by Jared Patchin
email@example.com CNC TECHNOLOGY
Editor’s note: Most shops stereotypically use CNC routers to cut parts out of sheet goods such as plywood and MDF. But Jared Patchin regularly takes his CNC router in other directions. Here are three projects that he found to use CNC technology beyond plywood cabinet parts. White oak bench We had a client on Long Island who commissioned us to build a small bench out of white oak,
with metal bars joining the legs, and recessed
pockets on the faces of the legs and top to accept
¼-inch-thick antique mirrors.
The problem was trying to manually rout out
a ¼-inch-deep recess from the face of the legs
and top. That would be incredibly difficult. You
could easily build a template and use a flush trim
bit to cut the outside of the recess, and then use
a straight-cutting bit to hog away the interior. But
the closer you come to the middle, the more unstable the router would become, since it would be
slowly cannibalizing its reference surface.
This is another perfect application for the CNC
We first milled, glued, and widebelt-sanded
the top and two legs. The parts were flat enough
that the suction of the spoilboard on the CNC
was able to hold them down. We programmed the
machine not only to cut out the ¼-inch recess for
the mirrors, but also to cut each piece to its final
size, which would ensure the pocket was perfectly
parallel to the perimeter.
The white oak was 1-1/4 inches thick, so the perimeter cut was machined in five separate passes,
with the bit dropping down an additional ¼-inch
Shop owner shares three examples of projects that expand the
boundaries of the classic cabinet shop CNC router.
Taking your CNC router beyond flat
panel processing of plywood
This small bench project proved to be a perfect
opportunity to extend the use of the shop CNC router.
Spoilboard suction was sufficient to hold down the
mostly flat parts for machining on the CNC.