New technology has come to the Robson Woodworkers with the purchase of a Computer Numeric Control Router. Although CNC machines have been around for quite some time in commercial manufacturing environments, only within the last few years has the the size and price of these machines come down to affordable level for hobby woodworkers.
Toward the end of last year the Woodworking Club formed a committee to investigate the feasibility of the club purchasing a CNC machine and to evaluate the various machines available and make a recommendation to membership. In January the committee made a presentation at the monthly meeting, and members voted to take the committee’s recommendation and purchase the Axiom Pro 4 CNC machine.
The machine was installed in mid-February, and as with any new piece of equipment there is a learning curve. While the operation of the CNC is relatively straightforward, the development of the program used to control the machine is a little more complex. As such the club contracted with an outside trainer who provided five hours of training for about 25 of the club’s members. Since then a number of people have been able to create some interesting projects.
The software – controlled cutter will produce any design or shape desired. This provides the woodworker with a level of precision and repeatability that might not be possible using other methods or machines. With the right program the possibilities are limitless.