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319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a used Shark Pro Plus HD CNC Router. I have been setting it up for a couple of weeks and have been able to cut a few downloaded projects. I bought a refurbished Dell Optiplex 745, two 19 inch monitors, keyboard and mouse from Ebay. I got a kiosk from Habit for Humanity Restore in Nacgodoches Texas for the computer. I also bought a new Bosch router because the original one sounded like a thrashing machine. I got a billet router mount from Dixie Billet. The original owner had smeared caulk or some type of adhesive all over the router to keep the router from spinning in the mount.

I have cut a few downloaded projects and they have turned out very well. My start up costs have been quite high, which I expected. I got a composition book from Staples and am keeping a log of everything that I do. I like to keep a record so I can look back and correct mistakes or see what worked.

Here are the pictures of my set up and the Vetric Dual Candy Dish Lids I cut out earlier this evening.

Let me know what you think.

I have downloaded and got a start up license from Fusion 360. I also downloaded trials of MeshCAM and Vcarve Desktop. I need to concentrate on the CAM/CAD program I will be using but wanted to try out a few. I also got free copies of Carbide Create and Easel was well as FreeCAM. I also got Inkscape and have liked using that to import bit maps, trace them and turn them into SVG files. Google has so many free images it is hard to stop looking.

I will try out the trials but since Fusion 360 is so loaded and so many tutorial I think I will concentrate on it. I cannot beat the price of free with a startup license but the learning curve is quite steep. I have watched youtube videos over and over and the concepts are starting to come together in my head. I just hope that all of the new information coming into the front of my brain does not push out the old stuff like talking and walking.


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319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Normally I would not discuss money but this forum is about sharing and knowledge. I knew the CNC Router would just be the start of expenses the costs can spiral out of control. For my expenses they do not include software, which can be half the cost of the CNC Router, because I got a startup license from Fusion 360.

So I could have went cheap but I did get a dedicated computer (used) because I did not want my laptop in the dusty environment of the shop. My laptop has my digital life on it and the shop is no place for it. Also I could have scrounged up a few other parts but basically I could not have gone a lot cheaper if I wanted to have a CNC Router and operate it.

My goal for the CNC Router is to embellish my existing work on boxes and other analog made projects. I have seen on forums people think they can make boxes or other projects strictly on the CNC Router. Also good advise for getting a CNC Router is not to buy and see if you have a purpose for it, rather have a purpose for it and then buy it. That may seem simple but in my search to buy I found plenty of people that bought a CNC Router, played around with it and never or hardly ever made anything. HAVE A PURPOSE FOR IT BEFORE BUYING!

Here is a break down of my costs so far.

Costs for the Shark Pro Plus HD
$2000.00 Cost of Shark Pro Plus HD
$47.59 1/4” Down spiral Router Bit and 1/4” Up Spiral bit (Lowes)
$19.98 USB A Extension Cord (Staples)
$2.98 Log book (Staples)
$0.50 Shark Mouse Pad (Staples)
$10.80 Moving Blankets (Covers) (Harbor Freight Tools)
$7.95 Super Lube with PTFE (Amazon)
$32.46 Computer Stand (Habitat for Humanity Restore)
$99.00 Touch Plate (NWA)
$19.99 Puck Jig Stock 12 Pack (NWA)
$35.00 Router Clamp (NWA)
$99.00 Gantry Upgrade Kit (NWA)
$82.25 Aluminum Router Clamp (Dixie Billet)
$143.01 Bosch 1617EVS Router (Amazon)
$155.95 Frued Router Bit Set (Amazon)
$32.99 Vivo Dual Monitor Stand (Amazon)
$202.83 Dell Computer, 2 Monitors, Keyboard and Mouse (Ebay)
$39.12 Sheet of 3/4” MDF (Covington)
$29.84 1/4-20 Bolts and Nuts (Deans Hardware)
$23.82 1/4-20 Bolts and Nuts (Ace Hardware)
$23.27 1/4-20 Nylon Bolts and Nuts (Ace Hardware)
$21.64 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse (Staples)
$20.90 2.5” Clear Dust Hose 10’ (Amazon)
$28.99 90 Degree Positioning Square 4.7” x 4.7” (Amazon)

$3179.86 As of March 11, 2019

· Registered
319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh and one more thing that I did not mention above is the TIME. I have spend many long hours setting up the computer, loading software, virus protection, windows updates and downloading the necessary applications. Then there are the hours and hours of watching youtube for the knowledge I need to run the CNC Router.

So from a financial stand point and a time view the investment is substantial. If you are not willing to make either commitment I suggest that you do not take the plunge.

When I was looking for a CNC Router I had placed a wanted ad on craigslist in Dallas and Houston. I never got any bites on that but I did have an interesting email from a person that was trying to get me to join a makers space. If you live in a big enough town for a makers space then you can do your learning on their equipment. Just remember you have to reserve the systems and get your slice of time. The makers space reminds me of my early computer learning going to the computer lab and reserving time on the main frame and getting my slice of resources. So if you want to just dip your toe in the water you can see about makers space. FYI the young people in many of these places think they invented making stuff. It is like when Miley Cyrus got to be 18 and she thought she invented sex. She did not know how she got there in the first place. After all her dad and mom invented sex, oh I mean her grandparents, etc...

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319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I bought a log book and keep it updated with everything I buy and do. I also have a journal in the shop that I update regularly about my general work. I find that it makes a good record and helps me remember what worked and more importantly what did not work. I can print pictures and stick them in the journals with Scotch Restickable Glue Stick so I have a visual record of what I am doing. I have found the journaling very helpful and makes me think about what I am doing and have done.
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