CNC Learning Path #2: Onefinity and Tracking Costs

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Blog entry by Ramber posted 06-14-2022 07:31 PM 459 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Beginning CNC Thoughts Part 2 of CNC Learning Path series Part 3: Makita Switch Cover »

I thought it would be interesting to track the real cost of CNC and see if/when I can find my own “break even”. The TLDR (Too long didn’t read) is that I’m at $4726 in costs at this point.

For me, break even is the point when the projects pay for the cost of the hardware and material to get there. It is probably not a fair assessment as i’m not profiting, but for me this is a hobby and its just a way to track for fun. Also, there are a lot more costs to factor into a CNC than I was expecting and more than one late game surprise, so I hope this helps someone realize additional items to take into account when they budget.

My decision on onefinity really came down to – Near enough to my budget and, from what I can tell, its likely to be the most stable for maintaining accuracy in the price range due to the drive system.

I have one stall of a garage that sort of expands into the rest of the garage as I need it, so one of my desires was something that could either serve dual-duty (tabletop and cnc) or fold out of the way. I ended up going the folding route/

My first order was the onefinity system. I kind of went all in due to the folding ability. I’m a little worried about the lack of stability in the base, but it was a tradeoff I needed to make for storage.

$2329 – Onefinity Woodworker X50
$378 – Woodworker QCW – Secure from beneath ( I selected beneath because its folding so easy access and less machining of the wasteboard required
$368 – Folding leg kit
$93 – 3 axis Touch Probe – Ordered this a bit in ignorance. I am learning that maybe any probe can work, but I am not certain
$67 – Suckit Dust boot – I want to start out with dust control as part of my overall maintenance plan. Reviews on this are a bit mixed (sounds like it has risk of breaking) but I’ll see about making my own later on.

Two items are missing from this that they typically sell with the system
1) Monitor – Reviews of the 7” that they sell with the system aren’t good. The onefinity forum helped me identify what to look for in a monitor and I went with
$199- Gstory touch screen. I have an extra monitor and keyboard, but all reviews say that the touch screen is a must. – I’m going to have to have a future post on how I mount the monitor, i have no clue until I see how the system folds up.

2) Joystick – I have an extra corded xbox controller. I plan to see if that works first.

$3905 – Total order for the base machine

That doesn’t quite get us all the way. Still missing – Router, Bits, Spoil Board, Clamps, cable management, vacuum management.
$121 – Makita RT1701 is the universally agreed non-spindle solution.
$60 – Sheet of MDF 4×8’. I plan to use this for the spoil board as well as some initial test projects

$4086 – New total cost

I started with some general advice on bits along with looking at some of the operations I knew I would want.
My goals
1) Slab Flattening
2) Guitar specific (Long bits and very fine fret bit
3) general cutting – 1/4, 1/8
4) Inlay bit – small angle vbit
5) sign wording – Large angle vbit

With amana and Whiteside bits having libraries you can just pull in to Fusion 360, I opted to go for those, even though they were a little more pricey than generic

1) Slab Flattening – I liked the replaceable cutters and size on this
$140 –
2) Guitar Specific
$43 – Fret slot sized –
$63 – Deep cut
3) General Cutting
$80 of 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 from
$60 – Tapered Ball –
$31 – 1/4 down cut

4) inlay bit – $30 spectool vbit from amazon – I went cheaper here because I expect to mess up and break this.

5) Sign wording –
$30 – 90 degree replaceable cutter

Total Bits – $477

$4563 – New total cost

I’m using the 3d printer to get to the cable management in my wait-period. I am using
for the majority of it
With three pieces from here for the woodworker

I’m using up old filament, but for the sake of costs, lets call it
$30 Filament
$24 – Aluminum L channel
$36 – Drag Chain – The forums seem to suggest its not worth the cost/effort/quality to print your own drag chain.
$30 – Longer cables from Etsy that I believe are required with the cable runs.
$4683 – New total Cost

Ooops – Forgot that I purchased a Makita 1/8” collet for some of the generic bits

$4726 – Running Tally. My original expectation was $3500ish to get started, yikes.

I’m starting to look at hardware required to make my own clamps. I’ll add that price in a future post.
I’m also going to 3d print (once I understand what makes sense with my folding system) a dust boom arm, probe storage, wrench storage, router switch protection, who knows what more.

3 comments so far

View Joe Andrews's profile

Joe Andrews

110 posts in 3491 days

#1 posted 06-15-2022 05:59 PM

The costs do add up fast!

I have a few of those bits. The Amana 45711 slab flattening bit is great. However, I only use it for flattening hardwood slabs and not the MDF spoil board. I run it at 15000rpm and 180 IPM, taking about .05” per pass. My machine uses a 2.2kw spindle though so your settings will be different. For the spoil board, I got a cheap 1 1/2” cutter (~$25) from Amazon that works fine. You might want to order a few sets of the cutters just to have on hand. They are cheap enough!

The Amana 2248 90deg V bit with replaceable cutters is my favorite bit in the drawer. It makes the smoothest cuts of any I’ve tried.

I recently made some dulcimers and needed a fret slotting bit. Didn’t want to pay $40 for a single bit that I might break on the first pass, so I got a cheap set of 10 from Amazon for about $8. They worked out great, and only broke 2 on 6 fret boards (18 frets each).

View Phil32's profile


1797 posts in 1395 days

#2 posted 06-15-2022 06:30 PM

You’ve already talked me out of buying a CNC machine.

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

View Ramber's profile


5 posts in 2891 days

#3 posted 06-17-2022 03:11 PM


Do you have a link to the amazon fret bits? I would love to try them as I have the same fear about breaking the expensive one.

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