Best Mill for a Makerspace - Page 2
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View Poll Results: Which mill should I get for a makerspace?

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22. This poll is closed
  • Get the Haas Mini Mill EDU

    20 90.91%
  • Get the Tormach 1100MX

    2 9.09%
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by john.obrien View Post

    But John Saunder's advice on buying a Tormach vs a Haas (Buying a CNC Mill: Tormach VS Haas - NYC CNC) gives me pause: he advises that if you are asking yourself the question, get a Tormach.
    Isn't he sponsored by Tormach? Of course he would recommend it.


    And it is foolish to solely rely on anything those youtubers say. Just because they have the loudest voice doesn't mean they know jackshit about what't they're doing.

    Good start to ask here, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    Why don't they call it a Learningspace then? Makerspace seems to imply people will be bringing in their DIY projects to make something no?

    If it is to teach people how to make stuff wouldn't it be better to do it with industrial hardware and processes?
    It's called a makerspace because that's what these spaces are called. OP didn't invent that terminology, there are lots of them all over the country.

    And the point isn't necessarily to learn a new career path, but to learn something interesting and challenging and different and to make things. While many professionals enjoy them, customers are often hobbyists. They just want to make stuff.

    It really feels like you're missing the point on purpose, for whatever reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mutiny View Post

    It really feels like you're missing the point on purpose, for whatever reason.
    Do you deal with hobbyist folks? I do. I make automotive products.

    I do one off parts, repair jobs, hot rod parts, angle mill intakes, whatever.

    I find 90% have no fucking clue how shit is actually made or what kind of material/tolerances/heat treat. Absolutely no clue what it takes to have some semblance of success. They always ask if I know of a small lathe that plugs into the wall for sale so they can make their own parts not understanding a small cheap lathe can't possibly do the work I'm doing for them on a 12,000 lb Pacemaker.

    Vast majority of the custom parts I make for individuals would not fit in the work envelope of a Tormach or little Haas and would have extreme difficulty making them at all for lack of rigidity.

    I guess I just don't understand the concept. Sounds like the blind paying the blind to lead them to me. I know these Makerspace things popped up around Portland about a decade ago and they all failed miserably.

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  6. #24
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    Cost control.

    Not a machinist but taking an observations look.

    Have observed similar types of things where things go sideways Dr to assumptions and lack of skills.

    Do lots of homework on everything about the machine EXCEPT the machine.

    A makerspace is where interested parties gather.

    It is a safe assumption the skill sets will not be such to run the machine properly.

    Yes there MAY be some pro who is a machinist and can run it in their sleep but safer to assume everyone almost can pick the machine from a lineup of one.

    This requires stronger better built with great dealer support so no hobby grade.

    Seek a maintenance contract.

    May be different levels and types, discuss this with your dealer.

    It will be broken!

    If a contract is in place then easy to recover.

    I understand many maker spaces have membership dues, these dues should NOT include blanket access to the machine.

    Access needs key lock control with sign in logs that include hour meter readings.

    When it is "checked out" it is suspected via a checklist and the key holder and user both sign the checklist when turned on.

    The person who checks it out responsible until checked in and inspected again.

    Must be checked in between users.

    The manufacturer should offer training and certification as part of the purchase.

    The "master" gets these.

    Anyone else wishing to get same can "buy in"

    Those who are trained can use.

    Others can watch.


    Time on the machine should be purchased to build a pool of funds for repairs.

    When it breaks who fixes it?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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    Haas all day, don’t waste your time with the tormach. One thing I haven’t seen touched upon is the accuracy of these two mills. The haas will hold tenths, good luck with the tormach. Beyond that the build quality and robustness of the haas. One uses industry standard 40 taper while the other uses straight shank tooling. Introducing people to cnc machining on an industry standard control seems like another plus.

    Two things I saw in the replies.
    Single phase: both the mini mill and tormach will work on single phase.

    Enclosure: I would really only consider an enclosed machine with interlocks in an educational environment. Crashes are bound to happen, tools will break. Liability is greatly reduced with an enclosure preventing shrapnel from hitting operators and/or fingers entering the work area.

    my 2 cents


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    From earlier research most makerspace type joints have different tiers for different machines. These tiers dictate the amount of user interaction, from able to use this piece of equipment without supervision to only the makerspace employees can operate this piece of equipment. Cnc equipment always falls into the latter category, even in college sponsored facilities.

    Having Joe schmoe off the street come and attempt to operate your nice expensive vmc is a fools errand. Customer designs part, you program and you operate.

    As for Saunders, look at how many crash compilations he has on you tube. The guy is a hack on a good day. I don't know where he is on operating these days but he is in the same class as titan, useless and annoying. You want to learn something about machining, go look up abom especially his old vids. Excellent manual machine operation.

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    Goodness my lord holy fuck I would never ever ever want to be a part of a makerspace that does CNC machining.

    Whew rant over.

    OK I run a college machine shop which is just a fancy makerspace for engineering students....so these are engineer students, not trade school machinists in training. IN NO WORLD WILL I LET THEM TOUCH MY MACHINES WITHOUT DIRECT OBSERVATION AND SUPERVISION. I swear to god you give them a set of instructions and they manage to fuck it up from the get go.

    These are people with some mechanical aptitude too...they just have no concept of safety or of how the machines function, yet, until I teach them. Don't want to lose your arm? Don't stick your fuckin arm in near the ATC when it is running a tool change.

    You would think that would be common sense, but it apparently isnt.

    All that being said, don't even fuck with a Tormach at that price level, I honestly don't even know how that company makes money and who buys those machines, because for a few thousand more $$$ you can buy a real industrial machine with a real industrial controller and what not.

    But at the end of the day, who the hell is going to be running the machine making sure random people off the street don't kill themselves or trash the machine? Our shop has a very secure lock and is never open to people unless the professionals are in (me).

    I teach CNC programming and after 3 hours of one on one training I wouldn't trust anyone to write a decent program that I would feel comfortable running on our machines. I consider myself quite a good machinist and sometimes even I get stumped on stuff...

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    Another vote for the Haas. I woulnd't even consider the Mini Mill. I'd go with a TM-1/P, or TM-2/P for the larger envelope. A 10K spindle is an option as well. Your customers are going to have a wide range in sizes of parts. The Tormach reminds me of a 12 oz Coors Light beer can. LOL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wick Craft View Post
    Another vote for the Haas. I woulnd't even consider the Mini Mill. I'd go with a TM-1/P, or TM-2/P for the larger envelope. A 10K spindle is an option as well. Your customers are going to have a wide range in sizes of parts. The Tormach reminds me of a 12 oz Coors Light beer can. LOL.
    Thanks Wick Craft. The only issue is I can't FIT a TM-1 in the space, at least not and have room for some of the other equipment. Other than that, yes, the increased work envelope is probably well worth the extra $5k.

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    John,
    I’d consider an older machine. It forces the user to think. First of all, I am NOT a machinist. Just a hobby guy. But I the Chair of the Dallas Makerspace Machine Shop. We have a 94 HAAS VF2. We had pre-pandemic 18-1900 members. Of those members we only have about 20 active members who are authorized to use it. As for classes, 99 percent of the people who take our class dont test out. We have the members do the CAM of a domino, we give very specific instructions. If they don’t listen/follow direction, they are not allowed to move on to the required personal project.

    Its only when we feel they are competent, we add them to the RFID.

    The last spindle crash, cost 8k. Thankfully the user who it wrecked on paid 4K into it, IIRC.

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    CNC machines like 3D printers and 2D routers or laser cutters can survive in a Makerspace. I'd think twice about a CNC mill.

    It's not clear if you want this machine mainly for yourself and hope to get some help paying for it or if you want to run an at-least-break-even maker's service?

    If the former, maybe go in with shared ownership and a handful of people you know and trust.

    If the latter, I'd start with a Bridgeport or Bridgeport mill clone. Maybe a Prototrak type that can be operated in manual mode. All manner of good instruction material available, shorter learning curves, less prone to crash, less expensive to fix - mostly divots in tables and vises, endmills trashed, and the random poorly-secured workpiece flung around.

    If, after a year's experience with what ever combination of mechanical geniuses and random Bozo's that show up, you're confident something like the Haas can survive to earn it's keep - maybe get some of the advanced users to commit to a slightly higher membership tier, educate themselves, and take the leap?

    Not sure anyone has done the market research, but I've routinely heard of Makerspaces opening to great fanfare and then closing their doors a few years later, sometimes amidst bitter recriminations. The equivalents of these spaces that survive over the years seem to have a shared mission. Some examples: First Robotics clubs, guys keeping an old steam rail operation going, other guys operating a flying club, and (maybe) college shops focused on student team projects. Having a "mission" as well as a room with some tools seems to help assure that people help each other with learning, safety, and maintenance.

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    Whatever you choose, think also about the tooling. Perhaps limit the size of tooling to 8mm and carbide only. In economy ER collets. Why ? Because they snap and wont ruin the spindle.

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    Thanks TBJK. I'm also just a hobby guy.

    I am planning on having them pass a safety and competency test before they use the machine, perhaps leveraging at least as part of that test the online CNC operator test which Haas offers, the other part being a traditional safety test... and maybe a CAD/CAM test for good measure.

    Based on all the feedback here (and the expense) I may start by putting the Little Machine Shop 3990 I've converted to CNC in the makerspace, and see if anyone uses it. I personally really like machining, but maybe I'm the only one in the area who does, I don't know.

    I have done some market research to gauge the interests of my potential customers via a survey on my website. Among respondents, woodworking and laser cutting are the clear winners, followed by 3d printing. They 4th activity they've shown interest in is machining.

    So maybe I'll start with the smaller machines I already have at home and if there is interest sell them to try to fund the Haas... Or a Bridgeport, one can have a lot of fun with a Bridgeport, just that if you want to actually make some parts I think members would quickly find manual machining takes up more time than they'd like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    It's not clear if you want this machine mainly for yourself and hope to get some help paying for it or if you want to run an at-least-break-even maker's service?
    Hi PeteM, I'm hoping it can be both? I guy can dream...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TBJK View Post
    John,
    I’d consider an older machine. It forces the user to think. First of all, I am NOT a machinist. Just a hobby guy. But I the Chair of the Dallas Makerspace Machine Shop. We have a 94 HAAS VF2. We had pre-pandemic 18-1900 members. Of those members we only have about 20 active members who are authorized to use it. As for classes, 99 percent of the people who take our class dont test out.
    99%! Are your tests that hard or are people that stupid?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TBJK View Post
    John,
    I’d consider an older machine. It forces the user to think. First of all, I am NOT a machinist. Just a hobby guy. But I the Chair of the Dallas Makerspace Machine Shop. We have a 94 HAAS VF2. We had pre-pandemic 18-1900 members. Of those members we only have about 20 active members who are authorized to use it. As for classes, 99 percent of the people who take our class dont test out. We have the members do the CAM of a domino, we give very specific instructions. If they don’t listen/follow direction, they are not allowed to move on to the required personal project.

    Its only when we feel they are competent, we add them to the RFID.

    The last spindle crash, cost 8k. Thankfully the user who it wrecked on paid 4K into it, IIRC.
    Spindle crash costed you $8k on a 1994 Haas? Is that a typo? I crashed a brand new milling machine and got a brand-new CAT40 BigPlus replacement spindle cartridge for $5000 back in 2017. The spindle shop in Cali we are going to send the old one for repair was about $2000 for a spindle rebuild.

    I feel bad if you paid $8K to repair a small spindle!

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    Spindle crash costed you $8k on a 1994 Haas?
    I admit I am curious about this. Not that I have experience with spindle repairs, so I can't comment on what the costs should have been. But I am curious what happened; did the operator mill straight through the table or something? And then burn out the spindle?

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    Same price. Haas hands down.

    But 1 or 2 tiny little desktop routers for people to learn fusion and g code on. Cheap to crash.

    Only real consideration for avoiding an EDU version is if there are strings attached from haas that somehow caused problems with your operation. I’ve got no clue. But I’m sure they have some stipulations in an edu discounted machine. Legal or financial.

    I’ve owned a Tm-1, Tm-2 and not a vf2.
    The tm series are great machines for a budget real machine (new). From my understanding the Tm and mini are nearly the same machine from the base component/casting level
    Low air consumption (greased spindle bearings) single or 3 phase power accepted. Lots of travel for cheap. Standard cat40 tooling, Easy to love(edit: move) with a pallet jack. I would absolutely never consider a tormach for the same price unless I was putting it in an apartment and my buddy's could not lift the haas up the stairs.

    A maker space user would be thrilled to have the haas available.

    Downsides is the cat40 would be more expensive per holder. But cutters “should” last longer as it’s more ridged than the tormach. But there are great auction deals on bundles of cat40 if you keep an eye out.

    I honestly don’t know how they can sell the tormach mx at those prices.
    Last edited by Stirling; 05-06-2021 at 09:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stirling View Post
    Easy to love with a pallet jack.
    Well I'm not one to judge, I have seen plenty of guys who's gals had to be taken to Miccy D's in the back of their pickup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stirling View Post
    Downsides is the cat40 would be more expensive per holder.
    No, not really.................CAT40 is the most readily available toolholder style out there...............basically the same price or cheaper than BT30...........................


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