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Old 05-09-2019, 07:45 AM
Tim McKnight's Avatar
Tim McKnight Tim McKnight is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Morral, Ohio
Posts: 5,404

When we first purchased our CNC we ordered it with a 3HP Porter Cable router, because it was the most affordable option. It served our needs for many years. The downside to using a 3HP router is the NOISE. Its VERY, VERY, VERY loud and you can't be anywhere inside the shop without hearing protection. Imagine cutting a part that takes 2 hours, all the time working near the deafening noise of that router. The noise, even with hearing protection on is excruciating to say the least.

Shop Bot does order an upgrade option of a water cooled spindle, back then at a cost of ~$3000, which wasn't in our budget so we took the lower cost basic alternative. Looking back, I wished we would have just sucked it up and bought the water cooled spindle. Last year we finally upgraded to a spindle and what a blessing it is. We can turn the spindle on and you can barely hear it turning. When it is cutting wood the DB's go up but its still not in the dangerous range where its necessary to wear hearing protection.

The small gray colored box, in the upper right corner of the picture, is called a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive). This box controls the speed at which the spindle turns the carbide cutting tools. It's basically a speed control for the cutting tool.

On the right side of the frame you will see a cabinet we built to house a monitor, keyboard and two PC's. The PC in the bottom left of the cabinet is just a basic PC that we use ONLY for CAD and CAM software and runs on Windows 7. That is all that is on the machine. Its not connected to the internet nor should it ever be as this could infect the other software and cause all kinds of bugs and glitches in the machine. According to ShopBot you should use a dedicated PC computer for the machine, not MACs. The other computer, in the lower right corner, comes with the machine and houses all of the driver boards that run the machine. This PC is connected to the other PC via USB cables.

Sorry for the long winded post but I've tried to be thorough and no I'm not a rep or affiliated with ShopBot or any other CNC companies

Let me know if you have any additional questions.
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