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  1. #41
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    I have a friend with a professional shop that has two of the red Matsuura 510vf (circa mid-late 90's); still going and from what he's described mostly trouble-free, and a relatively local Maatsura service rep still repairs them. He does really nice work on those, from simple things to very complicated 3-D surfacing with and without a rotary axis (using NX CAM). They've never been used in a production environment, but regularly in a prototype machine shop environment.

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    The Sharp machines look pretty solid. There's an SV2412 that just went up for sale in Fremont (2008 model) even though it's not as heavy duty with as much travel, it will make everything I need. Thoughts?
    SHARP SV-2412 CNC Vertical Machining Center with Fanuc Control | eBay
    Last edited by Max Weber; 07-10-2018 at 02:00 AM.

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    I dunno about 17-4 in that machine...I'd stick with at least a Haas vf for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Weber View Post
    The Brother machines look pretty solid. There's an SV2412 that just went up for sale in Fremont (2008 model) even though it's not as heavy duty with as much travel, it will make everything I need. Thoughts?
    SHARP SV-2412 CNC Vertical Machining Center with Fanuc Control | eBay
    That's a lot of money for an entry level control on an OK machine.

    I don't see how a Haas VF is somehow better than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    That's a lot of money for an entry level control on an OK machine.

    I don't see how a Haas VF is somehow better than that.
    I guess you're right, another 10k and I can get a brand new Haas TM-1P TM-1P

    It's kinda tempting to get the TM-1P since it's lighter and can run on single phase (even though I have 3 phase, it would be nice to move it to other areas on the property)

    Not sure if the TM-1P is worth it though?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Weber View Post
    The Sharp machines look pretty solid. There's an SV2412 that just went up for sale in Fremont (2008 model) even though it's not as heavy duty with as much travel, it will make everything I need. Thoughts?
    SHARP SV-2412 CNC Vertical Machining Center with Fanuc Control | eBay
    I have a 2412, I cut stainless on it all the time. It's a box way machine and is more rigid than my VF-2.

    I would definitely prefer that mill over a ten-year older Haas. The downside is the 10 tool carousel. It doesn't take long to fill up the tool changer, especially if you are running multiple operations at a time.

    What I like about that one- the chip auger. Mine has no auger, so I am constantly emptying the chip drawer. At least the auger keeps the chips out of the bottom of the machine so it doesn't fill up and overflow coolant onto the floor...

    What I don't like- the tool changer. A 24 tool side mount would be preferable. The carousel is air operated, and it needs a good supply of air. Also it's a bitch to keep clean since it's right down there in the machining area where the chips are flying, and access for cleaning is pretty limited. You are pretty much stuck with reaching through the side door.

    The control is basic Fanuc, but it has everything you need, it's rock-solid reliable, and will be supported down the road. Better than you can count on from Haas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    I have a 2412, I cut stainless on it all the time. It's a box way machine and is more rigid than my VF-2.

    I would definitely prefer that mill over a ten-year older Haas. The downside is the 10 tool carousel. It doesn't take long to fill up the tool changer, especially if you are running multiple operations at a time.

    What I like about that one- the chip auger. Mine has no auger, so I am constantly emptying the chip drawer. At least the auger keeps the chips out of the bottom of the machine so it doesn't fill up and overflow coolant onto the floor...

    What I don't like- the tool changer. A 24 tool side mount would be preferable. The carousel is air operated, and it needs a good supply of air. Also it's a bitch to keep clean since it's right down there in the machining area where the chips are flying, and access for cleaning is pretty limited. You are pretty much stuck with reaching through the side door.

    The control is basic Fanuc, but it has everything you need, it's rock-solid reliable, and will be supported down the road. Better than you can count on from Haas.
    It really does seem solid. I can buy the Sharp machine all cash which would be nice too. the parts I'm making are pretty simple, so I think I could get away with a 10 tool changer for the time being.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Weber View Post
    the parts I'm making are pretty simple, so I think I could get away with a 10 tool changer for the time being.
    My first machine was a MiniMill and I thought the same thing. Only one year later I was miserable loading 2 and even 3 carousels for the same part. I would consider a larger tool changer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riabma77 View Post
    My first machine was a MiniMill and I thought the same thing. Only one year later I was miserable loading 2 and even 3 carousels for the same part. I would consider a larger tool changer.
    Dont get me wrong, I'd love the largest tool carousel possible. I guess the constraints are between rigidity, durability, capacity, age, price.

    Is there something similar to the Sharp machine with all those attributes AND a larger tool carousel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Weber View Post
    Dont get me wrong, I'd love the largest tool carousel possible. I guess the constraints are between rigidity, durability, capacity, age, price.

    Is there something similar to the Sharp machine with all those attributes AND a larger tool carousel?
    You originally considered a Tormach, yet here you are questioning rigidity? Just about any real VMC will be about 500% more rigid than a Tormach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Weber View Post
    ...Is there something similar to the Sharp machine with all those attributes AND a larger tool carousel?
    Sharp offered that machine with a side mount TC. I think they were 10K spindles too.

    There are quite a few of them out there, the side mount is definitely a worthwhile upgrade. I would think you could find one in the 20K price range.

    20K will buy a lot of mill if you are willing to be patient.

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    Hey Max, since we are spending your money..... you should spend $250k even if you told us you had a $15K budget . However if it were me, Mr. Cheapskate, I would wait until you started your Courses at DeAnza and have learned a thing or three, If you are getting parts made now and still making some money on them..... well you are making money. If you jump into this and go on the Advice of Dunderheads like me..... well you could make more than a few costly mistakes. Another way would be buy a Tormach, stay in budget, learn many things, make money any then buy a new real man's machine. Sell the tormach for 60% of what you paid or put it to work as a second operation machine engraving you logo on high dollar parts. CNC machines are a lot like Hotrods, seems like you can get one cheap,,,, But a year later you've spent 10x what you swore you would never spend. There are many opinions here, one guy has had luck with brand X and others think they are the worst thing ever..... There is a lot of great advice being given to you here, and there is some machines mentioned that cause me to cringe, but if you don't know yourself you are again at the mercy of that internet guy.... so learn some stuff and do well !!!
    Last edited by UCRmachine; 07-11-2018 at 02:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UCRmachine View Post
    but if you don't know yourself you are again at the mercy of that internet guy.... so learn some stuff and do well !!!
    Or spend some time on this site reading LOTS of comments. And, figure out which "internet guys" to pay attention to. And, which to ignore.

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    My take:
    Any HAAS pre-2008 is out of the question (no control support). 2008-2015 is a safe buy, as of today. (2015 is pre-next-gen control)
    If the processor in your pre-2008 HAAS takes a shit, you are looking at between $15-20k to get it back up and running.
    I personally wouldn't recommend a HAAS to my worst enemy these days. They flushed their excellent business model a few years ago.
    FADAL is a great starter machine with still great parts availability, and lots of support right here on this site. I personally think I would hate the control. But, that's just me.
    Any FANUC equipped machine is a safe buy, from a control perspective, as FANUC still supports just about everything they ever made all the way back to tape-readers.
    FANUC uses standard G-code which you will eventually need to learn if you are serious. And, most anything you learn about a FANUC will carry over to some degree to just about any real machine.
    One caveat: make sure you get the Machine Tool Builder's (MTB) manuals! Not just the FANUC manuals.

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    I personally think I would hate the control.
    How could you not.. Its SOOOOOOO simple..

    Menu driven (though there are short cuts).. You just tell it what you want to do, and
    it literally baby steps you through it. Its really easy to teach people how to use it..

    To set your tools.
    Setup. 3rd menu, hit #1.
    Tools, hit #2.
    Multiple tools #2 again,
    Starting tool #
    Ending tool #
    Then #1 to jog to position (there are probe options).
    Enter block height..
    Then follow the directions on the screen..
    Changes tools for you, does the math..

    Same with setting zeros.. All kinds of neat options, and it BABY steps you through it, does
    the math and everything. Standard XY stuff, center of an arc with only 3 points and an edge finder.
    Off angle corners, midpoints etc... Its AWESOME, and really easy and simple.

    Macros are standard, 48 tool and fixture offsets are standard..

    And the parameters, there is really nothing to mess with.. 3 short pages, all written in english,
    lots of yes and no questions, some multiple choice, a few gain settings...

    Rigid Tapping 1)yes 2)no. Its really THAT SIMPLE!

    And there is even a condensed version of the manual RIGHT IN THE CONTROL.. Need to look up
    the syntax for a G76 or some shit, no need to pull out a manual.. Its RIGHT IN THE CONTROL..

    Its just so simple.

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    So I started this thread 3 months ago and here's an update on what I've learned.

    -I enrolled at De Anza College and am currently taking courses in the DMT program. I haven't been in school since I finished my bachelor's degree 10 years ago!

    -Tormach is out (I could have gotten by with it, but it wouldn't be workable with the products I will sell in the future)

    -Haas is looking almost out too. 3 months ago when I first started researching this, Haas seemed like the winner. Made in California, local Selway support, lots of internet information on the machines. Unfortunately it seems like maintenance (especially on an older machine I could afford to buy cash) is going to be expensive. I think the tipping point was when Haas doubled the price of a replacement control from 7500 to 15k during this 3 month research span. The only way I would consider Haas at this point would be for a brand new machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    How could you not.. Its SOOOOOOO simple..

    Menu driven (though there are short cuts).. You just tell it what you want to do, and
    it literally baby steps you through it. Its really easy to teach people how to use it..

    To set your tools.
    Setup. 3rd menu, hit #1.
    Tools, hit #2.
    Multiple tools #2 again,
    Starting tool #
    Ending tool #
    Then #1 to jog to position (there are probe options).
    Enter block height..
    Then follow the directions on the screen..
    Changes tools for you, does the math..

    Same with setting zeros.. All kinds of neat options, and it BABY steps you through it, does
    the math and everything. Standard XY stuff, center of an arc with only 3 points and an edge finder.
    Off angle corners, midpoints etc... Its AWESOME, and really easy and simple.

    Macros are standard, 48 tool and fixture offsets are standard..

    And the parameters, there is really nothing to mess with.. 3 short pages, all written in english,
    lots of yes and no questions, some multiple choice, a few gain settings...

    Rigid Tapping 1)yes 2)no. Its really THAT SIMPLE!

    And there is even a condensed version of the manual RIGHT IN THE CONTROL.. Need to look up
    the syntax for a G76 or some shit, no need to pull out a manual.. Its RIGHT IN THE CONTROL..

    Its just so simple.
    Well, years ago, I worked in a shop that had a couple Fadals. Guy tried to teach me some basic shit. But, he was a terrible teacher.
    More recently, I have watched Joe Pieczynski's series on the Fadal control. And, didn't think I would care for it.
    Now, I have also never spent much time at one either. Maybe if I was forced to acclimate? I would like it? Who knows?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Weber View Post
    The only way I would consider Haas at this point would be for a brand new machine.
    A Coldfire-II equipped HAAS is still a safe buy. Who knows though how long before they pull the same bullshit with it?
    A dead giveaway if browsing HAAS's is the spindle-load meter. If it is analog, run away!
    HAAS blames an obsolete IC for the support situation for Coldfire-I, and earlier, equipped machines.
    Maybe HAAS forgets that lots of us CNC machinists have deep roots in the semi-conductor industry? IDK?
    But, nothing is obsolete if you need enough of them! NOTHING
    I have talked to some of the guys I know that deal in silicon, explained this bullshit situation, and they ALL laughed.
    And, gave the same response: "you guys are getting violated". I already knew that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    Well, years ago, I worked in a shop that had a couple Fadals. Guy tried to teach me some basic shit. But, he was a terrible teacher.
    More recently, I have watched Joe Pieczynski's series on the Fadal control. And, didn't think I would care for it.
    Now, I have also never spent much time at one either. Maybe if I was forced to acclimate? I would like it? Who knows?
    If it was a non-HS version, it might not have had the menus... Also, as you know, some people can make things
    difficult just because that's just who they are...

    The shop I ran many moons ago, we had a Fadal, and a 2 axis Mazak Lathe T+.. And a bunch of other stuff. The beauty
    of the Fadal, and the Mazak lathe, was that you could take unskilled people, and get them to do very skilled things
    with very little training or knowledge..

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