I remember a thread a month or more ago where people were discussing what type of personalization was appropriate for stamping on finished projects.
There were a few cases where “Made By” was challenged since the piece was cut with a CNC, however I had an experience this past weekend that I wanted to share.
A good friend was over at my house. This friend, while a great guy, has a somewhat “biased” version of woodworking and finish carpentry, because he feels that unless a piece is made with hammer, chisel, hand saw and \ or hand plane, it’s not truly a legitimate piece because machines were used.
When I showed him the XCarve, his very first comment was “Yeah, but the machine does all the work”…
It had been a long week, and I was not in the best of moods, so I challenged him to make something, anything, using the machine.
I pointed to the power switch on the 611, the power switch on the XController, and even the laptop and said “There you go, have at it, make me a name plaque”…
Trying not to look beaten he poked here, prodded there, and then came back with “yeah, but you built it, so you know how to use it”
I opened the laptop, launched easel, made sure it connected and the carve button lit up, then stepped back.
“Ok, I said, I just reduced the learning curve, now make me a name plaque”
He fumbled with the piece of scrap I handed him. I showed him the corner fixture, and he put it in place. He fumbled with the hold downs and got them in place (We used the wood ones, I bet you all know why).
He looked at Easel for a bit, selected text, put the text on the screen.
“There” he said, “easy, now I just click Carve, right”?
“Yup” - I wasn’t going to miss out on the fun, I wish I’d had my phone to take a video.
He pressed carve, followed the prompts. I showed him where the power button was for the 611.
Now, there is currently still no BIT in the 611, so I had to ask what he intended to cut with. He mumbled and we added a bit.
I stopped the carve wizard and restarted it. When he reached the homing step I said nothing. The machine wasn’t in the lower left, and his carve wasn’t going to go too far. He was click happy, so I just watched.
He looked at me approvingly with his finger over the Start Carving button, the router was on. I nodded.
The router proceeded to cut nothing (Z wasn’t zeroed), at least until it decided to job home and cut a nice groove thru one of my wood clamps. He jumped back.
I showed him how to home the machine, we started again.
This time it barely missed the clamp, then started carving, he had chosen on-path and the font was too small, so it only cut part of the design, and REALLY shallow.
He looked frustrated.
I replaced the scrap, and showed him how to change depth (he hadn’t noticed the error about the bit being too big).
We started again, deeper, but incomplete.
I replaced the scrap.
This continued thru about 6 pieces of scrap. I just stood there quietly, laughing inside.
Finally, we had his name cut out. I showed him how to remove the tabs, and sand them.
He stood holding the letters for a long time, turning them over in his hands, admiring “his” work.
He finally looked at me. “Damn, that was hard, and that’s all I get?”
I smiled. Then I opened up the forum page and started scrolling thru all the projects that people have been doing. Lithopanes, plaques, signs, 3d cuts.
He was in awe.
I explained that even though the “Machine” did all the work, many of these projects took HOURS of tests, re-tests, frustrations etc… to get right. And that was when the machine was operating flawlessly.
We went back in the house and he excitedly showed off to his wife the name that “HE” had made out in my shop.
“Um, the machine actually did all the work” I reminded him.
I sincerely wish that all the unbelievers like him had an opportunity to build and learn the XCarve, they would have a completely different appreciation and understanding for the work involved.
I PROUDLY tell people “I made this” when displaying work from the machine.
It made my weekend, and I thought others would appreciate…