Do I really need the Journeyman? (size)

Hi there!

I was hoping you guys could help me out deciding which machine to get.

I would love to buy the Journeyman X-50 for the size of it, but shipping to Australia is killing me at $900! The next best option is the Woodworked X-50.

At the moment Im spoiled with the size of my Aeon Nova 14 laser which has a 47" x 35" bed to do larger jobs so I dont have to stop, move or add new material. The laser however has it’s limitations when it comes to engraving and cutting thicker materials which is why I need a CNC machine.

Most of the time when Im doing signage, it would probably fit on the Woodworker X-50, to be honest.

I guess the main question then is, can you slide the materials along if needed to do jobs that are larger than the cutting area? Like a sign that might be 50" wide for example?

On a laser, you can do that with a passthrough. You just need to align it perfectly after moving the material then run another file with the second half of the overall job, if that makes sense?

Anyway, I hope anyone can shed some light on this for me as Im new to CNC. I dont want to overspend if I can do the same on a slightly smaller machine, but I also dont want to kick myself later on for not spending the extra cash. Tricky one…

Thanks much in advance!

Yes. It’s called tiling. If you use VCarve there is even built in support for how to break the design into sections and match up your material sliding.

I’d still go with the JM. I’ve never known a CNC (or laser) owner who said “I wish I got the smaller version”. Not sure what the shipping price difference is but it’s a one-time expense vs. a continuous “I wish it was bigger”. :slight_smile:

Thanks for that info Jim!

Yes it’s true even with the laser. Nearly everyone who starts out small wants a bigger one and maybe adds a smaller one later.

The difference (Journeyman VS Woodworker X-50) is about $862 including the shipping. Its about $1258 AUD. Still have to build a table for it, buy the router and bits, T-Tracks and software which all adds up. But, good to know what it’s called now (tiling) and that it can be done.

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I paid $1600 for shipping to Saudia Arabia :slight_smile:
I’m no expert but I’d say if you can push yourself get the JM.

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You “need” a Journeyman if you want to do a workpiece whose smallest dimension is over 32".

I haven’t gotten my Journeyman yet but my previous CNC experience was using a relative’s CNC with a 32"x32" area. I did 18" x 60" pieces by doing one portion, sliding it along the Y direction, and doing the remainder. I put registration holes in the waste board and the workpiece so that the piece was accurately repositioned when it was moved. As I’m in the U.S., shipping for the Journeyman is reasonable, and it gives me the ability to do a 4’x8’ sheet of plywood (or anything else wider than 32") if I need to, so that’s what I ordered.


For the simple fact that it can accept full width sheeted goods, it is worth it in my opinion. Less time breaking down material, and more flexibility on the material you can purchase, including discounts associated with bulk sheets.

If you have a laser of that size, you already know the bed space is critical, for replication, and multiple projects, and those custom requests >32".

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Gosh that is not even funny how much more that is!

Hey Josh @JoshL, hey Abdulrahman @AbdoNash, hey all,

We paid $650 to Germany for Journeyman ($325 for Woodworker) but with this it was sent using DHL Express and it was here within one week, which means this was an expensive shipping by air freight. But cheaper, slower shipping methods by ship also exist. Since we had five months backorder anyway, then a few weeks shipping time would not have been bad either, but much cheaper. Has anyone asked Kirbre Enterprises Inc. if they would ship it overseas with a shipping method like that?

Thanks Matt & Barry!

I guess I already know the Journeyman would be worth spending the extra money in the long run. It’s just that the price keeps going up from what I originally thought I would like to spend on a CNC machine.

When I started looking at lasers the budget was about $8K and I ended up spending $24k! Glad I did but I got expensive taste and I usually end up spending more on tools, but they are always good quality that will last a long time and they usually do a better job than a smaller or less expensive version of the same thing.

As for the bigger work area, it would definitely make the workflow easier if I don’t have to change material as often after each run especially if you do multiple cuts of the same item for a larger order. Doing bigger signs on the X-Axis would also be a nice to have without having to do tiling on the Y-Axis.

I just need to convince my wife now why the bigger machine is worth it. :). She did say I need to get whatever I have to, so…

Thought this was interesting comparing a bigger and smaller machine. Different brand but same concept. X-Carve vs X-Carve Pro Review: Return on Investment - YouTube

I know how that goes. Every additional option or needed accessory, tool, etc is reasonable…I do the “well it’s just a bit more and I’ll definitely need that”…and then pretty soon all those individual items have added up to significant money and I’m usually doubling my initial “entry” price. :slight_smile:

Some of it was good but because the mechanics of the OF models are basically the same, the radical improvement in time wouldn’t apply here. But the waste caused by needing to fit smaller sheets vs using U.S. standard 48" wide sheet goods is applicable and one I hadn’t generally thought about.

I did have to laugh at the “price per chair” of $150. Not sure who that sale is targeted for but maybe I’m just out of touch. And if I were selling that chair for that much, I’d be using Baltic Birch cabinet grade plywood which changes the sheet size because it’s not generally available in 48" and I’d be breaking down 60x60" sheets.

Once you tell the wife, your fully fitted journeyman, with spindle, is only $6500, compared the $24k laser, your’e golden! haha.

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Okay, so… I just parted with $3856USD for a Journeyman X-50. If it goes sideways, Im sending my wife to this post so she can see you guys made me do it. :joy:

Still going to take a couple of weeks by the looks of it (6 to 8!!) so I won’t mention or buy anything else that is needed for a few weeks to let the dust settle a bit first.


Yeah it hurts now but it will stop after you get it and start making things. Get your table ready and some designs done so you’re cutting the same weekend. Make one of the designs something your wife will like :slightly_smiling_face:


Good Idea! :slight_smile:

that is the next big task - building a table for it. I just got my garage quiet by moving the extractor fans for the laser outside, now I’m ramping it up again with this setup!

Heaps of ideas out there for sure. Ideally, I would put an extractor on the outside as well and then have a table that can tilt at an angle to save a little space, but with the option of putting it down level if needed.

The other idea is to box it all in to try and reduce the noise a bit. That also has some limitations and would take up more room vertically, which is not that much of a deal to be honest.

Decisions, decisions!..

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