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List of the top Job Shop Machines

kpotter

Diamond
Joined
Apr 30, 2001
Location
tucson arizona usa
I do think that job shop work is getting really competitive, I have taken parts around to get quotes and they are lower than they were several years ago. Even though metal has gotten more expensive and labor has gone up machines have gotten faster. To compete you need the faster machines. I just got my last run of lazer cut parts from a shop that has a pallet system built into the building and a robot removes the parts. They were 40% less than my last place. They cut my parts the same day I picked them up the next morning. I used to waite 2 weeks, the new guys said this is standard practice. They have automated the whole thing so it is very effiecient.
 

RC99

Diamond
Joined
Mar 26, 2005
Location
near Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
The above example is why a job shop even with 40 year old equipment can thrive.

Depends if their 40 year old equipment is in good order or not..

I cannot speak for everyone, but I have been to most auctions around my area when machine tools are for sale...

All ye olde equipment for sale is always worn out and fucked... Reason being the people buying it did not buy it to look at... they bought it to work the arse off to make money..

The only equipment not worn out is newish chinese/taiwanese equipment...

I found trying to do good work on fucked machines is a lesson in patience... that is why I spent a fair bit on a decent new lathe.. I gave up trying to find the elusive near new 40 year old heavy lathe.... Such a thing is a rare thing indeed, and if found has a price tag to match..
 

PDW

Diamond
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Location
Australia (Hobart)
I gave up trying to find the elusive near new 40 year old heavy lathe.... Such a thing is a rare thing indeed, and if found has a price tag to match..

Funnily enough back in May a Tos 8" CH X 60" centres lathe in *perfect* condition came up for auction. Built like a brick shit house, still on its shipping pallet though it had been used - maybe once or twice. It was *mint*. Probably pre-collapse of the SovUnion.

Sold for a touch under $10K and I thought it was a damn good buy at that price. I wasn't interested personally though one of my friends was - price got too rich for him though.

That lathe is the only serious sized machine in that sort of condition I've seen come on the market in many, many years of exercising my nosiness about machine tools. I do know where there are some old machines in perfect condition, but they're all in Govt toolrooms and not about to be sold - certainly, as you say, when they are, they won't be cheap..... which is why I'm hanging onto my Monarch CY, wear and all. I'd rather it was as new, but I'd like to win Lotto, too.

PDW
 

craigd

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 15, 2010
Location
Canada, Alberta
Okay, so I've been quite a few years on the road that several folks (right down to some of the same machines) have posted in this thread (though not for revenue right now, but I might be wanting to get back to that??):
- small lathe is a Smart and Brown 1024
- small Maho mill
- Kasto saw
- little bigger Cincinnati vertical mill
- mid-sized lathe (15x60)
- all the above are pretty well dressed with the small bits (pursuit of tooling never stops) - but all from 35 - 50 years from their manufacture date.
- and the usual array of support equipment one would expect to find.

Like most everyone else here I'm looking to add on as "opportunities" present.

I keep hearing, and believing that CNC can bring significant advantage. Obviously this is an area that is changing quickly and obsolescence is a very real risk. My "vintage" machines are working about as well as their original performance (I've been fortunate to get most of the machines out of non-industrial settings). If something failes (or I get it broken) - I just fix it, make the parts, whatever. I've seen the small run CNC mills bring real value to maintenance typ work (cutting arcs, cirlces, hole patterns, ...).

But, it seems that with CNC it can turn into a boat anchor pretty quick (some board fails, drive blown, software no longer supported). If I buy a 10 year old CNC "needing minor repair", am I going to be able to fix it (does the vendor still provide servicing?) What are the odds of finding a computer that can run the old software? CNC has been evolving all the way along - which ones are the "good" ones, which ones should one avoid? If I purchased a new one - am I locking into needing that vendor's servicing, purchasing updates and in a few years they are telling me it is obsolete and I need to buy a bunch of upgrades?

It is fine if one is running a lot of product through the machine and it is paid for in 1 year, then a cash machine for 5 more - then sell it off cheap and let someone else take the "old" machine. That isn't likely to be my world. So, is there a way to get into CNC without getting something that will be extremely difficult to maintain when it hits 20 years of age?
 

Leg17

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Location
Kentucky
Lost in all this discussion is that some CNC equipment can do things that simply are impossible with conventional machines.
How about milling tool steel that is 53 Rc with a .020 dia carbide ball endmill?
All day with no cutter change?
Apples and oranges are two different animals.
 

sable

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Location
midlands,UK
Lost in all this discussion is that some CNC equipment can do things that simply are impossible with conventional machines.
How about milling tool steel that is 53 Rc with a .020 dia carbide ball endmill?
All day with no cutter change?
Apples and oranges are two different animals.

I think another point is that because a vendor is expected to have CNC capability people designing parts will put a radius on a corner without thinking ,on a CNC machine machining that rad will cost almost nothing but a guy on a manual machine could need to spend a fair amount of time setting a rotab or changing the setup to hit it with a form cutter (that he might not have).
 

rbdjr59

Cast Iron
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Location
Houston, USA
My 2 cents, one thing a manual machine can do that a Cnc can't is make good parts after it is worn out. Almost all the machines I ran back in the day were loose and sloppy but by knowing the machine and making a few adjustments, one could produce good parts. Granted, this was oilfield work with big tolerances (+/- .005") but those old machines were making money every day. When you run a manual, it's more than pushing buttons, you get a feel for the machine and what it can do. Often a change in vibrations or the pitch of the sound of the cut would tell you what was happening. For me I was part of the machine. That's why I like the old manual machines.
 

sable

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Location
midlands,UK
My 2 cents, one thing a manual machine can do that a Cnc can't is make good parts after it is worn out. Almost all the machines I ran back in the day were loose and sloppy but by knowing the machine and making a few adjustments, one could produce good parts. Granted, this was oilfield work with big tolerances (+/- .005") but those old machines were making money every day. When you run a manual, it's more than pushing buttons, you get a feel for the machine and what it can do. Often a change in vibrations or the pitch of the sound of the cut would tell you what was happening. For me I was part of the machine. That's why I like the old manual machines.

Not necessarily so, if the CNC will run it is just as easy probably more so to deal with worn ways, machine errors can be programmed out ,a perfect example is the old problem of a lathe that cuts tapered ,not easy to deal with on an old manual machine but on a CNC you program to cut an opposite taper and end up with a dead parallel part.
 

Smoothbore

Cast Iron
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Location
PA, USA
Yep, ... there's a lot of "pros" and "cons" in all these arguments.

Reduced tooling costs did a lot to advance the acceptance of CNC machines into "Job" Shops.

But a lack of qualified Operators for Manual Machines, is an equally significant factor.


As I've often said, ... "if I were starting out today, I'd get into EDM and Water Jet Machines", ... rather than anything that requires "consumable" tooling.



.
 

tdmidget

Diamond
Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Location
Tucson AZ
I just read this whole thread (who knows why) and I have a couple of questions for the OP;
When did Norton make a centerless grinder? And the only surface grinder a Blanchard?
 

doug8cat

Titanium
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Location
Philadelphia
Yikes, this is like a guy comming to you wearing only a banana hammock and then proceedind to (if your silll there) tell you that is the best the only, the greast "underware" avalibe; Sure it is wonderful for some activiest but for others (job interview) to so much.
 








 
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