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Thread: Cabinets CNC

  1. #1

    Cabinets CNC

    Hello long time since I posted just a quick question

    Is anyone building their cabinets with a CNC machine for example a Luguna or other brand? I've been building cabinets on the side for a while now mostly kitchen, vanities and built ins.
    I'm just wondering if its worth the time to buy an cnc and use some kind of program like mozaik to layout cabinets and give the customer an idea of what they are getting.
    I build mostly face frame cabinets sometimes. I have been ordering most of my doors because its just a time saver rather than building them.
    Can you build raised panel doors on these cnc machines also?

    I's assuming most of what the cnc machine will do is cutout your case parts and then you put them together.
    I know I would Probably still have to build the face frames the old way I have been doing it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Western PA
    Trey, I have not used a CNC to make cabinet parts, but my understanding is you use a CNC primarily for the carcasses. Particularly useful to predrill all your drawer mounting hardware etc. Im not sure how you would use a CNC to effectively make a 5 piece door. Interested in non-industrial machine owners and how effective they are at making kitchens and vanities. My hope is to parlay a new house's needs into a $10-15,000 cnc purchase for making vanities, possible kitchen, and other pieces.

  3. #3
    Yes I would mainly be interested in the machine for case parts and ease of assembly.
    I could see an advantage to putting the cases together with precut parts and feel it would speed assembly time if somebody could chime in and let me know if they build their cabinets in this fashion.
    I am ready to make a purchase on a cnc just wondering if anybody has experience with cabinet making via cnc and software like mozaik?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    CNC for cabinet work is like having an extra pair of hands in the shop and as you note, software like Mosaik can take things from design/concept through component production including helping the client understand what they see when the project is complete. The whole industry has pushed pretty hard into using CNC for this reason. a 4x8 or larger machine will do the job nicely and as Patrick mentioned, it's not just cutting out the'll also be pre-drilling and doing other accommodations that make assembly the next step after the parts come off the machine. If you do a reasonable volume of work, the machine should pay for itself reasonably fast. Talk to your business accountant how best to do the acquisition financially including tax advantages.

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

  5. #5
    Not to be too dramatic, but my response is more like: who is in business in this day and age without one? Got into CNC in my 1 person shop about a decade ago, and simply cannot imagine life without. Have been using Sketchup for virtual design and prototyping (base platform used by Mozaik and several others) for well over a decade now. As time goes on, clients seem to almost be demanding a representation on screen, as their internal ability for visualization has atrophied. (Excessive immersion in blue screens, perhaps? )
    A small smattering of what can be done:
    - Of course, sheet goods for case pieces
    - 3D carvings for accents on bar stools, as well as curved chair parts with domino mortises on all faces possible
    - Dovetailed drawers
    - Complex, custom curved moldings

    In short- it has been key to opening up not just efficiency, but creative options that will make your head spin and wow your clientele. If you're up to the task of diligently/dutifully going through the learning curve, driven by your passion for growing your capabilities, it is absolutely transformational and vital for any business. Just be honest with yourself, as the monetary and time commitment cannot be understated. Seems for some, a hidden pitfall is believing you get the machine = machine spits out parts = easy money.


  6. #6
    What Jeff says is right... don't expect to get a machine, push a button and have finished parts... much bigger learning curve than that. I've been doing house flipping since 1999 and originally using a Felder sliding table saw for doing carcass work. Did maybe a half dozen houses like that, which was much better than the previous table saw, but given I work from a wheelchair, that's pretty hard on me and as I get older, not the thing I want to do most in life.

    So, second step was find a local guy who had a big commercial CNC and he did smaller jobs like mine... he got a better price on materials than I could, charged a flat rate per sheet of material and even delivered the pieces to the job, where I could spend a day or two assembling a whole house worth of cabinets. Unfortunately he went belly up in the 2006-2009 debacle and I had to find another guy. That didn't go so well, majorly screwed up my last job and so the search continued to find a 4x8 router and do it myself.

    So, found one, really can't say yet how much better it will be, as I'm still plumbing and setting up the vacuum table, but the couple small projects I've done so far look like it will really cut the labor down. I used a software called Cabinet Parts Pro, as Mozaik, while it looks perfect for the job, will run you $125-$150 a month to do what you need. My usage doesn't warrant that sort of expense and I don't need to show customers, and if I did, my daughter (degreed Interior Designer and works for a remodeling company) is proficient with several software packages, Cabinet Vision and others, so if I needed a presentation, she could always do it for me.

    I don't know if any of that helps, but if it's just for a one off for yourself, find a guy you can farm it out to. If you are going to do half a dozen or more large jobs a year, then by all means dive in with both feet.
    Last edited by Brian Lamb; 05-14-2021 at 1:50 PM.
    Brian Lamb
    Lamb Tool Works, Custom tools for woodworkers
    Equipment: Felder KF700 and AD741, Milltronics CNC Mill, Universal Laser X-600

  7. #7
    You said that you are just doing it part time. Is it going to be worth it for you to buy a CNC to just do a few unless you also want to use it for other things? A 5x10 or 4x8 machine isn't exactly cheap. They will make quick work of it though once you learn to operate them and the software.

  8. #8
    Well I was doing it part time but it has really picked up into a full time job.
    Im just wondering if it would speed up my work because I work by myself.
    Cutting cases out is time consuming.
    Im looking at the laguna smart shop M what kind of machines and software are yall using?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    I'm a fan of USA-made machines...I use a Camaster. Other USA producers include ShopSabre and ShopBot. AVID CNC (kit built...not as heavy but certainly capable) are also USA produced for the most part.

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

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