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Please help me decide if it's worth getting this used machine

littleb28

Plastic
Joined
Sep 9, 2018
TLDR: Is it worth getting a non-running 6200 lb CNC lathe for $5600 all in?

For some context, I'm a 38 year old who graduated about a month ago with a bachelor's in mechanical engineering. Of course I'm on a job search, but what I really want is my own business, specifically doing some kind of machine or product design.

At home I have a mini lathe and mini mill that I use for hobby stuff, and I've been wanting something bigger. On craigslist I found a free CNC lathe, as long you haul it away. I went to look at it and stuff, it's a 1992 Miyano with a Fanuc controller. 6200 lbs, 10 hp spindle motor, 11"x9.8", with 8 tool turret and coolant system. There is a problem with the automated chuck mechanism, which he had sitting in a bucket next to the machine. He said the machine can be run without using the automated chuck, but it has to be specified in the settings and/or g-code. Also, there is a problem with the controller. He says you have to load parameters onto the memory, and the capacitors that hold the charge to run this memory are no good anymore. He says they should hold charge for years, but now they only last 48 hours. Other than that he says the machine is perfect, and he showed me lots of old boxes with production run parts he made. He has the manual for the machine plus 3 more manuals for the controller (mainly teaching g-code).

I've contacted 4 or 5 machine moving companies, and the only one who has replied has quoted $3700 for loading, moving, and unloading. Also, the machine runs 3 phase power, so I would need a phase convertor, so that would be about $1600-$2200.

Can I get this machine running again? I assume I can troubleshoot the capacitors and solder in new ones, but I'm not sure if that is possible with those kinds of boards. If I can run it without the automated chuck, I wouldn't mind using a regular chuck of course. Assuming I get the machine running, is it something I can use to eventually do some machining as a small side business? I've been reading lots of posts and watching videos, and it's hard to get a handle on the economics of such a business. Also, this machine seems like it would be very useful if I develop a mechanical product and want to start manufacturing.

Please advise.
 

mmurray70

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
It might be salvageable. Kinda depends on your troubleshooting skills.

One thing to keep in mind, your already up to nearly 6 grand. You didnt include any budget for tooling, or fixing this machine, or wiring costs. Add those in and your probably going to be more like $15k at least, maybe more. Even if you spent just 5 grand on an old machine that actually runs, its only a small percentage more to your total investment. Might be a much safer option.

Buying a machine thats not running can hide a whole bunch of problems that are not obvious until you fix the first problems. Id hate to buy an old lathe without hearing spindle running. A spindle rebuild on an old lathe could cost more then machine is worth.
 

MwTech Inc

Titanium
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Location
Fishersville VA
How far away is it. 6K is not that big of a deal to move. Rent a fork truck and find someone with a trailer..........got to get that $3700 way down....

Repairs?? 4 months ago brought a dead 84 VMC back to life.

It required, servo repairs, ball screw shaft bearings, electrical wiring repairs, a servo drive, misc machine parts (got off *bay) complete teardown and cleaning of lube system, repairs to ATC , gib adjustments,(box ways) etc etc...

Was it worth it, Thankfully in my case yes as the machine has made good parts and all expenses from day 1 have been paid for and she has made money after that. However I had a use for it to make parts from the moment it was ready to run.

So if you don't have excellent mechanical or elect skills you may want to pass............heck even buying a used running machine you will still need a good set of skills...LOL.

Wanted to add, I did receive good info from members here but they cant fix your machine over the internet.

mmurray70 is correct on monies to make it work. Without any tooling the machine is one nice big paperweight.
 

mhajicek

Titanium
Joined
May 11, 2017
Location
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Do you want it as a project to work on and learn from? If so, it would be perfect. If you want a machine that works, for making parts, I wouldn't touch it.
 

Conrad Hoffman

Titanium
Joined
May 10, 2009
Location
Canandaigua, NY, USA
Once you have the phase converter, do you have 100 amps to run it? If you're handy and have good electrical/electronic knowledge, I bet you can get it running. Worth it? Will it ever pay for itself? Not a clue.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
No, it is not worth that much money.

Spend rigging dollars on a good running, valuable machine.

What you're looking at is $250/ton at the scrapyard. It could be an awesome machine with a little work, but you don't know enough to tell so this is where you learn how to make business decisions if you want to be in business.

My advice is to make the move happen on the cheap or move on and watch for a nice machine at a fair price.

Don't expect it's going to last very long. I have responded to Craigslist and Facebook ads like these before where I'm the 300th caller and the ads only been up for 12 minutes. I still get the machines because all those other guys are calling riggers while I call a rollback.
 

gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
No, it is not worth that much money.

Spend rigging dollars on a good running, valuable machine.

What you're looking at is $250/ton at the scrapyard. It could be an awesome machine with a little work, but you don't know enough to tell so this is where you learn how to make business decisions if you want to be in business.

My advice is to make the move happen on the cheap or move on and watch for a nice machine at a fair price.

Don't expect it's going to last very long. I have responded to Craigslist and Facebook ads like these before where I'm the 300th caller and the ads only been up for 12 minutes. I still get the machines because all those other guys are calling riggers while I call a rollback.

Yeah, I am going with this.

A machine that runs can make money
One that doesn't, costs money
 

BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
if you want a project, sure, if you want a good running machine.... then no. basically you could easily be putting thousands into a junk machine.
 

Rob F.

Diamond
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Location
California, Central Coast
AS mentioned earlier a roll back tow truck should be able to move it. Is there access for the tow truck to get to it?

Also if you can source a large enough three phase motor for cheap you gan buy a RPC control box for way less then $2200, probably close to $500-$600 depending on size. Your ability to source an old 3 phase motor will be the deciding factor.
 

CITIZEN F16

Titanium
Joined
May 2, 2021
If you can get the rigging costs down, go for it. Worst case scenario you could part out the machine on E-bay, as Fanuc is by far the most popular controller. Where are you at in California? Someone might know a cheaper rigger.
 








 
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