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Greg Luckett

Any experiences using the CarveWright machine

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I am thinking of buying a CarveWright machine, but at $1900 am concerned as to whether it is worth it.  Has anyone here had any experiences with it?  I have been looking at what folks have said a couple of years ago but not yet found newer postings in other forums.

Thanks,

:)

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I've heard about a ton of problems with them.  I know that Sears now carries one of their models for something like $1800 under the Craftsman Carvewright name.  Some of the guys over on the Sawmill Creek forum were talking about them about two years back, but I did a search at Woodnet and found a link to yet another woodworker's forum ... see this message:  http://www.woodworkslive.com/index.php/topic,7376.0.html

That's from this month.  Looks like they are having their share of problems.

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Thanks for the link.  It seems there were some Beta units which had typical (to me) development problems, but the developed units are doing well.  I want one, but just hate spending that much money for it. ::)

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Thanks for the link.  It seems there were some Beta units which had typical (to me) development problems, but the developed units are doing well.  I want one, but just hate spending that much money for it. ::)

Money is no object ... we don't have any of it, so how can we object to it! ;)

There are way too many toys.  Tonight I'm rebuilding my personal system ... one of the hard drives in my RAID 1 hard drive array went south, so I'm putting in two larger drives.  Then I have to "delete" the RAID 1 volume to re-create it at the larger hard drive size.  So my "toy" budget is going for something I really didn't want to have to do.

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My wife beat me to the punch last night and ordered the CarveWright machine with the extra packages of bits, software, and scanning probe.  I think she plans on me doing a lot more remodeling rather than boat building....silly woman  ::) :)  Something about custom moldings in the house.

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I finally got around to playing with my CarveWright machine last weekend and immediately had problems with it.  First the bit locating plate would not position correctly, then with the help of the folks on their forum, I fixed that.  Their customer service is close to worthless for knowing how to fix or what causes the problems.  Next the down crank, which has a slip clutch, would not allow the carraige to go down.  I took that apart, lubed the guides, cleaned the gears, and reassembled the slip clutch, and tonight managed to get the third carving off the machine w/o a problem.  This is definitely like paying big bucks just to be a beta tester, which is not how it is advertise, IMHO, only.  I could have used the $2300 for a down payment for a more expensive and developed machine elsewhere.

If this is the end of the problems, which I doubt from reading their forum, I will be delighted with the custom carvings I hope to make for our house and the boats I build.  I spent over 30 years as a Controls Engineer building automated test machines and assembly machines, and this CarveWright is not well designed yet.  I currently work part time with Whirlpool/KitchenAid developing small, portable appliances, and what CarveWright needs is some folks from that line of work to help get their design improved.  The assembly of their machine is not being done well either, and the return rate must be very high if the warranties are being honored.  I am very pleased with their forums where the experts really are.  A dedicated knowledge base of experienced users, sort of like Corvair lovers in attitude.

The software has some problems too, such as not calling out the correct bit names that should match what CarveWright is actually selling.  Once again the guys on the forum guided me to the solution, and CarveWright's customer service again proved of no value to me.

My recommendation is to not buy this product unless you have money to spend on something that will need constant tinkering to work, if it does at all.

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