View Full Version : Buddy for Sign Shop Use

09-11-2008, 09:45 PM
I am thinking of purchasing a "Buddy" for my small sign shop for v-carving, contour cutting, etc. Are there any other users that use the buddy in their shop's? Thank you in advance.

09-13-2008, 10:45 PM
You could check out the ShopBotter Message Board for a thread called Buying a Buddy ???...back on 8-23-2008. I started that thread because I am thinking of buying a Buddy to start a sign business.
Got any advice for starting a sign business???

09-14-2008, 06:03 PM
Yes, I have had a BT48 for 2 months now. It is a perfect fir for our small woodworking shop. I am constantly seeing new ways to use it. Best Tool investment We have made for our shop.

09-14-2008, 08:48 PM

Are you using the extensions so you could work with a larger sub-straight? If so, how goes it? How is the learning curve on this. I have no CNC background.

09-15-2008, 08:11 AM

Let me jump in to address your question on the learning curve.

I have had my ShopBot for about 2 1/2" years now. When I ordered it, I had a son still at home and he had taken CAD in High School and assured me that he could draw what I needed him to. Then he moved out, got married and has not drawn a single thing for me to date. I thought I was going to be lost. Short story is I feel I can draw, toolpath and cut anything I want to. I also know that if I get in a bind and cannot figure it out, there are lots of people on this forum, and at ShopBot that will be there to help me. I don't give drawing a second thought now.

My suggestion is simply this. When you buy your machine, get the PartWorks CAD package that comes with your machine and start drawing and following the lessons that come with it. Ask questions, don't get stuck. Keep moving forward. The best thing would be to go and see someone or have them come to you to get you started drawing the simple things and to show you what the drawing tools do. Once you know what tools you have available, you will be able to move forward quickly on your own. Then when your machine is delivered, you will be able to focus on the running of the machine and toolpaths.

I wish many times that I had a software package that I could give to folks that call me for help that would allow me to either control their computer or allow them to see my computer and what I am doing on it. I just know I could boil it all down quickly and make it so easy for those just getting started. It is quite fun to tell you the truth.

I am sure you will do just fine but remember there is a great many people able and willing to help if you need it.

09-15-2008, 10:01 AM
An important skill that you will have to learn is to use CAD/CAM software. Vectric offers two excellent products Cut 2D and VCarve Pro. You can download trial versions of the software for free at http://vectric.com/

09-15-2008, 10:47 AM
"I wish many times that I had a software package that I could give to folks that call me for help that would allow me to either control their computer or allow them to see my computer and what I am doing on it. "

Ed, Take a look at VNC www.tightvnc.com (http://www.tightvnc.com)

09-15-2008, 02:11 PM
You guys have been great, thanks for all of your help!

09-15-2008, 02:18 PM
Thanks Ken.

10-22-2008, 09:44 AM
The president of our small sign shop has authorized the purchase of a ShopBot Buddy to help out with our sign production. ShopBot advertises in the Sign Magazines that it is also an engraver. Do any current owners have any information or photos that they can share concerning ShopBots ability to engrave. Also, are any sign shops using the Buddy for ADA Signage? Thanks.

Gary Campbell
10-22-2008, 06:12 PM
There are many posts in The Sign Making section of the Forum. Either search for your information or browse past articles. Your Buddy will be able to cut any operation listed for a full size machine, your only limit will be smaller material size.

10-22-2008, 07:14 PM
The 'smaller material size' may not be a killer either. I just got my 48" Buddy with the 12' powerstick option. I hope to have the powerstick installed this weekend and never take it off. Granted, I will have to open the garage door any time I want to do anything too big but being able to do a 12 foot piece of carved trim is just too enticing.
The most important thing for engraving with any machine is to level the table (the first project ShopBot suggests is Surfacing the Table). Do it (OK, you can play a little bit first - I did!) and you will be much happier.