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Forum topic by mahdee posted 03-03-2016 06:12 PM 1256 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mahdee

3551 posts in 1230 days


03-03-2016 06:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: carving tool drill-driver lathe scroll saw

Hi,
I have been researching CNC machines for about 5 months now and am having a hard time figuring out which one would best serve my purpose. I have pretty much blocked the temptation of buying Chinese machines even though
Something like this for under 6K makes me salivate.

My plan is to buy a machine that has the capacity to grow with me for the next 10 to 15 years. It will eventually become a investment to supplement income when or if I retire. I love all aspects of woodworking from musical instruments to reclaimed furniture; innovating is a passion of mine. At this point I have narrowed my choices to either a shopBot or a shopsabre. I believe both machines are entirely made in USA and off course that is the reason for attraction. One thing that I like about the shopbot is the ability to use extensions to it for large pieces which makes the machine’s footprint a lot smaller. I can also purchase a rotary indexing head for it which again is part of that growing process. I am assuming it will take me 2-3 months to learn most of the in’s and out’s of the hardware and software which is not a big deal.
My question is, if you had a choice between the two machines, which one would you choose and why?
Also, am I being foolish by not considering the chinese made ones or products like Laquana that is “assembled” in the USA meaning the parts are more likely are Chinese made?
Thanks

-- earthartandfoods.com


25 replies so far

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1640 posts in 1779 days


#1 posted 03-04-2016 01:30 AM

I’d pick Shop Sabre over ShopBot due to the heavier construction. Heavier machines provide a more solid foundation for heavy cutting. That being said, my current CNC is just a bolt-together aluminum kit with a router attached to it. It’s been run pretty hard the last few months some days going for an almost continuous 8 hours.

So I’m pretty sure you’d be happy with either machine. I just prefer heavier because a Shop Sabre would do in 4 hours what my machine does in 8. It would double my income per hour but I don’t have that much CNC work to need the extra capacity at the moment. So I just run my current machine longer.

Don’t buy a CNC that doesn’t come with good customer support. I built mine so I can service it but if you buy some random machine and it breaks down, what are you going to do? Mine failed twice in the past two years and both times I figured out the issue the same day. This is only possible because I know the circuits can can use a multi-meter. If you can’t fix it, your Chinese CNC machine will become a $6,000 shop ornament someday.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View oldwood's profile

oldwood

56 posts in 706 days


#2 posted 03-04-2016 03:54 AM

There is one for sale on Gulfport/Biloxi craigslist under tools.

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3551 posts in 1230 days


#3 posted 03-04-2016 04:12 AM

JAAune, Thanks. That was exactly my thoughts especially since I live 30 miles to the nearest town of only 10000. I have to have something reliable with a good support to answer my questions in case I run into some issues.

oldwood, I don’t think I want to mess with someone else’s unwanted child. If I knew in’s and out’s of CNC, I would definitely check it out but at this point I am as green as a young willow tree in Spring.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2593 days


#4 posted 03-05-2016 12:06 AM

I’ve never seen or used either one, but personally, I think you’d be better off with the Shopbot, due to their large user community.

You have thousands of people you can ask questions to.

I am assuming it will take me 2-3 months to learn most of the in’s and out’s of the hardware and software which is not a big deal.

You can learn most of the basics, but there’s a lot more to learn than you think beyond the basic operation. I’ve been doing this for a living for almost 20 years, and still learn things all the time.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3551 posts in 1230 days


#5 posted 03-05-2016 01:43 AM

Ger21, thank.. I have already learned so many tips and tricks on watching YouTube videos. I am really leaning toward ShopBot for it’s small footprint and extensions. I spent 4 hours today researching Probotix. So many positive feedback and that is what is confusing me. After all, Probotix cost half as much as Shopbot with much better reviews.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View Dabcan's profile

Dabcan

252 posts in 2133 days


#6 posted 03-05-2016 02:11 AM

I just bought a machine after 10 years of debate. I went from build my own to brand new and everything in between. Eventually I bought a used machine from another business that was upgrading. It is made by a Canadian company that’s still in business so I’m confident it will be serviceable.

Now that I have it, I will echo what others have said, buy a sturdy machine, the hardest part to upgrade is the frame, so get the best you can afford. I couldn’t believe how heavy my machine is, but it’s because the frame is built like a tank. I’d also recommend you get the biggest machine you might need, again, it’s hard to increase the size after its built.

Lastly, get one with a good user forum as you’ll have tons of questions, and the more people to answer them the better.

Good luck and keep us posted!

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

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Ger21

1047 posts in 2593 days


#7 posted 03-05-2016 02:17 AM

Where are you finding all these probotix reviews?
Probotix is not in the same league as shopbot, and imo is a midrange hobby machine.
The Shopbot buddy is 3x faster, and much more rigid. Even faster if you go for the Alpha version. The Shopbot also comes with their version of V-Carve Pro, which is a $700 value.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3551 posts in 1230 days


#8 posted 03-05-2016 01:40 PM

Dabcan, Thanks for the sound advice both ShopBot and ShopSabre have welded steel frame which make it a pulse. I think the Sabre provides a two hour training on their software as well. Ger21, I don’t have the site/forum I went to but the discussions were among several people that had purchased one and it all was very positive. One person who was a “professor” at a collage claimed to had bought two of the for their school.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2529 days


#9 posted 03-05-2016 02:19 PM

I spent years making the decision you are looking at. For me I placed my order last week for CNCRouterparts machine. I Looked at a CAMASTER as well and they were my 2nd. I ended up doing research for almost a year and read and watched about everything I could find. For my need and budget, I found it was the best fit and came in my $$. I’m getting ready to build a house in a couple years so I wanted a 4×8 system for that and to make parts for my wine cabinets I make. finally I needed to get it in my basement so the CAmaster while great is a solid steel system and logistically I could not make it work, and the cost was just too much.

The CNCrouterparts is well deployed and supported. I went with nema34 controls and while a router is usable I went with the spindle option.

www.cncrouterparts.com

There is a section over at cnczone jusft for them. Great group. Obviously you wont get a 4×8 for that $$ range, but they have many options.

It runs with mach 3 well tested. I went with v-carve pro that you get at a discount with the purchase of a machine, and they gave me a deal that I could go with the cheaper v-carve pro and within 1 year, if I found that I wanted to upgrade it would only be the difference between aspire and VCP so I can’t loose
I’m also going with a 4th axis option to do turned table leggs.

I highly reccomend cnczone for info they are great.

Good luck on the decision. I’ll be doing my build log, so I’m sure I’ll have trials and tribulations in my build but looking forward to it.

Have a good one.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2593 days


#10 posted 03-05-2016 04:58 PM



Ger21, I don t have the site/forum I went to but the discussions were among several people that had purchased one and it all was very positive. One person who was a “professor” at a collage claimed to had bought two of the for their school.

I think I know of the person you’re talking about.

Keep in mind that if someone only has experience with one machine, that while they may be perfectly happy with it, they may not know that there are far better options.

There’s a website that sells kits for plywood machines for thousands of dollars. The machines are really complete garbage, compared to what’s available today. But most of their customers are very happy, because they don’t realize that you can get 10x the performance for about the same price.

So you have to take positive reviews with a grain of salt.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5723 posts in 2830 days


#11 posted 03-08-2016 06:13 AM

Here is and option that is inexpensive enough to get your feet really wet in many different forms of CNC work including the typical routing, 3D printing, foam cutting, vinyl cutting, engraving, carving, miling, etc.

In my opinion these Stepcraft models and accessories are low cost enough to try it out to see which avenue of “digital” design you want to explore.

The Stepcraft family of CNCs are available in various sizes and in kit form.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3551 posts in 1230 days


#12 posted 03-09-2016 01:06 AM

bonesbr549, Thanks for the information. How long did it take you to put it together. All those parts are intimating to me.
Ger21, Excellent point. I took one look of those plywood ones and just shook my head. With all that movement, how can those last even a year? Crazy.
oldnovice, The largest width they have is 16”. I am really wanting at least a 32” X 48 or close to it. I think a one time investment, let’s say $12000, might be a better deal for me. A good machine with decent capacity will probably appreciate in value over time.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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oldnovice

5723 posts in 2830 days


#13 posted 03-09-2016 01:29 AM

I hear you!
I didn’t notice you were looking for that large of a CNC!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2529 days


#14 posted 03-20-2016 01:00 AM



bonesbr549, Thanks for the information. How long did it take you to put it together. All those parts are intimating to me.
Ger21, Excellent point. I took one look of those plywood ones and just shook my head. With all that movement, how can those last even a year? Crazy.
oldnovice, The largest width they have is 16”. I am really wanting at least a 32” X 48 or close to it. I think a one time investment, let s say $12000, might be a better deal for me. A good machine with decent capacity will probably appreciate in value over time.

- mahdee

sorry for not getting back to you sooner just noticed this. I’m building my system now. I am detailing the build on flicker and in cnczone cncrouterparts section. I’ll post links to both. Mine is a 4×8 system. They are great in helping you before you buy and not overselling what you don’t need. They even called me when they saw I had posted that I got my boxes just to see if it got there ok and that since I would be building over the week-end, they would monitor the emails.

It’s well marked and labeled. If you can look at a picture you can build it.

https://flic.kr/s/aHskvHYJH1

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/cnc-router-parts/299816-cnc-posts.html

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5723 posts in 2830 days


#15 posted 03-20-2016 04:57 AM

You certainly have your work cut out for you as I have not seen that many parts since I stopped working in control systems.
Good luck and I will be watching!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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