Digital Design and Fabrication
with Randy Johnson

Digital Design - examples of CNC carved pieces

Digital Design and Fabrication Level: Level I


In a first for the School, and as part of our support of the Furniture Society Conference 2014, we are delighted to offer our first course in using Digital Design and Fabrication Techniques.

Taught by Randy Johnson of Shopbot, this five-day course (Saturday through Wednesday) offers woodworkers, builders and fabbers at all levels an in-depth introduction to the programming and operations of a three-axis CNC (digital) router. The benefits and limitation o fCNC routing will also explored.

Class Description

Using these techniques, you will design and machine a series of small projects that will provide you hands-on experience with a CNC router.

Topics covered will include: 

  • CNC design software and techniques
  • CNC Set up and calibration
  • Programing CNC tool paths
  • Designing and machining 2D shapes
  • V-carving
  • 2D textures techniques
  • Laying out and machining a two-sided design
  • Jigging and hold down techniques
  • Router bit
And as time allows 
  • Basic 3D modeling
  • How to create 3D textures
  • Rotary carving (i.e. wood turning on a CNC)
  • Aluminum and plastic cutting
  • Glass engraving
  • Paper, fabric, cardboard cutting


Students are required to bring:

  • Laptop with Windows OS (or a Mac with Parallels)
  • Tape measure or 12” metal rule
  • 1/4” solid carbide down spiral router bit. We recommend brands include Freud 76-102 or Onsrud 57-910. These bits will also be available for purchase at the school for about $25 each.
Tools provided by the school
  • Design software (Aspire by Vectric)
  • CNC routers (Desktop and Handibot by ShopBot)


This course is open to woodworkers, builders and fabbers at all levels and interests. Wood will be the primary material cut during the class, but the design and machining techniques covered in the class can also be applied to other materials such as plastic, aluminum and foam.

Class Information and Registration

Class starts at 9:00am on the first day. This class runs Saturday through Wednesday.

Please note that this class will be held in Building 306 at Fort Worden.

Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.

Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $750*
Materials Charge: $40

*10% discount is available to members of the Furniture Society. 

2014 Class:

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.

June 14 - 18, 2014 Digital Design and Fabrication Register

If you'd like to ask questions - please feel free to contact  us - (360) 344-4455 or by email.

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Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades Copyright © 2007-2014. All rights reserved.

200 Battery Way | Fort Worden | Port Townsend, WA 98368 | (360) 344-4455 | email

The Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. Any donations made to the School are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.