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How to Select a CNC Machine for Woodworking – A Complete Guide

If you are doing a job manually then you cannot prepare the exact same result.

This is where a CNC machine comes into action.

In a CNC machine, a Computer Numeric Control program is run that will do mass production of the same job or workpiece with minimal tolerance.

This CNC program is in a language called G-Code and is responsible to control spindle, coolant any much more.

The G-code can be written manually but nowadays the CAM Software has made the life of a DIYer and professional much easier.

image - How to Select a CNC Machine for Woodworking - A Complete Guide

Types of CNC Machines

There are many types of CNC machines are available including the custom made like a few mentioned below;

  • 3d Printing CNC Machines – You will see 4, 5, and higher axis
  • CNC Machine for Milling – This is used for grinding the workpiece
  • Lathe CNC Machine – A quite handy for any shop
  • CNC Router – These are cheaper versions than the CNC machines
  • Electronic Discharge Machine
  • Laser CNC Machine – This uses the latest technology to provide the superior results

What is in a CNC Machine?

Computer Numerical Control aka CNC machine was built by keeping the idea behind is to control the machine tools via a computer instead of human workforce like the automation is done in other sectors.

We can say a CNC machine is from the Robots family as it does the same kind of job.

The Numeric Control Program does the below jobs;

  • It controls the spindle speed
  • It defines the speed of the cutter
  • It defines the axis. The machines are available from 3 basic axis to 4, 5 or higher axis.
  • It shifts the cutting tool automatically
  • If the coolant is turn on and off

What is a CNC Wood Router?

As DIYer, we normally need a 2D or 3D CNC machine for woodworking. The major works we need for CNC woodworking are;

  • Cutting
  • Carving
  • Routing
  • Milling
  • Drilling
  • and Grooving

CNC Wood Router Uses

A CNC woodworking router is used for

  • The wood crafts
  • The wood arts
  • The wood signs
  • The kitchen cabinet
  • The wood door making
  • The wood gifts
  • The wood toys
  • The wood modeling
  • The wardrobe
  • The wood furniture production

Parts of Wood Router

A CNC router consists of the following things;

  • CNC controller
  • frame, gantry
  • spindles
  • CNC operating system
  • CNC software
  • Driver
  • Motor
  • ball screw
  • guide rail
  • T-slot table or vacuum table
  • vacuum pump
  • power supply
  • limit switch
  • collet
  • rack and pinion.

You can call it a wood CNC router or a wood CNC machine or woodworking router.

Types of Wood CNC Machine

Regardless of the parts, a CNC router is of the following types;

  • Home CNC wood router machine
  • Benchtop/Tabletop/Desktop CNC wood router machine
  • 3D CNC wood router machine
  • Hobby CNC wood router machine
  • Industrial wood CNC machines

What is a Wood CNC Router Used For?

It is widely used by DIYers, the hobbies, the small shops, and for the garage as well;

Furniture making, Advertising industry, die industry, Hollow woodworking, Relief sculpture woodworking, Cylinder’s woodworking, 3D woodworking, Sign making, etc.

Buying Guide for CNC Routers for Woodworking

Buying a CNC router is not that easy but if you have clear criteria about your projects then it is quite easy or else you will overwhelm and may get the wrong guy and lose your hard-earned money.

Following factors, you need to consider while going to buy one for you;

  • Know about your project of consult with industry experts before putting your money in.
  • Get a few quotations in your area with warranty guideline to avoid any misunderstanding later on
  • After-sale maintenance – some manufacture provides guideline through call or video once you buy from them. Also consider the world’s well-known consumer review websites such as New York Times, PcMag, TechnoMono, and Cnet to Consider if you a new to this.
  • See the budget and get a worthy one. It will surely recover it as soon as possible.

How to Use a CNC Router Machine for Woodworking?

You need to follow simple steps that I am going to describe below;

Step – 1: Turn on the machine and make sure the power inputs are as per manufacture guidelines.

Step – 2: Let the machine adjust automatically.

Step – 3: Now on the CNC display checks the I/O status.

Step – 4: Check all the machine parts if everything is in a normal state.

Step – 5: When you see a pop up the clock on “Open”

Step – 6: The program will be loaded in the processing program

Step – 7: Now use the mouse and you can manually operate the CNC router.

Step – 8: Now focus on the axis and make sure to use the router manually if you are a beginner.

Final Thought

The market is full of a variety of types from Chinese routers to American made. I always prefer if I have after buy support.

Also, consider if you find the parts later on if the warranty is expired.


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