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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello my name is Alex and I'm investigating the idea of purchasing a cheap hobby cnc router to make simple circular wooden lids for the glass container candles we sell.

The lids would be around 100ml diameter and 20 ml thick and made of either softwood or MDF ( forgot the US name for it sorry). I might put a lip into them or even engrave on top but for now I just need a decent circle.

I wonder which CNC machine would be best for the job ( if any). My budget is $3-400 so would the 3018 pro be up to the job with its 200w motor?

I was potentially looking at the one that includes the 5w laser for engraving logo and decals also.

I realize it will take time and patience to get everything going but I wonder if the workflow can typically be streamlined to make say 30 simple lids a day? I'm happy to sand off the edges if need be. I don't know how long it would take to cut out this 100 ml circle with a hobby machine like the one I mentioned or how easy it is to reset for the next batch if I do two at a time?

Another specification is I need to be able to send the code from the pc in my lounge to the CNC in the garage either wirelessly or by dongle.

Perhaps there is a better choice of machine than the 3018 within budget but any pointers would be much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for all your feedback. I'm looking at the cnc option over the circular saw or simple router option because it would also serve as a hobby besides just making the lids. I'm just using the lid manufacturing to justify the purchase if I'm honest!

As for the spec, in hindsight I think the lids would be 14-18mm thickness as a maximum and the more realistic output expectation is around 150 per month but in batches of maybe 15- 30 in a day. I would also consider swapping out for pine if this would be easier to cut through than MDF.

I don't know if this all put together would make any difference if I increased the budget to £500 to get a better machine perhaps but that's the most I would want to put into this hobby I think.
 

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Thanks for all your feedback. I'm looking at the cnc option over the circular saw or simple router option because it would also serve as a hobby besides just making the lids. I'm just using the lid manufacturing to justify the purchase if I'm honest!

As for the spec, in hindsight I think the lids would be 14-18mm thickness as a maximum and the more realistic output expectation is around 150 per month but in batches of maybe 15- 30 in a day. I would also consider swapping out for pine if this would be easier to cut through than MDF.

I don't know if this all put together would make any difference if I increased the budget to £500 to get a better machine perhaps but that's the most I would want to put into this hobby I think.
I have a Sainsmart 3018 Pro and it works great for small projects using Carbide Create CAD (free) with Candle for CAM. They also have an expansion kit to make it a 3040 for about $70.00.
 
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