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  1. #1
    Hey guys,

    I have been looking around these forums and others for a good few days now and I'm really starting to procrastinate and I'm jumping from one link to the next looking at different kits. ALL of them have mixed reviews and some with slightly better reviews than others. At the moment I don't really have the time for building my own from scratch. I'm jumping from one project to the next in my life and I want to actually get stuck in and not spend ages trying to collect the parts etc. Just ask my wife.. lol I'm sure she could offer a list of jobs that are still unfinished around the house!
    I'm 38 now and recently suffered from ill health.. (hopefully in recovery) and looking at working for myself, at least supporting my wife's wage by doing hobby work etc. I'm not well enough currently to hold down a full time job (some days I am not well enough to work) and it's unfair on a future employer to have to cover my absences.

    I'm looking at making items from wood/mdf and occasionally light aluminium jobs. For signs, little gifts, personalised stuff etc.. I don't expect to make a fortune, but I would like to supplement our income while I'm recovering. Also I just love to keep busy and use my hands. I've always been in engineering and I just love to build things and be 'hands on' I got stuck in an office job a few years back and that almost sent me crazy!

    So what I'm asking is probably much the same as other guys here, I have read too MANY bad reviews of the chinese imports and I would ideally like to try and use something from the UK. I appreciate 1k is not alot to spend on a CNC router. But I do have a limited budget and this is going to have pay for itself eventually and not become a very expensive paperweight.

    I don't need something that is going to offer military spec accuracy. But I would like something that has good value for money and will keep me busy for a couple of years. I would like the working area to be around the A3 region.

    Because of this I am tempted by the chinese 6040 model BUT, I cannot justify getting something that may well break within 2 hrs of turning it on!

    If you guys could advise me on the best kits for around 1k OR indeed if anyone here would be able to help build something like this with me I really would be grateful. (I have my own computer for the project)

    Any advice please guys would be welcome.



  2. #2
    Those 6040 work out to about 1200 all in so if you are fixed on 1K you need to think again. You cannot compare one of this to a UK sourced one purely on cost for 1200 i cannot buy all the bits to build one.
    The 6040 look to be far better made / spec'd than the cheaper 3040, some sellers are including a water cooled 0.37Kw high speed motor and inverter wheras some have the universal brushed motor that seems to give problems.

    With any of these the weak point is the electronics, namely the drivers, drivers are always the weak point on a stepper driven CNC.
    Good news is they are quite universal and easy to swap for better units.

    Shortly I will be buying a 6040, just no room at the moment, need to get rid of some of the older production machinery. Basically I have costed the whole rig plus having to change 3 drivers if necessary, say another 150. Once done I will have a better machine than a 3K UK sourced model.
    John S -

  3. #3
    Hi John,

    Thanks ever so much for your reply. I "did" have a fixed cost in mind. I guess it's a psychological barrier.. Perhaps I'm just a miser at heart? A grand is indeed alot of money to save and for a hobby it's a stretch. BUT, as I'm looking at making some money with it, it's a case of speculate to accumulate. Not sure my wife will be so keen though? Going to have to sell it to her that it will mean less time that I'll spend in the house getting in her way.. Get some more 'man' time in my "office" i.e our garage ;-)

    I like your idea though John re: buying the 6040 as an actual base and then upgrading drivers etc.. Without having a CNC it's difficult to machine components to make your own. Then you end up with a kit with bits missing etc. At least if I do go and buy one of these at least it can be improved/ uprated as and when required. I fear that if I went down the route of making my own it would take me too long and the impetus would be gone..

    My next question is when we say 1200 all in. I presume that's including any VAT (if required paying) Also what about import costs? If it's shipped from the UK i.e Portsmouth seems to be a common ebay sellers address do we pay import costs? If it's from a bonded warehouse then yes I guess so. I could stomach the 1200 but to pay import taxes on top what would that take us upto?

    Just my thoughts, what do you think? I am sourly tempted now you have put that seed in my head John! ;-)

  4. Andy,

    For cost and budget JohnS is correct, getting a machine at or below the 1K mark requires a lot of help from a lot of folks. If you want to look at a machine and ask a lot more questions directly I am in Edinburgh and more then glad to help some one out in getting started or looking at cost. The 3040 machines are very small (they will fit on my machine with the 3040's X axis (long) set along my Y axis. If you want PM me and will see what help I can give. Warning I am finishing the tuning and set up of my machine so a bit busy myself.


  5. #5
    Don't be put off by the Chinese ones they are great. It is always possible to pick holes in something, but for the cost they don't really put a foot wrong. Just make sure it gets packed well for shipping.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenson View Post
    Don't be put off by the Chinese ones they are great.
    They're great until you've used a properly designed machine, then you realise the difference.

  7. #7
    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for your kind offer, got a feeling that as you fairly close to me I may well take you up on that! :whistling: I can see that it's going to be difficult on my budget to get something that is of good quality. I'm definitely tempted to go down the 6040 route. It's of a high enough spec for me to rule out purchasing the 3020 which I was thinking of until I read some of the reviews here. Thank god I did read up on them! I reckon when I get 'well and truly bitten by the bug' look at building my own machine. But for now I think it's going to have to be an "off the peg" solution. I have already come a long way in my ambitions as I was initially going to self build an MDF kit.

    The 6040 is probably about the right kind of size for me.. well at least for now anyway. I have seen alot of smaller desktop machines but I don't want to limit myself straight away with one of those just because of my budget.

    Thanks again Michael I'm going to have a trawl around now and look at your machine! Good luck with getting it set up.



  8. #8
    Thankyou Tenson

    I appreciate your opinion. It's just a shame that the EU and UK have become so expensive when it comes to manufacturing. We used to be the workshop of the world. I feel guilty buying Chinese. This is part of the reason why our automotive industry failed. I guess when it comes down to getting as much value as you can for your money it's the only way to go when you're on a shoestring.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    They're great until you've used a properly designed machine, then you realise the difference.
    I do have to agree with you Jonathan, you do get what you pay for. It's all about fitness for purpose. It's like trying to buy a BMW on fiat money.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    They're great until you've used a properly designed machine, then you realise the difference.
    That's not really the point is it? There is always something better.Unless going DIY I don't think the 6040 will be easily beaten. It's not that badly made anyway, it uses 16mm solid alu plate and supported Y axis rails. The feed-rates will be quite slow but you have to compromise something when you have a limited budget.

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