I was just pointed to this forum from the Router Forums. I did not know this was here!
I am 65, retired, self-employed (when I want to be) and ready to get back at it, after the covid zombie apocalypse came crashing though America's curio shop.
I have many tools and machines in my two workshops. I just wish I was 25 instead of 65. I don't have the energy of my youth.
Even though I basically stopped making anything in 2019, I have been adding tools and machines in the hopes of one day getting back at it. I believe now is the time. I have added an awesome helical planer, a dual drum sander, a large dust collector, a 48 inch 12 gauge finger brake, and many other tools. Most recently, I have been bitten by the LASER bug. Honestly, it is more of an addiction at this point.
I bought one X-TOOL D1 PRO 20 Watt laser. Then I extended the frame, and added the air assist and the rotary tool. Then I bought their 1064nm IR laser head for that machine. Being the lazy cuss that I am, I did not want to swap out the heads, so I bought a second D1 PRO for the IR head. Then I bought a third one, so the rotary tool could be permanently set up on its own machine, but of course I have to swap out the laser heads on that one. Then they came out with their 40 Watt blue diode laser head, so I bought two of those, but they use their own gantry and cables, so ... two more D1 PRO machines for them. These lasers will compliment my 30 Watt GALVO fiber laser, which I stumbled onto a couple of years ago, and just decided that my shop should have one.
Just when I thought I have everything I need, X-TOOL introduced their P2 55 Watt CO2 laser with the pass through cabinet and the curved surface function. As they say "... for everything else, there is MasterCard!" I saved a thousand bucks by preordering one which has not yet arrived, but I cannot wait to get that one!
Now I am setting all of these up on the second floor of my FrankenBarn. I did a Hobby Lobby/Lowes/Home Depot run and bought "one of everything" I thought I might be able to etch, carve or cut with these lasers. I am guessing that some of these things will not work. Others will burst into flames. yet others will prove to be too frustrating. But this is all about LEARNING, right?
Today, I will run down to Nashville, to the WOODCRAFT store, to see what goodies they have to offer for a newbie laser madman. The "BIG PLAN" is to set myself up for one BIG Christmas show this year in Nashville at the convention center, and show up with a few thousand things I have made over the previous five months. This whole thing may blow up in my face, but it won't be from a lack of trying!
After all of that, I am trying to learn Fusion 360, so I can finally begin to use the 3D printer I purchased. I never do anything small. People told me to start with those desktop $250.00 3D printers, or maybe something in the $800.00 range. I tend to jump in with both feet, so I now have a CreatBot D600 PRO 3D printer sitting in my wood shop, waiting for me to plug it in for the first time.
I would sure like to meet someone who lives close to me, to help me through the learning curve of all of this ... Alas, my good friend Dave who worked so well with me, had a massive stroke on New Year's Even 2021, and he is now paralyzed and unable to communicate. There is no one else around here that I know of, who I can TRUST. I have hired a couple of people, but then my tools start showing up in pawn shops and such. I despise thieves!
I am glad to be here, and I hope I can contribute something to the community.