What’s Up With All The CNC?

Some of you potentially are not going to like this, but CNC is evidently becoming a bigger and BIGGER part of regular woodworking. Why do I say this? I wrote last week about 360 WoodWorking going to Atlanta for the 2016 IWF show. Since the day we signed up for press credentials, we have been receiving email announcements from companies that have booths at the show. Many of those emails are focused on CNC machines and accessories. Some of them are already on our radar – Laguna, Axiom, Felder (Format-4) – we’re coming to you. Beware.


This week on Monday (August 15th), a tweet came out from another company joining the fracas with CNC machines. It’s a company with which most woodworkers are familiar, Powermatic. I followed the tweet back to a July 12th tweet that announced “something new was coming.” The latest tweet sent us to a landing page where we can sign up for notification when the company’s new product launches. My name’s on the list.

— Glen D. Huey


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11 thoughts on “What’s Up With All The CNC?

  1. THE IKEA craftsman use cnc.

    1. Bob,

      I think your use of the word, “craftsman” is (more than) a little stretched in the context in which you used it.

      1. You are correct……Correct….. can not/ SHOULD NOT attach the word craftsman to the use of cnc in the woodshop,,,,more like industrial woodworker or machinest woodworker…Of course there is a place for the cnc .that is in the industrial production shop.furniture manufacturing …..Tell City,ikea,etc.,etc.etc.

        1. Bob,

          I think you’ve broadened the context a bit. I’m not completely sure how I feel about what you’re saying. I’ve seen “craftsmen” in some pretty strange places using some fairly unorthodox tools and/or methods. I’m not ready yet to completely rule out the possibility of CNC craftsmen, but I am looking into it.

  2. You’re right about some of us not liking this…
    I guess there’s really nothing the disbelievers can do about it.
    Change is change, but I’ll be phasing out of the craft before I get forced into buying a CNC I think.
    I will be interested to see what you guys find out about them.

    1. Eric,

      I don’t think you’ll have to worry about being forced, unless Glen and I really like them, then we’re gonna make you buy one. 😀

      I honestly see it as a way for folks who work with computers everyday for work, to be able to come home and do some woodworking using tools with which they are familiar. Why else would it be one of the fastest growing segments of the woodworking market?

      1. These are the people who buy motorized bicycles and then tell you how much exercise they are now getting.

        1. I always thought mopeds were cool. Wouldn’t own one (why not buy a real motorcycle? Kinda like my view on minivans…), but I could see where they’d be fun.

  3. The closest Glen gets to patterns in woodworking is his marvelious use of multiple routers, mostly hand held types, it seems.

  4. Can’t work myself up to being threatened by the existence of, or wide use of, CNC machines. Their reality doesn’t interface much with mine. I do feel fortunate to be in a time when so many high quality hand tools are available (many probably at least partly manufactured using a CNC unit).
    If someone with a great talent for design but no hand skills uses one to bring their ideas to life – I think it’s great. As long as they are honest about it. Claus Oldenburg didn’t actually build the sculptures. Think of the Hall brothers as the Greene’s CNC machine. Life’s too short to get caught up on things that don’t matter.
    Thanks Don

    1. “I do feel fortunate to be in a time when so many high quality hand tools are available”

      Let’s hope that, as manufacturers of power tools scale back and fade away (ala Delta), that those who remain create machines equal to the quality of the their hand tool counterparts – with, or without CNC.

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