Rockler introduces the CNC Shark Pro Plus

23_rockler_01Rockler Woodworking & Hardware has expanded its CNC offerings with the Shark Pro Plus, a bench-top machine with a table measuring 28-1/2" x 36" and most often used for machining, routing and engraving metal, wood and plastic.

The Shark Pro Plus is an upgrade from the Shark Pro, offering more travel, an enhanced controller and a beefier construction.

"The machine is typically used for sign making, custom cabinetry work. People want personalized cabinetry such as raised panel doors with their initials on them or whatever," says Al Wolford, manager for technical services at Rockler. "It's also used for prototyping and carving out parts for different projects."

The Shark Pro Plus has a maximum cutting capacity of 25" x 25" x 5" and is sold with version 5.5 of the VCarve Pro software from Vectric, but is compatible with a number of other software programs such as Photo Carve, 3D Cut, BobCad, BobART, BobNestCad, Mach 3 and Lazy Cam.

"VCarve Pro comes with a full library of fonts just as you would get with a Word program from Microsoft. So you can arrange your fonts, you can bring in and add shapes and designs as you wish and it has other capabilities beyond that that allow you to do cut-through programs, etc. I know people are using it on soft metals for engraving-type projects, brass, aluminum, that type of thing, as well as high-density plastics for sign making," says Wolford.

The Shark Pro Plus has mounts for a Bosch Colt palm router, which is sold separately, and an aluminum T-slot top.

The Shark Pro Plus sells for about $3,800. The Bosch Colt is also available from Rockler for $120.

If you're scratching your head, wondering why Rockler is selling CNC machines, Wolford had this reply:

"Well, we're trying to progress. There was a time years ago when Norm Abram had his show on TV and people were upset with him by using a staple gun and compressors to do some of the furniture work that he was doing. So we're just trying to keep up with the times."

Rockler has also created a forum for Shark users at www.cncsharktalk.com.

Contact: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, 4365 Willow Dr., Medina, MN 55340. Tel: 800-279-4441. www.rockler.com

This article originally appeared in the November 2010 issue.