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  1. #1
    Hi all

    Being totally new to CNC, I've been doing a bit of research and messing about with Vcarve. Watched so many youtube videos with some very talented people I feel I am in for a rude awakening when I actually get down to cutting! My use will be for general hobby work, inlays, artwork etc, with the possibility of selling items in the future. But that is down the line until I really learn how to use it. Anyhow, machine selection.... Many of the videos I have watched are US whereas I'm in the UK. In addition, some of the splendid machines they use such as Axiom are way out of my budget. I have £2k max and looking around, machines like the Workbee and X-Carve come up a lot. Far from cheap (although within my budget), they appear to be in kit form. Not a huge problem, but on reading reviews and info about them, they seem to be lower end with lower quality components and thus suffer from lack of durability, rigidity and accuracy.

    I have also read several posts on this forum with people asking similar questions to me and the answer often suggests build your own. I've looked at a couple of the build threads and to me this seems rather daunting. I fully understand that by doing this it is possible to build a machine that far surpasses the cheap kit versions for similar money - ball screws, water cooled spindles etc etc, but for me I feel I may end up spending a lot and end up stumped.

    I have noticed on ebay a seller who clearly makes CNC routers himself, on appearance they look very solid and well built and are bang on my budget. From experienced users, what do you think? I'm tempted to give this chap a call and ask some questions but was keen for input from this forum as to quality and price.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-axis-cn...p/184167144048

    Thoughts appreciated

  2. #2
    What do you need the machine for ? That's the main question.

    if its to learn and make stuff, then better get a real mini mill /CNC/ , for that money an used one could be found. Smaller working area but can mill steel, aluminum and plastic. Not good for wood because of the dust.

    If its for woodworking projects the one you point to will do the job. But if you develop and want to grow, its like loosing 1k, as no one will pay that money second hand for it. While the mill above will keep its value. Its a money pit.

    If its for aluminum, that one will not do. Better check for an used machine, from time to time there are opportunities.

    Best will be, prepare more and buy a proper one. JazzCNC /Dean/ here on forum makes and sell small machines, i doubt you will find better. Speak with him.


    Stupid machines not build well are like a broken car, the more money you put in, the more you see that you have to throw it one day and loose all and that makes you want to smash it. Save yourself the trouble.
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

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  4. #3
    Thanks for the reply - It will be mainly for wood work. That is my main thing. I've made a few end grain chopping boards and have seen some incredible inlay work created hence looking into CNC. The work area is therefore rather important. At least 24" x 18". Metal work is initially not on my radar, but never say never.

    It's interesting to hear your opinions on the machine I linked to. Just for my own info, why do you not consider it suitable for aluminium?

  5. #4
    erm I wonder
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Pilsbury View Post
    Thanks for the reply - It will be mainly for wood work. That is my main thing. I've made a few end grain chopping boards and have seen some incredible inlay work created hence looking into CNC. The work area is therefore rather important. At least 24" x 18". Metal work is initially not on my radar, but never say never.

    It's interesting to hear your opinions on the machine I linked to. Just for my own info, why do you not consider it suitable for aluminium?
    Hi,

    I will answer your question regards why it's not suitable for aluminum and to be quite honest why it's only just suitable for cutting wood, and to be honest, I'd question its ability on very hardwoods.

    Aluminum requires a stiff frame and to a lesser degree so does hardwoods to cut correctly and to a decent standard and this machine is seriously weak in some key areas like the flimsy gantry and Z-axis which need to be stiff otherwise you get deflection which causes chatter at the tool resulting in a very poor finish and at best excessive tool wear, at worst broken tools.
    That machine and it's gantry / Z-axis is only just strong enough to be used as a Plasma machine on which there are no cutting forces with only inertia to deal.

    Then you have other details like using low-quality round type rail poorly fastened (missing bolts) to unprepared surfaces etc, I could go on and on to be fair but I won't because of these 2 key areas alone and the poor quality components should be enough to put anyone who is serious about not wasting money off.

    This machine needs to be avoided at all cost's IMO and I say that not because I sell machines, because, in all honesty, I don't need to push or call names to sell my machines, I say it because I truly mean it and wouldn't like to think someone had bought one and it had not been said by experienced builder like me.

    I'm currently in the process of designing a machine, which I'm very close to finishing, that I'm hoping will meet budgets of people like your self in the 2-3K bracket that will give a solid and stable base machine that will cut most materials up to aluminum to a good standard and use decent quality components like profiled linear bearings and ball screws etc.

    Obviously there will have to be some things compromised at this price range and these will be on the electrical side of things. So it will be basic electronics which will be reasonable quality and sized correctly but a lower spec and just running off the parallel port.
    However, these will be more than good enough to run the machine in a Hobby environment and which at a later date can be easily upgraded if required.

    The main emphasis will be placed on mechanical strength and capability to cut correctly and give a solid foundation for any future upgrades if so desired.

    If you want to get in touch regards me building a machine drop me a PM.

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  8. #6
    JAZZCNC - now that is a cracking answer. For a novice the machine I posted looks fine. It not until someone who has real knowledge and experience explains the reason why itís not can a more informed decision be made. Appreciate the solid advice and may well contact you in the near future for a build discussion.

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  10. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Pilsbury View Post
    JAZZCNC - now that is a cracking answer. For a novice the machine I posted looks fine. It not until someone who has real knowledge and experience explains the reason why itís not can a more informed decision be made. Appreciate the solid advice and may well contact you in the near future for a build discussion.
    Please feel free to contact me BUT I'll repeat it again because I want it clearly known my comments are not about me selling machines.
    It's purely to highlight what inexperienced eyes cannot see but need to know before spending hard earned cash.!

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  12. #8
    That is fully understood and is clear from all your posts on here. My sole purpose is to get informed before spending the cash. It seems that poor machines are far from cheap and may well leave a new user very frustrated that they can't do what they want to do with it. As I mentioned in my previous post, end grain, hardwood chopping board inlays would be one of my first projects and I could have well been past a machines capabilities right off the bat. Forums and members offering this experience are invaluable

  13. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Pilsbury View Post
    . . . . . . . . My sole purpose is to get informed before spending the cash. It seems that poor machines are far from cheap and may well leave a new user very frustrated that they can't do what they want to do with it. . . . . . . . . . :
    I have a feeling that you're in the minority Pilsbury, having the common sense to do plenty of research before spending, well done already!!!

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  15. #10
    I have the following funny mind chart and i am very serious here. When i first look at sth i judge what i will need to break it.



    If i can damage a machine or any element of it to render it non functional using:

    1. one bare hand, includes dropping it - i will not even waste time talking about it at all

    2. 2 bare hands will advise strongly against buying it every time i see a post about it, does not matter what is about

    3. Using hands and feet, kicking, stomping, etc. will say its a crap but can do a simple job or could be used to introduce one to the type of machine / the machine we discussed /

    4. If i need a hammer and additional instruments--well made

    5. If i need a big long sledge hammer, pry bar and a beer rest to think of a strategy how to accomplish that - then its build up to my standard

    6. If i need an Oxygen torch- well that's up to an industrial standard machine, we are talking about a mill, VMC or big industrial router

    7. If it involves helpers, truck and all of the above- well, that's a serious sh*t

    8. If i have to googlle and read literature how to be able to break it, well. That may be a German or Japaneze machine. The real deal.



    All the hobby stuff from China is 1. The cheap chinese so called proffessional machines are 2. ALl the crappy staff i see in Spain and as obviously UK that pretends to be industrial is 3, including the machine we are talking in this posts. Most of the DIy machines on this forum are 3,4, 5 which is absolutely great, as IMO this is the best CNC forum in the world.
    My personal DIY machine is 6 and what i have built and designed for others is 5-6. Any real mill is 6-7.
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

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