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Thread: Owning the ShopBot

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
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    Owning the ShopBot

    Since Rob wanted to know and because I didn't want to thread-jack the on-going cnc builds.

    Going back about 15 years or so, I owned a 4'x8' work area ShopBot. It was my first venture into CNC machines. And it was a blast! I got it to make the router jigs I had invented and was selling. I fired things up a few days of the month to make inventory and stock the shelves.

    Somethings I learned along the way. Good programming skills in terms of algorithms cuts troubleshooting WAY down. And trust me, you will be trouble shooting. I had to learn about efficient cutters, various speeds and times, ramping, material handling and holding, post production work, sound proofing (at least my head), and a whole host of things. I routed hard wood, various plastics, and aluminum. Different cutters, different speeds. Waste boards were always fun. I used screws to hold them in place and also to hold the individual parts in place, so I followed the gantry around with a tin of screws and my cordless driver. After the hole was drilled and the gantry moved on, I was right behind it with the screw gun. With aluminum I was painting cutting fluid on the cutting path with an acid brush right behind the cutter so it was ready for the next pass.

    Dust collection and swarf clearing is essential. Compressed air is essential also IMHO.

    There are certainly a ton of different ways to do the same things. Not having the big vacuum hold down system, I used screws. I used a shop vac hose to clean the table behind the cutter. Never did get a good dust shoe to work well.

    The CNC brings two qualities to the equation. Precision and repeatability. Way too much work goes into programming and planning that doing one offs is silly with a CNC.

    When I have the space I would like to get back into it. I have an application in mind for which it would be perfect and fun.

    Lots of programming languages out there to get you from design to tool paths to milling. Match the machine to the application and go for it.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,251
    Thank you Carol for the insight. You make very good points obvious your experience shows.

    Took a look and oh boy those things have gone up in price since i first looked at them many years ago. Still i think its a great machine.

    There is also the General CNC range now on the market I am not referring to the I Carver that Stu has but the rest http://www.generalcnc.ca/the_irouter
    cheers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Independence MO
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    561
    Is there some form of CNC that uses the Arduino? (wondering if that is part of the automation project)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
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    5,172
    Don't know, Randal. Just getting into Arduino. I had not considered it for CNC as there are many very good packages out there for that. Packages meaning that there are three things that need doing. One is design (a CAD package), tool path generation, and the actual milling program.

    Arduino for me is to translate a sense (like temperature) into a mechanical action (like opening or closing a vent).
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
    Posts
    5,992
    Quote Originally Posted by Randal Stevenson View Post
    Is there some form of CNC that uses the Arduino? (wondering if that is part of the automation project)
    Arduino Uno is the heart of the ShapeOko kit.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

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