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Thread: Just curious - who considers this woodworking?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    N.E. Ohio

    Just curious - who considers this woodworking?

    Impressive - but - -I can bring myself to call this woodworking.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Duvall, WA
    I kind of agree. It's more like manufacturing with a wood based material. I cringe when I see videos like this showing big production outfits mass producing pieces that were once produced by the likes of Wegner and Møbler. But then, you could say the same of any mass produced piece of art or craft that starts from an original, be it print work, sculpture, ceramics, even textiles.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    As individual woodworkers, we might be uncomfortable with "total automation" like that, but honestly, when you consider the mass market these days, it's the only way that stuff can be produced to be able to sell for the prices that consumers demand. So many folks really don't care how something is made as long as they can buy it at a lower price point. The method here isn't flawed for the purpose because it produces what is needed both physically and financially.

    The other thing you have to consider is that many of us, even as individuals, are adopting some automated production techniques, using subtractive CNC or additive 3D printing to make stuff. The reasons are many for that. Good design is still good design and which tools we choose to use merely reflects our preference for how to execute our designs.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    As a individual I would not own something like that unless I just really had money to burn . But have to agree with Jim somewaht if I own a small woodworking shop as a business and maybe working by myself or have maybe 1-2 others working for me I would get something like that to run parts like table legs and such. I would still have to create the files on what I want that leg to look like and beable to make a set of 4 to all look alike so I can concentrate on the top or skirt or what ever else that goes into make that said piece.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Griswold Connecticut
    It's an argument that has been,and will be, debated as long as there is wood working.
    The first time a machine took over a function previously performed by hand some 100+ years ago, there was this same debate. Heck, the spindle moulder killed an entire discipline of wood working virtually over night. Same with the Jointer and Planer, or Thicknesses, for the rest of the world.
    Do I considering it "wood working"? Maybe not. But boy I sure can appreciate all of the human minds that went into the machine design, firmware, software, etc. to arrive at that point.
    I actually think that machine is rather slow. Three minutes to make a single leg? It's going to take twelve minutes to make four legs. Martin Wassner made a door in 16 minutes and he was walking and talking at the same time.
    Is there any less "soul" to that leg, than an individual stile of a cabinet door I've made on my shaper? I don't think so, because in the end it's the design and functionality of the final assemblage that matters most.

    Is it cheating that Jim Becker is using a CNC machine to cut out tack trunk parts? Not to me it isn't. The final design evolved and was developed in Jim's mind. The CNC machine is just one of the tools that brings that design to fruition. No more, no less.
    It's up to the individual person to decide that for themselves. There definitely won't be consensus on the question.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 01-22-2019 at 5:01 PM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  6. #6
    We are all Neanderthals now!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    East Virginia
    If not woodworking, I'm not sure what word or phrase you'd use...automated CNC wood machining?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    St. Francis, Kansas
    In some ways, I would tend to agree, in others not so much. Like Mr. Jim said, folks in today's modern ways of life really truthfully do not care or have the first clue how their home furnishings are designed or created, just as long as it is within their budget, and has the looks and style they want.

    I personally would not have any purpose for such a beast like that in my shop. If I ain't able to design it with the tools I have available to me in my shop, I figure it won't get done here. Like Mr. Mike mentioned, do I hold it agin' the feller what has a CNC, or creates his projects on his computer, no, I don't. If he feels comfortable using his mind that way, get right after it.

    Personally, I am no artist, nor a computer tech, so everything I create is designed in my head. From the list of materials down to measurements and curves, etc. I have always done things that way. To them fellers that have the creativity to design a machine like that, kudos to them!

    In the meantime, I don't think it is goin' to pester me or my small wood business out here on the plains of NW Kansas in any way, shape, or form. I'll just keep on keepin' on.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Peoria, IL
    Of course it's woodworking. Would you prefer it to be done with a dozen fixtures and a shaper? What would you call it then?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    SW Michigan
    Impressive, but not inspiring. It is what it is and that's where we're at. I wonder how many legs that machine has to puke out to pay the six figure cost of owning and programming it. I suppose my tailed tools may be an abomination to some hand tool only craftsmen though.
    Can't say technology always thrills me. Next we'll have computer self driven Corvettes.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Meet George Jetson,
    Jane his wife,
    Daughter Judy . . .
    Who knows what stands in front of,
    our lives; I fashion my future on films in space.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Coastal Southern Maine
    I always fall back on Pye's concept of The Workmanship of Risk to help evaluate if something is woodworking or manufacturing. By his definition, it isn't woodworking.

  13. #13
    I call it "manufacturing" but wouldn't NOT call it woodworking. Some craftsman thought of the finished piece and programmed it.


  14. #14
    Nice looking table leg , but no not woodworking.

  15. #15
    Using anything other than the fleshy tools God/Yahweh/Allah/Buddha/Zeus/Mother Gaia/Krishna/Peter Cottontail gave you is cheating.

    If you think differently, you'd be incorrect.

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