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Cnc and cabinet making newbie

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  • Cnc and cabinet making newbie

    I’ve been building cabinets for a while with a table saw the traditional way.
    I have already started using mozaik and want to get into cnc cabinet building possibly for the accuracy and time savings.

    I’m trying to figure out a good first purchase without spending over 40,000. I have quite a few kitchens coming up. Would the panther 4x8
    be a good place to start.
    Im just curious how long it takes to cut a cabinet case out say a 36inch sink base on the above mentioned machine. I build mostly face frame cabinets.

    Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated thanks.
    Last edited by Trey516; 09-21-2021, 06:18 AM.
  • #2

    in 2007 we built 2 kitchens a month with traditional methods and 3-4 guys, kitchens were 20-60 k, i went cnc and the effenciency alone paid the machine off in less than a year. it is not always about speed as it is allocation of time. the only other massive step up for us was in 2000 when we bought an edgebander. now we only do commercial work and do closer to 80 -130 k a month.

    my current machine a 5 x 8 cobra with atc (you will appreciate a 5 x wide ) was installed in 2012 and will cut a medical center today using moziak we can cut and clear for bander 5 rooms in 3-4 straight hours.

    along with production comes custom production radius work etc. a look at my FB page and go to pictures will tell a lot about exactly what you asked.

    I also suggest you go see a shop and the CAMaster plant it will be an investment in your upgrade. remember the "Bottom line never matters until a good plan is in place" if you worry about it upfront you may miss valuable lessons. You budget is not unrealistic.

    feel free to call or come visit. today i will be cutting and can turn on camera so you can watch it will be later this AM

    Last edited by james mcgrew; 09-21-2021, 07:40 AM.
    James McGrew
    CAMaster ATC 508
    The principle of Measure twice cut once has not been replaced by a CNC

    Camera 1 ATC Closeup !

    fixed 4-27-2020


    • #3

      Jim is correct...moving to CNC to produce your cabinet parts will really kick things up for you, allowing you to focus your human resources on the "finesse" work which is what really pays the bills.

      Regarding your question, it's unrealistic to think about "how much time to cut a base cabinet" because you're typically going to be cutting "the job", rather than a single cabinet. That will be over multiple sheets and all the parts will generally be distributed to optimize material consumption. So the general answer to your question is "the cutting is very fast" compared to using the methods you probably use today, both in raw physical speed as well as project level speed because you are cutting all the parts for the job at one time, rather than piecemeal. IE, you'll be thinking and acting differently given the capabilities of the tool.
      Jim Becker

      SR-44 (2018), 1.7kw spindle, Performance Premium, USB, Keypad, T-Slot table (y-axis configuration), WinCNC, VCarve Pro upgraded to Aspire

      Non CNC stuff...

      Festool "a good collection"
      Stubby - lathe
      Oneida Cyclone

      Retired from full time work in the telecom industry 9/2017
      Occasional commission work for others, but mostly for trunks/signage/guitars
      Located Bucks County PA


      • #4

        Thanks for the reply guys I’m sure there will be a learning curve going to cnc with mozaik. Right now I’m just using mozaik to get all my measurements and show the customer the cabinet layout.


        • #5

          A 5'X8' Panther with ATC will probably be your best bet for close to your budget. It'll be a little over when you outfit it but it will pay dividends cutting your production costs and freeing more time for other tasks. It's a beast of a machine that will work all day long. Please "splurge" for the ATC, it is worth EVERY PENNY and then some. Trust me. You will kick yourself for not going for it, especially in a cabinet production environment.
          If you're around SE Ga, contact me and swing by my shop for a look see.
          Elite CNC Routing & Woodworks on Facebook
          Steel 5X10 Panther
          5Hp ATC spindle with 8 tool carousel
          VcarvePro 9.5
          15Hp FPZ vacuum, phenolic plenum


          • #6

            if dont get atc sure your next cnc will have it.
            panther 508 on order


            • #7

              Trey, no matter what software you get, there will be a learning curve. Being cheap and not doing that many cabinets, I went with Cab Writer. It requires you to have sketchup. The program was shown at one of Jim McGrew's camps a couple of years ago. It has come a long way and is much cheaper than the other dedicated software programs. Maybe Jim or another user can speak to the use of the high end programs. You can give Greg Larson or Joe Zeh a call and they can probably talk to you about Cab Writer and possibly visit them to do a comparison. This is the 2nd cabinet program I have purchased and for what I do, it meets my needs. Depending on what you do, you may need one of the other programs; I am not high end like others and only do small jobs very infrequently.

              The last job I did was 14 sheets of plywood and it came out great; I also do face frame designs. As Jim offered, visit him, he is a wealth of knowledge and will help you in any way; it is a trip well taken. There will be a change in how you plan and do your jobs. Visit individuals to understand the mindset change you will have to go through.

              In my mind, having sketchup will be and advantage for other work you may possibly do.

              Lynn Hinman
              Aspire 11
              Stinger IV
              Hurricane Vacuum
              Recoil Indexing Lathe
              Laser Pointer
              keypad from KRS