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Thread: Budget CNC table....anyone use this one?

  1. #1

    Default Budget CNC table....anyone use this one?

    Gearheadcnc.com
    http://shop.gearheadcnc.com/HobbyPla...T-00000017.htm

    Not sure what you get with these kits, looks like I would need to build a base or more?

    I'm thinking of buying a cnc plasma table later this year.
    I don't need the best high end table you can buy, just looking for something that works well but is reasonable in the price and comes in a complete package of everything I need besides the plasma cutter. I don't know the first thing about them so I don't feel comfortable building my own.

    I like the prices on Gearheads site and would like to stay in the $3000 range. Any other kits or tables out there in this price area?
    PowerTig 250EX
    Power I-MIG 200
    Power Plasma 50
    It's what you learn, After you know it all, that counts!

  2. #2

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    I looked at a lot of different kits and components. The biggest thing to consider is how comfortable you would be with:
    - building your own table
    - putting you own drive electronics together

    I thing my biggest savings came from buying motors, controllers and power supplies on eBay. Second was building my own table. (I already had an old PC to run the software on.)

    The folks at buildyourcnc.com did some great videos on wiring your own motors and electronics.
    Just starting in Aug '10
    ---
    Hobart Handler 187
    Power Plasma 50

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmptyNester View Post
    I looked at a lot of different kits and components. The biggest thing to consider is how comfortable you would be with:
    - building your own table
    - putting you own drive electronics together

    I thing my biggest savings came from buying motors, controllers and power supplies on eBay. Second was building my own table. (I already had an old PC to run the software on.)

    The folks at buildyourcnc.com did some great videos on wiring your own motors and electronics.
    Wow, thats a great site!! Thanks
    PowerTig 250EX
    Power I-MIG 200
    Power Plasma 50
    It's what you learn, After you know it all, that counts!

  4. #4

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    Eagle Plasma has some economical kits. It all depends on how fast you want to get up and running. Spend a little more and get a complete kit and your up and running. Save money but spend more of your time building your own. It's a trade off that you need to think about. Before you build your own sit down and add everything up and compare. Some of the people who have budget builds have have the ability to mill their own parts. I saved some money, but I'm not sure I saved enough to justify building my own. If I did it over again I would not start until I have all the parts and pieces to finish the table. I would block off one week and do nothing but work on my table.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/PRECISION-PL...item232765ebc4
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/PRECISION-PL...item2327777f77

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/PRECISION-PL...item2327655cf4

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/4x4-CNC-PLAS...item3ccebdaa4e
    Lincoln Eagle Engine Drive
    Everlast MTS 250
    Everlast Power Tig 225lx
    HTP Mig 2400
    Everlast Power Plasma 60C --> Just need to finish my CNC Plasma Table!
    Miller Spectrum 375 Extreme Plasma cutter
    Victor cutting torch
    HF 20 Ton Shop Press
    HF 4x6 Band Saw
    HF Air Compressor
    Northern Tool Drill Press


    www.murphywelding.com

  5. #5

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    I definitely don't want to build my own.... "some assembly required" is ok, but I don't know enough about the electronics to search out the parts and build it.
    I also have no clue how to run a CNC program so that is another hurdle..

    I'm looking for a complete kit with computer and software so it's just plug n go....Or, assembly, plug, adjust, try, adjust some more, close enough, GO!
    PowerTig 250EX
    Power I-MIG 200
    Power Plasma 50
    It's what you learn, After you know it all, that counts!

  6. #6

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    Hi CGCINC

    If you are going to buy a table latter you need to get familiar with the software that is needed.
    To draw up the parts you want to cut a CAD program is needed unless you have someone draw them up for you. Or cutting can be done from images using other software to convert to a line drawing. These produce a file output to be used by other programs
    Next is a CAM program which is used to interpret the drawing and develop instructions to add for cutting speed, and how the torch moves while cutting. This program develops a file called G-code to be used by the table control software.
    And a program that uses the g-code to control the motors on the table to move the tool around in a precise manner to make cuts. This tool could be a plasma torch, router, or a blade cutting the shape you drew in the first program.
    There are many free programs that you can find on the web for each of these functions. Some of the drawing program have time limit for you to use them free sketch-up can be used too.
    For the CAM software Sheet CAM will let you use a version of their program for free and is limited as to the size of the drawing you convert.
    And Mach 3 has the same deal for a program to run the table. Both sheet Cam and Mach 3 have a simulation so you can see what the table would be doing at the finish of that step.

    No matter where you get a table you will need to know how to use these types of software.
    Like you many of us started completely void of knowledge as what to do to use a CNC table.
    Money and time are the two things about getting a table. It is like many things if you have the desirer you can do it too. Just ask questions
    I am building my second table using the first to cut parts needed for the second.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdG9_ZQSxCg
    http://www.longevity-inc.com/forum/c...cnc-table.html
    have fun
    Tom

    Everlast PM256
    Millermatic 180
    Hypertherm PowerMax 65 with machine torch
    Longevity Force Cut 80I
    DIY CNC table for plasma/routing
    13" metal lathe
    Small Mill
    ect, ect.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    Hi CGCINC
    have fun
    Tom
    I took some CAD classes in college but just a few so that won't help.
    I'm sure I can figure it out enough to get it working but that's not the point of spending all this money. I will need training I'm thinking, so I can use the table and software to it's potential.

    So are you basically doing CAD work and then sending it to the CAM to covert and cut?
    My local college has a CAD program but damn, I really didn't want to go to school to run a plasma table.
    PowerTig 250EX
    Power I-MIG 200
    Power Plasma 50
    It's what you learn, After you know it all, that counts!

  8. #8

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    What I can tell you is I knew nothing about any of the software I talked about but I can now draw a part run it through these programs and cut it out. I had the hardest time getting started with the CAD program but as I have told many once you start to see how they are thinking you learn how to use it. And as you use it you grow and understand more. You need to learn what name they give a function and that helps you learn. You need to understand the coordinate system start with X and Y as that is what you use in a line drawing. I use Turbo Cad Deluxe 16. It’s cheap (EBay or Amazon)
    Example to draw a line you click on that function and enter in the X and Y start location hit enter and enter in how long and what degree and enter again line drawn. Circles are similar enter X and Y location of center press enter then what diameter (can be radius to) circle drawn. I hate reading manuals so I poke around and find things. Some of these programs have videos of people showing how to use them.

    Everlast PM256
    Millermatic 180
    Hypertherm PowerMax 65 with machine torch
    Longevity Force Cut 80I
    DIY CNC table for plasma/routing
    13" metal lathe
    Small Mill
    ect, ect.

  9. #9
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    Disneyland
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    Default

    There are also integrated software packages that will let you do the drawing then go straight to cutting and even run the table. Not cheap, but very easy to use and if you value your time... It also depends on if you plan to do other CNC things or enjoy learning things like that.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  10. #10

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    I recommend the G540 Gecko drive. Works very well and not bad on the price... A CNC is not as hard to build as it seems.... building one with a very high tolerance is another story.
    Everlast PowerTig 200DX
    Everlast Supercut 50P
    I need a MIG.... which one to buy:
    I-Mig 160, I-Mig 200, or a MTS 160

  11. #11

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    I've heard good things from these guys http://shop.gearheadcnc.com/. Seems like an affordable option even for home shop use.
    IMig 200

  12. #12
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    How big are the home built tables you guys are designing? Like a few others on here, I don't like the idea of learning new software or trying to design and assemble all the electronics, motors, and such (myself). Way over my head! I don't think my fair amount of knowledge using AutoCAD, CAD Duct, or CAM duct programs are enough to assume that I could easily teach myself to use a new program either. Using the CNC table at work for 5 years was sure nice though (122"x65" bed size and 1/4" cutting capability). It was a sheet metal HVAC shop, so 1/4" was thick for the things we fabricated.

    Between the CAM and CAD programs, there's quite a bit of information to learn in regards to setup, changing and adjusting (sometimes wacky) default settings within the program(s), and then making sure that you have everything mechanically setup correctly. I applaud those that have actually followed through and built their own CNC tables on a budget though! Sometimes I wish I had access to one for some of the heavy or intricate parts I incorporate into my projects.
    Andy
    New Everlast PowerTig 250EX that is begging for me to come up with a few welding projects so it can stretch it's legs. Did someone say aluminum???

    MISC. TOOLS:
    Atlas 618 lathe
    Milwaukee Porta Band with custom made stand
    Dewalt 4-1/2" angle grinder
    Dewalt 14" chop saw

    Strong Hand Nomad portable table
    Juki sewing machine I've had for years (yes I know sewing is for girls)

  13. #13

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    I didnt know squat about CNC, autocad, cam,... and decided I wanted one. After a lot of reading (autocad for dummies) I am ok to good. Cam was easy... but I dont do curved surfaces. I still have a lot to learn but it is not as hard as it first seemed.
    Everlast PowerTig 200DX
    Everlast Supercut 50P
    I need a MIG.... which one to buy:
    I-Mig 160, I-Mig 200, or a MTS 160

  14. #14
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    The programs I had to learn were all geared towards burning HVAC fittings (elbows, square-to-rounds, conical tapers, etc) so there was quite a bit of learning involved. I really wish I had received formal training from the company that sold the software, but I didn't really need to be fully trained on that to perform my normal tasks at work during that time. I could see straight cuts and maybe some diagonal cuts being easy to setup and execute on a homemade CNC table...If you don't plan on utilizing your CNC table to do more complex cuts. That sort of takes the fun out of it for me though!
    Andy
    New Everlast PowerTig 250EX that is begging for me to come up with a few welding projects so it can stretch it's legs. Did someone say aluminum???

    MISC. TOOLS:
    Atlas 618 lathe
    Milwaukee Porta Band with custom made stand
    Dewalt 4-1/2" angle grinder
    Dewalt 14" chop saw

    Strong Hand Nomad portable table
    Juki sewing machine I've had for years (yes I know sewing is for girls)

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by youngnstudly View Post
    ...If you don't plan on utilizing your CNC table to do more complex cuts. That sort of takes the fun out of it for me though!
    Exactly! I want to learn how to use it properly and use it for crazy things I haven't even thought of yet. No sense in buying one if all I can do is cut a few simple patterns.
    And I hate buying tools when your not sure what Exactly you need..... I have no clue what I will need and what will grow with me in the future.
    PowerTig 250EX
    Power I-MIG 200
    Power Plasma 50
    It's what you learn, After you know it all, that counts!

  16. #16
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    Whine Country, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGCINC View Post
    Exactly! I want to learn how to use it properly and use it for crazy things I haven't even thought of yet. No sense in buying one if all I can do is cut a few simple patterns.
    And I hate buying tools when your not sure what Exactly you need..... I have no clue what I will need and what will grow with me in the future.
    I hate buying a tool that you've wanted for a long time, and then finding out that it's too small or you'll easily outgrow it in the future! It's a waste of time to under design something that you are building from scratch anyways. Retrofitting to a homemade piece of tooling or equipment isn't always possible since you didn't design that ability into it the first time. Then it's back to the drawing board to start from ground zero!
    Andy
    New Everlast PowerTig 250EX that is begging for me to come up with a few welding projects so it can stretch it's legs. Did someone say aluminum???

    MISC. TOOLS:
    Atlas 618 lathe
    Milwaukee Porta Band with custom made stand
    Dewalt 4-1/2" angle grinder
    Dewalt 14" chop saw

    Strong Hand Nomad portable table
    Juki sewing machine I've had for years (yes I know sewing is for girls)

  17. #17
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    Disneyland
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngnstudly View Post
    I could see straight cuts and maybe some diagonal cuts being easy to setup and execute on a homemade CNC table...If you don't plan on utilizing your CNC table to do more complex cuts. That sort of takes the fun out of it for me though!
    The thing about CNC is that the actual mechanics are ultra simple, all the complexity is driven by the software. So even the most basic homemade table is capable of doing as complex a cut as your imagination can dream up. Quite often the CAM software will even do away with letting the CNC compute the arcs, and just send them as a series of straight line moves. The program will get crazy long, but sometimes it will execute faster and or smoother that way, as all the calculations are done ahead of time and do not have to be computed on the fly.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    The thing about CNC is that the actual mechanics are ultra simple, all the complexity is driven by the software. So even the most basic homemade table is capable of doing as complex a cut as your imagination can dream up. Quite often the CAM software will even do away with letting the CNC compute the arcs, and just send them as a series of straight line moves. The program will get crazy long, but sometimes it will execute faster and or smoother that way, as all the calculations are done ahead of time and do not have to be computed on the fly.
    Before I started researching this I thought you could basically draw something in a program, like Microsoft draw, and then say "Cut!" and it would be like majic!
    My problem is I have a Big imagination but I have no clue how to do X,Y coordinates and tell a computer to follow line a while intersecting line b and take a left at c!?!?!?!
    I'm pretty sure I could get the basics and just practice to figure out more but I just can't justify the price for a decent machine if I don't know how to take full advantage of it. I plan on making money with it so I need to know more than the basics. I'm stuck..
    PowerTig 250EX
    Power I-MIG 200
    Power Plasma 50
    It's what you learn, After you know it all, that counts!

  19. #19
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    Then you might want to take a look at something like a PlasmaCAM system. It has that all in one software where you can pretty much draw a picture then say cut it.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    Then you might want to take a look at something like a PlasmaCAM system. It has that all in one software where you can pretty much draw a picture then say cut it.
    I did get info on the Plasmacam. So what makes that one a draw and cut system!?!? School me please? I thought a cutting program is a cutting program...
    Last edited by CGCINC; 02-11-2013 at 08:38 PM.
    PowerTig 250EX
    Power I-MIG 200
    Power Plasma 50
    It's what you learn, After you know it all, that counts!

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