My name is Michael Tyler, founder and owner of CarveBuddy. Welcome! I’m glad to be a sponsor of the Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts Ornaments Contest and hope you’ll show off your creativity and skill with your contest entries!
My website might be a little different (maybe even surprising) to you. Especially if you were expecting to see scroll saw patterns and drawings. Yes, we are different! Please allow me to give you a little background…
Since age 5, when I helped my dad apply shellac to a bookcase/cupboard I watched him build himself, I’ve had a love for woodworking and working with my hands in general. You probably have a similar story, or maybe you are relatively new to woodworking. Either way, I know you and I share the same passion and enjoyment while creating things in our workshops.
I started building things in my dad’s garage workshop using hand tools, and eventually, learned how to use a few power tools as I grew up. By my late teens, my dad bought a Shopsmith multi-tool and we both marveled at all the great possibilities this “new technology” offered! Only, back then, we didn’t call it “technology” -we just called it a wonderful tool. It wasn’t all that “new” either – a man named Hans Goldschmidt invented this combination all-in-one tool in 1946! A man with vision, to be sure.
Dad is gone now, but his inspiration and woodworking skills he taught me live on. I’ve had my own workshops since 1973 (the first one was a 10’ x 7’ metal shed in a trailer park where I lived while attending college). Over the years, I’ve added many tools to my workshop arsenal, and learned a lot more about working with wood along the way, just as you have. Below are some old photos when I made wooden mirror planters back in the 1970’s for sale at craft shows. The crude (but effective!) advertisement is one I drew myself for insertion in a local weekly publication called “The Reminder”. It was distributed in our small town each week and was a very economical way to advertise my stuff!
Fast forward to December 2006. My wife saw a Sears advertisement on television for a compact CNC machine called the CarveWright CompuCarve and told me about it. Intrigued, I visited the manufacturer’s website and watched a video showing how to design projects on a computer and carve them out with this machine. It was sort of a “new all-in-one tool” that could drill, route, cut and carve relief models into wood, and I was very excited to discover what I could create with it and how to incorporate it into my “traditional” woodworking! I enthusiastically began making an idea list of potential projects of my own and ordered the machine the next day. My new CNC machine arrived from Sears the first week in January 2007, and off I went!
By April 15, 2007, I was having a ton of fun and had created more projects and digital models than I knew what to do with! I ultimately decided to start my own company and website called “CarveBuddy” to sell and share some of my work. Since then, I’ve added another CarveWright CNC as well as a ShopBot CNC to my shop, and have designed monthly projects for the CarveWright and Vectric companies for several years now. In addition, I’m now converting my digital models so they’ll be compatible with any CNC machine design layout software being used by the woodworker.
There’s no question a CNC machine is indeed “technology” for woodworkers, but it could be argued that any power tool is “technology”! Honestly, I prefer to simply think of a CNC as just another tool (but a wonderful one!) to expand my workshop’s creative capability and efficiency. This is very similar to how my dad’s Shopsmith added new capabilities and efficiency to his workshop so many years ago. All my accumulated traditional woodworking skills still apply to every project whether the CNC is used or not. Some things never change. I still need to plan, design, assemble, prep surfaces and apply finishes to all my projects as I always have. And, some things DO change. Since making the decision to add CNC to my shop, I’ve had more fun than ever with my “new and different” woodworking tools and have met a lot of other fellow woodworkers who have too!
Who knows? You may decide to add a CNC tool to your own workshop someday. If you do, I hope you’ll remember to visit my CarveBuddy web site for digital models and project ideas you can use in your own woodworking endeavors.
Thanks for reading and I wish all the best to you. Happy Woodworking!
P.S. –Feel free to browse my website now for ideas of what you can accomplish with a CNC tool!