Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: First CNC, size and mobility

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
    Posts
    2,283

    First CNC, size and mobility

    Jumping down the CNC rabbit hole soon. My 2 choices I have narrowed to are a shop sabre (very close to me for location so I chose them over Camaster) or do a build and save some money with an Avid CNC router parts machine.

    So with that said,

    1. 4x8 or 5x10 what is the reasoning I would want a 5x10 machine? I do plan on cutting cabinet parts from 4x8 sheet stock if that matters.
    2. Can these units be somewhat mobile? Meaning can it be mounted on casters so it can pushed in the corner when not in use or is that not an option.
    A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.

  2. #2
    If you don't plan on working with larger sheet stock, stick with a 4x8 machine and save $ and space. If you think you will need to work with larger sheets or tile parts for larger projects, buy the extra capacity up front.

    I would not move a full size machine around on the regular. It needs to be accurately leveled and solid in use. If you have to have it moveable use heavy Zambus type casters that will give you a sturdy foundation- you don't want the thing wobbling while cutting.

    If you like tinkering build your own. You will know the machine's nuts and bolts intimately. If you want a warrantied machine ready to go with factory support buy the Shop Sabre.

  3. #3
    1.- Get the 5. Useful for 5x5 BBirch sheets, but also serves as a solid wood processing area on my machine. Vac hold-down zones arranged accordingly. Others have even used that extra foot to mount a lathe for 3D work/spindles, etc. You won't regret having the extra width, though in your case, it appears you have to accept the extra length as well (?). Relatively rare to need 10' unless you're fabricating countertops and/or using tons of high dollar, odd-sized European laminates. Sounds like space is a concern, so check if a 96x60 is an option.
    2.- Don't even think about mobility. Set it and do not touch. Wheels and other conveyances will simply drive you mad, as the table levels change every fraction of an inch you move the machine. Only exception would be like a ShopBot Buddy, as it has a fixed gantry where the table is motorized for X movement and factory has designed it for such mobility.
    You need a rock solid foundation with as little vibration as possible.

    Good luck - it's exciting - a real game changer, and source of years of inspiration!
    Can't imagine being in business without one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    951
    Frank Howarth has some nice videos showing his Avic CNC build along with extending his table to 12 ft. for custom work. I own 2 of these tables - one original CNC Router Parts and one Avid CNC. I love them!
    David

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY8v0j6uEJc


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygND7TFziF8

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    57,857
    5" width lets you cut on 5x5 BB stock or that rare need for 5x8 or 5x10 stock for a project. My machine is 4x4 (actually 49" x 50" cutting) and there have been a few times I wished I had 5x5 because of the BB.

    As to mobility, when you get up to these sizes, they are not "mobile" and honestly shouldn't be. These bigger machines move faster and stop faster, so gantry motion can cause movement. Further, you need to carefully level them. The ShopSabre would be "easier" to make mobile than the AVID because it likely only has four points of contact with the floor. The AVID is going to have many points of contact with the floor. I do have casters for my Camaster machine, but they only get installed for actually moving it like I did recently between our old property and our new one. The only other time they were on the machine was when I used them to get it into my old shop after delivery.
    --

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    951
    Avid 4x8 will have 6 points of contact to floor, as opposed to 4 points of contact for their 4x4.
    David
    PRO4896_21.1_rtc_4hp_800.jpg

  7. #7
    Not sure which models your looking at but a 408 Pro has a 60" x 100" capacity which gets you to 5x9 and can be a sweet spot when space is a concern. 408 Pro we have is a tank but Im not sure I'd ever consider rolling it around. Rapids are fast enough that I can imagine anything other than a solid seat on the floor keeping it level and staying put. With the 408, depending on the work you do if your going to regularly cut 5' material you'd want to extend a vac zone out to the 5' area that is not vac'd but I cut 5' sheets regularly and often times run two sheets of solid surface side by side without issue but thats not cutting a lot of small thu-cut parts. The 60" width is a welcome capacity for sure but if your space crunched your stuck.

    Have no idea about your situation but my guess is any notion your having of needing to move the machine around or out of the way will be long gone once you get it. You'll bend any needs to move the machine around the advantages of having it and just leave it put working.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    The ShopSabre would be "easier" to make mobile than the AVID because it likely only has four points of contact with the floor.
    408pro has six
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
    Posts
    2,283
    Good info Mark, I'd be cutting some BB 5x5 sheets for drawer parts so knowing that the pro408 can handle that is very important to me as that is the machine I have a quote on. I'm not really in a crunch for space, my shop is 40x60 so I have room. For some reason I had an image stuck in my head of a couple of CNC's with casters on the feet, I thought it would be nice to roll it aside when not in use but certainly not a deal breaker.
    A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    57,857
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    408pro has six
    Thanks for that clarification...appreciated.

    ----

    Jeff, even hefty casters have a "tiny" footprint in contact with the floor compared to the machines normal foot-pads. I suspect quality of cut would go down the tubes quickly from movement/vibration. Like I indicated, I do have nice casters for my machine, but leave them off. A simple, cheap scissor jack with an old cordless drill let's me reinstall and remove them relatively quickly if I really needed to move my machine. Given that particular ShopSabre apparently has six legs...'not sure that casters would even be a reasonable option other than for infrequent shop rearrangement, assuming the machine is ok to be supported just on the four corners for that. A forklift might be the solution there!! LOL
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 07-15-2021 at 1:07 PM.
    --

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    951
    You could use retracting casters with separate adjustable leveling pads. You would still most likely need to level your table each time you move it, or at least when you move it back to the floor location where you will be using it. But I agree with the others that once you have it in the working position, you will most likely never be moving it around in your shop or garage.
    David

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    black river falls wisconsin
    Posts
    879
    well 1 thing did like about ss is they actually included leveling feet with the cnc.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    951
    Quote Originally Posted by eugene thomas View Post
    well 1 thing did like about ss is they actually included leveling feet with the cnc.

    My Avid CNC tables came with leveling feet as well. These make it very easy to adjust and level - very handy indeed!
    David

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    57,857
    Quote Originally Posted by David Buchhauser View Post
    My Avid CNC tables came with leveling feet as well. These make it very easy to adjust and level - very handy indeed!
    David
    If you think about, it, AVID's design really needs that capability because of how it's assembled from pieces where there can always be minor variations as you drive fasteners, etc. It's an important design element for the AVID machine. Let me be clear, this is not a bad thing or disadvantage...it's a necessary and important feature. The heavier welded base machines presumably are flat and coplanar at the time of manufacture so there's less adjustment needed (hopefully!) at the customer site. I personally prefer shims because the weight is spread over the entire footpad that's on the floor. Adjustable leveling feet are convenient, but all the weight is on the stem of the leveler...typically something like a 3/4" x10 threaded stem for the size of machines being discussed. THat's pretty strong, for sure, but it's not nearly as strong as the CNC machine's actual leg and feet. I'm guessing there is less chance of vibration, too, from the larger footprint.
    --

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

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Monson View Post
    Good info Mark, I'd be cutting some BB 5x5 sheets for drawer parts so knowing that the pro408 can handle that is very important to me as that is the machine I have a quote on. I'm not really in a crunch for space, my shop is 40x60 so I have room. For some reason I had an image stuck in my head of a couple of CNC's with casters on the feet, I thought it would be nice to roll it aside when not in use but certainly not a deal breaker.
    If your going to be doing any critical work out in that 4-5' zone you'd be wise to either ask SS about extending the vac' out there adding an extra valved zone. My machine has pins for 4x8 and Im assuming you'd lose the pins for 5x material (we dont use the pins on 5x) but the bigger issue that kinda sucks for us was losing access to 5x MDF so the only option for a spoil board was to glue up which was a pain. When I need to run semi-critical 5' material now I just double stick a scrap of MDF in the 4-5' area and deck it off with the spoil board cutter but I have no vac out there so critical work, miter fold, small parts, are a no-go. Ive come close to cutting 2 more zones over there dozens of times but its not a regular enough need to have pulled the plug.

    If your really going to be running 5' material regularly and want pins I'd say youll be best with a 5' machine. I struggled with it heavily when buying but Ive just not had regular enough need. Working with solid surface a lot I wish I had a 12' machine but at that point 5x12 would be a no brainer. No room. My shop is only 4k sq'.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •