I’ve had a profesional woodworking business for about six years now and decided a cnc machine would be a great investment. I had used a friends machine a few times and was pleased with the results. After much research I decided on the Shapeoko 3 xxl and here are my thoughts after completing the build.
1.) I’m more impressed by the quality and rigidity of the machine than I expected to be. The thickness of the steel and aluminium makes it one of the most rigid tools and my shop, which contains a lot of large pro woodworking equipment.
2.) I liked the idea of buying a kit that I had to put together and hoped it would teach me something about cnc machines in general. The best part of putting it together though is I feel comfortable that I can repair and maintain the machine in the future.
3.) I had trouble at first squaring the machine. But after figuring out what was wrong and reading the great topics online about it I was able to use a little foil and shim it till it was right on.
4.)The shapeoko community online is a big plus for me, its great that so many people share ideas and mods.
5.) The fact that the shapeoko is easily modded it great. I’ve already built a t-track system for it and plan on
doing lots more as I learn.
6.) Being made in the USA is a big plus for me. I benefit from consumers who want locally made furniture/cabinets/ect. so its important to me that I practice what I preach and buy American made things as well.
Below are photos of my completed machine.
I took them as soon as I had finished so its not as tidy as it should be, lol.
I built a new 6’x4’ work table for it which included these details:
Heavy duty locking casters to move it around my shop when needed.
A mix of storage cabinets and open spaces below for future dust collection and other possible upgrades.
A super sturdy and level table top made using a solid work surface over a torsion box.
Electric provided through two new circuits I ran to eliminate and possibility of noise.
Now that fun begins!