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new to CNC, Weeke arrives soon.3/13
well ,as the the title states.
First off, you've made a great choice going with a Weeke Vantech. I have a 5'x 10' with the auto off load (I think this is concept 1?) You won't be disappointed.
My advice is definitely go to the class eyes wide open. They will bombard you with information. Phil will likely be your teacher, he's excellent. I had been using WoodWOP for years before my class and still learned things. Be sure to take notes.
As far as practical shop wisdom; realize that cleanliness and collet care can go along way. Invest in a good tooling system. Torque Wrench, tool holder stand, the works. On Monday I'll post a picture of my setup if I remember.
Learn how to program in WoodWOP really well. I use Microvellum, but the power at the machine controller with WoodWOP is amazing. Often, if I have something "weird" to program, I can just program it at the controller in a matter of minutes, instead of walking back in the office. And when I'm done, I have a parametric program. MANY CNC's on the market don't have this power. Learn and understand the power "components" in WoodWOP bring to the table. They allow you to say program the 3 holes needed for a hinge on a door, then drop them into any program you need. I've used them extensively for anything I'm expecting to repeat. Even table saw inserts...
Learn and understand what chipload is. Vortex and guhdo post recommended chiploads for each of their bits in different materials. This will allow you to maximize toollife while still getting a great cut. I prefer Leuco tooling, as they also service my area with a local route, and my salesmen worked out in the shop for 20 years, and knows his stuff.
You have a very capable machine, don't be afraid to push it ONCE you fully understand the whole process. On Monday I'm running some melamine 5'x9' material with a 3 flute 1/2" compression bit at 30 meters/min in one pass. I've already tested it and it worked great. In this instance, I need the speed....If I don't, I'll switch to a 2 flute bit and back the feed speed down to 20 meters/min.
Good luck and enjoy the journey, you won't regret it.