While much of my previous shed activities have been on hold for quite some time, the amount of sawdust being generated in the shed has never been greater.

The woodworking that I am doing isn’t rocket science, or challenging, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying it even so.  Life is so busy at the moment, that if it wasn’t for what I am getting to do on the CNC, I wouldn’t be doing anything at all, sad as that sounds.

Not that I am saying that working on, or with a CNC is anything less than other methods, it is just different.  And when you are so critically time poor, it can be the only option.

I guess too that I got so much grief from readers when I did talk about CNC, that I just stopped talking. Writing is a habit.  Once that is gone, it is really hard to pick it up again. Especially when you are critically time poor.

In any case, here is a small selection of the sort of things I have been making.  Nothing sophisticated, a bit of fun and I do enjoy the designing.  And no, I can’t take any credit for the painting.



5 Responses

  1. gday Stu,
    remember it’s your blog to take where you want it, if that’s cnc then so be it
    keep it up do what you have to for family and yourself
    cheers dennis

  2. Hi Stuart,
    I guess it is the purists who make adverse comments about CNC machines not being true to woodworking. I can remember when I was an Apprentice Patternmaker back in the 60’s and 70’s, we were only allowed to use our hand tools for the first 12 months. I thought this was a safety issue, but it turned out that they wanted us to be familiar with our hand tools before we approached the machinery. That is 12 months I hold with a tremendous amount of pride and respect. I still try to use my hand tools as much as I can, but machinery sometimes comes into play if the job is required in a hurry. I love working with my tools and will never lose sight of them, but I would also love to include a CNC machine into my stable of machinery. I believe this is the new generation of woodworking, so, can it be called true woodworking. I believe so, and we need to embrace new technology as it becomes available.
    Keep up the great work mate and I look forward to hearing more about your CNC projects.

    Regards Dave

  3. If doing this stuff with a CNC helps fund your hobby, who cares what anybody thinks? You’re on a journey and we are just along for the ride.

  4. I’ve just a few weeks from buying my CNC. I’m making a few hundred cutting boards & such every year … I’m pretty sure I’m a woodworker, and pretty sure I still will be when I use the CNC as one of the tools in the shop. Will I be making sawdust? Yes. Will I be having fun? Yes. Keep after it, brother! Love seeing what you’re up to.

  5. Ok, sorry for the long comment but here’s my opinion.

    I like reading about the CNC stuff. I’ve owned a CNC for over 6 years. I use it mainly for signs and I must admit I don’t get a lot of other use out of it. So it’s good to see what others are doing with theirs as woodworkers and seeing what’s possible.

    I find them to be great for mass producing the same thing over and over (which I hardly ever do). Most of my work is custom made on-off items so for example a box I’m working on at the moment has a recess cut into the top to insert an engraved brass plaque, it needs to be a perfect fit so I just do it by hand with a nice sharp chisel. I find it faster than setting up the CNC — fussing around with the drawing on screen and then with bit diameters, running test cuts, adjusting the depth of cut without going too deep and making sure it’s level and the surface of the timber is level with the machine,– if it’s warped or has a slight twist it makes things even harder to work, working out how to clamp the piece and position the clamps so they don’t get hit by the router bit when returning home etc..etc….

    By the time I do all that to sneak up on a perfect fit I can have the recess cut perfectly with a chisel and some basic hand tool skills. I can listen to the radio while I work, make fine adjustments as I go and don’t have to worry about dust extraction, ear muffs, etc

    The engraved plaque I had done at an engravers for a price that’s better than me spending the afternoon doing it on my own CNC for just one plaque, engravers are set up to do that sort of thing a lot quicker. I do have a supermax router speed control and a lot of expensive bits I hardly use. I guess if I was a CNC hobbyist rather than trying to run a business I could use it more.

    I think the point I’m trying to make is that a CNC should compliment your woodworking and skills, not replace any of them, it’s just another tool in your arsenal, try to ignore people that say it’s not true woodworking etc, I continue to use hand tools more and more, not because I’m a purist but just because it’s usually a more pleasurable way to work and if you learn to do hand work quickly and with good results it’s so often faster than any other machine method, especially for one-off projects. It’s all about looking at the job at hand and the best way to get it done. Or for some it may be whatever you find more fun as a hobby.

    I don’t think it’s a bad thing that you started to write about CNC more, I enjoy it, just as I’ve enjoyed many other areas of woodworking you’ve covered over the years. That’s what I like about your blog, the variety and reviews of the latest tech.

    I also enjoy following Paul Sellers blog where I get a different sort of information depending on what I’m looking for at the time. Now if Paul all of a sudden started using a CNC machine and that’s all he wrote about then I’d probably be a bit disappointed as that is not what I use his blog for and I’d feel he is going against the direction his blog originally started and what his passion is. But after all it is your Blog, do whatever you like and don’t worry about the purists.

    Being a purist in woodworking will only limit you, perhaps some prefer not to grow as woodworkers and are happy with that, it’s good to be a bit of everything I think. I can certainly see advantages to both ways of thinking but I don’t believe people have to pick a side and stick to it. That’s just limiting the growth of woodworking and creating snobby attitudes towards others work. People love to think that their way is the best way, or the most traditional, it’s just bad when these people are talking and making judgements without experiencing both sides in their own work methods first before passing judgements.

    Now I’m off to clean all my hand planes and blow the dust out with compressed air. Oops, I should be using a traditional horsehair brush! Sorry!

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