CNC Which one?

carpenter

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Been asking for a while now .I needed a general direction in looking for a CNC. Took a longer time than I thought. I had to finish the house in Ct. Had to put on the market then wait. It only took 5 showings and 4 offers done. Moved to Kentucky and got all the essential stuff working. Now I have to set my shop up.
Been looking again at cnc machines. Its order time was lookin at Shark HD520. Got some advice from A wise old dude. Told me buy my 2nd machine first. Good advice I thought. So I am looking hard at the Camaster stinger 1. So I have to ask anybody have any love or hate for these? Please tell what you got.
 

guitarbuilder

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There are a myriad of machines out there. From my experience with 4 of them, you want rigidity, ample size, linear guides, and lead screws. Also a decision needs to be be made on spindle or router. My K2, which was a popular brand 10 years ago and is now defunct, has unsupported linear guides and anti backlash lead screws. It can't do a Fender guitar neck full length. I'd want at least 36 inches long by 20 to 24 inches wide.


My X carve with the upgrades is OK and it the one that gets the most love these days. It is belt driven but is about as accurate as the K2 now. You really need to decide what you are going to build and that should drive your size decision. The Xcarve pro looks pretty decent too. No matter what you buy, it will be replaced by something better in a year or two.

You'd be better off canvasing people at the Cnczone rather than here, as only a handful of people cnc and come here to talk about it. You get what you pay for with cnc routers. When I first started out, a Techno-Isel was the one I wanted but couldn't afford. Choosing a company that will be in business 5 years from now is something to consider too. Parts wear out. I can tell you that places like Woodcraft change their vendors a lot so just because they are carrying something now doesn't mean they will in a couple years. I've had 4 big pieces of machinery built by companies that no longer exist.


If all you want to do are Fender style guitars, well you can do that with a 3000 cnc router. If you want to get into mortise and tenon joints with accuracy within a couple thousandths, that will cost you a bit more.

Be aware that the cnc is only half the battle. You still will need to do the Cad and Cam work to make anything.

CNCzone.com - CNC Machines, CadCam, Classifieds, Metalworking, Woodworking


X-Carve Pro CNC Router | Industrial CNC Router | Inventables


Using an X carve to create a 1960 Melody Maker Tribute guitar | Telecaster Guitar Forum (tdpri.com)

Press a button and out pops a guitar build. | Telecaster Guitar Forum (tdpri.com)
 
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TN Tele

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I did buy my 2nd or 3rd machine first, a Laguna IQ Pro 2x4 with a vacuum bed and tool changer about a year ago. Spent 3x what I had budgeted for a cnc but have not regretted it. Took a variety of classes on V-Carve and Aspire over the past year and am now making stuff. Good luck on your cnc journey, I know there are a lot of experts here that can offer you help when you need it.
 

carpenter

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Rolled the dice on the shark HD520. Comes with free liquid cooled spindle. I do know nothing is free. It sounds good though. But it does come with aluminum router cradle that my Bosch or Porter cable will drop right in. The spindle kit come with every thing needed to change out.
 

guitarbuilder

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Rolled the dice on the shark HD520. Comes with free liquid cooled spindle. I do know nothing is free. It sounds good though. But it does come with aluminum router cradle that my Bosch or Porter cable will drop right in. The spindle kit come with every thing needed to change out.

What are you using for CAD and CAM?
 

Jim_in_PA

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Rolled the dice on the shark HD520. Comes with free liquid cooled spindle. I do know nothing is free. It sounds good though. But it does come with aluminum router cradle that my Bosch or Porter cable will drop right in. The spindle kit come with every thing needed to change out.
Once you use a spindle, you'll never want to revert to a router motor. Noisier, less flexible on speed, less collet choices, etc. Congrats on your new CNC machine!
 

jvin248

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When I started I bought a simple Harbor Freight $25 1/4in trim router. I expected some wrong code mistakes and it's pretty impressive when they happen and even that level of router kept up to hogging a trench with a quarter inch bit three quarters to an inch deep as the CNC decided to go 'home' .... It lasted quite a while and then I upgraded. So don't use your fancy liquid cooled router when starting. Start with scrap wood, although I have one guitar that the scrap wood body turned out so well I built it into a guitar to play.

Where most people fall down on the CNC project is at the CAD stage. You've got to find a package you like, for the price you want to pay, and then spend the hours necessary to learn it and create parts from scratch. You might find models out there to download but they are often incorrect sizing or some issues that you'd need to correct. Many buy the CNC machine and it just sits while the operator spends months getting good at the CAD. So I often suggest buyers source their CAD package first and get good at making designs and then buy their CNC.

Choose CAD carefully, some like Fusion360 but the company has changed their capabilities for the 'free' version (basically you become their beta testers) a few times and likely will again. They have a subscription option if you are using the software to make products to sell. Are you selling enough every year to pay for the annual subscription?

This project has been improving a lot the last few years and is what I've used: https://www.freecadweb.org/

Onshape has an online subscription. It's made by the same team that created Solidworks.
Guitarbuilder used/uses Rhino

A key skill is learning how to flip parts to align front and back cuts accurately.

.
 

carpenter

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Comes with vcarve pro and Virtual zero Unlimited and Vector art 3d sampler pack. Still awaiting delivery.
Thanks, waiting like a kid on Christmas eve but Santa is driving a brown truck.
 

guitarbuilder

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Comes with vcarve pro and Virtual zero Unlimited and Vector art 3d sampler pack. Still awaiting delivery.
Thanks, waiting like a kid on Christmas eve but Santa is driving a brown truck.


As Jvin said, I use Rhino. It was "the" hobbiest program years ago. It is extremely powerful and I'm self taught, so I have really only learned enough to do what I want to do. It's really frustrating too. I'd start with simple stuff. Draw lines. Draw circles...Create the cad to engrave those. Then build simple shapes into more complex 3 d shaped and machine those. It really helps to start simple and progress than trying to figure out how to make a guitar neck first....:). Now Inventables has Easel, which is free. That is a simple way to create gcode. Carbide create has a free program too. You may want to Investigate Easel while you are waiting.


I did this to replace the one photobucket screwed up.

How to model a tele style neck for CNC work.... new and improved...same low price | Telecaster Guitar Forum (tdpri.com)
 

carpenter

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Machine arrived Monday. Not the first one, but another one from Next wave same model. Let me explain
I ordered the first one Oct 30. They said be patient supply chain delays. November they said it had shipped arriving Nov12. No show no call ,pretty much nothing. Went to tracking said exception.
So I called ups tracking. Turns out ups sold the freight division a few months back. So found the name through tracking package ups. Called them and they said that is a rural area, We don't deliver there daily.
So machine was sitting in Tennessee for a month. Tried 2 more times both times maybe middle of next week. We will call you if it's gonna happen. I was told it was 2 hours away that's a long way to drive.2x
Meanwhile during the month I was in touch with next wave. The head of their shipping department.
So waited another week and a half and called her back and she said ok we are shipping you one today'
She said that R+L carriers would have it here Monday. This was Friday night 4:00 pm. It arrived 3:00 pm
Monday. These guys are good. Very happy with Next Wave for taking care of this for me. So spent all
week cleaning out garage and building table for machine. Have to run wires ,dust collection. Double check everything Dry lube and grease everything that needs it. Guess I will start with a sign. Good start, So I do not
burn up my guitar stock with mistakes.
 
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RedHills

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I've had a Next Wave for about 5 yrs...used support once. No issues. I've never pushed it hard though.
 

guitarbuilder

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Ok Question Spoil board use strips, or should I use a single sheet?


I replaced one sheet holding threaded inserts with t slot and individual pieces of basswood between them. You'll use some areas more than others depending on what you are cutting out. You'll no doubt want to surface the material to ensure it is all level too. I found the sheet with the inserts restrictive due to where I put the inserts. Probably every 4 inches would have been better than every 6 like I had it.
 

Jim_in_PA

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Ok Question Spoil board use strips, or should I use a single sheet?
Honestly, it depends upon the format of your machine bed and how built-in hold down figures into things. If there are a lot of tee tracks/slots, strips may be easier and faster to deal with. For my big machine, it's a single piece which I then cut four slots in to expose the four tee tracks.
 

carpenter

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Still cleaning up garage and setting up shop. Digging through boxes. Getting parts for dust collection.
Picked up bench drill press at box store got it home and started opening box and stopped. I was looking at picture on box cheap looking. Read the reviews online and yeah I took it back. I really should research more
before impulse buys. For 180.00 should have been better. So when I took it back took my wife with me.
Went to harbor freight, looking for bench model again. Changed my mind upgrading to stand-up 13 inch i think.
Turns out not in stock. Here is where it gets weird, My wife says what are you doing this is the last 1 you will ever buy. Just buy the best one
20220118_151902.jpg
they have. At this point i am confused and disoriented and mumble OK.
 




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