I really need to speed up my boring process. Iíve been using the festool lr32. It works. But not for what I need, now that business has increased for me. It doesnít do any construction boring either.
Would the time savings for a $70,000 cnc boring machine justify the expense for a one man shop? It would be nice to throw 32mm out the window, and have all boring, dadoes, confirmat boring done perfectly in one single step after the panel saw and edgbander.
Or, I can spend much much less on a line boring machine. What are all yalls thoughts?
If you are willing to spend $70,000 on a CNC, as a one man shop why would you cut parts on a panel saw. Let the CNC cut the parts and do all of the other drilling and dados all at once. While the machine is running you could be edge banding the parts that have already come off the machine while the next sheet is running.
Ryan is right. Get a machine that can handle a 5 x 9 sheet with a tool changer and it will drill your holes, route your groove for your back and then cut out the part. I'm pretty sure you can get this for under $70,000. But, add in electric, vacuum hold down and dust collection and you are probably close to $70,000.
There will be a lot to learn, but it will be worth it. Within a year, it will be the most valuable tool in your shop.
Start doing your home work, ask around with other shop owners, learn what different machines can do, see some in action. Usually sales reps can get you into shops.
Just throwing this out there for consideration. As you look into all your options at this stage of your business, the Lamello Cabineo connector allows for secure, one piece fastening while also aligning all cabinet components - all processed on even the simplest CNC router. No need to purchase an edge-boring or case clamping system. Let us know if you have any questions.
It all comes down to the money!
Like others said the cnc is for sure the way to go, but it is a lot of money to get the machine, software and get it all hooked up, but it will run like a top and crank out everything you need.
If you don't want to spend that kind of money there are a lot of boring machines out there, you could probably find a great used one for $3000-7000 mark, some brand names to look for are SCM, Minimax, Gannomat, Maggi, etc. I would recommend one with a tilting head and then you can also drill horizontal. Some of the ones that work like a drill press will also work, they are a lot cheaper, but are slower and not as accurate, and have limitations in my opinion.
Don't forget, a $70,000 cnc will become a $90,000+ work cell with software, tooling, vacuum pump, air compressor, and dust collector upgrade. For a one man shop, you better look at current production, future production, and outsourcing before making that kind of investment. If you don't have to do a lease or get a loan, the numbers will sure look better. If I was a one man shop again, I'd outsource everything. Fixed cost, estimating is a breeze, and production will go way up!
For a one man shop, I dont think you need to spend anywhere near $70k.
I bet you can get your feet wet for about half that for a decent router such as a camaster. Just make sure to get something with a tool changer and as much vacuum as you can afford. According to Camaster website, a Panther 4x8 starts at $21k. Add ATC and vacuum and i bet you are in the $30k range. This is plenty machine for a 1 man shop.
Great info in this thread. We were in a similar situation as you with a slightly larger shop.
I would completely agree to evaluate your current production numbers and what you feel you can do with increased production.
Two years ago we brought in a CNC and the numbers tossed around here were what we had in mind however they didnt turn out to be completely accurate and a tremendous amount depends on your current shop and equipment. We for instance had no intention of investing in a $70K machine (purchasing new not used). I would disagree completely with buying a light $20K base line machine if your talking about any volume of production (several hours per day and several days per week). I think at that level you will soon find yourself wishing youd invested in a more robust machine and either living with a less than adequate machine or having to deal with selling, swapping, and upgrading. We went with a machine in the $50K class (10HP spindle minimum, and all the tool changer you can afford would be my advice). We wanted a domestic machine with heavy steel construction and went with ShopSabre and couldnt be happier with zero issues in 2 years of heavy use. The machine is exactly in the sweet spot in Pauls post at 60x100. The 60" would be the minimum for us. A 10' machine would be nice but we havent found ourselves needing the extra length.
We opted to upgrade our air and run a dedicated collector for the CNC so our total outlay with the CNC, air, refrigerated dryer, filter, electric feed to the CNC, an moving an existing cyclone over to the CNC, sofware, and an initial tooling budget, as well as a good bit extra cushion for initial operating, was about $75K total.
If we opted not to upgrade air, or didnt run DC the way we did, we could have easily lopped 10k off that number. Eliminate the cushion and a bunch of other gee gaws we tossed in would chop it even further.
Its a monster investment for a small shop and I dont know how varied your work is (ours is extremely varied) but when you get to thinking outside the box with the capacity of CNC its impressive the non-standard things you can shift to the cnc and drastically increase productivity. If your primary work is going to be fine with less expensive, dedicated boring, that would likely be the best route.
While Im not sure the Cabineo is an across the board production solution, we have now done several jobs using them and they are a really impressive little RTA fastener. We literally just shipped a job with them this week. I dont think they will replace boring and case clamps but they make very nice cabinet and are surprisingly strong. We did a destructive test on a box when we initially brought them in and they are now our go-to knock down fastener. The single face machining is great and ripping fast. They are great for field assembly or by the end user.
I would look at panther, or elite series machines, the Elite is the Cobra on steroids,
Like any good size purchase a CNC adds a learning curve that while seeming confusing is not impossible, I admin the the camheads forum for the thousands of CAMaster owners, i do this as an owner to provide peer to peer support to all owners, this has lead to hundreds of owners online at any given time to assist a new owner or an seasoned one. check out CAMheads it can be an asset in your search
This really is a good post. All of the comments are valid. It is a big investment for a small shop, but, these machines can do a lot more than cut cabinet parts.
Do you do counter tops? My router has a digitizer feature. I can make a simple template, digitize it on my router, download it to my computer, download a DXF file from the sink manufacturer, position it on my drawing and when I feed it out to my table, it will cut the sink hole in about 15 seconds.
Or, how about doing signs for sign companies? We route signs from DXF files sent to us on line from sign companies. Not s big money maker. We charge $90 an hour with a minimum charge of $70. Usually it is so fast, that the bill is only $70. It's a service and they don't have to have a router.
I can't and won't tell you all the things I do with my router. Some of this you have to figure out for your self. But, if you are a woodworker and you love the creative aspect of woodworking, you will love a router.
I will advise you to be wary of any machine specific forum because you will get, and will only get, biased input. Anything posted with regards to any other manufacturer whether it be generic or machine specific will likely be edited or more than likely deleted all together.
You chose the right place to ask for unbiased and open input. You'll get nothing but honest input on non machine specific sites.
Mark is right that a machine specific forum is there to support its owners, However both Shopbot and Camheads allow anyone to join and bring something to the table, we figured if a topic came in to further the use by a member then that is all good, We do not let anyone trash talk or let other machines get discussed No,
But to say are these forums biased in the love of our machines well then "O Heck Yea" ! Don't rule out any good information from any source.
It has been my experience that unless you are the down the street competition most any cnc owner will be glad to let you visit and show off his machine, I have found that most of Us are still pretty amazed we figured these things out, Go see machines, go see the Factories where they are built, make some friends, those are the guys you will need on a saturday afternoon when you are trying to work the machine and need help, as the question will they answer the phone and will they charge you for that, We found a way to make that call.
ShopBot is awesome! Iím a one man shop, been in business 20 years. Owned a ShopBot for the last 14. Best business decision ever. Are there better CBC machines out there? Absolutely, but none better for guys like me. I have literally spent less than $1000.00 on maintenance for my ShopBot since 2004. Canít beat Ďem
Dont forget to look at used market. I sold my Biesse Rover B with a 4x10 flat table that was in good running condition for qbout 20k including a new becker pump.
CNC does have a learning curve as it is software driven.
If your just looking for better faster line boring, get a dbl row machine. Years ago I bought a Maggi for about 7500 and it worked great. Dont waste your time looking at a used line bore rig unless you can see it up and running.
If you're doing dado construction I would definitely look into a nested CNC. You can reduce your board handling that way. If you prefer to edgeband first then yes, It's worth the money to process panels on point to point feed through machine. The floor plan for a small shop is ideal.
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