Manufacturing Quality Military-themed Handcrafted Wood Items with a Techno CNC Router
Triple Crown Woodworking CNC Router Story
By Maryann Valentine
David Barton is currently Active duty in the Navy, and residing in South Carolina to fulfill his career as an instructor at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Goose Creek, SC. He spent 7 years in Washington State working on Submarines and Aircraft Carriers, and currently teaches Chemistry and Radiological Controls to students at the NPTU. He mentors students on how to operate reactors at the naval base. And during his spare time, David has now become a CNC machine expert by working closely with his newest Techno CNC router.
David first started his CNC journey in 2017 with a hobby level CNC machine that taught him a lot about operating CNC controls. But then in 2016, David’s wife requested custom furniture after purchasing their home in Charleston, South Carolina. Instead of purchasing the furniture from a warehouse, David decided that he could design and make her custom furniture by hand. He figured that purchasing the tools to customize her furniture would be less costly than purchasing each piece individually from a manufacturer, and he could provide her with the exact designs and look that she was dreaming of. “I knew I didn’t want to go back to having a hobby level machine. I knew I needed to push the speeds and feeds, and I knew that time would be money if I made this into a career after the Navy. I knew I needed a sturdy CNC router that was affordable, but could also work fast and aggressively”. He bought his first Techno CNC router in 2018, where he was able to program and customize just about anything she wanted. “Choosing Techno CNC wasn’t a hard decision. I had a ton of choices in front of me; some that were only 2-3 hours away where I could physically touch the machine before purchasing, as well. But I came across the Techno CNC router and did some further research about the company. I couldn’t find a bad review about the company. The machine also just looked robust in the photo – the machinery is made using high-quality industrial components, and it shows.”
David began practicing how to use the software, and was up and running in less than two days from the CNC routers arrival. “I was CNC obsessed. I loved how I could design everything myself and create something that was 100% unique. That’s what I find so captivating about investing in a CNC router: you are truly able to create something that no shop, no store, no other manufacturer can do. My CNC equipment gives me the tools and systems to produce one-of-a-kind masterpieces, whether it’s furniture or something incredibly unique for the Navy. “The difference between my 2017 hobby level router vs. the new Techno CNC router is like a babies toy vs. an adult toy. It is incredible how accurate and fast my machine moves”. Since investing in his first CNC router, he has started his own company called Triple Crown Woodworking where he specializes in quality military-themed handcrafted wood items.
David began designing military themed collectibles after learning the ins and outs of his CNC router. He primarily works with hardwoods; creating items like custom shadow boxes, board games, submarine coin holders, wood American flags, and more. “The CNC router allows me to personalize objects. If someone wants their name engraved into the wood, I can program my router to do so. For Christmas, I was able to spend 15 minutes max on a project, and sell them as small gifts for the holidays”. David has grown his business by spending little-to-no money on advertising or marketing. He has grown Triple Crown Woodworking by selling small figurines to other members of the Navy. “I’ve also learned that taking on jobs that don’t necessarily have a high profit margin at first are helpful for my website traffic. It allows me to create something unique for that customer and then I have a physical item to post for sale. My customers like a visual; they like to see a physical item before ordering or customizing it further. So at first, I may take a profit hit, but it opens doors for other customers to also say “hey, I want that but customize this, this and this””.
David’s favorite projects thus far are the shadow boxes. “This photo is a 3D carving of Lieutenant bars with hinged doors for the box. I also borrowed a laser engraver from a friend and was able to laser engrave the name onto the front, as well. The machine ate right through this piece of wood. And what’s even cooler? You can’t find this off any shelf in the stores. That is by far my favorite thing about owning a router: I can provide something to someone that they cannot purchase anywhere, which also benefits my business as a whole. CNC routers enable you to have an advantage over your competition. You can customize things and create items that no one else can do. I don’t have to charge the same price as something that is sitting on the shelves in a store. This is unique, and one of a kind”.
Now after having my Techno CNC router for a year, I am hooked. It has a place in my business no matter what I do in the next 8 or so years before I retire from the Navy. It was an investment that will consistently pay for itself – whether I grow into a business based around furniture-making, cabinetry, custom mill working, etc, and I am excited to see where my CNC machine leads me in the future”.