Just this June we installed our first specialist CNC woodworking router for one of our customers in France. The order was for the ATC 2030 fully configured with Polyboard and VCarve along with comprehensive training.
Stéphane Simon has a long and varied experience in carpentry where he has developed his skills in a wide range of areas (including cabinet making, carpentry and framing). More recently, Stéphane has also gained a lot of experience in the construction of chalets.
But he really wanted to return to his first love, woodwork, and so was immediately interested in our CNC and software configuration.
Here Stéphane tells us about his experience:
I quickly realised the enormous potential of work based around CNC. This would make it possible to avoid working with 4 to 5 saws and other machine tools, but nonetheless I needed to find a way to minimise the investment but maintain a very good quality of work and also a very efficient production process.
The price of Wood Designer’s CNCs was extremely competitive and I was impressed by the speed of placing the order to installation.
With the help of Jamie (our technician) and colleagues, we set up the machine on Monday morning as soon as it was delivered by the carrier. In half a day the machine was set up and ready to be configured for electricity, hydraulics, levelling, settings, etc. Ness from Wood Designer arrived in the afternoon on Monday with all these configurations being completed on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, after some final machine settings were adjusted, Jamie and Ness ran through the necessary maintenance and safety advice before use of the machine. We have also set the machine up with some extra very good quality tools [which are now supplied as standard with all machines].
Thursday morning after a good breakfast, Jamie took the plane back to England. In the afternoon I undertook with Ness further training to get to know the machine leading on to the production of various furniture projects from Friday morning.
On Friday afternoon, after some final configurations were put in place, my wife joined us in the workshop to make preparations and set up for the opening day event of my workshop in the town of Val d’Ajol which I moved into in February 27, 2017. Lots of people came including the press and enjoyed a demonstration of our new CNC.
I must now familiarise myself with the design and manufacturing capabilities of Polyboard and VCarve as I already have many projects ready to go.
These include a big office furniture project for a well known brand, and another involving the production of bee hives. I focus on network based marketing to develop my customer base.
The nice thing about the machine is that I can make a standard series of furniture types [designed in Polyboard], in essence creating a furniture library, which I can easily adapt to customers’ custom requirements with a few clicks of the mouse. Everything is already set in VCarve and I can switch from design to manufacturing very quickly.
So I want to do custom manufacture as well as offer off the shelf furniture and offer a range of materials and design options. I can now offer services for architects, interior designers, manufacture at low cost for other woodwork professionals, in short there are a wide range of possibilities…
Now I can automate very efficiently the cut and machining of parts, so I’m able to dedicate more time to commercial development and complex projects.
In summary, we asked Stéphane to tell us how we found the whole experience, although it’s very early days since the install:
I’m going to start with the negative (laughs): I’m sorry that the VCarve tutorials are in English but I’m the first customer and I know that it is planned to translate them into French, we will be patient but perhaps in the meantime I’ll become a bilingual carpenter.
Finally, the big plus point for me was the help I received from the Wood Designer team, there has been a real sharing of skills, and we immediately felt that they are woodwork professionals, they know our constraints, and they listened to our needs which was really important.
Stéphane Simon’s workshop is located in Val d’Ajol (88340), 8 rue des Meiges. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with him direct to discuss your woodwork projects.