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IndustryArena Forum > Events, Product Announcements Etc > Want To Buy...Need help! > Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking
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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    Happy Friday! This is Sam from Atlanta. Now y'all don't start laughing at me all at the same time while reading this ...

    We are a small family-owned and operated startup woodworking business and we are looking to get our first CNC to make wooden blocks and toys (high-level concept designs attached). We could do this with our traditional woodworking tools but we are looking for better productivity and efficiency and hence have decided to go procure a CNC. We won't be running the CNC 24x7 but it would run it for a full 8-hour shift, 6 days a week. We are not looking for an industrial-grade CNC, neither a beginner/hobbyist CNC, but a good enough one with which we can start and scale our production for at least 2 years.

    I looked at some of the expert threads and comments on this forum and felt totally illiterate but fathomed enough courage to post my request anyway.

    With so many CNC buying options out there, I would like your help and advice for us to buy our first CNC machine. Appreciate you reading this and looking forward to learning from y'all.

    If you are close to Atlanta, happy to meet and discuss. Open to online consulting/advisory options as it would be important capital expenditure for us and we would like to get it right.

    Thank you!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Wooden Toy.jpg   Wooden Blocks.jpg  

  2. #2
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    What work area do you need?

    Budget?

    Are you willing to buy a used machine?
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  3. #3
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    Hey Jim -

    Work area - 3' x 3' would do (would prefer expandable config)
    Budget - 10k, flexible for the right machine. Need to get it right.
    Yes, willing to buy a used machine as long we can get 3 - 4 years out of it without much maintenance, parts replacements, and servicing hassles.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    Sam-

    Your budget is reasonable for a used machine.

    A 4'x4' machine might be more common. But I think expandable might be an issue, not impossible, but it might make more sense to buy a larger machine, maybe in the 4'x8' range if you have the room.

    ShopBot comes to mind as a intermediate machine. Not quite industrial, but let's say a heavy hobby class machine. A used MultiCam would be another option, as would a Gerber Saber.

    Here are a few Craigslist offerings in your area https://atlanta.craigslist.org/searc...h_distance=250

    Here is a Gerber Saber not too far from you.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/18515634795...Cclp%3A2047675
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  5. #5
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    Once you have the machine,how long have you allocated for a period of learning to use it?Not trying to discourage your endeavours,but there is still a lot to comprehend once the machine comes through the doors.Stuff like workholding,extraction,learning to program and setting datums to name just a few.Your budget may also have to stretch to a CAM program with a post processor that is compatible with the machine.

  6. #6
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    Like Routalot says, there's a lot more to this than buying a machine. Have you ever made a 3D model of any of the products you're thinking about producing with this machine? That's what I'd recommend starting with. Look at some of the CAD programs on the market, and see if you can find one that works the way you'd expect it to. Once you've got models in hand, you'll be ready to get started with the actual cutting. Or you can farm that out to someone who already has a machine up and running. There are plenty of people with machinery who will be happy to do the CNC work for you - some of them hang out on this board. If this is a business and not just a hobby, that might work better for you than inflicting your learning curve on your customers.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  7. #7
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    and we are looking to get our first CNC to make wooden blocks and toys (high-level concept designs attached). We could do this with our traditional woodworking tools but we are looking for better productivity and efficiency and hence have decided to go procure a CNC
    There are no attachments to see what you are doing, but a CNC is not always the fastest or best methods for mass production of small wooden items.
    Having said that, I'd look at an AVID CNC Pro series 4x4.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  8. #8
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    Kept 2 months to educate ourselves. Agreed on the CAM program.

    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    Once you have the machine,how long have you allocated for a period of learning to use it?Not trying to discourage your endeavours,but there is still a lot to comprehend once the machine comes through the doors.Stuff like workholding,extraction,learning to program and setting datums to name just a few.Your budget may also have to stretch to a CAM program with a post processor that is compatible with the machine.

  9. #9
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    Hi Jim - We will do the 4 x 8 as we have enough room. Any specific model # we should consider between MultiCam and Geber Saber?

  10. #10
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    I like that idea to do initial outsourcing before insourcing it through training etc. Where can I find these people on this board? Sorry, I am a newbie and trying to figure it out ... totally agree on the learning curve and getting help from a pro first.

  11. #11
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    Hi Gerry, there are 2 attachments when I posted this thread. Else let me know an email I can send it to. Thanks!

  12. #12
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    Quote Originally Posted by samjohnson View Post
    Hi Jim - We will do the 4 x 8 as we have enough room. Any specific model # we should consider between MultiCam and Geber Saber?
    It really doesn't matter. Either of these (or any machine) would be a used machine to fit in your budget, so you are just looking for one that meets your work envelope and is in reasonably good mechanical condition. Personally I don't worry to much about the controls end of things, they all work about the same. And the controls are the cheap and easy parts to replace if it comes to that, many retrofit options available. It is really my preference to buy machines with dead computers, you can get them cheap. Mechanical condition is really the most important.

    I have worked on a couple of MultiCam machines and have found them to be pretty substantial machines. I don't know much about the Gerber machines other than they are well regarded. There are many other options also. Really any industrial class machine would fit your needs.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  13. #13
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    There's a whole RFQ (Request for Quotes) forum here on this site where you can post specifics of what you want done and find people to do it: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/rfq-request-for-quote-/

    Mostly it's people with machines who are looking for work to help pay for them. But you can ask for help making models as well. There's also a 3DRequests subreddit that's pretty active; that's more for people looking to do modeling for other people.
    Andrew Werby
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  14. #14
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    Thanks, I have posted a RFQ.

  15. #15
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    Re: Need advice on new CNC machine for small business woodworking

    I second the recommendation for an AvidPro 4x4. Scalable, reliable, accurate.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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