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CNC Wood Machining - Carved Parts

  • Wood carved parts
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While the industrial manufacturer of high quality milled and carved solid wood components has always relied upon traditional machining processes and equipment to get the job done, today's market increasingly requires and demands more flexibility, capability, efficient production and a quicker response time than ever.




Wood - carved parts

The production of the wide range of solid wood objects requested by the market with high quality and at lower costs, such as gunstocks - various types of handles including brush, paintbrush, knife - sporting items such as paddles - chair backsplats - legs, such as Queen Anne, or ball and claw - fluted or spiral carved stair balusters - and so forth, no longer need depend upon finding the least expensive labor sources for their production. For, if it's possible to produce a product with almost no labor content, then it's possible for it to be produced anywhere in the world, with the significant advantage that the local producer has a more efficient logistics cost than anyone else.

CMS' unique range of CNC machining center solutions provides just these capabilities, and is highlighted by its newest generation, the Multilathe system: CMS' compact, powerful, highly efficient, combination CNC router and turning lathe series, where Multilathe's output not only does the work of a number of traditional machines at the same time, but does so with high productivity and at a much improved quality level.

table CNC's

Karat - flexible shaping and carving, serious multiple spindle production, 5 axis, automation

Karat - flexible shaping and carving, serious multiple spindle production, 5 axis, automation

Karat, CMS' moving table class CNC machining center, is a highly versatile format for special solutions, such as the production of a wide range of diverse shaped leg components, requiring precise positioning at compound angles for holes, slots, flats, and trimming, at high productivity rates, with high level automation, high flexibility, quick easy setup, and simplicity of work routine for the operator.

In this version, Karat is equipped with a double table, each of which have a 4th axis, 6 position, full rotational device, each position provided with length/width identification grid and CMS' special, quick connect clamping devices for rapid change over between batch productions. Karat's working unit is a 6 position, 5th axis ATC spindle group, of which each spindle has access to its own group of tools protected from dust. The operator's work is made simple by CMS' simplified setup methodology, easy load system, and automatic unloading capability at the end of the cycle, in which the parts are released onto a take away belt, just below the holding fixtures, and are moved to center of the CNC, and received by another take away belt, which brings them to the operator's position, for quick, easy unloading, without the need of moving between the tables or removing the parts from the fixtures at the end of each cycle.

Being able to produce a wide variety of complex, solid wood parts, at high volumes with frequent change over from run to run, means a low labor content, with high quality, something critical for solid wood component producers today.

Karat - stair components: volutes, balusters, newel posts, shaping & carving

Karat - stair components: volutes, balusters, newel posts, shaping & carving

This Karat double table version is specially equipped for staircase component production, including one-piece volutes with upeasing, as well as fluted, spiraled, or carved balusters and newel posts.

One of Karat's tables has a special CMS 4th axis rotational system for post and baluster production. Some baluster producing machines, still in use today, produce baluster spindles without a true center marking in the spindle's shaft, in this case CMS' special system guarantees that the balusters will be centered, and held, based on the true outside spindle dimension, regardless of where the headstock/tailstock impressions were made, even if they're not in the center of the spindle shaft. CMS' unique approach to solving this problem also means that the fluting or spiraling in the balusters will be the same depth from the surface and not vary from one production run to another, even if the baluster is not consistently finished to the same outside dimension. These same fixtures as easily accommodate newel posts, as balusters, for the machining of flutes, spirals or even carving as required.

Karat's other table is provided with CMS' unique holding fixtures for one-piece integrated volutes with upeasing, designed for left and rights, at various heights and for all of the normally requested profiles, such as 6010, while providing for a wide range of other custom profiles. The fixture allows for producing several of each type at a time, or setup identically, if larger batch production is required.

Karat's working units are completely CNC controlled and independent, so that work can be carried out on each table simultaneously. The working unit for volute production is CMS' PX5, a powerful 5 axis working unit with full, free form capabilities in 5 axis; that for the post and baluster production is CMS' TX3 working unit, providing the same powerful spindle capability for 3 axis work.

As a complete solution CMS not only provides the cutting tools, specially designed to work with the part geometry, but also the special programs required for each type of component combined with the specific profiles used.
Karat - beautiful, CNC carving, master carver quality, intaglio, teach-in and scanning methods

Karat - beautiful, CNC carving, master carver quality, intaglio, teach-in and scanning methods

Karat, CMS' moving table class CNC machining center, also brilliantly executes the complexities and brings out the beauty of the master carver's work, whether that be the subtleties of form and shape, or the crisp definition of intaglio incision work or rice carving, as done by the hand of an experienced carver. CMS has not only been involved with the earliest CNC, 5 axis, multiple spindle carving solutions, as early as 1984, but at one time owned the multiple spindle copying machine company, Zuckermann, and appreciates the actual work involved in carving, as well as the need to translate original carving works into CNC code that faithfully reproduce the original intent and at a quality level required by a particular market.

In this photo is shown a single table 6 position, 5 axis Karat equipped for high production complex carving, with each spindle being an ATC unit which may select from 8 different tools to carry out its work, and the working unit group having a 4th axis capability to incline the tool as required to the work, and a 5th axis table group holding 6 parts and capable of full rotational movement of the part. The table group also includes work piece support and length adjustment capabilities. In addition, this Karat is also equipped with 6, 6th axis, intaglio carving units, inclined to the work at the same angle as the human hand, and capable of rotating as required to execute finely cut, high rpm, blade incisions -not routed - into the surface of a carved part, just as done by an experienced carver, resulting in crisp, fine, clean-cut edges.

As important as the execution of the carving is the work of translating the master carver's original creation into machine executable code. To do this CMS has several solutions. The first, available from the very beginning, is based on probing styli, matching the actual carving tools to be used, traced on the master carver's prototype by the work of an competent carver, who determines the tools to be used for each path and traces the carving with each stylus, while selecting points along the path to "snap", which are later used to create the splined paths that will be executed by the CNC machine, thus reproducing each individual path with the correct stylus and faithfully reflecting the best of the master carver's intent. This results in an even higher level of faithfulness, than most traditional methods, to the original work, than just a surfacing on a "duplicating machine" with some final offline definition by hand.

The other method is laser scanning, in which a laser scanner is used to obtain the thousands of surface points involved in the original carving and then to reproduce this surface using an appropriately dimensioned, and usually small for the final work, diameter ball end mill. Many, many, surfacing paths are executed at varying heights to reflect the changes of the original surface based on the laser scan and each time the cutter path is moved over slightly (the step over distance from one path to the next) so that the resulting surface cusp is very small, and easily cleaned up in the surface sanding phase. Though this approach does not yield the high level of surface crispness, as that of the "teach-in" method with styli, it also avoids the need of a competent carver to determine the "teach-in" information. Yet it is possible to combine the two methods and obtain the efficiencies of scanning with that of some "teach-in" work and so "set" the desired level of definition and cost for a particular project.

Carving is a highly appreciated, time honored, artistry and profession. CMS' unique solutions for executing the machining and carving of multiple parts at the same time, with high quality and complexity, combined with the highest level of fidelity to the master carver's original intent, mean that the skills of the past generation of artisans need not be lost, but may actually be preserved and enhanced for generations to come, while training a new generation in the most up to date technology... available only from CMS.


Multilathe - multi spindle CNC machining center & lathe

Multilathe - multi spindle CNC machining center & lathe

Multilathe, CMS' unique combination, multi spindle, CNC lathe and 6 axis machining center, makes it possible to machine 4 component parts at the same time, just like a multiple spindle carving machine, but in a vertically oriented fashion, not horizontally. Each of Multilathe's point/counterpoint holding devices (headstock/tailstock) securely holds the part to be worked, while at the same time is capable of high speed CNC controlled rotation so that large amounts of material may be removed quickly, as well as complex rotational controlled movement for CNC machining and carving work.

Multilathe is extremely fast, and accurate, not only due to its innate approach to doing the work, but because it combines several steps together at one time, in one place, and in a completed manner, no re-processing, no intermediate stocks of material, and no possible further lost parts in other subsequent machining operations.

Multilathe has 4 spindles, each a powerful 5-axis working unit, and each of which have access to its own storage rack of 10 cutting tools, meaning that each spindle is provided with all of its own tools for processing and carving work. Multilathe also has additional control over the working spindle inclination with its 6th axis, so that its lathe operations can present the side of the milling tool for fast, smooth, machining operations, and not just the end of the tool. With Multilathe's unique approach to roughing and finishing lathe work, which results in a perfect geometric surface, without the use of traditional copy lathe processes, only some light hand-sanding is usually required for parts to be ready for remaining production work.

Following the CNC controlled lathe operations, Multilathe finishes all the remaining CNC controlled machining operations by executing cycles for trimming, joint surfaces, holes, openings, carving operations, and so forth, resulting in a complete and finished part.


Gunstocks & butts

Gunstocks & butts

Gunstocks and butts, like many other solid wood objects, require the creation of surfaces, sometimes complex and demanding, along with machining operations, like the inletting required for all the hardware on a gunstock. CMS' Multilathe does all this, and more, with multiple parts at the same time. In this photo a gunstock which has had both the lathe shaping work and the inletting done on Multilathe is shown at the top, and the finished gunstocks are shown at the bottom.

Fluted balusters, rice carved posts, ball & claw legs

Fluted balusters, rice carved posts, ball & claw legs

Shaping, carving, fluting are typical works for balusters with spiral flutes, rice carved bed posts or ball and claw legs with high quality intaglio carving, just part of the wide range of products produced on CMS' CNC machining centers for solid wood components.

Fluted and rice carved columns

Fluted and rice carved columns

Fluted and rice carved columns and posts are just a few of the high quality components needed by today's furniture industry, a job being performed at an impressive level of quality and design by Enkeboll Designs, one of CMS' high reputation customers with a broad product line of finely carved wood products.

Enkeboll can be found at

Legs & finals

Legs & finals

Finely carved legs and finials with foliated fleur-de-lis, exhibit beautiful detail and are just a few of the necessary carved components of today's high end furniture.

Courtesy of Enkeboll Designs

Carved posts & columns

Carved posts & columns

Poster beds are even more beautiful when finished with carved posts and columns such as this spiraled column with grape vine and leaf intaglio work.

Courtesy Enkeboll Designs

Twisted Column

Twisted Column

Another beautiful column, striking in design, is this deep twisted column, a focal point, and totally engaging, in any room setting.

Courtesy of Enkeboll Designs


Intaglio carving on high quality legs

Karat carries out the work on high quality leg with intaglio carving, and the video takes a look at the basic machine, its articulating 5th axis for inclining its 6 ATC spindles to the work, and which may select from any of 8 tools available for each spindle, its 6th axis high speed intaglio units, emulating the work and angle of the human hand with the use of incision blades for clean, crisp cuts, and its 6 position 4th axis rotational unit with work piece support and adjustable part length.

Karat's work includes the milling, shaping, surfacing, carving and unique 6th axis intaglio work, resulting in a high quality, beautiful leg, requiring just a light hand sanding to be ready for use.

Karat - ball & claw leg carving, laser scanning and "teach-in" programming

Karat carries out the work on a ball and claw leg with laser scanning to produce the code. A quick view is taken of its 4th axis 6 position table for holding 6 parts to be worked at the same time, its 5th axis ATC units, and 6th axis intaglio carving units, following which a look is taken at the laser scanning methodology to program a ball and claw leg. This is discussed in more detail in the products area "Wood Carved Parts", section regarding "Karat - beautiful CNC carving", as well as the "teach-in" method, perfect for replicating the discrete, dedicated method required for hand carving. The video then shows the various roughing and finishing tools used to carry out the surfacing paths generated by the scanning method and creates the ball and claw leg.

Karat - Baluster fluting and spiraling work

Karat is shown carving the spiraling and fluting on balusters for high end stairs. It turns out that baluster production still occurs on older style lathe machines, which do not leave a "true" detent in the center of the part when it's chucked up in the machining process. Because of this, and the varying outside dimension that can occur from production run to production run, and how this can effect obtaining good parts, either by loss due to a bad center, or by grooves being either too deep or too shallow in the surface, CMS provides a unique method for this work avoiding the results of both problems.

This video shows the holding supports, which are adjusted by the operator to a precise X, Y, Z point indicated by the CNC, which point is derived by measuring the outside diameter of the part for these positions, meaning that Karat does not rely on either a bad center location or a fixed position based on a theoretical outside dimension to do its work. With this method the operator and the machine move quickly through the setup process and the work is ready to begin.

Karat's unique 3 point work piece support system is also shown, which moves with the work, so that no deflection from the machining can cause varying depth of the fluting and carving work.

The end of the video shows the center point which came from the lathe process, and that it's not close to the center of the "circle" created by Karat's holding stocks. Though this part would have been un-machinable with existing methods which require using the "center" from the lathe machine, CMS' unique method for solving problems, results in perfect parts, regardless of out of center lathe work, or varying outside baluster dimensions from run to run.

Karat - machining one piece volutes with upeasing

Karat is shown producing one piece volutes with upeasing, with a tight inside return. CMS has provided Karat with unique holding fixtures which make it possible to machine left and right-handed volutes at varying heights. The video shows the roughing and profiling operations step by step. The fixture's firm hold of the volute results in a solid machining and high quality surface finish on a part with a tough, complicated, geometry through which the tools are being moved for their heavy work.

Karat - newel post fluting and carving

Karat does the fluting, spiraling and carving work on 4 heavy newel posts at one time. Karat is equipped with a 4 position ATC machining group and 4 position CNC controlled rotational device.

Multilathe - chair leg CNC lathe and CNC machining work

Multilathe carries out a high speed CNC lathe and CNC machining process on 4 chair legs at the same time. Multilathe's high speed CNC lathe process is first shown, in which a large ball end mill cutter easily, and quickly, removes large amounts of material followed by Multilathe's CNC machining processes for holes, slots, machined flat surfaces for mating joints and carving work, resulting in fast, high quality work for beautiful components with a high degree of machining difficulty.


Wood carved parts & gunstocks
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