Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#18856 - 03/28/09 09:43 AM Re: Will the CNC replace hand made frames ? [Re: Kevin L]
bmike Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 918
Loc: Burlington, VT

Have you worked with a crew from a CNC shop?

The CNC shops that I know are doing good design build work - I don't feel that this statement is accurate.

There are probably shops out there that design the joinery as the machine can cut it, that radius the timbers to they plug into anything the CNC router cuts... and yes, they bring down the value of our craft.

There are also hand shops that cut corners, fail to house joinery when it makes the most sense (housings take long to cut!), lag bolt things where no-one will see them, pass off 'post and beam' as timber framing... etc. etc.

There are crooks and whores in any business.

And there are honest people making use of technology to advance their vision of the craft and tradition of home building - often with timber framing at its core.


The loss of the iconic carpenter of yesteryear is a fault of any number of things... least of which should be 'manufacturing'. How about a lack of traditional carpentry education? Lack of respect for people who work with their hands? Push in high schools to eliminate the arts and vocational programs and push to science and math...

Respect and a decent wage would go a long way to bringing young people to learn framing - be it with timber or sticks. The CNC shop that I worked for and managed the TF Design group at is doing just this - promoting a sense of community, bringing good jobs and benefits to a depressed county, supporting not only a pack of timber framers - but house builders, office staff, designers and architects, woodworkers, and has expanded to start this on the west coast too.

It is true, that when you walk in the door with minimal skills you probably won't be able to hand layout a compound roof system - but if you stick with it, in a better company - one that is investing in its future - you'll learn those skills and more.

And the notion that the timber magically flows from machine to forklift to jobsite is utter nonsense. There is A LOT of planning, thought, and HAND work that goes into timber framing with a CNC. Its just a complicated mortise maker and end cutter. It removes some of the 'brute' work in a production environment (when the client wants S4S material)... and it takes skill to operate - from the top on down to the summer labor that hand oils the timbers and sweeps the floor.



_________________________
Mike Beganyi Design and Consulting, LLC.
www.mikebeganyi.com

Top
#18859 - 03/28/09 10:55 AM Re: Will the CNC replace hand made frames ? [Re: bmike]
OurBarns1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 570
Loc: Cumberland County, Maine
Originally Posted By: bmike


The loss of the iconic carpenter of yesteryear is a fault of any number of things... least of which should be 'manufacturing'. How about a lack of traditional carpentry education? Lack of respect for people who work with their hands? Push in high schools to eliminate the arts and vocational programs and push to science and math...

Respect and a decent wage would go a long way to bringing young people to learn framing - be it with timber or sticks.





Amen to that.

One factor seems to drive a seemingly headlong approach to the "minimization" of traditional carpentry skills: as a society we value the modern, plain and simple. We seem to worship the new-and-improved in nearly everything. Keeping up w/ the Joneses in a post-war "modern era" became a fever of sorts we still have firmly ingrained.

Why do car companies need to release a new model each year? Why not every 5 years? Because the public likes to trade up and have "the latest." Any car company that doesn't will be seen as falling behind and loose market share.

John Q. Public thinks a house designed by the latest in CNC-equipped technology will have more value than a "traditionaly-built" home. He can tell / impress his neighbors that his contractor employed the latest CNC, computer numerically-controlled, German-built Hundegger cutting machinery. Customized to integrate with CADWORK® software, to cut timbers up to 50 feet and joinery details within tolerances of 1/32 inch in one operation, quickly and affordably, with the highest quality and with a minimum of handwork.

At one time history tells us that artisans were highly valued members of society. Timber framers and joiners among them. We no longer have a model that values "working w/ you hands." But as we have stated, in reality working w/ your hands involves plenty of mental acuity (framing a compound roof).

I mean do parents want their kids to be carpenters or programmers?

Hopefully the pendulum can swing back a bit.



_________________________
Don Perkins
Member, TFG


to know the trees...



Top
#18862 - 03/28/09 11:38 AM Re: Will the CNC replace hand made frames ? [Re: OurBarns1]
bmike Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 918
Loc: Burlington, VT
Or they are more likely to say - "wow, we got a great deal on this place from that bumpkin down the road! look at how hard he works. he's got those amish kids working for almost nothing framing the house and those guys in the shop cutting the timber frame! he really could raise his prices and make a killing in the business. we really got a deal"

i doubt people go around quoting some marketing spiel about a hundegger. true, there are folks that want the latest and greatest and wear it on their sleeves. but for the most part, folks i've dealt with have come in by word of mouth - because of a pleasant and fair and honest approach (however costly) to designing and building their home. this applies to a machine shop or not.

and you should really check up on a few CNC shops. you might be surprised at how people still get to 'work with their hands'.

_________________________
Mike Beganyi Design and Consulting, LLC.
www.mikebeganyi.com

Top
#18869 - 03/28/09 03:32 PM Re: Will the CNC replace hand made frames ? [Re: ]
Will Truax Offline
Member

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 447
Loc: Center Barnstead NH

I don’t feel like John Henry, I’m swinging at a different spike…

And I’ll keep my sabot’s firmly on my feet. I used to worry, not about the machine, but about the sales teams necessarily attached to them, but don’t do even that any more.

For some percentage of the potential clientele out there, big beamy chunks of wood and price is what they’re shopping for, it’s all good – I’m looking for that other percentage, who’ve maybe spent a little more thought, and want something more, natty curves, carvings and embellishments, maybe hewn exposed surfaces or funky frame and panel enclosures. There are also those looking for someone who is either local, or with whom their personality clicks. Like I said, it’s all good.

There will always be those looking for that different somebody to drive that different spike.

The rest of the time I’m happy to help restore the work of those we follow.

This I think is somewhat analogous to the situation. A person highly capable with the beautifully wrought tool of their choice – Give him a few minutes to crank it up and you’ll be wowed – He’ll never chart in the top forty, and I don’t think he wants to.

Give a listen - The Ballad of John Henry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEmWC5rQlBo
_________________________
"We build too many walls and not enough bridges" - Isaac Newton

http://bridgewright.wordpress.com/


Top
#18887 - 03/29/09 06:38 PM Re: Will the CNC replace hand made frames ? [Re: bmike]
Gabel Offline

Member

Registered: 11/18/03
Posts: 687
Loc: Georgia
Originally Posted By: bmike
Originally Posted By: Gabel


Good question. The advent and proliferation of automated joinery machines has already and will continue to affect the prospects of carpenters who build timber frames. The bigger shops who use these don't employ as many carpenters -- that's a fact. and the one's who are employed are required to do less carpentry (and more material handling).

I know there are different kinds of CNC companies out there and some of them use it as just another tool and continue to do cool and challenging things and employ skilled and creative people. But...





This is a half truth (in bold).
There are a few good companies doing CNC work that are able to have more timber framers and carpenters on staff. One company is able to support 10-14 timber framers - from apprentice to 'master', a crew of 8 carpenters from journey man to seasoned pro, and a complete custom cabinet and woodshop.



Mike,

Whether we like it or not, the fact is the CNC machine replaces hand work. That means it replaces hands.

Perhaps as some companies made the leap to automation, they were able to grow their sales fast enough that they actually added people rather than letting carpenters go. That's great. But to do the same volume of work without the machine would require even more people. Automation replaces people -- that's a simple fact.

I am sure there are responsible users of this technology, but that does not change the fact that all automation replaces man hours. That is the point of it. I hear it called "brute work" or "drudgery" or "repetetive tasks", but in the end it is all work and it all used to be done by a guy with a tool in his hand.


I'm out of time once more, but I am enjoying everyone's perspective on this and will look forward to continuing later.

_________________________
Gabel

www.holderbros.com

Top
#19086 - 04/10/09 10:25 PM Re: Will the CNC replace hand made frames ? [Re: Gabel]
Dave Shepard Online   content
Member

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 706
Loc: Alford, MA
In 2006 I looked into working for a large TF company formerly in upstate New York. The job entailed about two weeks in the shop cleaning up timbers after being run through the Hundegger. Then it was off to the raising, where I'd spend two weeks or so raising the frame and installing the sips panels. And all for about the same money an hour that Dunkin Donuts was starting people. Room for advancement was limited, and it did not sound as though they did much that couldn't be run through their machine.

I decided that my view of timber framing was much different, and that I would not have enjoyed the experience. I've decided to take someones advice, and put a frame up on the side of the road, and let things go from there.
_________________________
Member, Timber Framers Guild

Top
#19087 - 04/10/09 10:38 PM Re: Will the CNC replace hand made frames ? [Re: Dave Shepard]
bmike Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 918
Loc: Burlington, VT
looks like that machine was a good thing then...
_________________________
Mike Beganyi Design and Consulting, LLC.
www.mikebeganyi.com

Top
#19088 - 04/10/09 10:45 PM Re: Will the CNC replace hand made frames ? [Re: bmike]
Dave Shepard Online   content
Member

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 706
Loc: Alford, MA
I am not sure that I follow you. Good because it sent me on my own more traditional path?


Edited by Dave Shepard (04/10/09 10:45 PM)
_________________________
Member, Timber Framers Guild

Top
#19089 - 04/10/09 11:58 PM Re: Will the CNC replace hand made frames ? [Re: Dave Shepard]
Happy Birthday Mark Davidson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/03
Posts: 1115
Loc: Keene,Ontario, Canada
The world needs MORE roadside timberframes!!!!!
go for it.

Top
#19090 - 04/11/09 06:14 AM Re: Will the CNC replace hand made frames ? [Re: Mark Davidson]
TIMBEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1872
Loc: Maine
The best form of advertising money can buy, a road side frame. It is two fold, it will attract clients and after that it doubles as a usable building, no add in print can do that.

Tim

Top
Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >

Moderator:  Jim Rogers, mdfinc, Paul Freeman 
Newest Members
Alvin, wildboar, DWS07, Arbortech, mcfabb
4713 Registered Users