LumberJocks

CNC Shark HD3 worth it? Or Camaster Stinger 2

  • Advertise with us

« back to CNC Woodworking forum

Forum topic by ryan86 posted 04-28-2015 05:53 PM 4414 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ryan86's profile

ryan86

14 posts in 639 days


04-28-2015 05:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: carving milling router tip cnc camaster shark hd3 stinger profit young wood worker

I am a very young wood worker (19yrs old) but starting to become very successful. I am interested in purchasing a cnc for custom table tops, signs and cutting boards. Although that is my main idea for using it, I do not want to be limited to doing those task only. What other task do CNC users do to make profit? and which machine do you recommend?


9 replies so far

View frazil's profile

frazil

11 posts in 956 days


#1 posted 04-28-2015 06:27 PM

First off, I have the Stinger I so I am a little biased toward the CAMaster. The two machines you mentioned are in somewhat different categories of machine, not to mention size. If this is for professional usage, get the biggest, strongest machine you can, it will pay dividends in the long run and probably pretty quickly. I do small projects only, boxes, carvings, kitchenware etc. and the cnc is a factor in most of them. A cnc will change your workflow and open up avenues that you probably cannot foresee. Do lots of research on the machines and the software. Check out the support forums for the machines and the software.

View ryan86's profile

ryan86

14 posts in 639 days


#2 posted 04-28-2015 07:39 PM

Thank you so much. What kind of carvings and kitchenware do you sell and where?

View brtech's profile

brtech

903 posts in 2387 days


#3 posted 04-28-2015 08:30 PM

I don’t do woodworking for a profit, and although I own a CNC, it’s not working yet, and it was a kit, with a ton of work to make it all operate.

But, I’m a very experienced computer guy.

What I can tell you is that setup on a CNC is going to be 2-3, and sometimes 4-5 times the work of making an item by hand, assuming it CAN be done by hand (which for woodworking is almost always the case). That means you need to use it when you plan to do the same operation over and over again. Some profit making products are like that, but many that woodworkers do are not – many are one of a kind, and dependent on lots of things that are hard to control with a CNC.

But, if you have projects that make sense to do in batch production, then a CNC would help a lot.

A CNC is selected by the work area (X, Y and Z of the piece of wood you are machining), the accuracy of moving the cutter to where you program it to move, the speed at which it can (accurately) move, and the accessories that come with it, or are available for it, which most definitely include the software.

There are three pieces of software to be concerned with: the software you use to design your piece, the software that turns that design into a tool path (typically g-code), and the software that runs the machine along the tool path. Some of that may come with the machine, some may be a free download, or some may be extra cost. Make sure you understand the whole chain before you purchase.

View frazil's profile

frazil

11 posts in 956 days


#4 posted 04-29-2015 01:57 PM

I sell my products at a variety of farmers markets, craft markets, trade shows and galleries. My kitchenware started with spoons and stirrers but has grown to include cutting boards, serving trays, bowls, rolling pins, and more. The carving is often done to enhance items, celtic knotwork is popular at some of my events.

View ryan86's profile

ryan86

14 posts in 639 days


#5 posted 04-29-2015 04:22 PM

Is the programming for a brand new project really take that long?

View frazil's profile

frazil

11 posts in 956 days


#6 posted 04-29-2015 07:26 PM

There are a lot of factors that affect the programming time required. The complexity of the item makes a big impact, but so does the capability of the cad/cam software and the experience and training of the operator.
Learning to use the software to maximum advantage is an ongoing process as you realize different ways you can approach tasks. I use the machine to make many one of a kind items as well as repeats, and I have learnt standard setups that help speed up the programming time.
Choosing the most appropriate software is probably more important than the actual machine, after all it just does what you tell it to.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1643 posts in 1782 days


#7 posted 04-30-2015 12:03 AM

Programming time depends upon the software with more expensive packages having more features that make it quick to setup new cuts. I’m using one of the cheapest CAM packages (Bobcad 3-axis at $500) which gives me just about every capability that other software has at the cost of extra labor. Negatives include a lack of features like nesting and automatic tabbing. I can program simple items within 10 minutes but others require lengthy work-arounds.

Once I have more CNC work coming in on a regular basis I’ll probably upgrade to Mozaik since it works with Sketchup and I’m already extremely proficient at that software. The $125 a month deal which includes nesting is more attractive than a $5,000 package that has to be purchased up front. It’s also possible to switch to different software after the $375, three month trial period if it doesn’t work out.

If you’re making money with your CNC, get the stronger machine as Frazil says. The faster the machine puts out the work, the more money you’ll see in your pocket at the end of the day.

To make extra money, one of the easiest ways is to locate specialist woodworkers that have successful businesses but no CNC machine. Once they learn they can earn more money by outsourcing to you, they’ll send business your way. I’ve got a few clients like this.

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

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2596 days


#8 posted 05-04-2015 01:12 AM


What I can tell you is that setup on a CNC is going to be 2-3, and sometimes 4-5 times the work of making an item by hand, assuming it CAN be done by hand (which for woodworking is almost always the case). That means you need to use it when you plan to do the same operation over and over again. Some profit making products are like that, but many that woodworkers do are not – many are one of a kind, and dependent on lots of things that are hard to control with a CNC.

I’ve been programming and running industrial CNC routers for almost 20 years.
Imo, you’re 100% wrong.

Rather than 2-5x longer to setup and run a single part, I can program and run a single part 5-10x faster than doing it by hand.
CNC not only excels at duplicate parts, but it also excels at one off parts.

I’ve programmed parts for several millions of dollars worth of work, and one off parts make up the vast majority.

Work holding methods and programming skills have a lot to do with how long things take.
And sure, there will be parts that are not as fast on a CNC.
Remember, a CNC router is just another tool, and is not always the right tool for every job.

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

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5730 posts in 2833 days


#9 posted 05-26-2015 12:22 AM

I have a Shopbot Buddy and I am only a hobbyist! My son is a CNC professional and hopes to use it to make some money eventually. He likes the Shopbot but doesn’t care too much for the control software when compared to the machines he uses at his work place but he admits there is quite a cost difference.

I found it to be a lot of fun because it requires different thought processes when attacking a project; not only in the planning but also in the execution of the project. I have been woodworking for over 40 years (still have my original table saw, router, and saber saw) so this new tool is just another outlet for me and my “pie in the sky projects”!

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com