Idea of the day

Why doesn’t Home Depot or Lowes have a 4x8 CNC router in the back with a set of plans built into it so you can pick a plan (desk, work bench … hundreds of plans) purchase a few sheets of plywood, carry them to the back and have one of the employees load it on the table cut it to the plan you picked and then print a 3 page assembly instruction that also gives you a list of the tools and other hardware (or mabe a few 2x4’s) you will need (all available in the store)

I am looking at the plans for the Wood Cart I need and thinking how much easier this would be if I had a 4x8 machine.

They could have basically the plans for the entire Ikea catalog ready to cut.


I would volunteer to help them train someone.

That sounds like a plan!
I can easily fit a full, 2400x1200 sheet of ply in the back of my van. ( rear space is 4300x1900)
Just have to work out the dust extraction side of it, oh and find the cash to build the CNC itself :disappointed:

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Then the story would called Home Ikea. :wink:


You could charge $15 to $20 per sheet to cut, say 10 minutes per sheet. On a busy day that’s about $100/hr plus the big box store should pay you something if you help increase their sales. Just working the weekend would be an easy $1,000

If business stayed good you would pay for the machine in six week to ten weeks.

I see a franchise opportunity in my future (“Builders Friend”) !
Build a trailer with a full CNC shop mounted in it with generators, dust collection, etc Sell the fitted out trailers to the franchisee’s, train them to use it and they would be making money week 1 and pay off the equipment in 6 months.

I just need a big library of plans.

Drive faster.


down by the river?

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There a guy not far from me that has a big CNC machine in his garage. He charges $60 a sheet to cut, mostly, marine ply for local boat builders. He does a good trade as most other commercial places charge a minimum of $100 for setup and the first 1/2 hour then $100/hour in 15 minute increments. Mind you, those CNC machines can cut 12mm ply in a single pass so you can get quite a lot done in 1 hour.