ADAM BARNETT: Making Art Through Home CNC
Makers and creators have their own different ways or mediums of creating their art. For Adam Barnett, he loves tinkering with his home CNC and turning mistakes into opportunities. Barnett started as a professional woodworker three years ago, but he was always around his woodworker father and making stuff their whole lives. He remembers creating and recreating pieces since he was a child and that experience honed him to be an expert maker.
Barnett dedicated 20 years of his career working in machine shops in Metro Detroit and there he familiarized himself with using CNC machines while perfecting his techniques and testing products that can help him.
“I’d say the worst experiences are when things don’t fit, or things break. Probably 90 percent of woodworking is fixing your mistakes. I think that’s the most important skill that you can have. There is, you know, a problem is to be expected and it’s that ability to resolve it, that’s where the respect of woodworking and making things comes from; everybody can slap something together, but to be able to overcome those problems,” Barnett recollected during the XFasten Simple Solutions interview with him.
For him, creativity really strikes when you are in that challenging situation to turn over things to avoid making a waste of your time. “Just finding creative ways to turn an accident of the problem into a feature or to find a way to fix it, you know, hide it and make it not an issue and move forward,” he said.
During the interview, Barnett also shared his “holy grails” when it comes to woodworking. You’ll be surprised how much glues and adhesives he’s using just to create something. On top of his list is the XFasten Painter’s Tape, followed by the XFasten Woodworking Tape. These two products are specially calibrated to meet the needs of the makers, woodworkers, and DIYers, whether they are professionals or newbies in the industry.
“The tricky thing [in home CNCs] is holding your workpiece on the bed because you don’t want it to move. And I use probably more masking tape [blue painter’s tape] than anybody on the planet. The XFasten Blue Painter’s Tape is pretty much my favorite right now, actually, but that’s probably the most used, like consumable in my shop, which is something you wouldn’t think like masking tape would be the most used thing. You would think painters would use that, but I use that on the back of the workpiece and then on the bed, and then I just put like super glue in between and that’s how I hold everything on my CNC machine,” Barnett shared.
The XFasten Blue Painter’s Tape is perfect for delicate surfaces like wood, porcelain, glass, textured walls, and others. It’s highly recommended by makers because it’s easy to use, has strong adhesive but will never leave any residue or marks when removed. It is commonly used by professional painters to achieve straight lines in their patterns and other designs for walls, furniture, etc. In Barnett's case, it came in handy to his woodworking projects.
Aside from the Blue Painter’s Tape, Barnett also cited that one of the most convenient adhesives that he uses is the Double Sided Woodworking Tape or the CNC Tape. This adhesive is engineered mainly for the woodworkers and makers. It is developed by woodworkers for woodworkers, so you’ll never go wrong when using this tape. “I use that [Woodworking Tape] if I’m doing something large and I just need to cut something out, because it’s way faster. So, I’ll just throw five or six strips of that and put the big piece down,” he said.
The XFasten Woodworking Tape has the best thickness that enables the tape to be easily peeled off without damage or tearing when needed while maintaining its strength even on high-speed CNC machine routing. It is specifically calibrated for different woodworking activities such as splicing, machine cutting, routing, and anchoring.
“The double-sided tape [Woodworking Tape] is probably the next most, other than the painter’s tape, used in my shop. I love that stuff! I use it all the time for so many crazy applications. I need to hold something still, or if I like sanding a lot of stuff, I can throw that down, and stick something to it. And now it’s stuck to my table, and it won’t move. So, I can sand inside of it, and it holds things still and all kinds of crazy applications, but it doesn’t leave any residue. But when you step away from the masking tape application and use any other double sided tape, other than the XFasten Woodworking Tape, you just get residue left in the wood. And it’s a nightmare to sand that out, because once you apply the finish, it doesn’t soak in where that residue is left over, and that tape [Woodworking Tape] doesn’t have that problem. I can use that later in the project and I don’t have to re-sand and try to get that residue out or get chemicals out to wash it out, so it’s extremely useful in the late stages right before I’m about to put a finish on a piece,” Barnett shared.
Woodworking is a craft of making things from wood - from carpentry, cabinet-making, or other related skills. It’s somehow like any other profession and hobby, woodworking demands focus, precision, and lots of patience every day. For some, it’s a continuous battle of making and fixing mistakes, and realignment until you have the final product of what you are working on.