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  1. #21
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    $25k IS a little too much to invest in a Tormach.

    If someone is willing to spend that kind of money, you're getting pretty darn close to a new low end Haas MiniMill. If anyone is buying a Tormach grade of machine, there isn't a ton of reason to buy EVERY available option right off the bat and push yourself into $20k territory. I bought a series 3 1100 Tormach about 18 months ago for just under $15k delivered (power drawbar, toolholders, haimer, and built my own enclosure).

    It has been a good machine for me to learn on since I was completely new to CNC when I bought it and am limited by being in a residential garage. It has positives and negatives which I could list if the OP is interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    There are a lot of folks who are scared off by a used "real" CNC machine. Unless you have a background in this stuff, it can be super daunting to be wondering what condition the thing is in, and have no idea how to repair it. You get no support, no training, no idea what is working and what isn't.

    What you're buying with a Tormach is a kinda jank CNC machine, sure! But it comes with full support, about 300 YouTube videos that walk you through every maintenance procedure, a pretty nice control system anyone can figure out, and a warranty/total parts availability.

    They just moved to servo motors, and if they would just put linear rails on the thing instead of shitty dovetail ways, it might grow itself into a halfway decent little machine for the intended hobby/education/fuckin-around markets.
    I agree. I was in that boat, so I invested around $8K.

    Sorry, but $25K is just nuts. You can get a brand new Haas Tool Room for $28K. The only sense I find in the Tormach is to use as your 30 taper training wheels, so you can jump later into a Speedio.

    Jokes apart, I remember pushing the head of the 1100 and moving an indicator over 0.05 mm. It looks like they're using the same frame. I don't think the machine has the stiffness to handle the speeds of the servos. IMO, they're polishing a turd.

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    There's a shop not too far from me selling 3 Brother Speedios for $33,000 each. One has a 4th axis Trunnion.

    A bastardized R8 collet system is not 'training wheels' for a Speedio. I don't know how to compare them. One is a home hobby mill, one is BALLS OUT blazing fast and made for 24/7 production.

    One will make you burst a blood vessel. One will make you shit yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DethloffMfg View Post
    There's a shop not too far from me selling 3 Brother Speedios for $33,000 each.
    Actual *Speedios* for $33k each?

    Because those would sell within about a nanosecond of hitting the grapevine at well under half the market value. Older vintage Brothers? Sure, but not Speedios.

    Oh, and Rimba knows how fast a Speedio is... =)

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    33K for a speedio
    I would even like one for that price ,,,

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    Tormach makes a nice set of quick change holders for manual Bridgeports and there spring loaded tap holders works ok,,, but there machines are way over priced for what they are,,, Haas TM mills are like 5 k more new and there resale value is nuts … I have seen 10 and 12 year old ones sell for like 5k under new price.. I think every home shop guy wants a single phase machine they can move with a pallet jack

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    Actual *Speedios* for $33k each?

    Because those would sell within about a nanosecond of hitting the grapevine at well under half the market value. Older vintage Brothers? Sure, but not Speedios.

    Oh, and Rimba knows how fast a Speedio is... =)
    Good catch, my bad! They're the S2C and S2D's. I mentally bunch them into the Speedio family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DethloffMfg View Post
    A bastardized R8 collet system
    That's a new one! LOL...

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    Default MX ... Not your Grandpa's Tormach ... Bring superglue !

    Quote Originally Posted by D.D.Machine View Post
    Tormach makes a nice set of quick change holders for manual Bridgeports and there spring loaded tap holders works ok,,, but there machines are way over priced for what they are,,, Haas TM mills are like 5 k more new and there resale value is nuts … I have seen 10 and 12 year old ones sell for like 5k under new price.. I think every home shop guy wants a single phase machine they can move with a pallet jack
    It's not your Grandpa's Tormach ! (That's a joke btw).

    https://youtu.be/OTMUnI3otwU?t=2619


    ^^^ Starts in right place 43 mins 30 second in.


    Funny how they "CUT" when NYC CNC says "Yeah and I even put a test bar and dial test indicator that reads to tenths on it and … " CUT ! Sales guy is NOT gonna let you finish that sentence. lol.


    NYCNC @ IMTS 2018 (the whole video is good too).

    If someone had to buy a Tormach this newer model yet to be released seems like a better bet with BT 30 tooling... (No more Tormach Tooling system for this one). Control-ish looks interesting.

    __________________________________________________ ______________________________________________

    I'd be concentrating on OP's "wound's" "Gun parts" what "Gun parts" what tolerances + surface finishes etc. ?


    Can the machine actually DO what he/she wants to do ? , cuz if it can't then there's no point buying it.

    ___________________________

    I agree with gkoenig without linear rolling element slides these particular dovetails are not so "Groovy"... Greg Jackson (founder of Tormach) while he was alive tries to justify the "Dovetail thing" saying that some old really accurate Hardinges used dovetails HLV-H.

    f848f9e1250bd8f3ba89a82f60fd902a-1-.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.D.Machine View Post
    Tormach makes a nice set of quick change holders for manual Bridgeports
    Nice? You only need a fart to slip the tool holder from the collet...

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    First post, and is about a machine that "buys time up top".....

    At least it's not tag team spamming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wound Channe View Post
    Hello,

    I am about to order a Tormach 1100M, I am familiar with Solidworks/Inventor but not with CAM software. I am getting this machine to make low volume gun parts/modifications to firearms as well as do some engraving on aluminum (logos/lettering). I just wanted to create an account her because I know I'm going to have questions along the way, and I also wanted to ask if anyone had any promo codes they weren't going to use.

    I plan to include my work in several videos on my YouTube channel, if anything is of interest to you guys I can hopefully share that stuff here.

    Thanks!
    From your handle and the limited number of letters … is this a "Wounded Warrior" project ?

    What are your tolerances and surface finishes etc. that you are hoping for ?

    The reason I ask is that it would be kinda disappointing to buy such a machine and not hit your tolerances and surface finishes.

    Sounds like even cosmetically creating stuff that looks and feels right is important ?

    The MX (smoother movement on servos) would be better for engraving I would think.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____

    @The Wound Channel what would stop you from buying something like a HAAS mini mill or even a Syle * (sp) ?

    Syil X7 | Rong Fu S5 | Skyfire SVM-2 - Should I get a cnc mill for youtube only? - YouTube

    ________________

    * No affiliation don't know much about them but at least they have linear rolling elements a real control and have spindles that could handle engraving better I reckon.

  15. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wound Channe View Post
    Hello,

    I am about to order a Tormach 1100M, I am familiar with Solidworks/Inventor but not with CAM software. I am getting this machine to make low volume gun parts/modifications to firearms as well as do some engraving on aluminum (logos/lettering). I just wanted to create an account her because I know I'm going to have questions along the way, and I also wanted to ask if anyone had any promo codes they weren't going to use.

    I plan to include my work in several videos on my YouTube channel, if anything is of interest to you guys I can hopefully share that stuff here.

    Thanks!
    I work with big boy machining centers at work. The workhorse of our shop is a Hermle C42 with an HSK 63 spindle. Until more recently I more often was running a DMU 80T with a Capto 5 spindle. I have a Tormach 770M at home. It's a great little machine that lets me get things done. It, or an 1100M, should be more than capable of what you're asking for.
    The big difference as I see it is in material removal rate. A lighter, flimsier machine won't be able to remove material as fast. Scale back your material removal rate and choose appropriate tools for it. You can hit tolerances and surface finishes. It's not really fast enough for production. You can still cut stuff, though! Here's a Tormach 1100 cutting 60 HRC: Machining 6 Rockwell Steel with the Tormach! WW166 - YouTube

    Here's a project of mine on my 770M: Making a faceted brass shift knob | Jeffrey P Burdick @ LibreMatter

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    First post, and is about a machine that "buys time up top".....

    At least it's not tag team spamming.
    AMAZING CNC Machines - IMTS 218 FULL VIDEO! - YouTube

    ^^^
    @40:30 They mention CB tools sharing a booth with Tormach… So they "AB" tools* makes and sells a lot of form tools that are relevant for making gun parts … Like rails etc. (Shear hogs and custom form tools).

    These form tools probably make things more feasible for OP on a Tormach.

    What a co-inky-dink.

    __________________________________________________ _____

    * Posthumous edit... Thanks Mr Mohican.
    Last edited by cameraman; 10-25-2018 at 12:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    AMAZING CNC Machines - IMTS 218 FULL VIDEO! - YouTube

    ^^^
    @40:30 They mention CB tools sharing a booth with Tormach… So they "CB" tools makes and sells a lot of form tools that are relevant for making gun parts … Like rails etc. (Shear hogs and custom form tools).

    These form tools probably make things more feasible for OP on a Tormach.

    What a co-inky-dink.
    It's AB Tools. And they make good stuff of all sorts, not just gun parts related, though they do have a line for that. Alfred Lyon is highly respected here and in other machining spots on the web, I don't think they'd spam like this, as Alfred would know better.

    Then again, maybe my tinfoil hat isn't as thick as yours, and their waves are getting through... What do I know?

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    Ya gotta give Tormach credit from a marketing standpoint.
    They coddle the newbie and wannabe machinists and makers, and woo them into their cult.
    Reminds me a lot of Shopsmith. All legal in the US free enterprise system.
    The problem for newbies is they don't realize Tormach IS more of a cult and a lot less of
    a 'real' machine tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeachMePlease View Post
    It's AB Tools. And they make good stuff of all sorts, not just gun parts related, though they do have a line for that. Alfred Lyon is highly respected here and in other machining spots on the web, I don't think they'd spam like this, as Alfred would know better.

    Then again, maybe my tinfoil hat isn't as thick as yours, and their waves are getting through... What do I know?
    Whether it is or isn't I actually don't mind and THOSE tools look excellent … Thanks AB not CB !



    I 've seen similar gun parts cut on an for example an integrex I-200 but they are not using the more appropriate form tools... Rather more geeked out more time consuming tool paths and almost more mold like tool selection. The results are not as they could or should be.

    For me information is information... I don't care where it comes from and Tormach is a sponsor of this site.

    So I think the thrust of OP's statement is that you CAN make decent gun parts on a Tormach if you use the appropriate form tools designed to do the job YKWIM ?

    The way I look at Tormach is that it's better than cranking handles on a manual Bridgeport... (and has been the gateway drug to many a bad CNC habit $$$$$$$$) but in some cases better to skip over that save $ and go for better machine new or second hand.


    I think Gkoenigs point about second hand machines being scary to non-experts is true 'cuz on some machines if a control fritzes out replacement costs could easily be as much as any one of these new entry level machines …


    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    Ya gotta give Tormach credit from a marketing standpoint.
    They coddle the newbie and wannabe machinists and makers, and woo them into their cult.
    Reminds me a lot of Shopsmith. All legal in the US free enterprise system.
    The problem for newbies is they don't realize Tormach IS more of a cult and a lot less of
    a 'real' machine tool.
    I don't think that's (entirely) true... I bought probably one of the first Tormach's in the USA mainly to run / test code. Mainly testing 4th axis stuff.

    Greg Jackson [Tormach Founder] (used to share) a lot of ideas and concepts of what he was trying to do... I just bought the machine 'cuz I supported his concept; before the maker movement started etc. Helped him with some patent stuff and he also shared with me the trials and tribulations of getting stuff done in China when it was "Cool" to get some stuff done in China, now the pendulum has swung very much in the other direction.


    However when I got the machine I was absolutely appalled … I couldn't believe it and wanted to pull the whole thing apart, wanted to install linear rolling element guides (re-grind Chinese iron).. replace all bearings etc etc. and spray it dark Grey / near black... (almost thought about that as a side line).


    Odd all these years later they roll out the MX... Still needs linear rolling element slides and trucks etc. Back then I thought* I was buying something that was like what the MX IS now... I'd think if I had access to something like an MX back then then I'd be more happy to use it as a real-ish -ish machine. But maybe not a bad machine if you want to cannibalize for other purposes but as people say HAAS tool room mill might be a better option ?

    Even before I could cut first parts, basic things like having to replace VFD (variable frequency drive) and switch out and re-install bearings that were not installed correctly (in China)... The machine got damaged during transportation (in the USA at the Old Dominion depot) and the cowl/ sheet metal for the milling head took a hit so I had to replace all that and re-tram the head etc. etc. and it still seems that a lot of the same BS still happens today ? [Greg begged me to NOT refuse delivery of the machine, the head got hit by the comparatively large and heavy (cnc) 4th axis unit in the depot by being dropped on by said boxed unit at a great height !]. But for the money what do you expect ? Now they are inching into a different realm. [Funny also that Old Dominion the next week completely trashed a horizontal band saw that I DID refuse delivery on (lol)]. [professional riggers rigging other equipment I had around that time didn't destroy stuff (was definitely worth the extra $)].


    Greg sold me on the "efficacy" of stepper motor thing ... Rather than servos and he made this argument that the machine is rigid... Small force loop as most of the iron in other machines goes into the base... he just snipped the machine at the base. Funny as he did not have base for the machine so I had to recommend to him a particular table from McMaster Carr that was rated for the weight and dynamics of his 1100 lbs of iron before they had the Chinese metal bases made. (prior to that Greg had a really elaborate Plywood constructed base... Level of joinery that would be on film set or something to pull that off). His primary argument was that the machine is rigid enough if you are NOT going at production speeds. The idea was ALWAYS you are going to be going slow to prototype stuff. Not a production machine (he always stressed that).


    The reason WHY it has the 1100 (number) is that 1100 lbs is the maximum weight you can put on a hydraulic lift tail gate on an Old Dominion Delivery Truck … So the machine can be delivered to someone's home without having to use professional riggers...

    It's these kinds of problems he was solving and having to design around.



    Good concept but not the "execution" I would look for or want (in my own case).

    20/20 hind site wish I bought an old HAAS or FADAL etc. right off the bat. I've been around machines and living in a machine shop + industrial environment for 2o years previously. A lot of machinist's did buy a Tormach just for weird specialized jobs like variable pitch screw machined on the 4th axis for just one particular part rather than buying a whole new professional vertical with a 4th axis.

    Even NYC CNC has bough a HAAS VF something with 5 axis trunnion. Wouldn't be surprised if ha has a HERMLE C-250 on his floor in less than 5 years from now.

    It is what it is...

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________

    * As my RSM (Regimental Sargeant Major) used to scream an inch from my face "You thought... you thought !!! Mr. Thought, thought he would get out of bed in the morning to tuck his xxxxxxx feet in !!!!" (Ohh well live and learn).

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    Just adding my two cents. I'm in sort of the same situation as the OP, planning to buy likely a 770 as soon as the MX version is available. And I see this same kind of response pretty much everywhere- I know this is a "professional machinists" board, and there's naturally some bias. It's to be expected.

    Why buy a Tormach instead of a "real" machine?

    1) Cost. You guys tend to conflate an all-options top-of-the-list Tormach against a no-options, entry-level HAAS, but a stripped down, basic Tormach is considerably more affordable to a hobbyist, startup or small shop. (The base 770MX I'm looking at will be about $10K.)

    2) Space. I'd love to have a 1100, or better yet a MiniMill or VF1, but I literally do not have the room for it. And I don't mean "I'd rather not take up that space", I mean that if a truck showed up with a free MiniMill in my driveway, right now, I'd have to leave it in the driveway. I have nearly no free space in my shop. Lots of start-ups, hobby shops and small-run shops are in the same boat.

    3) Power. I don't have 3-phase. Yes, that can be rectified one way or the other, but that just adds to #1, above: cost.

    4) Speed. Right now I'm making almost all my parts on manual machines. Even a mediocre CNC would speed that up considerably, but it's irrelevant to me and my production schedule that this machine could make the same run in ten hours, while another could make it in just six. The current setup takes twenty-five, so ten hours is still a damn good improvement.

    5) I can get it brand new. Yes, I could buy a used "real" machine for less than what a new, even stripped down Tormach costs. But not up here in Alaska. There's zero used CNC market up here. I don't mean "just not a good selection", I mean none. Zip, zero, nada. They ain't none.

    Yeah, I could buy a used "pig in a poke" machine and spend $3,000 to $5,000 to get it shipped up here (that is, half the cost of the complete, new, warranted Tormach) and maybe get a diamond in the rough or maybe find out it needs $7,000 in spindle bearings and driver boards.

    I've rebuilt enough machines recently. I don't need another project.

    Yes, if I'm lucky, in 2 to 5 years, I can upgrade to a HAAS, and maybe a few years after that, I'll have a row of them. But right now, with my budget, space and production limitations, a basic-model 770 is really about the best fit right now.

    Doc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocsMachine View Post
    Just adding my two cents. I'm in sort of the same situation as the OP, planning to buy likely a 770 as soon as the MX version is available. And I see this same kind of response pretty much everywhere- I know this is a "professional machinists" board, and there's naturally some bias. It's to be expected.

    Why buy a Tormach instead of a "real" machine?

    1) Cost. You guys tend to conflate an all-options top-of-the-list Tormach against a no-options, entry-level HAAS, but a stripped down, basic Tormach is considerably more affordable to a hobbyist, startup or small shop. (The base 770MX I'm looking at will be about $10K.)

    2) Space. I'd love to have a 1100, or better yet a MiniMill or VF1, but I literally do not have the room for it. And I don't mean "I'd rather not take up that space", I mean that if a truck showed up with a free MiniMill in my driveway, right now, I'd have to leave it in the driveway. I have nearly no free space in my shop. Lots of start-ups, hobby shops and small-run shops are in the same boat.

    3) Power. I don't have 3-phase. Yes, that can be rectified one way or the other, but that just adds to #1, above: cost.

    4) Speed. Right now I'm making almost all my parts on manual machines. Even a mediocre CNC would speed that up considerably, but it's irrelevant to me and my production schedule that this machine could make the same run in ten hours, while another could make it in just six. The current setup takes twenty-five, so ten hours is still a damn good improvement.

    5) I can get it brand new. Yes, I could buy a used "real" machine for less than what a new, even stripped down Tormach costs. But not up here in Alaska. There's zero used CNC market up here. I don't mean "just not a good selection", I mean none. Zip, zero, nada. They ain't none.

    Yeah, I could buy a used "pig in a poke" machine and spend $3,000 to $5,000 to get it shipped up here (that is, half the cost of the complete, new, warranted Tormach) and maybe get a diamond in the rough or maybe find out it needs $7,000 in spindle bearings and driver boards.

    I've rebuilt enough machines recently. I don't need another project.

    Yes, if I'm lucky, in 2 to 5 years, I can upgrade to a HAAS, and maybe a few years after that, I'll have a row of them. But right now, with my budget, space and production limitations, a basic-model 770 is really about the best fit right now.

    Doc.
    Yea tormach is just really selling a China crap for a huge profit. That’s what gets me about them. I’m working on an alternative as are a couple others. I think for their prices those should be made with some sort of quality control and not a company that will not admit their machine is not what they say it is. And when you try to say it isn’t they will try to rip you off and refuse to fix it or take it back without you the hobbiest that is short on cash a bunch of money.

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