I am considering buying a nesting router but am not very knowledgeable about them. I worked at a cabinet company that had a CNC router and beam saw for a few years, so I am somewhat aware of the capabilities of an automated shop. I am also very comfortable with computers, having run AutoCAD for years and just recently, Microvellum. I build custom cabinets now and can't build them fast enough for the demand. I have seen CDs of how these machines work and am attending the Las Vegas Woodworking Show at the end of this month, where they will be on display. Has anyone else taken this route or is anyone familiar with nesting based machinery? How much do they help productivity and what is the investment/return?
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor G:
Nesting routers are a great tool, but you might be able to get similar results with conventional tools. In my shop we have a beam saw, edgebander and 2 row boring machine setup. We can cut, bore and band 2 normal sized jobs in a day. We bought all of our equipment used for a total of less than $30,000 including delivery, installation, setup and repair. We had considered a CNC router, but our problem is that we use plywood for our euro boxes. When you cut with a router, the kerf is so large that too much material would be wasted.
On the other hand, if employees aren't so hard to find in your area, the above mentioned approach is very viable as well. If you do look at CNC, make the salesman show you the process from software design and drawing to tool pathing to cutting before you spend a dime. Talk is cheap and they can't always deliver, so shop wisely!