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Forum topic by cnchopeful posted 01-27-2020 10:19 PM 209 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cnchopeful

2 posts in 23 days


01-27-2020 10:19 PM

Hello. I am a woodworker and am interested in buying a cnc router. I have a few questions. My first one is do you have to have a temperature controlled shop? My shop is in my garage and I have an electric heater and a window ac unit, but I only use them when I am out there. I don’t leave them on at a certain temperature all the time. Any comments or help?


3 replies so far

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Madmark2

830 posts in 1221 days


#1 posted 01-27-2020 10:43 PM

The only temp limits are the computer. It doesn’t mind cold but doesn’t like hot. Generally if you’re comfortable the equipment is too.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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cnchopeful

2 posts in 23 days


#2 posted 01-27-2020 10:49 PM

Thanks for your input. While I have you, can you suggest a cnc router machine for under $1,000? I’ve been researching, but there are so many out there. I want to spend my money wisely.

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Madmark2

830 posts in 1221 days


#3 posted 01-27-2020 11:59 PM

The lowest I’ve seen a machine worth having is $2500 or so. Get the largest bed CNC you can afford. The last one I had used a PC 693 router. We cut aluminum panels with it using a solid carbide single spur spiral upcut bit – $30 each. We added a spray coolant nozzle to keep the temp down and cut tons of panels with this rig.

You also need a dedicated PC to run the CNC control software (normally MACH3). You’ll need a drafting package that outputs gcode that mach3 in turn sends to the hardware (CNC controller). If you don’t have a CADCAM package then you’ll be making gcode files in a text editor. Gcode is old, obscure technology that can be understood by anyone who can read dimensions off a drawing. The commands are like Go x,y,z to move and then Mxx to turn on the motor, Gxx to drill etc. Naturally the hardware controller has to have wiring to the motors, pumps, etc.

Mach3 shows the projected run time and is accurate to the second. Mach3 also has a simulator so you can test your gcode without breaking bits. I wrote an autoCAD .DXF file to gcode converter so I could draw something, save and convert it, walk to the machine room and make what I had drawn.

YMMV

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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