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CNC Woodworking 101

How to Get Started with Woodworking

Woodworking is the art of cutting, shaping, and joining wood into functional or decorative pieces. A craftsman could produce anything from heirloom furniture and cabinetry to signage and candle holders – and their skill only advances with each project they complete.

Professional woodworkers take items from conception to reality using a variety of hand tools and power tools, as well as innovative technology like computer numerical control (CNC) machines. With these capabilities, they can turn their passion for creativity into a profitable business. Learn more about woodworking with CNC in this guide.


Subsets and Types of Woodworking


  • General woodwork
  • Cabinet making
  • Furniture making
  • Wood engraving
  • Sign making
  • Craft making


To go even further, some craftsmen prefer to use certain methods. While some use power tools or a combination of power and hand tools, other artisans may only use hand tools to meticulously create one-of-a-kind items.

Other techniques can empower greater precision and speed with woodworking, such as CNC machines. This technology can cut, carve, and mill many materials in addition to wood, such as MDF, metal, plastic, and foam. At Laguna Tools, we offer several different CNC models to address specific types of production, including desktop varieties and full-size, 4x10 machines.



Using CNC Machines for Woodworking


Professional woodworkers and expert hobbyists automate processes and minimize workloads using state-of-the-art technology like CNC machinery. A CNC machine can cut virtually anything you can design. This includes furniture, signage, cabinetry, and more. Some of the advantages of using woodworking CNC machines include:

  • Reduced human error
  • Less material waste
  • Lower timeline to completion
  • Greater cost efficiency
  • Higher level of precision
  • Easier product replication

The key is to choose the right CNC machine for your project. This technology creates crisp, clean cuts and can even engrave designs in extreme detail. Common woodworking CNC machines include:

  • CNC routers
  • CO2 lasers
  • Edgebanders
  • CNC turners
  • Joinery machines

Here are some best practices for using CNC machines in woodworking:

  • Size and performance matter: Your CNC machine should fit within your woodshop with room to spare and have the capabilities you need to work effectively.
  • Meet demand: Make sure your machine can handle your woodshop's level of output. This helps avoid mishaps and premature wear.
  • Get familiar with CNC software: Your machine takes your programmed design and translates it to the manufacturing process via computer software. Knowing your program well lets you make the most of your investment and its capabilities.
  • Use the right bits: Having the right bits and accessories on hand helps ensure each project comes out just right.


Explore Our Woodworking CNC Machinery

See our collection of CNC machines and routers for woodworking. Increase your production efficiency drastically and speed up your woodworking projects.


1. What are the basics of woodworking?
Woodworking involves understanding lumber types, having the right tools for the job, and honing the skills necessary to bring your vision to fruition.

2. Can I teach myself woodworking?
Yes, woodworking is a highly teachable skill. You can teach yourself, learn from a mentor, or take classes.

3. What should a beginner build in woodworking?
Great beginner builds are small, simple designs, such as benches, crates, wall shelves, and side tables.

4. What skills are needed for woodworking?
Woodworkers need a basic understanding of math and geometry. They should also have good dexterity, mechanical abilities, and problem-solving skills.

5. How long does it take to become a woodworker?
Becoming a proficient woodworker can take months or years, depending on the person's availability, training, and level of experience in hands-on work.

6. What are the most popular woodworking projects?
Popular woodworking projects include wine racks, cutting boards, coffee tables, bookcases, jewelry boxes, garden planters, and toys.

7. What's the difference between CNC and traditional woodworking techniques?
Traditional woodworking is user guided, performed with hand tools or power tools. CNC woodworking is automated thanks to computerized technology.

8. Can I use CNC machines for carving and engraving wood?
Yes, CNC machinery can carve and engrave intricate designs into wood and other materials.

9. How much do CNC machines for woodworking cost?
Costs vary depending on machinery type and capability. The average price is $15,000, but it can be upwards of $100,000.

10. What are the benefits of using a CNC for woodworking? 
CNC routers help you achieve a higher volume of production more efficiently without reducing the quality and consistency of each cut. They’re also versatile enough to handle various types of wood.

11.  Is learning to use a CNC router hard? 
All CNC routers at Laguna Tools come with clear instructions on how to operate the machinery. They also include computer-aided design and drafting (CAD) software that helps you visualize potential constructions before you turn on the router and get to work.

Begin Your Journey into Woodworking


With years of experience in woodworking as a hobby, you may wish to take your expertise and turn it into a business. Or, if you already have a woodworking shop, you may want to expand your business with techniques that enhance your skill. In either case, you’ll find that CNC router machines help you accomplish many goals with woodworking. 

At Laguna Tools, we offer industry-leading CNC machines and other equipment for woodworking, metalworking, cabinet-making, and sign-making. Additional resources and tutorials for woodworkers and CNC machinery are available. Contact us for more information.

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