Spotlight on Jason Smith, CNC Manager
Growing up in an engineering family, Jason has always been around machines.
Jason has been with Factory Settings for over 5 years, prior to joining us, he was trained as a precision engineer. Between programming in the office, and overseeing the running of the 2 CNC machines in the workshop, his week is pretty varied. Jason has also recently launched the Factory Settings CNC Cutting Service, offering domestic and commercial clients a cutting service with a fast turnaround.
What is your favourite material to work with?
Any hardwood or timber. It's always more challenging working with timber on the CNC as you generally have to make jigs or fixtures to hold the workpiece, it feels like you are working with something real as opposed to an engineered sheet. Sheet material is definitely easier to work with but not as fun.
What is the most complicated request you have worked on? / Hardest thing you have made?
I designed and machined a staircase for my house out of birch ply last year. The machining itself was fairly straight forward but the design and draughting was very demanding. In the end it went together well and fit the space perfectly. Time spent draughting is what makes the CNC pay for itself.
What would be your preferred tool/area to work in if it wasn't CNC.
Draughting/Design. I really like working directly with clients on small projects where I can have a bit more input over the design and material. If you have a full understanding of how the machines work, you can recommend ways to utilise them more efficiently & creatively.
Favourite project you've worked on at FSL?
National library in Norway. We machined shapes into blocks of tulip wood which were then stained black and stacked and built into a wall. This project was really hard work, using materials that were new to us and on a tight timescale but the finished product was beautiful. It's nice to think you have been a part of something that will be around for a long time.
Prior to working here what did you do?
I have been around machines for a lot of my life, I grew up working on lathes and mills and was trained as a precision engineer.
What are you most looking forward to in the coming year?
Last year, Factory Settings invested in another CNC machine and I helped relocate the department to a new site with more space. We are now offering a cutting service to domestic and commercial clients. We have just launched a new CNC instagram page to showcase all of our work so I’m looking forward to watching that grow.
Outside of work, I’m looking forward to the country opening up again. I feel like there will be a boom in our sector, it will be interesting to see how the pandemic has affected the art world and what the reaction will be.
Follow the Factory Settings CNC page on Instagram: @factory_settings_cnc