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Thread: Which 4x8 commercial CNC?

  1. #1
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    Which 4x8 commercial CNC?

    I've been researching CNC machines and am ready to purchase the Camaster Cobra Elite 408. This is a very expensive machine and before I make the final purchase early this week, I was wondering from others if this machine / company is the best in this class / price range i.e. 50K or so...

    I've got ATC, VAC etc on the quote already.

    I've briefly skimmed Shopbot, Legacy and the machines do not look nearly as robust as the Camaster. I've only briefly looked over Laguna Tools, which imo is the closest one to Camaster.

    Any and all thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    You haven't said where you live but I live withing 3 hours of Camaster. They invited me to come over and check out the machines and the people who engineer and build them. I did. I bought a smaller machine on the spot. If it is possible, I suggest you do the same thing. It might give you more confidence in your decision.

  3. #3
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    Camaster has a very good reputation, AFAIK. They are on my "short list" right now, albeit for a smaller machine.
    --

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

  4. #4
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    I have the smaller Camaster Stinger. It has been a rock solid machine. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

    Jim, I’m glad you’re looking at Camaster. Cry once..
    Please help support the Creek.

    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
    - Steven Wright

  5. #5
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    I also own a CAMaster CNC Router and I have been friends with the guys who started the company for many years. I have met with the current owner many times and I know most of the guys who design, build and provide tech support for their machines. They are a good solid company with friendly people who will be with you every step of the way. Their welded frames are impresssive.

    My first CNC Router was a ShopBot PRT Alpha. I met Ted Hall, the owner of ShopBot, many times and I also knew the majority of his staff during the years I owned one of their machines. ShopBot is also a good solid company and they sell more CNC machines than any other company, that speaks for itself. I was a speaker at a couple of the ShopBot Jamborees in the past and attended as many as I could. I also attended the local ShopBot Camps for years in my area which allowed me to meet many of Ted's staff and lots of other owners.

    Both of these companies are worthy of your business and have acquired an impressive following of owners. Visit their Forums and get to know both companies in person, it might make your decision easier once you start looking at the machines they offer. If you can visit both of their companies you will definately be treated like family before and after your purchase.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Page View Post
    I have the smaller Camaster Stinger. It has been a rock solid machine. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

    Jim, I’m glad you’re looking at Camaster. Cry once..
    I think it's pretty much between the Axiom AR8 Elite or one of the the Camaster Stinger I machines. Both are worthy and capable machines in the 2'x4' size catagory. They each have some unique features that are appealing to me.
    --

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

  7. #7
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    Jim,



    Is the frame on the Axiom machine welded? Their specs say its steel but they might mean that its a sheet metal frame. All of the CAMaster routers have welded heavy wall box steel frames and thats important.

    .

  8. Yes, their stand is welded. I have been extremely happy with my purchased of both stand and tool box. My oldest son,whose hobby is with metal machining, gave it a definite thumbs up on build quality. He's the one that helped me set it up. We lowered the CNC on the stand with an 'A' frame. It's built like a tank.

  9. #9
    Jim, what do you see as the relative merits and shortcomings (if any) of the Camaster vs the Axiom?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard newman View Post
    Jim, what do you see as the relative merits and shortcomings (if any) of the Camaster vs the Axiom?
    For "me", the Axiom AR8 Elite not requiring a computer in my shop is a plus (space and usability) and the 2.2kw (3hp) water cooled spindle and servo based movement also rates merit. A number of things that are standard on the AR8 Elite (and Pro) are optional on the Stinger. The Camaster is a heavier machine physically and has a longer history. Once I have my quote from Camaster, I can do a better comparison to see which machine is best for my own perceived needs and desires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Outten View Post

    Is the frame on the Axiom machine welded? Their specs say its steel but they might mean that its a sheet metal frame. All of the CAMaster routers have welded heavy wall box steel frames and thats important.
    Specs say "welded steel", but I can certainly look into this further as I'm still investigating and researching. The Stinger is heavier, I believe. This thing is not quite 800 lbs shipping weight, however, and there is a lot to like about it.




    That said, this isn't pertinent to the OP's ask about 4'x8' machines, per se, since one of the vendors I'm considering for my needs doesn't go that large. For him, Camaster is really a good choice to look at.
    --

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

  11. #11
    Personally my favorite is the Freedom Machine Tool Patriot router. Being a machinist by trade, and looking over all the router offerings for years at all the AWFS shows, for the money they are at the top of my list. Welded chassis, servo driven and a real industrial control, not some Mach 3 or oddball software.
    Brian Lamb
    Lamb Tool Works, Custom tools for woodworkers
    Equipment: Felder KF700 and AD741, Milltronics CNC Mill, Universal Laser X-600

  12. #12
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    The Freedom Patriot is in your price range and they have one of the most informative websites I have found from a technical standpoint. That machine does have all Fagor controls, which is one of the bigger names in the industrial world. I would also look seriously look at a Biesse Klever or Rover J, AXYZ, MultiCam, and you might be able to afford a Thermwood Cabinet 43. These last ones might push your budget north some, but there are reasons for that. Have you went and looked at any machines or talked in detail that use them?

    You can read all about how well CamMaster treats their customers on the Camheads forum. I think that could be a fine solution as well. Gary C. also has some very helpful stickies for first time buyers on the Camheads forum. Mark (member here) is very happy with his ShopSabre 408. I myself have a ShopSabre one down from Mark's.

    Can I ask what is your business focus and do you have three phase power? What one might recommend will be different for someone that is primarily a sign shop v. a Cabinet shop. If you are a cabinet shop you need to consider the software aspect now as well. Some machine manuf. have an all in one approach. VCarve will get you going, but if you have three or more employees you might want to consider one of the other packages.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Spotorno View Post
    I've been researching CNC machines and am ready to purchase the Camaster Cobra Elite 408. This is a very expensive machine and before I make the final purchase early this week, I was wondering from others if this machine / company is the best in this class / price range i.e. 50K or so...

    I've got ATC, VAC etc on the quote already.

    I've briefly skimmed Shopbot, Legacy and the machines do not look nearly as robust as the Camaster. I've only briefly looked over Laguna Tools, which imo is the closest one to Camaster.

    Any and all thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    What are you planning on doing with it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Shipton View Post
    The Freedom Patriot is in your price range and they have one of the most informative websites I have found from a technical standpoint. That machine does have all Fagor controls, which is one of the bigger names in the industrial world. I would also look seriously look at a Biesse Klever or Rover J, AXYZ, MultiCam, and you might be able to afford a Thermwood Cabinet 43. These last ones might push your budget north some, but there are reasons for that. Have you went and looked at any machines or talked in detail that use them?

    You can read all about how well CamMaster treats their customers on the Camheads forum. I think that could be a fine solution as well. Gary C. also has some very helpful stickies for first time buyers on the Camheads forum. Mark (member here) is very happy with his ShopSabre 408. I myself have a ShopSabre one down from Mark's.

    Can I ask what is your business focus and do you have three phase power? What one might recommend will be different for someone that is primarily a sign shop v. a Cabinet shop. If you are a cabinet shop you need to consider the software aspect now as well. Some machine manuf. have an all in one approach. VCarve will get you going, but if you have three or more employees you might want to consider one of the other packages.
    I have a Phase Perfect 20hp converter in the shop. My DC unit is approx 5.5hp ALKO 200 and it is 3ph so that leaves about 15hp remaining. I do make commercial cabinets i.e. kitchen / bathrooms. However, I do quite a few built in units, custom furniture etc. I have a 2x2 CNC Shark unit that I use, but it is just not big enough to make some of the templates I need. Additionally, I would like make custom signs, 3D carvings on some of my pieces.

    I was planning on getting a single phase 5hp ATC spindle (10 tools) and a 10HP - 3ph FTZ vacuum pump, laser pointer, phenolic top, mister option, popup pins and remote keypad. This keeps me under my 20hp limit on the converter.

    Pretty sure, with this machine, I could do custom cabinets if wish in the future.

    I am currently using Vectric Pro, I have investigated Mozaik Cabinet software to make sure my machine was listed and capable. I completely understand that this machine is probably overkill, but I have a nasty habit of having to buy machines twice and do not want to make that mistake again.

    I am a 2 man shop, me and my assistant.

    I have had bad luck with several of my machine purchases. I want to purchase one from a reputable co that stands by it's machine. For instance, my Martin table saw came damaged, 6 mo later and it is still not totally fixed, I have a pallet of parts in my shop waiting on the tech, my Kundig sander... well that was a story in itself, and there are more lol.

  15. #15
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    For cabinets I would be looking at a 5 X 8 or 5 X10 if I was spending that much.

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