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eager to learn

1646 Views 10 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Tagwatts
Hello folks,
introduce my self. I live in clarksville TN, 30 years old and would like to learn. big garage nut and spend most my time in there when the wife not giving me a guilt trip. haha. would like to learn this skill to turn it with aviation and guns. two major hobbies of mine. would like to learn everything i can.

I would like to learn CNC machine/ 3D printing. I would like to start hobby then see where it goes. Would like to get more serious as time goes on. I would like to build my first machine. I don’t need anything huge to start on a tight budget so I cannot throw money at this like I would want to with something like this for now. My interest for this is with aviation and firearms, I would like to laser cut or etch as well. I’m not 100% on where to start would it be better to start learning cad/cam or buy the parts and build the machine first or even start with a 3d printer and go from there. I do use a Mac book Pro for right now and know they may be a little difficult. Suggestions on software would be a great help. Doing my research, I have found a bunch of ideas and suggestions but nothing that has really pointed me in the right direction with all this. I greatly appreciate all of your help and looking forward to throwing ideas out and seeing each others projects.
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Welcome to the forum . I am wanting to build a cnc router table myself someday . I do have an 80watt laser engraver with what I suspect is a non functioning tube.
I would have put my 11K into a cnc router table first if I did it again , as it’s far more versatile .
Good luck with your projects and keep us posted ;)
Hey, Evi; welcome!
Talk about jumping in at the deep end, Holy Hanna!!
You're talking about the equivalent of driving a semi on the freeway with no previous driving experience. I think you're likely being modest when you say you have no experience in woodworking(?)... :)
The tools you would like to build/buy are really not very helpful if you can't rip and crosscut rough stock down to the approximate size you need. Ie, a tablesaw or bandsaw would be extremely helpful.
Hello and welcome to the router forum. Evi
Hi Evi amd welcome. There are lots of knowledgeable people here to help you.
Hi, welcome to the Forum. There are manhy strings on getting started with CNC, and you could start with a search for starting with CNC, or go to the top of the page and look for the FORUMS entry. Click that and select CNC, which should give you a place to start. I agree that you will need at least a minimal table saw to cut your CNC stock to size.
Welcome aboard.

The big box stores carry material you can use when first starting out with minimal tools. Lowe's in our area carries project panels. They are glued up panels 3/4 inch thick (possibly a little less) and up to 24x96 inches...and several different sizes in between. If you are going to build something made using plywood, HD and Lowe's will cut the big sheets for you. Usually the first cut is free, then maybe a small cut charge for more. I have had as many as three cuts made and no charge for their friendly service. Be be warned, sometimes their panel saws aren't very accurate. You may or may not get what you asked for. It is better to have the pieces cut oversize and trim them to final size with your tools.

Good luck. Putting together a wood shop is expensive. Like guns, some things cost more than others. Buying used is a possibility. Personally, I don't use Craigslist. Too many people getting robbed. I refuse to put myself in that position.

About that CNC. Once I got the fever, I worked my finances until I could afford one. Not knowing anything about a CNC and how to assemble one from parts, I bought one that was complete and ready to go. All I had to do was plug the cables in to the controller and the PC that came with it and fire it up. After a lot of research, I settled on the software from Vectric. No cheap, and definitely not free. There is a plethora of training videos on YouTube. I have been using VCarvePro and love it.

Learning more every day on the ins and outs of CNC. I have a Bosch 1617 router mounted in mine. Since I have two of them, it made sense to use one for the CNC.

As for setting up a shop, look up Steve Ramsey, Jay Bates and April Wilkerson on YouTube. You should find a lot of inspiration.
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Welcome to the forum.
Welcome to the forum Evi.
Hi Evi. Welcome to our little corner of the 'net.
Just a question here. Do you have a certain amount of money you are ready to spend to build a C N C Machine. Secondly, what is exactly the size of a unit do you want to build. They come in all sizes depending on the money you have to spend. A common Small size is about 12 inches by 12 inches. You can buy this size unit for about $1600.00 ready to plug and play. The software on some of these come with it. If you build your own, be prepared to pay for the software your are going to use. The software is not cheap. So there are some pros and cons to building your own vs buying already built. There is software on the net that is free to use, but is not as complete as needed sometimes for the projects you may want to make. By using the software, you can build larger projects, using a method called tiling. This works pretty well, but you will soon tire of it and start to think of a bigger unit.
So one other thought here is, build as big as your budget will allow to start with if you are to build your own.

Good Luck
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