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Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Shop Sabre plasma table discussion forum
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borris
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Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Post by borris » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:00 pm

I am in the market for an upgraded plasma table. I have a small farm shop and use my plasma table to do farm metal crafts including farm signs, yard art, and other items to sale at our farm store. Additionally, I need to cut small repair part items where added accuracy is needed. I have narrowed my selection down to the JD Squared PVD 4 X 8 with Stainless water table vs. the Shop Sabre Side Kick. I like the build of the JD Squared table over and above the Shop Sabre however, the Shop Sabre Software seems preferable over the JD Squared. Please provide your thoughts or recommendation on one machine vs. the other.

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Re: Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Post by adbuch » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:47 am

I agree that the JD2 looks like a nicer build. What software does the shopsabre come with?
David

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Re: Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Post by borris » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:00 am

Shop Sabre uses the EnRoute Plasma software. JD Squared uses in-house developed software.

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Re: Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Post by adbuch » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:19 am

So which machine did you end up purchasing? Maybe you can update with some photos and a review of your new machine.
David

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Re: Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Post by camotoe » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:23 am

I had it narrowed down to the same 2 machines about a year ago. I liked the stainless steel water pan on the JD2, however Shop Sabre assured me that you will get a better ground with a mild steel water pan. Keep your plasma juice in the water and it will be fine for a very long time. Also, the gantry on the Shop Sabre is super heavy duty which is good if you want to run a router or spindle. I decided on the Shop Sabre side kick and its been a great machine with great support. No regrets at all, I'd buy the same machine again.

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Re: Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Post by borris » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:31 pm

Thanks for the information. I did go with ShopSabre. The big selling point for me was the WinCNC Controller on the ShopSabre vs. the Proprietary Controller on the JD Squared. The JD Squared uses their own GUI front end which tends to be very cumbersome and difficult to use compared to ShopSabre which looks very efficient and easy to operate. I also noted that ShopSabre Z Height is 9" vs. JD Squared 4". It seems to me that the ShopSabre is much better for routing with the greater z height.

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Re: Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Post by adbuch » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:46 am

Borris,
Thanks for the update! This is nice to know for future reference.
David

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Re: Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Post by jkesler89 » Fri Mar 11, 2022 1:42 pm

I run a Sidekick 8 as well. I've been running it for 5ish years now with zero regrets. Their tech team is wonderful and always a call away when needed! It was definitely the smart choice when i got mine!

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Re: Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Post by weldguy » Mon Mar 14, 2022 12:45 pm

Good call, especially if you want to do routing as well. ShopSabre systems work amazing as a router as well. Excited to hear what you think of it!

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Re: Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Post by Joe Jones » Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:53 am

I have done quite a bit of routing with my PlasmaCam and Samson 510 tables. That being said, the PlasmaCam tables are NOT as accurate as they need to be on the Z axis. That is where the glaring fault of these tables is easily seen. On a table with a more substantial gantry and carriage assembly, the router CAN create a flat surface over a large area. however, the Z motor on the PlasmaCam tables is not able to maintain that PRECISE cut height, as it rises and lowers between cuts. That +/- .002" shows up when you need to route a large flat area.

The PlasmaCam gantry and carriage has an unspoken issue that did not reveal itself until people started ROUTING with the tables. The table works well for CNC plasma cutting, but when the depth of a cut is added to the equation, the inaccuracy of the PlasmaCam gantry and carriage system is revealed. If the axis of the router is not PRECICELY at 90 degrees to the material surface, the router bit will cut at an angle, and stepping over the previous cut will create a sawtooth surface, with one side of the router bit digging slightly deeper than the other side. I have not found a way to fully correct this issue. Even using shims and carefully aligning a router on a PlasmaCam table results in this phenomenon, because there is too much "slop" in the gantry and carriage as it moves around. The gantry does not slide on a glide rail. It relies on bearings and springs that set the height, and there are many factors that can change that height from one end of the table to the other, or one side to the other, or both.

Still, I do have a LOT of fun routing with my PlasmaCam tables. I just accept that flat surfaces that are routed to a given depth will NOT be perfectly flat.

The photo (below) shows this clearly, as the region around the text was supposed to be a FLAT surface..
Z MOTOR VARIANCE.jpg
The BGM Motors sign was router from SIGN FOAM. It was "flat enough" but the shiny enamel paint revealed the variance in the surface, although the entire sign was routed on a 510 table.

Joe
BGM CUT PATHS.jpg
BGM SIGN FOAM CUT.jpg
BGM PAINTED SURFACE.jpg

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Re: Shop Sabre Vs. JD Squared $ X 8 Table

Post by Joe Jones » Fri Jun 03, 2022 9:35 am

Here is another example of the Z motor "slop" that reveals itself in the PlasmaCam tables. When cutting METAL, especially when you use the Advanced Height Control feature, the Z height variance does not matter, because the software compensates for the slop in the Z height control.

However, when you are using a router to cut a halftone image, and for no apparent reason, the height of the Z CHANGES, it shows up as deeper cuts or shallower cuts. The example here is the lines in the hat, which were NOT part of the original design. For some unknown reason, the Z motor cut deeper for a small series of holes, before correcting itself for the remainder of the cut. The error is obvious. It also changed the Z height for a row of dimples below the ear.
EASTWOOD Z ERROR.jpg
The same error happened when I cut a halftone image of John Wayne. When the PlasmaCam table is routing a LINE, it has difficulty maintaining height.
JOHN WAYNE Z ERROR.jpg
The PlasmaCam does well when cutting the DOT PATTERN halftone images. This is because the variation in the DEPTH of a single dimple into the material is not as optically obvious as when it shows up as a segment of a LINE that is cut too deeply.
SANDRA BULLOCK HALFTONE.jpg
However, it CAN cut lines well. It depends on the router, the bit being used, the cut speed, and several other factors. Here is a line cut halftone of Cameron Diaz that came out fine.
CAMERON DIAZ HALFTONE.jpg

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