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 In Shop Blog, Techniques, Tool Reviews, Tools

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The Shapeoko XL is desktop-size CNC that might fit a woodworking hobbyists’ needs

A Desktop size CNC at an Entry Level Price

One of the questions I’m most often asked is “would you do a review of an affordable CNC?”  Up to now, there’ve been few choices for woodworkers on tight budgets with small home shops. Here’s the thing: as woodworkers, we do pretty heavy duty work and that doesn’t seem to match up with what’s available on a hobbyist budget. So, I looked at a class of CNCs that are designed for “makers” — hobbyists who build all kinds of things using the latest technology tools. Usually, “maker” CNCs are very light duty and not suited for machining solid wood.

Then, I ran across a new entry from Carbide 3D called the Shapeoko XL. It’s unusual in two important ways: It’s light but very stiff and it will fit on a desktop. It’s cutting area is 33” x 17”, which is a useful amount of space to work in.


 

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