Seeking input from Longmill MK2 Users

Greetings and good tidings to all. I am in the market to step up my woodworking. I have recently purchased newer equipment after years of taking a break form woodworking and cabinet making. So far I have a PCS Sawstop, Powermatic 15HH planer, 8HH Parallel Jointer, PM2800 Drill Press, Laguna 18BX , ShopFox W1702 Shaper,and W1812 Moulder, Incra Router table with SWF, Oneida V3000, Festool MFTs and other various power tools. Lacking a CNC and Laser engraver. Technology sure has leaped forward from 15 years ago and I feel left behind.
Now I am considering a CNC. Also looking at laser engraving. Hoping to find a CNC setup that can be used to carve wood, plastics, use a Laser attachment and perform Rotary carving and Rotary Laser engraving. Can the Longmill MK2 be the one as an entry level for me? And can the Longmill MK2 be the unit to grow with in expanding my limited knowledge of CNC for woodworking purposes. The 30x48 has peaked my interest and the price range is great. But the info on Rotary is not that expansive does Sienci have any plans to make a dedicated Rotary? The saying is buy your second unit first. Well I am there ready to purchase, but need more information. Is CNC right for me?
My plan is to make cutting boards, with laser engraving custom to the customer. Laser engraved images on glass, glasses, tile, wood, canvas. Signs, carved out of wood. I have both Sketchup and Fusion 360 software, also CabinetWriter with does export out to CNC for sheet good milling. Thank you in advance for any information, input even if it may be viewed as a negative by some. I have the belief that something worth doing is worth doing right. Even if it takes trial and error. I want to go into CNC eyes wide open. As a Disabled Veteran woodworking helps me.

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@Jwar Hey Jack, Thanks for the post. I had to think a minute before responding to you. First of all, thank you for your service and sacrifice to your country. It is indeed appreciated!

I struggled long and hard before making a decision to purchase a MK2. To be honest, almost 5 months. There are other units out there that I have no doubt are better, but at a much higher cost. I laid awake for many a night figuring how I could swing a 10-15,000 CNC router that would meet my needs. More importantly, how do I pay for such a blind investment when the concept of what I want to make is in my head? What happens if I don’t make a dime off my CNC work? Then what do I do. Honestly, it would mean that I would have to re-enter the workforce after being retired from Public Safety for nearly 4 years.

The dollar amount I spent on the MK2, materials to build the stand, laptop and software was less than 4,000. I am confident of my ability to learn something new, and am extremely excited to take the leap of faith with Sienci Labs. The folks here have been wonderful, and I look forward to having a great relationship with them when my unit arrives. So far, I have done the following:

  1. Built a dedicated woodworking shop (24x32) that is heated and cooled but no bathroom during a pandemic.
  2. Set it up with a variety of equipment including my trusty cabinet saw, a 50 year old planer, a 40 year old jointer, a dust collector and a wish list that includes a good bandsaw for recutting and a drum sander. By not spending 15,000 on a CNC, it will allow me to purchase a good bandsaw and drum sander.
  3. Researched for many months what CNC Router to purchase that won’t keep me up at night worrying how to pay for it. Needless to say, I chose the Sienci LongMill 30x30 MK2.
  4. Researched and decided on VCarve Pro for software and purchased a refurbished laptop to run the software on. I will purchase the software in the next day or so to get started with tutorials and getting comfortable with it before my unit arrives. In my humble opinion, the software and design is the biggest hurdle to overcome. By taking the plunge and spending the money on the front side for the software, it is an investment in my future. If I outgrow VCarve Pro, I can upgrade to Aspire and already have the basic knowledge to be successful.
  5. I made myself known here. Mostly leaving positive comments and chiming in on things I know about. Mostly to build the relationships needed to be successful when my MK2 arrives.
  6. My plan is to learn CNC with my LongMill and the VCarve Pro. When the unit has paid for itself and my business is beginning to grow, I will make the purchase of the 15,000 CNC Machine that will take me to the next level. My LongMill will be kept for a back up, or when needed to produce product when the volume exceeds the capability of the newly purchased unit.

Sorry for rambling on here, I am quite excited with my plan. I have come a long ways, and have a long ways to go. With the folks here and the exceptional product from Sienci Labs, I am sure I will be able to reach my short and long term goals.

Take care and be safe!!
Jake

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Jake, Thank you for taking the time to reply and thank you for your thanks. I am twice retired once from the military for service connected issues and second time medically from public safety as a Stationary Engineer CF State Prison System due to back issues. I too am leaning towards VCarve Pro. I have spent the last 6 months learning both Fusion 360 and Sketchup Pro as the Cabinet making software I went with is an extension to Sketchup when my health conditions allowed. A year or so ago I came across Sienci and been debating a CNC as I was taught old school woodworking, with certain machines thrown into the mix. CNC was not one of those so totally new to me as personal usage.
If you have any questions about a bandsaw I am on my second one. This one a Laguna BX 18 been very pleased with it so far. Depending on where you live in America and for those that live in Canada there are woodworking tools for auction from government agencies. I purchased my air cleaners (250.00 total )for pennies on the dollar from a school district. It cost me more for a years supply of hepa air filters than I paid for the 2 units.

That site is Govdeals there is a nice Commercial Shop Sabre Pro CNC there right now up for sale, but I am on the west coast and it is on the east coast.plus my 30 x 35 shop shares itself with my pride and joy as my wife calls it WX Skeeterboat. Also a Giben CNC in Ontario.
So a Longmill MK2 30 x 48 is where I am at. Even considering the Laser from Sienci Labs. Would also like a Rotary setup too. All priced together still 18,000 plus less than an AVID that is still a kit that still has to be built. Again thank you. Best of luck in your endeavors an adventures into woodworking as a whole.

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