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A year ago we were visiting SW FL, now we own a winter home here plus all the new to us repainting, minor repairs, landscaping, etc.  This house has a small chemical reactor, er, pool and spa, an ongoing project to keep the chemical levels where they should be.  I think it gets more maintenance than swimming time.  Never had banana babies before; banana plants have one bunch per stalk and then die but spread through new sprouts from rhizomes.  No actual bananas, that takes the traditional 9 months, but the babies sprout pretty quick after transplanting.  Everything grows about 4x faster than in the north, and maybe closer to 10x the great white moose swamp.  We're on a coastal island, and yes it has a fair amount of swampland making it good for moose.

We got stuck here for the summer due to some medical issues that were a lot easier to have treated in the close by big city than in rural Upper Michigan, 30 minute drive instead of 4 to 8 hours.

Because of trailer space limitations all my wood and metal working tools got left up north, along with the 3D printers and supplies.  A Prusa i3 mk3s and the multi-filament gadget are starting to look real attractive, not to mention searching craigslist for bigger tools; Mrs. Moose just said no to a 10" x 4 1/2' south bend metal lathe, plus the decent looking wood lathes that have gone by.   I need a chauffeur while my knee is healing so I can't use the beg forgiveness approach, plus the 2 car garage is on the small side and filled with a boat restoration project that likely cost some points.  Q3 appears totally dead although I haven't tried googling the participants lately.

Looks like the forum continues onwards, with enough posts to remain interesting. I'll try and check back more often now there's some spare time starting to appear.  Every house project takes many times more time than you expected...

Hi Mooselake!

Welcome back! I've just arrived home from vacation. Happy to see you checking in again.Sorry to hear about any medical issues - hope that's working out well.

Q3 who? Smile. Better off forgotten.

I don't know if the forum qualifies as interesting, but I keep hoping we will get a few more users - especially ones that are interested in having a conversation Smile.

Really, content is king, and the more interesting things that get posted here, the better off we will be. I have a couple of interesting things going on, which I hope to give updates on tomorrow.

Anyway, good to see you back. Try to keep life under control enough to keep checking in on the forums Smile.

Couldn't take being CNCless anymore, ordered a US$200 3020 CNC kit off Amazon after binge watching youtubbies on it. Remains to be seen if it lives up to it's admittedly low expectations.

I think I need to move the mooseshop into a semitrailer and see if the Subaru will pull it. Next up is the super cheap Jet 1221SP lathe (hey, it'll be good for small things when a bigger lathe shows up), then whatever good stuff comes along on the Ft. Myers Craigslist

Hi Mooselake,

Any chance you could post a link to the cnc you bought? There's a sea of them if you just search for '3020 cnc', and they all seem to be either more expensive, or only partial kits (frame but no motors, etc.)

If I could find a good size cnc machine for cheap, I'd buy one.


The price jumped $55 in the last couple days, don't know if that's a glitch or I lucked out.  There's a passel of vendors selling this exact router, Sainsmart included an assembly manual that while short made it easy to put it together.  This is the "upgrade" version, changes several of the aluminum extrusions for phenolic parts that seem pretty stout and pre-inserted bearings and attached ER11 adapter (saves using the freezer/heat technique to put it on the motor shaft).  The side pieces went from 20x20 to 20x40 and everything was black anodized.  The Z axis, spindle holder, and under table bearing holders are 3D printed, and the TR8 leadscrew has anti-backlash nuts.

I assembled it yesterday, took around 3 hours (still needs the wiring cleaned up), but I wasn't trying to be very fast.  It included all the tools (i.e. a set of allen wrenches) needed to put it together.  It passed the quick dry run test but no actual cutting yet.  Today I'm going to HD to get some pieces of pine to practice on (new house, no scrap bin).  The 775 spindle is pretty wimpy, but I'd guess (just from the size and sound) that it's comparable to a cheaper dremel.  I think it's the 7000rpm version, but no optical tach here to test it.  There's upgrade printable brackets on TV to use higher power air cooled spindles.  Of course there's several diode laser add-ons, I might go for the 5.5W (not really that powerful, I read) version after I run out of things to try with the spindle.  It comes with 10 of those V engraving bits, I ordered 10 1/8" ball end mills and a cheap assortment of (SainSmart brand) assorted diameter straight bits.

I think it's pretty comparable to my belt driven Zenbot Mini, but it cost less than just the Gecko G540 controller board and has almost twice the cutting area (12x7.5").  Free software is a lot easier to find than it was in 2012, too, and it doesn't take a dedicated LinuxCNC machine to run it.

So far I'm very happy with what I got.  It'll take a couple hours to swing by the big box store and see what I can find to practice on, would have done it already but had PT this morning.  I plan to do a little write up on it after I give it a try.

The non-upgrade version (less stiff and harder to put together, but work the same) is on sale for $150 if you want to wait for overseas delivery


I did some test cuts on cardboard today, both V carving with Carbide Create and an elliptical gear from Gearotic, both worked great.  Now need to move it somewhere where I can make sawdust since it's on the dining room table.  Also need to get that cable management done, it's just the undressed wires atm


Edit: $140 if you use this sale link and endure 40 days of ocean shipping, I'd pay a bit more and go for the USA warehouse.  The Creality Ender-3 looks really interesting, but too many projects to do that right now.
Hi Mooselake,

Thanks for all the info. I just got my main computer running after a major upgrade (AMD sucked me in with their new cpus) Smile .

I will take a deeper look when I get a chance.