According to Roctech, for hundreds of years, fine woodwork was associated with doing the job by hand. Intricate picture frames, exquisite furniture details, and ornamental wall medallions required hours of painstaking labor. But how intricate woodwork was performed started to change in the 1970s, when modern Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) routers became widely available.
In the roughly 40 years since their inception, computer-controlled routers have largely taken detailed woodwork out of the hands of craftsmen and placed it on the automated production line. The reason why is obvious: Not only is the quality of the work often as good as what hands can create, but it can be produced in a matter of minutes.
At first glance, it may seem as if encourages the death of wood craftsmanship, but that isn’t the case. Just because using a quality used CNC router machine makes the production of intricate woodwork faster and more affordable doesn’t mean it compromises the artistry of the one who creates it.
Big woodworking startups that plan to mass produce simple designs are known for purchasing used CNC routers, but so are craftsmen of unique woodwork who wish to increase production capacity without compromising work quality. Using a computer-controlled router doesn’t downgrade the work; it merely helps the craftsman produce more of it, and earn more money.
Consider the case of G. Watson Designs in Durham, North Carolina, which offers turnkey designs and fabrication services to distinguished clients. In terms of artistry, much of the company’s millwork is comparable to the hand carved work one would find in a fine, baroque residence. However, a machine produces much of the work – a Laguna 5’ X ’10 CNC router, to be exact.
G. Watson Designs has observed in computer-controlled equipment what other woodworking companies have seen: the price of the hardware has consistently dropped, while the quality of its work has continually improved. Investing in a can be more than a good move financially. It can also ensure that great designs are flawlessly executed.