Crumbling Foundations

About a year ago, I took a teaching position in a technical school, teaching woodworking to adults.  Interestingly, the courses that I now teach are basically the same courses that I myself took 40 years ago at the same school. The purpose of the courses is to teach the basics of woodworking to adults who

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5-Axis CNC Routers

This year I went to IWF Atlanta with the same objective as I did two years ago. That is, to research the 5-axis routers offered for sale. While I think all of us have some familiarity with CNC routers, I’d like to briefly describe the operation of these remarkable machines. I’d also like to describe

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Automated Cut Listing Methods

Automated and semi-automated alternatives to manual cut listing depend on the nature of your products. The majority of wood products can be divided into units. Each separate box in kitchen cabinets can time-consuming as a unit. Doors and windows are usually discreet units. There will, of course, be miscellaneous parts that won’t be considered units

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Using Thick Veneers

A good part of my woodworking experience has been in the restoration of antique furniture. My specialty was in American furniture of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century where I often encountered thick veneers. The craftsmen of those days needed to use veneers when they wanted to show exotic figure such as crotch grain, burls,

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Cut Listing—The Manual Method

So, you’ve finished the shop drawings with approval from the customer, architect, designer, or whoever has the authority to tell you to proceed with fabrication. Now you need to start building your product. First, we’ll look at how the design information proceeds from drafting into production for a small to mid-sized custom shop. Communication is

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From Design to Fabrication—Crossing the Chasm

In custom manufacturing, there has been an enormous disconnect in getting design information into the fabrication process. Most industries have been working hard on closing this chasm in the past several decades and the computer has helped tremendously. The custom woodworking industry has lagged behind in some ways but we have the potential to remedy

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Reaping the Benefits of Your 3-D Model—Part 3

This will be my final article on the benefits building a simple cabinet using Rhino. Hopefully, some of you have made the effort to follow along with the previous series and actually build it. If so, you’ve seen that it’s really no more difficult than 2-D drafting. In fact, as you become more familiar with

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Reaping the Benefits of Your 3-D Model—Part 2

In my last article, I showed how we can dimension a model directly in “model space.” This gave us a clear, 3-dimensional picture of our product along with overall dimensions. This can be used to verify that what we’ve created is what it should be. We could even have a client sign off on it

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The Easy Way to Build a 3-D Model of Your Product—Part 6

In this article, we’ll complete our model of a simple cabinet by creating a back panel with tolerance. So, let’s get started. From where we left off, your cabinet should look like the illustration below: We’re going to use all four of the parts we created to begin creating the back. Then we’ll need to

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The Easy Way to Build a 3-D Model of Your Product—Part 5

Now that we’ve completed our side panel, we can exploit the virtues of computer magic to complete the cabinet. In our example, we’re not including geometry that you might use if you were to machine this part on a CNC router. For example, if you were going to use dowel construction, you’d probably want to

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