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Masterwood provides outstanding furniture and joinery production CNC machines which it has developed over many years. Sales director, Dave Kennard, explains that Masterwood now offers a full range for the efficient manufacturing of windows of any shape and size, including traditional box windows, timber framed doors and solid core doors. These production methods can also be moved up to automated systems for higher capacities.

“Since woodworking machines were first introduced, one of the major uses has always been windows and doors, timber frame doors and in later years, solid core doors,” says Dave. “The procedure to make a timber window or door has not changed – once you have your material prepared you need to draw on the timber cut-off lines, mortise and tenon positions, etc.

“Then it’s a case of setting and using each machine, the X-Cut, a mortiser, a tenoner, a spindle moulder, and maybe an overhead router. Assembly follows, or in most cases making everything fit together, including cutting out haunches on the band saw and using hand routers for ironmongery like locks, hinges and handles.

“As a wood machinist apprentice, I spent many hours drawing lines onto door stiles and then swinging on the old Wadkin chisel mortiser arm to try and cut out all those mortises staring at me on the pallet. Today, life can be so much easier with just one machine – a CNC machining centre.” 

Masterwood developments

For the past 25 years Masterwood Spa, the Italian machine manufacturer, has evolved its machines to suit today’s demands for bespoke solid timber joinery. An impressive roster of developments include: the use of large diameter tooling, allowing full length mortise and tenon joints production; higher powered router motors, allowing stack tooling to be used; heavy duty clamps to ensure components are held rigid on the machine bed; more tooling positions to cover the extra tools required for window and door production; automatic bed positioning to speed up production times and reduce set up times; and specialised software, to ensure the minimum time from design to production.

Masterwood can supply a full range of solutions to suit any customer’s manufacturing requirements, from an entry level Project 250, through to the top end Project 565 – a five-axis machine with all possible options for tooling and clamping.

“On top of this,” says Dave, “we can provide dedicated machines like the 4Win, a CNC machine with a unique clamping system for windows where the workpiece never moves. Each component is firmly held in place while every operation is carried out, even the recesses for all the ironmongery, so once the material leaves the machine it can be put together like a jigsaw and is ready for finishing and glazing.”

Traditional sliding sash windows

Traditional box windows can be seen in all major towns and cities, and are a traditional part of joinery history. They are, however, notorious for being difficult to produce with traditional methods. 

“The many varying set-ups and joints are a minefield for costly mistakes,” explains Dave. “Today we have a number of customers who have produced traditional sliding sash windows on their CNCs where the machining time for one complete frame and a pair of sashes is under two man-hours. This includes the pulley cut outs, frame joints, pocket cut-outs and sash horns. The parts all then fit together with practically no bench or hand work.

“Using traditional methods this same job could take a full day, with only limited work being possible on traditional woodworking machines. 

“We have found that customers with CNC machines can now produce batches, or one-off windows and doors, in a fraction of the time that is needed with traditional woodworking machines.”

Timber frame doors

“Timber frame doors are the same in the sense that they require operations on a number of classic machines,” says Dave. “With our CNC machines, however, everything is done in one big operation: components cut to length, through mortises, haunches, tenons scribes, profiles, and ironmongery housings all performed, including the after assembly once the door parts have been assembled.”