Laguna Swift Router

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Laguna Swift Router

Postby fredfow3 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:47 pm

Hey all.

Thinking about a production machine. Any thoughts on Laguna Swift series. Either the 4x4 or the 4x8, maybe with 4HP quick change spindle...

Any ideas? I'm NOT to trying to start a machine war, just wondering.

Thanks,

Fred
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Re: Laguna Swift Router

Postby Rcnewcomb » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:11 pm

A few questions:
What do you expect this machine to do that your current machine cannot?
What will you be producing?
How much down time can you afford?
Is there anyone else near you who has that same machine?
How is their support forum?
What other brands have you considered?
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Re: Laguna Swift Router

Postby fredfow3 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:20 am

Rcnewcomb wrote:A few questions:
What do you expect this machine to do that your current machine cannot?
What will you be producing?
How much down time can you afford?
Is there anyone else near you who has that same machine?
How is their support forum?
What other brands have you considered?


Great questions which I am asking myself too...

We plan to produce guitar bodies and necks, bass bodies and necks, cajones and other small percussion instruments for a local philanthropy promoting music and musical learning to underprivileged kids here in the Northeast. We are hoping to make all the instruments out of locally reclaimed and repurposed materials and employ a small local labor force.

My current machine, a Shapeoko XL, is fine for producing a few prototypes, samples and tweaking workflow, but has no where near the production capacity of what I would like to produce. I know and understand the complexity and operation of such machines and tooling issues, the workflow and software operation. Downtime would be training of staff and employees during startup and wean time.

I know Laguna from my experience selling precision tools to them through my other company, Fowler Precision Instruments. I have not seen enough reviews about their after sales support, but just know them by reputation.

I have looked into a few other machines of that capacity and features, but they look a bit cheesy and knocked together. I come from a industry selling high precision measuring tools including Coordinate Measuring Machines so I understand machine geometry, volumetric error, positioning accuracy and a host of other potential problems that are inherent to these tools.

If I could find a antique SIP shaper, trust me, i'd spend whatever it cost to make it CNC and take G-Code... Just ain't in the cards.

So I'm looking for somthing that can do 4 guitar bodies and 4 necks in one setup, has quick change tooling, good Z clearance, is robust and reliable and is under 25K. I can do my own fixturing and vacuum.

Thanks!

Fred
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Re: Laguna Swift Router

Postby IslaWW » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:28 am

fredfow3 wrote:If I could find a antique SIP shaper, trust me, i'd spend whatever it cost to make it CNC and take G-Code...


Fred...
I believe you may have just become my next favorite customer. :D :D
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Re: Laguna Swift Router

Postby fredfow3 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:22 am

IslaWW wrote:
fredfow3 wrote:If I could find a antique SIP shaper, trust me, i'd spend whatever it cost to make it CNC and take G-Code...


Fred...
I believe you may have just become my next favorite customer. :D :D


Look forward to it! :-)

Fred
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Re: Laguna Swift Router

Postby Ollywood » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:34 am

I've heard not great things about them from a few different people, sorry. Machine issues and poor customer service. Basically, a lot of their machines are re branded.
They are made in China or Taiwan, which doesn't necessarily mean poorly (I have a planer/sander made in Taiwan that is freakin awesome), but none the less, if you get one with issues, you might be screwed. I would go with something made in the USA, and a good spindle, no water cooled if you can afford it.

Also, always get a tool changer if you can afford it. You can add a (better) vacuum pump after, but not a tool changer in most cases.
Like I did, I would look at:
FMT
Camaster
Shopsabre
Shopbot

Good luck!
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Re: Laguna Swift Router

Postby ElevationCreations » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:18 am

I have had good customer service from Laguna on their machine tools, 10-15 years ago former business acquaintances have told stories of poor customer service from Laguna. More recently I have not heard of any bad experiences with their support.

Personally if I were spending that much on a machine, I would research 'Made in USA' products first and explore import machines only if the made in USA machines were out of my budget.
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Re: Laguna Swift Router

Postby rej » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:09 pm

Almost all companies can make good machines. Are the servos or steppers made in America? Most are not. Are the rails made in America? Most are not. Is the spindle made in America? Most are not. Columbo and HSD are Italian spindles and are very good. Yaskawa servos are awesome. Hiwim rails are great.

My John Deere has a Yanmar motor. Runs great.

Hiwin blocks are great. German ball screws are great. German vac pumps made by Becker are fantastic. Syntec and Fanuc are great controllers.

On and on.

I better get off this horse before i get into trouble. Just check that the components are a good quality no matter what you buy.

Is Vectric made in America? Pretty awesome company.
http://www.3dsigncamp.com
http://www.roctechusacnc.com
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Re: Laguna Swift Router

Postby Leo » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:29 pm

Buying machine is very relevant to the need.

I really don't know what you NEED is, but if you are upgrading from Shapeko, it doesn't take much to get significantly better.

From the sound of your post, you have decided to go at least somewhat production, commercial, but not really industrial. Sounds like you have some real serious interest in business and production.

With that in mind, you cannot afford down time and you NEED decent support. Shopping for a machine of the sort that it sounds like you need, the support should be local and readily available.

As to what Rob said about components make overseas - very very true. I believe even Camaster uses Tiawanese made HiWin rails and blocks. I have HiWin rails on my Chinese machine. Good stuff there.

I would not worry too much about where in the world the machine was built. I have machines in my care that were made in Tiawan, Japan, China, Switzerland - to name a few.

No - no - location is NOT an issue. I would not even worry about the brand name. I would consider how the machine is built and what components are in the machine, but that is all secondary to support - when you are running a business that "depends" on the machine running.

SUPPORT - THAT - is an issue when you are running a business and need support. Support, when the machine breaks, how soon will someone be there to fix it and get it back up and running. Where does the support staff come from? Do you need to pay for Air, Lodging, meals - plus labor cost?

In Business - SUPPORT - is where the rubber meats the road.
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Re: Laguna Swift Router

Postby Ollywood » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:26 am

Assembled in the USA then :)

I agree, good parts come from all over the world, is there even an American made spindle? Not sure on that.

As Leo said the CS is what will really matter in the end. My suggestion to go with a machine assemble in the US is primarily based on this, especially at this price point.

Personally, I would love a Biesse or Scm, even one of the new Formats. Don't need one, can't afford one, but I couldn't stop looking at them at the AWFS last month!

Funny thing is, that a lot of the businesses who buy the larger machines don't know about VCarve Pro, and how capable it is. I have a well known cabinet making software, and I'm always suggesting VCP on the forum to guys that are trying to work out simple cuts with it.
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Re: Laguna Swift Router

Postby ger21 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:03 pm

Funny thing is, that a lot of the businesses who buy the larger machines don't know about VCarve Pro, and how capable it is.


My day job for 20 years has been using big industrial machines like the Biesse. Imo, if anyone is doing the majority of programming for a machine like that with V Carve Pro, then they aren't taking full advantage of their machine. There's much more powerful software out there, that when used properly, can greatly improve efficiency. But it's not cheap. The biggest mistake that I see people make with these machines, is trying to save money on software. People spend $100K - $150K on a machine, and then try to save money. The result is that they only get 25%-50% out of what the machines are capable of.

As for Laguna.

If you read any woodworking forums, you'll see a roughly 50-50 mix of reviews, that say they either have terrible support, or great support. I guess it depends on the specific machine that you receive?
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Re: Laguna Swift Router

Postby Leo » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:04 pm

fredfow3 wrote:
I know Laguna from my experience selling precision tools to them through my other company, Fowler Precision Instruments. I have not seen enough reviews about their after sales support, but just know them by reputation.

I come from a industry selling high precision measuring tools including Coordinate Measuring Machines so I understand machine geometry, volumetric error, positioning accuracy and a host of other potential problems that are inherent to these tools. Fred


Fred, Just so you know a little about me. I am also a Mass resident, 40 years in manufacturing. Currently 10 years at Mahr Federal as senior mfg eng, but also another 30 in manufacturing engineering at some prominent medical and other familiar Boston area manufacturing facilities. I have bought and installed many CNC machines locally. I am VERY familiar with Fowler.

We probably don't live all that far apart. I am in New Bedford / Fall River / Taunton area. If you wanna get together sometime, we can do that. I can demo what I bought from China (very rigid machine) - (repeatability and reliability as tested and demonstrated by me within .0005) and we can compare notes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBNNsAJzUo8

If you want - email me at voisil@comcast.net
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