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Forum topic by JasonLoasching posted 04-12-2021 07:27 PM 463 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JasonLoasching

16 posts in 44 days


04-12-2021 07:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am Jason Loasching. I am working on an ethnography for my English 1302 class at Texas A&M Commerce. I have 2 questions that I would really appreciate if you answer. These questions aren’t meant to be specific and are part of the data collecting and research process.

What are the main purposes of CNC woodworking?
Why do some consider CNC not woodworking?


16 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3838 posts in 2879 days


#1 posted 04-12-2021 07:49 PM

Haven’t we answered this question already.
It’s like this how’s milking a cow by hand different then a machine milking the same cow. Don’t they both get milk. ?

-- Aj

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

3377 posts in 3031 days


#2 posted 04-12-2021 07:53 PM

Hello Jason,

I don’t have a CNC machine. I am currently not planning on buying one. I have been a woodworker since the 6th grade I am 62 and learning all the time. I use a mix of hand tools and machines.

I will add my thoughts to your research:

CNC offers precise work, and perhaps better production. It would take years of work to get to a similar level of precision.

Some do consider a CNC not woodworking, my opinion – it is more about programming than hand working with wood.

Good luck with your project

-- Petey

View SMP's profile

SMP

3975 posts in 987 days


#3 posted 04-12-2021 08:00 PM

Main reasons are for repeatabilty for a production shop, and/or for precise details otherwise not humanly possible.

Well, i suppose it is woodworking, but the robot is doing the woodworking.

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Loren

11192 posts in 4729 days


#4 posted 04-12-2021 08:01 PM

In terms of volume I imagine most CNC work is cutting out and drilling melamine for cabinets and stuff like IKEA furniture. In some high volume factories they might use specialized CNC machines just for drilling and do the cutting with an automated panel saw. Thermofoil “raised panel” doors can be done on a standard type CNC but I imagine there are machines where you just feed the door blank in and it routes the panel a set amount from the edge. In all such applications it just matters where the time choke points are in the manufacturing flow in selecting the right machinery to make the product.

Carving and other 3D work is likely a drop in the bucket compared to cabinet applications.

View DevinT's profile (online now)

DevinT

756 posts in 48 days


#5 posted 04-12-2021 08:21 PM

The argument as to whether all tasks that work wood are considered woodworking is perhaps predicated on the notion that when the process of working that wood spends more time at a keyboard/mouse than with a tool in-hand, then it is not woodworking.

That is a false predicate.

Methods and procedures change with the introduction of techniques and technology.

In every generation as technology to do something changes the fundamental nature, there is always a group of classically trained individuals that gained their knowledge before the behest of said technology, decrying how the people that do it the “new-fangled” way are less of a craftsman in whatever genre of craft you want to consider.

Let’s take the tale of the powered rotary tool introduced in early 1900’s, you may know simply as a “router.”

Before powered routers were invented, at most maybe you could turn out 20 drawers a day using hand-tools to cut dovetails to join things up. You used a chisel and you put 2-3 dovetails on each board, max. Then in 1870, Knapp invented the half-blind cove-and-pin joint produced by a specialized belt-driven machine. The “Knapp” joint allowed you to produce 200 drawers in a day, 10x what a hand-tool worker could produce. Then came the powered router around 1900 and what did people do? They immediately made a dovetail router bit and went back to making dovetails. Now they could make about 2k drawers a day and you could put more dovetails on each board with a high degree of accuracy.

When this new technology came along, you would have absolutely heard hand tool workers say …

“Oh, Mary uses a router to make dovetails. That’s not woodworking. Put a chisel in her hand, now that would be wood-working.”

The premise behind this idea is actually very simple. One supposes that when a task or procedure changes in a way to incorporate something that is foreign, the mind naturally wants to separate the two.

In this particular example from the 1800’s-1900’s, we’re talking about drawers and dovetails and how electricity was never involved in the process of cutting dovetails (or Knapp joints) until the powered router was introduced. This fundamentally alters the process of joinery to now include electricity—something that used to be wholly separate from woodwork joinery until then.

There you have it. That’s how one generation can sit there and claim another generation is not really performing the task at-hand, but a different task.

It is in this vein that one may suppose that CNC work is not woodwork. That’s because traditionally one did not need (and arguably still does not need) computer software to drive a robot to do woodwork. One might argue that it is more aligned with software programming than it is with woodwork.

However, as a software programmer myself, I would say that there is a difference between the programmer that uses their knowledge to program websites and one that uses it to program woodworking robots. The latter is a form of woodwork because of the ends, not because of the procedure and tools.

A tool, yes even a hand tool, can completely disappear from use and the industry it served can still survive. Joinery still exists, but only artisan craftsman, period woodworkers, and academic hobbyists are going around cutting dovetails by hand. Joinery didn’t disappear or become irrelevant because powered routers took over the task. Also, nobody today would dare say that someone who cuts a few dovetails into 2 boards with a router and shoves them together is NOT performing woodworking.

With that, I will answer your first point. The main purposes of CNC woodworking is to bring a set of tools to the craft that excel in a certain way. That’s the purpose of every tool in woodworking, be it a chisel, hammer, gantry based CNC, or any other tool. I can do things with CNC that cannot be done any other way—but those projects incorporating those features still have to be finished by hand.

Some of the best features the CNC tools bring to woodwork is repeat-ability, accuracy, and time savings. It doesn’t always play out in the full trio (sometimes it takes longer to produce the cut paths than to just bang something out by hand with a hand tool), but you can rest assured that anytime CNC is used, one or more of those features is being targeted.

It’s still woodwork. Even if someone writing G code for the CNC machine never steps foot in the factory, he needs to know feeds and speeds for species, and that is woodworking. Anybody who says it isn’t is falling into the trap that technology (be it old or new) baits for you, because you used to consider two things separate which have become one. In 1000 years people will be debating whether using the replicator to replicate your wooden project is woodwork, instead of doing what everybody else does which is extruding physical wood into a shape instead of building it from atoms.

-- Devin, SF, CA

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poopiekat

4930 posts in 4816 days


#6 posted 04-12-2021 09:12 PM

These questions remind me of the “woodworker” who was finally exposed as a marketer for Baileigh tools about 5 or more years ago.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View DevinT's profile (online now)

DevinT

756 posts in 48 days


#7 posted 04-12-2021 09:55 PM

I haven’t heard that one. Do tell. I love a good tale of deception and despair.

-- Devin, SF, CA

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2925 posts in 1244 days


#8 posted 04-13-2021 01:42 AM

Jason – do you have anything of your own to contribute to the forum
in return for our helping you ??

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View LeeRoyMan's profile (online now)

LeeRoyMan

1712 posts in 808 days


#9 posted 04-13-2021 02:24 AM


Jason – do you have anything of your own to contribute to the forum

in return for our helping you ??

- John Smith

Is that a requirement?

There is a saying, by LJ (Todd Clippinger) “Share the Love~Share the Knowledge.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4930 posts in 4816 days


#10 posted 04-13-2021 04:24 AM



I haven t heard that one. Do tell. I love a good tale of deception and despair.

- DevinT

https://www.lumberjocks.com/Baileigh

If you browse his posts, he mostly wanted to ‘gin up’ the troops about machining methods, then promote the complete line of Baileigh tools that he represented. He even gifted a brand new cabinet saw to an LJ who appeared from out of nowhere, and promptly disappeared when the fanfare was over.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3838 posts in 2879 days


#11 posted 04-13-2021 04:29 AM

I think he’s a spy from China trying to squeeze out our last secrets. I’m rolling up the welcome mat and unleashing the hounds.

-- Aj

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2925 posts in 1244 days


#12 posted 04-13-2021 12:16 PM

LeeRoy – no, it is not a “requirement” to give back to anyone or anything when you are mining for information.
Mr. Jason and I have an understanding from other forums of what is a “professional courtesy” after so many members give of themselves to help with his project but he does not come back to acknowledge your help.
and as you quoted in your post: “Share the Love~Share the Knowledge”.
“sharing” is a two way street. we would like to see Jason become an active, contributing member and engage in any of the projects or conversations he finds interesting. and, share some of his woodworking projects with us.

John

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2925 posts in 1244 days


#13 posted 04-13-2021 06:44 PM

to be fair: (and this is only just my two bits).

What are the main purposes of CNC woodworking?
advanced design and computer skills required.
to have very precise and clean cuts. easy to produce multiple copies of the same item.

Why do some consider CNC not woodworking?
because they don’t possess the design or computer skills to even try it.
it is “still” woodworking – just at another skill level. the “Old School” guys are stuck in their ways.
my “issue” with CNC operators is that once the project is cut out with the CNC, they don’t know
how to finish it. . . . they just spray on a clear and call it done.

Disclaimer: I do not have a CNC ~ I have never used a CNC ~ I have never been in the same room with a CNC.

I prefer to sit at my work station or under a shade tree and do my work by hand.

can your CNC do this kind of work ??

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View JasonLoasching's profile

JasonLoasching

16 posts in 44 days


#14 posted 04-13-2021 06:54 PM

You got a point. Any CNC I have seen cant add texture like that. CNC does create some rough edges and I think it takes both skills to perfect ones woodworking abilities.

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JasonLoasching

16 posts in 44 days


#15 posted 04-13-2021 06:56 PM

Id like to thank everyone of you who shared and gave me feedback though this process. You have been so helpful and I cant thank you enough. I’m going to try to contribute more than I take from now on and make it worth your while. But thank you again for taking the time.

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