The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

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The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby IslaWW » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:24 pm

There are a lot of guys here that use CNC machines for woodworking or signmaking and I would like to know what some of your "wish list" features would be. Most currently manufactured table top (~24 x 36) machines use NEMA23 motors and smaller components in able to fit a price point for the size class. This forces successful hobbyists and commercial users to buy larger machines than their material dictates to obtain higher end features than tabletops offer. This uses up precious real estate in the shop, no matter if it is commercial or non-commercial.

For example, this machine: https://youtu.be/qtzkAExTA00 was purchased by a signmaker that sells product online from his home business. After 3-4 months of use (and his Christmas rush) he sent an unsolicited letter full of praise for the machine and enumerated his production increases. I had offered up (pre sale) that even tho he currently had a larger machine, that these features would allow him to double or triple his output. He has happily informed me that those results were underestimated. His machine, loaded with function and feature, costing 3-4 times what a typical machine that size does, will pay for itself in 6 months.

So, for those that are either small commercial or discriminating hobbyists and wish to have a small footprint machine, with "big" features that would allow longer duty cycles, faster cutting............ What would those features be?
Gary Campbell
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby SteveNelson46 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:44 pm

That's a great question, Gary. If we can get some feedback I think that it will be useful information to anyone who is looking to purchase a machine.
Steve
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby Rcnewcomb » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:52 pm

The 6 tool ATC is perfect. What is the Z clearance?
I like that it is using WinCNC.

Wish list...
A rotary axis option would be great.
An option of 24"x48" would be nice.
Option for either Vacuum and/or T track holddown.
- Randall Newcomb
10 fingers in, 10 fingers out - another good day in the shop
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby mezalick » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:11 pm

I agree,
I think a vac table top would be nice...

~M
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby ElevationCreations » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:32 pm

In addition to the other suggestions:

120 VAC Operation option

Ability to be taken down stairs into the basement

2x3 or 2.5' x 3.5' work area would be sufficient

Z movement of 6"

Designed to easily add an enclosure to help mitigate noise
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby ger21 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:37 am

You can't run a decent spindle on 120V.
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby eph210 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:07 am

My wish list would include:
Hybrid steppers with feedback
6 inches of gantry clearance and at least 8 inches of Z travel
Ability to clamp items vertically for end machining
HGR25 slides with double bearings on all axes
inboard rotary axis for multisided machining
aluminum T slot table top with the T slots extending 3 inches fore and aft of the cutting area
Air nozzle and mister plumbed to head and controlled in G code
Registration points for removable fixtures
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby IslaWW » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:30 pm

Thanks for the replies so far. Almost 300 views and no one else has something on their wishlist?? Forget your checkbook, think with your imagination!!
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby FixitMike » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:39 pm

Well, if cost is not a consideration, here's some:

Right angle head for machining the ends of long pieces.
Two interchangeable tables--one in work and the other slid out and available to set up next job.
Absolute position encoders with readouts both absolute and relative.
Good judgement comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgement.
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby martin54 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:48 am

I looked but don't have a wish list for a tabletop machine, mainly because if I had the money then I would be looking at a larger machine, as a signmaker in the UK you really need an 8 x 4 machine or bigger :lol: :lol:
I said on another post that I hadn't actually used my machine for very much sign related work but those jobs I have done have nearly all had to be tilled because I can't cut a full sheet of material :lol: :lol: If I had done more sign work then chances are I would have had to tile a lot more work.

Of course then I would also have to move to a larger unit as well because I simply don't have the space for a larger machine in my current unit :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby Leo » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:31 pm

True 4 axis -- seperate driver for rotary axis - not axis swapping
Rotary axis with a brake to lock rotation for "X"-"Y"-"Z" work without putting cutting forces against the drive train.
VERTICAL clamping.
Possibly 5 axis?
Enclosures - for computer, mouse, keyboard
Enclosure - for machine with dust and chip control - sound control
Cabinet - for entire machine, tool drawers, cutter storage
COMPLETE - include computer, all set up
OPERATOR MANUAL - Clear and concise instructions.
Started tooling package - cutters, clamps, etc
Spindle Coolant tank - baffles, filters, covered(sealed)
NEMA 34?
ER20 spindle
Lighting - directional (gooseneck)
GOOD - tool touch off
Good looking machine - colors - styling - textures - powdercoat - textures - Anodize (even guys like this stuff)(there IS a female market out there also - lets not forget them)
Imagine the Possibilities of a Creative mind

www.leosworkshop.com
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby Gasawdust » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:37 pm

Quick and good quality “after purchase” support.
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby Adrian » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:00 pm

A tabletop machine isn't of interest to me as everything I do is 8x4 based however if I was restricted on space and needed a tabletop machine I would want it to be able to perform multiple duties because of that lack of space. So I would want it to be able to replace my vinyl cutter, 3D printer, milling machine, lathe etc. Basically the modern equivalent of those old machines that were a saw table, planer/thicknesser, edge jointer and spindle moulder all in one.
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby rscrawford » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:33 pm

On my wish list would be a robotic arm with a 5hp ATC spindle mounted to a 3x5 table. True 5 axis machining for easier furniture parts.
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Re: The "Ultimate Tabletop Machine" for Woodworkers

Postby 4DThinker » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:32 pm

Automatic Tool Changer. 4 would be enough for 99.9% of the projects I've done. Needs to be mechanically simple and low cost.
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