Not using CNC?

How often do you find yourself still doing something manual that the CNC may be good for?

For instance. My wife has me making a dog bowl holder for in the kitchen. The holder requires two large circles cut into a chunk of wood. My initial thought was to use the MPCNC to cut the circles. The chunk of wood is thicker than the end mills I have, so I would have had to flip the piece and cut them out from both sides.

In the end, I ended up using a regular router and a Jasper jig to just cut them by hand. My Bosch router is way more powerful than the 660 on my MPCNC and cut through the Mahogany like butter. I was ever so slightly off on my center hole from one side to the other (because the board wasn’t exactly 10" across and someone forgot to measure from the same edge when marking the center point on both sides), but you’ll never see the slight bump. I’m also considering using the table saw to cut the board in half and make two stands, so You’ll really not see the bump then.


There’s always more than one way to do woodworking. The CNC is just a tool. It doesn’t get offended if you find another way to do it.

I was dog sitting an older dog a few years ago and he kept knocking his water all over the floor. So I made a ring out of particle board to keep it from tipping and I used the CNC. The whole time I was thinking I could have done it with my other tools, was I doing the right thing?


If you would have used the CNC it would have ended up with a monogram and perhaps some epoxy fill. Sometimes you just gotta get it done without going over the top.

And you need to make sure you are not losing any manual skills.



The other day I needed to cut little coaster-like things from thin walnut with an engraving on it.
If it was a circle I would have engraved first, switched bit and cut it out all on the CNC.
They’re rectangles. Could there be any other ways to cut rectangles faster?
Yes. Yes there are.


My LR2 is mainly for sign making and those odd projects that call for it. Most of my projects are Arts & Crafts style furniture that don’t really require a whole lot of CNC, though I would like to use it more.

I have had similar thoughts about this in regard to not designing and 3D printing something, but kludging up something with the same function out of scraps of wood, hot glue, epoxy, brackets and bolts. I often see some YouTuber who just spent a day designing something and hours printing it, and say, “Jeez that was a lot of work just to hold something down.” I have a 3D printer and design skills, but only use them when the kludge approach fails me. :slight_smile:


“You’ll never need a full sheet machine” they all said.

Hand skills survive - albeit with 3d printed templates.


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One place I do grab the cnc a lot is if I’m using the cut out part of an odd shaped object. In this case, I wasn’t using the circle that was being cut out, so putting a hole in the middle of it didn’t matter. If I was using the circle instead of the outer part, then I’d use the CNC so that I didn’t have the center hole.

Otherwise, I have to cut out a template using the circle jig. Use the template to draw a circle, use the bandsaw to cut out the circle. Tape the template to the cut out, then use the router to trim the circle.

In that situation, the CNC is 100x faster.