During Mark Scheller's 27-year-long career in custom wood flooring, he has won eight Wood Floor of the Year awards, consistently extending the bounds of what is possible in the worlds of hardwood flooring design and technique. When he first learned about Origin last year, he told Wood Floor Business, "The idea of having a CNC machine that you're able to bring to the site and work on, rather than a CNC machine bolted down in the shop, is a game-changer." Since then, he had a chance to try Origin on a project he had wanted to pursue for years.
Three years ago, he had a client approach him with a project in mind, but he found himself putting it off. He knew the effect he wanted but could not figure out how to achieve it while still maintaining the design integrity. "I could have done it without Origin, but it would have been a major chore. It would have required forms, jigs, and templates. The accuracy would have been really difficult, if not impossible to achieve at the level I would have liked it," he says.
With assistance from Shaper Assist—the in-house design team available to all Origin users—Mark inlaid the first nine bars of Handel's "Passacaglia" in a sinuous 22-foot long ribbon made from ebony in a solid maple floor. Despite initial reservations about the scale of the project, he found Origin adapted well to the project dimensions. "Placing it on the floor using the grid tool was pretty straightforward. I made a line perpendicular to the courses in the floor and then registered the corner of the pattern to the corner of the layout line and just set the graphics on top of it," he explains.
Origin allowed Mark to retain control of every step of the process, from design to execution. "I liked being able to do it all—from concept to finish. As the artist, I want to have control over the whole process," he says. Mark cut every component on site and was able to make adjustments on the fly as needed, using the built-in offset function.
The musical note inlays were cut a few thousandths of an inch into the flooring. "As I was working, I got a feel for what was needed to make them fit precisely," he says. "They were what I call 'suction fit.' They would slide in with a comfortable feeling, but they were not going to come back out."
Going forward, Mark is excited about his upcoming projects. After adding Origin to his tool and design repertoire, he says, "Now I'm able to do things I've only imagined or haven't even imagined yet. I'll be able to do things that were impossible otherwise. And I'll be able to do them in-shop and control the process from beginning to end."
This article was paid for by Shaper Tools. For more information, visit shapertools.com.