Evening all

A carpenter by trade, I recently turned my back on the refurbishment management job I'd been doing for years. The last few years were just so unenjoyable that getting up in the morning for work was becoming a struggle. Without too much thought or planning, I found myself a rented space suitable for turning into a small workshop and decided to return to working with wood. I've set up a small business manufacturing bespoke childrens furniture, which I'm really enjoying. My own hours, my own decisions, and most importantly not dealing with idiots day in, day out!

The furniture side is slow, like all fledgling companies it takes time but I will persevere. In the meantime, to try and keep a small income stream I have been making smaller items which while they sell, are very labour intensive for the return. I want to introduce a cnc machine that will help make this less time consuming and more accurate than routing around jigs. I'm not talking about a machine that will be going 8 hours a day every day, but at the same time as I become more confident with the machine I can increase what it is being used for and expanding my range of small items. This would also be used for some of the furniture I will be making, the biggest component at the moment being 620x620, and it will be boards and timber upto 75mm.

Here's the thing....I've never seen a cnc machine let alone used one. I'm needing quite a bit of advise from you guys if you don't mind. I'll bullet point my queries if it makes it any easier .

1. Am I mad? Are these machines easy enough to get the hang of, especially if computer literacy is nigh on zero?

2. What size would be best to aim for? My workshop is only 500sq.ft and has other machines in there. I'm not kidding myself I need an 8x4

3. What to look for....and what to avoid

4. I've not used CAD. Are there programmes that will allow me to scan to create the g-code? And are they any good?

5. Would I be better off buying a 2nd hand machine that is all set up?


I'm sure there's much more to consider, but that should be enough for now to help me start narrowing things down


Thanks, Tony