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I am Jason Loasching, a college student attending Texas A&M University-Commerce. I am tasked with writing an ethnography for my English 1302 class led by Mr. Radzinski. I chose to do mine over woodworking. I want to ask you one final question. You don’t have to answer but I would appreciate it if you would.

• How does using CNC machines differ from doing hand crafted woodworks?
 

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David
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Jason - there's a great deal of discussion that could be generated on this topic but it would be best if you revisit your previous topics and provide feedback, like John has requested several times. Upon seeing your update on those other threads you may get better info on this one.

David
 

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Jason - are you the same Jason Loasching associated with Lockheed-Martin ??
 

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I would suggest he simply offer to hire someone to come out and write his English essay assignment.
my rate is $3500/day plus business class expenses.
 

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How do they differ? That's a silly question, but one is essentially push button work while the other is everything but push button.. Obviously there's more to it than just pushing buttons, computers aren't going to be the same as hand tooling no matter how many times you slam a mallet into a computer..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jason - are you the same Jason Loasching associated with Lockheed-Martin ??
Sorry for taking so long to reply! I am the same Jason Loasching from Lockheed. I try not to talk about much by virtue of being involved with Lockheed Martin. Is there something you wanted to ask about it?
 

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You may be thinking of a CNC woodworking machine like a router that blindly moves a cutting tool along a cutting path, but most of the CNC machines I've seen are at the input end of wood mills looking at wood and making decisions. In a lumber mill a CNC rip and cut line will scan each board, optimize the cutting against a running tally of the days cut requirements, set the rip saws, and chop the rips into defect free blanks without any human involvement. The blanks will go to a molder where a cutterhead ground by a CNC grinder will carry a chip that tells the CNC molder how to position it. In a rotary veneer mill, a CNC lathe will scan each log, locate the optimum centers, prebore them, and pass the log to the peeling lathe ready to spin. A CNC grader will scan every sheet and sort them for grade more reliably than the most experienced human. A CNC patcher will find all the defects in a sheet selected for plugging and produce on grade faces each and every time. These are more head skills than hand skills, and they all used to be human skills. You can't find human operators to do these jobs anymore, and now the machines do them better anyway.
 

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Jason - If you do some searching on this site you'll find several discussions on CNC wood working verses hand wood working. During one of the last discussions epicfail48 added a post that I thought summed it up pretty well

Already said it once but its worth repeating, CNC tools only make the second thing easier to make. The first one takes just as much blood, sweat, and tears as traditional tools
 

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Bah humbug
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It's production versus non production. Juse a new way to drive the price down...

I was looking at a techivorm moccamadter the other day. $300. It's been tested over the last 10 years and is rated #1. Difference? All assembled by hand in Italy. Not a high production coffee maker. I don't like coffee, maybe it's because of cheap made coffee. Makes me wonder if I'd like the Italian coffee msker.
 

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Just my opinion, but I consider one to be wood working, and the other one not.
 

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David
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Just my opinion, but I consider one to be wood working, and the other one not.
I disagree. Where do you draw the line - if a power tool was used is it woodworking? Do I have to use chisels and planes for it to be woodworking or can I use a router table, jointer, tablesaw, planer, drum sander, etc. and it still be woodworking? There are those who believe woodworking is hand tools only.

My CNC is just another woodworking tool in the shop and I use it when it makes sense for the job. Most of the jobs I do on the CNC involve a fair amount of prep - planing, jointing, gluing, etc. - before it ever gets to the CNC. And then many of the things I make also require additional work after the CNC. So, does it stop being woodworking even though this job that has 10 steps in it touched my CNC for a portion of the job? I don't think so.

Are there jobs I do on the CNC that I couldn't or wouldn't do without the CNC? Yep, you bet. Do I design things that I wouldn't be doing if it wasn't for the CNC? Again, yes. But there's an awful lot of woodworking with all the other tools in my shop that go along with the CNC part.

My $0.02

David
 

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Bah humbug
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A CNC operator is one position. We have had a lot of CNC operators. None of which were woodworkers. Our CNC operators got $12 an hour...

So... I understand what Nickell is saying...
 

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David
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A CNC operator is one position.
I'm a CNC operator in the same sense that I'm a tablesaw operator. I can't just set a board on the tablesaw and expect it to be cut while I watch. I can't throw a board at the CNC and come back to find it cut, finished, and boxed, ready for shipping. Oh, and I do all the design work for whatever happens in the shop whether it's on the tablesaw, scrollsaw, bandsaw, or CNC.

David
 

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Bah humbug
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But the CNC does the work...

Now a lot of so called cabinet makers only run specific tools in the shop. A door guy, saw operator, face frame and drawers, counter tops, etc. Some guys build but there are only a few that are seasoned in all areas.

I know shops that buy all product parts and do nothing more than assemble, pain and install.

There are a lot of variations to woodworker or cabinet maker...

I went to work for a commercial shop that relied completely on the CNC operator to cut all there parts. Operator took off three days and people got sent home. Day three they had me on the saw cutting from the prints.
 

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Bah humbug
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David it's just my opinion from years working around CNC. Nothing personal...
 

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David
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But the CNC does the work...
David it's just my opinion from years working around CNC. Nothing personal...
Not taking it personally, Jack. Just an entertaining discussion for me, one I've had many times.

Like Epic said, just like the tablesaw does the work. If it helps, I regularly touch the boards while the CNC is 'doing all the work' so it's the same as the tablesaw, bandsaw, etc. ;)

And I recognize there's a huge difference between a CNC operator in a cabinet shop and what I do. Below is a video that encompasses start to finish on a project that involved the CNC -
David
 

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thanks Jason - I googled your name and saw that you were associated with LM.
when I retied from the Navy in 1987, I walked right into a cushy job with Lockheed-Martin Aerospace as a Custom Woodworker. doing all kinds of custom woodworking and carpentry and over the span of 7 years, accumulated some very high tech skills within the company as well some some very high level security clearances. I was heavily involved in the Trident II D5 FBM projects mostly.
so I was wondering if you had access to talk with any of the woodworkers within the company for additional insights for your project. (that's all).
 
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