Affordable CNC Carving

Out of curiosity I looked at wood working stuff. CompuCarve/CarveWright looks pretty awesome being able to handle some pretty complex stuff, and even copy stuff using a probe instead of a cutter. The price seemed good for what it does at 1699 when I looked at it. It will handle 14" by (??? infinite / practical limitations) by about 5" wood and carve some really amazing stuff. Then I looked at the customer reviews. "Works great when it works, 1st machine spit bearing everywhere, but 2nd one worked ok, poor machine great support then better machine and crappy support," and other things like that seemed to be the normal type of review. Oops. That does not sound promising
Anybody know if this thing is any better or worse than the reviews now?
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Bob La Londe wrote:

...and does anyone have a link to technical specifications?
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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I can tell you that it is extremely LOUD. Hearing protection for you, a must. For your neighbors, likely.
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wrote:

The reviews that I read said that it was very slow, too.. Not a problem, I'd guess, unless you're doing something where it stops and asks for bit changes.. Otherwise, I guess you start a carving and then go somewhere quiet for a while..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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mac davis wrote:

Ooooh - not a good idea. If there's a glitch and motion stops with the bit in the workpiece, CNC routers make pretty good fire starters...
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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wrote:

This topic comes up the odd times on CNC type chats and forums. Most consider it along the lines of an EasyBake oven. Yes it is an oven, but..... Perhaps that is a bit extreme, but those light duty CNC routers simply don't have the versatility or ruggedness to do any _work_.
An other way of looking at it, the chain of distribution needs to make a certain amount at each link. Working that backwards from a retail price, you might end up with 200-300 dollars worth of parts.
It is basically a toy.
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That is basically the conclusion I have come up with. When I look at some of the CNC controllers and rail assemblies available I find there are a lot of designs with a lot more capacity and flexibility for the same price. With most of those its an open design, easy to clean, and easy to replace parts if they fail. I actually started looking at CNC milling (for metal engraving and mold prototyping) when I notied this thing and thought of a way it could fill one (one small one) of my needs. I think I'm going to start looking at two seperate tools instead. A rail frame CNC router, and a small CNC mill. I am sure the CNC router can be prorammed with Mach 3 or similar to do any of the wood carving I might need as well.
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