Here’s something I have never seen before – a CNC router table with computerized controls and built in “apps.”
The Next Wave RS1000 Pro is described as a “2-axis CNC router table setup” for performing repeatable or complex operations.
After looking at some of Next Wave’s promotional materials, it’s clear that the RS1000 doesn’t just simplify traditional router table operations – it can do more, such as carving out slots for biscuit joinery.
NOTE: Next Wave says that the router table top and stand are NOT included. This means you’ll need to source a router table separately.
The company says their RS1000 Pro CNC equipment should fit nearly any router table.
The router lift and fence are both motorized, allowing for repeatable control of the cutting height and work support positions. The lift has a standard plate size of 9-1/4″ X 11-3/4″.
Everything is controlled by the color LCD touchscreen pendant.
Next Wave says:
[The] RS1000 Pro comes preprogrammed with a number of apps that make it easier to complete a variety of useful functions. For example, there are apps for calibration, making decorative cuts like fluting, and cutting a wide variety of joints. After entering some basic parameters into each app, the system does all the math and moves the fence and router lift as needed to complete the task.
According to the user manual, here is some of what you can do with the built-in apps:
- Biscuit slots
- Box joints
- Dado cuts
- Repeating dado cuts
- Half blind dovetail joints
- Sliding dovetail joints
- Through dovetail joints
- Dovetail fit test
- Fluting cuts
- Key holes
- Pocket holes
- Step and plunge cuts
- Step and repeat cuts
- Tongue and groove joints
- Locking miter joints
The kit comes with a CNC servo motor-driven router lift, motorized fence, control pendant, and touch plate (for bit height zeroing).
You will also need a 3-1/2″ diameter router motor, router table top and stand, and any router bits you wish to use.
COO: Made in USA
The RS1000 adjusts the router table bit height and fence position, and the user manually moves the workpiece across.
This seems interesting, and could potentially simplify a lot of manual routing operations that cannot be as easily accomplished on a CNC router.
$1800 seems very steep when you have to source the table yourself.
I will admit I haven’t used a router very extensively, nor a CNC, but I am familiar with how they work. I would think that a CNC would be able to do most jobs this could do, as well as other jobs.
Maybe others will disagree with me, but I couldn’t justify that much money for what looks to have limited capabilities.
Price seems a bit high to me too, but I do like that they sell it without a table. I think that many woodworkers probably already have their own table or if they don’t they are free to choose whichever one they like based on their budget and preferences.
But yeah, for $1800 plus the cost of a router motor you could instead choose:
-A full-on 3HP 240V shaper from Grizzly for $1225, leaving you plenty of money left over for cutters and accessories.
-For about $1250 (or less if you’re not paying VAT) you can get a high-end tilting router motor and lift ready to drop into a table:
-Or if you prefer, $1800 goes very far setting up a high end “manual” router table whether you piece it together with the options you want or you buy a complete package like a JessEm.
Now granted, those are not CNC, but if the question is how best to spend $2k to upgrade my router I’d much rather have a high-end manual fence & lift–or better yet the tilting-spindle option, at least for my purposes.
Hmm, most of its features don’t seem all that interesting to me. The majority of the things listed which it can do can also be done with a plunge router or a router table, though perhaps this simplifies things a bit?
I think what really stands out, if I am understanding things correctly, is how it simplifies using multiple passes to generate complex decorative shapes. That could be nice if you wanted to make fancy molding profiles without spending a lot of money on specialty router bits. Yeah, I get that you are spending on this tool instead, but if you were doing enough different shapes it could easily pay for itself. I could see being useful for the right carpenter trying to match old moldings or a custom picture-frame shop.
It’s an interesting concept, but calling it a CNC router table, while technically true, is a little bit misleading. From everything I saw in the video it’s required that the human be the 3rd axis.
I also think something is missing if they are saying that it can do keyholes and pocket holes. For both of these operations it seems to me that the work piece would have to be locked to the fence and free to slide on the table. I don’t see anything in the kit that would allow for this, maybe there are instructions on how to make a jig.
I can see it’s merit if you are making a lot of repeatable operations, without having a separate machine for each operation. Say you are a small shop that makes semi custom furniture, being able to program in a set sequence and advance to the next setup with the tap of a button would save a ton of setup time. You could have all the operations for the parts of a chair, desk, etc. programmed into the machine. Then when you have an order, just call up the program for that particular piece of furniture and run all the parts through.
I’m confused too. I watched the video, doesn’t it just move on 1 axis? Like it only controls how far the fence is from the bit.
Unless I’m missing something and it also moves the bit up and down?
The router lift is motorized.
The main emphasis seems to be on patterns, such as dovetails, repeating dados, and box joints.
There are different ways to do the same, whether manually with jigs, CNC router, or the Shaper Origin – which now offers subscription software and feature extension unlocks.
I see it as a motorized lift and fence, with preset “apps” based on what most users might want to do.
It doesn’t look to be able to programmed in the way you mentioned, but something like that can potentially be done in the future.
Since you have to buy a good quality router table, and have a router, seems you would be better off paying a bit more and getting an Origin Shaper. The Origin Shaper appears to do more than this Next Wave router accessory.
Seems like it would mostly speed up swapping between common setups/profiles , which I can see being valuable in the right shop.
This is the Gen 2. Probably at least 5 years ago now they had released Gen 1 for $2000 for just the lift and fence. Gen 2 seems much more robust and cheaper but Gen 1 never caught on and they sort quietly took it off their site. I have MCL router table with electric lift and love it but the entire package – cast iron table, 3HP router, stand, lift and fence was $1300ish maybe $1500 total.
I never saw a review the did not like the product I just think the price/functionality never matched up for the hobbyist.
For $1800 I can get a pantorouter which might be better for accurately cutting repeated joints? Maybe someone can explain why I’m wrong. If I were in the market for something like this I’d buy it over the shaper since origin started selling subscription unlocks 🤢
$1800 can pay for a LOT.
A Leigh dovetail jig with added box joint plate and a router with combo base kit is still hundreds of dollars less.
There are motorized lifts, but I don’t think I’ve seen any other motorized lift plus fence combination setups.
This seems more like a DRO than a CNC
Yes, and no. A motorized DRO is essentially CNC.
Dave Picuitto on Make Something (TouTube) reviewed this in his last episode. Watch it, and you’ll see what it can do. If you did a lot of repetitive operations in cabinet and furniture making, this would be totally worth every penny. Just my opinion (and Dave’s).
David Piccuto over at the “Make Something” YouTube channel did a review on this over the weekend (https://youtu.be/3er2m_duGQc).
He makes a good point towards the end of the video that this can replace your dovetail jig, biscuit cutter, box joint jig, pocket hole jig, doweling jig, etc., If you look at in those terms, the price is fairly reasonable.
I’m just a hobbyist, and I was considering investing in a Festool Domino, but this might make more sense.
Thanks, will take a look!
If they add domino capability, which doesn’t seem difficult for this, I am totally getting one. Piccuto is great at figuring out the little nuances and finding creative uses. I imagine he will do a second video once he uses it more.
I’m not sure this could do a very good job with Dominoes. Theoretically you could clamp the work to the fence, have the Z-axis plunge into the work and then move the fence to make the cut. If need be it could be done with multiple passes at increasing depth. However that requires the fence to function as a full-on CNC axis that is rigid enough to hold the work while cutting and powerful enough to handle the cutting forces involved. That might be asking a lot, from the videos it seems like it’s just designed to reposition the fence to act as a guide or stop not work like a full-on cutting axis. But if it is possible that would be really nice.
Speaking of Dominoes, has anyone here played around with the JessEm Pocket Mill Pro? It is another way to cut Domino slots using a drill as a power source.
This is neat. For me as a cabinetmaker it would all come down to the software and user interface. If I can save router bits with various parameters and then adjust the height and fence to those parameters, it could be awesome. We use a variety of beading profiles in our work. Being able to save the router bit in the system and have the fence and lift automatically adjust to cut a certain profile would be awesome. The key is that it would need to know key dimensions on the bits as the end of the bit isn’t actually the end when using a bearing guided bit.
Seems like this is really pushing the definition of CNC, if I’m understanding what it does and doesn’t do. I can’t think of any CNC solution that doesn’t move the workpiece past the cutter, or moves the cutter past the workpiece.
If my table saw could move the fence and set the blade height, I don’t think I’d claim to have a “CNC table saw”.
Semantics aside, I think this could help small shops who use repeated setups make faster changeovers. A program for drawer bottom dados, 1/2 blind dovetails, etc could be nice.
Maybe CNC-assisted would be appropriate terminology.
This video came out yesterday and answered a lot of my questions and several that everyone else is asking.
I just watched the product video from the company and can see why there are so many questions. They could have at least put the camera man within 10′ of the table while filming. I know the fence and router are moving and yet I almost can’t even tell in their video.
I guess this is why we need other media outlets to show off a product, because I wouldn’t have thought twice about it it if I had only seen the manufacturers video…
That video definitely helps, but gives rise to more questions.
Why is a stylus needed? The apps are at least a little clearer.
He mentioned a cramped UI and resistive touch screen making it difficult to select the proper options with a finger.
Because its a cheap small screen and shitty UI 🙂
Koko The Talking Ape
Watching that video that Doug posted, I’m more impressed. It didn’t occur to me that it could cut biscuit slots by moving the fence and adjusting the bit height on the fly. And it does look useful to be able to position the fence and bit height to specific numbers without using measuring tools. When we see the actual router mount, we can see anti-backlash springs, which takes care of one of my concerns. And it uses a touchplate to learn where the bit and fence are.
On the other hand, at https://youtu.be/3er2m_duGQc?t=906, he lists some cons. The touch screen is too small, and that’s obvious throughout. He, and even the Next Wave people demoing it in videos, uses the eraser end of a pencil to press the screen buttons, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be voice-controlled, so you don’t have to take your hands off the workpiece to have the fence and bit move to the next setting.
And the fence is controlled with a linear actuator of some sort, so the table will need a fair amount of clearance behind it, like some sliding miter saws. That’s actually a big deal for me.
Having retrofitted and serviced true CNCs for the last 40 years – I see it as a great first step. But I’m assuming it is running open loop positioning commonly found in steppers, and I’m wondering how much torque the fence axis can hold. Is it possible for the user to push the fence if pushing the work piece too hard? So for the price, I’ll wait a few more years for something a little more advanced.
It’s not like this is a modern CNC machine where the goal is to get extremely fast rapids so I doubt they are using a very coarse pitch leadscrew to move the fence, and it’s probably just acme thread without any ballnuts. With that setup I doubt you’d be able to back-drive the leadscrew by pushing on the fence. However, the whole looks rather lightly built. I’d think mechanical play or simple flexing would be the bigger concern.
OK…I’ll admit. I saw this and thought, “This is gonna be crap.”
Then I watched the video. Ok I’m impressed and I see the utility to this in a production shop.
I think this is actually the next generation of the same company’s “Ready2Rout” fence system (no longer available):
Combined with a digitally controlled router lift, which MLCS has offered for a while: