Thursday, August 17, 2017

To Get the Proper CNC Router for Woodworking Business

Whether you are starting a new woodworking business or taking an existing business to the next level, the type of woodworking equipment you use will affect the quality of your work and how much of it you produce. Every woodworker wants to get top quality CNC Router woodworking machines, but not everyone gets them. To make sure you end up with commercial woodworking machinery that meets your needs, remember the tips below as you shop for equipment.

Read Customer Reviews

Every equipment manufacturer sings the praises of its machinery, regardless of its reputation. If you want to know how a machine really performs, reading customer reviews is a great way to find out. In some cases, equipment does not have any formal flaws, but it is not ergonomically designed, and does not synchronize well with the rest of the line. In other cases, equipment has recalcitrant parts that cause problems almost immediately. Again, you will not find out about these drawbacks from the manufacturer, but you may hear about them in woodworking forums, where woodworkers give unsolicited reviews of equipment they use.
Search the Secondary Market

If woodworking equipment has poorly designed components, operates poorly, is difficult to configure with the rest of the line using automation software, or presents other problems that compromise production, most woodworkers will not own it for long. They will sell to an equipment reseller who may or may not be able to correct the hardware’s problems. If you notice the secondary market seems to have a large supply of a relatively new piece of equipment, it may not be a coincidence. The equipment could be a lemon no one wants to own.
Do not Depend on a Warranty

New equipment and some used equipment that is almost new come with a warranty. In most cases, the warranty for new hardware is one year, after which time the owner is responsible for repair costs. Although a warranty is a form of investment protection, do not view the warranty period as a time when you can find out whether hardware will be reliable. Because commercial CNC Router woodworking machinery has a long lifespan, some manufacturing flaws might fail to show up until after the warranty period is past. Investigating the reputation of equipment before you buy it is the key to predicting its reliability.

Choose the Right Construction Grade

Top quality woodworking machines come in three construction grades: hobby grade, mid-grade, and industrial grade. The quality one receives from any grade depends on whether it supports the production needs. If you need industrial grade equipment, you will not get good results from using hobby grade or mid-grade equipment. The equipment will prematurely wear and break down. While you do not want to overinvest in equipment that has too much capacity, trying to use a lower, less expensive grade of equipment than you need causes more financial problems than it solves.

Cutting Bed Features for Purchase of CNC Routers

The cutting beds of CNC routers vary by machine. A CNC router can have a bed that ranges from a few feet across to several yards wide. The bed may also contain unique features such as a vacuum, a perforated top, or a disposable top. When shopping for a router among used CNCwoodworking machines, woodworkers should understand the benefits of the following cutting bed features before they invest in a certain piece of equipment.

Table Size

Table size is important as it pertains to the size of the raw material and/or the number of pieces that must be cut in a certain time. A large top will obviously facilitate the production of large pieces, but it can also expedite the production of smaller pieces; the large cutting area means less reloading is needed to finish the production run. Regarding size, it is better to choose a table that has more space than necessary than one that is cramped.
Vacuum Table Top

A vacuum table keeps material securely in place by applying a vacuum from underneath. Typically available in high-end new or used CNC woodworking machines, a vacuum table replaces clamps. The advantages of this technology are the vacuum can be released faster than clamps, and every inch of the material is held in place with the same amount of force. The biggest disadvantage is, unlike clamps, the vacuum pump requires special maintenance, uses electricity, and may be subject to repairs.
Disposable Table Top
Disposable tabletops, which are typically composed of layers of high-density MDF boards, are ideal for first-time CNC router operators who may accidentally bypass limit switches and sensors, and cut into the table. Disposable tops can also be added to tables that already have non-disposable tops. They are typically used for hobbyist woodwork.
Perforated Table Top

Perforated tops tend to be the least expensive because they require the smallest amount of material to produce. Available with various types of perforation, perforated tops allow dust to fall through the slots into a collection bin. While letting gravity do the work of a dust collector is an inexpensive option, it may complicate the dust collection process. If you perform a low volume of work, and do not perform dust removal until the end of the day, using a router equipped with a perforated top would be optimal.
T-Slot Table Top

T-Slot tops are typically found on hobby grade routers and commercial models reduced in price. A T-slot top has some attractive advantages: it is inexpensive, easy to use, and does not consume much electricity. The biggest downside to T-slot tops is traditional clamping methods must often be modified to prevent the spindle head from hitting the clamps. The software that comes with T-slot routers might lack the programming capacity to create paths around the clamping system.