CNC Tips & Tricks from woodworkers just like you

Photo By Vonmod Ltd., Denver, of Brad Bolte, Wood Industry 40 Under 40 Class of 2017

CNC Tips & Tricks is a perennial favorite on the Cabinet Conferences run by Woodworking Network. Such sessions are included at Wood Pro Expo, the regional show, and at Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo.
At the Charlotte Show these two events will be co-located at the Charlotte Convention Center, and members of the Cabinet Makers Assocation will share their CNC knowledge and experience.
Moderated by CMA Executive Director Amanda Conger, this panel session will include CMA members and shop owners Tracy Yarborough and James McGrew, owner of  James McGrew Cabinetmakers, Columbia, South Carolina. 
Yarborough (left)  is owner of Maple River Woodworks in Florence, South Carolina, and past president of the Cabinet Makers Association. 
Here's a sampling of the type of questions and answers you can expect (and bring your own specific questions as well):    
For guys starting out on a CNC, what’s the kind of basic tool kit that you’ve got to have? 
Well, it probably varies for everybody, depending on what you do. We do a qualified blind dado. We predrill. I’ve had issues in the past with guys who would screw – we do plant-on backs – we’ll have guys that will put one screw in each side and think that’s good. We’ll have other guys who will put, you know, 35 screws in. Somewhere along the line I said, “OK, I’m going to put a hole where I want a screw, and you’re going to put a screw in it.” 
So, we have that bit, which is the 3mm. We have a 3/8-inch compression bit. We have a 1/2-inch downcut and a 3/4 -inch downcut just for the Legrabox, because it’s got that thing that’s got to get routed, and the 3/4 does it in two passes. And an 8mm and 10mm. I’ve got all the places to hold them, so if we use it, I bought a drill for it so it’s perfect, and it’s not trying to wallow it out. We’ve also got a 35mm drill for doors. - Answered by CMA Member Chris Dehmer, Darkhorse Woodworks, Atlanta 
Material hold-down is critical for CNC cutting
One facet that is often overlooked when analyzing tool performance is material hold-down. Secure material hold-down is imperative to prevent movement of material and vibration during the cutting process. - Answered by Red Book Best Practices Guide
Assuring dust gets out of the cutting tool flutes
Efficient dust extraction is also key to ensuring dust is guided out of the cut and into the dust collection system. If dust is a problem, a dust extraction collet nut can help facilitate removing dust out of the cutting flutes so the tool does not overheat and is not recutting chips. - Answered by Red Book Best Practices Guide

You can meet these and other Cabinet Makers Association experts at the Wood Pro Expo Cabinet Conference, March 6 at Wood Pro Expo Conference. The show is co-located with Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo at the Charlotte Convention Center March 6-8, 2019.  The Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo last appeared in Charlotte in 2011. The Wood Pro Expo brand comprises a series of strategic regional events, located in key areas throughout the U.S. where professional woodworkers congregate. 


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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.