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Advances in CNC technology for precision tools like this router table let today’s cabinetmakers combine traditional woodworking savvy with computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software skills to create fixtures and furniture.
Weeke Vantage 43M Computer Numerical Control (CNC) router table: That’s a mouthful! This high-speed router table provides cabinetmaker apprentices the chance to cut everything from sheet goods to solid wood.
“The first step in CNC is designing the part you’re creating,” says cabinetmaker instructor Harold Bergmann. “If you can draw it in CAD (computer aided design), you can run it on this table.” Programming, setting up and operating this router trains second-, third-, and fourth-year apprentices on equipment used in many shops for producing high volumes of consistent components — think kitchen cabinets — or custom pieces that would be too time consuming without CNC technology.
When processing full sheets of material, the gantry travels the entire length of the 4 x 10-foot table.
This router table has a 14-horsepower main spindle, an HSK tool holding system, a machining centre equipped for vertical or horizontal drilling, and a saw blade for grooving.
A look inside the Weeke Vantage 43M. Photo by Harderlee Photography.
Compression bits with segmented diamond cutters make processing speeds up to 130 metres per minute possible, depending on the tool used and what’s being cut.
CAM software allows for the design and running of parts right at the machine. Files can also be created elsewhere and networked to the router’s computer.
The router’s vacuum table can be split into two zones for creating multiple smaller parts.
On LINK photo day, the router was programmed to use a 60 degree v-bit to cut SAIT’s logo into 19 mm MDF board. Photo by Harderlee Photography.