554,213 active members*
3,438 visitors online*
Register for free
Login
IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Novakon > Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me
Page 1 of 2 12
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    12

    Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    I'm currently shopping for my first CNC mill. This is for hobby use and possibly some light commercial runs (I'm a hobbyist knifemaker). I'm doing my due diligence on the various options. I've seen "that one guy" who seems to hate Novakon but also have read lots of good experiences with them.

    A Novakon (not sure of model yet, listed as made in 2010) has popped up near me for what I feel is a reasonable price. It's only an hour drive from me and I could move it myself so it has that going for it. It's also priced at $5000 so again, also has that going for it against ordering a new Tormach. I could really only budget for the Tormach 440 and the work envelope is just a bit small for what I think I'll want to do. The thought of finding a decent running machine with a larger work envelop is very appealing. At the asking price, there is a lot of wiggle room in my budget for upgrades and repairs on a used machine but I'd rather not take on a year long project just to get to the point where I can start running parts. If I could get a machine like this and do a little cleanup, minor repairs, and some adjustments over a few weekends, I'd be happy.

    I'm an engineer and am pretty technically and mechanically savvy so I'm not worried about putting some work into a used machine but I'm really trying to determine how much cost and time I'm looking at to get this used Novakon running right vs ordering something new.


    My questions are these:

    1. What should I look out for when/if I go check this machine out?
    2. Where are the common problems on these mills?
    3. How available are replacement parts for these?
    4. How much work should I expect to put into rehabbing this one to put it into reasonable working condition? (I understand this could be a a very large range depending on what may be wrong with the machine)
    5. Is the asking price reasonable?
    6. Can anyone help me identify the model number from the pictures below?


    Thanks for the help.



    Here is the info that I have from the seller so far. Not much yet but I've asked him for more info:

    "2010 Novakon 3 axis CNC mill, 4 axis capable. In great working condition, runs on g code and m code. Ball screws and everything in great shape. Machine runs on 220 single phase. Has extra stepper drives and some tooling included. Asking 5,000$ obo."

    Attachment 483066

    Attachment 483068

    Attachment 483070

    Attachment 483072

  2. #2
    Neuer Benutzer
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    352

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    It's a Novakon Torus Pro. You can find more info at novakon.net

    In my opinion, if it's running well like the ad says, it's worth the money. It's got 3x's the work envelope of the Tormach 1100. If you can get the power draw bar for it, I would highly recommend it!!! I don't have a tool changer, but if I didn't have my power draw bar, I wouldn't be making anything with mine. lol I'm sure I'd figure out an air impact option for it, but the electric DB is pretty sweet.....especially when you use a 30A power supply instead of a battery. If you use youtube, you can find me there as bluehandsvideo....I've got quite a few vids on there of mine running. I have the servos, but they only save a bit of time during the rapid moves.
    Don't have to be too bright to be me

  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    12

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    Great! Thank you for the insight. I'll go check out your videos for more info.

  4. #4
    Neuer Benutzer
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    352

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    You're more than welcome. At that price, you should make your money back pretty quickly. I'm IG under the same name. On YT, put novakon in the search bar and you'll find a lot of vids with it. I've got a playlist for it too. If you don't have a cnc lathe, you'll see some of the mill turning I've done with it. I'm running mach3 with it and fusion has a post processor for mach3. Once I have a break, I'll probably convert to the Centroid Acorn. I've made some money with mach3, but it's also had it's frustrations......just like fusion does. lol ......and the mill. Nothing is perfect, but you can beat the heck out of it and still make your $5k back. Even if I were to get a shop and a bigger, pro machine, I'd still keep this one on hand. The biggest drawback to any of these items is me and my lack of experience and ability. lol
    Don't have to be too bright to be me

  5. #5
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    12

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    Nice! I'm pretty well versed in Fusion on the CAD side, CAM is going to be a new adventure for me but I'm figuring it out. I assume this one is being driven from Mach 3, that's one of the things I've asked the seller (if the computer is included or I need to get one setup). I've looked at Acorn and that'd probably be on my list of upgrades.

    The seller did say:
    "Everything is included to control it, operates off of keyboard. Need the software for programming it to actually control it with a program. I never had the programming for it."

    Whatever that means. I guess he never had something like Mach 3 hooked up to it. (Not sure how you control it with a keyboard without some type of controller software)

    I'm going to try to set up a visit this weekend to take a look. I may be back here with some more questions/info/photos.

  6. #6
    Neuer Benutzer
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    352

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    Hmmm....that is a bit curious. I had to buy a mach3 license for $70? at the time, but I think the free version came on it. He may have been using the jog function with the keyboard to move it around. Most likely, he was missing any kind of CAM software to create tool paths. He could have used mach3's wizards, but the number of program lines is limited with the free version. It will be interesting to see what you find out.
    Don't have to be too bright to be me

  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    12

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    That's what I'm thinking. I can certainly spring for a license of Mach 3 but I might decide to go the Acorn route right out of the gate if it needs any new controller hardware. PCs I have a plethora of so I can always cobble together something to run control software.

    He's not available this weekend for me to stop by so I'll visit it mid-week most likely, I'm curious what I find,

  8. #8
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    38

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    Greetings,

    I have the similar machine, a Smithy CNC1240, which is very close, if not the same, as the NovaKon NM200.

    Mine works well, repeats well, and has been a blessing in my shop.

    I machine mostly tool steel. A 1/2" end mill is comfortable for roughing cuts. Best yet, plan on taking a lot of "finish" cuts as the machine is not that rigid.

    Mine came with the 4th Axis. (Rotary Head) and gets a lot of use.

    I even bought parts for it from NovaKon as they were priced right.

    Mine runs on LinuxCNC. Call the NovaKon guys and ask if it can be run with LinuxCNC. It is free and there is a well established support forum.

    The one you are looking at may have the LeadShine Stepper motors. Mine has NEMA 42 on X, Y, and Z with NEMA 32 on the Rotary.

    It is an obsolete machine; but, quite a few parts are still available from NovaKon if you telephone and ask.

    Cheers,

    Dave

  9. #9
    Neuer Benutzer
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    352

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    The last time I talked to John(owner), he said he's not going to bring in anymore machines, but he's going to try to continue to supply parts for them.
    Don't have to be too bright to be me

  10. #10
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    12

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    Thanks again for the input mklotz70 and fc60!


    I was actually able to get out there today and take a look at it. It's going to be a project but maybe not too bad.

    I got some background from the guy that currently owns it. He's never run it and the previous owner is the one who is helping him sell it. The previous owner purchased it in an abandoned storage unit. The previous owner is the one who says it all runs right. I've been talking to both guys. Neither of them seem to really to know very much about the machine.

    We aren't able to power it up right now without some work. I think if I can get out there with a 220 extension cord I expect they have a 220 outlet in that workshop somewhere I can get power from or I could drag along a 220 generator to power it. I don't know the proper way to power these things up yet so would want to be pretty cautious powering up a machine that has just been sitting for a while. I wouldn't want to let any magic smoke out or spin up a dry bearing or something. Not being able to see it run is a bit of a concern for me but I don't have any reason to doubt the guys when they say that it runs. They have both been forthcoming with answers to all of my questions as best they can.

    The spindle felt ok (I assume it's normal that I was able to spin it freely). Bearings felt smooth in my amateur opinion for what that's worth.
    I was able to get to the left end of the X axis ball screw and turn it by hand, the table moved freely using with a twist of my wrist. It did feel like some backlash was present in the X axis. Not sure how much is normal.
    I did not try to turn the Y or Z axis screws.

    I didn't realize the Z axis on these are linear rails. Maybe Linear rails are the way to go, I'm still educating myself on that.

    He said it comes with some tooling but that really only consists of a handful of quick change tool holders. Are these TTS or some other system?
    The coolant pump was laying in the chip pan.
    The manual with it says NM-145 on the side but the serial number plate says NM200.

    It definitely needs a good cleanup.

    I took a few more photos (sorry some are sideways). Mostly of the electronics.

    Attachment 483082

    Attachment 483084

    Attachment 483086

    Attachment 483088

    Attachment 483090

    Attachment 483092

    Attachment 483094

    Attachment 483096

  11. #11
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    12

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me


  12. #12
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    12

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    Looking back at my photos and I see pack of fuses and a couple fuses in the bottom of the electrical cabinet. It also appears that the tan fuse holder on the left end of the DIN rail is empty. This could be a sign that it was blowing fuses. I'll have to see if I can figure out which circuit that fuse goes to if I can find the correct electrical schematics.

  13. #13
    Neuer Benutzer
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    352

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    It doesn't look too bad. The rust on the tooling will clean up easy enough with scotchbrite. I'd assume the TTS R8 collet is in the spindle. As long as the ball screws and ways/gibs on the X/Y don't have heavy rust, hopefully. Little to none would be preferred. I'm not familiar with the NM145(manual).....which I think became the Pulsar.....maybe the electronics are similar. The NM200 model became the Torus. Have you looked at novakon.net yet? The owners manuals and such are on there. You can look at those and see how much is the same or different. I think the exploded views and parts bread downs are on there, too. My machine is newer and has different electronics. There may be previous posts on this forum with more info from other owners.

    If the electronics had been burned up, you'd probably still be able to smell it in the cabinet. There's no real reason to think it's all fried. For me, the most important part was getting the casting. Getting that for $5k is still a good deal in my opinion. You could replace most of the rest pretty easily, but if you do have to, just go for the Acorn right off the bat. I know nothing of linux, which is why I don't promote it....not because it's not a good option.

    I don't think it's worth the money to upgrade to servos until you are making enough with it to justify the cost compared to the small time savings. It doesn't sound like you're looking to do production work with it, so with prototyping and small runs, get it running and work with what you have. If you want to do production and have a shop with 3ph.....go get a bigger, better used commercial machine.....but for home shop use, it's hard to beat these because of the size. You can run it off your dryer outlet.

    The empty fuse holder could be an upgrade option that wasn't installed. The spares may indicate others having blown....maybe if/when the steppers get stalled? My servos don't really stall....they break stuff. They'll snap a 1/2" end mill like it's nothing, but that typically stalls the spindle motor which faults out the vfd and trips the e-stop circuit. The owners seem pretty forthcoming, so ask them about the fuses. Like I said, the physical casting/machine is the important part for me. You could get a perfect Tormach (for probably twice the price) and still never have the work envelope. But, you'd be able to start using it right away. The Tormach also takes up a lot less space in the garage. lol You'll just have to weigh out your priorities and goals. It's going to take some work to get this going, but it's a good way to learn your machine. Another big upside is that you won't be learning cnc on a machine that cost 2-3x's as much or more. Granted, I got some options with mine when I ordered it, but my check to Novakon was over $25k....and I still had to "tweak" a few things.

    I haven't looked in the last few years, but my YT channel probably has more about the Torus Pro than any other out there. It seems that most people that have gotten these put them to work and don't have the desire or time to post anything about them. I was posting a good bit about it on here years ago, but I got lazy. lol

    Good luck!
    Don't have to be too bright to be me

  14. #14
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    378

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    I have a stepper based NM-200 that is newer than the one you are looking at. They have made some changes in the later models. The Gecko drives have been replaced by leadshine drives. Your control cabinet is quite different from mine. Don't worry too much about the electronics it's all replaceable. To get a schematic you may have to request one from Novakon as it's an older model.

    If you buy this machine I highly recommend that you forget about using Mach three. It was a never ending source of problems for me. I replaced the original motherboard with an acorn from Centroid. It was a good upgrade and has eliminated all of the problems. The acorn is current and still being developed so it gets better all the time.

    You will want to do a few upgrades. Replace the crappy coolant lines with decent Loc-line ones and it will make a huge improvement in clearing chips. You will need to build some sort of enclosure so you don't take a shower every time you use it.

  15. #15
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    12

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    Thanks again for all the input everyone.

    I'm still up in the air about it. Since it's my first CNC mill I'm really learning a lot. The work area on this one is very hard to pass up.

    I need to see how much room this mill is going to take in my garage shop. I have an MG that is getting sold to make space in the garage, it should certainly fit in the space the MG is currently occupying. I took dimensions, just need to lay it out on the floor and decide if I can devote that much shop space to single tool.

    I found the newer manuals online and have sent an emaiil to Novakon to see if they have the wiring diagrams for this older one.

    If I purchase this one, I'd like to get it running as-is before looking at upgrades unless I absolutely have to replace some failed electronics. In that case, I'll go with Acorn and their system. I assume Acorn can run those gecko drives but the LeadShine drivers don't appear to be very expensive if needed. Hoping the steppers, ball screws, and spindle motor are all healthy.

    I'm still trying to see if I can get it powered up before committing to buying it. That would really seal the deal I think. Seeing it run would really eliminate my questions. I'm coordinating with the owner to see if we can power it up.

    If can't get it running before committing to buy it, I'll need to manually lower the Z axis down on a block of wood between the nose and table so that it's not transported with the head hanging off the side of the column. Is there an easy way to manually lower the head or would I need to disassemble some stuff to get that head down? I'm trying to review the manuals to determine that. -- actually on further thought, I can just shim a wooden block in there if I can figure out how to get it lowered down manually.

    I also need to bring some tools to remove the drawbar collet and whatever is currently in the spindle. I'm hoping nothing is stuck there and the tapers are healthy. It looks like it has some sort of bar in the collet now. It doesn't look like a mill (no flutes). Could be some kind of arbor maybe. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't even think to investigate that while I was there. I simply spun it around some with my hand to feel the bearings.

  16. #16
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    12

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    The previous owner sent me a couple videos of it running a few months ago. This seems promising

    Running the spindle:
    https://youtu.be/dK4AA6OV3QU

    Running the axis:
    https://youtu.be/k6_RhDzUE40

  17. #17

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    Quote Originally Posted by reubjames View Post

    If can't get it running before committing to buy it, I'll need to manually lower the Z axis down on a block of wood between the nose and table so that it's not transported with the head hanging off the side of the column. Is there an easy way to manually lower the head or would I need to disassemble some stuff to get that head down? I'm trying to review the manuals to determine that. -- actually on further thought, I can just shim a wooden block in there if I can figure out how to get it lowered down manually.

    .

    I'd guess the shock is shot and if you loosen the z coupler the head should drop on it's own . otherwise I'd leave it and cut a 2x4 to fit .
    If it runs as is then the right version of mach 3 shouldn't cause you any grief if running directly from parallel port . Some versions are terrible while a couple run very well considering it's old software . There's a thread on here where i believe one of the guys has one running on pathpilot and maybe he'll share his configs . You'd only need to buy a mesa card which is pretty cheap and it should make a difference in the performance , it did on my stepper driven torus

    Be sure to save the mach settings to other computers or drives for back up , computers don't necessarily last long in a shop

    if getting power to it is the problem then you could always rent a generator , at least then you'll know it works . Otherwise a non running anything leaves a lot of room for haggling and they were only 9000 new

  18. #18
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    38

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    Greetings,

    To remove the arbor, hold the large diameter flange (with the two flats) with a wrench and turn the inner shaft with a 12mm wrench until the arbor "pops" loose. Then unscrew it with your fingers.

    In the second video, you can see the Gas Spring that supports the Z-axis. If the head drops down on it's own, the spring is likely bad. Good news. They are available at McMaster-Carr and are made in the USA.

    Sad to see all the rust on the table. Check under the way covers to see if the dovetails are rusty. If it is a light surface rust, a Crystolon (Silicon Carbide) stone and Kerosene should clean it up.

    I believe the spindle is permanently lubed with Klüber grease. You should check the belt tension between the motor and spindle.

    Being a light duty machine, I use Mobil Vactra #1 for the way lube system. Vactra #2 is a bit heavy.

    If you buy it, pump lots of oil through the machine while running the X and Y axes forth and back, after cleaning, to flush any remnant bits of "Krud" out.

    Cheers,

    Dave

  19. #19
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    378

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    I wouldn't worry at all about the condition of the electronics. People here are running Novakons on acorns (me), pathpilot from Tormach, Linux and I think at least 1 Masso. All are improvements over Mach 3. I would say the table rust and scuffed up paint should give you some haggle room.

  20. #20

    Re: Looking at purchasing a used Novakon local to me

    [QUOTE=upnorth;2520514 All are improvements over Mach 3..[/QUOTE]

    they are improvements over mach but mach works perfectly fine on the stepper machines , my torus ran for years without any issues . I know a lot of guys hate it , so it's obviously not for everyone .

    If it runs as is then I'd say wiggle him on the price and run it as is . The costs can accumulate pretty quickly depending on what electronics are blown and the direction a guy goes .
    Time is valuable and getting something running properly can take an hour or weeks . I'd base the purchase on the worth of the bare castings and offer the guy 2500 to start , I often don't make new friends when buying something , but then I'm not there to make a new friend

Page 1 of 2 12

Similar Threads

  1. looking for some local help in central mi
    By maxlulurose in forum Mentors & Apprentice Locator
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-17-2017, 08:36 PM
  2. local subroutines ??
    By hoganj in forum Fanuc
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-13-2016, 10:19 PM
  3. Local Variables?
    By TURNER in forum NCPlot G-Code editor / backplotter
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-03-2008, 01:25 PM
  4. Local variables
    By jorgehrr in forum G-Code Programing
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-19-2007, 10:03 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •