New to CNC Routing - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Default New to CNC Routing

Hello all, I am new to the Router Forums. I hope that this will be the right area for this post. I have been woodworking for 35 years but no experience with CNC router. I am looking to purchase a CNC router because I would like to learn how to use it and perhaps make a bit of money on the side.

I am a retired engineer with a fair amount of experience with AutoCAD and electrical schematic software.

I am looking for some suggestions on good CNC machines and software to purchase. I would like to be able to work with wood and plastic materials. Probably not much metal, but perhaps some aluminum.

I donít really know exactly what my budget is, but I guess I would prefer to keep the investment no more than a few thousand dollars.

I am not adverse to building a CNC router from a kit, I would just want something with quality parts.

Thanks for any input you can provide.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 08:45 PM
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Welcome. Do you know what size pieces you’d like to be able to work? Thinking about signs, furniture, lutherie, carvings or ?

In his book on workbenches, Chris Schwartz talks about needing to be able to work on faces, edges and ends of boards. I would advise considering this when looking at machines if this may be important to you. Many machines do not allow easily working on ends of boards. Some of the aluminum extrusion based machines do allow for this. I know there are people here with Probotix (pre assembled) and CNC Router Parts (now Avid) kits that are happy with their machines.

While you are deciding on your machine, start learning the design process. With your background, you may enjoy (or be totally frustrated by) Fusion 360. The most popular may be the Vectric family - they have several levels, all have free trials.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Right now I am thinking I will be making signs, plaques, and various small wooden parts. Just from doing some web browsing, I am thinking I may want a 2 x 4 or 4 x 4 size router, but it will depend on the total cost.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:54 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Ron! Add your location to your profile so it shows in the side panel.

If you're wanting to keep it to a couple of thousand dollars then start with a 2x4. That way you can get better components like a spindle and more powerful stepper motors. If you spring for a 4x4 you may use up your funds just getting the larger size and then have to scrimp on components.

You can do a little research on our build of a 2x4 a couple of years ago - 2nd Build first

Oh, and we do like photos of shops, tools, projects, etc. so post whenever you're ready!

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 10:02 PM
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G'day Ron, welcome to the forum...

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I don't mind if other members disagree with my comments.
I don't profess to know everything, and I may learn something new.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 10:45 PM
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You might want to check out Probotix.com. Their machines range from $3800 to $5200. A bit more depending on the features/options you add. The smallest has approx. 26" x 24" x 5" of cutting area. The largest has 37" x 50" x 5". All come with the PC and controller and assembled less plugging in cables. Depending on how they crated it up you may have to attach the Z stepper motor.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 03:55 AM
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Check out Avid CNC / CNC ROUTER PARTS. You can purchase a 2x4 Pro & upgrade it in the future.

Whatever you do stay away from belt driven routers.

Make sure you get Nema 35 steppers

If you look at Avid CNC only look at the the pro units not the standard

I'm here to learn about CNC routing & anything else I can pick up.

God bless
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Wiant View Post
Make sure you get Nema 35 steppers
And if you can't find those get NEMA 34 steppers...

A lot of folks do some really nice work with NEMA 23 steppers, as well, if that's what fits your budget.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 07:06 AM
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Welcome to the forum
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 07:25 AM
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David Haha it was 5:30. I agree a lot of guys do amazing work with Nema 23's but you just cannot take as deep of passes or run as fast
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I'm here to learn about CNC routing & anything else I can pick up.

God bless
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