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  1. #1
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    Default Introducing myself

    I have been coming to these boards for a few years now and havent posted yet. A little about myself...

    I have a Brown and Sharpe Cam-Op Screw Machine shop that my father started when I was in kindergarten (I'm 33 now). Until last month we have never had a website or done very much work outside of New England. I've been wanting to get into CNC machining and am finding (like most things) that I am being self taught. Youtube videos have helped me learn to fix cars and repair/fix almost anything. Anytime I have tried to find a CNC training school to help me learn to program I just get the run around (sign up and pay us then you will find out what we do) type of talk.

    I recently went to a trade show and met a new sales rep who has helped get some more work for us which is great. But the work I cant do is only due to not having the right machines.

    So as I search for the right CNC lathe for my first CNC machine and continue to work towards ISO cert. I will be on these boards frequently asking and answering questions. If anyone has questions about Brown and Sharpe Cam automatics I would be happy to share my knowledge. I've been around these machines since I was a little kid and I could be the youngest on the east coast that can set up and run one of these machines nowadays.


    From searching these boards and the interwebs I think its likely I get a mid 90's Mazak with a T+ control. Any thoughts? I can get plenty of work for it so I need something to run day in and day out. I like the idea of magazine bar feeders running lights out in the future as well.

    I look forward to hearing some feedback from all the machinists here and across the globe. I know there are a few Brown and Sharpe guys here from New England as well. Some of you may know my father who has been machining for over 30 years.

    Thanks,
    Dan Hayward
    Athol Screw Machine
    Manufacturer | Athol Screw Machine Products | United States

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanASM View Post
    I have been coming to these boards for a few years now and havent posted yet. A little about myself...

    I have a Brown and Sharpe Cam-Op Screw Machine shop that my father started when I was in kindergarten (I'm 33 now). Until last month we have never had a website or done very much work outside of New England. I've been wanting to get into CNC machining and am finding (like most things) that I am being self taught. Youtube videos have helped me learn to fix cars and repair/fix almost anything. Anytime I have tried to find a CNC training school to help me learn to program I just get the run around (sign up and pay us then you will find out what we do) type of talk.

    I recently went to a trade show and met a new sales rep who has helped get some more work for us which is great. But the work I cant do is only due to not having the right machines.

    So as I search for the right CNC lathe for my first CNC machine and continue to work towards ISO cert. I will be on these boards frequently asking and answering questions. If anyone has questions about Brown and Sharpe Cam automatics I would be happy to share my knowledge. I've been around these machines since I was a little kid and I could be the youngest on the east coast that can set up and run one of these machines nowadays.


    From searching these boards and the interwebs I think its likely I get a mid 90's Mazak with a T+ control. Any thoughts? I can get plenty of work for it so I need something to run day in and day out. I like the idea of magazine bar feeders running lights out in the future as well.

    I look forward to hearing some feedback from all the machinists here and across the globe. I know there are a few Brown and Sharpe guys here from New England as well. Some of you may know my father who has been machining for over 30 years.

    Thanks,
    Dan Hayward
    Athol Screw Machine
    Manufacturer | Athol Screw Machine Products | United States

    Yeah, at 33 - you very well may be one of the youngest knowing much about B&S's.


    Per the CNC lathe comment....
    I suggest that you not get one without a barfeeder.
    You are already running production qty's.

    It won't be long before you toss those Brownies for anything but the most basic jobs and materials.


    --------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    If you are brand new to CNC machines as you say and are trying to focus on learning how to program and operate it might be best to not throw in the extra variables of a used machine. If the budget fits, a new machine would be best and will likely come with some intro training to get you up and running. It can be difficult with older machines to identify if it is a "you" issue or bug of the machine, not knowing what it should be doing.

    But if you feel confident on the set up and sourcing out potential issues of a used machine, get after it!

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    Actually - given that you are already running B&S work, I would suggest that you get a lathe with a sub-spindle as well.
    Live tools would be good.
    Prolly don't need Y axis on the first one.

    You already have the customer base for production quantities of bar sized product.

    If you don't get a bar feeder, and you don't get a sub-spindle, you will need someone standing there all the time.
    In that case - you shouldn't even bother as it will not be nearly as cost effective as the B&S.

    To be honest, I am surprised that you have been able to stay in business to this point by running only B&S's.


    ------------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Hey Dan,

    How did you get in touch with a sales rep? Would you mind passing his info to me as well?

    As for learning cnc, i would take a look at this TITANS of CNC: Academy

    Regards,
    Dan

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    Be warned, once you start learning the CNCs and making parts with them you are never going to want to touch a cam operated machine again. I had probably close to 10 years of cam machines before switching to CNCs for good almost 30 years ago which was the time cam machines started vanishing and replaced by CNCs in the industries I worked in.

    Somehow I just don't miss trying to time in and seat worn cams to get a part barely passable. Learning the CNCs will be the easy part, finding your replacement on the cam machines that isn't close to retirement will be the hard task. Pretty sure you just became the youngest PM member with cam machine set-up skills. I think most of us in here that ran cam automatics are 50+.

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    Well Thanks for the replies everyone. The biggest issue now a days is my labor rate was 5.25 an hour when I was of working age. Now it is going to be 15 in 2023. For 15/hr I can get CNC machine operators right from the staffing agency. I cant pay someone 15/hr to lap parts and chamfer parts on a DV-59 all day. This is where I lose work due to people unwilling to work these kinds of jobs and the ones that do dont show up enough to be reliable.

    I would like to hire a few people in a few years but It will cost the company 25/HR per worker. If Im paying them this much I better be getting some serious work done out of them.

    We dont have debt and thats why we are still in business. I dont ever want to owe a cent to anyone EVER!!!

    All the trade schools within 45 miles are all HAAS training. So if I hire anyone with no experience from a school its best I get a HAAS for them to get the most production from. I personally dont care for them too much but from a business standpoint it might make sense.

    Labor being my problem and not lack of work. I see myself wanting more automation. I get all the SS work I want and I was thinking sub spindle for facing off the tits I currently lap off. I spoke with Omniturn the other day and kind of like the idea of blanking parts on my B+S and finishing in a magazine loader on a dv-59 omniturn.

    I will see how good this year goes and I may buy a machine before the year is up. the next step anyway is going to EASTEC in Springfield MA in MAY. Ive been in the past but wasnt really interested at the time.

    I do see Titans Videos all the time. I love watching them. Its free also. Any Free information is good information.

    solidworkscadman Ill be in the shop all day tomorrow if you want to call ask for Dan. let me know more about what you do and I can point you in the right direction. Who knows maybe I will have work you can look at. I lose jobs over 1" and under 1k qty. My tooling costs can make jobs too much with low quantities.

    Thanks again everyone
    Dan Hayward
    Athol Screw Machine

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    Quote Originally Posted by BSCustoms View Post
    If you are brand new to CNC machines as you say and are trying to focus on learning how to program and operate it might be best to not throw in the extra variables of a used machine. If the budget fits, a new machine would be best and will likely come with some intro training to get you up and running. It can be difficult with older machines to identify if it is a "you" issue or bug of the machine, not knowing what it should be doing.

    But if you feel confident on the set up and sourcing out potential issues of a used machine, get after it!
    I agree with the recommendation towards a new machine. Here's my basic experience, having worked with over 100 companies: there is a high correlation between high profits and buying new machinery. The companies struggling the most are those that buy used (or worse, made in China stuff) and go through a "rebuild" process or all the extra effort just to get it running. That can take up a HUGE amount of time that ends up being "lost opportunity". A good business model allows you to buy new equipment, use it, and replace it when the time comes (obsolete, too many breakdowns, replace with better technology, etc.). The training can come through whichever controller and CAM program you purchase.

    That's not to say you can't make a mistake: too much growth and financial liability can come crashing down. Steady and controlled growth are the best way to grow.

    Good luck,
    The Dude

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    I agree with the recommendation towards a new machine. Here's my basic experience, having worked with over 100 companies: there is a high correlation between high profits and buying new machinery. The companies struggling the most are those that buy used (or worse, made in China stuff) and go through a "rebuild" process or all the extra effort just to get it running. That can take up a HUGE amount of time that ends up being "lost opportunity". A good business model allows you to buy new equipment, use it, and replace it when the time comes (obsolete, too many breakdowns, replace with better technology, etc.). The training can come through whichever controller and CAM program you purchase.

    That's not to say you can't make a mistake: too much growth and financial liability can come crashing down. Steady and controlled growth are the best way to grow.

    Good luck,
    The Dude

    I'm sorry, but a day later and I still find this post bothersome.

    To try to draw a line between new equipment and high profits is just way too presumptuous for my liking.

    There are just SO many other factors that go into these type equazsions, that simply picking up on one common denominator and trying to apply it to the rest is just bogus IM/HO. Not to mention "which came first? The new machines or the high profits?" (chicken/egg)*

    Now, part of that - I doo understand and agree with.
    I have seen a chum of mine get a job in (several times) and go buy a machine to run it. But in stead of getting the job on and getting it going, he would decide to fix it all up first, and then the job is a month or more overdoo. I just never understood the idea of not getting the job up and running, and maybe then bank up some parts and then shut it down for the repairs or whatnot....

    He's not in [that] business anymore....

    Also agree about buying the new/cheap/no-name (or "bad" name) imports.
    I will take a used Caddy over a new Ugo all day long!
    I can't afford to save those kinds of dollars.



    * Kind'a like the whole carbon dioxide greenhouse gas thing.
    Everyone that studys that agrees that over the core samples that when you see high temps, you see high CO2.
    But many say that the CO2 follows the high temps, not precedes it.
    Just kind'a hard to capitalize on the effect side as the cause side.




    --------------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    As far as new machines, especially if he is going CNC screw machine type I don't think I would want someone who is going to try to be self taught to be anywhere near one. Most people wouldn't buy a 16 year old novice driver a brand new $100,000 BMW, would they. No matter how careful we all crashed machines when we were learning, might as well get your streak of destruction out of your system on a $10,000 machine, not a $175,000 one.

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    Man, I can't believe I'm going to type this, but here goes...

    I also second the idea of a used Mazak, if you can find one and prove that it's running... (If anyone has been following me on PM for a while, they'll know how difficult those words are to exit my mouth...)

    I've been in many shops, and just about everyone that has old Mazak lathes, are still crankin' away good looking parts, many decades after the machines were new. Having Mazatrol will allow you to come up to speed quickly with the programming side. As in a couple days likely.


    Pay someone to come in and teach you to run it. 2-days tops and you'll be good to go. The more difficult part that takes time to learn, is how to stage tools, specifically drills/boring tools to avoid collisions/interference with the part/chuck. I don't know anything about screw-machines or automatics, but I suspect this'll be a cinch for you too...



    For learning CNC, I tell people that knowing how you want to make the part - regardless of the type of machine available - is more than half-the battle. If you know how to make the part, then all you need to do is tell the machine what to do. That's where learning the G-code comes in.

    Traditional G-code for a 2-axis lathe isn't difficult, and canned-cycles make it pretty easy. Once your basic program is written (safety lines, move to home position, tool-change, spindle on, etc...) the bulk of the "cutting" can be handled with canned cycles. Meaning, you basically type out a tool-path, line-by-line of the finished part, and the machine handles the roughing, how much stock to leave for finishing, etc... It's pretty easy.

    Mazatrol will make that easier still. Take a part you already know how to make - something simple - face, rough-turn, finish-turn - and start there. Next part, add threads & part-off.

    It's sort of like eating an elephant - do it one bite at a time.





    In 2 years time, I'm betting you'll have a twin-spindle, three-turret Nakamura... Any takers?

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    I see myself getting a CNC swiss. Citizen is big on the east coast. My competitors run them and have lots. They do 5 axis and up though. I get the work thats under 5 axis. The thing with those is I am limited in diameter. I could get an entry level lathe with a 6" chuck and run it with a 5c collet or 3 jaw if needed. I am not trying to do very hard jobs right now. Im just trying to run more work with less people. The CNC lathe I want needs to be upgrade-able to Magazine bar feeder and maybe add a robot arm loader at some point. Not trying to get a Y axis on the first machine but maybe the second or 3rd. 2nd machine needs a sub spindle for sure.

    I have plenty of work to get my 20-25k back on a used machine and make upgrades as I go. I dont need to take on more work than I can handle just to make machine payments and have unknown problems get me behind and lose new customers.

    I will not be going into debt on any machines at any time. Just need a 2 axis CNC lathe that can run unattended, not necessarily lights out. Lights out is a goal by the 2nd or 3rd machine though.

    More work with less people is what I am after. I have had 5 Employees in the past and can see that again but no more than that and thats 3-5 years down the road. Got 2 Full timers and a part timer now.

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    Not 3 turrets in a job shop.



    ------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanASM View Post
    I see myself getting a CNC swiss. Citizen is big on the east coast. My competitors run them and have lots. They do 5 axis and up though. I get the work thats under 5 axis. The thing with those is I am limited in diameter. I could get an entry level lathe with a 6" chuck and run it with a 5c collet or 3 jaw if needed. I am not trying to do very hard jobs right now. Im just trying to run more work with less people. The CNC lathe I want needs to be upgrade-able to Magazine bar feeder and maybe add a robot arm loader at some point. Not trying to get a Y axis on the first machine but maybe the second or 3rd. 2nd machine needs a sub spindle for sure.

    I have plenty of work to get my 20-25k back on a used machine and make upgrades as I go. I dont need to take on more work than I can handle just to make machine payments and have unknown problems get me behind and lose new customers.

    I will not be going into debt on any machines at any time. Just need a 2 axis CNC lathe that can run unattended, not necessarily lights out. Lights out is a goal by the 2nd or 3rd machine though.

    More work with less people is what I am after. I have had 5 Employees in the past and can see that again but no more than that and thats 3-5 years down the road. Got 2 Full timers and a part timer now.

    I highly recommend that you doo NOT run a 3 jaw chuck.
    For what you want to doo, you want a collet set-up.
    Maybe a 16C would be big enough?
    That git's you to 1.625 bar.
    You can get Hardinge Cobra 42 or Conquest T42's all over for the nice price - WITH the barfeeder!

    You will shoot yourself in the foot by getting a machine that is set up with no feeder and a 3 jaw chuck.
    Many of the other guys may use chucks all day long, but you - being a bar shop - you are going to want to be as efficient as possible with bar stock jobs.
    And a 3 jaw aint that!

    Currently - the smallest 3 jaw chuck on a CNC that I have is 32", but I doo have a 15" machine that is looking to see the light soon - I think...

    I have one 8" chuck for one of my smaller machines, but I can go a few or more years between mounting it.

    I don't see a robot in your near future.
    As you start to run this (these) for a while, you will start to understand more.


    edit:

    Also - when looking for a feeder, you want a short/magazine, not a 12' single tube.


    -------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Jashley73 Everything you mention here is exactly what I have learned. It seems like it makes sense to learn with, and if 2 axis is all I'm doing there would be no need to pay for any CAM software yet. I see them 1997 MAZAK QT-20 CNC LATHE T-PLUS CONTROL with smw barfeed | eBay

    Or MAZAK QT-20 CNC LATHE T-PLUS CONTROL NEW 1998 - LOCATED IN SOUTH FLORIDA | eBay

    Looks like if I find one close enough for under 20k I can have enough tooling money left over to get me started. ROI would be pretty quick too I can imagine.

    Parts availability is great on Mazaks I hear. The east coast Mazak Headquarters is 1hr 45 min drive away as well. Ill see them at EASTEC in 2 months and find out.


    Ox- I am a big Hardinge fan myself but if I remember right the ones you speak of have a hard time with parts availability.

    Most of the work I want this machine for is 1"-2" Bar fed. I see a lot of jobs that are under 1k/qty and under 500/pc sometimes that need too much tooling for my B+S. I would like to go up to 2.5" bar fed if I can but not a must on the first machine. I dont like 3 jaw chucks, but if the machine is down or I need to run a second-op on another machine in a jam I am currently limited to 5c (1-1/16). This makes me nervous about only having a 3 jaw chuck on a toolroom lathe for that situation. It doesnt look good for a new client. I cannot and WILL NOT neglect my old customers for new ones. Everyone pays in 30 days or less and that takes precedent.

    I got a new potential customer that needs 3 different SS parts made quarterly/yearly. I can run them on my B+S #2 1-5/8" machine. It will be a lot of chip pulling and slow turning (284 rpm I think) but the job could be close to $100k/yearly. I havent felt the customer out enough yet to know if they are just checking my prices to see where I am. They did say they are being told 12-16 weeks from there other vendor and that caught them off guard. The jobs have been around long enough so they know what they need yearly. I think we are working on figuring that part out now, but a high pressure TSC lathe would make Stainless jobs so much easier. It might just be that machine time is so backed up all around that they need someone to take better care of them.

    Time will tell. That is all for today gentlemen. Keep making chips.

    Dan


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