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Thread: Need Recommendations on Camaster stinger II, Shopsaber rc4/rc 8, Shopbot Prs Alpha

  1. #1

    Need Recommendations on Camaster stinger II, Shopsaber rc4/rc 8, Shopbot Prs Alpha

    Looking at my first cnc router. Been researching for a couple months (both here and on forums) and am looking at the following machines below. budget is up to 15k, would like at least 3'x4' up to 4x8 work area, and spindle rather than router. Using the machine for furniture part manufacturing and prototypes mostly on solid wood (1" to 2" solid wood material), possibly on laminated or veneered ply 3/4. Not planning to do many 3d designs to start and plan on making mostly 2d parts to start.
    ideally would love a machine that is (mostly) ready to go, but (somewhat) willing to build from a kit to get a few options out of my price range.
    Narrowed down my search to -Camaster stinger II 3 x 4 or 4 x 4. Options on this machine can make it get above my budget very quickly.
    -Shopsaber rc 4 or 8 (4 x 4)
    -Shopbot prs alpha
    -Cncrouterparts.com pro cnc kit 4x8 with the a controlbox, spindle, and a few of their options.

    Anyone who has experience with these machines, or something else to consider entirely would love to hear your feedback on them!

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
    Posts
    16,131
    I only have hands on experience with my Stinger I. I have had it since 04/2013 and it has been rock solid. Plug & Play at it’s best. Great support forum also.
    Please help support the Creek.


    Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves.
    - Carl Sagan


  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Page View Post
    I only have hands on experience with my Stinger I. I have had it since 04/2013 and it has been rock solid. Plug & Play at itís best. Great support forum also.
    i hear their tech support is great also. any experience with that? thanks for the response.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
    Posts
    16,131
    They were very responsive when I had a few questions setting it up, I have not had any issues since then. I am confident that they would be there if needed.
    Please help support the Creek.


    Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves.
    - Carl Sagan


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
    Posts
    4,332
    I have had my Shopbot since 2007 and it has been a very good machine the only problem I had was a lighting strike that came in through the ground. Even though everything was unplugged it followed the ground and fired all the ground wires

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    14,466
    I own a Stinger II now, mine was the first generation and they had some problems with motor shafts failing. Replaced the motors and the problem was solved. CAMaster made a lot of other changes on the Stingers since mine was built, they have a solid reputation and are as Bruce said pretty much plug and play machines. The welded frames put all CAMaster machines in a different class.

    My first CNC Router was a ShopBot PRT Alpha. I bought it when they first came out and although the frame was bolted together it was a good router capable of running all day long without fail. I operated a ShopBot PRT Alpha in the sign shop at Christopher Newport University for five years, it was a solid workhorse the same as mine. Last year I upgraded an old ShopBot PRT at our local high school. I installed the latest control box and updated their software plus I took the most of the machine apart to adjust it for plumb and square. Installed a new spoil board which was not installed properly and spent time teaching the shop teacher how to operate the machine.

    Now, one major item to consider is the software. ShopBot's software feeds the data from the computer to the control box continuously. I could not run any other program while the router was running. My CAMaster uses WinCNC which has an internal card that feeds data to the machine and I can run my laser engraver or design software while a CNC file is running. You can run a ShopBot with a laptop but not a CAMaster since it has to have a card inserted on the mainboard.

    You will find a lot of information about both of these machines in our archives here.
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 08-07-2017 at 9:30 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Cleveland OH
    Posts
    195
    Hey Robert

    You are completely right with going with a spindle over a Router - The speed and finish is 10x better. I would tend to stay away from the kits if your trying to push products out of the machine - Trouble shooting can take up as much time as cutting. If your making furniture parts check into a vacuum table, you can make them yourself or buy a unit that includes one, This is a must have in my shop because we mostly cut sheet goods. All three machines you have listed will do the job and are well know machines, also check out Laguna they offer a 4'x4' Swift Machine with vacuum for $14K - Make sure you get everything you need the first time around - Nothings worst than buying a machine that is too small or not fast enough for your purpose (Most machines loss 25-50% of there value in the first year but its a tax write off) - You want to make sure you have a machine that will be useful for a few years, selling a newer machine normally takes a huge hit from the original price.

    Best of Luck
    Last edited by Robert Bonenfant; 08-07-2017 at 12:19 PM.
    3X Camfive 1200 48" x 24" 100watt Tube
    Zcorp 450 3d Printer
    Laguna Smartshop 2 - 4x8 ATC

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by robert william View Post
    Looking at my first cnc router. Been researching for a couple months (both here and on forums) and am looking at the following machines below. budget is up to 15k, would like at least 3'x4' up to 4x8 work area, and spindle rather than router. Using the machine for furniture part manufacturing and prototypes mostly on solid wood (1" to 2" solid wood material), possibly on laminated or veneered ply 3/4. Not planning to do many 3d designs to start and plan on making mostly 2d parts to start.
    ideally would love a machine that is (mostly) ready to go, but (somewhat) willing to build from a kit to get a few options out of my price range.
    Narrowed down my search to -Camaster stinger II 3 x 4 or 4 x 4. Options on this machine can make it get above my budget very quickly.
    -Shopsaber rc 4 or 8 (4 x 4)
    -Shopbot prs alpha
    -Cncrouterparts.com pro cnc kit 4x8 with the a controlbox, spindle, and a few of their options.

    Anyone who has experience with these machines, or something else to consider entirely would love to hear your feedback on them!

    Thanks in advance.
    I dont have any experience with your specific machines but last year we took delivery of a ShopSabre 408Pro, 10 HP spindle, vac table, 10 position changer, and the customer support and service throughout the entire decision and buying process was phenomenal. After the machine landed they worked with us through the smallest of issues, which were always ours an not theirs. We have had ZERO issues with the machine since delivery other than operator error and as mentioned, they walked us through all of our screw ups.

    Machine is, in our opinon, way over built for the price.

    Our business model is keep it local/US which ShopSabre, CamMaster, etc. do. I honestly cant tell you how nice it is to call in there with a problem and within seconds, your on the line with one of the two hands on techs and they are walking you through your issue and before you know it your back to work (realizing it was your mistake to begin with).


    Just our $0.02.

  9. #9
    Hey Bruce! Noticed you're from New Mexico... company I work for is looking at buying a CAMaster (on my recommendation, based on posts like yours, hah!). Are you still happy with it? Would you still recommend them over Laguna / ShopSabre / Shopbot?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
    Posts
    16,131
    Hi Paul, welcome to SMC.
    Yes, I am still very happy with my Stinger and have had zero issues with it other than upgrading the PC's RAM to 8 gig's to increase pc performance. That said, I am retired and do not push it hard.
    Please help support the Creek.


    Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves.
    - Carl Sagan


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    62,111
    Of the four, I'd choose either the Camaster or the ShopSabre. Heavier, more industrial machines. I own a Camaster Stinger II SR44 and have for over four years. I love it other than I should have bought the other four feet. . Next in line would be the AVID...there's a lot for the money, but it's modular nature makes for a lighter weight machine. That's not an issue for many folks, but it's certainly a consideration. But it's also the most flexible of all of them you mention because you can reimagine and add to it easily over time.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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