View Full Version : Looking for new router

09-13-2003, 08:13 AM
Hi, a newbie here. This looks like a good place to ask questions and get some knowedgeable answers. I'm looking to buy a cnc router without spending an arm or leg or both. I'm willing to do the motors and controller part, but want a good mechanics setup. I keep seeing units for sale on ebay and would appreciate any input. There are currently 3 there for sale. ! looks to be too lighweight but there is 2 others out of aluminum that look half decent. Looking at the lenghts of cut of the units, I'm not sure how much , if any flexing I might get. I'm planing to mostly cut wood, hopefully images in wood and use a small spindle like a dremmel or rotozip. Any help is appreciated.

09-15-2003, 05:08 PM
Depends on what you want it for. If your looking for a turn-key hobby machine that is table-top then you might try Liberty (http://www.libertycnc.com/mi1612.html) ($2000) or if you want a real shop machine then try the PRT96 at ShopBot (http://www.shopbottools.com/products.htm) ($7000).
Most of the guys on this particular board build from scratch. You can build one for as cheap as $100 from plans at CrankOrgan (http://www.crankorgan.com/index.html) or you can spend [Infinity]. I really think you are probably looking for CrankOrgan's The Seventh Sojourn (http://www.crankorgan.com/7thsojourn.htm). A couple of middle of the road "plans" can be found at Machine Tool Camp (http://www.machinetoolcamp.com/) and DataCut (http://www.data-cut.com/router.html).
The size of the machine has allot to do with price. On Ebay you can pick up 12" by 12" machines for less than $1000. But if you want 4' by 8' then it will probably be more like $10,000 (although I did see a ShopBot there once that sold for around 6K).
One to keep your eye on is CNCKits (http://www.cnckits.com/) . Although it is vaporware at the moment he may finish and start selling them at any time. The description looks interesting. It is a mechanicals only kit that may have promiss. Or, it may never be finished or sold.
So far, I have found no cheap and easy way to get into cnc routing. You either spend a bunch of money to buy one off-the-shelf, or you spend a little money for parts and work long and hard to make it work (small cheap machine), or you spend a bunch of money and work long and hard (excellent machine that rivals or surpasses the professionals).
Since you wish to use something like a Dremal to do mainly images I would suggest the CrankOrgan links above. It might make a nice small machine for doing hobby work like that. But if you have the money then the Liberty machine would be most excellent!

I hope this helps....

P.S. I have no experience what-so-ever with cnc routing. LOL. I've just been researching these past few weeks because I want to build a large machine like the ShopBot.

09-15-2003, 06:01 PM
That Liberty looks interesting but all I can see is the picture. There is no specs or anything with it. Can't buy anything only on a picture! Is that new out there? I never heard of it before.

09-15-2003, 06:54 PM
You really have to call them to get any info. Their website hasn't been changed in a year. I don't think they are too internet savvy. ;-)
You would probably hear a better spiel on the phone anyway.