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One of my friends - the first I knew to have a CNC, was retired from being a general contractor for commercial buildings. Bought a $13,000 Legacy Arty with a 24 x 54 cut area, just to do hobby woodworking. As word spread that he had the machine, work found him. One job was 4 carved panels for a set of double doors - not the whole doors - just the carved panels. $1000 per carving. Paid for the machine in less than 18 months. Upgraded last May to a $16,000 Legacy Maverick with 36" x 60" cut area (Legacy offers 100% trade credit when upgrading). This year he has already ordered Legacy's newly announced $26,000 4' x 8' machine. One way he has made money is hosting weekend training seminars for Legacy at $200 - $300 a head, and he also gets a commission when people buy after seeing his machine. He does not seek work at all - does not advertise, and has as much work as he cares to do. He is obviously very fortunate - I didn't even mention that he lives less than 2 miles from Precise Bits and Ron Reed likes to come over and gives him new bit designs to test.

Some lucky hobbyists make money. Many of the people in the CNC group I am part of are similarly retired and making at least some money using their machines, none have approached it as a full time job.

I built my machine in hopes of making some money, but am not quitting my day job just yet. I appreciate the advice that building a CNC business is usually about selling more than making. I enjoy both.


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Figured some here might recognize him. He is one of the featured owners on Legacy's site. Doug Pinney - Legacy Woodworking

The carved door panels are the middle photo in the top row. Super friendly and helpful guy, and as you say, very talented as well.

He was one of the original 3 founders of the cnc user group (Colorado CNC User Group) I am part of. Great way to learn from a bunch of talented, helpful people. Networking online is great. Much of what I have learned about CNC is from online forums, having people you can see and talk to in person is better.

While I personally think Legacy's machines are overpriced for their build quality, their level of support is first rate. What Vectric does in support of its software is what Legacy does in support of its machines. Most of the members of the CNC group own Legacy machines. Almost all know John and the other principals at Legacy on a first name basis from personal contact. I have my own take on the fact that they all do.
 
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