Video: My restoration of a pair of Fadal VMC15s...
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  1. #1
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    Cool Video: My restoration of a pair of Fadal VMC15s...

    Hey guys!
    Figured this would be the right place for this video! Last year I spent a couple of hundred hours restoring a pair of Fadal VMC15s. I filmed the whole process and have been meaning to make a video out of it, but I've just been swamped so never got the chance. It is finally done though!



    The video is a little light on some details as I wanted it to appeal to a broader audience, but I'm happy to answer any questions you might have here!

    These machines were pretty close to being basket cases when I bought them. Previous owner had machined graphite with them and poor dust collection had caused a LOT of issues. I lost more electronics on one machine than I was really hoping to... The spindle drive failing and taking out the spindle motor was a big blow in terms of overall cost of the 'rebuild'. Luckily I really didn't have to do much mechanically. I had to replace one thrust bearing per machine, fix the lube systems and that was largely it for actual mechanical issues. Lots and LOTS of other stuff had to be fixed though!

    Hope you guys enjoy it! Painful work is always more fun when you can watch someone else do it!

    -Aaron

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    aaron, Didn't we discuss about this a few years ago? I recall talking to a Canadian guy for an hour about replacing the Turcite. Also talked about coming up to help, but I never did...was that you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    aaron, Didn't we discuss about this a few years ago? I recall talking to a Canadian guy for an hour about replacing the Turcite. Also talked about coming up to help, but I never did...was that you?
    No sir! No turcite in this machine actually, all linear ways!

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    Enjoyed it Aaron. Thanks for sharing.

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    Havent watched the video just yet but what did you use for cleaning the electrical cabinet and the cards?

    Mine looks like yours and its driving me nuts.

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    Excellent work. Looks great! And I looove me some Rick and Morty!

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    you must know your way around Cnc's or you do now...

    thanks for the vid

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duc View Post
    Havent watched the video just yet but what did you use for cleaning the electrical cabinet and the cards?

    Mine looks like yours and its driving me nuts.
    I vacuumed out the cabinets with a shop vac and the brush attachment, being careful to stay way from the computer boards as static can kill them. Everything else is fair game. Then with that having removed the majority of the dust I blew the rest away with compressed air... Take all the boards outside and do this if you can otherwise you're just going to cover the rest of your shop in graphite.

    As a final step I washed all the boards in 99% isopropyl alcohol, while wearing an anti-static wrist strap of course. I just used a toothbrush to clean mine. Dirty IPA for the initial scrub, then rinse them with a quick pour of fresh IPA and then dry them with an air blast. I went through about 1/2 a liter of IPA to clean all the boards in the machine...

    After all that they look like new!

    Just be aware if there are any thermal labels on components they might be discolored or fall off. This can be a hazard in the case of UV erasable memory chips where the label serves to protect them from being erased. If any labels fall off and visibly expose a little computer chip looking circuit just make sure to cover it back up with some electrical tape when you're done cleaning, and make sure not to put them in direct sunlight in the meantime.

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    Aaron, great vid. The info you have posted for some time now probably has resulted in a hunt by many for VMC-15s.

    I know everyone wants faster machines without ageing electronics but it there a current VMC out there with similar travels, size, weight, and availability of spare parts?

    It ain't fast but the Fadal VMC-15 sure makes a nice package for many small or entry level shops.

    Sign me....Looking for a VMC15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Street View Post
    you must know your way around Cnc's or you do now...

    thanks for the vid
    I definitely learned a lot restoring my first machine which was a Fadal VMC10. Many people on the forum here lent their expertise to help me get through that process!

    Learned a lot with these machines too, mainly stuff regarding the spindle motor/drive which was a painful lesson!

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    Quote Originally Posted by standardparts View Post
    Aaron, great vid. The info you have posted for some time now probably has resulted in a hunt by many for VMC-15s.

    I know everyone wants faster machines without ageing electronics but it there a current VMC out there with similar travels, size, weight, and availability of spare parts?

    It ain't fast but the Fadal VMC-15 sure makes a nice package for many small or entry level shops.

    Sign me....Looking for a VMC15
    Yeah it is very hard to find other options that are as well packaged and have parts so easily available!

    They are a very nice machine for the price... I wouldn't pay 'new machine' money for one, but for $10-15k they are hard to beat I think!

    There are other far 'more serious' machines out there for similar prices, but if something goes wrong parts cost can be astronomical!


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