Does anyone have experience with smaller scale entry level CNC Routers? On a few occasions lately I've thought one would be useful to cut smaller more detailed shapes that I'm not skilled enough to do well by hand. I see people on Youtube talk about one called 'X-Carve', but they are all in the US and they don't seem easily available here.
My mate and I went halves each in a Workbee v2.2 from Marker Store. Superseded by the v3 kit https://www.makerstore.com.au/product/kit-wbv3-1015-s/
We are using a makita edge trimmer for now, looking at water cooled spindle motors so we can drive a big facing cutter with indexed carbide inserts, to face hardwoods like ironbark. We are getting prepared to manufacture loudspeakers commercially using reclaimed housing frames from houses being demolished in Melbourne.
The workbee cnc kit is great, uses lead screws, not belts, so more accurate. Wow just looked at the price of the v3 kit, price has sure gotten up there, that’s not entry hobby prices.
We paid $1600 for the v2.2 kit mechanical kit, $460 for the blackbox stepper motor controller. $100 ish for a second hand makita edge router.
Looking to jump up to a water cooled spindle motor, the v2.2 needs some upgrades before it can handle such a heavy motor, the 2.2kw 24000rpm motors are 5.5kg once filled with water. The v2.2 kit is really capped at 4kg due to beam deflection and stepper motor torque. We were thinking of adding a second X and y axis above the machine, using a spring attached to the upper assembly carriage to reduce the load on the cnc’s aluminium frame carrying the 5.5kg motor, using ezystrut and a bearing carriage to roll inside the ezystrut, with lead screws and adding some external stepper motor drivers for the extra motors. I’ve seen stepper drivers that will take a high level input and replicate, allowing you to add extra motors when your controller’s output is already at its power limit. Does require identical pitch lead screws and motors to get both assemblies to track, spring should handle any misalignment of a motor miss steps.
Vevor has 2.2kw water cooled spindle motors for about $160. I had assumed these would be junk but chatting to a few people who have used the
and they have nothing bad to report back.
A quality Delta brand vfd is ballpark $500.
Car radiator $50
Pond pump $50
Wanting to drive a 12 tooth face mill cutter that’s wider then the 90mm boards, for facing reclaimed hard wood out of old house frames. 100yo ironbark is tough stuff. Don’t know our workflow fully yet, we are thinking of using smaller cutters to bring two sides and a face flat, then our 100mm 12 tipped cutter to machine ultra flat. Then we laminate the sticks into a board.
Using the ticknesser and jointer on ironbark isn’t viable, a mates 4kw 3 phase jointer with sharp blades was slow going, mega messy and sooooooo loud. Warped and collapsed 100-120 year old boards are a nightmare. Here’s a photo of a sample showing what we are up against.