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 In Shop Blog, Techniques

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Have a vendor mill your patterns on their CNC to start digital woodworking with little effort at low cost.

In earlier posts in this series, I explained how you can take simple computer drawings and make paper patterns. In my last post, I revealed the process I used for years for making MDF patterns. But, how do you do that if you don’t own a CNC?  Outsource it. Here are a few tips on finding and working with a local CNC shop.

If you look around your area, you should be able to find a nearby CNC service that can machine patterns for you. When it comes to patterns, I prefer a vendor with a large CNC that uses vacuum hold down. Vacuum holding works better for large sheets of flat material. Smaller CNCs like a 48″ x48″ will work fine, but for this purpose, a larger machine is more efficient. There are a lot of 48” x 96” and larger CNCs in use and a number of small companies might take on simple projects like machining patterns for you.

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