New (to me) machine day... Wrustle style!
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  1. #1
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    Cool New (to me) machine day... Wrustle style!

    Hey guys!
    Seems Wrustle's threads have been giving up the goods far too quickly of late, so I figured I'd pick up the slack

    I've been keeping an eye out over the last few months for used VMCs, have seen a few HAAS & Fadal machines that were tempting but priced too high (Canada pricing!), then the other day I was lamenting the situation with my girlfriend while absentmindedly checking Kijiji on my phone... Glanced down and nearly had a heart attack...



    The machine looked pretty clean, no chip scour, no overt signs of rust, so I email the seller asking if it's still available and cross my fingers till they're blue!

    Then I look at the ad again and notice a critical detail I'd missed:

    "2 identical machines for sale"

    I start chatting with the seller, he seems like a nice guy, runs a tool and die shop with about a dozen verticals a few hours from where I live. The Fadals are the oldest machines in his fleet and he's looking to move them on. Says they still run fine, can still take a cut (drawbars are somewhat intact then!), and are in fairly clean condition. Both are VMC15RTs, 21 station tool changers.

    Only hitch is he has someone interested already but who is being slow with deposit, so he tells me it's first past the post as far as he's concerned.

    I do my due diligence to make sure he seems legit (email, name and phone number match a real business, has been in operation a while, using the email address listed on his company website) and then send him a deposit! Machines are mine pending inspection! Hooray!

    I'm excited about this as these machines are mechanically identical to my current Fadal VMC10, which means the spare parts I've accumulated will be interchangeable, and it has been a goal of mine for a while to setup a shop with a number of identical machines to simplify programming and maintenance, so now I'm off to a good start!

    Now for "the Wrustling": small as these machines are they are still too large to fit into my current shop (only 500sq ft). The seller has agreed to store them indoors at his facility until at least the end of the year, so now I'm hunting for new shops instead of new machines! (I'll really get to drag this thread out lol!)

    Tomorrow I'm driving down to inspect the machines, but I pretty much expect to finalize the purchase as long as they're running. For $4k each I can fully rebuild each of them (if even necessary) and still end up with 2 machines for less than $12k each, so no concerns there. I threw together an inspection kit today so I can work out what will need replacing and get a head start on buying parts:



    Thanks to you guys I know these machines inside and out so it will be nice to apply that knowledge to these machines and bring in new capability! My current single machine is a bottleneck because I can't run production and do R&D work at the same time, so these enclosed machines will be the ones running production and my VMC10 will be the machine for prototyping and making tooling and so on, which will be awesome!

    I will post further pics and an update tomorrow after I've inspected the machines. Here's hoping they actually exist and I didn't just get reamed for the deposit!

    Weird to start a thread regarding machines I haven't even seen yet I know, but I feel like a kid on the night before christmas right now!

    -Aaron

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    One question for the gang:

    What is this on the side of the machine? Oiler for Air/oil spindle? Spindle chiller?



    My VMC10 has a grease-pack spindle and no chiller, so doesn't have whatever that unit is...

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    Congrats on the new machines and I think that is the way lube pump/ reservoir.

    I've got 2 machines stuffed in 300 square feet, plus a little lathe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    Congrats on the new machines and I think that is the way lube pump/ reservoir.
    Thanks mate! I would have thought that too, but these should be linear way machines running grease with separate nipples for each line brought out to a manifold per axis? At least that's how it is on my VMC10... Perhaps the VMC15s were different and had central lube?

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    I cant say on linear machines, but the pump in the picture looks exactly like my way auto oiler - looks identical, in the same location, etc as on my 95 4020HT

    Youre one lucky fella! Ive beel watching for one of the smaller guys like that for a while - that wasnt a ridiculous price - yet to find one. But I do fail to stay on top of the searches, so probably missed one somewhere.

    Wade

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    I worked with a 98 15XT and it had waylube and linear ways, I much prefere grease with linear ways. Looks like you totally scored, plenty of room $$$ to deal with a few issues. How fast are the spindles?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    I worked with a 98 15XT and it had waylube and linear ways, I much prefere grease with linear ways. Looks like you totally scored, plenty of room $$$ to deal with a few issues. How fast are the spindles?
    Ah interesting! I didn't know they had linear way models with waylube, thanks!

    7500rpm spindles. Honestly that's enough for my needs, most of the time I'm running slower with my current machine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wade C View Post
    Youre one lucky fella! Ive beel watching for one of the smaller guys like that for a while - that wasnt a ridiculous price - yet to find one. But I do fail to stay on top of the searches, so probably missed one somewhere.

    Wade
    Hey Wade! Yeah most of the Fadals I've seen up here have been $15k plus, so I am stoked to have theoretically snagged these ones!

    A few years ago I missed out on 3x VMC10s, $1500 for the lot! They looked to have been run ragged though... And I would prefer to have enclosed machines going forward!

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    Nice find. Your attention to detail in the video was amazing. Cant wait to take delivery of my Fadal 4020 on Friday for the home shop which I may need to fully restore and paint due to your video.

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    Im pretty sure they are box ways with the oiler on the side. At least the ones at my last shop were.

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    Congrats on a killer deal.
    The chiller for 10k machines would be where you're holding the camera, attached to rear sheet metal.
    definitely way lube..

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    That’s pretty much what I paid on my VMC15XT but those look much cleaner than mine. Mine ended up being in excellent physical condition as far as ways and ball screws though. There are and were some electrical issues with it.

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    Congrats Aaron! Great score!

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    That was the automatic oiler on my 15XT with linear ways. 1998 ? Don't remember.

    Good luck with everything !!

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    Hey Aaron, I'm likely that other guy
    Was waiting till he had them powered....
    If you check them, make sure he has them powered up!
    Also, be cautious, they were cutting graphite.
    I see the ad is down now, did you buy them?

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    Thanks for all the input guys! As you suggested the machines were indeed linear rails with central oil lube!

    Just got back from inspecting the machines. They did indeed exist which is nice and overall they look good!







    Not much in the way of rust, all the original paint is intact. They have about 4200 spindle hours each.

    Backlash compensation was set to 2-4 tenths depending on axis and a DTI showed zero when machine was moving, so it seems like the comp numbers are about right.

    One of the machines has a missing X axis servo amp, it had been swapped into the Y axis on the other machine which was in turn a bit jerky as the servo tuning was clearly off... The Y axis servo on the jerky machine had been replaced with a larger servo that looked like it might have been from a DC motor 4020 or similar, which might be why that card burnt out earlier!

    Both machines have had new spindle motors put in about a year ago, and have had the spindle tapers ground. The spindle tapers looked nice and clean and blued up nicely!



    Spindles sound pretty good overall, one machine had the toothed belts and pulleys in it which sound very odd ("whiney") to my ears that are used to the ribbed multi-v belts.

    Both machines have been recently used to cut graphite electrodes which I was not too happy to hear, but seller said that had never been a consistent job for these machines and that they mostly ate steel (P20 and M2). I'm more worried about the effects of the graphite on the electronics than on the mechanical parts, but I think with a really thorough cleaning any future harm can be minimized.





    You can see the graphite dust inside the pendant enclosure above.

    Overall the machines are in much better shape than the last Fadal I bought. It seems like apart from the missing servo amp, swapping out that oversize servo and a very thorough clean I could probably put them both straight into service! I will likely end up doing some fairly serious maintenance on them before pressing them into service, but they seem like an excellent starting point.

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    Thats was the vmc of choice for electrodes...steel my ass. Blow em out, run em the linear way fadal was the fadal they talked about as the throw away machine. They are nice little machines though as far as fadal goes. Did you check for rigid tapping? Some years said vmc15RT for rigid tapping. Otherwise basic electrode making machines. Nothing wrong with that as long as they were cleaned. When you see access holes in the back wall you can bank on 'trode' machining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by macds View Post
    Hey Aaron, I'm likely that other guy
    Was waiting till he had them powered....
    If you check them, make sure he has them powered up!
    Also, be cautious, they were cutting graphite.
    I see the ad is down now, did you buy them?
    Ah, I'm sorry to hear that mate... Apparently there was a third guy right behind me that wanted to send all the money sight-unseen! I guess the price created a bit of a feeding frenzy!

    They were powered up when I inspected them, looked pretty good overall. I wasn't aware they had been cutting graphite until I got there unfortunately. However I think that once the machines are thoroughly cleaned (by which I mean pulling out every card and sanitizing it, along with disassembling each axis) I think they should run fine.

    Yep, nothing I saw overly scared me so the machines are sold! Pretty stoked overall!

    Seller seems like a super nice guy, was very helpful and provided a lot of info about the history of the machines including 10 years of service logs and parts invoices.

    I am very sure they will need work, but I went in expecting that so no harm done. I expect they'll be easier to salvage than my last Fadal was! Fingers crossed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedie View Post
    Thats was the vmc of choice for electrodes...steel my ass. Blow em out, run em the linear way fadal was the fadal they talked about as the throw away machine. They are nice little machines though as far as fadal goes. Did you check for rigid tapping? Some years said vmc15RT for rigid tapping. Otherwise basic electrode making machines. Nothing wrong with that as long as they were cleaned. When you see access holes in the back wall you can bank on 'trode' machining.
    Haha yeah as soon as I saw that hole in the enclosure I was like "hmmm", but that's fine. Even if I had to rebuild every axis the way I did on my current machine I'd still be ahead over buying new!

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    If you buy new you have zero headache, faster, stronger and better and less money. Get the money flowing and then move on. Beyond Thunderdome....but who really runs Thunderdome....Master blaster runs Thunderdome thats who. Sorry just inspired


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