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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking and wanting to purchase a cnc router machine for my workshop. I don't do commercial work, but do a lot of things for friends and family. I've learned to get a good tool the first time rather than purchasing a piece of junk that needs to be replaced in short order. That said, there are limits to the amount of money to spend on something this large. I've invested in Sawstop, Festool etc. but now I'm in an arena that I just don't know enough about.

There are many choices out there. I've seen stuff on Amazon that would suit someone playing with it but I think that I would prefer something that can do something useful. For example, I cut a mahogany porch swing with lots of curves and details by hand and it took me over a year. It still wasn't perfect, but close as the curves had to be mirrored on both sides. I thought to myself that a CNC router could do that in the blink of an eye. The problem is that if I were to get one, I want it to have enough umph to do some of these projects but not cost $100 K.

I've read all that I can, but it seems that all the "opinion" sites have links where they get a commission for referring from their sites.

I know that this is an ever evolving technology and I could spend a huge amount of money trying to get cutting edge equipment. That is not my goal, I just want a good machine, large enough to cut my parts and pieces and experiment cutting replacement pieces for my wife's antique interests.

So, any advice you folks can give me as to what to look for would be appreciated. I started looking at one of the shark machines at either Rockler or Woodcraft and I soon figured out that those were very flimsy. Then I saw the Axiom which seems to be much more sturdy but it is limited in size. It seems anything that could cut 6 feet or so moves me into a commercial type machine which I really don't want to pay that much for.

I don't mean to bother you, so if you can share your experience or knowledge, I would appreciate it. Right now, I am leaning toward the Axiom but don't have enough information to judge before spending 10K.

Thanks!

Mike
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
PS - Saw the posts about Avid, seems affordable, but are they good machines?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I want to do my own piddling making furniture such as mahogany porch swings(ornate) maybe some interior doors, helping my wife repair and sell antique furniture, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Another newbie question, is there an advantage or disadvantage of using a spindle that is water cooled versus air cooled? It seems to me that a water cooled unit has more things that can go wrong but maybe the extra cooling helps extend the life of the spindle. Just asking
 

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Mike
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Mike,

The Axiom is not a bad machine but the hobby level machines might not be right for you. Axiom does make Axiom Elite Series machines but I think the largest is 4X4 and would be a little over budget.

I'd say with your budget an Avid Pro machine would be a good fit for the projects you want to do and the quality of their machine. One good thing about an Avid Pro machine is the ability to upgrade it to a larger size later. You can start with an Avid Pro 4X2 or 4X4 and add to the length if you find you need the extra size. You can also call them about building you a special size machine and they can and will do it at a reasonable cost.

Avid has a lot of very happy customers.

Water-cooled spindles are normally quieter than air-cooled spindles but most of the noise comes from the bit while cutting
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Another newbie question, is there an advantage or disadvantage of using a spindle that is water cooled versus air cooled? It seems to me that a water cooled unit has more things that can go wrong but maybe the extra cooling helps extend the life of the spindle. Just asking
What I've read is that water cooled is a little quieter than air cooled but both are quiet compared to a router. The other thing I've read is that you can run a water cooled spindle as slow as it will go, usually about 6k rpm, without it getting warm but that an air cooled spindle needs to spin up to about 12k rpm to achieve good cooling.

Others can chime in on that and again, it's what I've read and not something I've seen personally. We went with a water cooled spindle and have had no issues and it very definitely is quiet and runs cool.

David
 

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I purchased the Shark HD 510 2 months ago. After 30 projects with it. I realized this machine will cut anything I want to throw at it. Oak, walnut, Cedar, MDF, Plex glass, plywood. Not sure what shark you were looking at but this machine is rock solid. I have about 5000.00 invested in it with table and accessories. I was cutting stuff from the git go. No fussing with it. No calibrating it. It just did what I programed it to do.

Now when I went to making 1/4" box joints on boxes that were 24" long by 14" deep top and bottoms. I dialed in my jig setup to get perfection every time. Shark HD5 is rock solid. Nothing flimsy about this machine.

Router works to clear out the chips while cutting.
I have some videos of the some good things that make this cnc stuff even better.

I've been looking and wanting to purchase a cnc router machine for my workshop. I don't do commercial work, but do a lot of things for friends and family. I've learned to get a good tool the first time rather than purchasing a piece of junk that needs to be replaced in short order. That said, there are limits to the amount of money to spend on something this large. I've invested in Sawstop, Festool etc. but now I'm in an arena that I just don't know enough about.

There are many choices out there. I've seen stuff on Amazon that would suit someone playing with it but I think that I would prefer something that can do something useful. For example, I cut a mahogany porch swing with lots of curves and details by hand and it took me over a year. It still wasn't perfect, but close as the curves had to be mirrored on both sides. I thought to myself that a CNC router could do that in the blink of an eye. The problem is that if I were to get one, I want it to have enough umph to do some of these projects but not cost $100 K.

I've read all that I can, but it seems that all the "opinion" sites have links where they get a commission for referring from their sites.

I know that this is an ever evolving technology and I could spend a huge amount of money trying to get cutting edge equipment. That is not my goal, I just want a good machine, large enough to cut my parts and pieces and experiment cutting replacement pieces for my wife's antique interests.

So, any advice you folks can give me as to what to look for would be appreciated. I started looking at one of the shark machines at either Rockler or Woodcraft and I soon figured out that those were very flimsy. Then I saw the Axiom which seems to be much more sturdy but it is limited in size. It seems anything that could cut 6 feet or so moves me into a commercial type machine which I really don't want to pay that much for.

I don't mean to bother you, so if you can share your experience or knowledge, I would appreciate it. Right now, I am leaning toward the Axiom but don't have enough information to judge before spending 10K.

Thanks!

Mike
 

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I've been looking and wanting to purchase a cnc router machine for my workshop. I don't do commercial work, but do a lot of things for friends and family. I've learned to get a good tool the first time rather than purchasing a piece of junk that needs to be replaced in short order. That said, there are limits to the amount of money to spend on something this large. I've invested in Sawstop, Festool etc. but now I'm in an arena that I just don't know enough about.

There are many choices out there. I've seen stuff on Amazon that would suit someone playing with it but I think that I would prefer something that can do something useful. For example, I cut a mahogany porch swing with lots of curves and details by hand and it took me over a year. It still wasn't perfect, but close as the curves had to be mirrored on both sides. I thought to myself that a CNC router could do that in the blink of an eye. The problem is that if I were to get one, I want it to have enough umph to do some of these projects but not cost $100 K.

I've read all that I can, but it seems that all the "opinion" sites have links where they get a commission for referring from their sites.

I know that this is an ever evolving technology and I could spend a huge amount of money trying to get cutting edge equipment. That is not my goal, I just want a good machine, large enough to cut my parts and pieces and experiment cutting replacement pieces for my wife's antique interests.

So, any advice you folks can give me as to what to look for would be appreciated. I started looking at one of the shark machines at either Rockler or Woodcraft and I soon figured out that those were very flimsy. Then I saw the Axiom which seems to be much more sturdy but it is limited in size. It seems anything that could cut 6 feet or so moves me into a commercial type machine which I really don't want to pay that much for.

I don't mean to bother you, so if you can share your experience or knowledge, I would appreciate it. Right now, I am leaning toward the Axiom but don't have enough information to judge before spending 10K.

Thanks!

Mike
I'm in the same boat as you describe, not wanting to spend a bunch but looking for a quality built, decent sized unit. That seems to be the struggle entering the cnc world of routing.
My choice was a little different than most, I'm in the middle of restoring a 1995 Gerber Dimension 200x router/engraver with a vacuum T-slot table. So far I have found one bad linear bearing, but plan to replace them in pairs. It sold for $16,000 back in the day, it has a cutting area in the neighborhood of 30" x 36" & so far I have $1,000 tied up in it.
I got familiar with Gerber sign equipment from the sign business back in the mid 80's. My issue now is to strip out the old electronics & pickup a new solid electronics controller without breaking the bank. This is smaller than you want but Gerber made bigger ones and the most common ones I see for sale are 4x4 or 4x8. Just another option you might not have thought about.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you describe, not wanting to spend a bunch but looking for a quality built, decent sized unit. That seems to be the struggle entering the cnc world of routing.
My choice was a little different than most, I'm in the middle of restoring a 1995 Gerber Dimension 200x router/engraver with a vacuum T-slot table. So far I have found one bad linear bearing, but plan to replace them in pairs. It sold for $16,000 back in the day, it has a cutting area in the neighborhood of 30" x 36" & so far I have $1,000 tied up in it.
I got familiar with Gerber sign equipment from the sign business back in the mid 80's. My issue now is to strip out the old electronics & pickup a new solid electronics controller without breaking the bank. This is smaller than you want but Gerber made bigger ones and the most common ones I see for sale are 4x4 or 4x8. Just another option you might not have thought about.
That is a nice deal! I have greased my shark now 4 times. It says to grease it after 30 hours of CNC. I really enjoy my shark. My table size is 25x25. I removed the side shields so I can clean up under the CNC. They do take some grease!
 
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