Meet Kyle Emerick of Sandy Eggo CNC | Custom CNC woodworking for the San Diego area
Kyle Emerick, owner and operator of Sandy Eggo CNC – specializing in custom CNC woodworking projects, began his career in the CNC world with Motionmaster. With them, he helped build CNC machines for small businesses to Fortune 50 companies. After several years of working there, however, Kyle wanted to return to school. After breaking his back in a motorcycle accident, this helped Kyle in deciding to pursue a degree and career in IT. With these newly learned skills, Kyle went to work for Caterpillar, Inc. for the last 18 years. As much as he’s enjoyed working in the IT field, though, he always had a desire to get back to working with CNC machines making custom CNC designs.
In January 2015, Kyle committed to building his own CNC machine. Several months of research and gathering the correct parts were required. However, after taking that time, Kyle had to outfit his garage to handle his newly made CNC machine to begin designing and making custom CNC projects. The hardest part was having to move his beautiful 64.5 Mustang that had called that garage home for years!
From CNC Hobbyist to Part-Time Custom CNC Designer/Creator
Since Kyle’s initial plan was to run the workshop purely as a hobby, the self-made CNC machine was perfect. Doing random work here and there, he hoped to pay off the machine in a couple of years. But, with word spreading about the quality of work Kyle was doing, he started taking on bigger projects. Some of the first being a 4’x8′ signs for a few local wineries. Because of this, his plan of paying off the machine happened in just 8 months! This drastic increase in custom CNC work meant he needed more tools and an actual business name and license! Thus, the birth of Sandy Eggo CNC – custom CNC furniture, signs, and more.
Though Kyle has kept the business part-time, for now, he has been able to upgrade his machine and tools to match the demand for his custom CNC work. To complement the woodworking he’s doing, Kyle decided on a Laguna 12|14. Due to its pricing, options, and local availability, customer service, and brand name, Especially after talking with several woodworking friends and two sales reps at Rockler he felt confident in his purchase. After going through a similar process of talking with colleagues, sales reps, and seeing a few YouTube videos, he then decided on a Laguna C | Flux. Collecting and disposing of the dust now is a pleasure compared to the old system he used.
Making the Custom CNC Project Process More Efficient
Because of the upgraded machinery, Kyle is now able to reduce man-hours since the bandsaw cuts so effortlessly and precisely. This was the main reason for Kyle purchasing the 14|12. Then having the dust collector being able to extract dust and have such an easy dispensing make the efficiency of the process a breeze. According to Kyle, almost nothing ends up in the bag under the filter, so the “vortex” is clearly working.
With the combination of the bandsaw, dust collector, and CNC machine, Kyle produces custom CNC furniture and signage, as well as custom parts and prototyping for local companies. Because of the addition of the Laguna machinery, Kyle is able to produce more and even better than he was able to before. “Having better tools,” Kyle says, “forces you to think about your layout, minimize waste, think in lean manufacturing processes to enhance the tools in the way [they] were engineered to work.” Not only has this mindset helped in producing more and better custom CNC products, but he’s focused more on his own shelving, storage, and workflow. Kyle sees, for the future of Sandy Eggo, building a shop on his property. He hopes to continue to upgrade his company’s machines to include a Laguna CNC machine, further optimizing his processes.
Advice for Future CNC Machinists/Woodworkers
In Kyle’s own words, “I recommend enjoying the mistake you’ll make. Don’t let them get you down, rather learn exactly what went wrong, why it did and how to correct it. There is so much to learn from woodworking. I have learned a lot about myself while getting into woodworking and that in turn has made me a much better woodworker. It’s enabled me to get into other crafts such as metalworking which is a great marriage.”