Masterwood has a range of outstanding furniture and joinery production machines which it has developed over many years, and, as sales director, Dave Kennard, explains, Masterwood offers  a modern, efficient solution for all window and door production applications, from small batch operations to mass production situation.

“Since woodworking machines were first introduced, one of the biggest 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 mark on the timber cut-off lines, mortise and tenon positions etc.

“Then it is a case of setting and using each machine, the X-Cut, a mortiser, a tenoner, a spindle moulder, and maybe an overhead router, then it’s time to assemble, or in most cases make 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 mortise 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,” says Dave.

Masterwood developments
For the last 20 years Masterwood Spa, the Italian machine manufacturer, has developed its machines to suit today’s demands for solid timber joinery and door sets.

An impressive roster of developments include: the use of large diameter tooling to allow full length mortise and tenon joints to be produced; higher powered router motors to allow 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 shortest 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 jig saw and is ready for finishing and glazing.

“At the top end of window production, we can supply the fully-automated Colombo WindowMaster range of machines which can run for anything from two to four hours with the components preloaded onto the handling equipment, automatically loading each piece, fully machining each item, and then stacking the finished components in their sets at the end.

“You can basically have a one-man production factory producing up to 750 components per eight hour working day. With three men the system can then work 24 hours per day.”

Traditional sliding sash windows
Traditional box windows can be seen in all major towns and cities and is 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,” says 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. The parts all then fit together with practically no bench or hand work – with traditional methods this same job could take a full day.

“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.”

Window lines versus CNC
“When put up against window lines, the CNC machines can look slower on individual operations, but if you look at the manufacturing time for a fully-finished window or door, then the CNC will come out on top as there is far more that can be produced, like glazing beads being cut out and mitred, ironmongery recesses all produced,” explains Dave.

“Other areas like shaped work, after assembly work, cutting out haunches on tenons, all give the CNC an advantage. On top of this, while the machine is working, the operator can be doing another job, getting the next batch prepared, or assembling the last batch. We also find that the tooling costs for a CNC can be as much as 50% lower than that required for window lines.”

Door production
“Solid core and fire doors can be produced on the Project 250, but in many cases our customers have gone to the longer 5200mm bed sizes of the Project 300 and 400 ranges which allow doors and frames to be tandem loaded so that the CNC never stops,” says Dave.

“Robots can also be introduced at this stage to automatically load and unload the machine, including passing the information to the CNC control as to what work needs to be carried out.

Larger production
“For higher production, we then have the Project Door CNC, a machine that can be used with handling equipment to allow doors to be fed automatically into the machine, with pod and clamping positions all set by the PC. Once the door has been machined it can be fed in and stacked and the next door is fed in.

“This system can then develop into a fully-automated production line where a stack of doors is loaded onto the handling system and the full line takes over with anything up to three doors per minute being sized, apertures cut, leading edges added, along with all ironmongery recesses cut. Locks and hinges can also be inserted and fixed in position before stacking for off-loading.

“Door frame components can also be run on a production line with joints, hinge recesses and keeps all machined, along with weatherseals being inserted into each component.”

“An important part of any CNC system is software. Yyou can have the best machines in the world, but without software to operate it correctly your production will not improve as it should.

“Along with all our machine developments, Masterwood has always been at the front with developing software hand-in-hand with the machines – this ensures that both are fully compatible.

“Within this range of software, we have MasterWindow, MasterSlidingSash, and MasterDoor that cover all the various shapes and sizes of products that customers require.

“If you produce windows and doors, then Masterwood can supply the packages for small batches, up to mass production automated systems – like those already installed around the world for leading companies like Jeld-Wen, 3elle, Comeca, Scrigno, Audasso, Vest-Wood, and Fenestra.