View Full Version : New to Shop Sabre

12-10-2008, 08:56 AM
Good Morning,

A friend and I just bought a used 4860 Shop Sabre off Ebay. The machine is 2 years old and appears to be in great condition. It has ac servos and a 5hp spindle. It came with WinCNC installed on the computer.

I have been going through the documentation on WinCNC and am still not sure how it works. It appears to not use any of the standard M codes, ie M00, M01, M03, M06 etc. I have to remove all my tool change code from a file in order for it to run. I don't have an atc, I just use the M00 to stop the program while I change bits manually. Is there something I am missing with WinCNC?

I have been using Mach3 for a couple of years on a 24" x 36" homebuilt router and also a Taig mill. I have a WidgitMaster Midi router running Mach3 also.

We ran the axes a couple of days ago and they work very well. Hopefully the phase converter for the spindle will be up and running in a couple of days. I am anxious to see it run and cut parts.

I look forward to a lot of use from the Shop Sabre.

Pensacola, Fl

12-11-2008, 12:56 AM
I finished all the wiring for the outlet to the VFD from the phase converter today. All the we need to do is change out the breaker to the phase converter to the 100 amp breaker and the 30HP rotary phase converter should be ready to go. Then we can get the wide belt sander up & running. I bought copper pipe to get air to the sander & router without snaking rubber hose all over.

I'm rrrevels friend that went in with him to buy the 4860 Shopsabre. We are both very anxious to get the machine running & making parts.

We have a few challenges ahead of us.
The first challenge is dust collection. From what I've read in the Forum, Shopsabre's dust collection attachment is not effective. We would like to see what others have done. Our machine is sporting a 5hp Colombo spindle.

The second challenge is manual tool changes. We would both like to use M00, M01 - M03 codes to stop the machine for tool changes. While keeping the code in seperate files for each section that uses a diferent tool is a viable option, we have been spoiled by Mach's richness of commands. Seems to me a $1200 program should have as many features as a $160 program. I sent WINCNC an email asking how to accomplish manual tool changes within a program, but no responce yet. Any advice or ideas from you all?

12-11-2008, 11:12 AM
I doubt you'll get much of a response from WinCNC, since the machine is used.....software license issues. It's not bad software, just might be different than what you are used to.


Lot's to learn!!!!

Good Luck

12-11-2008, 12:34 PM
I have been going through the documentation for several days and have been able to modify my code files to run on the simulation. I do like the preview capabilities of WinCNC although so far I am not impressed with the file handling. Hopefully as I use it more it will be less aggravating trying to use it.

I don't see any way of changing tools in a program so I guess individual programs for each tool will be the way around that. With luck we will be able to cut a file for the first time this afternoon.

Jim, I do like the way your screen looks. I am going to try to create something similar and reduce the clutter.


12-11-2008, 12:45 PM
That would be my approach, sequentially number the programs for the number of operations/tools. It's just a learning curve thing for you at this point. Be creative and figure out an end to each program that facilitates changing the the tool. What kind of cad/cam are you using?

12-11-2008, 01:13 PM
I have an old version of autocad lt and an old student version of MasterCam that I know just enough about to get in trouble. I haven't been able to do any drawing or file creation in it at all. Just basic path generation.

12-16-2008, 10:22 AM
We have the rotary phase converter wired and it appears to have too high voltage on the generated leg. The vfd faults with an ov. We checked each leg with a meter and the generated leg is about 280v unloaded. I am trying to learn how a rotary converter works so I can understand how to correct the problem with the vfd.

I believe that the huge belt sander that the phase converter was bought for will work because it is just motors. A 15hp, 1hp and 1/4hp. It hasn't been wired up to run yet.

Hopefully we won't be looking at a new vfd that uses standard 220 in and converts to run the spindle.


12-20-2008, 07:24 PM
We got the Shop Sabre running this afternoon with a temporary spindle arrangement. We will be making an aluminum plate for the router but for a quick verification the mdf plate seems to work. Actually we are considering keeping the router setup available even after getting the vfd spindle running. For light cuts and engraving why use a 5hp spindle. With on six bolts to change the spindles can be swapped in minutes.

Here is a photo of the set up and also the final sign.

We are still working on getting the 3 phase voltage source going properly.


12-20-2008, 07:49 PM
off to a good start!!


12-20-2008, 09:00 PM
Thanks Jim,

After seeing the Shop Sabre run I am now really anxious to get a real machine in my shop. I could cut this on my home made machine but it would take about an hour, it took 15 minutes on the shop sabre and we didn't push the speed. We only ran about 60ipm. I think we couold have done over 100. Very impressive.

The sign is for a friend's hunting camp.


12-25-2008, 02:35 PM
As Russ & I have not found 10 lb sacks of $100 bills under our Christmas trees this morning, I guess we will have to continue figuring out how to build our own 4th axis for the Shop Sabre. Building the 4th axis is not nearly the challenge of connecting it to WinCNC hardware & software. As Russ & I are relative noob's to WinCNC, all help will be appreciated.

If we could use Gecko's to control a servo or stepper & connect it to WinCNC, this would be ideal. We have plenty of Gecko's, stepper motors & servo motors.

12-25-2008, 04:20 PM
This link might help with tweaking WinCnc?


I can't believe that the WinCnc website doesn't have a forum, or did I miss it?


12-25-2008, 04:24 PM

Never mind the link above, I see you already posted on it (ooops). :)


12-26-2008, 08:24 AM
here is forum, wincnc is a fully capable product, most of the machines in our camaster group have steppers so i am more familiar with them.



01-02-2009, 11:41 PM
We had our first crash yesterday. We were attempting to cut a hole in a piece of .5 plywood @ 600ipm. Not good. Mastercam post for the Shop Sabre did not put in a feed rate for G2. Sooo Wincnc used the prior G0 instead of the prior G1. The temporary z router motor plate made of MDF broke in two. Also found out today, the collet spun in the router and buggered that up. Could have been a whole bunch worse. Lesson learned, don't trust Mastercam to generate code with no problems even when there are no errors. And, if it look likes it might be trying to cut to fast during the dery run, it is.