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  • #46
    Originally posted by JRouche View Post

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    Emco-120. Its a made lathe. I didnt cobble that chit together. JR
    EMCO-120, yeah, my first CNC. I think it was 1987. Factory demo machine from Columbus, Ohio bought thru local dealer. $16K plus $800 shipping.

    I had started the business about a year earlier. It took me that first year to realize with only a Colchester lathe, Logan turret lathe, Hardinge mill and various support equipment the business was never going to make any money. That first CNC paid for itself in 6 months. I bought a CNC mill next, and another CNC each of the next years up 5 CNC's with only me and a couple employees along the way..

    Back in those days some customers had a funny attitude about CNC. I was proud of that first CNC and the capability it gave the business, but I recall my very first regular customer telling me he could no longer afford me if his parts were done on a CNC. Took a bit of selling to show CNC parts cost less than manual machined parts.





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    • #47
      Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

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      All employers seem to want to eliminate their employees,........................................ ....................
      In my case CNC was the only option. Good employees aren't easy to find, ones that will show on time, ready to work on Monday morning without a weekend, hangover, able to pass insurance test so they can drive a company vehicle, drug free, not Bill Gates wannabies, not married to their phones, no attitudes and able to get along with coworkers.

      It's worse in the family construction business. We can't automate.

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      • #48
        Ha, the perfect factory only has 2 employees - a man and a dog. The man feeds the dog every day and the dog keeps the man away from the machines................

        The biggest reason modern CNC machines have replaced turrets, automatics, and to some extent screw machines is the versatility and flexibility of CNC. It might not always be faster for certain jobs, but it can do almost all of them well enough to be profitable. Plus it can do things none of the others can do. And when you are running a job shop with multiple customers with different needs, flexibility is everything to staying in business. Not to mention the cost of floor space. Instead of two or three different types of lathe, you just need one to do everything.

        If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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        • #49
          There you are...... that's another good reason.
          CNC machines only go through the motions.

          Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
          Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
          Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
          I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
          Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
            You would think then, that there would be "some" market for them, as opposed to "If you pay me, I'll take it away". The almost scrap price is not a big stopper compared to the alternative.
            -There's a market, yes, but a tiny one, and there's a huge number of machines still out there. Put it this way, W&S serial-numbered their machines sequentially, and my 1939 model has a number just short of half a million. There was a similar 1955-ish model on eBay for a while with a serial number in the 1.5 million range.

            And that's just W&S. That doesn't count Gisholt, Jones & Lamson, Hardinge, Wade, Rivett, Ramco... and of course the turret-mounted engine lathes from Logan, South Bend, Clausing, Jet, Sheldon, Monarch, etc.

            Basically, supply outweighs demand. The demand is generally home-shop stuff, so the aforementioned little Hardinge, Logan and the smaller Clausings still hold a little value. But when you start looking at something like J&L #5 or a W&S 2A or something like that, few or no home shops have room for a 9,000-12,000-pound lathe, nor the power to feed a 20-25HP motor.

            Maybe the issue is really getting the tooling, which has gone to scrap in railroad car loads over the years. Or just that they are heavy and hard/expensive to ship.
            -It's probably getting there, but not yet. As I was posting build-progress photos of my W&S over on PM, I had half a dozen people offer to sell or even give me turret tooling. I've bought more off eBay and from Small Machines. Some bits were a little harder to find than others- and there's still a couple I haven't yet run across that I'd like to have- but there's still a couple metric tons of tools out there.

            Especially if you have one of those smaller machines that take 5/8" or 3/4" shank tools- those can of course also use screw machine tools and there's truckloads of those still out there.

            Doc.

            Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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            • #51
              Originally posted by dalee100 View Post
              The biggest reason modern CNC machines have replaced turrets, automatics, and to some extent screw machines is the versatility and flexibility of CNC.
              -Versatility, flexibility, speed, accuracy, ease of operation, ability to operate unmanned in certain cases... the list is pretty long.

              Don't get me wrong- I'm kind of a turret lathe fanboy, but then, I'm also a fan of old GM musclecars- yet I drive a modern AWD SUV.

              Trust me, if I could afford a proper CNC turning center (and/or VMC), I'd switch out in a half a New York Minute. Most of my fanboyism is pure necessity- it's all I can afford right now.

              Doc.

              Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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