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Forum topic by OldWolfsWoodShop posted 03-07-2013 08:14 AM 5073 views 3 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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OldWolfsWoodShop

174 posts in 892 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... www.oldwolfswoodshop.ca


41 replies so far

View WillAdams's profile

WillAdams

79 posts in 939 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 http://www.123dapp.com/ and see if creating thus works for you.

View OldWolfsWoodShop's profile

OldWolfsWoodShop

174 posts in 892 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... www.oldwolfswoodshop.ca

View bullhead1's profile

bullhead1

228 posts in 1193 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

oldnovice

4037 posts in 2312 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

jssussex

23 posts in 2657 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

oldnovice

4037 posts in 2312 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

Henry6

36 posts in 971 days


#7 posted 03-12-2013 08:38 AM

123dapp.com is a nice site for beginners.

View bloomingtonmike's profile

bloomingtonmike

4 posts in 847 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.

http://www.youtube.com/my_videos?o=U

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

4037 posts in 2312 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

OldWolfsWoodShop

174 posts in 892 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... www.oldwolfswoodshop.ca

View Mike's profile

Mike

27 posts in 1370 days


#11 posted 05-28-2015 10:13 PM

Wonder if jumping onto such an old thread will work, but am curious about Old Wolf’s choice and if he has any reviews?

I’m really curious about Legacy. Can anyone point to any independent reviews? Looks like a nice product at a tolerable price, but it would be nice to read a few in-depth reviews from people not associated with the company. Thanks!

View Shadowrider's profile

Shadowrider

131 posts in 153 days


#12 posted 05-29-2015 12:08 AM

Mike, the Legacy stuff looks to be full on industrial quality for the most part. Including their apparent sales methodology. I can find ZERO specs or prices on their site which leads me to believe that once you place an inquiry, you’ll have a sales associate jumping all over you to buy. That’s a huge turnoff for me. Hope I’m wrong on that.

But their stuff looks first rate from what I can tell and probably out of my price range. I’m getting close to going with Probotics for my first CNC buy.

View Mike's profile

Mike

27 posts in 1370 days


#13 posted 05-29-2015 12:34 AM

The larger/industrial CNC companies do seem to all have more of a car sales model than a woodworking tool sales model. Perhaps that’s just because the tools are about the price of a car. Yikes!

I would like to price/consider a machine with 4 axis (5ish for Legacy), medium sized table, and a water-cooled spindle. Looks like Probotix has some options that are interesting and pricing is less painful. Will have to look at these more.

View OldWolfsWoodShop's profile

OldWolfsWoodShop

174 posts in 892 days


#14 posted 05-29-2015 01:25 AM

Hi Mike, after researching many brands, Legacy included, I chose The CWI Professor HDX. This machine has a 24×36 working surface. This frame is cast iron, so very solid, with an aluminum table. The spindle is Italian made, suitable for 4 different collets. I found that most brands, as mentioned earlier, have the used car attitude, so push push and push. I purchased the machine from Canadian Woodworker in Calgary.

As well, my research included software, which is truly the backbone of the CNC experience. I purchased the Aspire Software from Vectric.

I was told that when you acquire a CNC, you have a long learning curve. I can now say that is true. The capability of the CNC is amazing.

Mike, if I can answer any questions, please feel free to reach out.

John (Old Wolf)

-- Making Sawdust is great stress relief... www.oldwolfswoodshop.ca

View jssussex's profile

jssussex

23 posts in 2657 days


#15 posted 05-29-2015 03:05 AM

Well I posted 2 years ago and now I’ve owned one for 2 years. I love the Legacy CNC unit. http://www.legacycncwoodworking.com/
They have many new models all based on their tried and true components, electronics and open welded steel frame and multiple options. Legacy CNC woodworking is their primary business not just another tool to sell. They have twice weekly free classes on using and creating great projects from beginner to expert plus they take questions at the end of each session. This reduces the learning curve considerably. They also have over 100 videos on line. Check legacy cnc woodworking on youtube.

I’ve been happy with their product support and more than once they linked up to my pc remotely and made a correction to my system. Not their fault.

I love the water cooled spindel, the A axis and the ability to tilt it so I can make tapered spindles.

They provide 2 days factory training for new owners.

I’ve had 0 issues with the machine in the last 24 month. To see what can be produced on this machine check out my personal site http://heritagecarving.com/ or

https://facebook.com/HeritageCarving

-- Jim - Sussex Wi

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