BLENDING OLD & NEW TECH
With the exception of live edge furniture, all of my projects begin with one of the most powerful tools in my shop: my computer. I design primarily in a CAD (computer aided design) program called VCarve Pro, which I also use to create digital prototypes that I can easily iterate without leaving my chair.
After completing the software design, it's time to leverage the incredible power of my 4' x 8' ShopBot CNC Router. A CNC router is essentially a robotic cutter, driven by software, that operates on three axes. Think 3D printer, except the technology is reductive (cutting away material to create a finished product) rather than additive (using molten plastic to create something from nothing). Using a variety of bits and cutting techniques, I can bring complicated designs to life that would be either impossible or impractical to produce by hand.
So where's the old tech? It's actually a HUGE part of the process. Because I work almost exclusively with real wood (not plywood), I invest significant time in selecting lumber, milling it in my shop and gluing it up into "panels" from which my designs are cut. Then I have to sand, sand some more, and then sand even more. And finally I get to work magic and bring the wood to life with an appropriate finish, which is almost always a 100% plant-based, eco-friendly oil and wax combination.
The video below shows the ShopBot in action cutting cherry and maple cheese boards.