Author Topic: Anyone have their own CNC?  (Read 12036 times)

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Offline copcarcollector

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Anyone have their own CNC?
« on: August 29, 2014, 02:36 PM »
I am fixated on buying a CNC router! I do not have any plans for what I want to build, I just think it would be fun to use. I am constraining my search mostly by budget.

So far I have looked at the Shark from New Wave / Rockler, the Stinger I from CamMaster, and the IQ from Laguna. Of these I am leaning towards the Laguna. (When I say 'looked at', I mean online, not in person!)

The Laguna looks solidly built, has a water cooled spindle, and comes with the router itself, where  the other brands require you to add  your own router (no big deal really). The Shark seems to have some issues with table flatness, and also the way the jack screw attaches to the motor, the Laguna looks much more robust at that connection point. These are all about 2 x 3 foot workspace, I don't think I have the room or budget for anything larger.

So, anyone out there own a machine from any of these brands, or other brands in the $7K region? Anything good, bad, or other to share...?

I have zero experience with a CNC router, and would need to learn the drawing software as well. Not interested in a DIY set up.  Like I said, I just thought it would be fun! That's a good enough reason to buy, right..?!  [laughing]
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 02:45 PM by copcarcollector »

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Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2014, 04:17 PM »
Well can't help you with the smaller cnc's you are referring to

I bought my CNC 8'x4' a year ago only just got three phase power to my workshop (long story cut short farmer refused me access to power supply)  a couple weeks ago and got my CNC finally up and running last week.

Last weekend I have been playing about with it.

If you can use a program like sketch up and know your way around computers it won't take long to learn how to use a Cnc.

It is fun!  Always worried every time I run a program I made a mistake.   So instead of thinking I could press run and walk away I end up standing watching the Cnc with my finger on pause just incase it decides to go of and do something I didn't want it to do lol
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Offline GOL

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2014, 05:06 PM »
Well can't help you with the smaller cnc's you are referring to

I bought my CNC 8'x4' a year ago only just got three phase power to my workshop (long story cut short farmer refused me access to power supply)  a couple weeks ago and got my CNC finally up and running last week.

Last weekend I have been playing about with it.

If you can use a program like sketch up and know your way around computers it won't take long to learn how to use a Cnc.

It is fun!  Always worried every time I run a program I made a mistake.   So instead
 of thinking I could press run and walk away I end up standing watching the Cnc with my finger on pause just incase it decides to go of and do something I didn't want it to do lol
@jmbfestool is the 8x4 conch expensive to run ? And overall purchase to buy ?im quite interested in purchasing one myself at some stage

Offline bkharman

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2014, 05:35 PM »
I was interested in researching these as well. I would love to be part of the Wikihouse and OpenDesk "print" teams in the US and have started poking around. Subscribed to this thread to keep on it.

Cheers. Bryan.
People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?

Offline Loren Woirhaye

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2014, 01:16 AM »
Um... the idea that cutting out parts makes for expert woodworking is erroneous.

There's chairmaking, veneering and so forth.  Otherwise go for it.  The more CNCs out there the cheaper it will get to outsource casual CNC jobs.

I'm being a bit facetious here.  For a reason.  Go make a fine windsor chair or a Maloof chair or a Nakashima chair or acoustic guitar on your CNC and tell me how efficient it is.

CNC is amazing for production cabinet making and carving. There's a lot more to fine woodworking or even professional cabinetmaking than that.

I am sure however that they are great fun to play with.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 01:23 AM by Loren Woirhaye »

Offline Thunderchyld

  • Posts: 93
Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2014, 08:20 AM »
I've thought about a CNC router quite a few times, essentially came down to the decision that it was going to have to wait until I get a different shop.  Main reason it needs to wait is that I know I'm not going to be happy unless I've got at least a 4x8' table.  Secondary to that, when I was talking with local companies trying to get an idea if I could have subcontracts filling machine time there were a few opportunities to break down sheet goods but no real need for a small machine.  Those that needed a small machine tended to have one, but not everyone has room for a full sheet sized table. 

Offline teocaf

  • Posts: 602
Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2014, 11:08 AM »
Have a look at the Legacy cnc machines as well.  I talked to them last week and they seem to have great versatility for flat work, flip side routing and ornamental lathe type milling on some machines.  Lots of before and after sale support. You can also recoup most of your investment if you trade up.  This is what I'm considering at the moment but I'm still researching the various options.  Does anyone here have any direct experience with this company?
www.legacycncwoodworking.com

Offline fritter63

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2014, 12:14 PM »
Just purchased plans from http://www.joescnc.com, getting to buy parts packages and build the "evo" version with alum gantries and rack and pinion upgrade .

Will be mostly for making guitar parts (necks, bridges, inlays ), and precise jigs.

Will be my winter project.

Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 1024
Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2014, 12:36 AM »
I have several cnc machines. They are enjoyable and very useful machines. Remember they are just machines. If I were in your shoes I would go to shopbot and look at handibot machine they have. A problem you will run into is until you have a machine and start running it, you will not know what you need or want. That is why I suggest a handibot. Easy software and good support.  There is endless advice but I suggest you need to jump and start making mistakes. Try to hold on to as much money as you can until you know enough to make your own informed opinion. Buy a machine that will let you learn as much as possible. Good luck.

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 2309
Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2014, 01:41 AM »
I would agree with tallgrass that you should consider the Shopbots, they make great machines and have a long track record.

I would not recommend the Handibot for any serious work, I have one of the kickstarter machines and struggle to get much production from it. The issue is not with the machine construction, rather the working envelope is so small (6" by 8") that you have to tile the cuts to do much with it. This is okay for a tinkerer like myself, and I have very limited working/storage space so the size is a plus, but in hindsight I should have spent a few more $$ and gotten a little bigger machine.

The SB/HB control software is solid although the UI is really dated, and Vectric's VCarve Pro is awesome for 2.5D projects.

RMW 
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Loren Woirhaye

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2014, 02:14 AM »
You might, if considering an investment in buying
and learning such a machine, what sort of thing
you ultimately wish to build from wood material.

or... if your interest is materialistic/acquisitive
or technological.

I'll suggest taking a look at the work of great
furniture makers and asking oneself what direction
to go.  I'm very sincere, because technology
is fascinating and using it can be profitable.  It
is what it is.  Hand tools are amazingly flexible
and satisfying to use.

Get the computer machine, man.  Do you love
to sit at a computer and draw?  because that's
what computerized woodworking is about.

Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 1024
Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2014, 02:25 AM »
Actually I was not suggesting the handibot for serious work. The way I see this problem is there is a very steep learning curve, software and machine operation. This in my mind necessitates learning steps. So a machine that allows you to do this without going broke that is not a toy is the problem. So the handibot was a step that does not by definition mean that you out grow it. This is a sticky problem, cnc can be a very deep pond, people think it is just a printer when it is not.

Offline shed9

  • Posts: 499
Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2014, 10:42 AM »
I'm in the process of building an 8x4 vertical rig. Got the bulk of the materials, the frame is nearly complete and the drive system is finished.

I can't justify a pro machine in the league of jmbfestool's or tallgrass' at this time but that said, this thing has sunk buckets of money so far and I get to build the exact machine I want. Also if I have any issues, I can fix it myself.

Offline bijeshj

  • Posts: 200
Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2014, 03:32 PM »
I am a hobbiest - but do want to try out a cnc. I have been looking at the Shapeoko2 cnc from inventables. Cheap to give it a try out.

Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2014, 03:33 PM »
Software is expensive!!!!!!!!!

I'm still torn what software to get for my cnc.

I got basic enroute for peanuts then got sketchup pro from a friend.. 

I love using sketchup but only the pro exports to DXF.   

I have found enroute seems to import most my sketchup designs fine.

Things like curves sometimes enroute gets confused.


I have been looking at alphacam by planit.

I downloaded a hacked version of cabinet vision to have a feel see if I like it and worth the money.  I tried the trail version it wouldn't load up because you need to be connected to the internet and my PC in the workshop ain't connected so I had no choice but get a pirated copy to try out on PC.

I do bespoke cabinetry so I want something with plenty of freedom also like to be able to do flat bed dovetails. 

Another thing I found out today is the Blum blum dynalog  from what I can make out it does all the setting out for you for all the Blum stuff and becomes an add on to something like alpha cam.


I know I don't like enroute I hate how you zoom in and out and have to move around the screen and I it doesn't snap/grap anything like sketch up does. 

Jmb

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Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2014, 03:33 PM »
I'm in the process of building an 8x4 vertical rig. Got the bulk of the materials, the frame is nearly complete and the drive system is finished.

I can't justify a pro machine in the league of jmbfestool's or tallgrass' at this time but that said, this thing has sunk buckets of money so far and I get to build the exact machine I want. Also if I have any issues, I can fix it myself.

Good to hear you are making progress, I recall you posting on another thread that you were working on one. A smaller vertical machine would be a great fit for my situation.

Photos/details?

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline kevinvandeusen

  • Posts: 24
Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2014, 04:01 PM »
I have a 48"x30" xzero viper xz for sale, bought it last year, with big plans, and am now not interested.  I have about $5000 in it, will take $4000 comes with computer 17" monitor, all electronics and a heavy duty 60x36 kreg table.  Also all software.

Offline micknm

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2014, 12:36 PM »
JMB - can you be more specific about EnRoute being confused by curves? 

Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2014, 02:05 PM »
JMB - can you be more specific about EnRoute being confused by curves?


When I draw curves on sketchup and save it at DXF then open the file up in enroute so I can create a tool path I have found sometimes I won't register the shape to tool path. 

I try to merge the lines with minimum amount of tolerance but it just ignores them  so I increase the tolerance and that sometimes works but not always. 

I also have to save the DXF in 3D  I can't save it in 2D because some reason it alters the dimension from sketch into enroute.  No a problem like saving it into 3D  works spot on.    I made some finger jointed boxes on sketchup  and used enroute to tool path and it all fitted bang on snug in one go.

Jmb
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Offline Lbob131

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2014, 03:23 PM »
Can  it  do  dovetails  JMB?

Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2014, 03:39 PM »
Can  it  do  dovetails  JMB?
What the CNC or the software?!?

Both can but the software will take me ages to write a program.

If I get cabinet vision or something similar I should be able to do dovetails in no time.

I'll have to buy the vortex dovetail cutters aswell.

So I can do blind flat bed dovetails
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Offline Lbob131

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2014, 06:01 PM »
Cool. :)

Offline micknm

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2014, 01:22 PM »
JMB - Have you tried the "cleanup selected contours" function after you import and merge the curves? 

Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2014, 04:11 PM »
JMB - Have you tried the "cleanup selected contours" function after you import and merge the curves?


Ummm not sure doesn't that affect the curve slightly?!?  So might alter from what I originally drew?!  I'll have a play tomoro.
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Offline fritter63

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2015, 09:37 PM »
Reviving and old thread here as I am JUST now getting my CNC machine assembled.

I ended up going with a 4x2 (easily expanded later on) from www.cncrouterparts.com because I really liked the V-con rail system they came up with.

here's the linear motion parts assembled, ready for stepper motors.

226421-0

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 2309
Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2015, 09:49 PM »
Reviving and old thread here as I am JUST now getting my CNC machine assembled.

I ended up going with a 4x2 (easily expanded later on) from www.cncrouterparts.com because I really liked the V-con rail system they came up with.

here's the linear motion parts assembled, ready for stepper motors.

(Attachment Link)

@fritter63 that is a great machine, well designed and tough. I have some of their roller carriages I was playing with but never did anything with them. I think their rack driven linear motion will really hold up to some abuse, & you can do some real work with it. Congrats!

Are you going with a router or a VFD spindle?

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline fritter63

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2015, 10:59 PM »
Hey Richard,

Thanks , I spent a lot of time researching the options.

Initially I plan to put my old porter cable 693 in it and see how it works.

Something tells me I'll eventually want an 80 mm water cooled spindle for doing the really fine guitar inlays.

Offline Indywoodworker

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2015, 08:45 PM »
I have been looking at the X-Carve from Inventables.  If you watch the New Brit Workshop you will see Peter go through the setup and initial commissioning of the larger system.  The company has a good website and forum with support and comments.  I am considering this setup after looking at Peter's videos and the information online.  The Easel software that Inventables gives away is a pretty good CAD/CAM package for the beginner.  If you are a power user then there are other CAD/CAM packages that are recommended. Anyway, it is a worth a look, the videos are free and so is the forum.   

Offline fritter63

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2015, 09:11 PM »
I have been looking at the X-Carve from Inventables.  If you watch the New Brit Workshop you will see Peter go through the setup and initial commissioning of the larger system.  The company has a good website and forum with support and comments.  I am considering this setup after looking at Peter's videos and the information online.  The Easel software that Inventables gives away is a pretty good CAD/CAM package for the beginner.  If you are a power user then there are other CAD/CAM packages that are recommended. Anyway, it is a worth a look, the videos are free and so is the forum.   

I looked at that system before I got mine. That belt system drive looks sketchy and unreliable. It's going to stretch (and probably stick too).

Offline Tayler_mann

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Re: Anyone have their own CNC?
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2015, 12:10 AM »
The first question to ask yourself is what do you want to do with it. If all you want to do is make small trim and design pieces out of wood than a smaller machine will be best. If you want to make yourself 4'x8' Mft tops machine aluminum pieces and even do the smallest intrict work engravers do you obviously need a larger machine.

After thinking about that you have to decide what you have ample power and rigging in your shop for. Take for example my CNC runs 277 single phase but also has a pneumatic relay in it so a very large air compressor is needed so that's abother 220 circuit. For a large CNC to hold your material down you need vacuum clamp. That's either three phase or 220-277 depending what you get. I have a 7.5 hp three phase that cost more than the machine and was totally worth it. It puts the test to the saying "suck a golf ball through a garden hose."

In my opinion as a someone who has  played with every type of machine out there except a high end 3d printer. The smaller CNC machines are not versatile enough. I have one and the only thing I ever do with it is Braille. Doing anything else on the darn thing takes WAY to long to make money with.  Although, a larger machine costs far more than most want to spend. You can get into a 4x8 machine for around $15,000 - $20,000. You could even try your luck with used machinery as well and make our pretty good with those as well. If you are interested at all I sm more than willing to answer any questions just pm me if you have any at all Weather it be a large or small machine.