View Full Version : Suitable Wood CNC mills

01-02-2016, 09:14 PM
currently I have a denford triac and starmill, ive not used the starmill since the day I purchased it. it needs a mach conversion and ive just not got round to doing it.

I seem to be doing a fair amount of wood work these days and I do everything on my triac. so im thinking of selling the starmill and purchasing a more suitable mill for wood.

im aware there are many of these Chinese 6040 cnc mills around, are they any good? what sort of back lash do they have? what sort to depth of cut and speed can you get with them?

on my triac when machining oak I use an 8mm end mill, 3mm depth of cut at f300.

if I wanted to go bigger than a 6040 what options are there?
I also want air cooled spindle and Esmooth stepper

all thoughts welcome

02-02-2016, 05:00 PM
lots of comments ;) ;)

02-02-2016, 05:25 PM
regarding the chinese 6040 routers:
Cheap chearful and not very sturdy. Backlash is whatever you get from a C7 no preload screw which 0-0.05mm ish if you are lucky 0.1+ if not.

With a little bit of effort you can make the machine perform well in my opinion. Firstly you will need to add limit switches, a decent motion controller, change the cables out for better quality ones. Then you should tackle the distinct lack of rigidity of the ground unsupported rails. If you get one with an all-in-one stepper driver board, set money aside for when it blows smoke.

Aircooled spindles do not allow you to go at low RPM as they overheat. Also they sound like a concorde taking off...apparently. Most of the 6040s come with water cooled spindles anyway. Most of them with ER16 collets too so your 8mm endmill will be fine.

Plenty of people with these machines on youtube to give you advice on how best to tackle the teething issues.

If you want a machine that is ready out of the box though, best look elsewhere.

02-02-2016, 05:33 PM
Suggestions on alternatives?

02-02-2016, 06:19 PM
Suggestions on alternatives?
That's the problem Andy, there aren't really any ready made alternatives....

02-02-2016, 06:44 PM
That's the problem Andy, there aren't really any ready made alternatives....

At least not for the same price tag.

02-02-2016, 07:13 PM
hit me up with some links of decent machines, ignoring price for the moment

03-02-2016, 11:58 AM
Hi Andy

I think the reason you're maybe not getting the feedback you require here is that the CNC market (especially in the UK) is the same as the PC market in say the late 80's/early 90's.

You have a few cheap machines (1000 ish 6040's etc.) which are compromised as detailed above and then there are some UK builder/retailers who are charging 3,000-5,000, which frankly in some cases are not much better or at least have cut corners here and there to maximise margins. Some of the inflation is due to the supplier providing some kind of onsite or remote support package, which if you're running a business maybe worth it, but you will eventually learn the machine and likely not need this or may not need it at all depending on knowledge level.

If you definitely only want to cut wood then a machine with supported rails will likely suffice depending on how often you intend to use the machine and the depths you want to cut to (unsupported rails are a definite "no-no" for anything apart from light engraving or very shallow cuts). Even then and certainly if the machine is going to be in constant "commercial" use (and if I was building a second machine even as a hobbyist) I would always go for linear profiled rails, ballscrews and a 2.2KW spindle and electronics that use an ethernet rather than the parallel port. Unfortunately I'm not aware of any router manufacturers in the UK that offer this kind of machine and they would certainly uplift the 3-5K price tag, even though I estimate a machine of this sort would cost somewhere around 2000 to build, although guys who have built a machine to this rough spec would be able to advise better.

If you have the time then "self build" is a far more cost effective solution and is what most here do, but you will have to do your research into the various build logs to get ideas.

I hope that helps, but the "take away" is be careful if going retail and if you do find something that looks suitable - post a link or pic and the guys here will gladly advise on what to look for.

Boyan Silyavski
03-02-2016, 05:06 PM
Machine of any sort thats good costs at least 3000Euro in parts, or more. usually going bigger cost 1000 more for each 1m bigger. You need to weld or to know a welder near you. But for a small machine is cheaper to pay a welder. Otherwise you will need dry cut saw like Evolution, at least an arc welder, Mig is better, and definitely a precision straight edge that is long as your machine is wide, and a couple of precision squares.

03-02-2016, 10:30 PM
thanks for the info.

ill get some prices from denford and boxford as both make some good stuff. and ill keep an eye on ebay for denford and boxford router