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setting up a new cnc machine shop

mdmays1987

Plastic
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
hello all im looking for advice on setting up a machine shop i have experience running 3 axis and 4 axis haas mills and 3 axis milltronics and zero to very little experience with lathe or manual equipment

im looking for advice on setting up the shop
as in machine composition is there a mill to lathe ration folks seem to have work for them?im thinking start out with one mill 3 axis and expand from there maybe one mill and a lathe if i can swing it what does everyone think?the shop ill be using is behind my house in an area thats residential but its zoned commercial
how much room do you suggest leaving around the sides of the machines to clean and work on things
im thinking about going with tormach as a brand to start out with mostly because of how user friendly they seem and how much more affordable they and the parts are and yes i do understand they are not top tier machines by any streach of the imagionation but i think they would serve to start out
also how did everyone come up with a shop rate?
how do you find work when your first starting? ive seen a few things and gotten some ideas but im looking for as much info as i can come up with
 

thewynner98

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
hello all im looking for advice on setting up a machine shop i have experience running 3 axis and 4 axis haas mills and 3 axis milltronics and zero to very little experience with lathe or manual equipment

im looking for advice on setting up the shop
as in machine composition is there a mill to lathe ration folks seem to have work for them?im thinking start out with one mill 3 axis and expand from there maybe one mill and a lathe if i can swing it what does everyone think?the shop ill be using is behind my house in an area thats residential but its zoned commercial
how much room do you suggest leaving around the sides of the machines to clean and work on things
im thinking about going with tormach as a brand to start out with mostly because of how user friendly they seem and how much more affordable they and the parts are and yes i do understand they are not top tier machines by any streach of the imagionation but i think they would serve to start out
also how did everyone come up with a shop rate?
how do you find work when your first starting? ive seen a few things and gotten some ideas but im looking for as much info as i can come up with
While im going through the same things check out syil x7 for a mill. Much better than the tormach and slightly more expensive. Full industrial controls and epoxy granite base.

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Luke.kerbey

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 2, 2019
In every machine installation manual it gives a floor plan of the machine which includes the spaces required around the machine for service and maintenance.
 

thewynner98

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
He wants to start a business not a toy shop.
You can be a Dick all you want but some of us are making it with smaller machines. Seems some of you think without a million dollar mill you can't get anywhere. Yet most of you likely work for the man so.........

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plastikdreams

Diamond
Joined
May 31, 2011
Location
upstate nj
You can be a Dick all you want but some of us are making it with smaller machines. Seems some of you think without a million dollar mill you can't get anywhere. Yet most of you likely work for the man so.........

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Do as you please, I'd rather have a haas...than your toy
 

thewynner98

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
You can be a Dick all you want but some of us are making it with smaller machines. Seems some of you think without a million dollar mill you can't get anywhere. Yet most of you likely work for the man so.........

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And for whatever its worth it has better specs than the haas tm peterson workholding started with and he doesnt seem to be a toy shop so....... Not too mention he wanted to go tormach from the beginning which is more hobby/home use geared yet.......

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Doug

Diamond
Joined
Dec 16, 2002
Location
Pacific NW
I would take a step backwards and make a business plan.

As odd as it may sound I never really understood exactly what a business plan is.

In my case my plan was to start the business and make as much money as I did as an engineer. And have more fun than somebody else determining my future. Worked for me, but I don't think that's what business plans are supposed to be.
 

plastikdreams

Diamond
Joined
May 31, 2011
Location
upstate nj
Everyone who's run anything decent (maho dmg etc...) will tell you to not waste your time with a pain in the haas.

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Lol yaaaaahhh if I could roll my eyes any harder I would...sure there are better machines, BTW dmg is garbage, than the haas, but just starting out...best bang for your buck.
 

thewynner98

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
Lol yaaaaahhh if I could roll my eyes any harder I would...sure there are better machines, BTW dmg is garbage, than the haas, but just starting out...best bang for your buck.
I disagree respectfully. Outside of travels the syil x7 is a better machine on paper than any entry level Haas. Only downside being you service it yourself but im okay with that coming from machines that aren't even findable on the internet. Other upside to a syil is i can buy two fully loaded for the price of a vf2 and most people starting out dont need that much travel size.

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memphisjed

Stainless
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Location
Memphis
what is it your best guess on clients? If it is brackets for lawn trailers then you can pack the machines into cubic inches of space- If it is bone plate prototyping you need a larger open bench/table space for finishing- if it is repair of equipment then you need more space for disassembly and re-assembly. Ideal space for machines is weighted less than usage, minimum space is given by manufacturer.
Saw needs 12' minimum on infeed side- little things like that sneak up on you quickly.
 

Kalispel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Location
Ohio
As odd as it may sound I never really understood exactly what a business plan is.

In my case my plan was to start the business and make as much money as I did as an engineer. And have more fun than somebody else determining my future. Worked for me, but I don't think that's what business plans are supposed to be.

A good business plan is nothing more than a statement of expectations for your business — what you want to achieve, how you want to do it and what you need to make it happen. Writing it down forces clarity of thought. If you cannot write it well, you will likely not do it well. If it does not look good on paper, it will look a lot worse in real life.

You nailed what you wanted to achieve. I’m guessing you had a good idea of how to do it and what you needed.
 

drcoelho

Stainless
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
Los Altos
hello all im looking for advice on setting up a machine shop i have experience running 3 axis and 4 axis haas mills and 3 axis milltronics and zero to very little experience with lathe or manual equipment

im looking for advice on setting up the shop
as in machine composition is there a mill to lathe ration folks seem to have work for them?im thinking start out with one mill 3 axis and expand from there maybe one mill and a lathe if i can swing it what does everyone think?the shop ill be using is behind my house in an area thats residential but its zoned commercial
how much room do you suggest leaving around the sides of the machines to clean and work on things
im thinking about going with tormach as a brand to start out with mostly because of how user friendly they seem and how much more affordable they and the parts are and yes i do understand they are not top tier machines by any streach of the imagionation but i think they would serve to start out
also how did everyone come up with a shop rate?
how do you find work when your first starting? ive seen a few things and gotten some ideas but im looking for as much info as i can come up with

First thing: do some market research to figure what kinds of parts you want to target. This drives all your other decisions. Market research = checkout other shops in your area, see what they are making, find out what they charge, how much revenue/profits are they making, etc.....check with prospective customers and see what they need and whether these needs are unfulfilled by other shops. Consider whether you want to sell to local customers, or do internet sales. When folks talk about a business plan, it is research and determining the following:
- what is your target market
- how big is your target market, how fast is it growing, who is the competition, what price are they selling at
- who are your target customers, what are they willing to pay
- what kind of equipment do you need to competitively make parts for this product.
- how much capital required to get started, which should include analysis of your over time cash flow, for at least 2 years
- how are you going to sell? direct, indirect, etc...? how do you advertise your business? how much money do you need to do this sales and marketing?

I've typically spent maybe 2 man-months deveoping a business plan before I commit to starting a business. If you are diligent in answering the above questions, you will have a lot of self-confidence and will know how to proceed.

Just getting the machines is the easy part.....

My opinion: you will be disappointed with Tormach almost immediately after you start making parts with it that meet your customers required standards.
 

david n

Diamond
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Location
Pillager, MN
IOutside of travels the syil x7 is a better machine on paper than any entry level Haas. Only downside being you service it yourself but im okay with that coming from machines that aren't even findable on the internet. Other upside to a syil is i can buy two fully loaded for the price of a vf2 and most people starting out dont need that much travel size.

Yup on paper.............I'd never, EVER buy a CNC mill that is built in China:willy_nilly:....................and you just listed the downside........service. Good luck with that. And good luck getting parts for it when you need to wrench on it(and you will need to wrench on it):ack2:..................................and buying two would be a good idea. One to run and the other for a parts machine.:D
 

thewynner98

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
Yup on paper.............I'd never, EVER buy a CNC mill that is built in China:willy_nilly:....................and you just listed the downside........service. Good luck with that. And good luck getting parts for it when you need to wrench on it(and you will need to wrench on it):ack2:..................................and buying two would be a good idea. One to run and the other for a parts machine.:D
Made in america is a joke most the time in my experience. Parts take as long to get here and the service is so expensive i end up doing it myself anyways so whats it really matter???

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david n

Diamond
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Location
Pillager, MN
Made in america is a joke most the time in my experience. Parts take as long to get here and the service is so expensive i end up doing it myself anyways so whats it really matter???

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:wall:............................nevermind :rolleyes5:
 

Cole2534

Diamond
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
A good business plan is nothing more than a statement of expectations for your business — what you want to achieve, how you want to do it and what you need to make it happen. Writing it down forces clarity of thought. If you cannot write it well, you will likely not do it well. If it does not look good on paper, it will look a lot worse in real life.

You nailed what you wanted to achieve. I’m guessing you had a good idea of how to do it and what you needed.
I, for one, would love it if you made a topic on this. I have my customers, I have my products, but it's currently all stuck together with bazooka chewing gum rather than logic/rationale.
 

thewynner98

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
:wall:............................nevermind :rolleyes5:
I mean roll eyes whatever you want but its true. American made as an awesome concept but foreign brands are and always have been as good or better. Bet most of you have a mititoyo mic or indicator and regard it as one of the best. China gets a bad rep because american companies buy their cheapest quality parts. Lots of companies make similar quality or even better overseas. Tormach isnt american made to my knowledge either and while the american support may be better I figured most machinists can figure out how to work on mechanical things......... Just my .02 take it or leave it. But its time to stop pretending american made is better and actually make it better. Because most of the time its not

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