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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    At first I thought it was just the aspect ratio, but look how big the carousel is in relation to the spindle. And how narrow the doors are.

    VMC40 was early 90's vintage, that machine became the 2216.
    Yea I think it’s a 16 tool changer worth less money for sure but depending the op might still be able to haggle
    Out a deal.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in PA View Post
    I seldom do more than a 25-piece run (about 4-5 hours total time including making drawings). Often it is just one piece.

    It is often the seemingly trivial things that make CNC machines indispensable for me. I can let it peck away at a deep hole while I do something else. I can always turn the correct radius on a part or get the correct angle. I can thread up to the shoulder at high speed at whatever pitch I want. I can always mill the right size counter bore. Mill nice keyways and slots. Lots of flood coolant for good finishes. I really like having the time to put tools away, tidy up the shop, deburr or clean parts, or saw the next batch of material while the machines are doing their thing. Even if the job could be run faster on a manual machine, the CNC is worth it, if for nothing else but eliminating tedium. The list goes on.

    I got my CNC equipment off of Craigslist from running shops. It took a little patience but I found machines that are a good match for my work and shop size. I am very happy that I was able to get a mill with a rotary 4th axis. Quite valuable.

    I don't see where CNC and short runs or single parts don't go together.

    Bill

    Hey Bill, thanks for that. I can understand where you are coming from. It seems I could always do more if I wasn't working the manual. Or I could be on the lathe while the mill does work on its own. Even simple things like answering the phone or talking to customer that stops can be a pain. I would need a 4th axis, I use the dividing head or rotary table on many jobs, more than I thought I would.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    Mid-2000's is definitely not the latest and greatest, but it's new enough that it should be reliable and easy to find parts.

    Sharp SV2412's of that era are solid little mills in your price range, people run them on phase converters all the time. They are 24" machines, and will have a Fanuc control. They have a very compact footprint and weigh about 6,000 lbs.

    I have a 2005, it's given me 12 years of trouble-free service. Here it is without the coolant tank just before I moved it to another spot.

    Footprint is 6' x 6'. It's a box way machine. Rigid little mill for it's size- it cuts steel better than my VF2.

    That would be the perfect size for my shop. Big enough to do the type of work I see, but not so big it takes up a big portion of the shop space.

  4. #44
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    In my experience a VMC becomes cost efficient at about 3-5 piece batches if you standardize your setup procedures.
    Having come up with long rows of manual mills, lathes and grinders we used to have races between manual machines and the cncs back in the 70'- 80's.

    For sure that K&T horizontal moves some real metal but the slower VMC catches it on part number 2-3.

    Probably some here have always been cnc shops.
    The jump from a manual shop to cnc is not a small one.
    For starters there is this whole weird RS-274 G code thing and it's so many variants and add ons. Where to zero a tool and H offsets, coordinate systems with zero in different places, tool dia comp comp as size or just wear...
    You will have growing pains and a point and days where you hate these computerized things both from complexity and the fact that in single operations your old manual peeled off steel so much faster.
    Some employees (if you have them) may flat out shut down and revolt. (been there)
    A manual machine is well behaved, gives you feedback and works with you.
    A cnc does none of these things and there is no DWIT (do what I'm thinking) code. They can do magic tricks that a manual will not but they are brutal in "give me the right instructions out of the gate or I am going to ruin many things without any care".
    If you are old enough think of "Hymie" in Get Smart.

    You have to work a tad differently with such but they are faster and better once you understand them.
    Coming from pure manuals that understanding between you and the machine takes some time.

    Get a VMC...prepare to be frustrated, but improvise, adapt, and overcome.
    Bob

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  6. #45
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    I jumped into manufacturing from zero with both feet.

    Getting proficient-ish with CAM and CNC was a couple months tops.

    Learning how to "machine" things took several years to get the basics.

    If you are a good machinist and pick things up quick CNC should be very straightforward to learn.

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  8. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    In my experience a VMC becomes cost efficient at about 3-5 piece batches if you standardize your setup procedures.
    Having come up with long rows of manual mills, lathes and grinders we used to have races between manual machines and the cncs back in the 70'- 80's.

    For sure that K&T horizontal moves some real metal but the slower VMC catches it on part number 2-3.

    Probably some here have always been cnc shops.
    The jump from a manual shop to cnc is not a small one.
    For starters there is this whole weird RS-274 G code thing and it's so many variants and add ons. Where to zero a tool and H offsets, coordinate systems with zero in different places, tool dia comp comp as size or just wear...
    You will have growing pains and a point and days where you hate these computerized things both from complexity and the fact that in single operations your old manual peeled off steel so much faster.
    Some employees (if you have them) may flat out shut down and revolt. (been there)
    A manual machine is well behaved, gives you feedback and works with you.
    A cnc does none of these things and there is no DWIT (do what I'm thinking) code. They can do magic tricks that a manual will not but they are brutal in "give me the right instructions out of the gate or I am going to ruin many things without any care".
    If you are old enough think of "Hymie" in Get Smart.

    You have to work a tad differently with such but they are faster and better once you understand them.
    Coming from pure manuals that understanding between you and the machine takes some time.

    Get a VMC...prepare to be frustrated, but improvise, adapt, and overcome.
    Bob

    Thanks Bob

    Those are my concerns with making the jump. I agree with being able to move mass amount of material with the horizontal and also being able to do multiple pieces at once. But it takes time for the proper set up (any machining requires) and it can be slower in the long run.

    I have computer experience, I understand they do exactly what you tell them to do. You just need to be accurate in what you tell them. Manual you see the mistake coming up and make corrections prior to jacking things up. Computer, you get a screw up and have to go back and fix it, that screw up can be costly.

    Improvise, adapt and overcome is what I seem to do on a daily basis. Going cnc is a sure sign of that. I am trying to be flexible, reasonable and adapt. I can maintain with manual, but I do need to evolve with the customers I support and ensure I can grow to efficiently and effectively support them.

    I don't think I can stay 100% manual or go 100% cnc.

  9. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by drom68 View Post

    Improvise, adapt and overcome is what I seem to do on a daily basis. Going cnc is a sure sign of that. I am trying to be flexible, reasonable and adapt. I can maintain with manual, but I do need to evolve with the customers I support and ensure I can grow to efficiently and effectively support them.

    I don't think I can stay 100% manual or go 100% cnc.
    Your normal.

    Like many machine shop owners, you are very conservative, and the change over needs to be gradual and modular.

    It sounds like the best plan, for you & your situation, with your customers.

  10. #48
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    Anyone have experience with the Haas toolroom mills?


    Not sure if posting this is acceptable. It is more of a question on the mill itself.
    1184 Haas TM-2 CNC Toolroom Mill, 4" x 16", 24 | eBay


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