I’m a new user here as well. I bought the kit about one year ago, but have saved it until now to begin assembly, simply because I’m up here in Canada and I’ve made it a winter project while it’s -25C outside. I’m a fly fisherman. My goal in purchasing the kit was to build 8 foot fly fishing prams, so I needed a working surface of 4’ by 8’ to accommodate standard plywood sheets. To purchase a turnkey commercial machine with that capability, would cost $20k, and right now I’m into this for about $600, with me supplying the router and laptop. So here is where I’m at;
- I bought and received the kit.
- I built the stand to the new top bar default design. The design outlined on the site is rather rough, but I appreciate it’s simplicity. Using the default design, I built it right with lap joints, glued and screwed, and lots of bracing.
- I put together the electronic and electrical parts on the bench and connected it to my laptop. This was simple as the parts are well engineered, the instructions clear, and the connections are obvious.
- I download the 3 different free software programs that are required to run the machine. Again, these are to run the machine and have nothing to do with the design and cutting of your project pieces. I had a few problems here. First I couldn’t get the software to connect to the hardware, but I searched the forums and eventually found the answer. Then I had a problem with the GC software disappearing as soon as I started it. Again I read the forums and eventually found that the problem was my antivirus software, so I repaired that. I reconnected all the parts and can test the machine, a big personal victory.
- I have just completed installing the equipment on the frame, and it tests out perfect.
That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Now I’m starting the calibration process which measures your personal machine and sets it up to run accurately according to your designs. I’m looking forward to completing the machine, running it with existing cut files to prove it, and then completing my own designs.
Here’s what I’ve learned that you will be interested in. This is a kit, not a turn key operation, so the instructions are not perfect, nor do they make total sense to the beginner. But the community is filled with great people, and there are many that will jump in and help you whenever you need. First do your reading, because every problem that you have, has been experienced by one before you, and all of the answers are here; you just don’t want to waste anyone’s time. In the event that you discover a problem that has not been previously seen, the experts will help, guaranteed. If you read the forums ( and you will have to) you’ll see that most of the good people here are seeking to further the machine, hence the discussions regarding improving everything. I find that aspect to be the most rewarding.
To get a quick insight into the whole thing, go to the assembly instructions, where the process is laid out clearly and concisely.
Go through the few pages of assembly and it will give you a good idea of the project. Just remember that the assembly guide is not all encompassing and you will have to work out some issues by reading through the forum.
I agree that there is no clear concise beginners guide, and I stumbled around quite a bit until I learned where to look for help. Perhaps when I’m done, I’ll contribute to the community by creating one.