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New guy entering the CNC world!

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
no experience+ old integrex= really dumb

You gotta realize the machine is just a tool. It is dumb and a lathe with milling bits does not make it a mill. It takes some actual skill to figure it all out and it would be a really good idea to start with a simple, quality machine like a 2 axis lathe or 3 axis mill.

I've seen guys who do have some machining experience and engineering degrees under their belts faceplant trying to get a simple VMC making parts in a reasonable timeframe.

My first real CNC was an old Mazak with a 12" chuck. I found I couldn't run it in a residential neighborhood where the small transformer fed several houses. I moved it to a bigger shop with better power. Had to up my phase converter game from 30HP to 60HP to run that lathe. I discovered there were about zero things I could machine on a CNC lathe for money that didn't have CNC mill features as well. So I sold my nice old truck, bought a beater pickup and a decent old VMC. The shop I was renting had about 2700 sq ft and I was packed in there. No way I could make that work in a 2 car garage.

The only people I have met who think Integrex's are really cool are people who don't own them. Go find a shop with one and ask them how they like it.

Kabuki Strength - Original Specialty Barbells, Coaching, & Education This place started out with an Integrex because they thought it would be perfect for milling the angled ends of their bars. Integrex was an epic total failure for them that cost them dearly.
 

Vancbiker

Diamond
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
Vancouver, WA. USA
.......The only people I have met who think Integrex's are really cool are people who don't own them. Go find a shop with one and ask them how they like it......

Pretty much my experience with one. OK as a lathe. Sucked ass as a mill. Despite being BigPlus 50 taper, the 40 taper Makino HMcs across the aisle would out perform it.
 

Scruffy887

Titanium
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Location
Se Ma USA
Starting out with a 20+ year old machine is not the way to go. It will have many parts close to the end of their life, and a whole lot more parts that will resent the machine being moved. See it run where it is, see it sit where you land it.
 

Mike7557

Plastic
Joined
Apr 18, 2022
I really appreciate everyone's input and background. From the stories, the space, and the power it does sound like I'm going to scale back the initial machine to purchase. We will still need lathe work to compliment his mill, but a 2008 Mazak 200-MSY may still be both too much, too big (amps) and too complicated.

A Tormach 15L Slant Pro I think is probably too small for the 4" diameter, 6" long stock to turn down for a hub, and there is no tailstock.

With that in mind, what make/model/year would be some good recommendations?
 

Philabuster

Diamond
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Location
Tempe, AZ
I really appreciate everyone's input and background. From the stories, the space, and the power it does sound like I'm going to scale back the initial machine to purchase. We will still need lathe work to compliment his mill, but a 2008 Mazak 200-MSY may still be both too much, too big (amps) and too complicated.

A Tormach 15L Slant Pro I think is probably too small for the 4" diameter, 6" long stock to turn down for a hub, and there is no tailstock.

With that in mind, what make/model/year would be some good recommendations?

My recommendation is to get at least 200 amps going to the shop and a Phase Perfect to make the most out of it. My entire shop is running on the 30hp Phase Perfect. Your main problem is getting enough juice to run even a small 2 axis lathe.

As far as lathes go, can't go wrong with an old Mazak 2 axis lathe. Personally, I would love an Integrex like you found for my home shop. The two machines I have are the precursor to the Integrex.

At work, we used to have an older 1997 Integrex 35y with a T+ control and now I run a newer 2016 Integrex i-400S with the Smooth X control.
 

LOTT

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
With that in mind, what make/model/year would be some good recommendations?

My recommendation? Job out the hubs, buy a 13" or 14" manual lathe and a small newer CNC mill (Haas Minimill, Speedio, Robodrill, something like that). Have fun learning and make a few bucks along the way.
 

IninefingersI

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 9, 2022
Location
Doo Dah, Kansas
You should get ahold of Harvey Tool and find out what the requirements are for qualifying for the Kennametal tool voucher. When we buy machines, we get the voucher, and we get a 50% discount on anything in the Kennametal catalog up to the price of the machine for 1 year.

It is really nice, because tooling up a machine can be almost as much as buying the machine. It might let you open up your options a little.

I'm pretty sure you can qualify with new or used, but I'm not sure if there are any brand requirements, or what documentation you have to provide if buying used. The only rub is, you have to buy your tooling through Harvey Tool.
 

Micmac1

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 9, 2017
First off, what your saying you want to do can be done...But its Risky. First off a Y axis lathe for your first machine is the biggest risk. Lots can go wrong, more moving parts for programming, etc, most guys learn on a 2 axis. That said, do not buy a manual, CNC really isnt THAT hard, its trial, error, experience is king and one can be had used for 10-20k that is solid and will last you years to come. If it were me, id be looking for something with conversational programming as an option, like a haas with VPS (even tho i hate thier lathes) they may fit your application, older mazak etc. If your set on a Y axis lathe, id be looking at newer but used comodity machines such as a SMEC (samsung), smart, yama seiki, akira seiki, or something along those lines of a TW made machine, you can get ALOT for your money on a fairly new one with plenty of options and parts support on all of them is fairly available. I would strongly reccomend you download Fusion 360, get some sample drawings and watch as many videos on programming as possible, run simulation and see how you do. If it seems like you have the ability to pick it up, then i would go for a machine. You may find out programming isnt for you and scrap the whole idea, or you may find our a wizard and can make chips like no other, could go either way.
 

Turbowerks

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Location
Windom
I agree on the power side of things mentioned. I have been through this going from 100 amp to 200 amp finally to 400 amp service single phase.
Running a 50 hp phase convertor with a sl25 as the problem child. It did not like the voltage drop when ramping up rpms cost me a spindle drive before getting enough power. Great old machine that is very accurate but it bites when you need to spend 1/2 the machines value so you can get it running again.
Good machine to hone your skills that won’t break the bank,look for a proto track lathe. And or a small fadal with a 4 th axis. Low power required, will fit in your garage and can make good parts while honing your skills. The Fadal has the advantage of parts availability and easy repairs also and is upgradable


When I find it I don’t need it
When I need it I can’t find it!
 

rk9268vc

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 2, 2021
my suggestion if you truly have no experience is to pick up a cheap manual lathe to get some experience in. CNC after-all is just servos turning the handles. The knowledge transfers. On a manual machine tho, you can feel the cut and get a good idea of what you can get away with. On a CNC, it will do exactly what you tell it to, including trying to send parts through the table at full rapids.

Until you get into the big stuff, a 20-30 gal compressor will be fine. whats more important is getting a quiet one if its in the same room as you. You can always get a bigger compressor, but dont go ham at first.

If you dont already, put a subpanel in the garage. Get a big one so you have room to expand.

dont get in a hurry to quit your day job, there is a lot of upfront costs in machining. Give yourself time to figure everything out and make smart decisions. Get that SMLLC started so you can write everything off.
 

Kingbob

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 1, 2009
Location
Louisiana
The likely hood of a 22 year old integrex on the used market making accurate parts on day one of recommissioning is very low.
Mazak Integrex's are wonderfully capable machines and I want one dearly as I already have an all mazak shop, I am literally sitting on a quote for a new one just waiting to see how the year goes.
That being said they are well know to have a glass jaw.
With that many axis of freedom any misalignment between said axis stacks up to inaccuracies.
Old and accurate multi axis machines don't often get sold on the used market.
 

CITIZEN F16

Titanium
Joined
May 2, 2021
Still point stands 50a aint gonna cover a machine and a 240v 60gal compressor

Sent from my LM-V600 using Tapatalk

Agreed 100 amp minimum. It would probably take 1/2 that to run a moderate sized compressor, and probably pull more when getting up to speed.
 

Kingbob

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 1, 2009
Location
Louisiana
Remember anything that old is paid off, you don't want a paid off machine that isn't worth it to them to keep.
The only machines in this class worth considering is something still newish from a company that went bust or a clapped out project machine that you get for a song.
Unicorns do exist but we're all hunting them too.
 

LOTT

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
That said, do not buy a manual, CNC really isnt THAT hard,

my suggestion if you truly have no experience is to pick up a cheap manual lathe to get some experience in. CNC after-all is just servos turning the handles. The knowledge transfers. On a manual machine tho, you can feel the cut and get a good idea of what you can get away with. On a CNC, it will do exactly what you tell it to, including trying to send parts through the table at full rapids.

The other reason I say get a manual lathe is it's something you never really outgrow. I don't envision a time when I won't like having a nice manual lathe in the corner. We have a Harrison M300 that I paid $1,200 for, I'll own that the rest of my life. Easy to move, easy to power, super handy.
 

BOB-OO

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Location
NE PA
We have one Integrex 200 SY (2000), its awesome. Waiting on a brand new one to arrive (August). 640MT- little to no downtime bought used, we needed to fix a few things. We're running 200A 3p to the multitap for that machine only. It uses 8-18 ACFM. (18 in milling mode) We have an excellent indy machine guy to support us and trained us to diagnose it. It's much more complicated then a 3x. I wouldn't recommend it to someone without experience, one crash could cost 10k+. We have not had that issue but I know others who have. There's a lot of things moving at the same time @ 1400ipm and most of them can hit each other. That said, the setup/changes, flexibility and accuracy is amazing, one chucking move part to sub spindle and pull a finished part. Your on the right track, but its not easy to accomplish without a lot of money in training, CAD/CAM, and mistakes. An Integrex shouldn't be anyone's 1st machine, even w full factory support its a very steep learning curve. If you were near me I'd tell you to come in and do some work-on the job training, then go chase your dream armed with some knowledge & experience.
 








 
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