Anyone Using the CS 41?

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Kerry Fullington
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Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby Kerry Fullington » Fri, May 01 2009, 7:05PM

I was curious who might be using this machine and what you think of it. Ken mentioned in his "Straight Talk" article that most everyone looking at the 41 moved up to the CS 45. What about the 41 caused you to move to the 45?

Kerry

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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby Damon Nabors » Fri, May 01 2009, 8:38PM

Kerry, I looked at the 41 when I purchased my 45. There are limitations to the 41. It runs a little slower, you are limited to the 4x8 table, and you can not use the rotary play back with the 41 and I am wanting to say that there are fewer tool holder positions.

Are you thinking about getting into a router?
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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby Jeremy Schiffer » Fri, May 01 2009, 11:48PM

We're using one Kerry, we got it last September. We chose it not only because it is the most affordable option, but we actually prefer the 4x8 table. Ours is not a big shop and it fits much better than a bigger machine (and the associated bigger support hardware.)

We got the 20hp vacuum pump, and it does a great job holding parts.

Six tool positions has proven to be plenty for what we do, and it's no big deal to swap one if needed.

As far as it not being as fast, I believe it can move faster than you'd ever want to actually cut anything.

I personally am glad that we don't have to block off a foot of width and two feet of length every time we put a sheet of material on it. Sure we can't do anything bigger, but if we need to, I know where there's a 45. (Hey Forrest!)

We don't have 3 phase power to the shop, so the whole kit and kaboodle is run on two phase converters and a step-up transformer... so far all has worked flawlessly. We did have to have the power company come out and install a larger transformer on the pole though.

Maybe we're still in the "honeymoon" phase, but this thing is like magic, and the honest truth of it is this: If we hadn't bought it when we did, we'd probably be among the many shops around here closing their doors. I can't imagine being without it now. (For Sale: SawTrax Panel Saw, 10" table saw, 13 spindle line boring machine, 10" Radial Arm Saw)

The only thing I'm irked about has nothing to do with the machine, but with a CN update that didn't account for thickness of off-falls which caused it to plunge too deep and knocked the Z axis out of alignment. I've asked a couple of times and am still waiting for Thermwood to get back to me about realigning it.

Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to know. It's like my baby, I'd be happy to drone on and on about it.
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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby DanEpps » Sat, May 02 2009, 7:49AM

So, Jeremy, are you saying you like it? :joker:

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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby Kerry Fullington » Sat, May 02 2009, 4:07PM

Thanks Damon and Jeremy,

I don't think the reduced speed would be an issue for me. I think the router on it's worst day can keep up with me. I don't want the liability or aggravation of an employee nor do I have any intentions of trying to grow either so planning for future use won't be a consideration.
I would like the ability to use the rotary playback but then I ask would I ever actually use it except as a toy to play with?
My first choice for my applications would be the 40 but it has too large a footprint. I like the idea of the fixed gantry and moving table. This seems like the way to go for processing sheets.
I am not crazy about the single gantry drive on the 41. I don't know if that will be a problem down the road but I am certain Thermwood thought about this before they offered it and my only other option right now is ShopBot because whatever I get would have to run eCabinet files.
I need to find a way to get more product out the door each year. I lose too many jobs because I can't get to them in a timely fashion.

Kerry

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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby pat kohnen » Sat, May 02 2009, 5:34PM

Kerry,

I've had the 41 for about 18 months. I agree with Jeremy's comments. Couldn't be happier with it.
Jeremy - Could you be more specific about what your phase converter/ transformer setup. I might be moving my machine and will face a similar situation.
Thanks

-Pat

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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby Kerry Fullington » Sat, May 02 2009, 5:52PM

Pat, Jeremy,

Are you primarily using he 41 to process sheet stock for cabinets?

Kerry

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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby Jeremy Schiffer » Sat, May 02 2009, 11:02PM

I really think the 41 would be the machine for you Kerry. Anything that it won't do, there are dozens of people here with machines that will do it that would be happy to help out. We do primarily use it for cutting out cabinet parts from 4x8 sheet stock. But I'm also looking to do other things with it. We're talking with a fellow right now who wants us to machine plastic parts for garage doors, 1,000 at a time, every month or two. I've played around with carving things as well. With programs like Vectric and Bobcad/cam, you can do anything you want and still come out inexpensive. I imagine (particularly with Vectric) that you could do just about anything that a rotary playback can do (by machining one side and then flipping 90 or 180 degrees to finish it.)

I was concerned about the single-sided drive on the X axis too, but then thought as you did... "hey, this is Thermwood, if they put their name on it I trust it to be top notch".... and so far it has been.

Pat: We have two phase converters, a 20hp and a 40hp. The 20hp is run through a transformer to step up the voltage to 480. This one runs the machine. The 40hp is for the 18hp Becker vacuum pump, which is running 220v 3 phase. Both converters are made by American Rotary. The transformer is a Square D I think. Initially we had a 100 amp service to the shop, which surprisingly would run the machine and vacuum, but little else (we had to even turn off some of the lights while using it!) Then we installed 200 amp service and it has run perfectly. We have the phase converters mounted on a sturdy stand made of 2x4s attached to the wall and the transformer is underneath.

Dan: Where ever did you get THAT idea?? :wink:
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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby Matt Snowball » Sun, May 03 2009, 5:46PM

I bought a CS41 last October and it has worked out well . We use it mainly to cut panels out of 8x4 plywood, rout handle / latch recesses, and pre-drill holes for pop rivets. The cost saving over a CS45 was substantial, and the CS41 does everything we need.

6 tools are enough , the vacuum works well, the machine is fast and accurate .

I don't need to process larger sheets. If I do use 10x4 boards, I just leave 2' hanging off the front of the machine, and it gets cut off.

Best Regards
Matt

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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby Kerry Fullington » Mon, May 04 2009, 6:36AM

Jeremy,

I have three phase to the shop but it only goes to one little panel that the previous owner had a welder hooked to. I am guessing I would probably need a bigger transformer (as well as a three phase panel) but I haven't checked into that yet.

Thanks Matt,

I think the 41 should work great for me. I wish it could accommodate the rotary playback but as I said I don't know that I would use it that much. I have wanted to build a table using Arno Schadt's Renaissance Hall carved legs and apron. but I can't afford the 41 so I know I can't go for the 45.

Kerry

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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby pat kohnen » Mon, May 04 2009, 7:34PM

Jeremy,

Thanks for the info. I might have more questions when we move the machine.

Kerry,

I mainly cut cabinet boxes - prefinished maple plywood primarily.
I never run my machine at full speed. Mostly a limitation of the tooling which applies to any machine. It will cut more boxes in a day than will take you a week to assemble.
I don't know when I would need to cut anything bigger than 4x8. The bigger table is a liability if that is all you plan to cut. I would imagine that the vacuum you would lose on the exposed areas would be a consideration.
The single drive for the x axis works fine.
Go with the 18hp pump - you can never have enough vacuum.
If you ever need more than 6 tools (I don't) it is easy to change with the auto measuring system.
Overall, it is more than enough machine for a 1-10 man shop.

-Pat

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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby Kerry Fullington » Tue, May 05 2009, 6:41AM

What size shop buildings do you all have?
I am in a little 1600 sq. ft. building and if I were to add a router I would have to assemble outside. :D

Kerry

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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby Jeremy Schiffer » Tue, May 05 2009, 8:43AM

We're in 1500 sq. ft. After removing the 2nd table saw, the vertical panel saw, the radial arm saw and relocating the line-boring machine to a less-central location (it only gets used for drilling pull holes in doors now), we actually have a good deal more open floor space than before.
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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby JohnLashuay » Tue, May 05 2009, 4:30PM

For those who have a 41, I have couple of questions:

I have been looking to purchase a 45, but we haven't been able to pull the trigger on it right now. Part of the reason we were looking at the 45 was it's ability to do 5x10 sheets, but as I think more about it, I am not sure it is that necessary. We have the ability to bring in 5x9's but we don't bring them in because our saw can't rip 9'. So having said that, what are the actual dimensions of the 4x8? We mainly cut melamine and I know the sheets are 49"x97". As was previously stated by Jeremy & Kerry, "it's a Thermwood, they must have thought of it..." Can the table take this size?

2nd question: What is a "rotary playback"? And what would it be necessary for?

-John
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Re: Anyone Using the CS 41?

Postby JohnLashuay » Tue, May 05 2009, 4:35PM

Another question I thought of was regarding the hold down on a 45; if you use a 4x8 sheet or anything less than 5x10 (if there is such a thing) how much of a problem is it to cover the remaining part of the table that is not covered by the board?
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