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Thread: New to me mill & 4th axis???

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Ridgefield, Wa
    Posts
    862

    Default New to me mill & 4th axis???

    I have located a used Trak DPM 3 CNC Mill with a Proto Trak AGE3 controller that I plan to buy if it passes inspection. I have looked at the machine but since I have no CNC mill experience I have hired a machinery repair tech to inspect said machine if it passes it will be coming to my shop.

    I really like this machine and the functionality it has. It is full 3 axis with the head moving up and down on the column and also has a manual quill feed. The machine can be ran as a manual machine or full CNC. One function I really liked was the ease to set Z zero. Since the machine has a DRO mode it keeps track of Z position wether you move the quill or the column. Setting the Z height is a matter of touching the tool to the work with the quill lock the quill press z zero then release the quill back into the spindle and lock it there and it is zeroed. That seems much faster than any other method I have seen. This function will save me a lot of time it is not as good as a tool changer but it makes not setting up a bunch of tooling in holders with a fixture neccessary.

    I would like to get a 4th axis for this machine but even used they are a bunch of $$. I had been looking at a Tormach mill before I decided to buy this one and remember them having some inexpensive 4th axis tables. My new machine is servo driven and has a controler for a 4th axis built in. The Tormach indexer is stepper driven (I think) I can get the Tormach 4th axis with a chuck and tail stock for about $1500 new. Here is the question would it be feasable to buy this 4th axis and change the motor to a servo driven motor so my controller would work? The used 4th axis stuff I have seen run about $3k without a chuck or tail stock that is why I was thinking of doing this. My parts are not supper high tollerance so I am hoping this would work for me.

    Here is a link to the Tormach 4th axis.

    http://www.tormach.com/8-tables-and-accessories.html

    Here is a link to the mill I am buying scroll down it is not he Hurco but the Proto Trak they have 2 of them used.

    http://www.roscoprecisionmachinery.c...dMachines.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
    Posts
    6,947

    Default

    Dont waste your money on the tormach one. Try and find the right one for you mill. If they are like most 4th axis units intended for CNC they are built a lot better than that one. That is just a manual unit converted to motor drive. In the end you will end up spending near as much converting the tormach over as you will in getting the right one for the job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Ridgefield, Wa
    Posts
    862

    Default

    The manual says it is set up for a Haas 4th axis. They are not in my price range I guess I will keep using my manual indexer for a while. I have to buy all new tooling for this thing it is Cat-40 and my old mill was R8 so I have to conserve for a while. Anyone have any extra Cat-40 stuff laying around?

    The next thing is I was running my last mill a 3HP on a static phase converter and this one could be ran the same way but I am wondering if I should switch over to a VFD? If I do switch to the VFD what size and would it be safe to run the motor faster than the 4200 RPM it is rated for. The motor on this new to me mill is also 3 HP. I plan to machine aluminum with this machine? The control runs on 110V.

    Thanks Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
    Posts
    6,947

    Default

    Start looking on ebay for tooling. Thats the best place. You can also use BT40 tooling with a metric drawbar.

    Yes, you can install a VFD and the control will probably have an output to control it too. You will benefit from quicker stops, for one thing.

    We ordered a new Haas VF-1 for work. Should be here in a week or two.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Ridgefield, Wa
    Posts
    862

    Default

    I have looked on ebay there are a lot to choose from. Are there brands that I should stay away from? I see a lot of Techniks, Shars & Pioneer are they good? There are some really cheap stuff with no brand name. I don't want to throw money away but I don't want to buy junk either.

    I read somewhere that collet chucks have less run-out than end mill holders but end mill holders hold the cutter better. I am thinking of buying collet chucks for my under 1/2" size cutters and end mill holders for the over 1/2" cutters. I have ER 25 collets for my CNC router spindle so I am thinking of staying with that size and buying ER 25 collet chucks so I can use the collets on both machines.

    I bought a Procunier tapping head and I need a 5/8" holder for it and I want to have a dedicated holder for the tapping head. I also need a drill chuck I am going to keep my Albrecht chuck and just get a Cat 40 adaptor for it. I also need some shell mill holders I have a few shell mills.

    Thanks Mike
    Last edited by gundog; 11-13-2011 at 02:00 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
    Posts
    6,947

    Default

    Any of the name brands are fine, Command, RegoFix, Kennametal, Bison, etc. Mari-Tool has good prices on new tool holders. I like the integrated drill chucks but I usually use collets to hold drills as well. I have ER16,20, and 32. I also have some accuraflex I use for holding spot drills.

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