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5 Power Tools for Creating Patterns in Wood

Decorative wooden furniture and furnishings are now a part of nearly every home with patterned wood being from on so many wooden products, did you ever wonder, how are patterns and decorative features created?

These are some of the most popular power tools for creating patterns in wood.

It all started with carving by hand and any decorative wood piece was expensive and labour intensive to create.

It took years of training to produce the quality needed for it to be good enough to be sell-able.

Thankfully the wood router and the CNC machine has changed all that and now decorative wood items are common and affordable.

The wood router and router table

The wood router has been used by woodworking professionals for many years and is the most common tool for producing patterned edges and inlays.

The relatively low cost to set up a wood router and router table has meant it has been very popular and very useful for manufacturers and woodworkers to create furniture and wood products with decorative patterns at a low cost, for a more detailed look at router tables go to Tool Inspector best router table reviews and learn about the differences between them.

This has also increased the accessibility of those products to the masses by reducing the price of the end product.

The router is operated manually on a router table that is purpose built for the wood router, these can be custom built by the company or bought in as a pre built unit.

The pre-built ones come with a fence and feather boards all ready to set up, if you make your own you will need to consider the fence and feather boards sizes so you can work with the size of wood sheets you need.

You will also need to build a base plate to match your wood router to the router table or buy one to fit your tool.

The wood router works by rotating the router bit at thousands of RPM’s (revolutions per minute) using the sharp and shape of the router bit to shave of the wood leaving it with the pattern of the bit used.

A decent wood router can be found quite cheaply but the router table with cost slightly more that is why many woodworkers and DIY’ers choose to make their own router table.

The saving can be quite considerate especially if you require a large router table and it also gives you the opportunity to build the table to a custom dimensions so it is a perfect fit for the work you need to carry out and the size of your workshop.

There is also steel framed router tables that come with a wooden tabletop that are good sturdy units.

CNC router machine

This is the most accurate tool for creating pretty much any shape or complex pattern in wood and even metal that you could wish for.

This operates using a computer program to tell it what you want it to do, this machine will of course require training for you to be able to operate it correctly.

This is an incredible tool in competent hands and the possibilities are endless with no pattern being to intricate for a CNC machine.

These are expensive machines and you won’t find many people with one at home in their workshop, they are mainly found in commercial and industrial workshops.

You won’t be able to buy this and just use it out the box without putting in the time to learn how it works and how to use the program it comes with.

The CNC machine has made creating complex and difficult patterns and dimensions both easier and cheaper and can be used on wood and metal materials.

Wood lathe

The wood lathe is a machine that rotates the wooden work piece at high RPM’s and then the operator uses various hand tools to carve and shave away the wood which leaves a decorative pattern in the wood.

This is all done by the users eye and it takes some training to be competent enough to produce good work.

Still it’s fun to learn new skills and the feeling of happiness when you have produced something good from a lump of wood is hard to beat.

These are very popular and are often found in home workshops.

They are quite large in size and powerful machines that require some skill to operate correctly but luckily there is a large amount of learning material to hone your skills and I would recommend starting with some of the great YouTube video on how to learn how to use a lathe.

You will find many inspirational videos of people who have made some really nice pieces from a block of raw wood.

Multi tool

This is probably the slowest and hardest way to create a patterned effect in wood, it is all done by eye and hand and takes some learning to pull off.

It does allow you to make tiny intricate patterns and effects though and many hobbyists swear by them for creating custom pieces.

They are especially loved by model enthusiasts and many would be lost without theirs.

Drill press

I don’t really recommend this method as it won’t give you patterned edge or inlays like a CNC or woo router but it can be used to create grooves in wood.

This method also relies on eye hand coordination to feed the wood through as the drill press is running.

Okay if you already have a drill press because you can practice it without buying one but you would be much better advised to go with a standard wood router and router table as the possibilities are much greater.

CNC routers are the commercial choice and the choice of anyone who wants to make custom patterns that are not restrained like the other power tools in the list.