We devote a lot of space in these pages to covering advances in woodworking manufacturing technology. Computers and software have revolutionized our industry and have made huge inroads into shops of all sizes. These days you are just as likely to find a CNC machine in a big factory as you are in a small shop. The march of technology is clearly the way of the future, but sometimes we have to recognize that you can still run a successful operation without all the electronic whistles and bells.
Tyler Morris runs such a shop. He doesn’t do big panel processing projects. Most of what he makes is in solid wood. His three-man operation produces lots of high-quality, solid wood recipe boxes, serving trays, cutting boards, and corbels. There’s no CNC router, but there are lots of jigs and patterns hanging on the walls, and there are about 30 hand routers pre-set for individual tasks.
Morris has built a reputation over 15 years of building hand-crafted quality originally designed small products. He recognizes that some things might be made more efficiently on a CNC machine and has even outsourced a few things from time to time to a CNC shop. But that’s not the way he wants to do business. He’s making a choice to choose the level of technology that works for him.
It’s not that Morris despises technology. To the contrary, more than half of all his revenue comes through technology in the form of Internet sales. But he’s found a mix of technology and traditional processes that works for him. And that’s fine.
We all must recognize that we can choose our own paths. High-tech, low-tech, or even no-tech isn’t as important as fulfilling your personal goals in life and business the way you think works best for you.
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