View Full Version : If you're thinking about buying this machine...

12-20-2006, 03:50 PM
I have owned my Sears CompuCarve for approximately 3 weeks now and in that time it has been operational for part of 3 of those days. In that time was able able to complete 3 projects while the machine ruined 4 other projects that I attempted. Here is a factual list of the problems that I have had.

1. The unit came with the wrong firmware; thus making it unusable until the correct firmware had been installed. Troubles with this process kept the unit down for most of two days.

2. While troubleshooting the firmware problem I discovered that the vent connection from the motor fan to the plastic lid had been installed backwards, thus preventing the truck from travelling past halfway.

3. While fixing the problem with the motor vent I discovered that the Z-axis motor mount bolts were loose and had not been lock-tited. This allowed the Z-axis motor to droop and would have caused problems in short-order had it not been discovered before the machine ever operated.

After completing the above repairs I finally got to see the bit turn for the first time. I proceded to complete my first and second projects. Both turned out very nice and I was filled with joy (5.5 hrs of run time).

4. While working on my second project I started having problems with the board sensor which got significantly worse on the third project. No amount of cleaning would allow the board sensor to sense the board. With much disgust I disassembled the board sensor, which apparently was supposed to be sealed but was not, cleaned it and reinstalled it; fixing the problem. At least until the next time I had to flip a board or start a new project at which point I had to repeat the above disassembly and cleaning process, sometimes numerous times just to get the unit to work. This problem persisted through the remaining projects I attempted.

5. The problems with the board sensor for some reason caused an abort of the third project (2 hrs into the run).

6. While watching the start of the fourth project I looked down to notice a large washer sitting on the board. I stopped the machine and inspected the project to discover that the bolt holding the tensioning handle had come loose, fallen off and lodged in the already carved out portion of the project. Luckily I was there to stop the machine or the bit would have driven hard into the bolt. Because of this problem this project had to be scrapped.

7. After fixing this issue I started my fifth project which "mysteriously" stopped with an unknown failure which I attributed to a power problem but now suspect a Z-axis issue. This project too was scrapped (1 hr run time).

8. I started my sixth project which was completed successfully and turned out very nice (5 hrs run time).

9. I started my seventh project, an almost identical one to the previous and after 75% completion the unit started to carve a deep groove and then got stuck (yes stuck) in the middle of the project giving a Z-axis stall (5 hrs of run time). This project had to be scrapped.

The unit was sent back to LHR for repair and was returned 12 days later.

10. Upon setup and startup the unit promptly exhibited erratic behavior in the Z-axis direction, alternately diving into the wood too deep and rising above the surface of the board, not "carving" at all.

The unit is currently sitting idle in my workshop waiting for a Z-axis drive unit to come in the mail so that it can be replaced. Hopefully this will fix the problem.

I am a Supervisor of Operations Training at a Nuclear Power facility and have a degree in Electrical Engineering so all of the repairs that I have been asked to make have been well within my abilities. Were this not the case my machine would have spent many more weeks in transit to-and-from the factory to fix these issues. In fact it would be in the box going back right now.

Overall the people at LHR have been very nice and I think are genuinely interested in fixing my machine. However, this is not the immaculate customer service that I have read about in this forum.

I did have the opportunity to talk with the CEO before I sent the unit back the first time, his quote was "...we'll get your machine in, go over it with a fine tooth comb to make sure everything is working great..." With this statement in mind, my unit ran for approximately 4 minutes after it was returned to me before it failed again.

I have never been more disappointed with the reliability of a power tool or machine than with this one. I own a full compliment of woodworking and metalworking tools and work on projects from automobile restoration to furniture and cabinet construction for more than 20 years.

If this machine works it can do some amazing things, no question. However, the quality of this product is not what it should be for something that costs nearly $2000.

Provided I can get my machine to work I plan on keeping it but only because I purchased it from Sears and promplty purchased the 5 year protection agreement for an additional $139. Leading me to believe that if they ever do get the quality up I'll be able to exchange mine for a better one. Where I to make this decision again I would wait for a year or two before I purchased this unit to see if they get it figured out or I would spend the extra money to buy a better quality one elsewhere.

If you have any questions about my experience I would be happy to answer them so that you might make the best decision you can.

Michael Petersen

12-20-2006, 04:11 PM
Wow, very informative write-up. Thanks for the candor. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and work in Aerospace, but I don't think we should need those credentials to operate a machine such as this.

12-20-2006, 06:59 PM
I just got my CompuCarve from Sears and have not had a problem yet, but I will check the items you noted to make sure they are secure.

When I asked at Sears about an extended warranty, they told me that none was available. Do you have a part number for the warranty; it sounds like it might be a sound investment.



Jon Jantz
12-20-2006, 08:05 PM
Just received mine as well, no problems yet. But I also was told there is no extended warranty, so am very interested in getting the service plan you are referring to.

12-20-2006, 10:44 PM
In the back of the Sears manual for the unit there's a page of phone numbers for repair and parts. Under "To purchase a protection agreement...." is 1-800-827-6655 (US). I have this same sort of thing on a couple of my other Craftsman bench tools so I called them up to find out how much it was $139 (I think) for 5 years. I haven't gotten the paperwork in the mail yet but I have been billed.

Hope that helps.

12-20-2006, 10:53 PM
Dude, your experience really sucks. I just recently got mine and had the problem of the wrong firmware on the memory card (which I saw the notice for when I registered the software) and got a 1/2" collet adapter instead of a second 1/4" one. The CW folks are sending the correct adapter though.

One thing that did impress me though, when I was first reading through this forum was that I was able to read about everyones experiences not just the good ones. I thought it spoke highly of the company behind the product who were willing to let it all show (warts ans all).

Happy carving,

12-21-2006, 03:24 AM
I tried calling the number on the back of the manual, but they said there was no part number for the warranty for teh CompuCarve.

Guess I will try again.

12-21-2006, 08:00 AM

In the back of the Sears manual for the unit there's a page of phone numbers for repair and parts. Under "To purchase a protection agreement...." is 1-800-827-6655 (US). I have this same sort of thing on a couple of my other Craftsman bench tools so I called them up to find out how much it was $139 (I think) for 5 years. I haven't gotten the paperwork in the mail yet but I have been billed.

I have called and talked to the folks at this phone number and was told there is no protection agreement or extended warrenty available for this machine...Bill.

12-21-2006, 07:16 PM
It seems from reading the posts on more people are having problems the the CompuCarve then with the CarveWright. Are they not the same basic machine? Maybe I'm not reading the post right or maybe it that I'm not all that big on Craftsman Power tools thats effecting what I read. Any one have any thought on this?

12-22-2006, 05:51 PM

Recieved the replacement Z-axis motor and board today, gladly much earlier than the Dec. 26th date quoted by DHL. Spent a couple of hours doing some work on the machine and talked with Chris R. from LHR for about 20-30 minutes. Here's the low down:

1. Removed the connectors and pulled the old Z-axis motor and board. Hooked up the new (old stock) parts and did some basic tests. During the testing discovered that the board sensor was no longer working. It gave a reading of 0 at all times.

2. Removed the board sensor. Discovered one of the four wires connecting the board sensor to the circuit card had been smashed when it was installed. With some direction from Chris removed the Y-axis truck and removed the connecting cable. Cut, stripped, soldered and heat shrinked the cable but realized it had not been damaged significantly enough to cause the problem. Hooked the board sensor up for troubleshooting and after some basic tests determined that the wiring was AOK and the problem was with the board sensor itself.

3. Inspected the board sensor and could not see any damage. Figuring that I could do no harm, disassembled the glued plastic cover over the LED and sensors. After close investigation determined that when the plastic cover was glued on, some excess glue or stray plastic had partially blocked the LED tube and that after oine partial use enough dust had collected in the tube to block it so that it wouldn't work. Removed the dust, sealed the back of the LEDs and epoxied the cover back on.

The machine is working, kind of, I've had several Y-axis stalls along the way but I'm trying to work through that.

Chris has assured me that they're getting a demo machine from the warehouse and they'll be sending it out to me ASAP because of all the problems I've had. I can keep both machines until I'm sure the new one works well.

Hope this helps.

12-25-2006, 04:15 PM
I opened my Carvewright this morning for Christmas. Off to the shop I went to start playing, but all is not well. So far it has been quite the problem child. It started with an old firmware version. Once I got that taken care of (No info in the manual, only in the forum, found the fix by accident), I received a Bit Sensor Error, then I noticed I have a bad serial number, now I get board errors, and finally I started having an X axis stall. All in all a very bad experience. 6 hours into the machine and the bit has still not touched a board. I have sent a note to customer support with all of my problems and I should get a response tomorrow. I have never purchased a product with so many out of the box problems. I am hoping Carvewright will add the fixes for these problems to the forum and to the on-line manual. The machine gives all kinds of errors, but there is no reference to the error or the sensor locations. I can find were people are saying their problem was fixed, but no detailed descriptions or links to the actual fix. I hope this machine is worth the time and effort. I have also noticed it is real hard to get the memory card out of the machine. Any ideas on an easy way to pull it short of using pliers? My wife was offered the extended warantee, but she did not find out how much or for how long.

12-25-2006, 05:25 PM
Did you register the softwre before trying the machine? Just curious as there was a prominent notice about the wrong frimware beign installed on the memory card when I registerd mine. I guess Sears could have included a notice with the machine to check for the firmware issue before trying to use the machine. Seems like they could but a notice like that right on the register reciept.

12-25-2006, 05:37 PM
No I didn't. I tried to register via the weird number on the machine, but of course that means nothing. I need to wait on the guys at Carvewright to tell me what my real serial numbewr is. Once that is done, I think it will clear a couple of my errors. The rest we should be able to work through.

12-25-2006, 07:08 PM
The serial number is on the right hand side of the machine toward the rear. It's the number right below the bar-code. I do think this could be made a bit clearer in the manual. I'm sure they CW guys will get things striaghtened out for you.

12-25-2006, 07:22 PM
The number looks like a sears number. Some AJ. (Dot) number. Someplace in the Forum it says I have to talk to Carvewright to get the real SN. I think it is in the announcements.

12-25-2006, 08:15 PM
Your serial number should be on the keypad
Turn on press 0 then 4 I think.

12-25-2006, 08:37 PM
No go. It gives me the "Invalid SN" error. This is why I have to wait on the Carvewright team to cross it and tell me how to reload it. Looks like it has something to do with the firmware on the original shipment of machines to Sears.

12-25-2006, 09:04 PM
The number looks like a sears number. Some AJ. (Dot) number. Someplace in the Forum it says I have to talk to Carvewright to get the real SN. I think it is in the announcements.

That's the unit's serial number. CW will have to tell you have to program it back into the machine though.

12-27-2006, 05:56 AM
Here's my most recent issues:

Worked through the Y-axis stall fault. Turned out that the surface of the Y-truck where it contacts the metal bit tip finder on the right was rough enough to stall when it tried to engage the bit tip finder. The simple fix was to put some grease on the contact surfaces.

Still having some problems with the Board sensor; no real solution here other than taking it off and cleaning it frequently.

Latest issue; while carving a two sided project with vector stuff on the back, 25 minutes worth of carving with a 1/2" straight bit, I couldn't transition to the front. When it finished the back and stopped I expected to see some instructions on the LCD but instead the top row of blocks was solid black. No adjustment to the screen intensity knob made any difference. I still don't know what this is, ended up powering down the machine and it came back fine but I had to reload the project without the back portion and start over. I did learn a valuable lesson about where the machine starts the project if you don't center it on the board.

I tried removing everything from the back of the project and just doing the front portion but when I did that it started carving on the wrong portion of the board. I had to redo and reload the project with at least a single vector on the back for it to place the front portion correctly. Unfortunately this is the fourth project that the transition from back to front has glitched requiring me to make a solution up on the fly.

Got a note today that my demo model is on the way. I'm excited and apprehensive to see if my unit was just a "lemon" or the standard.

12-28-2006, 11:35 AM
Got a note today that my demo model is on the way. I'm excited and apprehensive to see if my unit was just a "lemon" or the standard.

I'm still very excited about this machine, and I'm sure the CW people will eventually iron out the glitches in their production process. However I think I'm going to wait until that happens. I do appreciate everyone being allowed to share the good and bad. Hopefully there are a lot more owners having glitch free machines than troublesome ones. I'll keep monitoring. I still want one!!!

01-04-2007, 12:13 PM

Received my "new" used machine two days ago as a replacement for the one I have. Took it out of the box and loaded a project. Immediately got stopped at the infamous "clear board sensor" failure screen.

Blew off the board sensor (no change)

Removed the board sensor; inspected and cleaned (no change).

Disassembled the board sensor, cleaned, reassembled (no change).

Disassembled, removed the plastic cover, reassembled (worked fine).

Unfortunately, during all of this on-and-off cleaning one of the wires to the sensor pulled out of the connector so I had to solder that back on.

Other than having to clean out the board sensor before I started each project the machine worked well for 4 projects; total run time about 7 hours. Now I have a board sensor error that I can not clear no matter what.

When going to the test sensors option the board sensor should read 0 with no board and >100 when a board is sensed. Originally, before I removed the scratched plastic cover I couldn't get above 40. After the removal I was getting >150. Now I can't get >2.

I've noticed this machine generates a large amount of static electricity when doing Corian pieces and I'm concerned the lack of sufficient grounding on some of the components is causing this.

Also, I've figured out the problem with the LCD when it goes dark on the top half. Static charge; while running a Corian project I went to wipe off the LCD screen with my finger, when I contacted the screen I felt a small shock and the screen went dark on the top half. It recovered after I finished the project and cycled the power but as I wrote earlier this is a significant problem if the project you're working requires any bit changes or side flips after the screen goes dark.

The verdict is still out on this machine but I'm leaning towards returning it for a full refund. I've spent 40 or 50 hours working on the machines that I've had, it has ruined 50% of the work that I've started and it's only run 60 hours.

Shawn Gillies
01-04-2007, 04:50 PM

01-06-2007, 12:26 PM
Well, the new machine has died already. As I wrote before I received it and ran a few projects through before it had a fatal board sensor error. After getting the parts from LHR I ran a total of ONE project without significant problems (27 minutes of run time). On the second project I started getting Z-axis stalls, then Y-axis stalls then Y and Z axis stalls. A removal and inspection of the associated parts reveals no visible problems. No lose connectors, no physical interference, the stepper motors all move smoothly and the trucks are all free over their entire range of travel. My best guess is the software/firmware is not playing well.

This is the final straw. I've spent 10 hours over the last 3 days getting one project that took 27 minutes to carve. The second project was supposed to take 9 minutes. So I figure the operate/repair ratio for this machine is 1/60. In comparison, if my car had the same operational ratio as this machine I wouldn't be able to drive it to work because it would take 24 hours of repair for me to make the 24 minute round trip drive to work everyday. For as much time as I have spent working on this machine I could have purchased a professional unit and it would still work.

Here's my final advice to anyone thinking of purchasing this unit. If you plan on doing anything more than the shortest duration limited time projects DO NOT BUY THIS MACHINE. If you plan on doing grills or anything of any size that requires raster of any depth DO NOT BUY THIS MACHINE. The pictures of the grills are fabulous and this machine will do them but only two before it self destructs. I have attempted 7 grill projects and have been successful only twice.

CAVEAT EMPTOR - "Let the Buyer Beware"

01-06-2007, 12:32 PM
For those of you that are thinking of getting this from Sears:

Two weeks ago I posted a review of the CompuCarve machine on the Sears.com website that rated it at the bottom in all but one category. That review has since been removed by Sears and with the exception of one review all are stellar. I can only speculate that any negative reviews are being removed from their website.

01-06-2007, 11:24 PM
I have also noticed it is real hard to get the memory card out of the machine. Any ideas on an easy way to pull it short of using pliers? My wife was offered the extended warantee, but she did not find out how much or for how long.

Ernie (and everyone else...),

I don't presently own one, but I've dealt with PCMCIA cards in the past in tight spaces (Panasonic Toughbook laptops: CF-M34, CF-27, 28, etc). Probably the best and simplest solution I've seen is to take a long piece (about 3-4") of scotch tape and tape it one side of the card, about an inch down, and fold that over onto the back, leaving about an inch long tab hanging off the end of the card. You'll be able to pull it out pretty easily that way.

01-06-2007, 11:55 PM
WOW!!! Sounds like many have had handfuls of trouble .I just bought this machine. Anyone have a good word for it???Or should I get a refund? :oops: :cry:

01-07-2007, 12:15 AM
WOW!!! Sounds like many have had handfuls of trouble .I just bought this machine. Anyone have a good word for it???Or should I get a refund? :oops: :cry:

It sounds to me like CW have a decent beta tester group out there that are going through what I get to deal with on a daily basis. I test software though, not machinery. As with all systems, CW will mature and become an reliable, excellent product.

They have the right idea, they just need to sort out the issues. I fully intend to buy one, but I'm not one of those guys who sits out in the rain overnight at Best Buy for the latest gadget.

They apparently do their best to support their customers, I'd stick with it for a while. Read the manuals, upgrade the firmware, read the announcement about lubricating the flexshaft with a moly lubricant, and give the tool a solid inspection before you jump in. You shouldn't have to do that, but this a fantastic new tool, built by a diligent small manufacturer (from the sounds of it in the posts), with limited capital. That's changing rapidly, I'm sure. Hopefully they'll stand up dedicated destructive testing and keep improving the tool.

I will buy one, just not the FIRST one.

01-07-2007, 07:54 PM
I have about 45 hours on mine in the month since I bought it and other than a Y-axis stall, I have been very happy with it.

Have you posted pictures of any of the projects? I'm sure CW would really appreciate some "good press" right about now. I know I sound like an apologist for them, perhaps a sympathizer... As a software acceptance tester and former system trainer, I've taken the brunt of the customer's ire, and even given my vendor's a good deal of grief over short-sightedness in developing software for our customer(s).

I'm very encouraged that they're not afraid to air their "dirty laundry." That speaks volumes to their integrity and desire to live up to obligations with their customers.

01-07-2007, 09:35 PM
I'm sure that CW WOULD appreciate some good press. Unfortunately I'm not the guy to post it. I have never been more disappointed with a product. I have NEVER had to spend so much time trying to get TWO supposedly good units working, not working well, just working to the point of getting a product.

I didn't go to Sears to get a beta model, it wasn't on the package nor was it in the instructions that I had "volunteered" to get the bugs out of their machine. I spent $1600, not $100, this isn't some sort of sharware that I got on a trial bases to test. This was advertised as a high performance carving machine, nowhere in the advertising did it say that I would only be able to use it for 10 hours before it would breakdown or that if you really tried to make anything neat with it you would destroy it.

What all of this says to me is that the machine is not ready for production and unless some new technology appears in the near future it won't ever be. If you have one and it's working well you're just plain lucky. This machine is not some piece of software where the code can just be tweaked to fix a "bug", these are major functionality issues. EVERY time I have fixed one problem something else pops up that's a show stopper. When both of these machines were returned from the factory in "tip-top" condition they failed almost immediately. If my computer was like this machine it would have cost me $5,000 and every time I went to switch web pages I'd have to reboot, then call the manufacturer and have them send me some parts to replace myself.

The CW people ARE really nice. That doesn't fix the fact that I spent $1600 for a product and have only gotten 20 hours of useable work out of it. That means that those projects cost me $80 hour just for the machine. As an example; the walnut speaker grill that I made cost me >$500 to make. That doesn't include it's share of my time to repair the unit or the down time while it was at the factory for repair. Oh, I forgot about the dozens of board feet of material that have been ruined becuase the machine decided to have a Z-axis problem or just couldn't seem to sense the fact that there was a board installed or the display just went black. I have two pieces of ebony and one piece of purple heart that will NEVER go into this machine because you just never know when it's going to die.

If you don't own one of these machines I wouldn't be so quick to defend CW and their product. Just because they are a small business doesn't give them the right to produce a substandard machine. I have to work for my money and when I feel like I have been taken advantage of to the tune of $1500 it bothers me.

However, to be fair I would love to hear from those of you who have been using this machine, making really great projects and HAVEN'T had ANY problems. Who's out there with 400 hours on their machine and never had to do anything to it? Is there anybody out there that even has 200 hours? If you didn't know, the basic Sears warranty is for 1 year or 200 hrs of operational time whichever comes first. I usually expect a product to last a little longer than the warrany period but in this case I don't think it will.

Does this post sound like I'm angry? Well, I am. I have a shop full of tools including both wood working and metal working; mills, lathes, saws, drills, specialty tools. I paid $1500 for my tablesaw, brought it home, put it together in 2 hours, spent 2 hours aligning it and have used it hundreds of hours without ANY problems. I expect it will run for decades without more than an occasional alignment and belt replacement.

In contrast I brought the CompuCarve home, spent hours and hours working on it sending it back to the factory and fixing it myself just to get a few projects out of it. It won't last a decade, it hasn't lasted more than 3 days without dying. At this rate I will have to get 125 new machines from Sears to satisfy my 5 year extended warranty. With that in mind maybe I shouldn't be so angry, other than all the ruined wood and time I'll have to spend returning them for replacement I'll have a brand new machine every two weeks.

Shawn Gillies
01-07-2007, 11:23 PM

01-13-2007, 10:12 AM
well I sure am sorry that a few or you have had a few problems. When my machine got to me from sears it clearly stated that the wrong firmware had been installed and not to run the machine until the correct firmware was applied. It went on to give very very simplistic instructions on how to accomplish this after doing so I began designing several projects using the software libary and began carving.. I am a contractor and have built several high end custom homes from 300,000 to 1,500,000 and must say this machine fills a nich between hand routing and buying a high end cnc router at a much higher cost. After having attended several wood show across the country as well as the big boy in atlanta I have always said that when someone develops a small cnc for the home wood shop he will make a million that has now been done. My machine has worked as designed and I am very pleased. All that is left to do is test its longevity as with all my tools I keep my fingers crossed I own Delta powermatic, woodmaster, fein, festool, porta cable, dewalt, the list is endless most have held up well a few have not. Remember we don't all buy perfect cars some squeak through as lemons and we've been doing that for decades. My hats off to you guys all I have to say is Thanks job well done. As for the individual who bought his at sears I hope you had the same thougth in mind I did if the machine turned out to be junk I intended to get a refund. Remember there motto satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. I had no intention of throwing away 2000.00 dollars I'm aweful glad I did'nt......

01-14-2007, 11:58 AM
Well, I've had an eventful week with my machine. After another long conversation with the CW folks and some significant parts changing Chris R. speculated that I was having some issues with static electricity. Apparenetly an owner in the Southwest was having similar problems and had gone through several machines. He had used a sheet of plastic to control dust and that in combination with his dust collection system was causing a large static build-up on the machine, ultimately causing various electronic components to fail. I'm just using the machine normally with a bottom draw dust collector and am having significant static buildup, even though everything is grounded per manufacturer recommendation.

I was a little disappointed that this didn't come up earlier as I had mentioned I was having static problems three weeks ago and got the "that shouldn't be an issue" response.

After some detailed discussion about the design of the machine and the current ground paths in the machine I came up with this "homegrown" solution. I cut off the two pronged power cord and replaced it with a grounded (three prong) cord. I connected the ground to the case of the processor and from there ran a ground loop to the drive belt mounting bolt and the steel base plate on the bottom of the machine. There was already a ground strap running from the case to the upper assembly. Additionally, I made a small grounding brush and mounted it on the Z-axis truck to ground the Y-axis truck as it is only grounded through the bearings. This creates a ground path from the Y-axis truck through the ground brush to the Z-axis truck through the ground for the probe sensor plug, ultimately ending at the processor ground.

With these changes I have run a couple of projects, one large and have not experienced significant problems. I'm still having problems with the board sensor getting dirty which requires removal to clean but I haven't had any stalls or signficant faults.

So it looks like this may be the root of the problem. I'm disappointed that a solution to this common problem was not designed into this machine. If you're planning on using this machine were there is low humidity (like where it freezes in winter) especially if you're using a dust collection system, you should be aware of this problem. I also would not recommend doing this modification yourself. I'm sure it voids whatever warranty you have and done incorrectly will surely cause more damage.

Oh, and in response to dcozort I appreciate you stating that you haven't had any problems with your machine but how many hours do you have on it? I still haven't seen any posts with anything more then 25 or 40 hours. I would still love to hear stories of people with hundreds of hours or even 75 hours on their machine that haven't experienced faults. Even the guy from CW told me he had similar faults to what I was having on his demo machine at an exposition.

Also, I calculated how much the machine has cost me so far; including only my time for repairs and damaged projects, the cost of the waisted material and any parts of mine that I have used for repair: $3920. Remember that doesn't include the $1600 for the machine or any of the parts that I've been sent from the factory.

01-14-2007, 06:30 PM
I am very very surprised to hear that the machine (being a computer) was not designed with a proper grounding scheme. I can imagine that many of the problems that I have been reading about would be steming from this oversight. It sounds like you went through quite an elaborate process of grounding. However do you think that possibly just a good ground attached to the chassis might have done the equivilant in benefit? You may have tried that ... I don't know. Also did you try using the machine without the dust collection? Do you think that the dust collector may have just aggrevated the problem or possibly caused the problem? Again, I am shocked to hear that the machine used a 2 wire plug.

01-14-2007, 08:32 PM
MY machine has a 3-wire plug, did they change to a 2 -wire plug when sears started selling them?

01-14-2007, 09:22 PM
The posts of all the disgruntled loosers really shouldn't make you all lose faith. I'm one of the origional beta testers & on a Mac to boot. I've had many problems, some of my own making, but all taken care of professionally
& cheerfully by all concerned at Carvewright. My machine is presently down, awaiting parts, but I understand that parts wear out. Do you put brakes on your car, new or resharpened routerbits, tablesaw blades. Hell, I even have had to replace numerious bearings & electrical components in my shop machinery. There may well be static issues with this machine. Iwouldn't know about that. Where I am in the SW, humidity is at an average of 15%, I run my dust collector almost all day and have dual ports for the Carvewright, sucking 1800cfm. My machine works 95% of the time because I understand it & have faith.

01-14-2007, 10:05 PM
Hey littlemikeyp I only pray that I don't have the problems you have. To answer your question I only have about 15 hours on my machine but i'm not yet convinced that time has anything to do with the electronic wiring of the machine if the grounding scheme is incorrect I personally would like to know what we all need to do in order to prevent your problem. If this is the true cause of the problem. I know how frustrating it can be to look foward to adding a carving to a project and have your machinery go down for whatever reason. I can't understand through all the beta testing why this did'nt show itself. I can't help but wonder if the dust collection was'nt an issue as that does develop a lot static which is why I understand many companies recommend grounding your duct work. I surely will not hook my machine up to my duct system until you get to the root of this problem. I've been using my festool vac for now.. hope no problems occur Keep us posted.....

01-14-2007, 10:36 PM
Hey PKunk I for one have not came anywhere close to losing faith I believe this is one of the most exciting things to come down the line in some time for small woodworkers and believe its only going to get better from here. Of course I hav'nt attempted to rewire my machine and don't intend to. As I stated earlier my machine has worked flawlessly since I opened it.. Presently I am trying to accuire the laser as well as the bit set. At first sight I could tell this machine was not built like a jointer or table saw.. Knowing it had processors as well as circuit boards my machine went into a surge protector out of the box. Whether this does anything or not it sure made me feel better.... Buy the way were the problems you had due to the fact it was a beta model or software or design issues. What I'm trying to say is there anything we need to watch for so that we won't experence any down time or at least as little as possiable... Thanks man

01-15-2007, 01:31 AM
I too, have not been swayed in the least about ordering the CarveWright. I will admit that I am a little bit concerned and apprehensive about some of the problems.... I think I see that some of the individuals voicing problems NEVER should have bought one, and for that matter probably shouldn't buy a table saw or miter saw either. I understand that there is not only the problems that got worked out via the beta program, but now is a whole new ballgame. Going to production has its own challenges also. I would hope that I don't have some of the frustration that some have had, but I am still willing and eagar to take the chance what ever it is, because I think it is a high capability machine at a very good price (speaking as someone who is currently unemployed and money is not easily obtained) It is one of the few things that I have bought that have the potential to make money in addition to paying for itself. I still have no reservations about having ordered it and would do it again today if given the opportunity to back out. Just want to learn as much as I can and hopefully be equiped to handle the possible problems in the most effective manner.

Eagarly awaiting my machine this week (hopefully) or next week at the latest maybe. Full speed ahead and damn the encoders :)

01-15-2007, 06:37 AM
Hey rgant05 don't worry I think you'll be very pleased.... Just don't try to perform surgery if something goes wrong if you recieve any messages that seem weird just unplug it and start over. I had to do that once...... I figured sort of like a computer might freeze just reboot and all is usually fine.. no offense to our engineer above I know that most guys in wordworking are do it yourselfers and like to fix things but give me a brake after hearing where all you ran your grounding strap to I had to laugh I have never bought anything that required that type of alteration.. I'm thinking you should join the design dept at CW.... just an oberservation.... all kidding aside I hope you get a machine that works for you as I have.... By the way my machine was one of the first to goto sears for sale it has a 2wire plug... I will send a private message to carvewright to see if this is an issue or might become one....

01-15-2007, 10:06 AM
Buy the way were the problems you had due to the fact it was a beta model or software or design issues. What I'm trying to say is there anything we need to watch for so that we won't experence any down time or at least as little as possiable... Thanks man
Some of both, and also alot of carving hours. Because of us Beta testers, they have refined some of the weak parts of the machine and have also really refined the software.

01-15-2007, 10:16 AM
I wish for those who are critical of the customers having problems to understand that their complaints are justified - the machine indeed was put on the market before it was ready; the facts presented are indicative of QC problems - the manufacturing quality issues and the third party parts that are used have and have had problems. This machine is definitely a product of inexperienced manufacturing people - good design engineers but it is obvious that they never produced machinery or a mass-produced product before. But they are seriously trying, I would imagine a wee bit worried right now, and if they face their problems head-on - they will correct our problems. This machine is a good idea at the right price - if they don't get it right soon, someone will take their ideas, they will do it right, and the hobbiests will go to that machine. So lets all cross our fingers and hope these guys (and now Sears) see the QC problems that they have and that they have the money to give us a statistically dependable machine someday soon - Sears will quickly figure out that they don't want to take a bath on this product. It is aggravating seeing problems being fixed that the consumer never should have seen after the BETA process. A few of the problems show so much inexperience that it's weird, however, let's root for these guys and know fully that you are taking a gamble when you purchase this router - BUT the problems are not insurmountable by any means (it may cost the company and/or Sears more money than they hoped - however everything is fixable).

David M.
01-15-2007, 10:40 AM
After the teting that I and the other Beta testers did over the last 2 years this machine was ready. It still has it's bugs but what machine this complicated doesn't.

It seem to me that the issues with the new machines come from the fact that the original machines were worked on directly by the CW people. These new ones are comming off an assemble line in mass and being assembled by hourly workers. Untill those workers are up to speed with the potential issues they will keep assembling them as they were tought.

This is purely a issue at the production level, my machine has never had any of these new issue that are popping up with this production run. Also notice it's the same several issues over and over. So those of you with these new machines should be patiant and not fly off the handle as some have. There is a reason they call it the "BLEEDING EDGE OF TECNOLOGY".

Don't jump in this early if your not willing to work some bugs out with the CW people. There are going to be bugs no matter how careful the CW people are. They are being supplied the parts for production and if some of the parts are not being made to spec, do we blame CW people or those that made them incorectly to start?

01-15-2007, 02:26 PM
pkunk wrote:

The posts of all the disgruntled loosers really shouldn't make you all lose faith

That is a pretty harse statement. I actually thought that the concerns stated were very valid. It showed a step by step attempt to fix the problems from the start without slamming the machine. It was only after multiple failures from multiple machines did littlemikeyp really start to hate his machine and I for one could not blame him from all the problems that he has encountered.

pkunk wrote:

My machine is presently down, awaiting parts, but I understand that parts wear out.

So how long have you actually ran your machine ? At what point would you become frustrated like littlemikeyp has become if your machine is constantly being down or ruining material.

I was almost ready to get one of these from Sears this weekend until I found this forum and read some of the problems. I feel CW will eventually solve the problems but I do not want to be a Beta tester. My frustration level is way to low to put up with a machine that carves for 5 out of 7 hours and then trashes the material. I think I could put up with it for 3 tries. Maybe in a few months CW will have the second production version ready that will have all the bugs worked out or someone else will come out with a better one. I think I can wait till then.

01-15-2007, 02:33 PM
Well Chipmonk, I'm an old man and I have the patience of Job. My machine is a year old and has paid for itself several times over with a cutmotor time of 90 + hrs. I have replaced many parts & have rarely ruined a piece of wood. To me, if a ft or 2 of wood were to be ruined it would be no big thing but everybody has a different outlook! Buy it or not-your choice.

01-15-2007, 02:39 PM
Exactly Chip Monk. God bless you beta guys for standing behind carvewright - a truely loyal bunch - mostly retirees with a ton time it seems. You guys are actually one of the reasons I took delivery of my machine friday even tho my gut said not to due to the problems outlined by other compucarve owners in this forum. I was also impressed at how helpful tech support was reported to be. I started emailing tech support last night with my problems. Have been calling since 9am central and am still waiting to talk to a rep. sigh.. what time is sears open til? It is almost a race between techsupport and the returns dept. at sears.. If I don't get tech support today I am not sure when my schedule will allow me to try again..

01-15-2007, 04:27 PM
Don't forget, today is a holiday.

01-15-2007, 06:20 PM
Well, I'm truly bummed. Still no contact with tech support - started at 8am est (9am central). It is now past 7pm. I realize they are moving, and this is a holiday. But they were open for business and emailed me twice early in the day they would call. I worked from home today for the sole purpose of placing a tech support call with CW. After hours of busy signals and endless ringing, my warm fuzzy feelings of creativity are turning greyscale. Not sure if I will have the compucarve for long. Thinking maybe next year at this time..

I hope CW figures out how to manufacture/distribute a solid product through sears - maybe make 'em in America - that would be a bold move for anyone. Anyway, I gonna go get a beer. Good luck carvewritecompucarvers. I am definately waiting to see who carves a guitar body first - too cool.

01-15-2007, 10:29 PM
I just have to wonder there is some 500 people on this forum.. I'm seeing a lot of the same people.. which brings to question out of all the machines sold and in operation what percentage are actually having problems...10%, 20%, 30% Does anybody know.. as an owner I'm kinda curious.. As with T.V. news all that gets pushed in our face is bad news very little good news..... Any answers... As for the guy that stated this machine was not ready for the public I guess that would be a subject for the buyer to decide I've read this forum and made my decision.. I'll stick with C/W I still believe in small business as well as a couple of guys with a vision.. This is obvious a small company ( it should be noted the only company I've found) offering a cnc to the small shop at a reasonable price. without supporters no revenue,, no revenue,, no machine.. Simple said if you can't afford it don't get in... You can always go back to looking at the cnc's at the wood shows as you walk by.. Not trying to sound harsh but thats pretty much the bottom line is'nt it........ I would kinda like to have one in my shop if it takes a little bit or a lot of frustration that the price I'll pay.....My how spoiled have we become???? We want it now and it better be perfect :cry: :cry: :cry:

The Bard
01-15-2007, 10:33 PM
Hope Steevo got in touch with someone today. I've been answering calls all day. We have a new phone system now, maybe things will clear up...

I'm sorry you had a hard time reaching us. I hope you'll catch us tomorrow.

01-15-2007, 10:52 PM
I suspect that CW will have their hands full for the next month or two. My guess from reading the forum about the machines ordered from Sears is that Sears is starting to deliver most of the ordered machines just about now. Somewhere on this forum it was stated that Sears was selling over 200 units a week. Four weeks of orders would be over 800 machines. Chances are it is double that. If they had a bad production run (it happens) and half or more of the machines have problems that could be a serious support problem for them to handle in a short period of time. The bottom line.. It maybe awhile before they get back to you.

From reading the forum it seems the Beta tester are really happy but the people getting production machines are having fits. I suspect the Beta tester machines made one-at-a-time at the factory are different in some way then the mass production machines from country X. Maybe a subsituted part or two that have a lower performance from the Beta machine. Could be a forgotten part or a missed construction step. Been involved in a couple of projects with a company that had that same problem. The equipment worked great on the bench and the other couple of proto-types worked equally well. Sent it off to production in country X and all heck broke loose. Backwards parts and missed steps. What a mess. A lot of $$ spent for a pile of useless parts. Ended up having to take control of production in our own facility which actually saved us money since we did not have to rework the product multiple times. Hope CW does not have this problem. Time will tell. Wishing them the best of luck.

01-16-2007, 03:49 AM
Hi all I have had my machine since Feb. 06. While my machine has not performed perfectly I have had my share of problems .
Iam throughly satisfied with the response from the carvewright people.
Since I live here in town it was one of the reasons I bought a beta machine, Iam now only a few blocks from their new shop.
I hope the problems I have had with mine, has and will make a better product for us all.Good luck to all with your machines.
Best Regards

01-17-2007, 07:17 AM
Good point chipmonk ... My machine came from sears when I ordered I got the black friday discount (day after thanksgiving) it was due in until the 22 of dec .... But sears called on dec 13 and said it was there.. I thought thats weird but surely didn't argue...My point is I wonder if my machine came from a different run because I've not experenced any problems. IT HAS CARVED PERFECT EVERY TIME.. Now I do clean during carving..... I use clean flat cherry... And I vacuum after every project and whipe all sensors clean.. Hope that helps any one having any problems... Happy carving P.S. I don't use my large dust collector on this machine....

01-17-2007, 08:09 AM
It is good to hear a positive report. I had been thinking about getting one of these till I read about all the problems. My current take is that they had a bad production run but they will work out the problems. Things like a 2 wire plug on a machine that is sure to generate tons of static electricity in a lot of environments is a design no-no. Cutting most plastics will generate a lot of static so I can see a problem with sensors and processors going out to lunch while working with certain materials. After a few 'zaps' a lot of electronic parts will not come back. Proper grounding can eliminate this problem. DOA machines out of the box are another indicator for a bad production batch or bad QC. Other factors are dust and chip build up that tend to clog up sensors and this tends to be the other problem reported. This can be worked around by installing a blower (hair dryer on cool setting ?) of sorts to keep the work area from building up dust and debris.
For the money it is a great deal if you can keep it running. The results look great and with better versions of the sofware I can see a lot of possibilities.
I heard that Sears will be having another sale at the end of the month so I may wait to get one then so hopefully I would get a different production run that has the 'bugs' worked out.

01-21-2007, 02:40 PM
Well, I'm a little disappointed with some of the responses that I've read but I'll respond to them the best that I can.

PKUNK: I didn't realize that I was a "..disgruntled loser.." Until that post I held your opinion in high regard. I'm a little confused about your statement of losing faith. I don't think that purchasing a CNC router should have much to do with faith. When I bought it I didn't realize that I would have to spend so much time fixing it to get any value out of it. I purchased it to make some great projects for around the house. I don't think one of these units is reliable enough to use in a serious business. There are plenty of people that aren't willing to wait two weeks for a product while you try to get your machine fixed. You stated that your machine runs 95% of the time because you understand it and have faith. What is there to understand? Can you explain what it is that I don't understand? I've given detailed descriptions of all of my projects, failures and actions to the CW folks and they seem to think that I have a pretty good "understanding" of how it works.

Yes, parts do wear out on machines, things like belts and blades. Unfortunately this machine hasn't run long enough to so much as dull a bit, let alone need replacement internal parts.

ALL of the modifications that I've made to my machine were with the KNOWLEDGE and APPROVAL of the CW folks. I didn't just come up with some random solution to these issues. I've spent hours and hours on the phone with the CW folks trying to get through these issues without having to have my machine gone for 10 days while they do a 1 hour repair. Not to mention that each time they ship the unit it costs them $100 each way. I'm trying to optimize my operability time and it happens to save them money in the process.

For eveyone that is replying with how great this machine is please go to the Options menu, Select Usage Odometer and post the cut motor run time reading with your post. So far I've gotten a lot of feedback from people who either; don't own a machine, paid for a machine but don't have it or have the machine but have <40 hours on it. I'm sorry to say but you are not a good resource on these issues. PKUNK; what problems have you had? How many have you fixed yourself? How many hours of repair have you spent vs. run time? These are the question I'd like answered from anyone with >50 hours on their machine.

I DID NOT AGREE TO BE A BETA TESTER. I appreciate everyone that was a willing beta tester and think that your service to the organization should be rewarded but I didn't sign up for that duty.

If anyone missed the timeline, I'd like to clarify that my orginal machine was sent back to the factory for a "complete rebuild" and I was guaranteed it would return in "tip top" shape. The second machine I was sent was a model they had used at wood working shows as a demo which was "gone through" to make sure it was "ready to go." In both cases the factory people assured me I was getting a unit that had all of the manufacturing problems fixed with the known issues repaired. So I don't think the majority of my problems fall into the category of "manufacturing defects".

Two pronged vs. three pronged; if you're machine has a THREE pronged plug it doesn't meet the UL requirements for grounding (at least that's what the CW folks say).

On the statement that this machine is "complicated". I disagree. It's really just designed like a high power pin printer and that's part of the problem. Unless you've actually had it apart don't bother to respond. There's nothing that complicated in there. Most of these parts look pretty similar to off the shelf stuff. The complicated part is the software and it still has plenty of bugs.

As far as ruined projects go; it does bother me to ruin a nice piece of oak or walnut, especially when I spent the time milling it from rough cut stock. There's also the time factor which is really what gets me. When a 5 hour project ends up taking 10 hours because you have to do it all twice it bothers me. If I was using this for business ends that would basically double my cost! Also, I have $200 worth of Ebony and $50 worth of Purple Heart that will NEVER see the inside of this machine.

In reference to what I do between carvings: I clean the machine, in the beginning I was using compressed air and vacuuming it out and wiping things down. I've since cut back to just getting the stuff that looks bad because any blowing or vacuuming tends to make the machine operate worse, stiring up fine particles which get into the position sensors for the axis motors. And again, great post but how many hours do you have on your machine?

I'm sure I'll get called a loser again but here's the latest update:

Both drive belts were damaged yesterday. One ripped at the edge of the project and then tore in two, bunching up under the project. The other had a significant tear along the edge which caught tore off (1/2" x 3"). I presume the second is a result of the first.

This came on the heals of a X-axis drift problem that I was trying to contend with. I was doing a 0.500" deep vector carving and on subsequent passes the bit would shift 1/64" on the X-axis. The first time it happened it didn't have a significant effect on the project but as you would expect, it got worse.

Luckily I still have my original machine and today spent 3 hours replacing the belt assemblies (easier than replacing the belts) and the board position sensor. I attempted another project and part way through it lost X-axis control and just started carving down the project. Luckily I happened to be there to stop it.

Thinking this might be a similar problem to the Z-axis dive I went in and replaced the X-axis drive motor and tried another project. It didn't make it very far before it lost the X-axis location and just started carving through the project. Again I caught it and stopped it.

So here I sit, again, waiting for CW to get me another machine. The new one that they said they would get me with the ground modifications. There's 6 board ft of oak on the floor with some "unique" designs on theme and I've spent another 6 hours trying to get it to work. I'll repeat my former statement IF you can get this machine to work it can do some incredible things.

I have a request: if you're going to reply to this post and express your experience with the machine, qualify it with the number of hours of run time on your machine. Also, please remember that this is a public forum and emotionally based insults of other members just makes you look bad. I'm a "big boy" and though you may think that I'm a loser I guess I would have to disagree.

01-21-2007, 02:51 PM
I never said you were a loser. I have 98 hrs on my machine ( all productive). I have replaced many parts but not at the times it takes you. Maybe I work fast. :D Belt replacement - twice -20 min. ea. Sorry Bud, lose the attitude. :(

01-21-2007, 03:00 PM
I would guess that the machine is just not for you at all for all the reason that you quote. I'd bet that you can either return it or put it up for sale and get offers and someone would be glad to take it off your hands. I didn't catch the number of modifications or what they are, but even taking that into account, I'll bet the above would still be true. No need for me to post any time or what I might do with the machine, as I really don't care, nor intend to demean you. I'd guess that the machine just isn't for everyone, that's all.


01-21-2007, 03:37 PM
I really must take exception to some of these responses. Perhaps littlemikeyp would like machine if he actually owned a "machine." Instead it sounds like he owns an 85 pound computerized BOAT ANCHOR.

Personally, I think $2000 is a great price for a small CNC with 3D rendering software. But I think its about $1575 too much for a boat anchor. Believe me, if I have half the malfunctions that he has or have to ship it back for repairs during the money-back evaluation period, then the only thing returning to me from the CW warehouse will be a check for my full purchase price.

I'm very glad that most of you have functioning machines, and I definately hope mine will be too. But littlemikeyp has more than enough reason to be mad, and his attitude on this matter is well deserved. Now you can flame at me if you want, but since I have said nothing wrong or in error here I will stand by my remarks. The legitimate complaints he is expressing here are based on a poor quality machine and lost income, and that has nothing to do with his compatibility with the machine.

The Bard
01-21-2007, 05:33 PM
*flames everyone equally*

I have to say I'm really sorry you're getting the short end of the deal though Mikey. I wish there were something I could do to help you out but it seems you've already had to deal with more than I probably could.

I hope in the end you'll get what you need out of this and that this experience hasn't jaded you completely.

01-21-2007, 06:28 PM
Hey littlemikeyp as I said before I truly feel for you it must be frustrating to no sure end..... I'm telling the truth when I said I've truly had no problems at all yet... having said that I don't have alot of hours yet either... After reading alot of posts I see problems similar in nature but none to the extent of yours.. not just on your first machine but on everyone you've had in your possession..I am buy no means trying to discredit your claims...I'm just confused do you feel your problems are software related causing the machine to malfunction or is it hardware related... the reason I ask is that you said this machine is quite simple in design really nothing to it.... I believe you are probably right... So I ask how then could C/W totally screw up something that simple in design.. Do you feel the parts that make up this simple machine are in adequate?? Not able to hold up over time ??? To lite??? Or do you feel that the software is sending commands causing issues?? If that is the case do you think that ( As one guy ask earlier) an order of cuts or commands could cause confusion?? I only ask because I'm totally new to CNC.... Watched it alot but not totally everything involved to understand the complexity of the software..So far It seems somethings should be cut before others.. Or the machine could act up try to cut something that does'nt exist.. I'm not real sure I hope the software puts cuts in order no mater how I design my project....This is a question I've had for awhile. In other words could I do something in the design that would cause a malfunction in the machine as it takes commands?? Not trying to slam you at all just interested in your knowledge or thoughts you said the software had issues... One last question Why do you still own this machine if it has been such a nightmare.....Are you keeping faith that one day it will start being dependable an work???? Because I don't see then parts changing just being replaced. So if you feel they are not adequate whats the point.. Thanks..... just curious

01-22-2007, 01:38 PM

Any problems with the software have been minor and I've easily overcome them. There are things you can do to really hose yourself, like doing a vector cut just barely through the project and having the piece fall out in the middle. The software is pretty good about this but given differences in the material thickness from the design it could be trouble. I haven't lost a project yet due to software issues.

I think Ed (above) hit the nail on the head. This machine is a unique "design" but this "design" doesn't lend itself well to production. These guys had a great solution to a simple design requirement: the size of the positioning system is governed by how fast you want the cutting head to move and how much it weighs. The heavier the head and the faster you want it to move the stronger the positioning motors must be and more robust the structure. These guys took the motor off of the cutting head so the positioners could be smaller and the structure could be built lighter duty. GREAT IDEA! Unfortunately though the design is unique and thus fills a niche market, the design is not one that holds up to shop use. It's like the whole thing was designed with no concern for the environment that it would be in. If I was cutting an imaginary substance that didn't give off dust or chips or caused static then this would be a great product. If someone with some manufacturing experience gets a little funding they can make a killing with this.

The unit is full of little crevices and places for dust and chips to hide, the sensors are optical and need to be cleaned all the time, and the motors aren't really sealed though they have tried by laying a bead of silicone along some of the seams. At the factory they put epoxy on most of the connectors because they are a friction lock design and the constant vibration works them loose. Just little things that could have been done differently and probably would have had little additional cost to the unit. These can't cost more than a couple hundred bucks to make, if that. The probe is the best marketing I've seen in a while; I don't have one but $299 for a headphone cord with a switch on the end is amazing (yes, guys that's really all it is). Granted you're not paying for the part you're paying for what the part can do.

Why do I still own the machine? Excellent question. I've said numerous times that if it works it can do amazing things. That's the basis. I've got a couple of grills that look amazing and some plaques that really impress people. For the money, if it worked as advertised, this would be a revolutionary machine. The problem is, it doesn't. The LHR folks are very willing to talk and send me parts, ship my unit back and forth and talk me through problems. Overall the costumer service has been good. So I figure every time they tell me "this is the fix" I should give them another chance to show me that I'm the exception to the rule. Unfortunately that has occurred numerous times.

If they call me up tomorrow and tell me the machine just isn't for me, there no more they can do for me and offer to refund my money, and compensate me for all the trouble I would gladly give up the machine. As it stands I'm hoping that this unit will work long enough to get some projects out of it that will make me feel better about buying it. I still don't understand the whole "faith" thing on this product. I just want to get some value out of it.

Oh and out of fairness to everyone else, my first machine had 57 hours on it before it went permanently into the grave and this one has 32 hours. So all of these issues have occurred in 5 weeks by the calendar and 89 hours of run time.

01-22-2007, 07:06 PM
Glad to see you are still sticking with it. I am still on the fence for getting one when Sears has them on sale again this week. One big fear is uptime. Sure, Sears has 1 year or 200 hours but so far I think Pkunk has the lead with 98 hours and even in his own post a page back or so back he state "I have replaced many parts...". In another post he stated he was currently waiting for parts. In other words it looks that the machine is going to be a bear to keep running for just the warranty period. This coupled with the amount of machines that Sears is selling makes me think that CW is going to have their hands full keeping current machines running let alone future sales. So far I presume the parts are free under warranty but how much is this going to cost to keep this machine running after the warranty expires ? This upkeep cost should be a big factor in buying a machine. If CW had a price list of replaceable parts that would help in determining "upkeep cost" but I suspect they have not even got to that stage since everything is still "under warranty" at this point. I am getting the feeling the the real cost of owning this machine is going to be double what the machine actually cost up front. I guess a lot of people are going to find out in about a year..

01-23-2007, 10:17 AM
Talked with the CW folks and though I had a solution to my X-axis drift problem. The board position sensor (little brass wheel that tells the machine how far the board has moved) was thought to be the culprit. There is a little black piece of hose that is wedged underneath this (on top of a screw head) that provides additional tension to keep this in contact with the board. The whole unit is spring loaded but apparently that's not enough to keep it working. At some point my rubber hose piece slipped out from under the board position sensor. I'm guessing that it got caught in the belt and may have been the initiator of the belt tear issue. I found the piece in my vacuum, apparently removed with the other debris in the area. I subsequently replaced it with a newer one from my newer parts machine and went to work. I did two projects successfully.

Unfortunately, the problem has returned. I just waisted another 2 board ft of nice red oak because the unit lost it's sense of X-axis and cut a big rut before it finally stalled. I'll see if I can get in touch with these guys again and maybe they have some other solution.

Of note: they still don't have any new machines in and I was told that they just don't have time to work on the grounding system for a machine to send me.

Also, I was told that their return/repair rate is 10%. With most machines only having a few hours on them so far that is incredibly high.

So I've got some tips for anyone that cares to listen:

DON'T use high pressure air to clean this thing out. There are pieces that you can dislodge if you do.

If you use a vacuum to clean it out, make sure the unit is off and you've somehow grounded it and the vacuum.

Use some sort of lubricant on the bit holder if it's going to be in the head for very long (> 1 hr) as the dust and vibration will lock it in if it's lubricated. It took me 15 minutes to extract a bit the other day and I nearly damaged the machine and the bit in the process.

Make sure all of your material is VERY square and level.

If you're using material <3/4" thick the rubber roller end washers may get stuck on the unit giving an error.

01-23-2007, 01:07 PM
littlemikeyp wrote:
"Also, I was told that their return/repair rate is 10%"

Ouch ! A week or so ago someone wrote it was 6% return/repair rate.
That can not be good could considering Sears has yet to deliver all the machines that were ordered from earlier this month. If a thousand machines have been delivered (I suspect more) that is 100+ machines being returned for repair. The CW repair department is going to be swamped since Sears does not fix them. Not a good sign. I bet they are glad they moved to a bigger building. I also see in other forum postings that the bits are hard to come by right now and seem to break fairly often when doing certain cuts. Looks like the next weeks worth of forum posting with be the determining factor for me if I buy one now or wait a few more months. So far it looks like people that are posting that have gotten their machines recently are able to get one or two projects done before the machine has issues. It is starting to look a possible production problem.

04-04-2007, 10:35 AM
[QUOTE=pkunk;9764]Well To me, if a ft or 2 of wood were to be ruined it would be no big thing but everybody has a different outlook!

We are talking more than a foot or two. I have ruined 4 pieces of select poplar ($5.00 a board foot) , and 3 pieces of select red oak at $35.00 a pop. That is $125.00 total. VERY EXPENSIVE FIREWOOD!!!!

04-04-2007, 10:43 AM
[QUOTE=pkunk;9764]Well To me, if a ft or 2 of wood were to be ruined it would be no big thing but everybody has a different outlook!

We are talking more than a foot or two. I have ruined 4 pieces of select poplar ($5.00 a board foot) , and 3 pieces of select red oak at $35.00 a pop. That is $125.00 total. VERY EXPENSIVE FIREWOOD!!!!
For starters, I said for me-I have lots of scraps from my cabinet shop. Second, you're paying way to much for wood. I buy Poplar for $1.28 bf and red oak is $2.85bf. The most expensive recently was cherry at $6.35 but it was primo cherry. Look around for a less expensive source like maybe a cabinet shop. Before my Carvewright came to me, I burned my scrap in the stove.

04-04-2007, 10:55 AM
I agree with pkunk, you should find a different place to buy your wood. I get mine from a lumber yard and mill it to the thickness I want. Waaaaay cheaper to buy rough sawn wood from a lumber yard.

RC Woodworks
04-04-2007, 06:08 PM
You should try buying old growth redwood! I just bought not too long ago a little over 1500 bft. and it cost me $3700.00. This was clear heart though and rough cut!

As forth to red oak and popular I guess we are not all so lucky I can't get oak for less then $ 3.00 to $3.50. As forth to popular I never priced it. I hickory or mahogany is almost $5.00 bft. Well that what happens when you live in a small town. If I want anyother hard wood then Oak I have to drive an hour and a half to Reno Nev. With gas prices at $3.23 a gallon that wood becomes expensive.


04-04-2007, 06:19 PM
Wow. Prices on wood up here in the midwest are a lot cheaper....so is gas $2.49

RC Woodworks
04-04-2007, 06:23 PM
LOL ok rub it in Robbie!!!!

04-04-2007, 09:01 PM
Back in southern Michigan, hardwood was pretty cheap, with a lot of variety, and many places to buy from, even exotics. Here in Tennessee, without knowing any private sawmill owners, poplar is indeed $5.00 a board foot at Lowe's. Red oak costs the same, and no other hardwood is available. I'm still trying to find local supplies of dried hardwoods at a reasonable price. I can do my own resawing, jointing, planing. I feel fortunate that I found the sign foam just down the road. It's $7 a square foot for 3/4 inch, but it will weather without warping, checking, or rotting, reducing the finishing time for any sign made from it. It carves like butter.


04-05-2007, 11:12 AM
You should try buying old growth redwood! I just bought not too long ago a little over 1500 bft. and it cost me $3700.00.

Save me some of the quarter sawn... :) good size order!


RC Woodworks
04-05-2007, 02:27 PM
Lig, that just added to the other 2000 bft of old growth I have! It is a mix of vertical and flat grain. I like the flat the best such beautiful grain!

Yes I want to make sure I never run out. I keep it all in a 10' X 12' shed I can hardly move inside! I have in the center 6" wide stock over 5' high 18" wide and over a 11' That is just the 6"! 8" is just about the same size as the 6". My 10" is not as big only about 3' high, 20" wide.

The 12" is 4' high by 24 wide almost 10' long. That is just my redwood!

I know more info then you asked for!

04-15-2007, 12:38 AM
I could use a helping hand. My Sand Paper Drive Belt broke and I received instructions on how to replace it. I haven't received a new set of belts yet, but if there is a quick and simple way to replaceing them I could use the hint. I would say the reason my belt broke in the first place was because the rollers weren't lined up right. Like a belt sander, if it's a little out of line, the belt will slip off or break. I didn't think to watch it when it was cutting, but it makes sense to make sure it's lined up each time you do a project.
Again if you have a simple way of replacing the belts let me know, please.
John H.

04-15-2007, 10:35 AM