View Full Version : Enough is enough!

03-25-1999, 10:52 AM
I feel I speak for the majority of ShopBotters when I say that if ShopBot suggests not moving the carriage manually without unplugging the motors because there's a slight chance of damaging the boards, that's good enough for me. I have the rack-and pinion upgrade, and have no trouble moving the carriage manually if I need to; no tooth skipping or other problems. I do however ALWAYS turn the motors off and unplug them if I'm going to move the X or Y more than a fraction of an inch. To me it's not worth the risk of damaging a board, no matter how slight.

03-25-1999, 02:28 PM
Damage? Slight damage?

You risk damage every time you start your machine, but that dosen't mean that you are going to hide in the house...

Don't believe everything you read. Just because one place sais do this, and another sais do that, find out for yourself. Ask questions. That is what this is all about. If it isn't, then shut the forum down NOW.

I am making a logical inquiry about the validity of a claim. If we are not allowed to do that, and told by individuals like yourself "Shopbot sais it is that way, so let it be" ....then count me out. I am NOT a lemming, I will NOT follow the crowd, I WILL question EVERY questionable statement made by yourselves and/or Shopbot. If you don't agree to this type of inquiry, then what is this forum for?

Just because you are happy and NOT concerned with the amount of money that you have thrown at this machine dosen't mean that everyone is.
There are small business owners that have to develop our own upgrades or rely on other sources because they cannot afford the high cost of the manufacturer.

As far as Bill being the majority speaker, the Chain Drive majority is too busy doing actual work and not slamming other Bot owners just because they have an idea.

Notice that I haven't flamed you on the construction of your machine or your personality or your posting techniques, why in the heck would you want to do that to me? Because you don't agree with me? That is child like.

Let it be, let it go. You and I don't agree, that is final.

"To each his own"


john@pcjet.com (mailto:john@pcjet.com)

03-25-1999, 07:50 PM
alright john, alright bob, you guys knock it off or i'll send both of you to your rooms (my mom used this technique and it worked for us) thank god we live in a country where we can move our shopbots with the power off if we want (i try not to do it if it can be avoided). i prefer to use the new keyboard move function (probably the best feature of the new software). thanks to shopbot for resurecting the forum.

03-26-1999, 01:34 AM
We at J.E.T Enterprises had a problem with the cable system, we designed and now manufacture an answer to that problem, ie: The Chain Drive. We offer our product as a reliable, easy, cost effective solution to problems resulting with the cable system. Before each sale we encourage and try to do a troubleshooting session with the customer to find out if the problem is truly with the cable system or user error. We DO NOT encourage a breech of confidence with ShopBot as all other problems outside the drive system will continue to be refered to ShopBot for solutions. I do not understand the hostility and anger I see on this forum, You would think someone had a gun to some peoples heads, forcing them to "move that carriage by hand --or else" just because someone has a difference of opinion or has found a solution to a problem and begins to share it. They suddenly open themselves up for an attack by some dyed in the wool ShopBotters who don't happen to agree with you. Free enterprise is "the American way" and we encourage it wholeheartedly. Several of our video custormers have copied our Chain Drive solution on thier own and we say CONGRADULATIONS, and happy ShopBotting to them. We have been ask by our customers what is new on the J.E.T drawing board . We have two designs proto types that will compliment the ShopBot tool that we are working on currently. Some request were also made for instructional videos and the first one is ready to ship, however we really don't want the same hassle the Chain Drive has caused. so we will offer our products and modifications to our customer base only from now on.

03-26-1999, 11:29 AM
I agree with Bill Young, and Dennis Thorpe and would love to have someone FLAME me.....why because it would not bother me a bit, most of us shopbotters are happy with what we got and we know the problems we are having and have found ways to correct them besides bad mouthing shopbot and any other person or company who know's how to fix the problem.

We the Buyers not the sellers will make up our own minds on what is best for us and how we want to handle the moving of the X Y axis.

I will not take sides on who's idea's are better as far as chain and R/P that will be left to the shopbotters.

If people other then Shopbot want to post there upgrade and idea's on how to improve our machines then they should do it in a professional way and not act like children.

A lot of shopbotter are looking for help on how to do things and do not want to scroll down a whole list of bickering on who's idea is better.

Me personally I would like to see posts on how other people are useing there machine and new ways of useing it, it would benefit all who come here for help and idea's.

Someone asked me why I posted all the files on the FTP site, they were ment for other's to get an idea of what can be done with there machine and how to make them, and that is what I thought ths forum is all about.

Other shopbotters said they did not want to post there idea's on the forum because they were afraid
that there idea was not good enough to post, and could not meet what us pro's can do........pro's what pro's all I see is everyone fighting and talking in riddles, to me it means they don't even know how to use there machine , but they got all the anwsers.

As for the power supply goes it was a good idea and was left at that, why can't that way of posting continue ? instead of back and forth correcting each others statements.

It tells me that there is alot of free time on your hands and not enough work with your machine.

So feel free to respond and bad mouth me and tell me and others that what was said here is not true and challenge me, That way I can call Paul Harvey so he can add it to the rest of the story.


03-26-1999, 02:38 PM

No bad words here, it is nice to see someone who speaks from the heart and not from puppet strings. Keep up the good work. I have some AutoCad tips for you (as well as others) on the Bothead forum, check it frequently.

Again, thanks to the silent individuals who supported us in our struggle to make a standard. You will not be forgotten.

To those who fear the unknown.....don't.
To those who think they know it all....they don't.

Now, back to work.

J.E.T. Enterprises

john@pcjet.com (mailto:john@pcjet.com)

08-05-1999, 10:34 AM
I am thinking of buying a PR96 to cut 1/4" to 1/2" thick acrylic. Is the machine strong enough to do that without extensive router vibration? Will the gantry be strong enough to do it at normal production speeds without bending? Will the acrylic have chatter marks or chipping because the router is not held rigid?

Also, I went to see one of these machines yesterday and was shown a sample radius cut. The cut was not smooth but had small steps in it (approximately one every 1/8"). Is this normal? Is it a fault of the software? Is it caused by the operator/programmer? Or, is it caused by the rack and pinion system itself? Or?

08-05-1999, 01:44 PM

Acrylic is a "tough" material, not that it is hard
to cut, but hard to get a "good" surface finish
without some hand work (this is on ANY kind of

I think the ShopBot is "strong" enough to cut
acrylic, but you will need to use a slower spindle
than say a hand router. Melting will be your
biggest problem. A slower spindle speed and some
special bits (either up/down cutter or special
acrylic bit) will be the key to getting your best

Now vibration is a problem with any machine. It
again depends on how fast you go through the
material and how much of a cut you are taking ect.
There are all factors that will have to be
determined by your machine is setup/built. If
vibration is a problem, you could always add
weight to the carriage to help dampen the
vibration. For example, you could put some 15-20
lbs dumbbell weight on the carriage and that will
help reduce vibration, but would also reduce jog
and cutting speeds.

Lastly, without being there, I cannot say exactly
why the radius was "stepped". My machine cuts
pretty smooth arcs. Matter of fact, once I
upgraded to the rack and pinion, I was able to use
it to engrave "engraver's plastic" for making
larger signs and name plaques. The paths have been pretty good, but I do get some tool bit
marks because of varing speeds of router bit (I am
using a speed control on my router and it is not
vary consistent at maintaining a speed--it surges
a lot--and giving inconsistent tool marks).

There could be a lot of reasons for this. Some
programs export arcs as short lines when they are
converted to DXF files. This has caused stepped
arc problems for me (the Amiable Technologies
Flexi series come to mind).

Now, if you wrote the arc in ShopBot code and are
having stepped problems, there is a place in the
ShopBot software that lets you adjust the arc
"cord" lengths. This setting would affect how
smooth the curves comes out. Unfortunately, I do
not have the manual right in front of me, so
I cannot tell you the exact command, but I will
look it up today and will repost tonight.

If you are not in any rush, send me a drawing of
the type of parts you want to cut. While I do not
have any acrylic on hand, I do have some scrap
polycarbonate that I can cut. Make it as complex
as you like, but keep in mind that the smallest
bit I use is 1/8" and limit your part to 6" x 6".

Bruce Clark
bwclark@centuryinter.net (mailto:bwclark@centuryinter.net)

Ron B
08-08-1999, 10:07 AM
Jim and Bruce,

I have had good success cutting cast acrylic. I slow the router down, use a solid carbide upcut bit and high cutting speeds.

Bit cooling helps also. One of my biggest initial problems was the melting of the plastic and the chips reattaching on the cut. I use a Kool Mist brand air nozzle that will supply a fine water/air mist on the bit/cut.


Bruce, if you need some scrap acrylic, I can mail you a piece. I have some 3/8 and 1/2.

08-08-1999, 10:31 AM

Thanks for the offer of the acrylic. I don't do
too much plastic cutting. I just had some
polycarbonate (Lexan) scrap because I had to make
a "chip" shield for my milling machine.

The spray misting unit is a good idea. I use one
on my milling machine. Works GREAT, but be aware
that they CAN fog your shop. So, I recommend
adequate ventilation (especially if you use oil in
your misting unit).

Bruce Clark
bwclark@centuryinter.net (mailto:bwclark@centuryinter.net)

11-30-1999, 02:03 AM
I am interested in buying a model 96 to use in my cabinet shop, i have seen a number of comments on the cable vs r/p units. has the accuracy be enhanced with the r/p system, and can i cut sheets of 3/4 laminated mdf to make cabinet parts with one pass.

11-30-1999, 09:21 AM
I have a 96 rp and a cabinet shop. Unless you slow down the feed speed I doubt if you will be able to cut 3/4 effectively with the shopbot. I also think you would have problems cutting 3/4 with a router by hand.
At my shop we do all our panel processing except ripping to size, even though we have a 3 1/2 porter cable router in our shopbot. We do all our dados and hole drilling on stock alread sized on the table saw. It is just much faster to do it that way, for us.

If I am cutting templates or complex curves, I cut with a 1/4" bit and make 3 passes and a final pass to clean up the item.

By the way, I had a cable system and just upgraded to rp. The accuracy is much greater. Before I would dado with a 3/4 bit and then change bits and do all our drilling with a 1/4 bit. Now, since the machine is much faster and accurate, I cut the dados with four passes on the 1/4 and drill the holes in the same pass. It ends up being much fasters since I only need to handle the material once.

My opinions only

John Forney

11-30-1999, 11:17 PM
Anthony, I have just got my new Shopbot up and running, and I am having NO problems at all cutting 3/4 pine core melamine in 1 pass with a 1/4" up-spiral solid carbide bit. I would have to look at the feed rate, but I am using the default that the program uses. It does leave a little bit of a cutter mark, very minimal, but I edge the panels I am cutting with T-Moulding, so it doent matter. I build store fixtures, and cabinets now and then, and plan to use just like John says, for processing panels, and I am looking into starting custom closet system and prcess the panels with the shopbot. I have not tried to cut MDF with this setup, but do cut MDF from time to time, and I will try the same setup when I do. I am running a Porter Cable 3.25 router, and John, I used to cut the fixture end panels off a pattern by hand in 1 pass with a 1/2" 2 flute straight carbide bit with no problems. I have found that the bit does hold an edge longer in the shopbot, probably due to the consistent feed speed. I was at the same point you are at Anthony about 2 months ago, and now that I have the Shopbot, it has really saved me time, and has kept me from having to hire help in my 1 man shop!

Brian Miller

robert lock
12-01-1999, 12:21 AM
as far as panel cutting......i dont do it cause ive been doing it fine on the tblesaw for 20 yrs, but....the other things you can do on the sb are so precise and just downright unbelievable that you should buy one just to have! i have yet to think of something that it couldnt do much faster and better than ive ever been able to.
my last few months have been the most profitable since i started my own shop 8 years ago, everyone ive showed it to has left with a glazed look saying "gotta get one" im doing things that i never would have attempted before, and getting them done in minutes. trust me, i dont work for sb or been put up to this by them. i just really like the thing. but if they want to send me another one for the sincere promo...they know where to find me...:)

12-01-1999, 12:49 PM
I've been cutting 3/4 ash with a 1/4 " bit with no trouble.

12-02-1999, 05:16 AM
Wow, thanks for all of the imput on cutting mdf and panels. being so far out here in the pacific
we have to reley on alot of "Magivering" to make things work. I normally use a product out of australia called HMR. Its High Moisture Resistant
partical board, melimine, double sided. its relitivly inexspensive, and my customers love it as it resists our daily 100% humidity. investing in the shopbot to process my panels looks very promising, but i stll have a few questions. can the machine provide a finish that can be edgebanded, and can you use a 5mm upcutting bit to cut to size and drill the holes for the shelf pins. will the machine allow you to cut out 35mm
holes for euro hinges. i would like to perform as many operations as possible with one cutter set up in the holder. i am also looking at cabinetvision solid cnc program to rum my shopbot.
has anyone tryed it out there ?

12-02-1999, 12:03 PM
It appears that SolidCabinet will get you to DXF and then the SB software will get you the rest of the way. Unless they are willing to write you a post for SB.
Um ... ? How much is Solid Cabinet ?
It looks like it could be SALTY !

AS for doing whatever with a single bit ...
Sure !!! why not ? It's just a matter of creative program design.
I do drilling and pocketing all with one bit.

Go for it.

12-03-1999, 09:12 PM
Thanks for the encouragement brian(Mcw), I would like to contact you thru email if possible to ask some detailed questions. please provide a address or phone number.
best regards