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    Default Starting up

    Well the time has come.... Iím going to purchase my first cnc mill. But there are too many options and after a weekend of looking my brain is mush. Iím going to be putting it in my garage so clearance is a thing. 83Ē to get in the door and a 102Ē ceiling. I was looking at fadals, and hurcos. Iíd like to be under 20k if possible. Haas is pretty much out of my price range..... I saw a SWI LPN for around 20k Iím really familiar with the prototrak interface. And I love it but not familiar with the LPN just the DPM...? I need a tool changer and as much working space and travel as possible. But donít want to break the bank...HELP!!!

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    Can you dig your floor down about 3 feet? A few grand in excavating and a new slab might save a lot of disappointment.

    I bought the wrong CNC mill to start with (a 5k lb knee mill thing). I hated it, sold it and took a few years to figure out exactly what I needed. I'd expect it take you more than a weekend to figure this stuff out even if you're really, really smart.

    The internet is pretty cool and all, but you might get a better feel for what you need if you knock on the door of a shop or three that does something similar and ask them what they use. That's what I did and I don't regret it for a second. Made some very good friends too.

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    Just did this, year or so ago. 20k is not going to go nearly as fas as you expect. For me, machine purchase price was about 1/3 of the total spend to get it to spit out a part.

    Brace yourself.

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    What kind of work will you be doing? Plastics aluminum stainless?? If you like simple conversational you may want to look at milltronics. I have 2 of their old VM16s and one of their bedmills. The VM16s and VM17 are pretty inexpensive, easily well under your budget and the customer service on milltronics is some of the best I have seen. They keep info and build sheets on machines back well over 20 years. Most of the milltronics that are a little older will run off 220 single phase also.

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    Thanks for the advice not trying to figure this out overnight. I have a pretty good idea... Iíve been a machinist for 15 years and Iíve worked in five different shops until I found a job shop that did relatively cool shit. Trying to get something going on the side for a guy thatís got me some work. Nothing too crazy but Iím gonna need to be able to hold a thou.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobydbaker74 View Post
    What kind of work will you be doing? Plastics aluminum stainless?? If you like simple conversational you may want to look at milltronics. I have 2 of their old VM16s and one of their bedmills. The VM16s and VM17 are pretty inexpensive, easily well under your budget and the customer service on milltronics is some of the best I have seen. They keep info and build sheets on machines back well over 20 years. Most of the milltronics that are a little older will run off 220 single phase also.

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    I will be running 4140 mostly at the start
    I will look into a them worked with one at my second shop tool changer kept dropping tools.... but maybe I can find one in better shape then that one

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisp123 View Post
    I will be running 4140 mostly at the start
    I will look into a them worked with one at my second shop tool changer kept dropping tools.... but maybe I can find one in better shape then that one
    I have worked with many of them. The one thing I have seen go bad alot are the air solenoids that are on the back, top of the control cabinet. If you have crappy air with water in the lines the oem will stick and cause alot issues like staying stuck open and dropping a tool. Electro tech mech sell a kit to replace them all pretty cheap. If you buy one and they are the original replace them. I think I paid 200 bucks for the kit. I started out with a VM16 so I could get a VMC in my garage door at my house. They are a lighter duty machine but for 6 to 8k they are the best cheapest VMCs I have seen. I started my shop 5 years ago in subdivision that had a HOA. I unloaded it wrapped up telling one neighbor it was a sauna. I had to get creative to keep nosy neighbors quiet.

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    I started out with a HAAS TM1, take the feet off and it will go through a normal garage door rolled on 1 inch round- lack of enclosure was a real shame, but it got me started.

    Some run off single phase (mine does) which helps.

    You will need at least:

    tool holders - as much as you need, less than you want
    tooling - 15 years in, you know what your core tools will be
    vices (can get imports) - get as good as you can afford, but you can use elcheapo imports to get going
    Work holding - try an auction for angle plates etc
    air compressor - get as good as you can afford, ideally a screw compressor if you have ear drums
    electric run to machine/compressor (big breaker - or 3 phase convertor). lighting, extra sockets - this will always cost you more than you budget
    rigging - don't forget taxes etc
    general Tools/coolant/oils/pins
    Metrology - sky is the limit
    Tool carts/tables - get twice as many as you think you need

    That will take a BIG chunk out your 20k

    I'm not trying to be negative, but is now really the best time to be starting up?

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    I will look around at the MilltRonicS machines... I really donít want to buy a cash cow that Iím always going to be fixing up all the time. I would like to find a machine enclosed because of chips, coolant, etc. If I could find a machine I like with tooling and some bonus accessories that would be ideal. Yeah probably not the best time but the work is there right now and I wanna start making chips!!!

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    If you want a good cheap vise there are always auctions around. Look on bidspotter. Watch out though alot of 18% buyer premiums on the auction. If you dont have a tax sales certificate with the 18% can put you more than 25% more than the cost. If you want decent cheaper import check out shars tooling and vices. They sell on ebay cheaper than their site also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobydbaker74 View Post
    If you want a good cheap vise there are always auctions around. Look on bidspotter. Watch out though alot of 18% buyer premiums on the auction. If you dont have a tax sales certificate with the 18% can put you more than 25% more than the cost. If you want decent cheaper import check out shars tooling and vices. They sell on ebay cheaper than their site also.

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    I have only lived in two states. Maybe things are different where you are at, but how can you legally use a sales tax certificate on an item you are not going to resell?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    I have only lived in two states. Maybe things are different where you are at, but how can you legally use a sales tax certificate on an item you are not going to resell?
    Manufacturing is tax exempt here.

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    Dualkit, in a lot of states machine tools and repair or consumable/non-consumable tooling and workholding are all tax exempt with an exemption certificate. For instance, in WI we have the S-211 form. It also includes everything from "resale" to agricultural and medical/research exemptions all on one form, so maybe his state has something similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Finsta View Post
    Dualkit, in a lot of states machine tools and repair or consumable/non-consumable tooling and workholding are all tax exempt with an exemption certificate. For instance, in WI we have the S-211 form. It also includes everything from "resale" to agricultural and medical/research exemptions all on one form, so maybe his state has something similar.
    Where I have been end user pays sales tax. I think food in a grocery store is the only thing exempt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Finsta View Post
    Dualkit, in a lot of states machine tools and repair or consumable/non-consumable tooling and workholding are all tax exempt with an exemption certificate. For instance, in WI we have the S-211 form. It also includes everything from "resale" to agricultural and medical/research exemptions all on one form, so maybe his state has something similar.
    Yep pretty much the same, we just have a blanket sales tax certificate. None of our customers pay sales tax either as they are a manufacturer. We make parts that hold and fill bottles for hand sanitizers, perfumes, and fragrance mist etc etc. The end users that buy the product are the only ones to pay sales tax.

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    Anyone else have any suggestions for first mill?!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobydbaker74 View Post
    I started my shop 5 years ago in subdivision that had a HOA. I unloaded it wrapped up telling one neighbor it was a sauna. I had to get creative to keep nosy neighbors quiet.

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    That might be the funniest story I have heard this pandemic.

    That noise? oh that is the POS washing machine the wife insisted on having. Yes, she does a LOT of laundry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisp123 View Post
    Anyone else have any suggestions for first mill?!!
    A Fadal....

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    Thanks cuz....

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    A mate bought a couple of LPMs and they're solid machines (box way, 8k spindle, easy control, set-up reduction with the jergens).
    However, at this exact moment in time, I would question your timing in buying, rather than *what* you're buying...


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