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  • I stumbled across this on craigslist

    http://raleigh.craigslist.org/bfs/1604326969.html

    I've looked on here and on Ebay and didn't find any good info (I have three kids crawling on me, and the wife insists on talking to me at the same time so my quality of looking may be amiss). I don't know anything about CNC yet, and I'm still early in the learning on my Bridgeport.

    Anyway, this thing is right down the street from me. Is it worth a look or should I stick to my manual Bridgeport and forget this thing? My question is would it be smart to have a manual BP for big/precise/etc work, but a small CNC in the corner to do small jobs, batch jobs, etc. I wouldn't even be considering this except it's right here in town.
    Dan from Raleigh, NC

    If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid.
    _____________________
    "What is your host's purpose for the party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi." P.J. O'Rourke

  • #2
    Emco made good stuff, Maximats, Unimats etc. I'm at the beginning stages as well but what i've picked up is that the problem with older cnc, whether small like this or full sized is that the early controls weren't very good and are no longer supported.

    Even if it works well and isn't worn, unless the control is current and supported, 1500 seems like a crazy high price.

    if thats what one has to pay for an old controller desktop, I'd be waiting for non working one for a small fraction of the price and modernize it..... there's lots of conversion options.

    you would be better off with a full sized manual mill vs a desktop; just because of rigidity and work envelope. The benefits of cnc are not lost upon me, I have a big old one waiting in line to be modernized but for the majority of work which is inevitably simple onsey twosy jobs, a manual would be quicker/more convenient. That's a function of what you do though, mine is more general machining...if your thing is aluminum RC car parts you may have a different view.

    The all workshop tool questions the only correct answer is yo need both, but if the choice was full size manual vs desktop cnc its very easy decision imo
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 02-22-2010, 08:13 AM.
    .

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    • #3
      I bought an EMCO Compact 5 CNC (the lathe that's the companion to that mill) just after Christmas. They're very nicely made, but they were built as teaching machines -- they're pretty small, but they're a lot more stout/rigid than the equivalent sized Chinese machine.

      There are several guys on PracticalMachinist who run these Emco CNC's full-time in a business, so you can definitely do serious work on them. But the work envelope is vastly smaller than a Bridgeport.

      The other thing is the software setup is from the late 80's. They have a good G-code processor on-board, but it has a proprietary serial protocol, so you need to get the Emco host software (which is available on the Yahoo group).

      Another approach that I've been experimenting with: Mastercam 9 (the previous version) has post-processors for the Emco lathe and mill, and you can use a serial communication program like Xilag's CNC5 to download the G-Code:

      http://www.mastercam.com/TeachersStu...s/Default.aspx
      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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      • #4
        One of the local industries brought several of those to the school to use in a training class a year ago. The fellow running the class was really enthusiastic about them, and they did a nice job of making the parts the students had programmed into them.
        Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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        • #5
          The F1P version of these mills is a whole lot more machine. Ball screws, complete control in a separate cabinet, etc etc. I believe the "P" was added to the "F1" designation to indicate production.

          The F1P had a full featured G-code controller. If these have the similar programming codes available, it should be a nice machine.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mcgyver
            The benefits of cnc are not lost upon me, I have a big old one waiting in line to be modernized but for the majority of work which is inevitably simple onsey twosy jobs, a manual would be quicker/more convenient.
            I think you hit the nail on the head for what I'm thinking. Obviously CNC is the way to go because all the big shops have them. But then, they are building Mark I Mod A widgets by the thousand and I'm hitting this (bang) one (bang) STUPID (BANG) %@#$ (BANG, crack) pin. Uh oh, better take this to the shop. And once I fix it, I'll probably never do it again exactly like this, or if I did I've completely lost the setup jig and don't have time to find it so I'm thinking that a manual setup is the best for a one job at a time guy, but then I see high speed, low drag tools and, well, let me get this off my chest.

            My name is Dan, and I'm a toolaholic. There, I've said it.

            So, I feel compelled to have really cool gadgets and whatnot. Plus, I really enjoy learning about this stuff, hence all the stupid questions from me. However, if you want to know about airplanes, helicopters (how to fly them, I don't work on the things, that would be dangerous) hydraulics, raising beef cows (free tip, having a bull helps), how to dress a deer, making omelets, how to get the water out of a boat when you forgot to install the drain plug or any other random topic, I'm your man. My main goal is to be eccentric. Currently I'm just short the money because without money, your not eccentric, you just plain crazy but the good news is I'm only one step away.

            Speaking of being a toolaholic, I ran across a Victor 1640B engine lathe today http://www.victormachines.com/site/CatalogProducts/106. A local company is going out and they are auctioning off all their gear. Apparently Victor is Mandarin for "Made in China." The lathe looks like it was in daily use right up till they shut the doors. I talked to a guy who worked there and he confirmed there was nothing wrong with the lathe. There is surface rust on everything that looks like WD40 and steel wool would clean up nicely. I operated the lathe in all speeds, directions, etc and it seemed perfectly solid, much newer, stouter, etc from my Atlas 10". I'll post a picture as soon as I figure out how. The only chuck with it was a three jaw and the steady rest and any other accessory weren't there so they wouldn't come with it. Anyway, it's up for auction Wednesday and the turnout for bidders looks like it might be light so few bidders to compete against. I'm going to research today what a "steal" would be on a lathe like that and put in a bid Wednesday. If any of you more learned guys have any opinions, I'd appreciate it. Btw, the lathe has a digital readout, but when I turned it on it simply said E1, which sounds like a basic error like the probe is unplugged or something. I don't know enough about digital readouts to troubleshoot and I was in my office clothes and couldn't poke too deeply.

            Thanks

            Dan
            Last edited by MrDan; 02-22-2010, 04:42 PM.
            Dan from Raleigh, NC

            If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid.
            _____________________
            "What is your host's purpose for the party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi." P.J. O'Rourke

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MrDan
              Speaking of being a toolaholic, I ran across a Victor 1640B engine lathe today http://www.victormachines.com/site/CatalogProducts/106. A local company is going out and they are auctioning off all their gear. Apparently Victor is Mandarin for "Made in China." The lathe looks like it was in daily use right up till they shut the doors. I talked to a guy who worked there and he confirmed there was nothing wrong with the lathe. There is surface rust on everything that looks like WD40 and steel wool would clean up nicely. I operated the lathe in all speeds, directions, etc and it seemed perfectly solid, much newer, stouter, etc from my Atlas 10". I'll post a picture as soon as I figure out how. The only chuck with it was a three jaw and the steady rest and any other accessory weren't there so they wouldn't come with it. Anyway, it's up for auction Wednesday and the turnout for bidders looks like it might be light so few bidders to compete against. I'm going to research today what a "steal" would be on a lathe like that and put in a bid Wednesday. If any of you more learned guys have any opinions, I'd appreciate it. Btw, the lathe has a digital readout, but when I turned it on it simply said E1, which sounds like a basic error like the probe is unplugged or something. I don't know enough about digital readouts to troubleshoot and I was in my office clothes and couldn't poke too deeply.

              Thanks

              Dan
              Here are the pics.

              http://s913.photobucket.com/albums/a...n%20the%20web/
              Dan from Raleigh, NC

              If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid.
              _____________________
              "What is your host's purpose for the party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi." P.J. O'Rourke

              Comment


              • #8
                I wouldn't compare this mill to a Bridgeport! There's simply a huge difference in size (and that's what matters, wimen say). A Bridgeport is more ridgid, more versatile (and more handcranking).
                The seller's claim "excellent condition" is a signal for me to stay away. 'Cause he thinks that rust adds value, look at the table.

                That's a toy, more or less. If you intend to make small work with little chips per minute, it might be OK. In my eyes, half the price would be OK.
                Watch out, what tool holders it has (is it some standard)? They might make you poor if you need more.


                Nick

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MuellerNick
                  A Bridgeport is more rigid, more versatile (and more handcranking).

                  Nick
                  So is high tensile licorice.


                  .
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                  Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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