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Thread: Convince me!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Arcadia, Fl & Cullawhee, NC
    Posts
    1

    Default Convince me!

    I have a Shark HD with a spinel. I want to upgrade in the near future. Please convince me why I should go with a shop bot over its competitors.. I am a hobbyist and would like to be able to do atlast 48x48.
    Also if I should decide on a ShopBot which one and what accessories should I get... And lastly is the prices posted negotiable or do they run specials?

    Thank you
    Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Bell, Florida
    Posts
    407

    Default

    First off, check to see how many professional cabinet shops use the competitors - I really want a Thermwood but starting at $80000.00 and needing 3 phase, that left me looking elsewhere.
    Now look at resale value
    Next try to find a forum like this that can help you almost anytime
    Now- call Shopbot and talk with them about what you need or just ask one question - they are awesome when it comes to customer service!

    Now you should be watching the for sale board on here and checking Craigs list looking for your new used bot!

    Hope this helps
    Tim Lucas Custom Woodworks
    www.TLCW.us

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    iBILD Solutions - Southern NJ
    Posts
    7,925

    Default

    You are only 4 hrs from the factory...go see one. You can get a demo there or call SB & they will see if there is someone closer to you that is willing to do a demo for you. Back in 2001 I drove 3 hours to see a demo...then wrote a check the next day for a new machine.

    -B
    High Definition 3D Laser Scanning Services - Advanced ShopBot CNC Training and Consultation - Vectric Custom Video Training IBILD.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,825

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Vowels View Post
    I have a Shark HD with a spinel. I want to upgrade in the near future. Please convince me why I should go with a shop bot over its competitors.. I am a hobbyist and would like to be able to do atlast 48x48.
    Also if I should decide on a ShopBot which one and what accessories should I get... And lastly is the prices posted negotiable or do they run specials?

    Thank you
    Tim
    Tim,
    If I were you (and I was 4 years ago) I would research the various brands, their history of product/service/etc, investigate the operating systems, the build and so forth - and do the same with the competition.

    In reality, each of us has/had "X" dollars to spend on a machine, and tried to get the best value for that dollar.

    For me, I looked at several machines and companies, and went to a few larger woodworking shows, spoke to sales and technical support and even a few other owners. Then I decided what would work best for my shop, and that was a Shopbot.

    Would I buy another Shopbot router? Certainly! I really like the machine, over the past 3+ years I have had it, it has performed just as I needed it to. Service (what little I did require) was always immediate (getting someone on the phone during working hours is pretty much immediate, email very fast and of course this forum is very, very good too). I like the control system/set up and it was not long to get familiar with operating the machine comfortably.

    I have not yet met or spoke to a Shopbot owner who wasnt happy (although some have gone on to much more expensive "big iron machines" costing several times more).

    Good luck in your quest. Do some research - you owe it to yourself to do so. Same thing goes with software...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,825

    Default

    I took a flight to the AWFS show in 2011 specifically to speak to someone from Shopbot, and spent an hour talking to one of the guys about what I was needing/wanting and what best would suit my needs.

    If you are looking to spend several grand (in my case around $20K Canadian) you really have to do some homework IMO. A bit of time and $$ spent to actually see the machines is worthwhile. Actually, with all my major machinery I traveled to see the equipment in person, and most in a working environment. It is a very smart move IMO.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Clayton, NC
    Posts
    438

    Default

    Not to long ago I was in the same boat as you (except I didn't have a Shark), a hobbyist too, and this is why I went with ShopBot:

    1. This forum. I could tell that the people on this forum were extremely helpful, even to newbies asking a question that had been asked a bunch times before, rarely did it seem as if they were getting annoyed by newbie questions.
    2. This forum. I was amazed at how quickly when someone asked for help here they usually get answers.
    3. ShopBot support. They answered my questions when I called about a used machine for sale, spent a fair amount of time on the phone with me explaining how old the used machine I was looking at was, what I would and should do to get it up to speed.
    4. ShopBot is a NC company. I like to support my local businesses, they are an hours drive away, took mom up there for a factory tour, and after it she was more excited to get one then me! She still carries the little cross they cut out as an example for us in her purse, and the large cross is in her sewing room. It was amazing, the asked us what we'd like to see sample cut, she said a cross, and probably 15 minutes later they had cut out 2 crosses with intricate details on the face.
    5. Resale value of ShopBots. I picked my first machine up on Craigslist, rush decision, and great learning curve. Seller swore it was single phase, but it wasn't was 3 phase, which I don't have access too. I cleaned up machine, and sold at profit in under 30 days.

    I never found any other site dedicated to a specific manufacturer to be as helpful as the ShopBot community. Heck, they'll help you here even if you don't own a ShopBot!

    I also considered a 48x48 machine, I work in a single car garage, but I ended up with a 48x96 and very glad I did, it's very nice to have ability to just drop a full size sheet on the Bot. And every time I looked, it really wasn't that large of a price differential to go up to a 48x96 machine. I considered a Buddy, but by time I added power-sticks to support larger size, it was too big to fit in my garage.

    Keep an eye on the for sale boards here, and you'll see some bot's come up nearby. You'll probably have to drive a short distance to get one, I went down to Atlanta to get mine. Sometimes they pop up on Craigslist and eBay (setup a search on eBay for every time ShopBot is listed) but I have noticed the eBay ones seem to be a bit on high side price wise.

    But it does come down to budget. You have to ask yourself how much do you want to spend? And how far will you drive to get it. I picked mine up in an enclosed trailer (figured it was going to be a 2 day trip for me, and because of traffic it was) cause I didn't want mine exposed on long drive up I-85. This is assuming you go used. If you go new, you could order and pick up from ShopBot, save some shipping costs. If you go a full size 48x96 machine new you'll get the educational experience of assembly, which will help educate you on how the machine is put together and works. Good to know when you need to service it. Some people prefer to buy a used one because it is already full assembled.

    And what Brady said. Go to the factory for a tour, it is low pressure, very very friendly group of people. When I win the lottery I will be ordering a very nice custom 'Bot from them.
    Daniel E.
    ShopBot PRS 48x96 (2010 Model)
    Porter Cable Router
    Vacuum Table w/ 2 Fein vacs
    Aspire 9.0

    What I do when I don't mess up wood: http://www.pathhome.net

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    453

    Default

    As someone who sells a CNC accessory, I can't tell you how many times I have heard "I own brand X, but that company is out of business".

    I bought my first CNC, a shopbot, in 1999. That machine is still an integral part of my production along with a newer shopbot purchased a couple years ago. Both machines are the backbone of my operation. I would not hesitate to buy another. I refer more customers to shopbot than any other brand because of the service, ease of use, and the companies proven track record. You simply won't regret purchasing a machine from shopbot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    694

    Default

    I would say you should go to the ShopBot class which is held at the factory every month. I did that early on in my decision making process and it pretty much clinched the deal for me. I looked at several other systems and they were nice and all but the SB had the most bang for the buck and with the support, it was hard to consider another machine. I've had my 60x96x12 PRS Alpha for three years now and the machine has done exactly what I've asked of it. I suggest getting bigger than you need rather than what you need as the cost isn't that much and bigger, especially in the Z axis, allows a lot more freedom in materials and projects than just enough. The 12" Z was to me the smartest decision but so was going with the 60" width over 48". I placed aluminum extrusions along the extra width so I can use my table both for standard sheets using a vacuum hold down system and clamp fixtures with the extrusions. I've found that to be quite useful.

    I would suggest you spend the time to see any machine you are seriously considering in person. Try calling the support line for that company at 4:55pm and see if they answer. Try emailing them on the weekend and see if you hear back from them in the next week or ever. I think you will find SB to be the one you want to deal with. I did.
    ShopBot Details:
    PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,296

    Default

    Don't let anyone tell you that the Shopbot is light compared to their unit. After it is assembled and the top is installed it weighs about the same as the others. One thing when you assemble it you will know the machine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    709

    Default

    You know the crazy part? All these folks telling you that you DO want a ShopBot! How many websites and forums have you come across, where the people who paid significant money for a tool and several years later, they are STILL enamored with the machine AND they love the service they get when they need it??

    I got hit with lightning a couple years ago and Frank sat with me on the phone talking me through the check outs on the machine. We instantly identified that I had lost a 5V power transformer. We replaced it- and then we trouble shot the board. It had issues that needed repairing at the shop, so I FedExed it to him and he had it fixed and turned around in 1 day! ONE DAY! Frank and I had discussed the fact that I was in need of some machining- so he helped me get it fixed super-fast so I could keep moving. And while I think Frank is AWESOME- I believe ALL the folks up there are awesome...

    You do your searching around and see what you find, but I could have built my own machine from the plans that are available on the web and would have gotten a "good" machine. Once I found this forum, and these machines- my mind was made up.

    You do what you think is best for you, and then tell us which ShopBot you decide to buy. Buy a bigger one than you think you "need"- you won't be sorry. As soon as you commit to a size, you will find a project that is bigger than the machine can allow....

    Best of luck!

    Monty

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