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  1. #1
    After many hours of reading many threads and adverts, I'm still uncertain on a few issues. But I need to make decisions as I need to get this project underway.

    Whilst the end result is for commercial use, the table is only going to cut odd panels for my own projects. It will probably do a lot less work than most hobby tables!

    The work will initially all be 2D cutting of perspex up to about 5mm, Aluminium up to 4mm, but most likely 2 and 3mm and traffolyte sheet.It is possible that I may need to engrave, but that isn't an immediate requirement. I'm drawing on an old version of Autocad and can convert DXF to GCode without a problem.

    I need the table to have a minimum 650mm x 650mm cutting range, but there is also a budget constraint. I'm looking at the Ooznest Workbee machines, which I know a few have criticised before now, but considering the relatively low use it will get, fits the cost x size equation. I have to assume that if someone can build a business off developing, selling and supporting them, they must actually do a reasonable job, which is all I need, reasonable.

    The questions in my mind though are more related to the rest of the system, than the mechanics, and having looked at variations on the system offered on Aliexpress, it raises queries.

    1. Router Spindle
    Ooznest offer handheld Dewalt 900w or Makita 710w Routers as spindles as opposed to the Chinese offering 1.5 or 2.2 kw spindles. I'm of the thought that the Dewalts and Makitas may not be upto the job of cutting aluminium. Also the speed control is on the router body itself rather than remote. Your thoughts? I'm also not sure that I think the single clamp mount offered is robust enough.

    2. Stepper Motors
    the standard, full kit offers 175oz motors, yet if you spec a mechanics only kit you get 3 options 175, 265, 345oz motors. Is this suggesting 175oz maybe limited in their capability? Does it then imply the supplied Duet3D electronics are also limited?
    Obviously china offer different options once again, so where should we be with motors for this type of table?

    Electronics
    obviously this leads us onto the controllers, does anyone have experience of a reliable and reasonably user friendly system they'd recommend if 175oz motors are not really up to the task? Anyone got working experience of the Duet3D interface, it looks a little unfriendly to me.

    Bear in mind I need something reasonably complete so I can put it together and get it working reasonably quickly, I need a tool, not a project. But that doesn't mean I won't develop it further at a a later date, I just need to cut stuff.

    All thoughts appreciated

  2. #2
    Hi,

    Ok, well let me say first of all that while you think you won't use it often the reality will be more like it's never off.!! . . . The reason being that these machines are so versatile you'll find uses for it you didn't realize you had and it will open avenues for work you never dreamt about.

    I build machines for both hobby and business users and this happens in 99.9% of cases. Often the machines are very rarely used for the original purpose because other work is found for them.

    Now, this is the bit your not going to like.! . . . None of those cheaper machines are worth the money even if for hobby use, but when it comes to business usage it would be a massive mistake to buy one.
    While some nice work can be done with them it requires very low cutting feeds and shallow depths of cut etc and takes forever. Push them and you'll spend more time fixing and adjusting them than you will be cutting. They simply cannot handle cutting correctly with reasonable speed n feeds for any length of time and they will let you down and waste your money with wrecked work.

    When running a business this is the last thing you want, you can also bet your house on it they will fail when you are flat out busy or on a tight deadline.

    Trust my experience and don't take this route if your thinking to use for business, in fact, I wouldn't recommend for hobby use and suggest build or have one built, but 100% don't buy for business use. Spend a little more get the right tool and it will pay back 10 fold.

  3. #3
    @jazzcnc I hear what you are saying, but this isn't my core business and I have absolutely no intention of promoting it as a service, I just don't need to.
    What I need to do is get away from sub contracting my simple cutting requirements. I need to cut about 30 panels over the next 18 months, and the savings over sub contract will pay for this 2-3 times over. There will be odd additional panels, but I'm not looking to expand on my current requirements.

    Cutting time isn't an issue, it can take all day and go round the cut twice if it needs to, it'll be in a room on its own so even noise is really an issue! I can even live with slack tolerances!

    Don't focus on the "business" bit, I have a parkside compressor, a black & decker jigsaw and a Ryobi drill. They all survive the limited, lightweight work I throw at them. This table only needs to achieve the same.

    Commercial grade, I just can't justify the cost at this time, unless I'm mistaken on relative costs?

  4. #4
    Andrewg's Avatar
    Lives in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 21 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 42. Received thanks 4 times, giving thanks to others 10 times.
    Hi Smiffy (Beano fan ?)
    It is difficult to reply to your questions as you have joined a worrying rationale to some specific, detailed information requests. But we would like to help if we can.

    If you are buying a Workbee, speak to the guys at Oozenest or post questions on the Open Builds Forum that covers that model.

    If you really want feedback on your business plan, Jazz has already warned you off. Any business justification that is based on the idea that doing it yourself will pay for itself from saved sub contract costs either means 1) You are failing to include your time into the costs 2) You have failed to get the right price from your subcontractor 3) You have no idea what is involved. So for your business the spec of steppers is the least of your problems from what you have told us.

  5. #5
    from the business perspective, there are other considerations, some of the panels I need to cut, need to be trial fitted and in some cases modified. With my own table, I can cut a dummy in a cheap material, take it to the work site, offer it up and adjust. Then re-cut, revisit, until it is correct. I can't do that with a subcontractor, I have to get it right first time, which due to the environment I'm installing in, doesn't always happen. I have a small pile of failed panels here already, all of which have cost!

    Sub contractor leadtimes, whilst I manage to push urgent jobs through, sometimes urgent has two meanings. With my own table, If I need one finished in a hurry, I can work through the night.

    The subcontractor I've been using, won't accept my drawing files, they re-draw them to suit their system. More time, cost and problems if either of us make an error.

    Having a pre-built all welded table would be great, but It still has to pass through 4 x 27" door ways, and a narrow corridor with a 90 turn into one of the doors to get it to the workshop. I need something that can be assembled in situ.

    I'm aware of the time involved in running stuff like this, I helped a business I worked with source a pre-owned table some years back. That arrived on a lorry, and needed a crane to offload it, it happy chomped through full 2mtr x 4mtr sheets all day long. I don't have that need or budget, but I do have a good idea what is involved.

    Having read a number of the threads on here, it seems that if you mention workbee or ooznest on here, the idea just gets shredded. But other than having a commercial one built, and that blows the budget for the size I need, nobody ever suggests an alternative DIY kit that can be built by the user, without it becoming a major R&D exercise. If the workbees are so lacking, why hasn't anyone just fixed the problems, beefed it up and offered a better solution that gets to the bigger sizes at budget prices?. There appears to be a gap in the market, unless I'm missing something.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Smiffy View Post
    There appears to be a gap in the market, unless I'm missing something.
    Yes but it's not an easy Gap to fill because building a suitably strong machine that works correctly costs a certain amount of money and this doesn't leave a lot left when trying to hit a Budget market for that thing called Profit that every Business requires.

    However, I am currently working on trying to do just this but it's a fine line.

    Regards the WorkBee Ooznest etc, then it's not that they don't do the job of cutting woods etc, they do obviously because they are selling them and you can see them doing it in Videos, etc. However, what you don't see and very few will admit to is that they are slow and limited, If you try to push them to cut at correct feed rates and Depth's of Cut Etc then they can't handle the stress and your constantly adjusting or battling with the machine to achieve accuracy or repeatability, with repeatabilty being a very important detail in a Cnc machine. And that's at Hobby levels and workloads.!

    In terms of Business use then they would more of liability than an asset which is the last thing any business requires small or large, whether Low volume or large.

    It's your choice what you buy obviously and it's also your choice to Ignore or listen to the advice that's being given. But let me just say this.!
    Many of those who praise the WorkBee's, etc on dedicated forums are often First-time users and the truth is they know no different because this is the only machine they have experienced.
    Many users on Forum like this one are on there 2nd or 3rd generation machines so know what makes a good machine or people like me who have a lot of experience building machines and dealing with EX WorkBee, Shepoko Etc users now from speaking with them and watching them realize just how bad those machines were. So we are just passing this on, We are Not haters of WorkBee's.!! . . . .We just know the difference and what makes a good machine.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Smiffy View Post

    Having read a number of the threads on here, it seems that if you mention workbee or ooznest on here, the idea just gets shredded. But other than having a commercial one built, and that blows the budget for the size I need, nobody ever suggests an alternative DIY kit that can be built by the user, without it becoming a major R&D exercise. If the workbees are so lacking, why hasn't anyone just fixed the problems, beefed it up and offered a better solution that gets to the bigger sizes at budget prices?. There appears to be a gap in the market, unless I'm missing something.
    Shapeoko ?
    https://coolcomponents.co.uk/product...cnc-router-kit

    Can't speak for the quality of the machine but their community is really helpful and knowledgeable, as is their wiki page

  8. #8
    Andrewg's Avatar
    Lives in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 21 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 42. Received thanks 4 times, giving thanks to others 10 times.
    Just to back up what Jazz is saying.
    The Shapeoko and Workbee forums are full of posts about upgrading to linear rails and ball screws to improve performance and reliability. Carbide 3D now offer an HDZ Z axis (linear rails and ballscrews upgrade) for around 500. Interestingly that was developed by a user, who also started selling plates to allow an all LR/BS upgrade which would have allowed a kit to be assembled for around 2,500...but he was recruited by Carbide 3D as their head of product development... HDZ frame no longer available but some await their next product announcement with anticipation. Meanwhile the i2R and recently announced Hammer 47.82 look like proper machines and cost about 3.5k....but their specs indicate significant corners had to be cut to get to this price point. So there are plenty of people trying to address this market but it is all about compromises.

    For 2-3k you can buy the required components to build your own machine to your own requirements... that would cost 5-10k if sold complete due to labour, tax and customer support. But the time and effort should not be underestimated. I am reluctantly accepting that perhaps I will have to design and build my own machine as the market will only be able to offer affordable but compromised or capable but beyond my budget! JazzCNC keeps dropping hints, we can just hope to be patient enough for him to make his play.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewg View Post
    Just to back up what Jazz is saying.
    The Shapeoko and Workbee forums are full of posts about upgrading to linear rails and ball screws to improve performance and reliability. Carbide 3D now offer an HDZ Z axis (linear rails and ballscrews upgrade) for around 500. Interestingly that was developed by a user, who also started selling plates to allow an all LR/BS upgrade which would have allowed a kit to be assembled for around 2,500...
    There's a saying that goes like this " Can't make a Silk purse out of a Sows Ear " and in this case it's very true.!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewg View Post
    JazzCNC keeps dropping hints, we can just hope to be patient enough for him to make his play.
    It's coming.
    I've got two designs nailed down which are mostly all Steel machines using Profiled linear rails with a cutting area of 900 x 600 or 600 x 400 (plus custom sizes if required) I'm just costing it out to see if I can hit the Number I'm hoping for. Don't ask what the number is because I don't want to say yet, but anyone serious with a sensible budget will be happy.

    It will be a very basic machine in the electronics department but with a Rock-solid machine frame that can be electrically upgraded at any time and turn it into a machine that will match any machine costing 3x the price.

    All I can say is that there will be nothing out there at this price that can match them for strength and accuracy/repeatability.!!

    I won't be taking orders but will be building 2 machines at a time and offering them for sale when finished. Then I'll do the same depending on how well-received etc.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

  10. #10
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 4 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 634. Received thanks 81 times, giving thanks to others 16 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    I won't be taking orders but will be building 2 machines at a time and offering them for sale when finished. Then I'll do the same depending on how well-received etc.
    What's yer quote for shipping to PO Box 7172, Middle of Nowhere, Western Australia?
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

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