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Thread: First CNC

  1. #1
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    First CNC

    For those of you that are DIY or hobbyists and not into mass production for sale, what machine would you recommend? I am in the 3-5k range willing to spend full out. I have seen some machines where a laser can be added, I am assuming as an etcher or engraver, which would be nice if it works well. The best I have seen online may be the onefinity which I will see at a WW show this weekend in Austin. Everything I have read says dont go cheap or small as you will regret it within six months. Truth? I was looking at a 48 x 48 or 48 x 32 but here is only $300 delta there. Thoughts and impressions?
    Tim in Hill Country of Texas

  2. #2
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    OneFinity has multiple owners here at SMC. There are a number of discussion threads.

    Of the sizes you mention, do the four by four. It's more versatile and only adds one more foot to the footprint, as it were.

    The add on lasers are good for incidental engraving...they are not generally good for "cutting". Further, it's nearly impossible to properly direct ventilate an add-on laser on a CNC, so that needs to be taken into consideration within the workshop to maintain good air health. Lasers burn which creates smoke.
    --

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

  3. #3
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    I agree with Jim. OneFinity (Elite series) is a good choice. A second option is the Shapeoko 5 Pro. Personally I'd get a spindle right off the bat, but that's me. For size, 48x48 is what I'd get, but if you don't see yourself doing much beyond 32 and space is limited in your shop, you can still do quite a bit with 48x32.

  4. #4
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    1F has a booth at the Texas Woodworking show this weekend and hope they have good set up and can answer questions. One I have now, I know the base comes with a setup for a Makita router. What do you use with a spindle?

  5. #5
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    A spindle is held either similarly to the router motor or by directly bolting to a plate that moves with the Z axis...'depends upon the specific spindle. My understanding from other conversations here in this very forum area is that 1F offers multiple sized mounts for spindles.
    --

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

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim walker View Post
    1F has a booth at the Texas Woodworking show this weekend and hope they have good set up and can answer questions. One I have now, I know the base comes with a setup for a Makita router. What do you use with a spindle?
    You can order it with an 80mm mount that will accept a standard spindle. Then you just add a spindle. A couple budget friendly ones are below, but you can go nuts here if you want

    I've seen many use this one.

    https://www.amazon.com/Spindle-Kits%...078HRTBZ7&th=1

    I'm not a huge fan of water cooled, so I'd probably look at something like this if you have 240V somewhere (runs cooler, same/more power)

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0785QKYT6...T1zcF9kZXRhaWw

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Burnside View Post
    You can order it with an 80mm mount that will accept a standard spindle.
    'Have to be careful with the term "standard spindle"...some, like the HSD that I have are not even round. (except the business end, of course) But yes, apparently many of the spindles that folks tend to choose for that particular machine require an 80mm round mount.
    --

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

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    'Have to be careful with the term "standard spindle"...some, like the HSD that I have are not even round. (except the business end, of course) But yes, apparently many of the spindles that folks tend to choose for that particular machine require an 80mm round mount.
    Yes, thank you. By standard I meant any vanilla 80mm collar mounted spindle. The 80mm size seems to be the most common across a wide range of manufactuers. You're right, my HSD is square and is actually mounted to a billet block that is mounted to the z-axis. That would definitely not work! Hopefully the OP follows the links I provided

  9. #9
    It all depends on what you want to do. I bought a 24x48 and I rarely use more than 24x24 (12x12 maybe?). Sometimes. I regret the larger footprint (my shop is small), but its there if I need it.

    I have an AVID 'standard' machine that I use a Bosch 1617 router on. I have been using this setup since 2016 and have had no issues with it. Let me qualify my response....I too am a hobby woodworker. I use my machine for making all sort of things like templates, parts for jigs, vinyl cutting, engraving (marble, metal, glass, etc.), circuit boards, cork, felt, linoleum, brass, aluminum, etc. I very rarely use it for plywood (not a fan). I do use a lot of MDF for jigs, templates, etc. I rarely do any "3D work (not a fan either - and it is SLOW!).

    I have never felt the need to upgrade to a spindle for what I do. The Bosch has been an incredible workhorse!

    The AVID standard is still on their web site. You have to dig. I made my own base out of 2x4's. I added the sensor kit too.

    https://www.avidcnc.com/crp4824-4-x-...kit-p-164.html

    I use MACH4 and Vcarve pro.

    Something to consider when planning your budget is all the extras. The software, bits, power strips, base material, spillboard material, etc, etc. It adds up in a hurry! Oh, nice thing about my setup too is that it only draws around 6-8 Amps. I also bought a fancy power strip (not what you can but at Home Depot!).

    One thing I did when researching was dig around the forums for the different machines I was interested in and read what/if problems were being discussed. What folks where doing with them, etc.

    I haven't added a laser as I have not had the need. However, I have done lots of engraving with those little cheap 30 bits from ebay. They will work on anything! I also bought a diamond drag tool. That's been fun to play with. A drag knife is handy as well.

    Anyway, good luck with your search. Once you get one, you will be amazed at the things you come up with to use it for.

    Tony

    This was my last big project. I made bunches of jigs, templates, cauls, etc. for this one using the Avid machine.

    IMG_5469 (Small).JPG

    I just saw this pic looking for that last one. A good example of CNC stuff...all the parts were cut out using the CNC. The ruler was made using a stencil made with the drag knife. This is a clock, btw. There is a stepper motor behind it that moves a cursor along to show the time. Looks better with paint!
    IMG_4837 (Small).JPG

    So, I wouldn't go "cheap" (which is all relative), but you don't need a $10k machine to do a lot of neat stuff! I really don't think I've ever used the full 48" of my machine. If I did, I have forgotten. Folks are doing incredible work with the small desktop models as well.

    Oh, and don't forget to consider dust collection too.

    Tony

  10. #10
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    Tony - thanks for your report on your Avid setup. Lots of great information there! Also, I wasn't aware that Avid was still offering the non "Pro" model, but very good to know for future reference.

    David

  11. #11
    You might make sure that they are indeed. I noticed there is no link on their main page.

    One last thought...a wireless keypad - a numeric type (<$20 on Amazon) makes a nice carry around controller for jogging. Oh, and the Avid Z zero setup is a good investment. I made one, but I like theirs better. Oh, and this setup does great on plastics, acrylic, etc. I've milled various electronic boxes for my elecronics projects - panels and such. Did a nice job on a dust shoe out of 1/2" plexi or lexan or whatever it was I used.

    If you go with Vcarve, their forums are great. I've learned a ton of things there just browsing. And there are some very helpful and knowledgeable folks willing to answer questions there.

    Ok, I'll shut up now.


    Tony

  12. #12
    I put in an order for a bulkman ultimate bee about a month ago so still have a little time on shipping.

    Was looking for a rail based ballscrew machine for running 4'+ plus wide slabs and this looks to fit the bill. gonna be a while til I have it together though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Leonard View Post
    You might make sure that they are indeed. I noticed there is no link on their main page.

    Oh, and the Avid Z zero setup is a good investment. I made one, but I like theirs better.


    Tony
    Tony - Yes they still offer the "regular" non-Pro kits. They used to be at the top of the main page right under the Pro series router kits. But I see they have now hidden them under the category "Other Parts". That makes no sense to me, but I suppose they would rather sell their higher priced kits. I have one of the Avid Z zero touch plates and it does work great.

    David

    Avid - Other parts.jpg

  14. #14
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    I happened upon these guys on YouTube and noticed they have what appears to be a very nice spindle kit for various CNC machines, including OneFinity.

    https://pwncnc.com/

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Burnside View Post
    I happened upon these guys on YouTube and noticed they have what appears to be a very nice spindle kit for various CNC machines, including OneFinity.

    https://pwncnc.com/
    Pwncnc is also very close to having an auto tool changer product for 1F, and probably other, brand machines. There was a link to a short video showing it going thru its paces, but the video has since been taken down. When I upgrade to spindle from router, I hope to go all the way to ATC as well.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

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