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Furniture maker, Stephen Mosher uses a ShopBot CNC to cut the grills in his Asian-influenced sideboard.
With a pair of cutting heads, Stephen's machine requires fewer bit changes than a single head machine.
Many folks equate CNC machines with mass produced cabinets and knock-down furniture, but professional furniture maker, Stephen Mosher of Hampton, Nova Scotia, Canada aims to change that. His ShopBot CNC allowed him to make pieces that would be too labor-intensive to make profitably any other way.
Halon73 writes: Every tool in the history of woodworking has always been dependant on the craftsman who wields it. There is no less creativity in using a CNC than using a block plane and knife simply because the design is dependent on the woodworker. Time in our modern society is the most precious thing we possibly have and for me its more valuable than money.
I am a CNC programer and machinist making hydraulic equipment and I can vouch for this personally. JeffB said "a project looses something when you simply program a machine to do some of the creative work." That is just not possible.
Robin9 made me cringe by saying "I can honestly say that there is little woodworking knowledge required when compared to a true craftsman, and next to no actual woodworking skill needed" and that "Soon fine furniture will be done completely by computer jockeys using CNC. I don't want to sound rude (failed) but the idea of a CNC machine as a magic green "start" button that churns out poorly made Swedish furniture is a misconception. You will find out that the Guy that thinks cnc is Easy or the programer is a dork or what ever you want to call him. This guy may not even be able to add 2+2 alone do the math that is required to get where you want to get to . I would like to see more cnc in fine wood working and how the systems work and most of the vendors want to keep there dirty little secerts as to how thy work so good luck.I have put stepper moters on a mill drill and made items.
Jediwoodworker writes: The CNC is just another tool, just like the computer that controls it.
Jediwoodworker writes: My experiences with CNC's, at a couple different shops, has not been good.
Ted in North Bay writes: Fine cars, fine food, fine wines and fine pieces of artwork all retain value, they are in demand, and they were all made with the stroke of a skilled human's hand and mental exercise. FredsWorkshop writes: After some 50 years of woodworking as a hobby, I recently purchased a Shopbot Buddy32 (CNC) for my workshop.
Patrickk3lly writes: The Woodworking profession is one that has evolved alot over the years, and with that evolution comes a change in technology and process. SteveMNS writes: Since the beginning of woodworking it has been a process of shaping wood to suit our needs. CNCs don't operate any differently than any other tool that uses a metal edge to shape or cut wood.
That being said, I would *never* "make the jump" without seriously considering the cost, your temperament and computer savvy in the larger picture of your work. For the record, the people at ShopBot, without exception, provide THE FINEST technical support.

It is a thing of joy to be building something in the shop, having my wife working up a new job for the CNC in the studio, and have the CNC machine in the next room knocking out parts for speaker boxes. The circa 1850 reproduction Tansu chest is a loose intrepretation of a piece Collier saw in the book Traditional Japanese Furniture (Kodansha International, 1986).
The primary wood used is Sapele but the project began with the Big Leaf Maple used for the sliding doors.
This was a project idea borrowed from another fellow lumber jock who unfortunately I can no longer find on this site.
DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. When choosing iconic furniture to your home, it’s very important to find out which design of the iconic pieces exists and suits your style.
Whether it’s a classic Tulip Chair or Barcelona Chair you will choose, an iconic piece of furniture is the investment that will definitely keep your place stylish for decades to come.
The machine can do in a couple hours what would otherwise take days or weeks to do by hand. Have you ever considered buying a machine or contracting some of your furniture making process, like making jigs or prototypes, to a shop that has a CNC? At the shop where I work, there is a gentleman referred to as "the old man" who operates the manual machines. Maybe you just misspoke, but if you are able to program a computer to be creative that is a true milestone in artificial intelligence.
I firmly believe that cnc machines do not belong anywhere near hard wood of any kind." This reminds me of an old adage, "a poor craftsman blames his tools" with the exception that you are doing it for them. Not because of the machine itself, but because the programmers themselves were not woodworkers. I'm sure when power saws came out there were people who thought it wasn't "pure" woodworking.
Maybe it all had something to do with the guys running it but most hardwood that I saw cut on a CNC was basically firewood by the time that the machine was done with it with more tear out in a foot than a full 16 ft hickory board run through a planer with seriously neglected knives on it. From stone tools to today's tool steel and carbide edges the aim is to get what we need (or want) from what we have. If you'r not getting the cut you want, then your not using the tool properly, or you'r using the wrong tool. Made of black walnut, the dresser displays some natural-edged boards and iron drawer pulls. I started it one year ago and have worked off and on between other projects and can now finally call it done. The sides interlock with the legs so the entire unit can break down into its individual pieces for easy transport if necessary.
Something to remind me of how I wish to live my life in this hectic, crazy world we live in these days…. Most items of iconic furniture are brightly colored or shaped in different ways which make them be prominent.

This stylish and elegant chair fits perfectly in any contemporary space with its simple lines and timeless aesthetic. The Tulip Chair reflects the smooth, organic lines of futurism and mainly utilizes material like fiberglass and plastic. The argument that many of those in opposition to CNC machines hold is that it cannot be done, not that it requires no skill. It would have been helpful to show these people at your shop what they were doing wrong and teach them how to fix it; just because you can control the motion of a CNC machine does not mean you can cut and shape wood.
You also have the option of designing and building your own which may be your best solution as CNC woodworking machines can be costly. I will admit for processing panels out of plywood they are great just keep them away from the hardwood. I have to admire people who do hand rubber oil finishes all the time, this was my first try at this technique and it was a very long labor of love…. I just used a few screws for the inner rails that hold the slats up for extra strength, but really there wasn’t a need for many mechanical fasteners at all.
I am constantly leaning on his experience and trying to learn as much from him as I can before he retires (which he always swears is next week, every week). Furthermore it takes a great amount of knowledge and careful setup to get quality results from a CNC machine. You had the opportunity to make craftsman out of computer programers, take the opportunity the next time it comes up and help keep quality woodworking alive. If you are good at what you do, you should know that all of the tools you need have already been invented. The true woodworker is being ruled by office pukes right out of school, who really have no business in a shop.
Someday we will run out of all the lumber that we all love so much and will be forced to make our furniture out of a lesser variety and these inexperienced CNC operator that think they are Norm on speed are gonna make it happen so much sooner.Lumber is meant to be respected as the living thing that it once was. Whatever skill is needed to complete a project by hand must be translated into a set of precise instructions that a computer can follow. The Computer navigated control device, takes away the soul, and allows morons to control what you do. In the right circumstances, I can see how it could be very helpful, however, the reality is, a seasoned craftsman could probably have the piece done before computer dorks even finish the program. Maybe I should have started with something with less surface area for the first time, but it does look great in the sunlight and adds a lot of depth and warmth to the wood. If you are good, you can do it yourself; if you are great, you can teach someone else to do it.

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