What Is A CNC Wood Router Service and How Does It Work?

A CNC wood router service is typically a subcontract, OEM and ODM suppliers that provide preparation and routing of custom wooden parts for manufacturing completion by themselves or elsewhere. Many such service providers offer broader services up to and including final assembly, finishing and packaging.

The benefit that such a CNC cutting services company offers customers is access to highly developed skills and state of the art equipment, operated to the highest standard without any need for investment or long term commitment to manufactured volume. This includes provision of quality raw materials and the rest of the required services to deliver finished product.

To be able to establish such CNC cutting and routing capabilities in-house requires consistent and long term volume, as the equipment, material needs, staffing and training overheads are considerable.

This niche of high tech CNC router services, like so many others, is a result of the increasingly borderless world of manufacturing and development services. Such services are often available locally to US customers, but can be found in China at lower cost and equal or better quality of service.

What is a CNC Wood Router Service?

CNC routing services offer a spectrum of capabilities, generally including much more than just CNC routing, as routers are adaptable work platforms.
CNC routing services have become a common manufacturing technique for wooden products across sectors as diverse as furniture making and vacuum forming tooling, signage and construction.

Although many of this class of service company specialize in wood as their material, the CNC router can be adapted to work with most materials such as metals, stone, plastics, modeling foams and glass.

A CNC router drives down production times and error rates, delivering extraordinary quality and repeatability, assuming the equipment is in good order, the setup is correct and the material is consistent.

The first stage in the process from design concept to finished product is in design validation. There are potential issues that a CNC router service may need to help you address, to optimize your parts or product for their processes.

Most CNC machines and router service providers aim to offer complete. Raw materials selection, minimum feature size recommendations, design for efficient routing and issues relating to mounting your parts onto the machine may benefit from their expert guidance.

With the production process and material supply agreed and conforming, these services generally offer value for money mass production of wooden (and other material) parts.

Benefits of CNC wood routing?

The biggest benefit of CNC router work in wood as a manufacturing method is the ability to deliver extremely high quality outcomes, of skilled craftsman standards, at affordable prices. Ornate carving and intricate joinery were previously exclusively enjoyed by the rich, but are now accessible in lower cost and widely available products.

It is a direct result of the nature of CNC routers that they offer highly repeatable outcomes. If the first part is good, and the equipment is well maintained, then the 1000th part should be identical to the first.

When good quality cutting edges are used at high rotational speeds and moderate cut depth and feed speed, parts can be produced that require no post processing to deliver excellent surface finish from raw materials in one process. This can alone represent a significant manufacturing cost saving, as finishing processes are the most time consuming part of most component making.

When processing natural wood and man made wood derivatives, CNC router production offers the major advantage of being capable of deep cuts without risk of scorching the cut parts or rapidly blunting tools or over stressing the machines.
The cutting of water and heat sensitive materials such as MDF by CNC routing compares favorably with other CNC machines such laser waterjet and laser cutting, providing cleaner and squarer cut edges with no discoloration or wetting.
Precision and repeatability result in very low material wastage in output from a well run CNC router.

How does it work?

The cutter of a CNC router material is either high Carbon steel or carbide insert cutting edges. These tools are spun in a collet or chuck, driven by a powerful spindle motor.
In 3 axis machines, the spindle has a fixed orientation (generally downwards), whereas in 4 and 4.5 axis machines, the spindle is able to be reoriented relative to the workpiece.
CNC routers are constructed in two basic formats – either the cutter or the material (or both) is moved in an X-Y-Z reference system, generally driven by stepper motors. Some devices use a fixed gantry and three axis moving table, where others move the gantry on one or two axes (X or X and Y) relative to the cutter. Finally, some machines use an elevating table for Z axis motion, where others plunge the spindle and cutter.
The CNC router controller is a series of programmable functions for axis motors, spindle motor, vacuum head (for material cuttings removal) and other machine specific functions. These capabilities are driven by a series of commands that move the table, the cutter, the gantry and the tool selection functions. This command set is written in G-Code and
Deep, fast cuts in wood and wood derived materials allow for fast production from a CNC router. Commonly, fast cutting is used for roughing and this is followed by a finer finishing cut, on surfaces that must meet high cosmetic standards.

Materials suitable for CNC wood router

CNC routing production is not reserved for exotic and expensive natural wood material, the process can yield excellent quality and precise outcomes in modestly priced man made boards and a wide range of plastic and metal materials.

For the best finish for quality product in wood furniture and fixtures, finer grained and harder wood is generally recommended, but where costs are to be minimized, then very low cost materials such as MDF and plywood can even be employed effectively.

Hardwoods suited to CNC routing include oak, mahogany, cherry, walnut and many other high grade decorative timbers are recommended for high value applications. Sustainably sourced timbers are suggested, in this case.

For lower value applications, lower cost hardwoods such as abura, plus spruce, pine, poplar and composited boards such as plywood, cross laminated pine, MDF etc are suitable and can provide excellent quality outcomes.

CNC routing is a common method for manufacturing patterns for sand casting and for vacuum forming. These applications are ideal for CNC routing in low cost materials, as the products suffer little loading and require little environmental or handling resilience. These tools can be made from hardwood, softwood or man made wood derivatives, depending on the requirements of the end user.

CNC wood Routing applications

Equipment as widely used as CNC router machines find applications in many areas of business and technology;

Sand Casting

Casting Aluminum, steel and Iron parts in split cavities in sand boxes requires a pattern of the part to be made, generally in hard-wood to avoid moisture absorption from the casting sand.
Such patterns need to withstand strong compression when the sand is pounded in around them so they must be strong. The surface of the pattern must be smooth and accurately reflect the part that will be cast from it, requiring a precision manufacturing process for the pattern. This makes patterns ideal candidates for a CNC router.


In a similar way to sand casting, thermoforming requires a pattern, Thermoforming sucks a heat softened plastihave c film down over the pattern, using a vacuum pump. Thermoforming patterns an easier life than sand cast ones, and are often made by CNC routers working in MDF or softwood.


CNC routers are widely employed in the aerospace industry for cutting flat sheet and plate materials for airframes and skin components


Classic wood features in restoration of older houses and in modern interiors often include fretworks to play with light transmission, complex profiles to form balustrades and copings, engraving onto door and cupboard panels and more. Such delicate services in wood are expensive and skilled, so CNC router equivalents allow such luxury items to be more widely used.

Cabinet Making

High quality furniture is filled with fine details and precision fitted wood parts. Where such products were formerly made by extremely skilled hands, they can now be produced by lower cost, lower skilled processes such as products of CNC routers.

Musical instruments

Many instruments contain delicate and precise wood parts – from guitars to pianos, from violins to organs. Where volumes are small and prices are high, some manufacturers hold to skilled woodwork craftsmanship – but these skills are being widely supplanted by the simpler, faster and lower cost products of CNC machines.


Many business signs and branding devices are manufactured by CNC routing services in acrylic and Aluminum clad ABS sheets.

Types Of CNC Routers Available.

In virtually all large CNC table routers, a gantry bridges the work table and the Y axis runs along the length of this gantry. The spindle motor is carried on this Y axis carriage and generally this is enabled to move up and down (Z axis) to control cut depth.
Similar layout formats apply to other CNC table based equipment such as the laser cutter and laser waterjet cutter.
Routers fall into the two broad categories of moving gantry and moving table devices, which defines the parts of the machine that move to enable the long (X) axis – and in some cases the table rises (rather than the cutter lowering) to define the Z axis position;

Moving Table

A typical example of a moving table machine is the Chinalaser STM1325D. This uses a fixed gantry on which the spindle motor and Z axis motion are carried, moving across the machine (Y axis). Below this a moving table handles the X motion. This results in a mechanically simple and very open machine structure that is easy to load/unload and easy to clean and maintain.

Moving Gantry

A good example of the moving gantry approach is embodied in the Scarlett M series machines. In this class of device, the table remains set and the gantry traverses along the long axis of the machine to deliver X axis motion.
There is a second differentiator which approximately reflects the size of the machine, rather than referencing functionality;

Hand-Held Routers

These devices are a fusion of a freehand router and a CNC machine router.
Handheld routers use machine vision and a primitive machine learning to map the cutter position on the workpiece material in 2D. Placing small tape marker points (fiducials) onto the workpiece and referencing the design to these, on the device screen, allows the router to learn positional information. The router then displays your design on its build in screen and performs the CNC cutting that is within its motion range.

This doesn’t mean you’re on your own to control the router with a pattern on screen, free hand. Router manual movement in X-Y is usually controlled by two knobs. You simply position the device clear of the line by a few millimeters and the machine then handles the dimensional precision.

This system only works for small cut areas in sheet material, so if you have a large pattern to cut, you have to reposition many times.

Computer Numerically Controlled Router

As we have already described, a CNC router is a larger format device that positions the cutter with repeatable finesse to perform operations that are only limited by the length of its three axes of motion.

These machines are offered in a wide range of sizes of table from the large (double sheet) industrial machines, to small desktop devices for the home workshop. The price of machines reflects the size and complexity.


To summarize, we hope after reading this article, you gained sound knowledge of using CNC timber-cutting services. With the demand for custom wooden parts on the rise, CNC machining plays a vital role in the modernized era in utilizing resources fully without wastage. The world is focusing on the use of wooden parts in daily routine because it is less costly and easily available in every region of the world. If you require any wood-working services, we will be looking forward to share our expertise and offers.

Whatever your precision wood component needs, CNC router services can provide the capabilities you need, from their wide spectrum of skills and options.

This is often best approached as a ‘black box’ business service, where you control the inputs and they provide the outputs, so you don’t have to worry about the details of their technical or business process and can have confidence in the outcome being what you need.

Worthy Hardware is a CNC manufacturing and sheet metal fabrication company,including CNC machining services,CNC milling services, CNC turning services, laser cutting services and stamping services.Call us +86-76989919645 or email us [email protected] for more discounts for your projects.