NEJE Master 2S Max

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Val

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I am entertaining the idea of buying a laser cutter/engraver for creating my own templates (plus a few other things). After a good amount of research I have discarded the idea of a CNC router, so I'm having a look at some laser machines and I've found this one with a dual 10W optical power laser (I think it's 40W drawn).

There are many (more or less honest) reviews of the NEJE Master 2S Max, but they all seem to praise it cost/quality balance. I like it as I could "easily" cut 9mm ply with it and use it for templates. I also like the big working area as it will allow me to create bigger templates - e.g. bass guitar necks, guitar bodies, etc. Some people also cut up to 18mm ply with it, but I'm not sure about the results, as it looks really burnt. However, at less than 480 Euros shipped, I think I can live with these compromises.

Does anyone here on the forum have any experience with this particular model?
Many thanks
 

paulrbarnard

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Not the whole machine but I do have the same laser module. It is actually pretty impressive for a diode laser. I have cut 5mm ply and it does that pretty well in 3 passes at 200mm/m and 100%. It’s actually cutting some 4mm solid maple as I type for a valentines present. That’s running two passes at 150mm/m at 100%.
It can cut 18mm as the focus length will just work for that but it will be a heck of a lot of passes and result in a slightly tapered cut.
 

Val

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Not the whole machine but I do have the same laser module. It is actually pretty impressive for a diode laser. I have cut 5mm ply and it does that pretty well in 3 passes at 200mm/m and 100%. It’s actually cutting some 4mm solid maple as I type for a valentines present. That’s running two passes at 150mm/m at 100%.
It can cut 18mm as the focus length will just work for that but it will be a heck of a lot of passes and result in a slightly tapered cut.
sorry for the late reply and thanks for your feedback! I had some templates cut with laser on 9mm ply and the result was disastrous: the parts were all badly burnt, with heavily tapered edges. The business owner (an incredibly kind person, I wouldn't fault him) said their laser was 60W but he had to do 11 passes to actually cut through the plywood.
Does this mean that with a laser module like yours I will struggle to cut run-of-the-b&q-mill 9mm ply avoiding burnt or tapered edges?
 

paulrbarnard

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sorry for the late reply and thanks for your feedback! I had some templates cut with laser on 9mm ply and the result was disastrous: the parts were all badly burnt, with heavily tapered edges. The business owner (an incredibly kind person, I wouldn't fault him) said their laser was 60W but he had to do 11 passes to actually cut through the plywood.
Does this mean that with a laser module like yours I will struggle to cut run-of-the-b&q-mill 9mm ply avoiding burnt or tapered edges?
It will cut it but badly. The neje is pretty good on taper as it has two beams focused through a prism which results in quite a parallel beam. It will however burn a lot as you need to run slower to get the cut depth. You get less burn by running at higher feeds as the beam is not stuck in the same place too long but then you need more power or lots of passes.

Another thing to keep in mind is ply can have all kinds of stuff inside it. Some ply cuts well as one side terrible.
 

Val

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I see, so all those perfectly nice cuts in 8-9mm ply I see in youtube videos are made under very specific and strict circumstances, like specific ply, specific type of cuts, specific position of your fingers while you're crossing them, etc.
If the sides are badly burnt it means I have to sand them, re-introducing human error again and defeating the purpose of cnc templates.

If that's the case it means I'll have to reconsider getting a cnc router! but I fear that's going to carve a sizeable hole in my pockets, though
 

paulrbarnard

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I see, so all those perfectly nice cuts in 8-9mm ply I see in youtube videos are made under very specific and strict circumstances, like specific ply, specific type of cuts, specific position of your fingers while you're crossing them, etc.
If the sides are badly burnt it means I have to sand them, re-introducing human error again and defeating the purpose of cnc templates.

If that's the case it means I'll have to reconsider getting a cnc router! but I fear that's going to carve a sizeable hole in my pockets, though
High powered CO2 laser. Cut at probably 2000mm/min or higher with lots of air assist
 

Spectric

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How many templates are you looking at, there are other options such as get someone else to cut them out from drawings you provide or making templates from thin mdf is not hard with a bandsaw / jig saw and bobbin sander. These options could also save space in the workshop and let you get on with making the actual product and not getting bogged down in CNC or lasers.
 

paulrbarnard

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I see, so all those perfectly nice cuts in 8-9mm ply I see in youtube videos are made under very specific and strict circumstances, like specific ply, specific type of cuts, specific position of your fingers while you're crossing them, etc.
If the sides are badly burnt it means I have to sand them, re-introducing human error again and defeating the purpose of cnc templates.

If that's the case it means I'll have to reconsider getting a cnc router! but I fear that's going to carve a sizeable hole in my pockets, though
Arrgh you're an evil person. I just tried to swipe that fly off my screen...
 

Val

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How many templates are you looking at, there are other options such as get someone else to cut them out from drawings you provide or making templates from thin mdf is not hard with a bandsaw / jig saw and bobbin sander. These options could also save space in the workshop and let you get on with making the actual product and not getting bogged down in CNC or lasers.
I can't estimate the exact number but I'm looking at a couple of templates a month, as there are many projects/jigs I would like to do that would be done much more easily with templates.
I've been trying to do intricate templates by myself with bandsaw and bobbin/disc sander, but "matching" templates (something similar to inlays, for example) where two templates need to fit perfectly with no gaps at all are quite difficult to make by hand - I would rather spend my time working the wood.
I had a look around for CNC services in my area, but there's not much in Belfast and the prices are quite high. If for a simple template cut I have to pay 20 quid, I'd rather spend £450 for a laser machine that will last me a couple of years. For other reasons I already have ducting and a ventilation system in my workshop, so the laser cutter was kind of an easy choice.
 

Spectric

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If for a simple template cut I have to pay 20 quid, I'd rather spend £450 for a laser machine
Rather than limit yourself to £450, roughly like buying twenty templates or a years worth then at least double your initial expenditure and accept it will be a two year payback but you will probably get a far better machine that delivers better results and maybe faster without the burning.
 

paulrbarnard

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Rather than limit yourself to £450, roughly like buying twenty templates or a years worth then at least double your initial expenditure and accept it will be a two year payback but you will probably get a far better machine that delivers better results and maybe faster without the burning.
Good advice. Entry level CO2 laser gets within reach and that will cut 9mm ply.
 

Val

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Thanks @Spectric @paulrbarnard. Do you have any suggestions in terms of brand/model that would suit my needs? For cutting 9mm ply or less thick wood, plus a working area of roughly 450x800mm? I’m planning to create templates for guitar/bass necks in the not so distant future so it can’t be too small.
 

Spectric

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I am going to have to look into these lasers just to get a better understanding, my only knowledge in the past has been with metal cutting and from what I have picked up the ones designed for wood are different. I am of an age where we used to use motorised oxyacetylene benchs to cut steel plate and put bevels on to accept multi pass welds.
 

paulrbarnard

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Thanks @Spectric @paulrbarnard. Do you have any suggestions in terms of brand/model that would suit my needs? For cutting 9mm ply or less thick wood, plus a working area of roughly 450x800mm? I’m planning to create templates for guitar/bass necks in the not so distant future so it can’t be too small.
It’s a bit of a mine field. There are many cheap Chinese units available and they can be very good value or disasters depending on your ability to tweak them.
Search for a 100W CO2 unit as that will meet your needs and then do a lot of research on the different brands that show up.
 
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