Who Is Using CNC and With What Equipment?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by PumpJockey, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. PumpJockey

    PumpJockey Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Oct 12, 2010
    New Joisey
    Huge leap for me and I may end up not doing it, but I would love the ability to achieve the precision and consistency you get.

    So who is using commercially available equipment? (Not home made.)
    Are you using a router that came with it or did you supply one?
    What CAD software/driver software? Mac or PC?
    Does anyone make a unit with a work area just large enough for bodies and necks? (The ones I've seen seem too small or too large at a hefty increase in price.)

    In other words, what would an entire package cost that would take me from CAD drawings to carved wood?

    What other questions should I be asking?

  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    My unit is a lower end K2 2514. It cuts a 15 wide by 25 long work space. K2 was taken over by Velox. I bought this on ebay as a barebones unit. I added a PC 690 router and a stepper/controller pre wired system from probotix. It utilizes Mach3 for Cam. I purchased Rhino 3d for all my drawing needs. I can do tele style guitar necks on a diagonal but not in a straight path unless it is in two parts. I'd get a 36" Y axis if I was doing it all over and they were available. My K2 has an extruded aluminum table which is nice... I did cut into it a few times though...not so nice.

    You can buy a decent unit these days for 5000 dollars. Given the space I work in, 24 x 36 would do everything I would want it to do. If you plan on doing bass necks regularly, consider how much work space is needed for that.


    You get what you pay for with cnc routers. I'd be looking for nice aluminum parts and skip the plastic, mdf, and other less rigid materials. You want supported linear guides. too. That is more accurate than other rail systems like bushings or unsupported bearings. My bearings are unsupported and that's why the machine couldn't be made longer.

    Flexing is the thing that you want to avoid. I have a 24 x 36 commercially made machine that isn't as good as my homebuilt one. I also own a shapeoko2 kit/machine. It is a toy compared to a real commercially made cnc router.

    Speeds are also another thing to consider. It takes me about 40 minutes to do all the cutting and drilling on a tele body. It would be nice to cut that down some with a more powerful motor in my longest axis.

    You can get into a cnc router for less than 5000 dollars, but then you are getting less in many cases. If it takes six hours to make a body, I don't see the point of doing it that way.

    I don't know anything about the probotix routers, but they look like a possibility. I would have probably given them a shot if the K2 wasn't available back then and they were.

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  3. PumpJockey

    PumpJockey Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Oct 12, 2010
    New Joisey
    Good info, thanks!
  4. Telemaestro

    Telemaestro Tele-Meister

    Sep 20, 2013
    Hartville, Ohio
    I use it all of the time. I own a MultiCam 1000 series router that has a cutting area of 60"x120", but I don't use it anymore. Instead I use my best friend's 5000 series router which I believe had a cutting area of about 70" x 140". That router has a 15hp ceramic bearing spindle with a speed range of 3,000-28,000 rpm. Due to my use of that machine, which we program from ArtCAM pro, or DelCAM powermill, I am spoiled. That being said, if I were to own a machine to keep at my home workshop, I would buy a Laguna IQ HHC CNC router with the liquid cooled spindle. I believe it as a work area of about 24" x 36". I have several friends with those, and they are great little machines, very rigid.
    phfobric likes this.
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    I sold mine.. to time consuming.. I can do it by hand faster, better...

    Ron Kirn < CNC free shop...
    Patrick English and jgnov99 like this.
  6. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Island NY
    Camaster , ShopBot , Velox , Laguna , Legacy , CncRouterParts , Romaxx , just to name a few that have what I would consider cnc's suited to guitar size work . Price wise the sky is the limit , you could spend $4000 to $40,000 . Software is or should be a big consideration , you need to design (CAD) and you need to convert that design to code your cnc controller understands (CAM) , software can be free or cost as much or more than the machine itself . IMO you get what you pay for with both machines and software . Its a big learning curve and when I first started off it was very time consuming even doing simple projects on the CNC but now its a time saver . My machine is a Camaster Stinger , 24" x 36" cutting area , I use Vectric Aspire for CAD/CAM and WinCnc control software/hardware , I have a Porter Cable 892 router on mine .
    One of the better pieces of advice I've seen on CNC's is "buy your second machine first " , I took that to mean do your homework and don't under buy . Like Marty said in his post above , look for fully supported rails , look for frame stiffness and gantry stiffness , avoid machines with plastic (structual) , don't overlook software .
  7. GunsOfBrixton

    GunsOfBrixton Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 9, 2011
    Rochester, NY
    I have a FLA 100 from fine line automation. it is / was a kit that my son and I put together. it works well for the price and can handle the guitar related jobs I've thrown at it. But, if I did it all over again I would probably go with a different brand. One of the brands that would be on my list would be the x zero Raptor. (30"x48" , cutting area. 24x36)
    It is a well designed machine. Some people have had issues with the owner but overall a solid machine for a decent price.

    For a spindle, I use a Bosch Evs1617 router. what I like about it is it is variable speed and a low run out. when you start getting into a dedicated spindle, the price increases quite dramatically.
  8. ItZaLLGooD

    ItZaLLGooD Tele-Holic

    Jul 12, 2011
    northeast ohio
    Don't forget about the CAD/CAM software that you'll need once you decide on a router. Some people don't realize that there is more CAD work than wood work when using a CNC router.
  9. 017_017

    017_017 Friend of Leo's

    Oct 4, 2012
    I use a 3 axis Multicam S2412V (working bed size 2400mm x 1200mm) with an HSD ES 915 spindle (when I have the time to get access to it). The cutters I use are solid carbide from either Onsrud or Belin. AutoCAD for drawing and Enroute for toolpathing.
  10. cpianello

    cpianello TDPRI Member

    Apr 10, 2013

    Have had my cnc up and running for about 1 year. Learning as I go. The real way to benefit from a cnc is being able to draw (CAD) and create your own files and generate tool paths (CAM) from them. I use MOI3D for my CAD and CUT3D with VCARVE Pro for toolpaths.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
    GunsOfBrixton likes this.
  11. Guitar novice

    Guitar novice Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 13, 2011
    I purchased a jcut 6090b from china. it was a leap of faith but worked well for me. I'm still very much a novice of using it but so far have been impressed.

    Couple of things.

    At the start everything takes ages. its a steep learning curve. once you learn the design side you then need to learn the cam side (toolpaths). knowing what bits to use and what feeds and speeds is experienced based learning process.

    I'm using fusion360 which is a combined cad and cam package. its free for hobby and start-ups and from what I have read is considered a very feature rich package.


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