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Recommendations for a small CNC lathe and mill

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  • Recommendations for a small CNC lathe and mill

    I have gotten to the point where I want to make small quantity (10-15) of items and would like to get some recommendations for the small CNC machines on the market. The largest parts I want to make are 6" long and 2-3" wide but the majority of the them are lot smaller. I would like to get both a lathe and mill but have a single computer and software that will drive both. I can not afford a big CNC machine. Are there any "Good" and "Capable" SMALL CNC machines that I sould consider? Appreciate any help. Thanks.

    Bill
    Bill

    Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

    Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.

  • #2
    You might try posting that question over on CNCzone forum, I have found those guys very bright and helpful when it comes to cnc .

    Steve

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    • #3
      Syil sells a 10"x 22" CNC lathe and some small CNC mills,

      http://www.syilamerica.com/


      Tormach sells a nice CNC mill,

      http://www.tormach.com/

      Smithy and Industrial hobbies also sell CNC mills.
      Mark Hockett

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      • #4
        Update

        Thanks for the links and I'll try posting on the CNCzone.

        Bill
        Bill

        Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

        Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.

        Comment


        • #5
          The Tormach machines have a very strong following. I have a couple of friends with them and the only complaints that I hear is that eventually they wish that they were bigger.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MickeyD
            The Tormach machines have a very strong following. I have a couple of friends with them and the only complaints that I hear is that eventually they wish that they were bigger.
            And when you do want to go bigger,
            http://www.industrialhobbies.com/
            Len

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            • #7
              You might not have space for bigger machines, or the desire to go with used gear. If so, nevermind.

              I am not suggesting any of these machines in particular, I'm just showing what's out there for the same amount of money when you look at used equipment. There are obviously some traps to fall into when you are buying used, but plenty of folks have gone this way and with a little care come out better than okay.

              With a "commercial" machine, you can truly automate production. Toolchangers for mills, turrets for lathes, coolant, et cetera. Once it's set, you can just reload the machine and hit go. They come with their own controls, and in my limited experience with hobby/PC retrofit controls, the commercial versions are orders of magnitude better. The controls are older and lack flash and "gee whiz" features, but they're better to use for actual machining. Even worn machines, if you pick one by a known brand, tend to go exactly where you tell them to go, +/-.0001.

              Commercial machines have big power, and are very rigid. You could easily set a mill or lathe up with 5 or so tools you use all the time, and leave the rest of the pockets available for job-specific tooling. Doing it this way means you can come over and get pretty much right into machining. You can use a CNC in a very similar way to a manual machine, with a bit of practice. This comes into the whole old control thing - the older controls that come on these machines are excellent for this. New, PC controls are not - they don't even come close in how fast you can work on an old Fanuc 0M.

              The startup tooling can cost a bit more, but as I'm sure anybody involved in this as a hobby knows, it's expensive no matter what. You can get by with minimal investment if you choose to go that way by just buying what you need as you need it, rather than some "startup package."

              The space these things take up is not as bad as it seems. If you could fit a bridgeport style knee mill, most of the 20"x20" table machines will fit in about the same working envelope that a bridgeport requires.

              Mills:
              http://cgi.ebay.com/WASINO-MORI-SEIK...QQcmdZViewItem

              Lathes:
              http://cgi.ebay.com/LEADWELL-MCV-550...QQcmdZViewItem

              Even a horizontal:
              http://cgi.ebay.com/KT-MM200-4-Axis-...QQcmdZViewItem

              If these machines interest you, a local auction for a closing shop is going to be a better bet than ebay. Lower prices, better machines. If not, good luck with your search!

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              • #8
                smALL CNC

                do not get a shoptask tri-power. i tried that and am not a happy camper.
                i only wasted 9,987.00 dollars.
                robert williams
                hattiesburg,ms

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