note…. regarding the chip carved box that was shown earlier… I suspect that it would take longer to make one using a CNC than to carve it by hand.

- Mainiac Matt


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ArtMann

1467 posts in 1455 days


#95 posted 07-26-2017 01:30 AM

Here is another example. It was my first attempt at doing a V-carve inlay. Does anyone really believe this isn’t real woodworking because the inlay was carved on a CNC router? The owner of this box certainly doesn’t.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1985 posts in 1853 days


#96 posted 07-26-2017 03:59 AM

Art, I love your enthusiasm for the CNC. This forum has gone from “corn to beans”. Your efforts, I appreciate it.

-- Desert_Woodworker

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32086 posts in 3505 days


#97 posted 07-26-2017 01:34 PM

I don’t have a CNC machine but I wish I did. However, what I would use it for would be mostly for making signs. I believe this could allow me to make some extra money for my shop while doing other woodworking that I would enjoy more and would be more rewarding. While making a nice quality piece what is wrong with a CNC machine running in the background to help pay the light bill and all of the other overhead. A CNC machine can run by itself with just a small amount of attention if it is set up properly.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View DS's profile

DS

3377 posts in 3059 days


#98 posted 07-26-2017 02:56 PM

I suppose, I will concede this point:


Is opening a can of beans “cooking”?

- MrRon

It is still probably considered cooking, but shows a complete lack of creativity and imagination.

The same way that buying a canned program of an intricate scene, then running that code on a CNC using a basic wood blank, with nary a thought of any other woodworking process, shows a complete lack of creativity and imagination, but, is still technically woodworking.

I would have much more respect for someone as a woodworker who created the tool paths for the scene himself, (requires a creative skill set), who then took the resulting carved panel and made something else with it such as a serving tray, or night stand, etc.

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

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5542 posts in 2948 days


#99 posted 07-26-2017 05:36 PM

This is like the abortion issue, each side presidents their side of the debate and rarely does anyone change their mind. An life goes on as it always has.

I don’t have a CNC but I’d like to. If someone told me that wasn’t woodworking I’d just ignore them. I’m doing what make me happy.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3183 posts in 3870 days


#100 posted 07-26-2017 05:56 PM

There is so much that can be done with a CNC that can make a guy really happy. Signs and other engravings are just part of it. I am not learned enough to tackle the 3D stuff yet, but I am having fun designing signs. Some of this stuff I couldn’t have done freehand or with a router table. And the folks were very appreciative of the gifts.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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