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CNC router

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  • CNC router

    My newest must have item - I talked my wife into giving me her mother's old mink coat to sell so I can finance it - is a CNC router. The problem is that I have no idea what I want. I would like to make routed designs in cabinet door corners and drawer fronts. I plan to buy one of Freuds router bit sets that can be used to make exterior doors and I would like to be able to route designs in these also. I did some investigation on the web but I am more confused than ever. I do not have any CAD training and at this stage in my life I do not have a desire to take the time to learn it. I would like a system that has pre-programmed images that can be entered into the machine and cut into the wood. Better yet would be a program where I can scan images into the computer and send them to the cutter. I have no idea if either of these exist.

    There is also something called a stepper vs some other type of cutter mechanism that I am totally in the dark about. Does anyone know what these things do and which is better?

    I was in Sears the other day and they have something called a CompuCarve. An intrinsic advantage of this machine to me is that I can download images to a card and plug the card into the CNC router system slot. I don't have to buy a new computer and keep it in the shop. The information I was able to gather about the CompuCarve system is extremely limited. Are there other systems like this available?

    Does anyone has any information, good, bad or ugly about these home-use CNC router machines.


  • #2
    What's mean

    Hi Tom,

    What's your mean, please let me know your worried?





    • #3
      Whats Mean


      I have no idea what you are attempting to communicate.


      • #4
        Got deep pockets?

        I investigated 3 years ago and it TOOK deep pockets then (mid 5 digit range) but perhaps not so high now.

        Have you found the pricing range to be somewhat lower than what I discovered?

        I could spring for a couple of grand or so but the 63K I was quoted for a rather smaller system was more than I wanted to spend at the time. I am a hobbiest at home but gearing up for professional production work on one project. I was thinking of getting a fully blown system (270K) but found a company with 3 systems that will do most of my cuts at a price where it would take 20 years to break even...not to mention the 10's of thousands in tooling needed. those tools also are "expendable assets" as well.
        When in doubt, unplug the saw.


        • #5

          YIPES! I am not thinking anywhere near tens of thousands of dollars. I am primarily a hobbiest also although I have recently committed to program for the next five years to do 'light carpentry'. (I will be the sole carpenter on the preferred list for a three square mile area of single family homes within the city of Albany. Through a Federal Grant there is no charge to enroll in the program and all advertising is free - paid for by the grant money. All types of homeowner servce providers are needed from snow plowers to roofers to plumbers. I hope it works out.)

          The CNC router at Sears is only $2,000. If you go to Sears' website the model is #9/21754. Although there is not much information available. There are many from which to choose on the web and e-bay starting at $800. It seems most use a trim router or modified trim router. These things are rated in inches per minute of cut. I don't know if that is a cubic inch or linear inch. It seems it must be a cubic inch rating because the depth of cut can be adjusted. I can do all of this decorative routing with my plunge router and templates but another 'toy in the shop' will be fun.



          • #6
            Tom, have you checked out this site?




            Here are some bookmarks of mine from when I was interested in CNC a while back which may be of help to you.

            Last edited by Bob D.; 11-23-2006, 06:31 AM. Reason: fix a typo
            "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



            • #7

              very impressive video of the carvewright system. i need 1 or 2.

              phoebe it is


              • #8
                The craftsman is the carvewriight from what I can tell.
                I've read on other fprums from people who've had the craftsman, nobody who posted was happy with it.
                It is not a real CNC router, or should I say it is not a complete one, it will basically only do carvings, it's biggest limitation is it's size.
                I looked in to CNC routers a few years ago, at the time you could get a fairly good one for about $7000. When you consider what they are capable of that is not a bad price. If you do production work it is well worth the money.


                • #9
                  Bob D.

                  Thank you for the information about the Carvewright Machine. I suspect one is looming vary large in my future after the first of the year.

                  One of the things that impressed me about the Carvewright was the forum. There seem to be a number of knowledgeable forum members willing to share their experiences. That will be very helpful for me.



                  • #10
                    The Sears Craftsman unit is basically the same (made for Sears by Carvewright). I read the four or five reviews on the Craftsman site and only one guy seemed unhappy with it. It appears to NOT be the tool to use if you're use is to cut large parts. But if that was the guy's primary concern, I don't understand why he would have bought such a machine. The thing does beautiful carvings though, I loved the examples and the video on the Carvewright web site. Now if I can only justify the $2,000 in my head, I'd be all set.

                    Merry Christmas,



                    • #11
                      I think you can do large pieces but only in length, the width is limited to what will fit between the machine...13" IIRC. Am I reading it wrong? Can't you slide a say 48" long board through and work on it in three or four sections, as long as it is no wider than 13" that is.
                      "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



                      • #12

                        That was also my interpretation.



                        • #13
                          OK CWS, at least we are thinking on the same wavelength hi-hi.

                          Too bad you can't remove the base plate and just anchor the thing down on the surface of a larger piece, and some how generate a couple register points that would allow you to move it and get it aligned with the previous setup. Then you could move all over the face of a large wide board and create even bigger carvings.

                          I priced building my own CNC Router. By the time you are done you are approaching $1.5K, you are over $1K for sure to have a rigid frame, nice smooth bearings and rails, decent strength motors that can handle a 1-3/4 HP router, a control system w/limit switches, and some software. This is for a machine with an active area of roughly 18" x 18".
                          "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006