The SCW Wood Workers Club has two table routers and a third is on order. All three are the same type. Routers are generally used to cut molding shapes into wood. This done with a variety of bits which are available from the tool crib.
Milling machines are commonly called “upside down routers, even though they look nothing alike. The big advantage to a router is that you can see your work while you cut it. This especially true if you are cutting slots or mortices.
A CNC is actually a “Milling Machine” that use a computer program to perform the work. The term CNC stands for ‘Computer Numerical Control‘. As the name implies you need a computer program to define how the cutting will be performed. Therefore, you must first take a class that walks you through the basics of creating a digital (i.e. numeric points in a grid) model of your project, much like a blueprint, and then creating a ‘tool path’ that will specify the types of bits and how they are used. To qualify to operate the equipment, you will do at least one hands on project where the instructor will walk you through the steps to set up and properly turn on the machine and cut your project. After the instructor is confident that you can do all this on your own, they will put your name on a list of users that will allow you to use the “Sign Up Program” to book time on one of the two machines.