Cover Me! I'm Go'in In! - Router Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Ok So, long time hobbyist with a working knowledge of most tools used in woodworking and I own everything but a lathe, and have used one of those on occasion.

I want to buy a CNC Router. I don't want to waste money but I don't want to buy junk (As in everything, there is a lot of that out there). I want a tool, a good tool, that I can learn to use. I'm looking at something like the Shark HD5 from Rockler.

Being a lifelong IT guy the electronics and software don't bother me even though that's probably what's going to kick my butt!

Input and Suggestions are appreciated, Please

Last edited by woodoggie; 04-02-2020 at 06:13 PM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 06:26 PM
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Hello and welcome to the router forum Dave
When it come to CNC equipment I believe the Shark ok,
Dave you’re going to have to jump in both feet buy the best you can afford in a year or two down the road you’ll really know what you want
I own a shark and for what I do it works out just fine if I was in business doing thousands of hours of CNC work I probably find something different
CNC’s have a learning carve

Looking forward to your participation.
Filling out your profile to include (first name,tools and short bio is strictly (optional )but does help members to better relate to each other.
Thank You John
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 07:03 PM
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Welcome to the forum Dave

I don’t always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 12:34 AM
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Welcome to the forum Dave.

Ross,
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia


Enjoy the knowledge of others that can be found within.

‘Members are requested to add a first name in their profile as we are a very friendly bunch here'.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 07:01 AM
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Welcome to the forum, Dave!

A friend across town has the Shark and regrets ever buying it because of the flex and having to take light cuts. Nothing against John (Semipro), but for the money there are other choices that provide more rigid builds.

What's your budget? How much space do you have available for the machine footprint and working area around that footprint? What power sources do you have available? What will you be cutting primarily - plaques, signs, engineering pieces, 3D carvings, etc.?

David

PS - we do like photos so show us your shop, tools, projects, etc. whenever you're ready
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 08:26 AM
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I own a Probotix Comet (www.probotix.com). I have had it for over 5 years. It is made in the USA (Georgia). Probotix is a family-owned business.

This is a well-used machine - I am constantly doing something with it.

When I first purchased it I was new to CNC. The folks at Probotix were patient and were very helpful during my "rookie" period.

The only thing that I wish I had done was to have purchased a larger machine. The Comet has a cutting area of about 25" x 25" x 5". I have since outgrown the machine's capacity. Luckily, design software like Vectric Aspire can "tile" large projects. I am saving my pennies and hope to purchase a bigger machine from Probotix by the end of the year.

I have quite a few acquaintances who have purchased other brands and when I compare their machine to mine, I feel confident my Probotix is of higher quality and is structurally stronger.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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I'll be 64 this year and learning this machine and acquiring the skills to use it is a multi-year project. I don't want to buy something that's wonky to begin with or something that won't cut the same line twice. My intention is just a home shop I can spend some days on woodworking, building some grandkid items, and maybe few challenging small projects along the way.

I’m not in a hurry because I still need to clean out the office, so this spring/summer and I can wait a month for delivery if necessary. I’m thinking $5K +-, not including other misc. expenses and I'm not opposed to good used equipment if I can reduce costs or bump up quality.

It looks like VCarve Pro is the way to go for software unless I'm convinced otherwise.

Maybe a 4th axis turner/attachment later, or all in now if the price is right.

Plenty of space, I'll convert my Home Office I've used it for 18 yrs. Its 24' x 40 and has 1 x 240v outlet which I had converted to 2 x 120v 20a years ago. I can convert it back or add 1 more 240v easily. I also had 8' fluorescents converted to LED 4 years ago, so plenty of light. All my other shop equipment is 110v benchtop/light duty but relatively good quality Delta, DeWalt, Porter Cable, Milwaukee, etc.

I can bump up scale/quality of my other equipment as the need arises-after paying for the router.

As for projects, I was thinking of starting with some kitchen cabinet doors/drawer fronts, so I’ll need a big enough router bed. That seems like a simple repetitive starter project, am I wrong? Later maybe Guitar bodies, signage, and the ability for 3D millwork. Profit is not my current goal, but it would be nice to be able to pay some expenses when I find the opportunity.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 10:16 AM
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Adding to what David said, you really do want to get the most rigid machine you can for your budget. This is hard to do though because there really isn't a way to know on per machine basis without measuring it yourself. I'd try to find people with the candidate machine(s) and see how deep/fast they cut (deeper/faster means a more rigid machine). Also, a machine can seem rigid when casually inspecting it - pushing and pulling on the spindle mount - but that will tell you very little as even small amounts of flex cause problems.

At 5K, you can get a pretty good machine but keep an eye on all the extras and tooling you will need. It adds up pretty fast. And don't forget dust extraction - a cnc router can kick up quite a cloud.
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Measure twice, cut once and CROSS OUT THE WRONG MARKS.

Visit my shop website.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodoggie View Post
I'll be 64 this year and learning this machine and acquiring the skills to use it is a multi-year project. Later maybe Guitar bodies, signage, and the ability for 3D millwork. Profit is not my current goal, but it would be nice to be able to pay some expenses when I find the opportunity.
I came from the IT world, as well, and turned 63 when I began to build our CNC router so I am right there with you. Well, sort of 'cause that was July 2016, but close enough!

One thing on my CNC bucket list is to cut some solid body electric and bass guitar bodies. I built one acoustic and plan to do more but I really want to do some solid body work on the CNC even though I don't play electric.

These are neat tools to augment your other woodworking tools and a blast to operate. Be sure to keep us up to date on what you get and ask questions if you're unsure of something.

David

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Last edited by difalkner; 04-03-2020 at 11:36 AM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-03-2020, 11:44 AM
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Welcome to the forum
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