For the past 28 years, Stephen Mosher, owner of Cottage Woodworkers ( in St. Croix, Nova Scotia, Canada, has been turning pencil sketches and pieces of maple, cherry and walnut wood into dining room tables, wardrobes and beds. Working with a combination of woodgrains, he creates unique and affordable high-quality furniture.

Over time, as Mosher received requests for bigger pieces, he moved to larger premises — the old St. Croix School. Larger work space and increased demand also led Mosher to invest in a powerful CNC machine: a Shopbot PRS alpha, with 60 by 96 table, 12-inch Z, duel spindles and a 6-inch indexing head.

Robust enough to do anything that he could imagine, Mosher realized the CNC would need a robust application to control it. He had been using Corel Draw, not really meant for multi-dimensional CNC routing work. “I needed a software that could do anything, too. There is no point in spending tens of thousands of dollars on a machine if you can’t have it do what you want,” says Mosher. He saw 3-D carvings on ArtCAM's website and tried it.

The application also opened the door to growing CNC offerings, which along with 2-D relief work Mosher advertises at his site, including price lists.

For 3-D designs, “There are three ways to achieve a model that you can do something with,” Mosher says: he has bought 3-D model files, as well as scanned in designs, or drawn them in the application.

Along with two employees (one in the woodshop, one in the finishing area) Mosher turns out commissions, custom work on spec, and “from time to time wholesale for customers to their specs. A lot of my work is custom furniture and my own designs.”

Mosher’s work now includes a mix of traditional and unique artisan pieces that have been designed to be handed down from generation to generation. “When I build pieces for pleasure they get a little more unusual. My inclination these days leans towards more artistic pieces.” Prime examples of this are his recent furniture posts, which were inspired by the shape of plants.

Stephen Mosher’s recent furniture post were inspired by plants such as the pineapple,
thistle and reed.

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