CNC Consultant for used vmc machine buy
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  1. #1
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    Default CNC Consultant for used vmc machine buy

    I currently own a Tormach 770, nice machine and customer support is perfect (I got what I paid for and am happy with the purchase). However, its slow and not really a great performer on task such as drilling, tapping, steel (all the things that hp would help).

    My use for this machine is strictly hobby home shop.

    The market appears to be flooded with used machines, down in the 15 hp or less ranges. With prices at any range you could ask for.

    The problem is I am not a savvy buyer. I would like to know if there are any machine buyers that act as a buyers agent to makes sure that a machine isn't worn out.

    My specifications are
    15hp or less
    Foot print of a Haas Mini CNC (approximate)
    Price point 20k or less
    Programmable through Fusion 360
    Tool Changer
    No repair needed, Not worn out

    Am I asking too much?


    Thank you for your time.

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    You can have a tech come look it over. If you are looking at a Haas, just call the local Haas office to set up a machine inspection.

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    Join the BT30 Mafia with a used Robodrill or Brother.

    - Fits in a garage
    - Low HP, made up for with raw speed
    - Bulletproof Fusion posts available
    - Super fast tool changer
    - Some of the most robust CNC machines ever built

    Yea, I've given this advice before. There are a lot of folks with hobby level bench-tops and Tormachs who are looking to step up to something more "real machine," but don't have industrial space or are quite ready to buy new+big iron. The BT30 machines are sort of an obvious choice. They are also phenomenal, real-deal mills.

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    I appreciate your thoughts, look like great machines. The issue I have is I wouldn't know a good one from a bad one.

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    A small Fadal would be what your looking for. They can be had for very little money, and there are multiple sources for every part on a Fadal for very reasoneable prices. Other than very old Mc's they are all enclosed.

    Very easy to use control, manuals are on line, and don't need a long list of parameters to be uploaded/typed in to make it run.

    I would imagine every CAM system has a Fadal post, and if it doesn't any generic Fanuc post will work,( maybe with some editing)

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    Most independent CNC techs will do a buyers inspection.

    Back when I was doing field service, I went all over the US to do inspections of used machines for prospective buyers. I would meet with the prospective buyer to find out how involved of an inspection they wanted. The prospective buyer had to get the seller to agree to whatever level of inspection was desired. Sometimes those two interests did not meet. Often the buyer wanted all the covers pulled, inspection plates opened, etc. Often the seller was reluctant to allow the machine to be torn down that much. In several cases it involved shipping a crate with a granite square, levels, indicators, etc., so that the tools needed for a comprehensive inspection were on hand.

    After the inspection, I would make a report for the prospective buyer with my findings and opinion of the machine.

    For the price range you are considering, it seems hard to justify the cost of having a field service engineer do an inspection if there is any amount of travel involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coyotebgone View Post
    No repair needed, Not worn out

    Am I asking too much?
    For a 20k budget, I think you might be asking a little too much if you want no repair needed and not worn out.
    You'll most definitely have SOME repair needed, and worn out you might get lucky on and find a steal.
    But then again, you also might find a gem that perfectly fits your needs.

    You could always see if a local shop owner would be willing to look a machine over for you (for a small price).

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    Quote Originally Posted by coyotebgone View Post
    Am I asking too much?

    coyotebgone,

    I don't think you're asking too much at all.

    I bought a 2006 Super Mini Mill about 3 years ago for 25k (which would be cheaper now, plus you're not in Kalifornia, so that makes anything cheaper as well). The machine I bought was low time and had never cut steel. It also has 15k spindle, rigid tapping, and look ahead.

    Per others' comments, I don't think you could go wrong with a used Robodrill either.

    PM

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    About Robodrills, are they all capable milling machines? How do they handle HEM toolpaths? There aren't many demos out there showing toolpath besides facing, drilling and tapping.

    A friend of a friend bought a brand new Brother ( I don't know the model) and he claims that their Haas DT makes parts quicker than their brand new Brother. I don't really buy that claim but I've never been in front of one either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzert View Post
    About Robodrills, are they all capable milling machines? How do they handle HEM toolpaths? There aren't many demos out there showing toolpath besides facing, drilling and tapping.

    A friend of a friend bought a brand new Brother ( I don't know the model) and he claims that their Haas DT makes parts quicker than their brand new Brother. I don't really buy that claim but I've never been in front of one either.
    Here is a link to a video of a Brother Speedio machining steel. A very high percentage of Brother users use HSM/HEM techniques.

    NEWEMAG | Schneider mc: Brother Speedio iMachining - YouTube

    In regards to a Brother being out produced by a DT1, I find that extremely difficult to believe. There is something very wrong with that picture. I'd be very interested to find out the particulars of that situation.

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    I think $20k is enough to get what you are looking for, including transport and tooling it up. There are tons of videos on YouTube to show you how to inspect a machine, but you could spend all day checking this and that, leave feeling warm and cozy, and then have a servo amp blow up on you the day you turn it on at home just because you never know with used stuff, regardless of how thorough you were checking it out. I would rather do my personal best to inspect it and save the money otherwise spent on paying some inspector to save for when something inevitably does go wrong. Haas and Fadal come to mind but I know you can get a Brother for that, too, and they just keep on going. How big of holes are you drilling and tapping?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BROTHERFRANK View Post
    Here is a link to a video of a Brother Speedio machining steel. A very high percentage of Brother users use HSM/HEM techniques.

    NEWEMAG | Schneider mc: Brother Speedio iMachining - YouTube

    In regards to a Brother being out produced by a DT1, I find that extremely difficult to believe. There is something very wrong with that picture. I'd be very interested to find out the particulars of that situation.
    I knew they were popular on here and they are actually one machine I had seriously considered during my ponderings about starting a shop. I'll flip that to my buddy and see what he thinks thanks.


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