Future of cabinet making...

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Just tell Siri what you want ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?vJJdeerkONE

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Swingman wrote:

already eroding the craftsmens guilds in England...
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On 2/29/2016 10:20 AM, Bill wrote:

Never been in the Luddite camp myself, and have always embraced technology wholeheartedly.
If I was a young man, starting out with a view to going into cabinetmaking, this is definitely where I would begin.
Although it is sad in a certain sense, like some change always is, I'm tickled to have lived long enough to see it, and to have played a part in the early technological advances that are beginning to make it happen ... nice to see the vision of the last 30 years rapidly coming into focus.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com says...

As a young man starting out you'd need rich parents or really good credit--the thing costs about $160,000.

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On 2/29/2016 6:46 PM, J. Clarke wrote:

Actually, that's pretty cheap entry into business these days. Not to mention that the will to find a way, and a solid work ethic is all its ever taken.
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Sure. That's only a couple of Festools. ;-)
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On 2/29/2016 7:09 PM, Swingman wrote:

No kidding. Obviously you would not buy this machine unless you could keep it busy but it should pay for itself in relatively short order. Certainly it will eliminate at least one person and dramatically speed up production.
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"Swingman" wrote in message

Even that will soon be dated... the day is coming when the genetic engineers will grow cabinets, chairs, etc. for us that will need little more than bark removal and finish. That is the next step in tree farming. The days of "glue ups" and "glued up panels" will be behind us. ;~)
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On Mon, 29 Feb 2016 13:17:56 -0500, "John Grossbohlin"

Those days are already gone. Can you say "Ikea"? ;-)
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On 2/29/2016 9:34 AM, Swingman wrote:

That is slick!
I wonder if a Sketchup drawing and its components could be loaded into that machine.
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wrote:

It looked to me like they took the design technology of sketchup and fully dynamic components and put that into their programming for the machine.
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On 2/29/2016 1:49 PM, Leon wrote:

This looks like any other CNC machine except the programs for making specific things is already written for you and easily selectable from menus. I'd guess programmable CNC machines like this also have a variety of patterns that come with them, or can be purchased. The guy hinted that absolutely no programing was required. If that means no programing was possible, I wouldn't want the machine at all. Obviously someone wrote the programs to do cabinets. A CAD interface certainly could exist, or be written, for any cad program for this machine.
The main thing is the more machinery you use, the more perfection you get. The more perfection you get, the further away you get form custom cabinet making. This thing would be perfect for making furniture for McDonalds, doctors offices and dept. stores. Not so much for a custom shop making cabinets for rich people...
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Jack wrote:

machine as much".

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On 03/01/2016 8:49 AM, Jack wrote:

From their web site...
"As an all new type of machine that can be operated by about anyone, without programming, it can also be operated as a CNC router (through "CNC Access"), should you ever need to. It executes CNC programs generated by about any software. In fact, it has software and operating features that make it a lot more flexible than about any other CNC router. But there is more.
"With the Cut Ready Cut Center, operating as a cut center instead of a CNC router, you select and define what you want, resize and cut it, all right at the machine using an intuitive touch screen. The machine already knows how to make about anything a typical cabinet shop needs but, if you want, you can teach it to make your own custom products. Using Thermwood’s eCabinet Systems Design Software and following the Cut Center protocol, you can develop your own custom products, install them in the machine and run them the same way. You are not limited. This does require some training and software skill but offers almost unlimited capability and huge flexibility. If you would like, Thermwood can do this for you. With the Cut Ready Cut Center, there are no limits"
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Personally, I am surprised it has taken this long to get this far. As cutt ing machines become more sophisticated, more nimble, and yet more easy to u se, this type of machinery is just a natural evolution.
I see more and more commercial solutions to joinery that require less skill and attention to detail. CNC carved doors are a snap to finish for an exp erienced sprayer as opposed to stile/rail/panel construction, so that makes finishing easier as well. If the end product produces innovative joinery techniques that take advantage of digital precision (and joints that can us ually be secured with a line of today's excellent adhesives)that is easy to assemble, wastes a tiny bit of material, and actually allows you to progra m in to use scrap from another job, this is a cabinet maker's dream. Fast, accurate, economical with your labor and material while still turning out a good product is all that can be asked of a machine.
These machines would be a natural extension for Karl and Leon, guys that al ready detail out the tiniest bit of minutiae before stepping out the shop. If they were full time cabinet makers, building cabinets only for a living , they would be able to set this machine up, go make some phone calls to in stallers/clients/suppliers/finishers while ti worked. Any force multiplier is a pretty good thing for a businessman.
There can be a collective gasp of despair about the loss of craftsmanship, but the hard news is that real appreciation of it is disappearing rapidly. People aren't used to a higher level of craftsmanship because they rarely see it and don't know what it looks like. If they can find a craftsman, th ey don't want to pay for a higher level of work. I have seen so many custo m furniture and cabinet makers go out of business in the last 40 years I ha ve lost count. They start with the dream, then satisfy a handful of client s that have encouraged them to open a shop, then they have to become busine ssmen and they fail. Their first few clients don't ask for bids or estimat es. They all do after that. Then you have to cultivate new business, keep accurate books, pay taxes a certain way, and on a on. You don't get back to building a Maloof style rocker until you have time.
A machine like that could be ideal if you could keep it busy. Since so man y cabinets are painted these days, it seem the door profiler would be a mon ey maker in itself by going to all the home builders and ask them if they w ant a custom profile, them make their doors only. Or maybe send them a pac kage of parts to the job and have their trim guys assemble the cabinets. Y ou could knock off one-off cabs for remodelers in no time. "Need a vanity built to this exact size? Come by tomorrow with a check and we'll load the pieces".
Imagine someone that is refinishing and repairing cabinets (like I do) bein g able to call up the guy with the machine and have him make a kitchen full of doors and drawer fronts in a quick, accurate, and economical way, with the profile picked out by the client. Sounds good to me!
Robert
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On 03/01/2016 1:34 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: ...Commentary elided simply for brevity...
Agree wholeheartedly. The issue isn't "craftsmanship" at all; the craftsmanship is impeccable in something produced in this manner.
The issue is, for we old-fashioned w-workers, that it isn't hand work and cut dovetails w/ chisel and saw but the robot doing the work.
But, as you point out, it has become essentially impossible to stay in business with such a model; there simply isn't a large-enough client base to support the number of folks who'd like to operate that way.
Too bad in some ways but just fact of life.
I recall (and they reprinted the article just a month or two ago as one of the retrospective articles) FWW had an essay by Tage Frid on the demise of such "one-of" shops being econmoically viable published way back in the early 80s or even maybe late 70s. Ol' Tage wouldn't believe what's happened since... :(
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On Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 3:05:57 PM UTC-6, dpb wrote:

A very astute and important observation. It raises bar of fit and finish t o the point where it is almost impossible for the little guy to equal with a small shop.

I have seen you around here for years, so I will assume that you remember w hen the much vaunted dovetail was the hallmark of craftsmanship. Now, with dovetail jigs being inexpensive and quite accurate, they are more about th e setup than the level of expertise needed. IME, no one even notices dovet ails anymore.

No kidding. And another :( is in order, too.
Robert
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The annoying part of his videos was seeing his eyes read the story board.
In the sheet metal industry, they have done the same thing years ago. It started out like his machine and the CNC machines in just pattern making and then the sheet metal workers assembled, the ductwork, piping and fittings, or whatever you programmed into it.
Then that progressed to fully formed ductwork, piping, fittings, pans, even down to in some cases to adding flanges for fittings. The former machines a local shop could afford, larger contractors, but the fully formed stuff ended up mainly in strict production facilities.
Not sure where it is all at now, since I have been out of the trades for a while.
I remember a story from years ago where I needed a pan fabricated out of SS, simple enough, with drain line fittings. I drew up what as needed in a sketch to give them the idea of it, knowing that any journeyman could knock it out in less than an hour.
Well, as it turned out when I submitted the info, they gave it back wanting it laid out on a fully drafted drawing in AutoCAD so they could feed it to the computer. I saw all the old machines just sitting there, some off to the side, and for sheet metal a huge roll that fed onto the bed for cutting up in the pattern making days.
I ended up finding a two man shop that did things the old way.
That said, I can certainly see the advantages of this type of a machine for mass production. Wondering just how far this can be taken? Especially considering the robotics industry in other products.
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On 2/29/2016 10:34 AM, Swingman wrote:

I don't see it as anything new. My wife just tells me what she wants and she gets it. Works for her!
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Interesting discussion.
A machine is, so far, only mimicking a "craftsman's" methods.
Sure, the execution of a sequence of methods by a machine may be hard to beat ... but use of a cookie cutter doesn't guarantee a good tasting cookie. ;)
Conversations about loss of craftsmanship to a machine always remind me of a Tom Plamann anecdote about one of his customer's remarks when Tom attempted to do some of his work with a CNC.
To paraphrase ... "I hired you because I want a Tom Plamann job, not a machine's!"
Personally, I don't despair about loss of craftsMANship to machines, because, in the pursuit thereof, "man" will always be the driving force, and most important part of the result.
And, it also nicely explains why guys like Leon don't have to advertise. ;)
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