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Thread: Cnc Shark HD4

  1. #1
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    Cnc Shark HD4

    I am struggling to find any feedback on this model other than a guy on YouTube who had a severely chapped bottom for six week delivery of the machine. For $4-5000, it seems like a poor choice, but there is one locally for half. Has the water cooled spindle too. Other than lacking a ton of rigidity, is this worth dabbling with?

  2. #2
    The best advice.... Buy your second machine first. Why waste money and time on a machine that won't do the job?

  3. #3
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    You are saying this model is bad? Just looking around, $5k seems like a decent price point for smaller benchtop machines. I believe the stinger I is about 5-6k. The laguna IQ receives somewhat mixed reviews, but is in that price range. Reading and watching other peopleís impressions those machines have their short comings, but are good starter tools. For $2k for this hd4, Iím kinda looking for warning lights of why not to do it. Seems like a decent little machine for 2x2 cutting surface.

  4. #4
    I typed out a response and it didn't post it so here it is again. I had a Shark. They are by no means a rigid machine which will end up causing you to have to do a lot of work to clean up tool marks. I generally spent more time sanding the items that I made than the time the machine spent making them. My new machine, I can pocket a vcarving and have a glass smooth bottom with no tool marks and I spend virtually no time with sanding problem areas. There is a youtube video that someone made where he videos the flex that the machine has in the gantry and the assembly in the Z axis. That flex is what was causing me to have such bad cuts. It is ok if you just want more of a toy as a hobby. If you want more of a tool to make things to sell, there are way too many options out there.

    Even if it costs you a little more upfront, Gerry gave solid advise. After my experience with one I could never recommend that anyone buy one.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Kane View Post
    You are saying this model is bad? Just looking around, $5k seems like a decent price point for smaller benchtop machines. I believe the stinger I is about 5-6k. The laguna IQ receives somewhat mixed reviews, but is in that price range. Reading and watching other people’s impressions those machines have their short comings, but are good starter tools. For $2k for this hd4, I’m kinda looking for warning lights of why not to do it. Seems like a decent little machine for 2x2 cutting surface.
    Stinger one is built like a tank compared to a shark. It was welded steel frame and thick heavy gantry. You could stand on it and not hurt it. Laguna is a solid machine as far as construction but it is a rebranded Chinese machine that has cheaper components in it and the software causes issues for some users and that is why their reviews are lower. Machines like the Camaster hold their value and don't get offered for sale often because they are good. Usually the only reason that I see people sell them is because they want a larger machine.

    The purpose of using a CNC is accuracy and repeatability. The way you achieve that is by making one that is rigid so the tool does not flex when cutting and have motors that are strong enough to power the axis thru the cuts. I had my Shark dive the tool into the material (my mistake) and all that I saw was the gantry starting to flex so much that I thought it was going to snap. The 1/4" bit (which should be the weak link in the chain) never bent or broke. Now that I use a welded steel machine with a steel gantry, looking at it you never see it even get slowed down if you do something wrong. the bit will snap lie a toothpick.

    I paid $4500 for my Shark when I bought it new. A few months later I went to a class that had a Stinger 1 on display cutting. I saw that they weren't in the same class.

  6. #6
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    Don't buy a 2x2 foot anything. At least a 2x4 to start, Shark makes them out out plastic and aluminum. Liston to the guys on here and get something solid to use.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies, i was out of state for the last few days. Didnt want it to seem like i started a thread and then left the site. The rigidity comment is a point ive overlooked slightly. From the standpoint of consistency atleast. If multiple passes leave little ridges and tools marks, then that will be a complete PITA. By no means did i expect the machine to mill aluminum or thick material. I did see the video of the guy reviewing a shark and grabbing the gantry. I wasnt there to get a feel for if he was exerting 25lbs of pressure or 150lbs, but it was definitely flexing like 1/2", which seemed kinda crazy. For people that spent $4,000-5,000 on this model, it just doesnt seem to be in the same ballpark as some other entry models. It turns out the prices arent comparable either, i went back and looked and the Stinger I starts at $7k. Shopbot desktops are somewhere in the $8-10k range. As well intentioned as the advice is, i wont be spending 7-10k on a cnc anytime soon. Heck, i wont be spending $5k on one anytime soon. With baby #1 about 6 months out, i dont see myself living in the shop as much as i have. That money is much better suited in an investment account than in 500lbs of steel in my shop.

    I guess all of these requests for opinions/advice on tooling end the same way. I have a 20" jointer so i naturally tell everyone to get atleast a 12" machine, but that doesnt meant a DJ-20 is a machine not worth owning. I made a bit of money and a few pieces of furniture on one for a year. I guess the real question I should be asking is if a $2,000 cnc is worth owning? Cause so far, it doesnt seem like any machine in that price point is worth owning. Ive read my share of machine threads, and they all begin and end the same way. Spend $7-10k, or prepare to be disappointed.

    Yeah, Bill, 24x24 is lame, but really i think anything less than 3x4 or 4x4 is probably a hindrance. I know there is tiling etc, but being constrained to 24" on any axis is kinda narrow. For this initial dipping my toe in the water phase, i really just want to engrave some numbers, letters, logos, and maybe cut out templates. I have a really well-equipped conventional shop, and this is more or less something to add details to projects im already doing.

  8. #8
    If it is all you can afford then it is usable. You can make some nice things with it but you have to understand that lack of rigidity will make you have to slow down your cuts drastically. The tool marks, I don’t know if you’ll ever be able to stop those. I ended up running files twice just slightly lowering the Z axis .01 or less. It would come out cleaner but still a lot of cleanup on what i was doing. The going rate for the shark used seems to be around $2000 from my experience but that is normally with extras. You might look into some of the DIY kits and see if any of them are in your price range as you’d probably have a better machine. Lots of people build their own so you can find a good deal of help from forums. Like any other tool you get what you pay for but you can still work with cheap ones as long as you know their limitations.

    As as far as the video, he put some pressure in pushing on it but the machine will do that itself to an extent as it is cutting. Using the wrench to tighten the tooling will show obvious deflection. Like I mentioned earlier there are a lot of people using them and are satisfied I just wasn’t one of them.

  9. #9
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    Rather than the used Shark for that much money, given what you've been hearing, if you want to get into CNC to learn and enjoy, consider the largest Shapeoko for an entry level machine for under two grand, not including the computer you provide. You can upgrade to a Camaster or similar once you find you can't live without a sturdy CNC machine. Alternatively, used Stinger I machines come up with reasonable frequency as folks upgrade like someone already mentioned. Join the Camheads forum so you can both learn and keep your eye on the Classifieds.
    --

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

  10. #10
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    I purchased a very nice 6040 Chinese machine from Automation Technology. Had about $2500 in it but it only did 22 x 14 or so. It was very solid, used Mach 3 for control and aside from being too small it was fine, had a VFD and spindle.
    Sold it, and now have a much larger machine.
    Last edited by Bill George; 05-13-2019 at 10:14 PM.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  11. #11
    Shapeoko is suppose to be a pretty good entry level machine. I didn’t know that they were priced that low. I’d much rather have one of those over the shark. I always hear good things about them.

  12. #12
    Winston Moy seems to get along just fine with his Shapeoko, even cuts brass and aluminum.

    David
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  13. #13
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    One option you don't see posted in this forum often are CNC Router Parts machines. You can put a really decent machine together right at that $5K mark. Or, you can do some sourcing that will save you quite a bit of change and use their key components. That is what I did. For right at $3K I have a 3X4 machine with 10inches of Z travel that rapids at 600IPM and easily cuts at 350 IPM (.5 dia EM, .25 DOC).

    The BEST part of a machine like this is that it is easy to alter it as your needs change. Look up Frank Howarth on You Tube and browse through his videos for info on these machines.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY8v...b&index=8&t=0s
    Last edited by Ted Reischl; 05-14-2019 at 8:39 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Falkner View Post
    Winston Moy seems to get along just fine with his Shapeoko, even cuts brass and aluminum.

    David
    Yes, Winston is a pretty skilled guy and gets "beyond the most" out of his machines. That's probably a big reason that Shapeoko hired him and convinced him to move to the left-coast from New Jersey not long ago. I really admire his skills and have learned a lot from watching his videos, even though I don't use Fusion360.

    It should be noted that when he's cutting aluminum and brass, he's taking "tiny bites" and is always working on ways to get the best finish possible.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 05-14-2019 at 9:42 AM.
    --

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

  15. #15
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    Im interested in the Shapeoko as well. I even posted about that model awhile ago too, and got similar responses. Winston's videos plainly showcase the shortcomings of small/hobby machines. The finish quality isnt that great off his machine. I think it was the coaster video, or some plaques for a company that made it apparent that the Shapeoko is not up to the task of milling aluminum quickly or efficiently. Nor was it particularly consistent, if i remember correctly. But, the point is it can be done somewhat well on a small and slow scale. If he was making a set of 4-8 for his personal use, then i think the Shapeoko would be tolerable. It is cringe-worthy watching videos of milling aluminum on small machines. The sound and cut quality is awful in most cases.

    I would need to learn more about the build process before diving into CNC router parts.

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