By Michael Berliner, July 8th, 2016
buddy playing his hammer dulcimer

Buddy Warner with the hammer dulcimer he designed and built

 

If you’ve called ShopBot to ask about our tools, the name Buddy Warner may be familiar to you. His day job is to consult with prospective ShopBot customers, helping assess their needs and pointing them to appropriate CNC tool solutions (a fancy way of saying that he works in sales!). One thing is certain. Buddy comes by his love for ShopBot’s tools honestly. A woodworker since his teens, Buddy has owned his ShopBot since the mid-1990’s and considers it to be a great addition to his traditional tools….”the most profitable” in his shop.

Buddy explained, “When I’m on the phone with a woodworker who’s been using only ‘traditional’ tools, interested in CNC but also unsure about the idea of investing in CNC, I talk to them about my own experience. In my work, whether it’s signmaking or furniture, I’ve found that the ShopBot makes harder processes easier and less time consuming. This means I’m freed up to work on other tasks, such as hand finishing, while the CNC is running a file. It’s not a case of ‘either or’ — traditional or digital — to me it’s ‘both and.’ Don’t give up your hand tools. Just view the ShopBot as another tool in your shop. With its power to make me more productive, the ShopBot has paid for itself many, many times over.”
dulcimer detailed carvings

Detail work on the dulcimer including engraved lettering

Buddy’s journey into woodworking.
“I first fell in love with woodworking when I was in the 8th grade,” said Buddy. “I had a shop teacher who taught us to make detailed chair and table legs, and I was hooked instantly.” After college, Buddy began his career as an educator, teaching English and Bible studies. Moving into his first home, he hunted around for bookcases but didn’t find exactly what he wanted — which led to his first adventures in woodworking. “I started buying the tools… a jig saw, band saw, table saw, hand router, etc., designing and building a variety of wood projects, including furniture, sign work, and musical instruments.” Buddy started taking his work to craft fairs and slowly built a home-based business.
cnc made built in cabinets

Samples of cabinet work

kitchen cabinets made from cnc woodworking

 rolltop desk
After a few years he left teaching and took a position making furniture at the Village Woodshop in Quakertown, PA. Some time passed and he moved to North Carolina, bought a home in Burlington and worked at Bishop’s Custom Cabinets in Hillsborough. He began what turned out to be long career at Woodworker’s Supply in Graham, NC. He worked there 24 years, eventually becoming their National Sales Manager. All the while Buddy continued honing his skills and practicing his wood craft.
While at Woodworker’s Supply in the late 1990s he met a customer who was in the midst of purchasing a ShopBot. Buddy joined his customer on a trip to ShopBot in Durham, and it wasn’t long before he decided to buy his own, a 4′ x 8′ gantry tool with a router.
“Back ‘in the day’ — the 1990’s — it was quite the learning curve for me to use the software of the time. But the software solutions available now make it much easier to get started and be quite successful quickly,” Buddy said.
custom sign for henry's farm

The vast majority of Buddy’s work is sign making

fleet feet sports sign

three picture collage of wooden bible anchor carving

As time has passed, Buddy has found that the ShopBot has reduced the need for him to use the majority of his hand tools — “it’s just that efficient of a tool.”  But he hasn’t stopped using his sanders, pocket drill, handheld jig saw and table saw. “You use the right tool for the job — for me, that’s meant relying more and more on my CNC. I tell my customers, if you want to make money in woodworking, then you should look at incorporating CNC. It’s the most profitable tool in my shop.”
architectural millwork collage

Some of the architectural millwork Buddy has done with the help of his ShopBot

July 8th, 2016 | Tags: , , , , | Category: Digital Fabrication, PRSstandard, ShopBot, ShopBot User Stories, Signs

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