Making a machine fit through a 34" doorway?
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    Default Making a machine fit through a 34" doorway?

    Hey all,
    I currently have a small diy cnc at home and have been wanting to upgrade to a real vmc on the smaller side. At my day job I'm also wanting to get us a small vmc for prototyping. These two places have one thing in common though, the largest doorway is 34". Looking at small machines like a robodrill or brother speedio 300 they are somewhere around 6-10 inch too wide to actually fit through one of those doors.
    Breaking down the doorway and putting in something wider might be a possibility at work, but not at home. So my question for y'all is, has anyone ever been able to fit a real cnc through a standard door frame? Are there machines I should be on the lookout for that would be easyish to breakdown to fit through that door?

    Tormach is always an option, but one I'd like to avoid if at all possible. The option of moving locations is not really helpful or feasible for both my work and for home.

    Anywho thanks!

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    I don't know about breaking down doors to get a machine inside, but I do know one thing. Do not put machines down the basement. Trust me... if you do, one day you will be very sorry.

    Dave

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    It is usually much easier to take the door out, move the machine you really want in and then restore the door.

    Most people fear taking doors or walls out but most times it is the easiesst path.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy2 View Post
    It is usually much easier to take the door out, move the machine you really want in and then restore the door.

    Most people fear taking doors or walls out but most times it is the easiesst path.
    I agree, but I'll add that in my experience it is generally easier to temporally support and cut out a wall and then restore it, than it is to fool around with an existing doorway. Many times this also allows you to get a better path to where the machine will sit. Do NOT compromise on a machine because of a wall or doorway.

    I'm actually in the process of cutting out 10 feet of supporting wall to move a VMC to a different location in the shop. Took a couple hours to build a steel support with columns on both ends, the wall is ready to come out this weekend when I have help moving the machine. Pack it in tight to make room for future machines that tend to follow me home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy2 View Post
    It is usually much easier to take the door out, move the machine you really want in and then restore the door.

    Most people fear taking doors or walls out but most times it is the easiesst path.
    I agree. Take out the door, install a wider one or double doors. Then you'll have more room to move in all the other machines you want to buy.

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    Totally hear ya on removing doors/walls as being a straightforward option. The issue is that I live and work in the San Francisco bay area, and the office at my day job is on the second floor of an office building. We were looking at moving spaces but its wayyy to spendy around here to set up a new office. Where we currently are I might be able to get 4ft of door width, but not much more.
    At home however, I dont own my place, and even though the property manager is a machinist, he explicitly stated removing the doorframe or modifying it is a no go.
    I may end up moving spaces in a year or so, but finding shop space around here with large door access is going to be rough, hence seeing how much of a pain itd be to fit a decent mach through a standard door frame.

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    If cutting walls/doors isn't an option, the only thing I can think of is dismantling the machine, which might be even MORE of a hassle depending on your skill-set.

    Being in a rental might be a bigger risk than the doorway. It's probably just paranoia, but I've heard too many stories about people having their properties bought and sold from under them and they had to be out in a week or so. Not to cast doubt on your landlord or dissuade you from bringing in any equipment, but IMO it's best to keep a tight time frame and easy transport in mind. I'd own a forklift and trailer before I rented a shop space.

    If it was me, I'd wait until more ideal lodgings became available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davesharps View Post
    Totally hear ya on removing doors/walls as being a straightforward option. The issue is that I live and work in the San Francisco bay area, and the office at my day job is on the second floor of an office building. We were looking at moving spaces but its wayyy to spendy around here to set up a new office. Where we currently are I might be able to get 4ft of door width, but not much more.
    At home however, I dont own my place, and even though the property manager is a machinist, he explicitly stated removing the doorframe or modifying it is a no go.
    I may end up moving spaces in a year or so, but finding shop space around here with large door access is going to be rough, hence seeing how much of a pain itd be to fit a decent mach through a standard door frame.
    Well if you can't touch the door and you want a decent machine, then you only have one option left and that is to disassemble the machine you want into small enough components to fit through the door. This is something I would not recommend to do but is doable if you have the time and necessary skills to put the machine back together again.

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    Not that I think it's a great idea, but to answer your original question, the Trak 2op claims a 30" width.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeachMePlease View Post
    Not that I think it's a great idea, but to answer your original question, the Trak 2op claims a 30" width.
    That's kinda cute 6000 RPM seems a little slow for something that size tho

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardplates View Post
    That's kinda cute 6000 RPM seems a little slow for something that size tho
    The website claims you can get it with a 10K spindle now. They're neat little machines. I'd take one if someone was giving it to me for free, all day.

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    I'll take a look at the prototrak! As far as taking apart a cnc, how insanely hard is it to do? Being in hardware development and prototyping I think I'm somewhat decent at taking things apart and putting them back together, but also haven't ever done that with a cnc.
    As far as concerns with my place being a rental go, its zoned live/work/light industrial, so it shouldn't be any sort of an issue just as long as I'm not hogging material at 2am and waking up neighbors.

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    How large and what material are the parts you want to machine?

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    Hate to say it but a bridgeport based mill is so easy to take the table off if the door is inviolate, it seems the answer

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    The biggest parts I could see us doing are in the 18"L x 12"W x 18"H range. Plastics, AL, stainless would be 99% of what we would do. Maybe once in a blue moon something sort of exotic like titanium or magnesium. Nothing crazy like inconel. Itd be nice to be able to do carbon fiber/fiberglass things too, but not mandatory.
    Just trying to be able to do somewhat precise (+/- 0.001" avg, maybe +/- 0.0005" or a touch tighter with some finagling) for prototype development.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davesharps View Post
    The biggest parts I could see us doing are in the 18"L x 12"W x 18"H range. Plastics, AL, stainless would be 99% of what we would do. Maybe once in a blue moon something sort of exotic like titanium or magnesium. Nothing crazy like inconel. Itd be nice to be able to do carbon fiber/fiberglass things too, but not mandatory.
    Just trying to be able to do somewhat precise (+/- 0.001" avg, maybe +/- 0.0005" or a touch tighter with some finagling) for prototype development.
    I can't see a machine having a work envelope that size and being rigid enough to work with SS fitting through a standard door. Maybe there is something out there but I have never seen it. Then again I tend to gravitate to machines from the 80s and 90s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davesharps View Post
    The biggest parts I could see us doing are in the 18"L x 12"W x 18"H range. Plastics, AL, stainless would be 99% of what we would do. Maybe once in a blue moon something sort of exotic like titanium or magnesium. Nothing crazy like inconel. Itd be nice to be able to do carbon fiber/fiberglass things too, but not mandatory.
    Just trying to be able to do somewhat precise (+/- 0.001" avg, maybe +/- 0.0005" or a touch tighter with some finagling) for prototype development.
    Yeah, if those are your requirements, just skip right over the 2op.

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    half a thou is not DIY CNC stuff

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    I think you might want to read up on dangers associated with machining magnesium (especially on cnc), 2nd floor office type building would probably rank about the worst place to do that sort of work...

    and 18"x12" is waaaaay to big to fit in a machine that will have to be disassembled to go through a 34" door, some router type thing might work for this, but then again machining Ti and stainless on that could be quite painful, might be possible making large parts with repositioning on a smaller VMC with partially disassembled enclosure, but not a fun thing to do
    Last edited by jz79; 10-15-2019 at 01:43 PM. Reason: spelling

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    If you can't fit the machine in and are considering moving soon, what about renting time on a machine at a "makerspace" or some place like that?

    Not as good as having your own, but may be a practical option.


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