1995 HAAS VF-OE Newbie Basics Questions
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    Default 1995 HAAS VF-OE Newbie Basics Questions

    Hi,
    Not long put a deposit down on one of these machines and should have it operational in my workshop in roughly 6weeks time.
    I'm an experienced manual machinist, but as yet, have never run a cnc mill so here goes...

    1. How do I know what my maximum feed rates / rapids are? (And spindle speed)
    1B. Do I need to know these figures or will the machine work around a program from say Fusion360 and "live within its means?"
    1C. I see mention of machines having their HSM unlocked...would this VF-OE even have it to unlock?
    2. It has a 4th axis socket and sadly the folks I'm buying it off aren't selling theirs. Anyway, can it run a 4th axis from any manufacturer? Or would I be saving a major headache finding a HAAS one?
    3. Tool setting and probing. I'd really like to fit a tool setting probe for quick tool set ups and a spindle probe for work detection, centre finding etc. Is a 1995 machine too old and clunky for such modernity?
    4. Through spindle coolant. Is this a viable upgrade?
    5. Anything else you guys can think of mentioning that would bring me up to speed on any hidden features, I'd really appreciate any tips.

    Think that's it for now, thanks in advance,
    Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hend.engineering View Post
    Hi,
    Not long put a deposit down on one of these machines and should have it operational in my workshop in roughly 6weeks time.
    I'm an experienced manual machinist, but as yet, have never run a cnc mill so here goes...

    1. How do I know what my maximum feed rates / rapids are? (And spindle speed)
    1B. Do I need to know these figures or will the machine work around a program from say Fusion360 and "live within its means?"
    1C. I see mention of machines having their HSM unlocked...would this VF-OE even have it to unlock?
    2. It has a 4th axis socket and sadly the folks I'm buying it off aren't selling theirs. Anyway, can it run a 4th axis from any manufacturer? Or would I be saving a major headache finding a HAAS one?
    3. Tool setting and probing. I'd really like to fit a tool setting probe for quick tool set ups and a spindle probe for work detection, centre finding etc. Is a 1995 machine too old and clunky for such modernity?
    4. Through spindle coolant. Is this a viable upgrade?
    5. Anything else you guys can think of mentioning that would bring me up to speed on any hidden features, I'd really appreciate any tips.

    Think that's it for now, thanks in advance,
    Tom.
    1. The feeds on the 0E were quite slow but I don't recall what. I'm thinking ether 400 or 700 ipm. Why did you buy a machine not knowing what spindle it has? probably a 15 Haas-power 7500 rpm. You need to find out if it is a ceramic bearing machine. If it is its a bitch to use an electronic tool setter since there is no electrical contact. The 0E were notorious for that.
    1b. Yes it would help. Fusion is an entry level cam so you will need to know feeds and speeds.
    1c. Cant remember but don't think so
    2. Not only does it have to be a Haas brand it has to be a brushed fourth.
    3. I'm pretty sure Haas will sell you a probing unit. I don't think you will get the $6k unit since its old and they cant just pop it in.
    4. If it didn't come with it don't even try.

    5. its an 18 year old Haas, don't spent a lot of money on things you don't need. I'm a Haas fan but at that age better keep money in the bank for repairs.

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    You find rotaries on Ebay but usually are priced rather high. All it is is a rotary table with a motor and encoder, maybe a home switch and brake. I made from from an 8" manual rotary and mounting a box on the side with the motor and encoder. Do not bother with the Renco encoder, they are expensive. I used a Honeywell Agilent encoder with higher count/revolution and cost about $50.
    Alternatively if you can find a dead one, they are easy to fix.
    You have to check if your machine has a 14 or 17 pin connector. Download a Haas manual and check the wiring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    1. The feeds on the 0E were quite slow but I don't recall what. I'm thinking ether 400 or 700 ipm. Why did you buy a machine not knowing what spindle it has? probably a 15 Haas-power 7500 rpm. You need to find out if it is a ceramic bearing machine. If it is its a bitch to use an electronic tool setter since there is no electrical contact. The 0E were notorious for that.
    1b. Yes it would help. Fusion is an entry level cam so you will need to know feeds and speeds.
    1c. Cant remember but don't think so
    2. Not only does it have to be a Haas brand it has to be a brushed fourth.
    3. I'm pretty sure Haas will sell you a probing unit. I don't think you will get the $6k unit since its old and they cant just pop it in.
    4. If it didn't come with it don't even try.

    5. its an 18 year old Haas, don't spent a lot of money on things you don't need. I'm a Haas fan but at that age better keep money in the bank for repairs.
    Correction, more like 24 years old!
    Thanks for all that info. The guys did demonstrate the spindle and a few other things to me but did it in such a way that I wasn't left sure that 7500 was the limit.

    You're saying the OE doesn't have an electrical contact to break for a tool setter to have a meaningful function?

    Shame about the through spindle coolant aspect and of course I'm with you on the age / maintenance thing. At this stage, as long as it pays for itself and I can justify an upgrade within a year or two I'd be very happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magno_grail View Post
    You find rotaries on Ebay but usually are priced rather high. All it is is a rotary table with a motor and encoder, maybe a home switch and brake. I made from from an 8" manual rotary and mounting a box on the side with the motor and encoder. Do not bother with the Renco encoder, they are expensive. I used a Honeywell Agilent encoder with higher count/revolution and cost about $50.
    Alternatively if you can find a dead one, they are easy to fix.
    You have to check if your machine has a 14 or 17 pin connector. Download a Haas manual and check the wiring.
    Thanks for that. The ones on UK eBay at the moment are all going for more than the machine itself!
    Often wondered how complicated these devices were in practice and of course most of the time you only get to find out once you own one.

    I downloaded the manual a while back, will have a trawl through it over breakfast, thanks again.

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    7500 RPM. 710 inches Rapid. Reliable fastest feeds around 120 ipm. If it's a small bore that could drop to 50 ipm. Long cuts you might get away with 200 ipm. There are very good machine. But you will learn there may be some limitations on feed rate on smaller parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoss710 View Post
    7500 RPM. 710 inches Rapid. Reliable fastest feeds around 120 ipm. If it's a small bore that could drop to 50 ipm. Long cuts you might get away with 200 ipm. There are very good machine. But you will learn there may be some limitations on feed rate on smaller parts.
    Thanks.

    You say reliable fastest feeds...meaning loss of surface finish or accuracy past a certain point?
    The smaller parts thing...is that due to acceleration limitations?

    Just been looking at a 1995 VF series manual and it states max rapids are 300ipm, but usefully I see an input for a skip signal which can be configured to a tool setting probe and cycle, so it seems I can do that at least! Can't wait to have a play when it arrives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hend.engineering View Post
    Thanks.

    You say reliable fastest feeds...meaning loss of surface finish or accuracy past a certain point?
    The smaller parts thing...is that due to acceleration limitations?

    Just been looking at a 1995 VF series manual and it states max rapids are 300ipm, but usefully I see an input for a skip signal which can be configured to a tool setting probe and cycle, so it seems I can do that at least! Can't wait to have a play when it arrives.
    A guy has attached a probe for work setting and done it with the skip signal he has explained how he did it and shows it working in a you tube video link. However he has done all this on another machine forum site. It will not take you long to find it. You will also need a null return 25 pin serial to 9 pin cable to connect to a computer and a usb to serial converter cable to connect to the null return cable if you want to connect a laptop and it will all work in win 7. There are other connection options but this is what works for me. My machine is a haas VFO year 1994 and does not have a floppy drive.
    HAAS VF-0 User`s Manual - RTC-CNC | manualzz.com
    This is the same manual I downloaded at the start, you can preview it before you down load it a good starting point hopefully for you. Will keep and eye on your posts to see how you are getting on with it. (PS I do not use a probe or need one at the moment)

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    Tom,

    I will give you my 2 cents worth and you feel free to reject it if you wish.

    You have an old machine that does not have some of the modern features like a probe system. You probably do not have high speed machining or much of the other options. I hope you have rigid tap though. You may not have much memory either, so programs from your software will have to be made to generate a reduced amount of code for complex parts compared to just letting it decide. The Cam systems tend to generate very small segment straight line moves, instead of nice arch moves. I recently fixed a drawing for a neighbor. He got it from his customer and was trying to plasma cut a fairly large sign. The program was well over 15,000 lines of code and his plasma system could not handle it. I fix it for him and got it down to under 500 lines and he was able to run the part.

    Concentrate your efforts on learning to "machine" and not in wasting time trying to modify the machine. Adding a probe will be cost prohibitive and if you try to put a real probe system it will cost more than the machine, probably twice the cost. Get a simple edge finder with a .200" tipped probe or spend a little more and get a Haimer 3D Taster Probe. But, don't waste time and money on some electronic probe system.

    Learn what is needed to figure out speeds and feeds, proper tool selection and most importantly "proper work holding and placement." Figure out how to hold a part so that you can eventually get all machined sides completed. I've seen people machine a couple of sides only to find out they have no way of holding the part for the remaining side or sides. Plan in advance.

    Spend your money on tools and tool holders and vises, not upgrading the machine.

    Have fun and the best of luck to you.

    Mike

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    I say reliable speed because that vintage machine will sometimes over drive on small parts. If you keep your feeds realistic. You will have great parts coming off of your machine. If it were me I wouldn't invest in a probe unless it came with 1. I have a 93 vf1 bubble machine. It's not as fast as my other newer machines. But man in hard metals like 17-4 that's pre heat treated the finish and tolarances are spot on !

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    Thanks again to all three of you!

    Teajunky That basics manual looks great to get going, think I'll do myself some laminated check sheets for basic set ups and stuff.

    Hoss710 Great to hear good things about these machines, going back to the feeds thing again, if I'm understanding you right, say I was machining a square pocket and got too ambitious with the feeds would it leave me with bumps in the corners? (Just trying to get an idea of what to look out for)

    Mike - machineit2 2 cents most welcome. I think subconsciously I was wanting someone to tell me to take it easy! I've watched a lot of youTube CNCing videos lately and I guess it left me feeling that unless I'm set up like the modern man, I'll struggle to compete. It's not like I'll be depending on this to put dinner on the table straight away but when I do use it, I want it to be quick and efficient.

    Interestingly, the guys I'm buying it off don't use tool setters or probes and they're a successful company with 20odd machines - I thought they were missing a trick, but I guess once you've got the first prototype out within tolerance for a run of 100s, a slow initial set up isn't the end of the world.

    In my head I'm aiming to be a one offs and short runs jobbing machinist, so aiming to minimise set up time makes sense, but I guess with a simple dial setter and even a short routine to bring the tool close to save winding the jog wheel all day would be easy enough...

    I like the idea of the Haimer taster probe very much. And agreed, tools, vices, don't have any yet as my old machine I've just sold was 30International taper and the vise was a bit rubbish - Best get shopping!

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    If you were cutting a small square pocket. And programmed it at 100 ipm. It would have have divets or radius scallops in the corners from cutting to deep because of over travel. You could also have non parallel walls as the machine would try compensating as it moves along the wall for position.

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    Just saw this response. The DC drives are 300 ipm. The AC drives are 710 ipm.

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    I would LOVE to see a few pics of that 93/VF1 :-) Any comment on what's left if running so well so long? PM and repairs upkeep? That's just so neat to hear actually.

    The 98 VF/4 - I admit I bought it cheap knowing I would sweat-equity it up to spec, but whew... IF I knew then what I know now.. I might have gone onto a better unit. anyway.. water under that bridge. 93... man... cool!.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoss710 View Post
    I say reliable speed because that vintage machine will sometimes over drive on small parts. If you keep your feeds realistic. You will have great parts coming off of your machine. If it were me I wouldn't invest in a probe unless it came with 1. I have a 93 vf1 bubble machine. It's not as fast as my other newer machines. But man in hard metals like 17-4 that's pre heat treated the finish and tolarances are spot on !

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    Yes the 93 runs like a champ with its DC drives. I was a haas service tech for many moons, so keeping it running isnt bad at all. When I got the machine it was missing drivers. 1 motor. Encoder cable , encoder. Ect. Over a few months I put it all back together. I'm not sure how to load pictures on this site. If I can figure it out I'll post some up.

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    challenge accepted. :-) along the top... Icon of a tree, 3rd from end. click and youll get a pop up box w/ two tabs at the top. FROM COMPUTER / FROM URL
    Make sure your on the 'from computer' tab and then click on choose file. once you hunt around for it (part of the journey :-) you click OPEN (on mine... OK maybe on mac?). you will pop back to the pop-up with the file name listed... but it's NOT uploaded yet. Magic part- you must click on the upload file button lastly. It'll loas where your cursor is in this msg box. Now I must see it! :-p

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    Maybe since I view this site on my cellphone I'm not seeing that I con ??

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    Tom,
    Everything Mike [machineit2] told you is fact. My '92 VF0 was a bit rode hard and put away wet. There is little you will not be able to maintain or repair with the manual and helpful people here. The old girl can mill a 3" diameter to +/- 0.001". That took mostly time, investing in a high quality dial indicator and $75.00 in thrust bearings. It was about a week of labor in all to make from 0.005". Much of the error was in the neglected thrust bearings, the software takes out the last few tenths.

    Burta ain't the fastest or prettiest but she gets it done!

    If you don't have it there is an excellent programming instruction book on the Haas website to download.

    Some last words - Never trust the first run of your program, step thru single block at low speeds & feed. Read the line of code - picture in your mind where the tool is going, does it make sense?

    Always, always run warm up program for the spindle.

    Keep your tapers and spindle clean. I have been using vaseline, wipe on, wipe off. Cheap and very effective.

    Be patient, don't machine angry!

    B

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    BGL.. Same boat here. 98 VF/4 that we've rebuilt and loved-on and she's really close. Y is 2tens backlash. X is nearly a Thou+ cold. When you say thrust bearings, are you referring to the ones on the ball screws that I've read can be a possible culprit for excessive lash? And where did you get them. Haas wanted $600 bucks when I check w/ the HFO (plus a core). I cannot recall the exact part name they used.

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    Can I ask is there anything that can be done to backup safeguard the actual control itself I am not talking about parameter,settings etc they are already backed up. If you have a control pcb failure are there any options then. May be there is no need to be concerned about it? Thanks


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