Things of Beauty- Four Corners
When I go to a cocktail party and guests ask what I do, I tell them I’m a woodworker. Of course, they are thinking planes and chisels and things like that. They might say something like “isn’t that quaint.” Then I explain what I do in a little more detail. When they ask “What do you make,” I say, “Anything you need.” That attitude along with the right equipment and Mastercam allows us to continually expand and prosper.
David Brigham, Owner, Four Corners, LLC
Millerton, NY– When David Brigham’s woodworking shop (Four Corners, LLC) acquired its first 5-axis router, the nature of his business also changed. He began accepting unique projects that frequently required the cutting of amorphous shapes, not only in wood but also in materials like aluminum and plastic. He found that a great deal of this was coming to him because the word “no” was not in his vocabulary. He was willing to attempt anything.
Brigham said, “A lot of the shops that have woodworking routers are doing very basic things–cutting out panels or drilling a bunch of holes and that’s it. The types of parts we are cutting are typically much more complicated and more exotic. We chose Mastercam® because it has much broader capabilities than most standard woodworking softwares. (Not to say we don’t do a lot of flat-panel work. Mastercam works well for that too.) With Mastercam and our 5-axis equipment, what would normally be a problem to make turns out to quite simple.”
Brigham uses Mastercam to create the complex surface the customer wants. He does this by importing a model, replicating a drawing or digitizing an artifact supplied by the customer using an arm-type measurement system or a laser scanner. Once he has the surface, Mastercam will automatically lay down toolpaths that allow his 5-axis system to cut it. Before it is posted, the programmer watches a simulation of the program to make sure that part will be dimensionally correct and that there will be no tool or spindle crashes. After this step the 5-axis router can be trusted to cut for hours at a time with no operator intervention.
Here are some typical examples of this atypical work:
Sculptured Stair Rail Fitting: A carved staircase fitting served as the transition for a 60° turn on a balcony.
Decorative Carving: Decorative carving — 90% of the wood was removed on the 5-axis lathe and the rest was hand carved in three hours instead of three days.
3-D Staircase Panels: This project called for the production of 90 elaborate interconnecting 3D decorative panels for a curved residential staircase.
Yacht Spiral Staircase Rail: The handrails for an elliptical staircase span three decks of a 150 ft. yacht. The close-fitting rails have smooth compound curves that mate precisely with the wall and match the decline of the staircase.
Many more examples of these works can be found in the galleries on Four Corners website. You can see why Brigham has gained a reputation for not having the word “no” in his vocabulary. If it’s feasible, Four Corners will usually go the extra mile and take on the project.