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Thread: 4x8 PRT Standard with HSD Spindle or 5x10 PRS Standard with Router

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    8

    Default 4x8 PRT Standard with HSD Spindle or 5x10 PRS Standard with Router

    I'm new to cnc and I'm looking to buy my first machine. Since I'm looking for a used machine, I've decided on a Shopbot since there seems to be a great support network on this forum. Being able to disassemble the machine is also plus, that way I can get it in through a 36" door instead of having to cut a hole in the wall.

    I run a custom photo lab, and I'll be using it to cut the 1/4" acrylic and 3mm dibond panels I use for mounting prints. I'm currently using a track saw, so I'm looking to help automate cutting as well as provide cleaner edges on the acrylic to reduce or maybe even eliminate the need for sanding before flame polishing.

    I've found a couple of machines I'm considering, and I'm looking for advice on which one you think would be best for my application. One is a 4x8 PRT Standard with a 4G upgrade and HSD Spindle and the other is a 5x10 PRS Standard with the Porter Cable Router. I use 4x8 sheets almost exclusively, so I really won't be using at the extra capacity of the 5x10 machine and it'll take up more of my 23x13' shop room. They want $8000 for the PRT (which maybe seems a little high compared to others I've seen on the classified's here, although it has very low hours) and $5500 for the PRS.

    Will I be happy happy with a router, or do I need the spindle? Is the there enough advantages to the newer PRS that it would be worth getting it and then upgrading to a spindle?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Noah

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    , Richmond Tx
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    The prs is a large improvement over a prt. I have had both before. I think the prs is a better value. As for the size, that is up to you. Replacing the router with a spindle is something done by many users. "If" those were my two choices, I would take the prs and cut it down to a 4x8, then add a spindle when I had extra funds.
    Kenneth

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    2,305

    Default

    The 5 foot wide format is real nice to have at time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ken_rychlik View Post
    The prs is a large improvement over a prt. I have had both before. I think the prs is a better value. As for the size, that is up to you. Replacing the router with a spindle is something done by many users. "If" those were my two choices, I would take the prs and cut it down to a 4x8, then add a spindle when I had extra funds.
    Thank you for the advice Ken! Any specific ways in which the PRS was an improvement?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry_stanek View Post
    The 5 foot wide format is real nice to have at time.
    I could see having a use for 5 foot wide occasionally, the 10 foot length is what I don't really need.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Any tips on moving one of these machines? Is it important to take the gantry off before moving it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Clayton, NC
    Posts
    442

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    Quote Originally Posted by noahw View Post
    Any tips on moving one of these machines? Is it important to take the gantry off before moving it?
    I moved mine from Atlanta to NC. Unhooked the motors before moving, but left the gantry attached, just strapped it down tight so it wouldn't move. Lifted it up and put on four furniture dollies on each corner and moved it around pretty easily. And I'd take the PRS for $5500 over the PRT.
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    , Richmond Tx
    Posts
    1,031

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    To fit it through the 36 inch door you talked about, yes the gantry has to be off. If you are not mechanically inclined, hire a mechanic to take it apart and put it back together. Cutting off the length would be much easier than shortening the gantry. Hardened rails instead of mild steel, and a stiff gantry with easy bit changing access compared to having to reach under the rails to change a bit. The way the gantry rides on V wheels, either gantry should be pulled before moving in my opinion.
    Kenneth

  9. #9
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    Sep 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by tri4sale View Post
    I moved mine from Atlanta to NC. Unhooked the motors before moving, but left the gantry attached, just strapped it down tight so it wouldn't move. Lifted it up and put on four furniture dollies on each corner and moved it around pretty easily. And I'd take the PRS for $5500 over the PRT.
    I'd be going from Chicago to Detroit, so that's probably a pretty similar move. Thanks for the furniture dolly idea!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken_rychlik View Post
    To fit it through the 36 inch door you talked about, yes the gantry has to be off. If you are not mechanically inclined, hire a mechanic to take it apart and put it back together. Cutting off the length would be much easier than shortening the gantry. Hardened rails instead of mild steel, and a stiff gantry with easy bit changing access compared to having to reach under the rails to change a bit. The way the gantry rides on V wheels, either gantry should be pulled before moving in my opinion.
    Those all sound like significant advantages, so I'm definitely leaning towards the PRS. I'm fairly mechanically inclined, so I'm not too worried about taking apart as much as I need to move it safely. With the gantry off, do you think getting the rest of the table through the door in one piece on it's side is doable?

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