Buying an Used CNC Router
CNC Routers Computer Aided Control for Routers
The CNC router
has its origin as a non-computer-controlled tool. Small, hand-held versions and table-top routers are common in garages and woodworking shops across the country. Routers use cutting tools designed for a myriad of shapes and materials to cut profiles in wood, metal, and other hard materials.
The CNC router
takes cutting precision and accuracy to the next level with computer controls which are preprogrammed before cutting begins. CNC means Computer Aided Control. A computer reads G-code or the machine language instructions to maneuver and drive the tool.
How is a CNC Wood Router Different from a Metalwork Router?
CNC routers are designed for different applications. A CNC wood router is not subjected to the same loads of vibration and force as a metal working CNC router. Wood can be cut much faster, and the tools may rotate at five times the speed of their metal working cousins. Also, CNC wood routers typically have much larger tables and smaller tools which dont require the same level of precision. Some brands of CNC routers include Multicam
, SCM, AXYZ, and Onsrud.
Worktables of CNC Routers
There are many types of worktables for CNC routers. They vary depending on the type of work being done and the best work-holding methods for the application. Here are common types:Flat Tables:
Entry level machines often have flat tables. Parts can be held down with clamps, vacuum pods on small vane pumps, glue or any other method.T-Slot Tables
This design makes it easier to hold parts with bolt-on clamps.Pod and Rail:
Many variants are available, these are most often used for a lot of edge work, like on window frames and doors. Pods and rails may be CNC controlled, or may have pneumatic clamps.Universal Vacuum / Nested Tables:
Used to machine parts from full sheets of material. Little to no edge access, great vertical accuracy. Fixturing is used for small parts.Matrix Tables:
This table has a matrix of grooves and holes. Gasket material is inserted into the grooves and the holes can be used to vacuum-hold parts. It can simulate a pod and rail system.