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CNC router recommendations for a small shop3/30/21
I am looking for recommendations on CNC Routers for a small Custom Furniture Shop. I am a one man shop and make custom furniture and some catalog pieces for someone as well. I see using the CNC for sheet goods and solid wood parts like chair parts and some table parts that i make as repeat projects. Solid wood could be up to 2" thick that i would need to cut. I realize i would need to make multiple passes. It would not be a machine that right away would be used daily and currently limited to single phase power with out a converter anyways and have limited space as well. Any thoughts?
Similar situation here. Very varied work. Commercial cabs. Commercial interiors. Oddball 3-D work once in awhile. Furniture once in awhile. 10 horse power minimum. Machining 2" thick solids in my opinion you gonna want as rigid a machine as you possibly can get multiple passes or not..
Furniture parts can be rough on the flat table nested base machine. Lots of fixtures that have to be stored. But it gives you versatility. We have a shop sabre 408 pro. IS would be nice. I personally go with a heavy iron machine if your gonna be machining a lot of solid wood the more rigidity you can get the better.
What size do you want? 4' x 4'? Limited space doesn't help with a recommendation.
looking for 4x8
4x8 with a small foot print I've looked at avid, CAMaster, DB CNC,Shop sabre
Go see the machines, there is a Massive difference in Quality of some you mentioned, contact owners on the ones who have forums and find some shops in and hour or so driving distance, two tings will happen
1) you will see a machine and hear the eaxperience of the learning curve..
2) you will make a friend you will need to help you along...
james e mcgrew I realize the difference in quality, when i first saw the Avid it made me think it would be a good way to get my foot in the door of CNC. But after hearing feed back it seems like i would be better off to spend the money up front rather then starting with something cheep then updating later. I see you have a CAMaster how do you like it and what do you use it for?
Mark B. i had not seen the shop sapre before reading your post. Looks like a nice machine. How do you like it and what do you use it for. Their web site was very well done and had the most info on there machines compared to the other company's i have mentioned.
I have owned an FMT Patriot 4 x 8 with a Buusch vacuum pump since 2011. One man shop doing a mixture similar to yours. I have not had any problems in that time. Mine is a simple machine no ATC but I would consider getting an ATC right off the start.
I stepped up over the years and Have had this 5 x 8 ATC since 2012, it stays on daily runs 35-40 sheets and makes money, A decent CNC and a good edgebander Will make some good changes, feel free to join camheads.org and find a machine near you
I agree with your notion of pulling the plug at the onset and not getting started with something that causes you a bit more headache or requires a bunch of extra effort on your part. That said, to many, Camaster and SS, and the like, are entry level machines compared to the big boys but getting a machine that hits the ground running was very important to me and I had no desire to be fiddling with a machine.
We offloaded our machine and were cutting test parts in about 4 hours but we had everything in place (power, dc, air) prior to the machine landing so it was just wiring and putting some small bits and pieces together.
As I mentioned mainly for the solids, rigidity, the biggest tool changer package you can afford, and 10hp would jive with your single phase (we are single phase as well) with a VFD.
You should seriously consider talking to Jack at Limtech. Excellent machine, excellent value, and excellent service. I have ordered my second Orion 5x10 and would not consider anything else. Hope this helps.
So as a tech that works on various MFG machines. Let me say and I can't stress this enough.
and I don't mean service when the machine is now and still in the warranty period, but when the machine is 8 years old.
Is the MFG asking you for a credit card to get support, are they telling we dont support that machine or component anymore and you will have to upgrade before we can hero you, or we don't repair keypads or control boards we only sell replacement, but we will take your old so we the MFG can get repaired to sell you a refurbished one.
Are you beholden to the MFG for parts because this is a OEM part, rarely do customers have a bad experience when the machine is new, its after the shine rubs off is when you find out who the MFG really happens to be.
BTW if you have to come to the shop at 8pm for tech support, after you were already there at 5am and work 12-14 hours, you might not want to add that machine to your shop.
When I was shopping, I was looking at Biesse, Giben/Anderson, and Weeke.
I still think those three are the best options.
Tom, it depends on your needs and budget. Spend the most you can for the best you can. We use Shop Sabre and love the machine. Ours is single phase. We looked at Camaster also. They are great machines too. If you have a mfg close to you, go look at their machines. I would stay away from bolt together machines. The heaver the machine the smoother it runs. A good cnc will be one of the best investments you can make when it comes to production. You will have a virtual employee that works hard, never complains and is extremely accurate.
Maurice's post was heavy on my mind when we made the jump. The machines in Karls response are some of the industrial gold standards I mentioned however for the work we do and my needs I didnt have the desire to be held hostage for proprietary parts or tech setup and maintenance for anything other than a bolt-on/plug-unplug part replacement. Budget left the only option to scour and hope to land on a very nice used industrial machine. New fit the bill at the time.
Like Thomas says, your needs and budget pretty much lead the way. The machines you listed initially are far from the industrial big boys which would seem to indicate budget a bit.
SS and Camaster and Id imagine most in that class offer lifetime support so I guess until the manufacturer goes belly up there is support. Every last part on my machine can be replacement purchased from the manufacturer or directly off the shelf from any number of vendors likely at a far lower price and swapped out with little issue. There is not a proprietary part on the machine.
If you have a little time and with the machines youve outlined you could likely land on a super clean 4x8 or 5x10 used from someone who either got in and is opting out or is upgrading. Ive seen several super lightly used machines like ours that are pretty much in new condition, with accessories/tooling, selling for half the cost of new.
A lot of people in this class of mahine are barely above hobby level and care for their machines like a Ferrari.
My friend has an onsrud and loves it.
Iím partial to Biesse but we are running schools, Hospitals and dental offices at about 400 sheets in a busy week not including corian. Then it gets ugly
Heavy iron bolted down.
Shop Sabre and cam master are great machines.
BTW we also have a stone shop. Both shops cut everything in 2 passes. Yes. We have the iron to do so, but we donít lose many parts in either shop
I understand that bigger and heavier is better when it comes to cncs, there are some drawbacks to consider. A big iron machine has big demands on power. You could end up paying thousands more for a service upgrade. They also have big demands on compressed air and dust collection. If you are on single phase you likely won't have the capacity for a big cnc.
I've owned some of the machines listed, currently own a biesse. I'm single phase as well, 1 person shop. Digital phase converter runs my Rover just fine. My recommendation is buy a solid machine from a manufacture with support. Like you, I'm a 1 person shop and down time kills the budget in the worse way. I was skeptical of Biesse advertised 24/7 support but I've used it a few times (operator error) and even at 5am on mothers day weekend, a sunday I called in after hours support and was called back 30 minutes later, they web'd into the machine and showed me what I was doing wrong. I've had to use support from one of the other manufactures listed in previous posts, and it is awful. Feel free to contact me if you want more details. Go see machines running. Most owners/operators will be very willing to tell you pros and cons and you have to decide what would work best for you. Look at the other machinery in the shop to see if they are all from the same manufacture. They could have a biased opinion, but not always. Look for small shops in your same situation to get the best comparison.
Iíve got a ShopSabre IS408. Itís been a great machine. The frame is very heavy, and have had no issues in three years. The support is amazing, if you need it.
If I was to buy a small cnc, I would go with an AVID. I've used the machines before, and for an extrusion machine, it is very good. I'm also a big fan of the rotary options available. Mach 4 uses .txt files, I use legacy's CCAM for alot of rotary stuff, very easy.
I don't know if you can really appreciate heavy iron until you have used the range from light to heavy. I have 2 machines in the 15,000 pound plus range and I would never go back to a smaller one.
2" solid wood is serious business.
Make sure the spindle can rotate both way and that you have proper left and right hand tool holders.
Look for an old 4X8 Anderson. I know a guy who does lots of solid wood on one.
we produce in israel with eurpen structer and america controler and our software,machines high quality ,low cost,please call us
Ok Iíll chime in on this and itís different from what I said in the past. Nope not a Biesse, look at an Anderson. We needed a machine for a temporary location and I was amazed at the Anderson
Only down is it doesnít have its own cad software, so you have to do everything in another program and send to machine. Biesse had ability to preview the parts you are going to run Anderson does not
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