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Forum topic by dannelson posted 04-08-2014 12:48 AM 2138 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dannelson

181 posts in 1839 days


04-08-2014 12:48 AM

I’m upgrading, I have run a shopbot for the last 5 years and it served me well . I learned a lot along the way. But as you grow so do your needs and wants. I purchased a brand new Camaster stinger III it’s a 4×8 machine with vac hold down, 3 cutting heads they call it an x3 option, 4hp main spindle and 2 3,25 hp portercable side routers, a recoil indexing lathe that has a 8’ x 12” capacity, laser sights for zeroing the x&y and touch off plate for the z. I also did the upgrades for the steppers I should be able to cut in the upper 400 ” /min range. I really think that these are a great machine as far as how they are built and cut. Over the past few weekend I have seen the same machine as I’m getting in action and I was more impressed in person. The hard part is the wait, these machines are tested with the same computer that you get and built one at a time . I guess you can’t rush quality . Dan Nelson , lots of pictures to follow come the middle of may. By the way first post on the new forum !!!

-- nelson woodcrafters


35 replies so far

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,

2387 posts in 3015 days


#1 posted 04-08-2014 03:43 AM

Awesome. Congrats on the new machine. I hope to invest in a CNC someday. Not sure if and when though. Look forward to seeing how things go with your new machine.

-- .

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Rick

8287 posts in 2500 days


#2 posted 04-08-2014 04:49 AM

CONGRATULATIONS GUY’S!! You got your CNC Forum Up & Running!

Enjoy It!!

Regards: Rick

-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

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Underdog

907 posts in 1503 days


#3 posted 04-08-2014 10:33 AM

Wow. I’m green with envy. From all I’ve heard, CAMaster is a brute of a machine. My little CarveWright is weeping in the corner. Congratulations! I’m sure they’ll take good care of you.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

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RockyTopScott

1184 posts in 2946 days


#4 posted 04-08-2014 11:53 AM

Congrats Dan…it sounds like a beast.

I hear nothing but good things about Camaster.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

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MJCD

483 posts in 1839 days


#5 posted 04-08-2014 12:38 PM

For those of us – perhaps the majority of LJ members, I’m not sure – there are both knowledge and experience hurdles to the CNC-side: Legacy, Shopbot, CAMaster. Many are similar in appearance, like Table Saws, I guess; all claim they’re easy to learn, easy to operate – just program in what you want. Being an ex computer programmer, I know it’s not that easy to learn a computer language (which one to learn?), and more difficult to implement.

Any help that the new CNC Forum can provide will be most appreciated.
MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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helluvawreck

23214 posts in 2334 days


#6 posted 04-08-2014 01:43 PM

Dan, it just so happens that the plant where they assemble these machines is my home town. I’ve been to the plant and the people are great. I’m hoping that one day I will be able to get one of their machines along with an epilog laser. I first saw their machines at the Atlanta Woodworking Show and at the time I didn’t even know that they were in my hometown. One day I was just riding along and low an behold I was right in front of their plant. It’s a small world. I believe that these are a good choice. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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,

2387 posts in 3015 days


#7 posted 04-08-2014 01:54 PM

Dan,

I am looking forward to following this thread and watching your experience. I looked over the camaster.com website and it appears very interesting to me. We build kitchens and so I am very interested in finding out if upgrading to a CNC in our upcoming future would be any real benefit to us. At this time it is just my wife and I who build cabinets, doors, drawers, etc… At this time we just cut out our parts on 20-30 year old table saws.

The price point on the camaster cnc seems very affordable so I will be interested to see your take on this CNC. I had also entertained the idea of possibly getting into a Shopbot CNC down the road.

Can you talk more in detail about: “2 3,25 hp portercable side routers, a recoil indexing lathe that has a 8’ x 12” capacity”. What advantage will this give you. I guess I am wondering because we often buy various decorative island legs, island corbels and just different carved decor to dress up kitchen cabinets. On our current job we are installing 4 large island corbels that are 34” tall and 7” wide, 7” deep or so. They are going to cost us a little more than a 1000.00 to purchase. Of course I just charge this to the customer.

Also, do you know if CNC will machine dovetail drawers (we currently offer dovetail as upgrade and do it on a jig)? Do you know what speed the CNC will take to nest one 4 by 8 sheet?

I probably will give Camaster a call. We are not looking right now but I think we could be interested in about 6-9 months or so.

-- .

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Underdog

907 posts in 1503 days


#8 posted 04-08-2014 03:45 PM

Jerry,
I won’t answer questions for Dan about his machine, but I will tell you that a good CNC router will open up possibilities you never had before. I work in a cabinet shop in Georgia, and our production nearly tripled when we bought a KOMO 5’x10’ router with a drill bank. (No rotary axis).

As for the dovetail drawers, you’ll have to buy a dedicated set of tools for that. I believe there are several makers out there. Just Google “CNC Dovetail bits”. Vortex, and Amana make sets of these, and I think Great Lakes Carbide may also. We have the Great Lakes MDF door tools and they work very well. I’ve dealt with Vortex and Great Lakes for years and they’re both good companies.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

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Underdog

907 posts in 1503 days


#9 posted 04-08-2014 03:49 PM

MJCD,

You don’t have to be a programmer to run CNC routers. Most design programs now will output the G-Code necessary to run your machine. Many machines will have a controller made by Siemens or Fanuc. The software manufacturer will write a “post” for that controller. The post (script or text file) tells the software what G-code your controller likes.

Other machines may use something like Mach 3 (which I’m not familiar with) and I think it directly controls the servos.

At any rate, you don’t really have to program these things if you don’t really want to.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

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Puzzleman

411 posts in 2412 days


#10 posted 04-08-2014 07:30 PM

MJCD, I have been running a cnc for over 10 years and just bought my second one to go with the first. I don’t have a clue about code. For me it is a draw and cut operation. learning how to draw on the screen took a little while but it is really simple now and goes quick.

Don’t fret over all those guys on some of the forums talking about g-code and such. Never cared to learn it.
I just want to draw and cut and build.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

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degoose

7196 posts in 2822 days


#11 posted 04-08-2014 09:19 PM

I do the design work in Aspire and the software then writes the Gcode in Mach 3 … this software runs the turning on and off of the spindle, speed of the spindle, plunge speed, feed rate and X Y Z positioning…. all in the blink of an eye…
Not quite that simple but …lots of fun…
The Laser runs directly out of CorelDraw or similar and uses printer drivers…so you design and then print and select the driver for the laser… almost that simple..

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

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dannelson

181 posts in 1839 days


#12 posted 04-09-2014 12:50 AM

Thanks for all the replys, I’ll start at the top and work my way down the list, please forgive me if my answers seem segmented.Jerry you are a perfect candidate for a cnc . I was in the same boat as you not that long ago, the price point is affordable however…. The upgrades increase the price fast. The road I took was to get an entry level cnc first and learn what worked for me and then after that get what we could afford. We started out with a used 5×10 shopbot as I mentioned it was a good machine.and great help on the forum. With the Camaster the two side routers will enable us to not have to change bits after the tool path has run on that particular cut. So what I’m saying is typically on the old machine to save time we would program one bit to cut the entire job say a 5mm two flute that way we didn’t have to change for the dados, cut outs and shelf pins. With the Camaster x3 option you have a spindle for your (major) cutting, typically for cabinets we are going to use a .375 compression bit for the dados and cutouts. Then in the cut file the spindle will automatically shut off raise up and the the side router will drop down and cut with what ever bit you choose to use we will go with the 5mm for shelf pins. For the # 3 router we will drop in a 7mm bit for the slide mounting holes. YouTube Camaster x3 and you will see. As far as the recoil thats a whole new ball game for us we plan to do everything from columns to ball and claw legs again YouTube has a lot look up barley twist on a Camaster.

Dovetails I have done them on my machine but it’s kinda slow the mount just like your jig and the cnc acts just like your hand router but automated. I have read that the nested dovetails on plywood just don’t look as nice as the jiged ones. The only thing nice about doing them on the cnc is that you can write the files in what ever increments you want the widths and thicknesses to be. The biggest I’ve done was a 32h x48w 24d box.

We also do corbels and we can ship to Texas.

Puzzleman Couldn’t be more correct in his reply to writing code I only know goX0Y0 for those who don’t know that’s the (home base )for the router to park or the place for the cut file to begin, but were getting long winded enough to get into the specifics another time.

For any one who has questions shoot me a email and we can talk for real. Nelsonwoodcrafters@yahoo.com

-- nelson woodcrafters

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,

2387 posts in 3015 days


#13 posted 04-09-2014 01:35 AM

Dan,

You are a bad source for my temptation. Your CNC acquisition has my mouth watering :) I have talked to my wife about it some today. I have considered a CNC for a long time now but have not been in a position to pull the trigger. For the past 18 months we have been in the middle of a 40 by 80 shop build. Now we are in and we are recovering from that build out. It was far more costly than I had ever imagined in the end and we did it using cash so it was tough. It is still not over yet, just yesterday I spent 1,000.00 on a roll up door and still need to buy one more down the road.

So I am hoping we can look more seriously at acquiring a CNC this year. Most of my acquisitions have been from saving money or buying used and cheap at auctions. I did call and spoke with a sales rep and he talked to me about their Lease program. That is sort of tempting because at this time we let our only full time guy go which saves us a nice chunk of money per month and moving into our own shop on our own land saves a very nice amount from our monthly overhead.

So at this time we outsource our doors, which I believe has been an excellent decision for us. And we are working with an installation crew for our larger jobs. We handle our own installation on small to medium sized jobs. A CNC would offer further help and shave some of our time allowing us to just do assembly and finish work for the most part, and concentrate on more cabinet details.

I am however fighting the temptation of doing a lease and hope to pay cash, but I am on the fence. I am sort of thinking about it like the CNC lease payment is less than a 1/4 of what we paid a full time guy and the CNC would give us more production and more accuracy.

So now that I have rambled. To the point! I seen your statement about making corbels. Not sure if you could make the corbels we need but you are welcome to look at what we need and shoot me a price.

Here is the link to the corbels I need to purchase in the next 2 – 3 weeks. http://www.osbornewood.com/1406.cfm

-- .

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,

2387 posts in 3015 days


#14 posted 04-09-2014 01:41 AM

Also, if you could cut the corbels, we would like to get them in Alder.

-- .

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,

2387 posts in 3015 days


#15 posted 04-09-2014 01:43 AM

Underdog,

I wanted to thank you for your response to my post. It was very encouraging and hopefully in the next year or so we can move into a CNC.

Thanks again, Jerry

-- .

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