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CNC machining: No job too tricky for our HOMAG 5-axis router

A tradesperson is only as good as their tools, right? Which is why, at Perfect Panels, we pride ourselves on using only the best when it comes to computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining.

So, whether you are sculpting a masterpiece from a chunk of wood or shaping a 3D curve from plywood,  our HOMAG 5-axis CNC machine. makes the perfect project partner.  

The 5-axis CNC machine has a head that moves around five different axes simultaneously.

This allows for the machining of very complex designs – like the creation of a jewellery bust, moulds for concrete sinks, garden stools or a curved stairway banister.

In fact, we recently created the latter with the help of our 5-axis machine as it can handle all aspects of grooving, shaping and profiling on different kinds of materials like MDF, ply, hardwood and softwood.

How we made the banister

Perfect Panels was approached by a contractor to help with the refurbishment of the common areas of an office building in central London.

In particular, we were tasked with creating cylindrical timber handrail sections and installing them onto a new metal balustrade.

Neville Sykes, Perfect Panels managing director, says: “We knew that with the help our CNC machine we could do it, but the brief came with some challenges because some handrail junctions were raked and curved to match the balustrading and the end section at the ground floor has a sweeping curved shape.”

To manufacture the sweeping monkey tail section at the end of the banister, we used our 5-axis CNC router.

First, we took measurements of the metal section to which the timber monkey tail part would attach.

From this we created a 3D model – in this case a .stp file -  of the handrail shape that we wanted to achieve.

We imported the file into our CNC programming software to create a path for the CNC router to follow,.

We fabricated the monkey tail in two sections, which were joined  for final installation on site.

The finished project

All in all, the machining process for these two sections was around five to six hours of CNC running time.

Neville adds: “In the end, the material we used for the finished banister was American Black Walnut, because the timber looks good and cleans up well. We then finished all the handrail sections with a lacquer to match the stair treads.

“Without a 5-axis CNC machine, it’s not really possible to make something like this so accurately. We use optimising software, which can help nest shaped panels and patterns to give the best possible fit.  So not only does this save material and waste, it also saves you time.”

Find out more about our bespoke CNC cutting service here to help line bore, drill and shape panels for your projects.