You are not logged in. [ Login ] Why log in
(NOTE: Login is not required to post)

Which size CNC to get

Puzzleman Member

Well, I am planning on buying a new cnc beginning of next year. Now I am wondering if I should get a different size that what I have.

Products that I make are Name Puzzles, Puzzle Stools, Toy Boxes, Monograms and other small items. The largest thing that I make is 24" by 24".

I currently have 2 machines with a 4 x 8 bed. I will replace one of them next year. I am considering going with 3 each of the 2' x 4' machines from Camaster. The three of them will fit in the same footprint as my current machine. Will be able to produce quicker as I will have 3 running at the same time. Will move a little slower than my current machine as I currently have a spindle with 7 hp. The smaller ones come with a max of a 4 hp spindle. But overall it will be quicker.

A concern is the durability of these smaller size machines. I will be running them 8 hours / day, 5 days / week. During the holiday season, 10 hrs / day, 6 days / week. The wood that I will be primarily cutting is 1" thick 16 ply sheet goods. Will I be overworking these machines?

What is your opinion?

11/7/18       #2: Which size CNC to get ...
Dropout Member

No wonder you killed the Gerbers.

What feed rate and depth of cut are you running?

I'm cutting 21mm baltic birch in one pass at 750 IPM with a 2 flute 3/8 chipbreaker compression spiral, but on a big heavy machine.

11/7/18       #3: Which size CNC to get ...
Puzzleman Member

I am cutting 1 pass on the frames with a 3/16 upcut 2 flute spiral at 300 ipm.

With the letters I am using the same bit but at 250 ipm with a final cut of 0.05" at 350 ipm.

Run about 22,000 inches of cutting per day.

11/8/18       #4: Which size CNC to get ...
james e mcgrew Member


Sounds like you already know your answers, the Camasters will handle the load, they once built on with a single gantry, head on each side for a carpet sample company, it too was 2 feet by 6 and had one side cutting while the other being loaded, off loaded

11/8/18       #5: Which size CNC to get ...
james e mcgrew Member


And consider 4 x 4 and run onside while other is load unload

11/8/18       #6: Which size CNC to get ...
Puzzleman Member

My longest cutting time is with the letters which are on boards that are 12" wide. That is why I was thinking about the 2' x 4' Stinger model. Currently I make the letter boards 8' long but they can easily be cut to 4' without a problem. We would be able to cut on one side and offload on the other with the smaller machines. In reality, the ideal size would be 2' x 8' for a machine for my purposes.

I have my sheet good cut to smaller sizes so we don't do any ripping or cross cutting of boards.

My concern is that the smaller Stinger machines would be able to keep up with the work I am doing without replacing in about 4 - 5 years. I run the machines hard. I was thinking that having at least 3 and possibly up to 6 smaller machines would be better than 2 large machines. Able to keep more cutting going as 6 heads running instead of 2.

11/8/18       #7: Which size CNC to get ...
james e mcgrew Member


This machine (my 5th of 6 Camasters) has run daily since 2012, No breakdowns of any kind other than operator error,

CAMaster hasd s support forum with a good 2-300 on it at any time and thousands who have the machines, company tech support is life time and all parts are generally available in 24hours or less

View higher quality, full size image (2320 X 1305)

View higher quality, full size image (2320 X 1305)

View higher quality, full size image (2320 X 1305)

11/8/18       #8: Which size CNC to get ...
Tom Gardiner

If you are doing multiples of the same shapes why not consider multiple spindles on the gantry? I suggest you send your production requirements to potential machine suppliers and see what they will build for you.

11/8/18       #9: Which size CNC to get ...
BH Davis  Member

I was thinking along the same lines as Tom. However you have 2 options:

1) A single moving gantry with 2 heads cutting 2 copies of the same design

2) Two gantrys on a single table potentially cutting 2 different designs.

....or even a third option actually: 2 gantrys each on 2 heads. This would give you 4 heads cutting simultaneously.........2 of which are cutting one design while the other 2 could be cutting a different design.

While I'm not saying you should do this it might be worth looking into as an initial machine cost savings and more efficient use your floor space.

Any custom machine maker should be able to work out a cost for this. I know CNT Motion is capable of making this sort of machine.

BH Davis

11/12/18       #10: Which size CNC to get ...
Puzzleman Member

The idea of the two heads cutting the same design at once is a great idea. Unfortunately, the puzzles that I make are personalized, so each one is different.

Since each one is different, that is why I was looking at the smaller machines.

Does any one have them?
Will they stand up to the work that I will be doing with them?
I don't want hobby type machines.

11/12/18       #11: Which size CNC to get ...
Hen Bob Member

Is there any software/machine out there that will let you pendulum process on a flat table like you can do on a Pod & Rail? or a twin table machine.. I would lead to a more substantial machine given the choice

11/14/18       #12: Which size CNC to get ...
Puzzleman Member

What do you mean by "Pendulum Process"? Have not heard of this term before.

11/14/18       #13: Which size CNC to get ...
Hen Bob Member

On our old Pod & Rail had 4 zones, we could be machining a part on left zone while loading the right zone. Once the left was done it would go to the right zone and start. Then unload left and load new piece.. Repeat as many times as you want. It could be different files on left and right as well.

11/14/18       #14: Which size CNC to get ...
BH Davis  Member

That "pendulum" method should be able to be done on most any machine by creating a base file that first calls up and runs one puzzle file, then changes the X,Y coordinates to the new location and then calls up and runs the second file. Looping it should also be available in the G-code capabilities of the control software.

BH Davis

11/15/18       #15: Which size CNC to get ...
Puzzleman Member

Yes. We do Pendulum Processing. Didn't know the process had a name.

We use 12" wide boards to cut our letters from. So while one is running, the other board is being set up. Because we use 12" wide boards on a 48" wide bed, we only effectively use half of the table. That is why I am considering the 2 foot wide table. I would use 100% of the table top and could have 3 machines running in the place of 1.

Then my production would be at least 2 times faster and potentially 3 times faster by using the smaller machines.

What is scary to me is that I would be going to smaller machines instead of larger ones. Seems to me that as volume increases, everyone goes to a bigger machine. I am thinking of going to smaller machines and having more of them running all at the same time.

11/15/18       #16: Which size CNC to get ...
BH Davis  Member


No one knows your business like you do. It is neither strange or wrong to go to a machine that best fits your needs regardless of whether it is smaller or larger.

I would just say to make sure you can maintain the feed rates you are getting out of your current machines. My guess is you'll have no trouble doing that. But double check the new machine specs as it would be a shame to double the bed capacity only to discover that you've cut in half the throughput due to a 50% slower feed rate.

Good luck,
BH Davis

11/15/18       #17: Which size CNC to get ...
james e mcgrew Member


One of the largest Guitar manufacturers canned large machines years ago and installed smaller Camasters with dual end use and doubled production and cut cost

  • Post a Response to this thread
  • Notify me of responses to this thread
  • Subscribe to email updates on this Forum
  • To receive email notification of additions to this forum thread,
    enter your name and email address, and then click the
    "Keep Me Posted" button below.

    Please Note: If you have posted a message or response,
    do not submit this request ... you are already signed up
    to receive notification!

    Your Name:
    E-Mail Address:
    Enter the correct numbers into the field below:

    Date of your Birth:

    Return to top of page

    Buy & Sell Exchanges | Forums | Galleries | Site Map

    FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards (return to top)

  • WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
  • Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
  • A valid email return address must be included with each message.
  • Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
  • Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
  • "Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
  • Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
  • Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
  • Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
  • Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
  • Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
  • Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
  • Comments, questions, or criticisms regarding Forum policies should be directed to WOODWEB's Systems Administrator
    (return to top).

    Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.

    You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.

    WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.

    Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).

    Libel:   Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.

    Improper Decorum:   Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).

    Advertising:   The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).

    Repeated Forum Abuse: Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.

    There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).

    The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)

  • Forum Posting Help
    Your Name The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
    Your Website Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    E-Mail Address Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
    Subject Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
    Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    Thread Related File Uploads Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .MP4 (Image Upload Tips)   If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)