Sign making is definitely one route that a woodshop can take to turn an idle CNC router into a profitable investment. Pretty much any model can carve signs in wood, foam or plastic, and the major physical limit is usually just the size of the machine’s work area.
It’s hard to believe, but hand sanders have been around for more than 90 years. The first one, which looked remarkably like a modern belt sander, was invented in 1926 by Art Emmons at the Porter-Cable factory in Syracuse, N.Y. Before his ‘Take About Sander’, according to the company, “workers
Securing sheet stock on a CNC bed is a large part of the machining process. Clamps, jigs and vacuums hold the material steady while the spindle moves. But when it comes to turning parts on a CNC, everything changes. That’s because the work is no longer stationary: the wood moves too.
A recent article (Oct. 2) by Tim McKeough in The New York Times (“Putting a designer’s polish on Ikea products”) describes how a supplier used off-the-shelf Ikea boxes and custom designer doors to create a small but very stylish New York kitchen – for $1,600 without the doors.
“It’s possible to learn more in one week from a master woodworker than you could learn in years from your own experience.”