I am trying to source a machine to do heavy wood hogging on a deep Z profile. Have been outsourcing it for 18 months and need to bring it in house. Basically bowling out/shaping a solid chunk of hardwood down to that is x=14 y=10 and Z=6-8". Removing about 90% of the wood to build the product.
I lease a shop sabre with no ATC and a 7.5 hp spindle with steppers now. It works hard to carve the whole peice, top and bottom, in about 90 minutes machine time and an extra 30 for set up, 'manual' referencing and manual toolchanging. Shop sabre makes their routers a little stouter now than they made this one and if I could find a used one for under 14K I would be interested (especially if it had multiple heads or an ATC). For the kind of production work I would like to do I think I really need a very stout machine with a moving table, but reality is what it is and i will make do with something that is 'good enough'.
for now I have about 20K I can afford to part with (though I am hoping to get below 15K) and am trying to get opinions on the following: Chinese Routers (who owns one? what is your experience? what companies have good reputations?) - CNC kits (are there kits out there that are appropriate for a heavier use application like mine?) - Used machines (I have done a lot of searching for these, often if the price is good the control needs replacing on a sturdy old machine. I use Ebay, regional craigslist, cnczone, sawmill creek etc to look for machines. Any other good places to find them? I find the brokered ones are often a little steep)
What i feel most beginnerish about is the kits and the chinese machines.
Thanks for any help or sharing of experience.