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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Tormach Personal CNC Mill > Nearly All Machines Out of Stock?
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  1. #1
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    Oct 2008
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    Nearly All Machines Out of Stock?

    Periodically I'll get people contact me in the mold making (or rather my niche of mold making) circle. They want to make their own molds and have a budget and space constraint about right for a middle to light weight machine. I think for most of them the 770 is probably the right fit. 10,000 rpm and power about right for its size. The new versions of the 1100 with its 7500 RPM spindle is better in some ways, and maybe not if you are doing a lot of sub 1/16 inch mill work. Of course my 24K spindle machines are better for that tiny work, but I had to go through them and fix them before I could use them brand new out of the crate. Except for the tool changer which I gave up on and finally sold I was able to set up my Torrmach and just use it. As such I usually steer people towards a Tormach when they ask. I'm not a company shill or a fanboy. I call them out when I think they are wrong, and I expect folks over at Tormach don't like me much if they think about me at all. Yesterday morning I talked with one of those guys who wants to make his own molds and after listening to his space, experience, and budget I suggested a 770M for him. We talked about other machines and my experience with some of them. The pluses and the minuses. "Retrofitting old American Iron" as you will no doubt get told is a better budget option by some and my experience doing that too.

    Then out of curiosity I decided to check the Tormach website. It looks like they are out of stock on everything except the 440 and the 24R. I got to wondering "What are the alternatives?" I am not a fan of the Charter Oak "Turn Key" machine if its still available. I scrapped mine. My experience with Syil machines is poor. Yes I use mine everyday, but I had to tear them down and repair/rebuild them fresh out of the crate. If I hadn't started out nickle and diming a Taig into something useful and hadn't retrofit a piece of old American Iron I would have been in trouble. Novakon looks like an option, but I don't like the nonspecific less than completely informative nature of their website. I do not know what they do or don't have in stock either.

    What are the other options you considered before (or after) you bought your Tormach mill?
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

  2. #2
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    Re: Nearly All Machines Out of Stock?

    On the lower end, there's still the Grizzlys.
    On the higher end, there's still the HAAS toolroom mills, including the new TM-0.
    A TM-0, with 10k rpm spindle but no tool changer, rigid tapping, or high-speed machining, lists at $29,690.
    The toolchanger version is $33,690 (10 tools.)

    The stuff you really want -- High speed machining, rigid tapping, and wireless probing -- easily adds $12k though.
    And, AFAICT, "high speed machining" is required to get any kind of surface finish, as the non-option variant doesn't look ahead at all. PathPilot does some lookahead "for free" and thus gets better surface finish by default, which may be important especially for mold making.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2005
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    Re: Nearly All Machines Out of Stock?

    Everyone buying from China is in a crunch right now. The shipping costs have skyrocketed, and it takes forever for anything considered heavy freight to get through.Maybe there is a bunch of machines waiting to be unloaded, sitting off the coast, who knows for sure, but no one has stock on the popular mid range benchtop machines a lot of people get started with. There are a couple of BV16's with MT4 spindle's at Bolton, and PM has the big PM932 with power downfeed in stock, if you want to spend 4 grand.

    As far as CNC ready machines, they are all built to order it seems. Everyone is quoting weeks, which in my crooked mind means theyre going to order one from China, and string me along for god knows how many weeks. I'm sure there might be a machine here or there, but it is really slim right now, and its probably going to get worse, if you follow the news.

    I almost forgot good old LMS. Theyr'e probably the best bet for a manual machine.

    Please, tell me I'm wrong.
    Halfnutz

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  4. #4
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    Re: Nearly All Machines Out of Stock?

    There's the little Trak VMC and Sharp 2412s and such, but those are in HAAS mini-mill price territory.

    Probably Tormach's floating around off Long Beach about now.

  5. #5

    Re: Nearly All Machines Out of Stock?

    I think the best bang for your buck is a 1990s through early 2000s Japanese VMC where the MTB still offers free phone tech and parts support. I know Kitamura and Brother are options and I am sure there are others. In my area there is a 1995 22x16x16 travel OKK for sale on Craigslist, with a parts machine to go with it so 2 machines, for $9K. It has been up for a few months so offer $4k, I bet it would be sold, with the parts machine. This is a HIGH quality machine, no comparison to a Tormach. Pull the electronics off the parts machine and scrap it for $1500. It probably has $4-$5k of parts that you pulled off if you sell them. I have a 1996 Enshu 30 taper drill/tap for sale for $4k. A tormach is a cheap toy compared to either machine, especially the OKK! You could drip feed either and while being slow the surface integrity would be multitudes better. Just my opinion based on what I have done over the years. These old Japanese machines are insanely reliable, just make sure they are in decent shape and working before you buy.

  6. #6
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    Re: Nearly All Machines Out of Stock?

    Yeah, there are many older full size machines available, in good shape. Ive seen Fadal's in good condition, and others, plenty of Japanese, Brothers, Hurco's, benchmills, etc., all under 10 grand. Its just the space that I cant deal with. I keep telling myself I'm going to throw everything in the other side of the garage out in the yard and stick an old machine in it. Its a mountain of old junk. But for sure, now is a great time to pick one up.
    Halfnutz

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  7. #7
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    Re: Nearly All Machines Out of Stock?

    I recently posted a question about Detroit Tools ( Smithy) - their website for CNC machines has been blank all this year. Looks like all the Chinese made machines are in a crunch over the supply chain problems. Looks like the only stuff available is the small mini lathes and mills and those old style 3 in 1 machines- probably because they were buying them by the hundreds and still have stock in the warehouse. Container prices used to be about 3500.00 for a 40' from China to the west coast, now it's up to 25000.00 and a 60-90 day waiting list. That must be a disaster if they only get 10-12 Tormachs in a container- adding a couple thousand to their base cost. I'm sure plenty of guys in the 20K range who were thinking Tormach are now looking at Haas either new or used.

  8. #8

    Re: Nearly All Machines Out of Stock?

    We have a new machine that might be a better option than tormach for most people. We will be on kickstarter soon

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...20-cnc-machine

    Also I'm new to these forums, does anyone know how to make a post?

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