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Question for Precision Mattews PM-833TV Owners

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ycroosh

Plastic
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Oct 14, 2013
Location
United States
Hi folks,
I'm about to place an order for PM-833TV milling machine (Precision Matthews) and have a few questions for current owners.

On paper the machine fits my needs pretty well. I make and sell a tablet-based DRO system (called TouchDRO) and the machine will be used for making various assembly jigs, test fixtures, and small pars for future related products etc. Mostly aluminum and plastics (Delrin, predominantly).
That is to say, that the size is "just right" (I don't have space for a knee mill, and don't really need one for the type of work I plan to do). My current SIEG SX4 is almost passable (besides poor fit/finish and tremendous spindle runout and quill play). I do cast iron and occasionally tool steels, for shop tooling (probably 5%), and therein lie my questions:
Secondary function for the machine will be a test bed for the DRO software, and being a "photo model" for user manual and how-to videos, so simplicity of controls is a plus.

1. How is the torque in the 150-300 RPM range? Would the spindle handle a 1.5" face mill (I use a 1.5" Mil-Tech face mill as a "fly cutter" for smaller cast iron and steel pieces).
2. Is the fit really good enough to live up to "ultra precision" name? The specs say P5 spindle bearings, ground lead screws, and hand-scraped ways. The last point I find suspect, since the photos looks more like sparse flaking over milled finish.

Finally, I have a "spare" 1HP Black Max motor and Allen Bradley VFD. How would they fare compared to the "Taiwanese" 2HP motor and non-specified VFD? I don't fully understand the logic of 2HP motor of RF-45 clone mill, frankly. I've seen a lot of Bridgeports and clones with 1-phase 1HP motor, and those machines have 5 times more cast iron on them.

Thank you in advance for any info.
Regards
Yuriy

P.S. I hope it's OK to post about PM machines. I recall in the past it was strictly verbotten, but looks like there are quite a few posts about PM on the forum...
 
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I don't have any experience with them but from what I read and seen they are a notch above most other equipment out there in this size range IMO. Others may say differently. Ken
 
A 1 hp mptor wont equal a 2 hp motor
That much I figured myself :) May be a more precise formulation:
The important part is the power output of the motor (HP * Torque). I suspect that there are differences in torque curves between Marathon BlackMax that is rated at 1:1000 constant torque and the default Taiwanese motor for which Precision Matthews can't provide any specs. Plus, I suspect there is some difference between a proper Vector Drive VFD and "the speed control is built into the machine" thing that is probably a VFD of some sorts (given that the motor is 3-phase).
I don't have much experience with motors and VFDs (besides just using whatever reasonably decent surplus I can find), but I suspect there are people on this forum who do that sort of thing for a living.

Regards
Yuriy
 
I'm not a fan of the hobby grade stuff. "Ultra precision", lol, compared to what?

What I really don't understand is who is paying almost $5k for these little toys. You can get a nice used mill for that price.
 
I'm not a fan of the hobby grade stuff. "Ultra precision", lol, compared to what?

What I really don't understand is who is paying almost $5k for these little toys. You can get a nice used mill for that price.

And it took almost 24 hours before the first "get yourself a real mill instead of this toy" comment... not bad. :D
 
I wouldn’t worry about the motor unless it broken. That mill can not take torque to start with- low speed high speed mid speed torque is still torque. Factory integrated normally is better if you want a tool.

The footprint of the bench mill is almost the same as a knee mill. The knee mill is a lot more machine per dollar.

Being a electronics inclined company you can get a very nice “real” mill with dog control and get it going. That is a project and not a tool for the first few months.
 
I wouldn’t worry about the motor unless it broken. That mill can not take torque to start with- low speed high speed mid speed torque is still torque. Factory integrated normally is better if you want a tool.

The footprint of the bench mill is almost the same as a knee mill. The knee mill is a lot more machine per dollar.

Being a electronics inclined company you can get a very nice “real” mill with dog control and get it going. That is a project and not a tool for the first few months.
I'm probably going to bite the bullet and get a small knee mill after all. Precision Matthews has PM-935TV that seems to be pretty decent (on paper). The footprint is a bit larger, plus I'll loose the space underneath the mill, but I don't see any other downsides compared to the bench-top version. Well, 9K$ price tag is a bit of a down side, but such is life...

All of my current "personal" machines were used when I got them, and I actually enjoy reconditioning old American iron. Unfortunately I'm at the spot right now when time is a much more precious commodity than money. My working hypothesis is that with Taiwan-made PM machine, I will need to do some tweaks, but I hope I won't have to scrape in the gibs or redo the lubrication system... will see.

Regards
Yuriy
 
I'm probably going to bite the bullet and get a small knee mill after all. Precision Matthews has PM-935TV that seems to be pretty decent (on paper). The footprint is a bit larger, plus I'll loose the space underneath the mill, but I don't see any other downsides compared to the bench-top version. Well, 9K$ price tag is a bit of a down side, but such is life...

All of my current "personal" machines were used when I got them, and I actually enjoy reconditioning old American iron. Unfortunately I'm at the spot right now when time is a much more precious commodity than money. My working hypothesis is that with Taiwan-made PM machine, I will need to do some tweaks, but I hope I won't have to scrape in the gibs or redo the lubrication system... will see.

Regards
Yuriy
You can buy a lot of machine for $9k used, ready to go, if you do some shopping. Factory CNC knee mills (EZ trak, etc) in good, serviceable condition sell in that price range. Small VMCs can be had for not much more.
 
As mentioned above, the moderator will likely take care of this post as the hobby machines should stay on the hobby forum. There are so many knock hobby mills anymore. This site really isn’t the place for them.
 
You can get a 9x49 turret mill BPT Taiwan clone including DRO and X power feed for $8500 from Eisen Machinery in LA. They've been around many years and stock parts, so are not fly-by-night. Their Hardinge HLV-H clone seems well regarded AFAIK.
 
As mentioned above, the moderator will likely take care of this post as the hobby machines should stay on the hobby forum. There are so many knock hobby mills anymore. This site really isn’t the place for them.
I'm sorry, not trying to start a "food fight", but what EXACTLY makes this a "hobby machine"? Yes, it's a smaller mill (1600 pounds, as far as I can tell), but it has hardened ways, ground lead screws, P7 spindle bearings, one shot lube system, etc.

I am buying the machine for professional use (as in, I am making decent money on my current mill, and am buying the new mill for a business use). Does the machine need to be over 2000 pounds to stop being hobby? If I were to apply your logic to cars, for example, only city busses and 18-wheelers would be suitable for "professional" use. Hobby-grade trucks, like Ford F250 or Mercedes Sprinter (Van) have should not be used by professionals, since they can't carry at least 50 passengers or 20 tons of cargo.

Regards
Yuriy
 
You can get a 9x49 turret mill BPT Taiwan clone including DRO and X power feed for $8500 from Eisen Machinery in LA. They've been around many years and stock parts, so are not fly-by-night. Their Hardinge HLV-H clone seems well regarded AFAIK.
Interesting. Their S-2A looks very similar to PM-935TV, but weighs 30% more. I'll give them a call tomorrow.
Thank you for the pointer
Yuriy
 
You can buy a lot of machine for $9k used, ready to go, if you do some shopping. Factory CNC knee mills (EZ trak, etc) in good, serviceable condition sell in that price range. Small VMCs can be had for not much more.
I know, but there is a tradeoff between time an money (again).
 
I know, but there is a tradeoff between time an money (again).
Get cnc. Do not even think about it. Your time standing at the machine is wasted time. So what if machining takes an hour with 1/4 mill. You gained 45 minutes thinking about design and assembling. 20 parts and you have paid for the difference in price.
Manual machines have a place to shine- prototype parts is not it.

I have a clone knee mill cnc. Damaged/incomplete control when I got it. It was cheaper than the mill I thought I wanted (bench manual mill). Best luck in a long time getting it over what I “wanted”.
 
I know, but there is a tradeoff between time an money (again).
I understand your dilemma, but the time you take to find and buy a used CNC will be paid back many times over by not having to crank handles. The efficiency increase in just simple positioning for manual drilling is huge and it just improves from there. It can also reduce tooling and setup costs as you can use small end mills to make large holes and cut profiles without the need of large drills, rotary tables and complex setups. All this for just a 2 axis CNC bridgeport. Add a 3rd axis and you can run ops unattended while you work other tasks. Add an enclosure and you can run even faster with flood coolant and chip management becomes 10x more efficient.
 
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