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Thread: Sidewinder CNC

  1. #1

    Default Sidewinder CNC

    Anyone know anything or have any experience with the sidewinder machines?

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  2. #2


    Garbage, I purchased one. I drove to ATL and picked up the machine. During the demo I was told that it needing " running in". against my better judgment I picked it up and headed home. Once I set the machine up I started to see the serious design flaws. the machine was 100% useless.The Z axis was so misaligned it wouldn't move .
    I returned the machine for a refund and Dave had the nerve to keep 100.00. He requires a 100% payment via Paypal and then you get your machine

    So far I'm out 400.00 for gas, and food
    1000.00 for a custom table and vac system
    and 200.00 for return shipping..

    I cut my losses and moved on.. This guy's a crook

  3. #3

    Default you guys scared me

    for a moment there, i have ordered a 4x8 camaster atc with the sidewinder
    lathe attachment for 4rth axis milling, i all reasdy own a 4x8 from the same company in layfayette ga.

    the sidewinder your reffering to is here

    the machine looks bolt together and funtional at that price

    i can appreciate what ever has made mr tomlinson so disappointed but in my limited knowledge of researching machines, theres nothing about that machine at that size and at that price that i would be afraid of probably a good idea to get it true then weld joints, build a good base table, when you go to see machine take off the motor and run the bearings and it should run smooth,

    that machine looks too simple to have design flaws, i am haing two machines built on is the 5x10 to add to my shop and a 36x72
    for the barn to use on weekends, a full 4x4 just about any where is 7800.00 minimum

    Last edited by cabnet636; 03-19-2008 at 08:35 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Sidewinder CNC

    Quote Originally Posted by cbrownd View Post
    Anyone know anything or have any experience with the sidewinder machines?
    I'm very disappointed the Brian Tomlinson felt the need to bash me here on this forum. Anyone interested in hearing the the REAL story behind his purchase feel free to contact me at


  5. #5

    Default still

    looks like a decent machine to me jim

  6. #6

  7. #7


    I am a sometimes lurker here at the CNC Zone and felt the need to respond this tread as I know Dave and have seem his Sidewinder machines in person. I meet Dave a little over a year ago. I had seen his ad on Ebay and saw that he lived about 25 miles or so from me. I contacted Dave and went to see his machine. My situations was that I had bought a CNC router from another seller on Ebay and really got screwed on the deal ( long story ) so I was looking to cut my loses and buy another machine. Dave could have easily talked me into buying one of his machines but instead advised me that I could salvage the machine I bought by building another controller for it ..... stating that I will help you any way I can. With Dave's help/advise I was able to get the other machine I bought working fine. I can not commit on the above statements and what transpired as I have not spoken to Dave about it but, to me Dave is a stand-up kind of a guy and I consider him a friend. I'm no CNC expert but, I have seen both size machines that Dave offers and I believe them to be a good value for the money. James

  8. #8


    Just a heads up on the sidewinder CNC. I purchased his 42" or whatever size machine and ended up sending it back. Just didn't perform like I expected... but that's not the reason for this post. Dave uses Xylotex controllers, which is fine and dandy. Well, the board burnt out on mine and I had to get it replaced. I needed it in a hurry so I paid Dave in full for a second 4 axis Xylotex box and motors as a replacement to be shipped to me directly. We had an understanding (Dave's idea completely) to send him my fried controller and motors to return to Xylotex for warranty work. He was to keep the repaired equipment and refund me the difference. Well guess what?... he never refunded me my money. I even talked to Xylotex and he reported that it had been repaired and returned to Dave and I needed to take it up with him. Dave at Sidewinder won't return my MANY emails or phone calls for over a month now. It is really sad, because I have been nothing but nice to the guy and absolutely did NOT want to trash his name. So I'm cheated out of around $400-$500 from him at this point.

    I would love to hear some type of comment or explanation from Dave on here as I am completely baffled by the whole ordeal. I'm hoping that there is some extraordinary circumstance that has prohibited him from even returning a phone call. I'm thinking about having someone else inquire about a machine to see if he is really avoiding me or what.

    If anyone wants to talk to me about it you can reach me at


  9. #9


    Dave refunded me today. All's well now.

    Thanks Dave.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by cbrownd View Post
    Anyone know anything or have any experience with the sidewinder machines?
    Chiming in. I bought the 40x26 version. Not a bad machine as far as low cost CNC routers go, but there is a few things. The x-axis length is too long to be usable. Although the linear bearings are 1" diameter, there still is not enough support when it reaches the center of the x axis. The z-axis carrige will start to "wag" around during operation. I found this out the hard way on a $80 piece of bubinga. My feedrate was 15 and my cut depth was .1". The problem is the router bit can begin to "bounce" off the material instead of cut. It has a cascading effect and progressively bounces more and more. Not as much of a problem closer to the left side of the machine.
    I've found the controller cables to be too short too unless you put the controller up right next to the machine, in the line of fire for dust and debris. Another 1' on the z axis cable would be sufficient. Luckily the cable is cheap and not to hard to add an extension on.
    The first upgrade I made was to replace the 10-24 philips head screws with socket cap screws, lock washers and lock tight. The philips head screws started to loosen up because of the vibration. The screws on the z-axis that came pre-assembled were the first to go.
    I plan on upgrading the x-axis by installing a supported linear beaing in addition to the 2 1" unsupported bearning to increase the rigidity and stop the z-axis from wagging around. Not too expensive but I will need to modify the z-axis carrige so the bearing will fit. I sent Dave an email about the issue and asked if he had a cad file that I could use to re-design the sides of the z-axis carrige but he doesn't respond to the emails (I feel like I'm ringing his doorbell and he's hiding in the closet). So I guess Im on my own there.
    All in all it's not a bad machine for the price, but if you plan on cutting hardwood or making parts that need to fit together you will need to make upgrades or look elsewhere.

  11. #11

    Default How did it work?

    Hi madpickinskills. Did you ever have any success adding that support to your long axis? If so can you give me any ideas?

  12. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by sconklin View Post
    Hi madpickinskills. Did you ever have any success adding that support to your long axis? If so can you give me any ideas?
    Yes I did. But it wasn't easy and there is a lot of adjusting that needs to be done. I replaced the large sheet metal piece (the one that has sidewinder cut out of it) because it wasn't stable enough to mount the THK linear rail to. I used 2 - 1x3 rectangular aluminum tubes instead. They aren't ultra rigid, but they are much more solid than the sheet metal. I bought the THK bearing off ebay for around $70. It's in great condition, but I did have to have about 1" cut off the length so that it would fit between the uprights. I had a shop with a waterjet cut it (all they charged me was a 6 pack ).
    I got a piece of .5"x6.125"x3" piece of aluminum to make the bracket to mount the thk rail to the z-axis assembly. The THK website has drawings for their bearings so I was able to program the exact locations for the holes and used the router to machine small pockets for 4 of the socket cap screws I used to attach it. I needed 8 holes total, but only 4 of them needed to be recessed. It took forever to machine the pockets in the aluminum, and they weren't perfect but they were in the correct locations.
    After I assembled it all, I found that there was too much "drag" as the x axis reached either end and it caused the ball screw to slip. This was partially because there was a slight degree of twist after I mounted the aluminum rails to the uprights so I used shims to compensate.
    The added THK bearing does cause some drag beyond that, but as long as I keep the unsupported bearings greased (with NLGI-2 grease) it's managable.
    THis modification didn't solve the rigidity issue completely, but it doesnt flop around nearly as much.
    Phase 2 will be removing the unsupported linear bearings for the z-axis. There is a lot of slop there too. In the interum, I've attached teflon supports that are mounted in a way so they slide against each other limiting the distance that the router mounting plate can wiggle. It's a good cheap solution for now. I also replaced the router mounting plate with a piece of .25" thick aluminum as the sheet metal one would flex pretty easy.
    Please note that I don't mean to "beat up" the maker of the machine. It's a good machine, it just needs some upgrades to be able to perform better with hardwoods.

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