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Forum topic by OldWolfsWoodShop posted 03-07-2013 08:14 AM 3987 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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167 posts in 814 days

03-07-2013 08:14 AM

I am considering purchasing a Cnc router. I am looking for some thoughts on the units out there? Please advise.

-- Making Sawdust is great stress relief...

10 replies so far

View WillAdams's profile


78 posts in 861 days

#1 posted 03-07-2013 11:43 AM

Hard to suggest w/o knowing:

- budget
- desired working area / volume
- intended use / materials

Another consideration is your drawing / CAD experience—- you’ll be much more comfortable if you’ve used CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand or SketchUp or a CAD program.

If you have a newer computer, I’d suggest trying out and see if creating thus works for you.

View OldWolfsWoodShop's profile


167 posts in 814 days

#2 posted 03-08-2013 01:26 AM

Thanks for the comments. To provide more info. Budget, somewhat flexible
Work area, good sized
Materials, wood, plastic, soft metals

I have a good skill set with various graphics packages

-- Making Sawdust is great stress relief...

View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 1115 days

#3 posted 03-08-2013 01:33 AM

I think the major question is what are you intending to use it for. That will play a big factor in bed size, bit size and on and on. I have one and use it for smaller items but if i wanted to cut cabinet parts I would have to seriously upgrade to a stronger and bigger machine.

View oldnovice's profile


3931 posts in 2234 days

#4 posted 03-08-2013 04:48 AM

There are many choices and a lot depends on what you want to do, what you can afford, and personal preferences!
One of my personal preferences was that it was made in the USA and that eliminated a lot of them. There are a lot of CNCs on eBay made in China and not that I questions their quality I do question their customer service. A number of new entries from Germany and Austria but I do not know where these are made or, again anything about customer service.

If you are starting out in CNC you waqnt/need a good support system!

Back to the selection of a CNC, as stated above, there are many choices:
Legacy (one of my finalists, very good customers service/reviews, made in USA)
Shopbot Tools (other models, have not had any occasion to use customer service as yet)
Laguna (good tools, bad customer service, check this site for comments)
Shark CNC (alos sold by Rockler, some very poor reviews, no word on customer service)
K2 CNC (good machines good reviews, no revies on customer service)
CAMaster (I see these mentioned on the CNC Zone)

You also need to decide on desk top versus floor, router versus spindle (and spindle voltage requirements), dust collection, additional software (depends on what is supplied).
There are the LJ on this site that use CNCs that will probably supply input too!

You can also check out sites like CNC Zone for a lot of very good information including other manufacturers.

Or specific CNCs like Let's Talk Shopbot

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

View jssussex's profile


18 posts in 2579 days

#5 posted 03-12-2013 03:58 AM

I have been following “Legacy CNC Woodworking a number of years. They have 3 axis and 5 Axis hybrids. They’ve been making ornamental milling machines and CNCs for over 25 years. They are not an entry hobbyist tool but they do have serious hobbyist machines through large commercial machines.

There design has an open bed so you have huge flexibility. The 5 axis hybrid does both flat and spindles They have over 100 demo videos on-line and they have many training video with code etc available for their customers. I’ve evaluated till I can’t think straight and I keep coming back to the Legacy for quality, flexibility, customer services and upgrade paths. I’m a proud owner of an ARTY Personal. Call them and ask for John Hennen and he can give you tons of information on every aspect of the machine, software and business.

-- Jim - Sussex Wi

View oldnovice's profile


3931 posts in 2234 days

#6 posted 03-12-2013 04:14 AM

You can’t go wrong with a Legacy machine, good workmanship, made in U.S.A, very good support, and proctivity help if you go into mass production. As stated before, they were one of my top two contenders.

I went with Shopbot because of the ability to “stretch” the work envelope from 48”x24” to 48”x96” when I need/want to do that.

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

View Henry6's profile


36 posts in 893 days

#7 posted 03-12-2013 08:38 AM is a nice site for beginners.

View bloomingtonmike's profile


2 posts in 769 days

#8 posted 03-12-2013 06:34 PM

John, are you wanting to buy a turnkey solution or build a machine. I built a Joe’s CastCNC machine 4X4 rack and pinion machine with vrail and a 2.2kw chinese electrospindle. It is pretty big and takes up a good 72X72 chuck of space but I love it. If you get into a decent size machine make sure you opt for a welded steel base. Makes all the difference in the world vs a base based on unistrut or alum extrusion. Building your own if you can do it will teach you everything there is to know about your machine. You will not be dependent on anyone to source your parts. Your upgrades are only limited by you and your checkbook.

View oldnovice's profile


3931 posts in 2234 days

#9 posted 03-12-2013 07:18 PM

Henry6, I went to that site and got a virus warning from my virus scanner!

John, My Shopbot has 24” long x 48” wide x 5” high cutting envelope and a 49” wide x 72” long x 68” high and can be expanded to a cutting area 96” long with a power bar.
So I traded the length extension on the Shopbot for the additional axis on the Legacy … good decision, don’t know?

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

View OldWolfsWoodShop's profile


167 posts in 814 days

#10 posted 03-14-2013 01:43 AM

My thanks to all for your comments. Close to making a decision. Keep you posted.

-- Making Sawdust is great stress relief...

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