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Crazy Cool Wood Joinery with CNC

Jul 12, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Router, Cool, Techniques  //  3 Comments

If you can imagine it, you can probably make it with CNC.  But how many of us are so used to seeing non-CNC’d things that we forget to imagine?

There is an indicator on the front of a Mac Powerbook laptop.  The case is aluminum, and if the indicator is not lit, you can’t see any evidence of an open.  When the indicator lights up, it is as if the indicator can actually shine through the aluminum.  It’s done by means of tiny holes put there via CNC controlled laser beam.  Seeing that really expanded my imagination.

In the arena of expanding your imagination about wood joinery, I loved an article over on MAKE called CNC Panel Joinery Notebook.

Here are just a few of the many pictures to expand your imagination and convince you the article is worth a deeper read:

Gallery of unusual CNC wood joinery…

I love the self-locking joints and the puzzle-piece joints.

Those are design sketches, but here is a real world example.  Thanks to Seth Godin (one of my favorite marketing and inspirational bloggers) for telling me about Nick Schade’s work.

When you make an 18 foot long kayak, and wood only comes in 8 foot long sheets, you have to get creative.  Schade uses a puzzle joint and here is the beautiful result:

puzzle joint

Puzzle joint is a beautiful complement to the lines of the kayak…


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  • Do you have any more info about the Mac Powerbook indicator? I searched but I couldn’t find anything on it. Sounds a really neat idea!

  • Lindsay, I added a link up above that takes you to a page describing Apple’s laser process as well as other aspects of how Macbooks are made.



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