- May 6, 2017 at 4:04 pm #33088
I want to enter the world of CNC so I can cut furniture and a few other ideas out of 3/4′ plywood (mainly home use). I could stretch (just) to purchase a ready to go 4’x2′ router, which would get me going faster, but the builder in me is intrigued by the lowrider. This would be my first CNC build but I am reasonably adept with woodworking and am fine with the electronics (am engineer).
The main reason I like the idea of the lowrider is I could start with something around 4’x2′ or 4’x3′ (as I don’t have oodles of space currently) and then extend it later. I realise this is a pretty new build and so not a lot of info yet, but is it
1. Looking stable ?
2. Something I could safely take on as first build ?
3. What would the rough assembly time be for a 4′ x 3′ machine (excluding plastic printing)
4. I don’t have a 3d printer, will the printed parts be available here or should I look for someone local ?
Sorry for all the questions ! I am based in New Zealand, but have family going to Kansas tomorrow for 3 weeks so am thinking of getting the kit sent to them to bring back, to save shipping.May 6, 2017 at 5:23 pm #33089
The mpcnc has been through several versions. There are people making a living with it. It is pretty stable with 3/4″ material. 4’x2’x2″ is very stable with steel tubes. Through cutting 3/4″ is the easiest to do, really. If there is 1/16″ error in the Z due to some sag, no big deal.
If you’re looking for doing it more to tinker with it, while finishing the furniture pieces, then the low rider is a good fit. The low rider is probably better for what you want (3/4″ through cuts mostly). Especially because of its size. I only worry about you getting new or replacement parts. You’ll be dependent on Ryan, and I don’t know if he’ll sell you single parts or upgrade kits with the new versions. If you had a 3D printer or a friend with a 3D printer, that would help.
If you want a workhorse, then you’ll want the mpcnc. If you want a machine that you can tinker with, maybe by making some wooden parts to fix something, or finding a way to print parts then I think you’re a good fit for the LR. That’s purely because of the beta vs stability of the two machines.May 6, 2017 at 5:50 pm #33090
Yes I did wonder about starting with the MPCNC since it is more mature and all the parts are available. I was not sure whether the 4′ dimension would be an issue – I assume I could just use tube with a thicker wall section to keep the rigidity. The reality is that 4’x2′ would keep me happy for a reasonable while.
I will have a look through the larger MPCNC builds to learn some more !May 6, 2017 at 6:33 pm #33093
4’x3′ on the LowRider would be crazy rigid, long direction the table and short direction the rails. Same dimensions in the MPCNC would be at the extreme end of sizes for it really and you would need the CAM to be on point.
As for the parts I could easily sell you a set and replacements if needed. I have just kind of been watching and listening to the feedback form the few of us that have one in case we needed some changes. I have been prepping to sell the cut and printed parts so if you want to go that way I can make it happen. I have just been using my free time to work on the site lately.
The LowRider CNC is more purpose built for large sheet material, plotting, and laser would be easy to add, well anything really but I just don’t see it as a practical 3D Printer but I am sure it will happen soon.
The only thing so far that might be improved is the vacuum mounting, but with a cnc router you could easily cut your own replacement/upgrade part.
I have not put too much thought into a newcomer starting with the LowRider, but it seems very similar in build and use to me. Jeffeb3, Has the most recent build and it did have some issues and we aren’t really sure why.
I wish I could give you a more solid answer, but either would be fun, if you are going to be cutting larger sheet materials you probably should go with the LowRider, if you want to experiment and fiddle around you, some 3D printing, some milling, you might want to build a smaller MPCNC and use it to make parts to build the Lowrider, by the time you got through that you would be a pro.May 6, 2017 at 6:36 pm #33094
Is it pronounced heffe bee three, or Jeff EeeBeethree? Or being the class clown is it something completely different?May 6, 2017 at 6:49 pm #33095
I really do like the low rider concept. What is the shipping weight of the Low Rider bundle ? If I get it shipped to Kansas, I need to make sure it is not to heavy for my niece to bring back in luggage.
Are you saying that you could provide the printed parts in the short term ? If I go down this route, I would really want to get as close to a complete kit as possible
ThanksMay 6, 2017 at 6:57 pm #33096
Can you get 25.4mm Stainless, I only have the one size currently? Might want to double check if you haven’t already.
What the Dewalt 611?
Shipping weight I would have to guess is about 25lbs. I am pretty sure I can get it all in a 12″x12″x6″ box, That was the original idea, but I am not 100% certain. That should be everything except your table, 25.4mm rails, and the dewalt 611 router. If you can’t get the dewalt, I can leave the tool hole uncut and you should be able to easily hand fit another similar palm router. None of the positioning of that would be critical.
I am confident I could have a set ready to ship within a week, hopefully less.May 6, 2017 at 7:00 pm #33097
Price for the printed parts would be same per hour price as the MPCNC parts so I believe they would be a bit cheaper, as for the cut parts I really have no idea. I will get a full sheet and cut as many as possible out of it (on my LowRider!! How cool is that) and figure out some sort of fair cost plus time pricing.May 6, 2017 at 7:18 pm #33098
OK thanks, I will let you know in the next few days if I will go ahead with this.
We cant get that De Walt router here in New Zealand, but can get the Makita RT0700C which I believe should be a suitable alternative ?May 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm #33099
That router looks like it would work. Looks like the black part comes off and has some screws just like the dewalt, but it is a different size so you will have to hand drill, should be a big deal.May 6, 2017 at 7:39 pm #33100
I just checked some local supplier websites and they do have OD 25.4mm Stainless pipe listed (1.2 and 1.5mm wall), I will check tomorrow if they actually stock it !May 7, 2017 at 4:03 am #33107
@Ryan, it’s pronounced “Geoff” the ‘eb3’ is silent. When aol was a thing, I wanted jeffe, but that was taken, so I used jeffeb. Then that was full of spam so I went to jeffeb2. Then that was full of spam so I went to jeffeb3. Then spam filters were invented.May 7, 2017 at 7:33 am #33110
Heffe it is then, heffe the spam king.May 7, 2017 at 9:41 am #33111
Hahahahahaha!!May 7, 2017 at 1:19 pm #33118
Got excited, saw new activity on my thread – but no, just spam 🙂
Another question – given I create a very flat 4’x3′ table, will the Z axis accuracy be as good as MPCNC ?
While most of my work would be cut through, I would still like to be able to create joints in 18mm plywood eg dado/rabbet. Is that going to work ?May 7, 2017 at 2:52 pm #33119
I’m not sure if any of us have tried that yet.May 7, 2017 at 7:02 pm #33124
I haven’t done any tests for that, but the bigger the work, the bigger the error. Between my 3’x2′ MPCNC and my 4′ wide low rider, they seem similar in z error. I gave been meaning to cut some holes in a few places, from the same z, to see what the error is, but I haven’t got to it yet, sorry.
I hate to guess. Ryan won’t like it. I am sure a small dado, like cutting a hole for a pickup on a guitar would be great. A full 4′ dado for a cabinet build is probably going to be a problem. I don’t know that for sure though. Somewhere in between is probably the limit.
If it doesn’t work to your satisfaction, there’s no reason you can’t use your woodworking tools on the same work. You can cut a template, for example, that you can follow with a pattern bit. Since the workpiece and the template are cut on the machine, you can use some common feature to register it perfectly, like some holes for dowels. You can always come back with a shoulder plane or a router plane (the not electrical kind).
Lastly, there are a lot of CNC joints that are through joints. You’ll see a lot of bookshelves made with through tabs (tenon’s, basically) on CNC work. It would be a nightmare without a CNC, but trivial to design and set up when you have X,Y, and Z.May 7, 2017 at 8:14 pm #33130
I am probably asking a bit much of any hobby level machine to do full width dados ! The reality is I could still do some non-full width (hidden) dado joints with some allowance for Z axis variation – probably not as strong, but would be good enough for my applications and look tidy.
As you say, there are lots of through joints that work really well on CNC, although I don’t like the look of some of them on some pieces of furniture.May 7, 2017 at 8:15 pm #33131
Electronics for the two are the same, the LowRider uses a T8 (the MPCNC will as well soon), as do most 3D printers, theoretically we have very insane resolution on the Z axis. I think what we all are concerned about is flex. Across the rails on either machine, so worst case scenario your dado would be every so slightly deeper in the center of your work area than the edges. I honestly have no real idea of how much that could be as it is only really valid under load and my table is nowhere near flat enough to make any kind of serious measurements to figure some sort of error. On the other hand if your pocket was cut along your rolling axis it should be very accurate (as accurate as your table is flat), and only have some sort of error on the rail axis. If you go with a 3′ axis I doubt it would be a measurable amount a sag.
If you make yours with a set of shorter rails, table being your longer axis your z axis will be much more accurate than ours, as we all have about a 5′ set of rails that has some sort of sag to them as do all simply supported rails.May 8, 2017 at 5:54 am #33142
Yeah, if you made a 3/8″ groove for a shelf that was 3/4″ thick, you could cut it 1-3mm deeper and it would be fine. Then your shelf would have a rabbet cut in it so that it has a face that would keep it straight. That would work fine, I think. I have built cabinet carcasses with full dados and rabbets that were meant to be the structural edges that made the cabinet square. I would worry that the front depth and the back depth would be different, and you’d end up with a twisted box. Twisted enough that a drawer might stick. If the rabbet on the shelf was mating with the inside of the cabinet side though, because of a half dado, then you wouldn’t notice that issue. If it cut a little shallow near the edge, it would be easy to see too, and you could clean it out with a chisel.
The CNC tabs could also be blind, going 12mm into 18mm plywood, with the pocket cut closer to 15mm. As long as it can be a little deeper, it’s going to be fine.May 8, 2017 at 6:00 am #33144I honestly have no real idea of how much that could be as it is only really valid under load
What kind of load are we talking? Do you think there is a lot of force in the Z direction when cutting? Does it matter if it’s an upcut or downcut spiral?August 6, 2017 at 12:55 pm #40139
I’m considering a lowrider too, I’m in Akaroa NZ. Whereabouts are you?
cheersSeptember 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm #43863
I’m debating between the lowrider and the mpcnc myself. I’ll mostly be cutting/routing foam for RC airplanes. Maybe some wood projects here and there. It seems like nobody starts off with the lowrider though? There’s a lot more support and videos of the mpcnc?
I’m in Jackson, GASeptember 15, 2017 at 6:31 am #43889
Hey Josh, I live in Griffin.
Ive built both recently, a 30 x 30 cutting area MPCNC and then a 48 x 96 Low rider.
Both are awesome designs and machines, especially for the price.
The MPCNC is more accurate but the Low Rider wins for me because I can throw a whole sheet up on it and cut and cut and cut.
There is more support and videos for the MPCNC because it has been out a lot longer than the low rider and it is alot more versatile so more people seem to build it.
I would say both are the same degree of difficulty building, which for someone with a little mechanical and computer background can figure out pretty easily, not to mention the support you can get from these forums.
You would be happy with either one, just picking the right one for what you want to do is key.December 30, 2017 at 8:19 pm #50241
I am glad that I found this thread. I have the lowrider kit sitting on my table, untouched, because I am not completely sure whether or not I wanted to try to return it in exchange for an MPCNC or not. My main concern is the amount of space that it would take up.
As I told Ryan, my interest is mainly plastic and plywood up to three-quarters of an inch. A lot of flat-pack. After discussing the project with some friends, I may end up giving it a home in their garage and exchange 4 shared usage time on the machine. It looks like there’s going to be a bunch of learning and all of our futures.
Has anybody tried using this machine for foam?December 31, 2017 at 8:37 am #50245
Jeffeb3 did all his initial testing in foam and made a thread full of pictures about it. There is also another link in the gallery at the very bottom. Foam is the easiest material to “mill” so that is an ideal material to work with.December 31, 2017 at 10:47 am #50264
Oh yeah, I did. 🙂
Cutting foam is easy. If you’re going to do a lot, then you’ll want a good way to secure it and you’ll want a soft spoil board, probably made of foam. That way if you go through, you can keep your high doc and speeds.
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