The right router bit and a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) router will make easy work of your wood carving project and will produce results you can be proud of. A router will help you achieve your wood working goals with speed, consistency and accuracy.
If you plan to use a CNC wood router, you need to know how to use it to get its full benefits. The type of carvers you use also matters. You can use carving pod router bits, roundnose bits, or carving rougher bits depending on what you want to accomplish.
Here are some simple steps to follow when using a CNC router and carving bits to carve wood.
Program Your Machine
You first have to compose a programmable command for the router to follow. Some routers include user-friendly programs that you can use to input your data. Less complex machines perform a variety of functions on a single command, so you’ll probably skip this step if you have this type of router.
Apply The Bit
This is the most important step in the entire process. The bit is the part that actually processes the wood – in this case it will do the carving. You need to use a carving bit and the program you set in the first step will direct the head to follow the pattern you outlined. If you purchase bits separate from the ones that come with machine, it is important to make sure that they are compatible with your router.
Getting Set Up
Place the wood on the router, following the instructions for locking the wood in place. Make sure that the wood is secure before you do anything further. Some routers use a vacuum to hold the wood in place while it is being processes. This feature is quite handy as it keeps the wood from shifting, which will spoil your results.
Find Out The Work Piece Zero
You should know the work piece zero of the router in relation to the router’s program. This is normally at the center of the piece but you should refer to the program to be sure. You must get this correct if you want to program to run the way you set it to run. This is the only way you’ll get the results you need.
Run The Router
The final step is to begin running the router. Start with a slow speed first just to see that everything is running as planned. You’ll want to ensure that the router is cutting the preset dimensions and following your outline. If it is proceeding as you hoped, you can go ahead and change the speed settings to something faster. Rerun the program to produce multiple versions of your first carving.
Brandon has written this article for PrecisionBits.com, leaders in woodworking supply like Router bits tables and various kind of router bits.