Woodworking on its own can be quite challenging, and if you have been woodworking for many years, even a lifetime, some parts of it can become mundane and repetitive, which is one of the reasons we often pick new projects to make. In my case, I got inspired by Paul to change the way I do some things and learn how to use a small shop CNC machine.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/KPR-tbAEvzY
During that video and article with Paul (click here for article and video), I became enthralled with some of the potential things that I could do with my own CNC machine, things like Jigs, Parts for Jigs like knobs and hold-downs ...
And even some new accessory ideas, like a common push stick that incorporates a "birds mouth" in the front of it, so it can move wood and pieces out of the way safely on the table saw or router table. I have never seen anything like this before but now that I have tried it, it works well and comes in useful, especially for moving small pieces of wood out of the feed path that might normally bind or get caught up in the next pass of wood.
Making knobs for jigs doesn't need a CNC machine, but I could have a pattern ready for when I need one and just let the machine make up a couple of wooden knobs for my jig while I am still making the jig, or even make a few just to have on hand. Just some handy little things like that.
And I am not a big sign maker, but it might be nice to make some smaller signs for a variety of places and uses.
Other uses of course would be to be able to make some jigs and accessories and then to even have the plans to re-make them quickly and easily which is one of the big benefits of having patterns and a CNC machine that can cut them out.
I especially like the idea of having a pattern that I could use to quickly make plastic base plates for my trim router and my other routers as well rather than having to recreate the base plate every time I want to make a new jig of appliance or modify a tool for any of my routers. This alone will be a super handy thing to have and a big time saver too.
I have figured out how the CNC machine works ... well, mostly. That was the easy part for me. My biggest challenge is learning how to "draw" patterns and objects on the computer. I know there are lots of free patterns and even many patterns that can be purchased but very few of them interest me. I didn't want to get a machine that just makes "signs" but something that I could use to advance my own personal knowledge and to add some new challenges to my woodworking ... and it has done that
And one of the projects I have wanted to do for a LONG time is to make an overhead blade guard for my table saw. Anyone who follows my channel knows that I have the current blade guard on and off repeatedly, and it would nice to have something that just lifts up out of the way as needed, then replaced quickly and easily. I have looked at the few commercial versions that are around, and read the reviews and I have an idea for something I want to try that I think might solve some of the issues with them ... at any rate, I will try.
I'm looking forward to learning and using this machine and I'm even slowly getting the idea of using the drawing software and saving the plans, and what I find most interesting is that very often when I am drawing or making something, it gives me an idea how to modify it to make it better or and idea on some other jig or accessory. For now, I just need to be patient and learn and in time it will all come together ...
Copyright Colin Knecht