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Matthias Wandel's Wooden Manufacturing Rigs

Gareth Halfacree

Glancing through our various product offerings, you'd be forgiven for thinking us at oomlout a bunch of technophiles. Honestly, though, we're just as happy playing around with our various manual tools to create something as we are programming an Arduino. Matthias Wandel is another fan of hand-working, and on his Woodgears site offers an insight into how traditional methods can compete with shiny new CNC and 3D printing systems. Brought to our attention via a thread on OpenBuilds, Matthias has created a variety of wooden manufacturing rigs for cheap router tools - including a pantograph to copy existing designs in an altered scale and a copy carver for producing wooden replicas of three-dimensional objects. Matthias has even done a head-to-head comparison of creating wooden gears via bandsaw compared to modern CNC milling with possibly surprising results - a true indication of how the latest technology is not always the best tool for the job.

People keep suggesting that I should get into CNC. But I have always taken the position that CNC wouldn't save me any time for what I do. In fact, I was pretty sure I could cut out a gear faster on the bandsaw than most CNC hobby machines could.

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