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New Machine Day - Aciera F5

rklopp

Diamond
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Location
Redwood City, CA USA
I bought the Aciera F5 that was offered over in the Machinery FS forum a couple of weeks back. I had Mike at HMS Tools do the move. Mike met me at the origin in the East Bay, loaded it up, and then brought it to my place on the SF Peninsula. The move was pretty painless.
Valhalla 3.jpgValhalla 2.jpgValhalla 1.jpg

The F5 is now sitting next to the F4 I bought from Milacron in 2010. I paid a little more than half for the F5 with a drop-table, universal table, and 3-phase 208-600V transformer, as I paid for the F4 with plain table, but with a DRO. (The F5 seller included a DRO, but it is only 2-axis and meant for an optical comparator, so not particularly useful for mills without an EPROM change (maybe DIP switches inside if I am really lucky).)

The F4 and F5 are in about the same mechanical condition. Both were Canadian machines set up for 600V. I swapped out the 600-V motors in the F4 for 240-V motors driven with VFDs. The F4 is an outstanding machine tool, but the F5 does it several notches better, and not just in terms of capacity. I'll post more as I get into cleaning it up, changing the oils, greasing the spindle bearings, adjusting the belts, adjusting the gibs, and actually using it.
 

ballen

Titanium
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Location
Garbsen, Germany
Beautiful machine. Backing up up that 30 degree incline with a machine lashed to the forklift would have made me nervous, but obviously that's because I lack the skill and experience of your mover!
 
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Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
I bought the Aciera F5 that was offered over in the Machinery FS forum a couple of weeks back. I had Mike at HMS Tools do the move. Mike met me at the origin in the East Bay, loaded it up, and then brought it to my place on the SF Peninsula. The move was pretty painless.


The F5 is now sitting next to the F4 I bought from Milacron in 2010. I paid a little more than half for the F5 with a drop-table, universal table, and 3-phase 208-600V transformer, as I paid for the F4 with plain table, but with a DRO. (The F5 seller included a DRO, but it is only 2-axis and meant for an optical comparator, so not particularly useful for mills without an EPROM change (maybe DIP switches inside if I am really lucky).)

The F4 and F5 are in about the same mechanical condition. Both were Canadian machines set up for 600V. I swapped out the 600-V motors in the F4 for 240-V motors driven with VFDs. The F4 is an outstanding machine tool, but the F5 does it several notches better, and not just in terms of capacity. I'll post more as I get into cleaning it up, changing the oils, greasing the spindle bearings, adjusting the belts, adjusting the gibs, and actually using it.
FWIW, I was the patsy the seller agreed to sell it to (in writing, if interested), but at end of long conversation about shipping, etc said "I do need to tell one other person who wanted it earlier first but pretty sure he no longer wants it as he has not responded in awhile"

I think every time in life I have heard something like that it has alway resulted in me not getting the item...be it machine or boat dock or whatever....but I thought maybe this time would be different. But after not hearing a peep from seller the next day, he confirmed what I expected after I emailed him.

Note to sellers, never ever agree to sell something... but at end of it all find out you were just being used to kick start the other person, as you will probably be on that person's shit list forever.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Location
The Netherlands
Is that drop table original ???
If so how is it clamped
Are you missing the chip tray ?

BTW without rubber between the forks and the machine I would have stopped that rigger

Milacron
You are a machinery dealer for some years
You should be used to it by now

Peter
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
Is that drop table original ???
If so how is it clamped
Are you missing the chip tray ?

BTW without rubber between the forks and the machine I would have stopped that rigger

Milacron
You are a machinery dealer for some years
You should be used to it by now
Actually that sort of seller behavior is pretty rare regarding machine tool sales in my experience, but has happened more than enough on other sales, like the boat dock I mentioned. Apparently I am officially "used to it" now since his ending statement seemed like the kiss of death at the time but hope springs eternal. That doesn't prevent me from calling him out on it or as a warning for other sellers not to do the same in the future.

Sure it is completely understandable to have someone else in the wings on a machine but mention that first thing before agreeing to sell, not last thing after agreeing to sell.

The drop table is original but was an option, presume it is clamped to the dovetail X slide somehow.

Re rubber on forks, 1/8" plywood is what I use but the way he had it strapped unlikely to go anywhere...perhaps he had thin plywood under it as well.

The only redemption on my end, is that particular F5 does not have a lever quill for the vertcal head, only the screw type. The better ones have both.
 

rklopp

Diamond
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Location
Redwood City, CA USA
The forklift was pulled up and lowered down the tilt-bed using the truck's winch, not by driving the forklift. The operator was on there to move the forks up and down as needed. He ran the forks a little high for my taste once the tips got clear of the pavement, but the operation otherwise was to my liking.

The drop table hooks onto the apron dovetail just like any other Aciera F4 or F5 table. I now have the drop table, the vertical table, a universal table, and the F4 fixed table. The chip tray is present and accounted for, and in even better shape than the one on the F4.

The F5 came without a quill feed lever, but the quill itself has the rack teeth, so I should be able to swap the quill feed assembly from the F4 to the F5. What I may do it simply reverse-engineer it. That would be relatively hopeless if the quill didn't have the rack teeth. It's odd that these machines would have the rack teeth but not the lever assembly. The lever assembly would cost chump-change in the grand scheme of things. I need the feed lever for power tapping. The screw feed will not back-drive, so trying to power tap with it would only lead to busted taps.

At some point I will write an essay comparing the F4 and F5 designs. For example, the F4 has a Reeves variable-speed drive that uses standard B-section V-belts. This means the opposing sheave faces have to interleave to be able to drive the belt to a usefully large radius. This in turn means the belt bends into the interleave gaps as it travels. This creates a buzzing noise and the bending decreases belt life. The F5 also has a Reeves drive, but appears to rely on a commercial set of sheaves using a wide belt. It's a lot like a Bridgeport drive on steroids. The adjustable sheave is on a jack-shaft and the spring-loaded sheave is on the motor. The final drive from the jack-shaft to the transmission input shaft is via flat-belt running on crowned pulleys! It's not a leather flat-belt, but a high-tech cloth and rubber belt. I would have used a V-belt or two in that application, and I'd be curious to know why they chose a flat-belt.

Happy New Year everyone!
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
The F5 came without a quill feed lever, but the quill itself has the rack teeth, so I should be able to swap the quill feed assembly from the F4 to the F5. What I may do it simply reverse-engineer it. That would be relatively hopeless if the quill didn't have the rack teeth. It's odd that these machines would have the rack teeth but not the lever assembly. The lever assembly would cost chump-change in the grand scheme of things. I need the feed lever for power tapping. The screw feed will not back-drive, so trying to power tap with it would only lead to busted taps.
That is bizarre isn't it ? I was thinking the same thing.....

A. Why was the lever an option in the first place ? ...and

B. If it was, why was original owner too cheap to opt for it considering at that time he was buying one of the most expensive manual mills in the world anyway ?

===========

Interestingly, on the later F5 design, with the square head, the lever was standard on the vertical head but the fine feed was the option ! The fine feed was $345 more (in 1984)....here again, stupid to have that an an option considering the machine was the equivalent of over $100,000 back then in today's money.
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
Here's something I've never seen for sale in the used market....the very last generation of F5...vintage early 90's. I have a Aciera full line brochure from about 1988 where the F4 and F5 are missing, so that explains "the come back" I guess....

FullSizeRender-35.jpg

I probably saw this in real life at the EMO show where I picked up this brochure but have no memory of it as I was mostly looking at tapping machines and other accessories. Was the first time I became aware of Fehlmann also and I do recall being jaw dropped at their machines.

Brochure is dated 1991......EMO was in Paris, France that year so could have seen it there rather than Hannover in 93....Fehlmann I recall seeing at the Hannover show.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Location
The Netherlands
Here's something I've never seen for sale in the used market....the very last generation of F5...vintage early 90's. I have a Aciera full line brochure from about 1988 where the F4 and F5 are missing, so that explains "the come back" I guess....

View attachment 187163
.

I had several of these
Mentioned probably all of them here
And the Aciera F5 we discussed off this board earlier this year was this type
You are getting old Milacron :stirthepot:

Peter
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
I had several of these
Mentioned probably all of them here
And the Aciera F5 we discussed off this board earlier this year was this type
You are getting old Milacron :stirthepot:
Well, now that you mention it, I guess you have for all practical purposes had at least one like this....the very one I was interested in buying.....except it also had the integral antique DRO and was green in color ?

What I mean is the off white color with the 1990's logo....but basically you did have the same design machine sure enough. I presume when they did away with the foot pedal, rapid was via push button on the control ?

That is the one thing I miss on the last generation manual Deckels and manual Maho's compared to the older ones.....just more satisfying somehow to pull a lever or step on a foot pedal for rapid travel than pushing a button. Probably because you can pull the lever or step on the foot pedal without looking for it.

OTOH, turning a DC drive potentiometer for feed speed is way better than a set geared speed feed.

"several" ?? Were any of them as new as this one in the brochure ?
 

rklopp

Diamond
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Location
Redwood City, CA USA
How does the horizontal spindle drawbar come out? The drawbar is in two pieces. The part with the knob and wrench flats that sticks out the back is just a long socket wrench that pushes in and out to engage a shorter drawbar deep inside the spindle that has the NMTB40 threads on it. The cool part about the outer drawbar is that pushing it in and out engages a spindle lock that makes tightening the drawbar easy. No more using the slippy pin that serves that purpose on the F4, or throwing it in low gear, which is what I usually do. Anyhow, I tried pushing back on the threaded end of the inner drawbar while turning it with a long socket wrench, but it never unscrewed.

--------------

Edit: The cover on top of the sliding headstock has to come off, as does the spindle lock mechanism. Then, there's a long tube that extends from the rear of the headstock to just short of the horizontal spindle inner end that slides out the rear. The tube houses the drawbar half that has the knob and wrench flats. Once the tube is out of the way, the threaded drawbar can be removed.
 
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Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
Here's something I've never seen for sale in the used market....the very last generation of F5...vintage early 90's. I have a Aciera full line brochure from about 1988 where the F4 and F5 are missing, so that explains "the come back" I guess....

View attachment 187163
Ah...found one ! So, Peter...ever have one this new ? If you ever do and it's as nice as this one please let me know....

http://www.haessig-maschinen.ch/aciera/aciera-f5-grau/

Cute the way he posts a closeup of the data plate but his camera was so bad I can't read any of the data....I'm especially curious what year it is.
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
Aciera was bankrupt in 1992 and by 1995 Heidenhain DRO's did not look like that. The ND 510 series DRO came out in 1993 or 94.

In fact it had not occurred to me until now I must have seen Aciera at the 1991 EMO show in Paris only, and that explains why I don't recall seeing them at the 1993 EMO in Hannover. The kicker is I don't recall seeing Deckel or Maho at either show.....and yet they may have been there, I just missed them. The thought that I might could have seen a Deckel FP1 or FP4MK (the only manual mills they made then) brand spankin new haunts me a bit ! :o
 

AlfaGTA

Diamond
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Location
Benicia California USA
..and yet they may have been there, I just missed them. The thought that I might could have seen a Deckel FP1 or FP4MK (the only manual mills they made then) brand spankin new haunts me a bit ! :o


Yes, i suppose looking at this stuff is wonderful and all, seeing new then would have been cool....But really its like the cars i see every day...wonderful stuff, rare to a fault, but in in the end the real joy is in
the driving,or in our case the running. If it is not cutting then its just another hunk of static metal ,sculpture as art i guess, but the real beauty of all this is when its dynamic....Now if you had purchased a brand new
Aciera or Deckel at that show and you still owned it, having maintained it was in show room condition....then, we would be talking
Cheers Ross
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Location
The Netherlands
I sold it to Wallima IIRC and although I get older and forget things (yes I admit to it) I remember having a conversation with him mentioning that this perhaps was a Indonesian machine ????

The DRO could have been added any time

Peter
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
I sold it to Wallima IIRC and although I get older and forget things (yes I admit to it) I remember having a conversation with him mentioning that this perhaps was a Indonesian machine ????

The DRO could have been added any time
Texmaco Perkasa / Aciera never made an F5.....only the F3....and bizarrely, the jig borer and the little table top drill presses. They might have made the F1 as well but can't remember now.

But I know for sure, no F5, as I remember the Texmaco guy in Spartanburg saying they were thinking about making the F5 (this conversation about 2002) but a year or two later they dropped the Aciera machines completely. Plus they painted them very different colors from what you had. I have their brochures and even owned a couple of Perkasa Aciera drill presses I bought at the Texmaco auction in Spartanburg, SC years ago.

The also made a smallish CNC lathe....the usual design, slant bed with turret and tailstock fully enclosed in sheet metal with sliding door and all Fanuc motors and control... but those were new designs and labeled either Texmaco or Perkasa (can't remember now), not Aciera. I bought two of those at the same auction. They touted a couple of other machines with Aciera labels but they were simply rebadged Taiwanese machines...seemed like a bad idea to me.

Frustrating there were none of the Aciera F3's at that auction, as there easily could have been and they would probably have sold for next to nothing

As an aside, I presume the name Texmaco comes from "Make Textile Machinery".....which was their core business. Spartanburg/Greenville, SC used to be the capital of USA textile manufacturing...before nearly all of it went to China and Vietnam.
 








 
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