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  1. #1
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    I love my Tormach, but...

    Hello to everybody,

    First of all, I want to appreciate to all of you for creating and participating in this great forum. I have not participated very much but, I followed the forum every morning with a cup of coffee, hehe... Almost 2 years ago I began in CNC machining from zero and I learned a lot of things thanks to the experiences other people has been sharing here.

    Like the title says, I love my machine but I am interested in selling it. My business is growing and I is time to moving with other kind of machine (more speed, ATC, full enclosure, etc...). For your information, I am looking for a Haas MiniMill 2. My shop is not very big and I will not have the space and the time to attend both machines.

    The machine in question is an 1100, Deluxe stand, Tormach controller, Power drawbar and a lot of tooling. The machine is located in the Houston area, so somebody if interested please let me know and I can give more info about what I have.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    What type of material have you cut with your machine and what are you looking to get for the machine...?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by riabma View Post
    Hello to everybody,

    First of all, I want to appreciate to all of you for creating and participating in this great forum. I have not participated very much but, I followed the forum every morning with a cup of coffee, hehe... Almost 2 years ago I began in CNC machining from zero and I learned a lot of things thanks to the experiences other people has been sharing here.

    Like the title says, I love my machine but I am interested in selling it. My business is growing and I is time to moving with other kind of machine (more speed, ATC, full enclosure, etc...). For your information, I am looking for a Haas MiniMill 2. My shop is not very big and I will not have the space and the time to attend both machines.

    The machine in question is an 1100, Deluxe stand, Tormach controller, Power drawbar and a lot of tooling. The machine is located in the Houston area, so somebody if interested please let me know and I can give more info about what I have.

    Thanks!
    As a former Haas owner, I can say I think you would be making a huge mistake if you upgrade only to a Haas MiniMill 2. You will give up 2 inches of Z travel, and you will spend a lot of money. I would add the ATC to my Tormach before I even considered the Haas. If you sell your Tormach, you might get between 12 and 15 thousand dollars for it, but it will cost you another 20 to 30K to buy the Haas. Not a smart move in my opinion. You can add the ATC to your Tormach for $4,200.00. $5,400.00 if you have to add the PDB. That still leaves 15 to 25K in your pocket. For that, you could add another Tormach. And trust me, the Haas isn't enough faster to justify the extra 20 to 30K expenditure.

    Parts that took 15 minutes on my FADAL with 22 horsepower take about 20 minutes on my 1 1/2 horsepower Tormach. And My FADAL cost $75,000.00.

    I had a Haas TM1 in my shop. It had the ATC, rigid tapping and a 5C 4th axis.
    It was a great machine, but not $30,000.00 better than my Tormach.
    You can buy GOOD PARTS or you can buy CHEAP PARTS, but you can't buy GOOD CHEAP PARTS.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabedrummin View Post
    What type of material have you cut with your machine and what are you looking to get for the machine...?
    Plastic (almost all the time) and aluminum. I am looking to get 9K.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Seebold View Post
    As a former Haas owner, I can say I think you would be making a huge mistake if you upgrade only to a Haas MiniMill 2. You will give up 2 inches of Z travel, and you will spend a lot of money. I would add the ATC to my Tormach before I even considered the Haas. If you sell your Tormach, you might get between 12 and 15 thousand dollars for it, but it will cost you another 20 to 30K to buy the Haas. Not a smart move in my opinion. You can add the ATC to your Tormach for $4,200.00. $5,400.00 if you have to add the PDB. That still leaves 15 to 25K in your pocket. For that, you could add another Tormach. And trust me, the Haas isn't enough faster to justify the extra 20 to 30K expenditure.

    Parts that took 15 minutes on my FADAL with 22 horsepower take about 20 minutes on my 1 1/2 horsepower Tormach. And My FADAL cost $75,000.00.

    I had a Haas TM1 in my shop. It had the ATC, rigid tapping and a 5C 4th axis.
    It was a great machine, but not $30,000.00 better than my Tormach.
    Thanks for your comments Steve,

    This are my thoughts:

    With a full enclosure, ATC, more rapids, and a programmable coolant nozzle, I think can save you a lot of time and let you work more efficient and cleaner. Right now I am spending a lot of time in front of the machine adjusting coolant nozzles, coolant level, etc... That doesn't mean you don't have to watch a Haas, but let you more time to do more profitable things.

    For example, I have parts with 200-300 holes in plastic, 2 mm diameter, 30 mm depth. With the Tormach, is taking an average of 2-3 hours only the drilling operation... I think with 600 ipm Vs 90 ipm you have to save time (let me know if I am wrong)

    I have been looking the Tormach ATC and I would not invert $4,200 in a $8,400 machine (is only my opinion).

    I have been thinking also in a 2nd Tormach, but I saw that I will be spending more time attending both machines and is not worth for me.

    If I can't sell this puppy for the right price, I will keep it like a 2nd machine. It is a great machine and Tormach has an awesome customer service.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by riabma View Post
    With a full enclosure, ATC, more rapids, and a programmable coolant nozzle, I think can save you a lot of time and let you work more efficient and cleaner.
    I see the advantages of the Haas, but I agree with Steve that they may not outweigh the costs. And all of those features can be had on the Tormach.

    The Tormach can be enclosed easily enough. I've seen some very nice enclosures, and some very cheap ones. Both kinds work well and don't cost much.

    The Tormach ATC is actually faster at a tool change than the Haas umbrella ATC. The Haas's carousel uses a Geneva mechanism, and is slow to index to the next tool. The Tormach uses a stepper, so the carousel moves quickly and smoothly.

    Programmable coolant is very useful, but I wouldn't buy a machine just for that feature. If you add the ATC and enclose the Tormach, then you can upgrade the coolant pump and run multiple nozzles aimed at different heights. That takes care of your coolant problem, and since the mill is enclosed, the extra coolant splashing around isn't an issue anymore.

    There's also an excellent thread on coolant strategies that you might want to read.

    For example, I have parts with 200-300 holes in plastic, 2 mm diameter, 30 mm depth. With the Tormach, is taking an average of 2-3 hours only the drilling operation... I think with 600 ipm Vs 90 ipm you have to save time (let me know if I am wrong)
    You're right about that. For a deep hole drilling cycle, the faster Z rapids will make a huge difference. The best that you can get with the Tormach is a Series 3 upgrade, which moves Z at 90 IPM. If you have a Series 2, I think it's only 75 IPM.

    At a guess, the Haas will do the drilling operation in a third of the time. If you're making and selling enough of these parts, then that's worthwhile.

    To find out if it's worthwhile, calculate how many extra parts the Haas can make in the same amount of time. Then figure out what those parts will sell for, and you can figure out how long it will take the new mill to pay for itself.

    And of course, don't forget that you'll have to buy all new tool holders. That's going to drive the cost up.

    Frederic

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by riabma View Post
    Thanks for your comments Steve,

    This are my thoughts:

    With a full enclosure, ATC, more rapids, and a programmable coolant nozzle, I think can save you a lot of time and let you work more efficient and cleaner. Right now I am spending a lot of time in front of the machine adjusting coolant nozzles, coolant level, etc... That doesn't mean you don't have to watch a Haas, but let you more time to do more profitable things.

    For example, I have parts with 200-300 holes in plastic, 2 mm diameter, 30 mm depth. With the Tormach, is taking an average of 2-3 hours only the drilling operation... I think with 600 ipm Vs 90 ipm you have to save time (let me know if I am wrong)

    I have been looking the Tormach ATC and I would not invert $4,200 in a $8,400 machine (is only my opinion).

    I have been thinking also in a 2nd Tormach, but I saw that I will be spending more time attending both machines and is not worth for me.

    If I can't sell this puppy for the right price, I will keep it like a 2nd machine. It is a great machine and Tormach has an awesome customer service.


    I couldn't agree with you more. The Haas moves at 600 IPM in XY and Z. BUT you need to remember, when you're drilling a hole in plastic, 600 IPM is going to create friction. Friction creates heat. If you move too fast in plastic, your holes could swell and your holes could come out undersized. Then you'll need to rework them.

    Sometimes higher speed isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    Another consideration is tooling cost. A TTS end mill holder is less than $30.00. A CAT 40 end mill holder is $60.00 "IF" you can find a deal on them. A TTS ER20 Collet holder is less than $70.00, a CAT 40 ER20 collet holder is $120.00, minimum. In both CAT 40 cases, you'll need to buy a pull stud/retention knob for another $15.00 to $30.00, depending on where you buy them. Now your end mill and collet holders are $75.00 and $135.00 respectively.

    If you really want to increase your output, buy another Tormach. You're not going to double your output with 2 machines. The best you can hope for is about 40% more. 50% if you're lucky. Trust me, I've been there. And if you sell your Tormach to buy a Haas, you'll still only have one spindle. And you'll have debt, but who am I so say? Maybe you like making big machine payments. I sure don't.

    Be smart, if you really need another machine, buy another Tormach. Upgrade you current machine to Series III and add the ATC and you'll have the best of both worlds. Two machines and NO or very small machine payments.

    Spend a little money, get another Tormach and run the heck out of them for 2 years, THEN decide what you want to do. I'll bet you can get another Tormach and upgrade your current machine for less than $25,000 total. And then you'll have 2 spindles, and believe it when I say a Tormach will do ANYTHING a Haas or my FADAL would do, it just takes a little longer, and a Tormach didn't cost $75,000.00
    You can buy GOOD PARTS or you can buy CHEAP PARTS, but you can't buy GOOD CHEAP PARTS.

  8. #8
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    since everyone is offering up their opinion...

    I would look at the VF-1 instead. Nearly the same foot print and same power supply (if I remember right).

    Best of luck!!!


    Kyle

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Seebold View Post
    I couldn't agree with you more. The Haas moves at 600 IPM in XY and Z. BUT you need to remember, when you're drilling a hole in plastic, 600 IPM is going to create friction. Friction creates heat. If you move too fast in plastic, your holes could swell and your holes could come out undersized. Then you'll need to rework them.

    Sometimes higher speed isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    Another consideration is tooling cost. A TTS end mill holder is less than $30.00. A CAT 40 end mill holder is $60.00 "IF" you can find a deal on them. A TTS ER20 Collet holder is less than $70.00, a CAT 40 ER20 collet holder is $120.00, minimum. In both CAT 40 cases, you'll need to buy a pull stud/retention knob for another $15.00 to $30.00, depending on where you buy them. Now your end mill and collet holders are $75.00 and $135.00 respectively.

    If you really want to increase your output, buy another Tormach. You're not going to double your output with 2 machines. The best you can hope for is about 40% more. 50% if you're lucky. Trust me, I've been there. And if you sell your Tormach to buy a Haas, you'll still only have one spindle. And you'll have debt, but who am I so say? Maybe you like making big machine payments. I sure don't.

    Be smart, if you really need another machine, buy another Tormach. Upgrade you current machine to Series III and add the ATC and you'll have the best of both worlds. Two machines and NO or very small machine payments.

    Spend a little money, get another Tormach and run the **** out of them for 2 years, THEN decide what you want to do. I'll bet you can get another Tormach and upgrade your current machine for less than $25,000 total. And then you'll have 2 spindles, and believe it when I say a Tormach will do ANYTHING a Haas or my FADAL would do, it just takes a little longer, and a Tormach didn't cost $75,000.00
    Okay. Let me clarify something: With 600 ipm I was meaning the axis rapid, not the cutting feed (in this case around 20 ipm). The peck frequency is 1d and the drill is more time cutting air than material.

    About the tooling, with MariTool you have an average of $80 in CAT40 ER. If you compare the complexity and the mass of a CAT40 with a TTS Tool holder, I think the TTS is the really expensive one!

    Anyway, I will consider again to get a 2nd Tormach. Sincerely, I am not very convinced about the ATC. Do you think is noticeable the Series 3 upgrading?

    Ricardo

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HLF Ordnance View Post
    since everyone is offering up their opinion...

    I would look at the VF-1 instead. Nearly the same foot print and same power supply (if I remember right).

    Best of luck!!!


    Kyle
    I like the MM because can run in single phase. I don't want to spend a fortune upgrading to 3 phases, phase converters, etc...

    Ricardo

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    Three Phase nonproblem

    A bit off topic, but since it came up. Three phase power is no longer a big deal. One can purchase 1 to 3 phase, variable frequency converters for no more than-usually less than- the cost of a rotary converter. Take a look at
    Three Phase Electric Motors, Pump Motor, Variable Frequency Drive, AC Motor Drives, Marathon, Teco Westinghouse Dealer

    They're smaller, and more efficient than a rotary or phase-shift system. Power triacs have simply rendered any discussion of 3 phase power moot-at least until one hits 20 HP or so. For a few hundred bucks, way less than the cost of running a 3 phase service, one can have true 3 phase, variable frequency, anywhere- just like the Tormach.

    Of course, there is still the problem that one must have the necessary power off the distribution system. A 60 amp pole pig won't necessarily do the job! Personally, I recommend you lie, and tell the powerco that you need a dedicated 400A 220 single phase service. That was my answer, anyway. Got it, too.

  12. #12
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    You get what you pay for.

    No offense to Tormach or anyone else on here, however in NO WAY does a tormach compare to even the wimpiest VMC. The Haas Mini Mill is pretty light duty but even it will pretty much kill a Tormach in speed, performance, rigidity, horsepower, accuracy, you name it. Don't let three phase power scare you either Rotaries are not that expensive and I would second the idea of getting a VF1 or similar machine as if you are really making parts for money it will pay for itself in short order if you know what you are doing. The Toolchanger for the Tormach is quite nice and a HUGE improvement to the machine but at the end of the day it is STILL a small lightweight Chinese bedmill. There are other options out there as well other than a Haas, the Hurco machines are also very nice and depending on the amount of milling you are doing sometimes a Drill and tap center can run circles around a VMC if your milling is light duty and you are needing to drill or tap a lot of holes quickly. The super mini mill is very quick as is the DT1 from Haas and while they are expensive there is a reason for it. I seriously doubt even two Tormach's could keep up with one of these machines when properly utilized. Good luck in your search and peace

    Pete

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    Quote Originally Posted by HLF Ordnance View Post
    since everyone is offering up their opinion...

    I would look at the VF-1 instead. Nearly the same foot print and same power supply (if I remember right).

    Best of luck!!!


    Kyle
    If you buy a VF1, they are an excellent machine, but you still have only one spindle, and you need 3 phase power.
    You can buy GOOD PARTS or you can buy CHEAP PARTS, but you can't buy GOOD CHEAP PARTS.

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    My bad, I thought the MM2 and SM2 are three phase also...

    Good luck in your search!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete from TN View Post
    No offense to Tormach or anyone else on here, however in NO WAY does a tormach compare to even the wimpiest VMC. The Haas Mini Mill is pretty light duty but even it will pretty much kill a Tormach in speed, performance, rigidity, horsepower, accuracy, you name it. Don't let three phase power scare you either Rotaries are not that expensive and I would second the idea of getting a VF1 or similar machine as if you are really making parts for money it will pay for itself in short order if you know what you are doing. The Toolchanger for the Tormach is quite nice and a HUGE improvement to the machine but at the end of the day it is STILL a small lightweight Chinese bedmill. There are other options out there as well other than a Haas, the Hurco machines are also very nice and depending on the amount of milling you are doing sometimes a Drill and tap center can run circles around a VMC if your milling is light duty and you are needing to drill or tap a lot of holes quickly. The super mini mill is very quick as is the DT1 from Haas and while they are expensive there is a reason for it. I seriously doubt even two Tormach's could keep up with one of these machines when properly utilized. Good luck in your search and peace

    Pete
    +1
    Tormach PCNC1100, Mach 3 R3.043.037, MastercamX5 level 3.

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    Have you looked at the Tool Room mills? larger travels.

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    Since we're all offering up opinions..

    Quote Originally Posted by pete from TN View Post
    No offense to Tormach or anyone else on here, however in NO WAY does a tormach compare to even the wimpiest VMC.
    Is this the point, tho? In my mind, cost is the critical part missing from this argument. How much more profit can you earn from a bigger machine? Take the cost of buying the new machine. Figure out how many years it will take to pay off the machine with your extra "profit". Only when the machine is payed off is it now Profit, without quotes.

    Regardless, good luck in your search for the right machine.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by riabma View Post
    Okay. Let me clarify something: With 600 ipm I was meaning the axis rapid, not the cutting feed (in this case around 20 ipm). The peck frequency is 1d and the drill is more time cutting air than material.
    I understood that. And I think that the fast rapids of the Haas are going to make a big difference on your drill cycles. In my opinion, it's the only good reason for you to spend the money on the Haas mill.

    Anyway, I will consider again to get a 2nd Tormach. Sincerely, I am not very convinced about the ATC. Do you think is noticeable the Series 3 upgrading?
    What do you mean when you say that you're not convinced about the ATC? Are you worried about quality or reliability? If you'd like to see one in person, you're welcome to visit my shop and play around with my ATC equipped Series II. I'm just up the road from you in Austin. You pay for the pizza and beer, and you can write it off as a business lunch.

    I've played with a Series 3, briefly. It is faster and smoother, but only you can say if it's fast enough for what you're doing.

    Frederic

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    riabma -

    I'm in the same boat and glad you started this thread. I've been looking at the VF2 (cat 40, 30hp, rigid tapping, 1000 IPM rapids, etc... roughly 65k or so) and can say it definitely looks extremely fast, but I'm more concern about the finish / holding a tighter tolerance. On my series II (which I love to death) I can't seem to get rid of the jagged finish it leaves and some of the pieces I make require a tighter tolerance. Next was on my quote it states I would need 220v and at least 100 amps + a three phase convertor, wow ! Another 2k - 5k for the convertor and whatever the 100 amp add on the power company wants to charge. Yup sounds like a money pit, but is it really worth it....

    I've used HSS, Cobalt, Carbide high helix, multi flutes, smaller/larger rough & finishing passes, programed 2-3 finishing passes all with blasting coolant, correct S&F etc... I've had gotten my machine backlash under what Tormach envelope specifications X.0003", Y.0004", Z0.001", so all good there for this machine.

    I'm almost thinking it has to something to do with the machine weight and it using steppers vs servos that leave these marks. Of course all parts are tumbled/sanded, polished in three steps to achieve a suitable finish to be anodized. However I've found ways around the longer machining times, and can say fixtures have been the key for speeding up my type of work and optimize programing. I can't knock the Tormach or the service, hands down the best. Every piece of equipment is very affordable (PDB & ATC in my opinion is bit too much), but works as described. No smoke & mirror show, Tormach is very honest about the product they sell (can't beat that). I'm just curious why so many companies swear by the Haas machines and why they're not using a Tormach or two. I can't decide and thought I'd add to the discussion here. So far I understand




    Pros -

    - faster (rapids, RPM, etc..)
    - proximity sensor spindle
    - 28.5 more HP
    - holds a tighter tolerance
    - rigid tapping
    - enclosed
    - chip compacting conveyor system
    - adjustable coolant nozzles
    - servos
    - linear ball bearing ways
    - larger ATC
    - Haas power failure detection module
    - large coolant sump


    Cons

    - 3x - 4x the Tormach price
    - 2x TTS system holders
    - no rigid tapping
    - very expensive to fix and only has a 1 year limited warranty (add one year for 6k lol)
    - need a heavy duty forklift to move
    - 100 amps + three phase convertor box
    - not to mention every other add on (probe, 4th axis, etc..) is just about what if not more than what the Tormach machine cost
    - you have to pay for the Haas Intuitive programming system (Tormach/mach III provides with controller package) & 1mb program memory (think this is called drip feeding ?)
    - tooling certificate face value( ? )
    - small coolant sump

    I'm sure I'm missing more, but does this sound about right ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HLF Ordnance View Post
    My bad, I thought the MM2 and SM2 are three phase also...

    Good luck in your search!
    The MM2 can run in single phase. The SM2 is 3 phases.

    Ricardo

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    Yup sounds like a money pit, but is it really worth it....
    Call up a sales rep and ask them to run you a sample part. They should be able to give you the data on it.

    Alternatively, do it yourself in sprutcam. Adjust the feedrate modifiers in the postprocessor to those of another VMC and see by how much the estimated run times differ.

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    Okay, getting conclusions, I stupid example:

    You can deliver pizza with a car and with a bicycle. Of course a bicycle is must cheaper than a car, but... How many pizzas you can deliver with each? How many tips?

    I think the Tormach is a great machine but can't be compared with a VMC (even a MiniMill). Time is money and money is time.

    For my product probably the best way to go is with the MM2 and keeping the Tormach like a 2nd machine if I can't sell it... Something is true: The Tormach will be almost all the time doing nothing. This is the reason I was expecting to get some money and use it for software, tooling, etc...

    So, after thinking with the pillow, a 2nd Tormach is out of the picture.

    Meanwhile I can work increasing the productivity of the Tormach. I just bought a package of SW and SolidCam. I can't wait to see iMachining in the Tormach. I will post my comments.


    TXFred,

    I really appreciate your offer. I will keep it in mind if I decide to go with it.


    Pete from TN,

    80% of the the time, the machine is drilling, so I am open also to a Drill/Tap Center. The DT1 is smoky fast but is out of my budget. I do not know if in a small enclosure you can notice the difference of rapids.


    twocik,

    I have the same finish issues with the Tormach and I have not found a solution yet. Before to buy the Tormach a local machine shop was making my parts (with MiniMills) and the finish was much better...


    Thanks!

    Ricardo

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    Aaah but there are two variables in that equation, the machine is one, but have you considered the operator......Some phrase about blaming his tools?

    Phil

    Quote Originally Posted by riabma View Post
    I have the same finish issues with the Tormach and I have not found a solution yet. Before to buy the Tormach a local machine shop was making my parts (with MiniMills) and the finish was much better...

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    You might consider looking for a used RoboDrill.

    Before you spend big money though, what have you done to optimize your drilling operations? Are you using regular jobber drills? Your 1d pecks are insane. With the right drill and techniques you should be able to do that 30mm depth in a single pass. Have you tried parabolic drills bits (preferably in carbide)? Look at some of the Titex videos on YouTube and see what can be done. At least one of the videos uses an interesting drilling strategy where the drill is fed in slowly at a low spindle speed until it gets to full engagement then the spindle speeds up and the feed increases.

    Running bad code on a fast machine doesn't buy you a heck of a lot apart from debt. There are a lot of things you can do that are a lot cheaper than a new machine. You might bristle at spending $30 on a drill bit, but if it can do your holes in a single pass, you are way ahead of the game.

    bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by rowbare View Post
    You might consider looking for a used RoboDrill.

    Before you spend big money though, what have you done to optimize your drilling operations? Are you using regular jobber drills? Your 1d pecks are insane. With the right drill and techniques you should be able to do that 30mm depth in a single pass. Have you tried parabolic drills bits (preferably in carbide)? Look at some of the Titex videos on YouTube and see what can be done. At least one of the videos uses an interesting drilling strategy where the drill is fed in slowly at a low spindle speed until it gets to full engagement then the spindle speeds up and the feed increases.

    Running bad code on a fast machine doesn't buy you a heck of a lot apart from debt. There are a lot of things you can do that are a lot cheaper than a new machine. You might bristle at spending $30 on a drill bit, but if it can do your holes in a single pass, you are way ahead of the game.

    bob
    Bob,

    The drill bit I am using is carbide with slow spiral. I do not think is possible to drill in a single pass in plastic (15d). With the heat generated you will melt the plastic...

    I saw one video of Titex and is impressive! Of course, you need TSC...

    Ricardo

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  5. Hmm.. got to love it
    By Pole in forum General MetalWork Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-28-2004, 12:58 AM

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