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  #1  
Old 04-07-2012, 08:53 PM
mike michael_schwartz is offline
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Default Before I purchase the SB link

I reinstalled ecabinets today, and I my plan is to at least give it a serious try. I have subscribed to the training videos, and plan to watch them over the next couple of days.

I am really considering purchasing the SB link, but I plan to spend some time working with the software first.

Of course one of my concerns are the numerous reports of bugs, and various issues. I have seen that there have been improvements over time. How is the current version in this regard. I don't mind working around a couple of minor problems from time to time, but I also want to get up and running quickly without having to learn what works, and what doesn't.

Second of all I understand the primary focus of E-Cabinets is, cabinetry, and casework. I am wondering how practical it is to go beyond the modification of standard cabinet boxes, and assemblies included in the library, and create designs from scratch, while retaining many the full benefits of the software. Specifically in terms of custom casework, or even furniture.

Overall for the price, it seems like the SB link, is something I can't afford to not have. I am not about to spend $20k for the alternatives.

I drew a simple bookcase with blind dado construction, adjustable shelves, and a 1/4" dadoed back in about 5 minutes. I would plan on spending at least 1/2 a day drawing the same thing in aspire. I am really impressed by the automation.
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Shopbot prs standard 48x96. Aspire. SB Link.
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2012, 09:00 PM
Kevin Dunphy kevin is offline
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Micheal give cabinet parts a try

I find it more does what I want I have more control dado you name it

I use KD Draw for design its cheap

What I find with the link is the huge amount of sheets it takes to make a kitchen , I've brought this up before never given a straight answer ?
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2012, 09:42 PM
mike michael_schwartz is offline
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I just experimented some and modified the frameless base into my standard design with 2 4.5" wide top stretchers, back nailer, and a 1/4" captured back, and removed the toe kick since I do separate applied bases. The material yields seem to be much better that way than with the standard library. If I were only cutting a single sheet though I think I could probably do a better job nesting by hand. I don't know if it is possible to modify the nests.
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Shopbot prs standard 48x96. Aspire. SB Link.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:57 PM
Kevin Dunphy kevin is offline
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If you want to seperate yourself from the pack use full back 3/4 thick it makes for an easier install and your only saving a 2 sheets on a kitchen

Same with stretchers I know everybody does it doesn.t make it right
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2012, 10:06 AM
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Gary Campbell, ShopBot Tools garyc is offline
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Michael...
There are a few bugs listed in the "to fix" queue, but most of these are issues that have popped up only when using a specific keystroke order not expected by the programmers. Few, if any, of these are stopping users from making their cabinets, as workarounds have been posted.

Try downloading the free furniture libraries from Thermwood, as eCabs (and the Link) has many furniture component machining capabilities. Including 3D carving of inlays/onlays on to nested lumber components.

To the nesting; computer nesting will seldom replace the human eye/brain combo on a small number of parts, i.e. a few sheets. The time savings comes in time when doing large numbers of parts over dozens or hundreds of sheets. Nesting is done in seconds vs possibly hours. The Link has no provisions for modification of nested sheets. After a few years of use, I dont feel one is needed.

I have Beta tested for both eCabs and for Cabinet Parts Pro and have not seen a significant difference in the yield. With that said, there are a number of settings that the Link has that CPPro doesnt that could drastically affect the yield. Kevin could have had one or more of those settings set for less than the most efficient yield.

In my opinion the Link's ability to process a complete job as one file, instead of one file per sheet, and handles jobs with multiple thickness' puts it near the top of the pile for casework design software. The edgeband thickness allowance, assembly marks, custom hole patterns, door and drawer front boring and you have a great package. Last, but not least, you have virtually unrestricted joinery. Most other packages give you a limited number of joinery methods.

My personal favorite is the Mortise(dado) and tenon joinery. It makes the strongest and squarest boxes I have built. With or without fasteners. Many jobs or materials just cannot have exposed staples or screws.

The learning curve is steep, (eCabs, not the SB Link) as is with any full featured software package, but once you are over that hump, you will find that you have many quick and easy solutions to put yourself ahead of the pack.
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2012, 11:36 AM
mike michael_schwartz is offline
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The new "lock dado" joint also looks very appealing. Has anybody given that a try yet?
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Shopbot prs standard 48x96. Aspire. SB Link.
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2012, 02:03 PM
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Gary Campbell, ShopBot Tools garyc is offline
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Michael...
There are a number of guys over on the eCabs forum that have tried it. It seems to be pretty good overall, unless tried with a fibrous sheetgood product. You might read up there for more info.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2012, 08:23 AM
Don Thomson dlcw is offline
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Michael,

I've been using SBLink for about 3 years now and in the beginning it was a real PITA. However, with Gary's and others' help, I've been able to do some pretty cool things with it. I've done custom wall/bookcase units, I did a monitor support stand/organizer for my desk out of left over 1/2" hickory plywood, plus many other things - not kitchen cabinet related.

What I found is that you need to setup the software to accommodate for the flex in the Shopbot. This is accomplished by cutting your parts in 2 passes. This creates a SUPER clean cut, exactly on the line that I can take directly to the edgebander. No additional work is needed on the edge. Most of my custom cabinet work uses the mortise and tenon joinery method. For my RTA and Semi-custom line I use rafix (cam) connectors to make it easy on the end customer. A screw drivers is all that is needed to assemble one of these cabinets.

If you are going to do flip ops, you really need a super accurate zeroing system to ensure everything lines up. I'm going to redo my pin system using pneumatics instead of the system I now use. I recently redid my vacuum holddown system (thank you Gary for the great design) incorporating 7 zones. Since my table is 60x96 I cut both 4x8 and 5x5 sheets (drawer parts). The zone setup is made to accommodate this setup with now need for fillers to cover exposed spoil board areas. It is worked REALLY well. I use two motors for the first pass on everything and then switch in the second two motors to make sure everything is really held tightly to the table. This has been a huge step forward for me.

The only downside to SBLink is that it has not updated it since June 2010. I would like to see the UI cleaned up and made a little simpler and clearer for us woodworking types. It is definitely geared toward a programmer using it and not a woodworker.
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2012, 09:30 PM
mike michael_schwartz is offline
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I have been watching the training videos, and they are well worth the time. Even the ones that cover obvious topics contain little tidbits that you would miss otherwise.

I am really excited about the possibilities of being able to work with blind dado, and RTA construction, without having to reinvent the wheel every single time.

So far I am comfortable at least with the prospect of using E-Cabinets for design, and renderings. The prospect of committing to nest and cut $1000 worth of material is a bit scary but I will experiment with low cost material at first. I guess it will be a good time to order some /cough melamine, and make a couple of shop cabinets.

I remember some time ago there was a thread about a training DVD for the link, that Gary was working on. Did this ever materialize? The discussion on this pointed to a link, that no longer exists.

I will probably save flip ops later, but I am sure i will find a need to use them. I built an over size support board when I redid my spoil board so I would have a means to securely attach a means for indexing. I have some ideas, and I have seen the various setups, that have been posted here.
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Shopbot prs standard 48x96. Aspire. SB Link.
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  #10  
Old 04-10-2012, 08:50 PM
dan nelson dan_nelson is offline
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michael, Ive looked at you site and was impressed.Cabinet software doesnt have to cost an arm and a leg to cut boxes. Spend the 250 and buy cabinets parts pro or use the trial version and cut 5 cabinets. If you run into something you cant cut with it you already have Aspire. It takes five minutes to draw and file a cabinet any kind of dado you want.
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