Help / Advice for first machine - buying used

Hi all,

I’m new to the forum and to CNC in general. Been doing a lot of reading so far and plan to buy my first CNC after adding more space to my shop this summer.

I am a full-time cabinet maker. Work by myself. I mostly build office/living room built-ins and bookshelves. No kitchens. I’m not interested in the larger, more heavy duty machines that run closer to $50k - $100k. Hoping to find something used for $10k-$15k.

What I plan to use it for:

  1. Cutting one piece doors out of 3/4" MDF.
  2. Cutting out cabinet box or bookshelf parts complete with shelf pins, drawer slide holes, door hinge mounting plate holes, biscuit slots, etc.

That’s pretty much it. I have some other ideas of things I may try down the line, but mostly I just want it to do those two things and do them very accurately and without much work on my part.

If the machine had an ATC already set up that would be a perk as I would like to add that eventually to take full advantage of just setting and forgetting it.

This machine popped up on Facebook Marketplace recently and I was wondering what your thoughts were on the price and what it has for meeting my needs:

Thank you in advance as I feel a bit overwhelmed with all the wealth of information out there!

4’x8’ AVID CNC Fully Loaded PRO4896 (Elizabethtown)

Condition: excellent
Make / Manufacturer: AVID CNC

PRO4896 4’ x 8’ CNC (Fully assembled and working)

  • Version: Nema 34 1/2" Shaft Compatible
  • Z-Axis Travel / Gantry Height: 8" / 8"
  • With Extended Wide Gantry (so you can operate 2 spindles, or spindle and plasma cutter, etc. on the same gantry)

Leg Kit (PRO CNC) (Installed)

Plug and Play NEMA 34 CNC Control System (installed)

  • With long cable option, so you can add more length and width to the table in the future without rewiring.
  • With additional 5th motor drive upgrade, so you can plug and play a rotary axis or additional Z-axis, etc.

Prox Kit - Pepperl + Fuchs Proximity Sensor Kit (installed)

2.2 kW Plug and Play Spindle / VFD System (included, not currently installed)

“Cutting 4x8 sheets” was one of my top jobs, so I’ll comment…

When I was contemplating this, I talked about my options with my wife and she just looked at me funny and said “You’ll wish you had the bigger one later.” So I got the 5x10 instead…

  • I have room for the ATC’s tool rack at the back of the gantry’s range
  • I have room to cut a 5x5 sheet of european plywood
  • I have room to mill a 10’ long plank if needed
  • I have room for a vertical “bed” at the front of the gantry’s travel
  • I have room around that 4x8 sheet still, for clamping

(The only thing I don’t have room for now is me, since the machine takes up a lot of room :wink:

If you think any of those would benefit you, consider a bigger bed.

There are some configurations for ATC:

  • ATC with manual tool change; you touch off each tool and run each tools’ gcode as a separate job (basically, just an easier toolchange)
  • ATC with manual tool change and a toolsetter, so you can let the machine automate measuring, and have one job with multiple tools
  • ATC with automatic tool changing and a toolsetter, or a really anal retentive crew who absolutely never put the wrong tool in the wrong pocket or mis-measure it.

As for the wide gantry - if you’re not going to use it, you’re just going to bump your shoulder on it. Or you could offset it to one side, and put the ATC toolrack there :wink:

Your wife is one smart lady. You better keep her.
I agree on all points. It’s one of those times when bigger is better… if you have the room.

I really appreciate that advice and I will certainly consider the 5x10 machine if I can swing it space-wise!

What’s the price of the machine?
Consider the cost of disassembling and assembling the machine.
Cost of transport
I don’t think Avid warrants any used machine or offers support for them.