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Peter Elliott
03-20-2008, 6:16 PM
I just read up on the new CNC machine Rockler is now selling.
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?Offerings_ID=19441&TabSelect=Details

Company info:
http://www.nextwaveautomation.com/CNCShark.aspx

It's no Shopbot but it does appear to bridge the $$ gap between a Carvewright and Shopbot.

Maybe our resident CNC guys could check into it. I've been looking into one of these machines for small work. Shopbot Buddy 32 would be nice but I just can't get the funds up (still don't know the exact running cost of a BT32 Alpha)

Few things to notice about the Rockler CNC Shark is:

Vcarve 3.1 program which I have read great things about. $500 software included with the price.

Use a router (Bosch Palm Router) instead of a rotozip type motor. I could be wrong but this maybe more power/strength/reliability. $120 you need to buy seperate, which I am ok with.

Z Axis is 4.5" and I think the Carvewright is under 2"? Not sure if that helps me but maybe someone?

Can't find out the Warranty but will email the person at Rockler, maybe ask about testing the machine, reliability, customer support etc.

http://images.rockler.com/rockler/images/35150-01-500.jpg

Nathan Camp
03-21-2008, 12:55 AM
I looked, seriously, at the Rockler unit before I decided on the Carve Wright. I had two concerns. The first was the V-Carve software. I downloaded it, played with it and read reviews. I liked the Carve Wright software better.

I'm an electrical engineer doing process control. I've used autocad since before there was Windows, so I was not afraid of the V-Carve interface. I think the deciding factor was the ease that the Carve Wright software imported images for carving.

It looks like a tough little unit, and will probably outlast my Carve Wright by years. Motors are standard steppers, etc.

The other factor was the control unit needs to be connected to a pc. I like being able to dump the project on a card and use it, keeping my pc dust free.

So far, knock on wood, I have not had any problems (other than self induced) on my machine, but some of the Carve Wright machines do seem to have issues.

I do agree, it is a good machine for a lot of people. The 4"+ travel on the z-axis definetly beats the Carve Wright 3/4" to 1" travel.

Nathan

Well, seems I need to retract the second reason. According to the Rockler page "USB interface with removable memory card interface" is standard. My Rockler guys did not tell me that...

Steve knight
03-21-2008, 1:26 AM
the carve wright software is easy to import stuff but it is pretty limited. and you can't begin to draw with it as you can vcarve. can't import dxf files or much of anything else. can somewhat vcarve text but not anything else. Myself I found the software pretty limited. but I have been using vcarve for over a year so thats part of it.

Nathan Camp
03-21-2008, 8:50 AM
the carve wright software is easy to import stuff but it is pretty limited. and you can't begin to draw with it as you can vcarve. can't import dxf files or much of anything else. can somewhat vcarve text but not anything else. Myself I found the software pretty limited. but I have been using vcarve for over a year so thats part of it.

I should have pointed out in my previous post that my desire was for pure hobby use. In a production oriented shop, there is no question that the vcarve software is powerful and more flexible.

One misconception I've seen is people thing the Carve Wright only carves in the raster mode (like a printer). That is how it does pictures and patterns, but designs that are made up of lines, arcs, etc actually cuts on all three axies at the same time.

This thread is to talk about the CNC Shark not the Carve Wright, so I will shut up.:D

nathan

Peter Elliott
03-21-2008, 5:16 PM
Nathan, it's ok to compare the two, because that is what's out there.

Compucarve vs. CNC Shark.

on the CNC side, I read a bit on Vcarve and most like it. I see the point about Compucarve software being easy to use also. I just seen users comment on the limits with the compucarve software?

Got the Craftsman flyer today and Compucarve is on sale for $1700.

I just can't say yes yet. Everytime I do research, I see neg. comments.

Prob. wait to hear about this CNC Shark before jumping in.

Anyone else look at the specs? I've seen some comments on CNCzone saying that it could be built for much less? Not sure I want to take that step unless I bought a ready to assemble kit. Is there such a beast?

Peter

Nathan Camp
03-21-2008, 6:00 PM
Anyone else look at the specs? I've seen some comments on CNCzone saying that it could be built for much less? Not sure I want to take that step unless I bought a ready to assemble kit. Is there such a beast?

Peter

Peter, I had the same thought. Steppers and controllers should cost ~$500 dollars. Another $200 for misc parts. Then software and firmware. That should bring the cost to ~$1200. Then there is the time to build it, program it, and work out the bugs. Add a little profit in there and the price is not too bad. Of course bulk pricing would lower the cost of the parts.

I had thought of building one from scratch. I have a bunch of smaller steppers and a couple of controller boards. Have a drawer full of PICs and Stamps (Microcontrollers for those non electronic types). At present, I just did not have the time to worry about the firmware development time. Plus, my precision machining capabilities are a little limited.

One of these days, I may get around to trying to build one. May use the Carve Wright to make some of the parts:p.

nathan

Steve knight
03-21-2008, 7:37 PM
what you can do with vcarve and a cnc router is some i8nlay like this done with vcarving., sharp corners and pretty much any shape. or two sided cuts


http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s266/knighttoolworks/inlayand3d3Small.jpg
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s266/knighttoolworks/ALO/headphonecup1-1.jpg
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s266/knighttoolworks/ALO/headphonecup2-1.jpg

Anthony Scira
03-21-2008, 7:48 PM
New to this side of the forum. I hang out with the laser nerds. But man that has me wanting one. But I am strill trying to pay off the laser !

But the next step up has a 24 x 24 bed. I think that may be worth the upgrade !

Richard Rumancik
03-21-2008, 8:09 PM
Personally I'm partial to aluminum over polyethylene, but poly is probably better than MDF which a lot of home-builders are using (and some are even selling MDF units on eBay). But you'll never get aluminum for this kind of price. If you consider Vcarve worth around $500 then the machine itself is $1800 with stepper motors, drivers, and control software.

You can buy a nice alum frame from K2CNC.com (they have one on eBay right now) which is "bare" (no electronics/motors) for $1250. (Heavy to ship though.) At least it looks good in the picture. There are probably others out there similar to this. If you assembled the electronics yourself and buy Mach3 for machine control you could do it for maybe $500-$1000. Mach3 is around $150 I believe. It would be a heavier-duty machine though. Mach3 can be a bit intimidating if you aren't already into machine control and gcode. FlashCut has a nice interface but is $1200+ I believe. I don't recommend that you try to build PCBs and write software unless you want to spend years on a DIY project. You can buy Geckos or a Xylotec board and it will save you a lot of grief.

You still need a drawing program of some kind. You can do some drawing in Vcarve but that's not what it is really meant to be. You may need CorelDraw or a CAD package.

The polyethylene unit is probably fine for light duty fabricating. Note that Vcarve is at release 4.X now, so either have them supply the latest version or find out how much extra it would cost to get the latest version. Not sure why they would be offering down-level software.

Greg Cuetara
03-21-2008, 10:20 PM
If you are really considering that much money for a cnc, Joe over on the cnczone forum has a great set of plans. He is using 80/20 and the whole machine just bolts together with a few mdf pieces glued together. I think it was around $2200 for the machine and it would give you almost 48" square of cutting area along with 4-6" of z travel. If you can put together wood projects you should be able to put together this unit. You would still need to get the v-carve software...have a computer...dust collector etc. At the quality of a shop bot at a much less price it is a pretty good deal.
Good luck,
Greg

Steve knight
03-21-2008, 11:04 PM
You still need a drawing program of some kind. You can do some drawing in Vcarve but that's not what it is really meant to be. You may need CorelDraw or a CAD package.


it is limited but I draw almost everything in it. when it is really complex I get someone else to do it. or 3d work. but 99% of what I make including my planes have all been drawn out in vcarve.

Peter Elliott
03-25-2008, 9:50 PM
Got an email back from Rockler's Al Wolford. Thought it was nice of him to give a detailed answer. Also gave permission to broadcast this to us on SMC.

Here it is:

Peter,
Thanks for your interest in the CNC Shark. Your inquiry mirrors the questions that many our customers have had about the system since it's introduction . I will try answer them to the best of my ability. This will end up being very long but feel free to submit any or all of it to www.sawmillcreek.org (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/)
Compare this to the Carvewright/Compucarve:
- Carvewright:
- Unit is more of a carving machine versus a true CNC.
- Stock moves while the cutter head stays in one plane; this means you need a minimum size working piece in order to stay under the rollers.
- Uses a friction feed (basically sand paper) to hold and move wood.
- Through plunge cuts cannot be achieved on the Carvewright without special setup not recommended for Carvewright machine.
- Uses plastic gears in the drive trains.
- Fully enclosed design makes access to moving parts difficult and router is built into the machine.
- Proprietary hardware for the router or bits
-Shark:
- Work piece is secured to its base.
- Gantry moves which drastically reduces the chance of a piece moving while being cut.
- Can work on longer pieces of wood (You can cut up to 24 inches (Length) at a time before repositioning stock.
- You can get a 19 inch wide piece of wood in between the gantry but you can only cut 13 inches ( 6.5 inches either side off center).
- Can use just about any software with our machine that can generate standard GCode. (Chose to have V-Carve come with the machine as we thought it most flexible and simple to use for what most of our customers would be using the machine to accomplish. Other software is available and at this time available through the manufacturer.)
- Can achieve a plunge through cut, but you do not normally cut any deeper than the width of the bit to ensure clean chip removal. There is also the “tabs” option in the V-Carve software that allows you to keep a small .030 inch tab in place when cutting out a part.
- Uses direct drive from the motors to the lead screws.
- Open design allows operator to easily see and access mechanical parts for cleaning and upkeep.
- Parts are easily repaired or replaced if necessary by the user rather than the factory.
- Router is a separate component from the machine itself. (replacement cost of around $100 rather than the cost of a new Carvewright.)
- User may use any router bit that fits their router.

Why Rockler chose this machine:
- Rockler received demonstrations of both the Shark and Compucarve/CarveWright and both performed as advertised.
- They both produced quality results within the limitations of the machines used.
- We chose the Shark because of its greater versatility and capability seemed to closer match what our customers told us they wanted to see in an affordable CNC system.
- The use of a separate router and not being "locked into" proprietary bits also entered into our decision to choose the Shark.
- A larger model (the Shark Pro) which increases the Y axis to 24" (almost double the Shark) is currently available and will be advertised soon.
What is the warranty on the machine?
- The manufacturer's warranty is a one year limited warranty (fully supported by Rockler as the exclusive distributor.)
- Reliability demonstrated by the product from current users (over the past 2 years) indicates that an extended warranty is not warranted.

How will customer service be handled?
- Any questions or issues regarding order processing and shipping will be handled by Rockler.
- Rockler will also handle the majority of questions regarding capability of the machine and suitability of the Shark for customer applications.
- Specific setup and software issues will be handled by Rockler in partnership with the manufacturer.
(Note: To date this partnership has resulted in extremely high levels of satisfaction to purchasers and users…we plan to keep it that way.)
Are there plans for web video?
- As we speak the video is being worked on and should be available online and in our retail stores soon. (I will contact you when it is done.)

Some closing comments:
-According to Carvewright, Carvewright/Compucarve got the reputation of having a poor product due to Sears trying to cover technical issues for which they were unprepared. Carvewright has made many improvements and they have assured us that these issues are no longer “issues”.
- Rockler may decide to carry this product in the future as it does have applications that are not currently available on the Shark
- Rockler is very excited to bring the Shark products to our customers. We fully realize that some of the peripheral material for the Shark (e.g. the instructions are very basic, warranty not stated, etc.) are not as sleek or polished as more mature systems. These things are being improved daily. We felt the capability, versatility and proven durability of the Shark far outweighed any of these shortcomings.
Thanks,
Al Wolford
Manager Technical Services
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
1-800-260-9663

Bruce Page
03-25-2008, 10:09 PM
Peter, thanks for the update. I would sure like to see one the Sharks up close. There aren't any Rocklers in this neck of the woods....yet.

Kenneth Hertzog
03-26-2008, 9:16 AM
Hi All
In my line of work the Shark Pro ( 24 X 24) which rockler handles just not on the site yet ( 36900 ) is one that will fit my needs. Other machines are either to small or to expensive. So I am purchasing the Pro. Will let all of you know how it works out and maybe a video if I can figure out how.
ken

Anthony Scira
03-26-2008, 1:00 PM
What is the price of the PRO out the door with everything you need to get started?

Richard Rumancik
03-26-2008, 2:50 PM
You can find the Rockler pricing on the Next Wave Automation website

www.nextwaveautomation.com/Pricing.aspx (http://www.nextwaveautomation.com/Pricing.aspx)

It is about $3300 (around $1000 more).

Just an additional note: Seems the bigger model comes with the latest Vcarve software (4.6) while the smaller one shows the down-level software (3.1).

Keith Outten
03-26-2008, 11:08 PM
At $3,300.00 the larger Shark is getting very close to the price of a ShopBot PRSstandard BT32 Buddy that lists for $3,995.00

If you compare the two machines I think it would make the decision real easy to make. The difference in price isn't significant when you consider the performance capabilities and you purchase direct from the company that builds them.

Shop wisely Grasshopper :)

.

Anthony Scira
03-27-2008, 1:28 AM
It seems like its always a little bit more.

I was thinking Compucarve for 1800. Then Shark for 2295. Then the Shark Pro for 3300. Then the Buddy for 4000.

The next step is never that painful. But when you step back from it its a pretty big step.

But after taking the Epilog plunge this does not seem that bad.

Keith Outten
03-27-2008, 8:53 AM
Anthony,

It took me two years to pay for my laser engraver and just one week to pay for my ShopBot. The ShopBot is ten times more profitable than my laser engraver, I guess because the type of work it does (signs in my case) is perceived by customers as being more valuable.

I think my ShopBot was just under $12,000.00 when I purchased it three years ago and I can't imagine not owning one. The company that designs, builds and sells them is top notch and their support never ends. You would be hard pressed to find a ShopBot owner who is not 100% satisfied with their machine. What started out as a one man company in Durham North Carolina a few years ago now ships more CNC Routers per year than any other manufacturer. That says a lot about ShopBot.

When you move to CNC you enter into a three dimensional world that can be very complex. You need support periodically as your skills grow and you attempt to machine more complex projects. You also need software updates and the versatility to customize your machine when the need arises.

Even if you plan to use your CNC router just for hobby work it is nice to find out that you can make money on occasion when an opportunity presents itself...and it will.

I like what i see in the Shark design, they seem to be very well made machines for the money...in fact i expect the Shark is a step up from the Carvewright machines. Based on what I have learned running my CNC Router there is so much work available the price of the machine isn't a big issue, it may be at first but you will soon forget the purchase price when your machine starts producing. The only decision to make is which machine will be reliable, nothing else is pertinent in my opinion. This has not been true concerning any other machine that I have ever purchased.

Go to a ShopBot Camp and you will find a very close community of people who are excited about their machines and what they have been able to do with them. If you do your homework and look very close at the machines available I think you will be more comfortable with your final decision.

.

Lee DeRaud
03-27-2008, 12:18 PM
At $3,300.00 the larger Shark is getting very close to the price of a ShopBot PRSstandard BT32 Buddy that lists for $3,995.00I suspect that's why Rockler isn't particularly excited about marketing the larger Shark. But for their hobbyist base, I think the smaller unit hits a sweet-spot between the CraveWright and the smallest "real CNC" both in price and overall size.

The BT32 is a nice machine but it's only "compact" when compared to the larger ShopBots: it's about the same size as a Unisaw.
(Translation: "Sorry, honey, from now on both cars will have to stay in the driveway.")

Peter Elliott
03-27-2008, 1:07 PM
Keith,

You hit a lot of value points. I am excited about the Buddy, but Shopbot advertise this price BT32 but is that out the door (minus a PC). Looking at their web, it doesn't really say. There seems to be a lot of "options" with BT32 and having no exp., are they need item or a nice to have item?

I will go to shopbot camp and try to get answers. But I fear, a shopbot may end up in the $4500 range, which is 2x the Shark.

Also Keith, please chime in here.

I hear SOO much about how we can pay off our CNC with work but I have yet to read how, someone making $$ point (me)us in that direction with ideas. Or "this is how we make $$ with our CNC" would be nice and I understand if you don't want to give out all your secrets...:cool:

Looking at the shark, the JoeCNC2006 U-build it system is far better than the shark - Cost is about $1500 or less, software $400 (Mach3, 2DCarve)
But you have to build it all, no warranty, service for the most part.

Nothing is easy...

Kenneth Hertzog
03-27-2008, 1:32 PM
OK

I looked at the shopbot web site, and I would like to have the room for the 4'x8' model but I don't. When I look at the BT32(buddy) and the price on the web site said $7195.00. where do we get this $3995 price and is that all inclusive?
maybe I missed something but that is double the price of the shark pro.

Just what I'm seeing

ken

SCOTT ANDREWS
03-27-2008, 3:01 PM
[quote=Kenneth Hertzog;814177]OK

I looked at the shopbot web site, and I would like to have the room for the 4'x8' model but I don't. When I look at the BT32(buddy) and the price on the web site said $7195.00. where do we get this $3995 price and is that all inclusive?
maybe I missed something but that is double the price of the shark pro.

Just what I'm seeing

There are 2 models.The Alpha and the standard.The standard according to their website is $4,555.00.The one you saw probably the Alpha.

Doug Hoffman
03-27-2008, 6:14 PM
There is also a new ShopBot. It's the BT48,same as the BT32 only 50% larger.The price of the ShopBots vary greatly.You can get either a router or a spindle,which come in several models.Of course also there is the standard and Alpha models of each Bot,as noted.The new BT48 can also take the new option of the "powerstick".It is a 48" extention table,so you can handle the occasional 4'x8' sheet. The shipping cost of the ShopBot is pretty high also,it is a heavy,well built machine.

Greg Cuetara
03-27-2008, 8:26 PM
With all of the cnc discussion I have a question. The shark runs off of a dremel type of tool where as Joe's Cnc or the shop bot run off of a spindle or a real router. What is the life of the dremel and can you do as much. Is it worth the upgrade just to have a real router where you can use real bits and have some real power behind the machine?
With the shark if you start doing any kind of production work will you burn out the motor on the dremel?
just something to think about with the hole purchase.
Greg

Bruce Page
03-27-2008, 9:00 PM
Greg, the picture of the Shark shows it using a Bosch Colt trim router. The Colt is a nice trim router but you are limited to a ¼” shank diameter.

Here’s a look at the Colt; http://www.bibbtool.com/product/2579 (http://www.bibbtool.com/product/2579)

Keith Outten
03-27-2008, 9:38 PM
Peter,

Think Signs! Everywhere you look there are signs...somebody has to make all these signs :)
The Federal Government and the American Disabilities Act (ADA) have created one of the best markets for sign makers by requiring all public buildings to have ADA compliant signs with Braille and raised text. It takes a little work and planning to start making ADA signs but it assures that you will never run out of work if there is commercial construction in your area. ADA door signs sell for at least $45.00 to $65.00 each and one man can make ten to twenty per day. Your cost of materials is less than seven dollars each...do the math. I have already made thousands of them and I have worked on my technique until I have cut my time in half since I started making door signs.

You would also be surprised how much machining work is available these days. Cutting plywood templates for construction companies, custom ceiling access panels, Corian light switches..I could go on for hours there is so much work. All you have to do is open your eyes and look outside of the traditional types of jobs. One of the best traditional jobs is making Corian signs for golf courses, they will last for fifty years and require almost no maintenance.

I just finished machining two custom Corian light cover trim plates at CNU, these were originally supposed to be cast bronze but we made them from Corian and saved a bundle. Brady Watson machined our new 72" diameter brass medallion for the marble floor in our new Library, I will post some pictures of the finished job to share in a couple days.

You can cut cabinet parts for local shops and machine custom logo's on counter tops for your local cabinet shops...there is work everywhere you look. Don't look to close at the places you would expect to find work, you can starve to death doing carving work unless you are really talented. Look at your friendly neighborhood laser engravers, they will purchase custom plaques from a CNC operator and you can team up with some on large ADA jobs, you cut the plaques and let them engrave them.

Kenneth and Scott, there are two Buddy models, the PRSalpha and the PRSstandard. Look at the chart at the bottom of this page (http://www.shopbottools.com/prSstandard.htm) for the $3,995.00 PRSstandard Buddy. It ships with all of the software you need but you will have to purchase your own router or spindle.

Greg, imagine your CNC router running continuously for four to eight hours. A dremel tool isn't a router and a trim router isn't made for the kind of work you expect a CNC machine to accomplish. I use a Porter Cable 3.25 HP router in my ShopBot and it performs well. It won't last as long as a spindle but a spindle can cost you $2,800.00 new. My PC router cost me $280.00 and when it is worn out it goes right in the trash and a new one takes its place. Every time a PC router hits the trash can it means I made a lot of money :)

I have been asked to speak at a couple of the annual ShopBot Jamborees and my message was to all the people who either had just purchased a new ShopBot or to those who were thinking about buying a ShopBot. They all are wondering how can I pay for this machine and how long will it take me to learn to operate a ShopBot. I tell them that it is possible to make more money per day machining simple projects than some of the experienced ShopBotters make producing beautiful 3D carving work and very high end carved signs. I started making Corian cutting boards and sold them for $39.95 as fast as I could make them...and I made them from free Corian sink cut-outs I was getting from a local counter top shop :) You can wholesale them to local bed and baths or kitchen specialty shops for 40 bucks as fast as you can make them.

Note that I use a lot of Dupont Corian. Don't listen to people who say that Corian is expensive. Hogwash! A sheet of Glacier White Corian wholesales for $260.00 from my local distributor and I machine 60 door signs from each sheet, that's $4.33 per sign blank. Not one of my competitors in my area are making Corian signs :)

1. Take a piece of Corian and fasten it on your ShopBot table.
2. Vcarve your text and any graphics...and you can route your sign perimeter in any shape imaginable.
3. Paint the Vcarved areas with a can of your favorite spray paint.
4. Run your random orbital sander over the sign, this removes the paint on the surface and leaves the paint in the carved areas.
5. Bill Em!

.

Rob Wright
03-27-2008, 9:53 PM
I had used a Rigid trim router in my home built for the first few months. I have ruined one and had it replaced by warranty but the "whine" of the motor really was getting to me, and by me I mean my wife and therefore me by association. The runout and overall destruction motor by having a trim router run for 1 to 2 hours straight at a time is hard on the bearings and brushes. Some of the intricate Vcarves and 3D shapes can really take some time on the machines.

I have since built a mount for a PC 690 and we are all much happier.

I got the CNC bug a little over a year ago when the Carvewright came out. I Built mine for $600 then have added Mach3 & Vcarve. The plans available on CNCZone.com are great. I would like to upgrade to a 'bot sometime in the future. Joes Hybrid 4x4 looks pretty decent, and right now I am having a hard time trying to decide if I should just build another, or by a BT32/48. If I go with a 'bot, I will go with a standard. From what I have read, you would rarely use the cutting speeds of the Alpha in a hobby situation. I would like to get a spindle for the noise factor - but the price is definitely a limiting factor.

I have heard that the Joe's Hybrid 4x4 can be built for $1600-$2400 and be able to use half sheets of plywood with great results.

$0.02
- Rob

Frank Triana
03-27-2008, 10:38 PM
I've been listening to all of you and this is all very interesting. Back in the early 80s I worked for an outfit called Anilam. They retrofitting CNC controls on machine tool, along with digital read outs was my/their forte. The use of encoders, glass scales, servo motors, harden ways, and precision ground ball screws determine how long these machines are going to last. While they do extensive burn ins at the factory, electronics aren't as reliable as the hardware and or the actual machine.
Has anyone here considered buying an old/salvage mill and doing a retrofit? (remember that electronics will always go down in price) Fact is that some of these machine remind me of a school CNC lab, which were used for training. The large gantry machines have a bigger work envelope, but they are used to do light engraving in machine shops. However, most HAAS's a letter/number software package included in their along with their conversational software. The metal industry is discarding some still usable machines as advancements come along.
I've seen some awesome work by the members here and together we could build a better CNC machine for the wood shop. Just as dual core is replaced by quad core in the PC's. Isn't anyone still using a P4? Just a random thought to drum up some discussion.

Paul Kunkel
03-29-2008, 7:49 PM
I'd like to correct come of these inacuracys. The Carvewright will do alot more than some people will give it credit for. There is alot of mis-information out there!

[QUOTE=Peter Elliott;812722]
CNC Shark.
Through plunge cuts cannot be achieved on the Carvewright without special setup not recommended for Carvewright machine.
False-through cuts are done all the time . The 1/8" cutting bit even comes as standard issue.

Shark
Can work on longer pieces of wood (You can cut up to 24 inches (Length) at a time before repositioning stock.
False-Carvewright can run wood up to 12 ft. long with proper support in one pass/design You can get a 19 inch wide piece of wood in between the gantry but you can only cut 13 inches ( 6.5 inches either side off center).
Carvewright can run 14 1/2" wide.

Can achieve a plunge through cut, but you do not normally cut any deeper than the width of the bit to ensure clean chip removal. There is also the “tabs” option in the V-Carve software that allows you to keep a small .030 inch tab in place when cutting out a part.
Same with the Carvewright. Built into the software.

Router is a separate component from the machine itself. (replacement cost of around $100 rather than the cost of a new Carvewright.)
Takes about 15 min. to replace a Carvewright motor, but most run hundreds of hours before even needing new brushes.

User may use any router bit that fits their router.
Carvewright can use other router bits also.

Peter Elliott
03-29-2008, 9:57 PM
Thanks Paul....

That was a response from the Rockler Guy, not me as I noted in my post. I don't own either, so I couldn't say a word on them.

I'm just "kicking the tires" right now in the small CNC machine world.

Peter

Paul Kunkel
03-30-2008, 12:03 AM
I realize that Peter. I just wanted to set the record straight. People who want to sell a competetive item tend to stretch the truth.:)

Nathan Camp
03-30-2008, 12:49 AM
Thanks Paul for clearing that up.

nathan

Joe Trotter
01-01-2009, 11:42 PM
I stumbled upon this tonight while researching the carvewright. Alot of great informtaion from different perspectives.

Has anyone purchased the CNC Shark and had it for a while? Was wondering how well it is liked. It appears to use G-code from what I have read. Is any of the software conversational as well?

I have ran alot of different CNC machines in the past making aluminum, plastic, stainless, and so forth.

I am interseted in something that will not only be fun to use but help pay for itself.

Thanks, Joe

Steven DeMars
01-03-2009, 1:21 AM
Peter,

Think Signs! Everywhere you look there are signs...somebody has to make all these signs :)
The Federal Government and the American Disabilities Act (ADA) have created one of the best markets for sign makers by requiring all public buildings to have ADA compliant signs with Braille and raised text. It takes a little work and planning to start making ADA signs but it assures that you will never run out of work if there is commercial construction in your area. ADA door signs sell for at least $45.00 to $65.00 each and one man can make ten to twenty per day. Your cost of materials is less than seven dollars each...do the math. I have already made thousands of them and I have worked on my technique until I have cut my time in half since I started making door signs.

You would also be surprised how much machining work is available these days. Cutting plywood templates for construction companies, custom ceiling access panels, Corian light switches..I could go on for hours there is so much work. All you have to do is open your eyes and look outside of the traditional types of jobs. One of the best traditional jobs is making Corian signs for golf courses, they will last for fifty years and require almost no maintenance.

I just finished machining two custom Corian light cover trim plates at CNU, these were originally supposed to be cast bronze but we made them from Corian and saved a bundle. Brady Watson machined our new 72" diameter brass medallion for the marble floor in our new Library, I will post some pictures of the finished job to share in a couple days.

You can cut cabinet parts for local shops and machine custom logo's on counter tops for your local cabinet shops...there is work everywhere you look. Don't look to close at the places you would expect to find work, you can starve to death doing carving work unless you are really talented. Look at your friendly neighborhood laser engravers, they will purchase custom plaques from a CNC operator and you can team up with some on large ADA jobs, you cut the plaques and let them engrave them.

Kenneth and Scott, there are two Buddy models, the PRSalpha and the PRSstandard. Look at the chart at the bottom of this page (http://www.shopbottools.com/prSstandard.htm) for the $3,995.00 PRSstandard Buddy. It ships with all of the software you need but you will have to purchase your own router or spindle.

Greg, imagine your CNC router running continuously for four to eight hours. A dremel tool isn't a router and a trim router isn't made for the kind of work you expect a CNC machine to accomplish. I use a Porter Cable 3.25 HP router in my ShopBot and it performs well. It won't last as long as a spindle but a spindle can cost you $2,800.00 new. My PC router cost me $280.00 and when it is worn out it goes right in the trash and a new one takes its place. Every time a PC router hits the trash can it means I made a lot of money :)

I have been asked to speak at a couple of the annual ShopBot Jamborees and my message was to all the people who either had just purchased a new ShopBot or to those who were thinking about buying a ShopBot. They all are wondering how can I pay for this machine and how long will it take me to learn to operate a ShopBot. I tell them that it is possible to make more money per day machining simple projects than some of the experienced ShopBotters make producing beautiful 3D carving work and very high end carved signs. I started making Corian cutting boards and sold them for $39.95 as fast as I could make them...and I made them from free Corian sink cut-outs I was getting from a local counter top shop :) You can wholesale them to local bed and baths or kitchen specialty shops for 40 bucks as fast as you can make them.

Note that I use a lot of Dupont Corian. Don't listen to people who say that Corian is expensive. Hogwash! A sheet of Glacier White Corian wholesales for $260.00 from my local distributor and I machine 60 door signs from each sheet, that's $4.33 per sign blank. Not one of my competitors in my area are making Corian signs :)

1. Take a piece of Corian and fasten it on your ShopBot table.
2. Vcarve your text and any graphics...and you can route your sign perimeter in any shape imaginable.
3. Paint the Vcarved areas with a can of your favorite spray paint.
4. Run your random orbital sander over the sign, this removes the paint on the surface and leaves the paint in the carved areas.
5. Bill Em!

.

You are getting me really excited . . . . I think I see a ShopBot in my future . . .

Probaly make more with it than a OneWay Lathe . . . .

Steve

Brian Peters
01-03-2009, 3:03 AM
Rockler's shark is pretty limited and a joke at the price they are selling it for. You can build a 4'x4' for less than the shark: http://www.joescnc.com

:cool:

Joe Trotter
01-07-2009, 10:33 AM
Rockler's shark is pretty limited and a joke at the price they are selling it for. You can build a 4'x4' for less than the shark: http://www.joescnc.com

:cool:

Thanks for the link Brian, I will check it out...

Joe

Dave Lehnert
01-07-2009, 2:43 PM
Rockler's shark is pretty limited and a joke at the price they are selling it for. You can build a 4'x4' for less than the shark: http://www.joescnc.com

:cool:


Build one? How hard is it? I am a woodworker not a robotics engineer LOL!!

Brian Peters
01-07-2009, 7:09 PM
Build one? How hard is it? I am a woodworker not a robotics engineer LOL!!


You don't need to be an engineer, check out the site its a great community everyone is helpful on the forum there too.

james mcgrew
01-07-2009, 9:13 PM
i have a carve wright and two industrial mid weight camaster cnc machines with the full vectric library of software, bobcadcam, cabnetware etc, the carvewright was just a impulse purchase, and if you have a desire to be in or grow in the cnc world you will hit a brick wall with the carvewright, vectrics forum has several successful owners of the rockler machine, romaxx makes a mean little cost effective unit, camaster and shop bot both have small foot print machines with excellent capabilities.

jim

Keith Outten
01-07-2009, 9:25 PM
Steven,

Get a CNC router and prepare to have some serious fun. The money ain't bad either :)

I just purchased Aspire 3D machining software from Vectric so I'm on my way to the next level. Not so much for business use but it seems like it will be enjoyable to learn and use. The easy stuff still pays the bills.

Angus Hines just fired up his new ShopBot last night.......I'll bet he didn't get a wink of sleep, probably spent the night in his shop :)

.

Angus Hines
01-08-2009, 10:48 AM
Keiths right Just jump out there and get you a big CNC router. Cause as soon as you buy this thing somebody is going to want something thats 36 x 36 and then what?

Sleep whats that I haven't slept in 3 days now. If I see another line of code go by I think I might go blind.:D:D

jimmy riddle
01-21-2009, 12:28 AM
Hi Guys I'm new here but have been using CC mills Lathes and Routers in the UK for many years in the film industry . I came to the U.S. about 12 years ago and recently decided to get back into doing a few CNC hobby projects albeit on a much smaller scale than in the UK.

About the time I decided to do this I started noticing advertisements on TV for the Carvewright machine. I found that Sears had their own branded version and ordered one. The software was a breeze to use and within a few minutes I was able to mill a small test piece, which turned out great. I then went on to make an 8 foot long sign, which also turned out amazingly well.

Then the trouble started the Z axis motor developed a fault and the unit was sent back to LHR for repair. It came back 3 weeks later and during it next project developed yet more faults this time with the Chuck (it exploded throwing the bit into the workpiece) and sending shrapnel ( bits of the chuck) all over the workshop. Again the machine was sent back to LHR for repair and this is where it gets interesting. After about 3 weeks I receive an e-mail requesting payment of a bill for some $360.00, the chuck repair was under warranty but they had found a number of other small issues including the previously repaired Z. Axis motor . Now bear in mind I had just paid for return mail and a new cardboard box ($76 just for the box ) UPS had destroyed the original one. After some haggling and help from Better Business Bureau they finally decided to cut the repair cost in half, consider that the machine had less than 40 hours of use logged onto it, it was the very least they could do ? Anyway it came back and within a week I had it set up with a new project. I started up the machine and it began to cut well for the first 15 minutes after which the chuck threw out the adaptor , luckily no damage was done to the chuck or the machine and only the workpiece was damaged.
I placed a new adaptor and cutter into the new chuck and started over, within 10 minutes the sandpaper drive belt had ripped in two and I gave up. This expensive collection of plastic and metal now sits idle in my workshop collecting dust and will never be used again. But im not giving up completely I just ordered a new Shopmate Buddy @ $7000.00 ( base price ) After weeks or research I have deduced that this machine will provide me with the best quality build for the $.

It's not built in China it's a proven design, built to withstand the use to which its intended. So to cut an awfully long story short i strongly suggest anyone considering the purchase of a Carvewright machine check out the reviews on Amazon.com, Sears own web site and the Better Business Bureau it will save you hours of frustration and heartache...
Oh and the Forum on Carvewright is very biased (obviously) I have seen many complaints posted there only to be removed by the moderator.

Doug Griffith
01-25-2009, 12:25 PM
I'm normally in the Laser area of SMC but thought I'd peek over here. I've got a Larken 2424 Camtool (http://www.larkencnc.com (http://www.larkencnc.com/)) in my arsenal and just wanted to say it is a very good machine and built like a rock out of aluminum. I couldn't imagine using a CNC with plastic structural components. It wasn't neccesarily cheap but can do everything "real" gantry routers can do at a smaller size. The "real" gantry routers I work with and compare it to are MultiCam and Thermwoods. Now I am looking into adding Aspire to my toolbox.

Todd Schwartz
03-16-2009, 1:59 PM
Ken - did you end up getting a Shark, if so, what are your thoughts on it? Starting to look and was set on the Buddy, but now am starting to explore other options.

Thanks,

Todd

Rod Williamson
03-16-2009, 8:19 PM
I too have the CNC bug. Is anyone using the model at www.cncsidewinder.com (http://www.cncsidewinder.com)? Or those of you who have machines, how does this one look to you?

Kenneth Hertzog
03-21-2009, 10:53 PM
Todd
sorry for the delay in response
I was out of town for a week
Yes I have a cnc shark
Yes I like it
It does all I need and want it to do.
It does NOT have proprietary software.
ken

Fred Floyd
11-06-2010, 3:29 AM
Rockler is running a special on the CNC Shark line, $200 off plus free shipping.

This puts the Shark Pro Plus under $4000. Plus $100 for the router. And you need a computer

The software on the PRO PLUS includes the Cut 3D and VCarve in the package.

Question: I have not seen any recent reviews. What say from anyone who has one?

james mcgrew
11-06-2010, 7:43 AM
rod i have a good friend in noblesville indiana who has the camaster (larger machine) yet the stinger is built the same,

Bruce Page
11-06-2010, 12:00 PM
Rockler is running a special on the CNC Shark line, $200 off plus free shipping.

Fred, I didn't see mention of free shipping, are you sure?

I've been interested in the shark pro also. I would like to get into CNC but I don't have the space for a large machine.

Rob Damon
11-06-2010, 1:46 PM
Went by the local woodcraft yesterday and they had the new General International I-Carver, same level as the shark ($3850), but comes with a spindle motor, included in the price.

They are upgrading a few things they have found issues with on the long term in-house QC models and it will be shipping in January.

They are evaluating Woodcraft stores for selling them in various local markets, including the one here in Va.Beach.

The General International Rep. Joe Brakhage was setting one up and running samples.

I was pretty impressed, but I am easily impressed.

Although the concensus seems to be wait and buy a true CNC machine at twice (Stinger) it's price, but some of us just can't justify that expense for playing in a home shop, even when we can afford to buy a larger one.

You know buy a new car or buy a new CNC, my choice would be obvious, but wouldnt' be back by the LOML.

I had a good 20 minute one on one conversation with him. (Do a web search and you can find a video of him showing the machine.) He is a really nice guy.

He said this machine was being manufactured in Canada, but they would be releasing a more entry level machine at half the price, but that model would be off-shored manufactured to reach that price point.

Rob

Keith Outten
11-06-2010, 3:10 PM
Rob,

You need to visit my shop and take a close look at my CAMaster Stinger. In a few short minutes I think you will understand why spending just a little more will save you money. While you are here I can show you my ShopBot at the same time and you can draw your own conclusions.

Call me or send me a PM to let me know when you can drop by for a visit.
.

Robert Alexander
11-06-2010, 5:54 PM
Rob,

You need to visit my shop and take a close look at my CAMaster Stinger. In a few short minutes I think you will understand why spending just a little more will save you money. While you are here I can show you my ShopBot at the same time and you can draw your own conclusions.

.



I would also like to allow fellow members of Sawmill Creek who live in my area of the country (Utah)to look at, operate and ask questions about my Camaster. The only way to really see if CNC is what you need (or want:)) is to see one in operation.

james mcgrew
11-06-2010, 8:22 PM
Went by the local woodcraft yesterday and they had the new General International I-Carver, same level as the shark ($3850), but comes with a spindle motor, included in the price.

They are upgrading a few things they have found issues with on the long term in-house QC models and it will be shipping in January.

They are evaluating Woodcraft stores for selling them in various local markets, including the one here in Va.Beach.

The General International Rep. Joe Brakhage was setting one up and running samples.

I was pretty impressed, but I am easily impressed.

Although the concensus seems to be wait and buy a true CNC machine at twice (Stinger) it's price, but some of us just can't justify that expense for playing in a home shop, even when we can afford to buy a larger one.

You know buy a new car or buy a new CNC, my choice would be obvious, but wouldnt' be back by the LOML.

I had a good 20 minute one on one conversation with him. (Do a web search and you can find a video of him showing the machine.) He is a really nice guy.

He said this machine was being manufactured in Canada, but they would be releasing a more entry level machine at half the price, but that model would be off-shored manufactured to reach that price point.

Rob

rob i am sure the rep is informed by the people he reps, yet as a matter of note the icarver is the reincarnated jinhan china machine manufactured with the dsp controller, the versions of this are used on many of the china machines including the 1325 marketed by laguna (along with a variety of other sales ops in the us) the icarver general showed at iwf was manufactured in china i would bet the one you saw was too. they have apparently lowered the price as they initially tried to sell the machine in the 9000.00 range,

oliver is also trying to rep this model, it could be a good hobby machine
and at this point i am real partial to american manufacturing and how i can help to invigorate it (in my own little way) the mach controllers usually sold with these machines generally has the same serial number on many because the chinese think nothing of bootlegging it, also if the dsp blinks then what?

this should look familiar (ask them what they want for it!!)

http://www.olivermachinery.net/index.php?node=machines&type_id=13&model=1015

Brandon MacDougall
11-06-2010, 10:31 PM
the carve wright software is easy to import stuff but it is pretty limited. and you can't begin to draw with it as you can vcarve. can't import dxf files or much of anything else. can somewhat vcarve text but not anything else. Myself I found the software pretty limited. but I have been using vcarve for over a year so thats part of it.

Steve,

LHR software in not limited at all.. the spline based tools and 2D merging are a joy to use also you can inport large detailed *.STL , *.DFX, PNG, BMP and JPeg until the cows come home.

for the 3D work i use Lightwave 3D then use LHR's "STL" program for the Carvewright, lighting fast BTW and then carve my designs.




http://www.liquidguitars.com/assets/images/ElectricViolinNA5R001.jpg


LHR have been adding some new tools lately one I use is conform vectors. Here in this image you can see that i added frets to the instruments i build..

http://www.liquidguitars.com/assets/images/ViolinCarvingR002.jpg

Rob Damon
11-07-2010, 12:17 AM
rob i am sure the rep is informed by the people he reps, yet as a matter of note the icarver is the reincarnated jinhan china machine manufactured with the dsp controller, this should look familiar (ask them what they want for it!!)

http://www.olivermachinery.net/index.php?node=machines&type_id=13&model=1015

James, it does look close, just a few different cosmetic changes between them. I am going to head over tomorrow for a visit with Keith.

I am sure it will be an eye opener.

I think I will email the rep and see if he knows the difference between the two models and if he was sure that the General is being made in Canada.

Rob

Fred Floyd
11-07-2010, 1:04 AM
The free shipping says it's good til 11/10. It is only on internet orders. When I selected the Shark Pro Plus it put in a promo code and shipping was free -- though they did add $65.00 special oversize charge anyway.

With tax, it came to a few pennies under $4000.

Keith Outten
11-07-2010, 8:13 AM
I would have reservantions about a machine that only weighed 132 pounds based on my experience with two other machines that are much heavier. I would also bet that the 15" by 20" table would be a serious limiting factor real quick, even in a hobby shop.

For another $1,500.00 you can get a much heavier American made machine with a welded steel frame and a selection of router motors/spindles to choose from that is built to run for hours. Long run times are common with these machines, they need to be built to withstand extended run times or they become sea anchors weights real quick IMO.
.

Mike Heidrick
11-07-2010, 10:18 PM
Having seen a shark at a rockler distributor I can say that it is not much more than a MDF built machine with a cheaply constructed controller. No offense to any owners of them but no way is that a deal at $4K. That is also why they only weigh 130lbs or so I am guessing.

The stinger picture here look good and if you must buy a machine and want a smaller foot print then the stinger would be a great solution of you can pony up the $ for one. If you are spending the $4K for a shark then save the bit more for a stinger for sure.

BTW - I have run 8+ hours on my hitachi $100 M12VC router with zero issues with accuracy or heat. YMMV. I have not bought a spindle yet.

Where does one buy HSD spindles anyway (is that the corrrect name for them?)? seems to be the spindle of choice of many industrial built machines.

Gerry Grzadzinski
11-07-2010, 11:50 PM
Where does one buy HSD spindles anyway (is that the corrrect name for them?)? seems to be the spindle of choice of many industrial built machines.

Try HSD-USA in Florida. They don't seem to have a website anymore, but their number can be found on HSD's main Italian website. Or just Google HSD USA.

Mike Heidrick
11-08-2010, 12:14 AM
Thank you Gerry!