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  1. #1

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    Jun 2019
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    PCNC 1100 Info

    Hey all. I was hoping to get some advice on this PCNC 1100. From what I've read this should be a series I? I might have the opportunity to pick it up for pretty cheap. What are some things to look for in a model this old? It's been used mostly for aluminum. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Mar 2009
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    1872

    Re: PCNC 1100 Info

    I think a Series I machine can be upgraded to a Series III fairly easily.

    I’ve been running my Series II for almost 8 years and the only thing I have done in those 8 years is run it.

    I don’t do big production runs on it. It’s not that kind of machine, but if you’re gonna make 25 pieces, you can’t beat it.

    I’ve always said, I can do anything on my Tormach that you can do on a Haas or a Mazak, it’s just gonna take a little longer, but hey, my Tormach didn’t cost $75,000.00 either
    You can buy GOOD PARTS or you can buy CHEAP PARTS, but you can't buy GOOD CHEAP PARTS.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Seebold View Post
    I think a Series I machine can be upgraded to a Series III fairly easily.

    I’ve been running my Series II for almost 8 years and the only thing I have done in those 8 years is run it.

    I don’t do big production runs on it. It’s not that kind of machine, but if you’re gonna make 25 pieces, you can’t beat it.

    I’ve always said, I can do anything on my Tormach that you can do on a Haas or a Mazak, it’s just gonna take a little longer, but hey, my Tormach didn’t cost $75,000.00 either
    Yeah that's what I've been reading, which has also opened my eyes to how much is involved in setting these things up, but also the possibilities. This would be my first and I figure if I can pick this up for cheap enough it would be an awesome addition to my shop. I would love the ability to do some limited production, like you said 25-50 at a time small parts for general aviation.

    How can I tell whether any upgrades have been done? It has a lathe attachment, a computer that says path pilot on it, and a few other accessories. I'll admit I only have a basic understanding of what I'm looking at unfortunately.

  4. #4
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    Re: PCNC 1100 Info

    Quote Originally Posted by BMC_Dave View Post
    How can I tell whether any upgrades have been done? It has a lathe attachment, a computer that says path pilot on it, and a few other accessories.
    First of all, if it runs PathPilot it already has the Mesa control card - that's a good start. If you have access to the machine it shows the model version towards the bottom left on the PathPilot screen. That may not however be foolproof.
    The first major upgrade for the series 1 machines was the VFD spindle control. Check in the cabinet to see if you have this device:
    Attachment 422904

    The other major upgrade would be the 3 phase stepper update. As far as I know all pre-series 3 stepper motors where painted (white) for protection. Series 3 stepper motors don't appear to need this sealing and are black.
    Check out the upgrade requirement diagram here: https://www.tormach.com/store/index....90&portrelay=1
    Step

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    14

    Re: PCNC 1100 Info

    Quote Originally Posted by TurboStep View Post
    First of all, if it runs PathPilot it already has the Mesa control card - that's a good start. If you have access to the machine it shows the model version towards the bottom left on the PathPilot screen. That may not however be foolproof.
    The first major upgrade for the series 1 machines was the VFD spindle control. Check in the cabinet to see if you have this device:
    Attachment 422904

    The other major upgrade would be the 3 phase stepper update. As far as I know all pre-series 3 stepper motors where painted (white) for protection. Series 3 stepper motors don't appear to need this sealing and are black.
    Check out the upgrade requirement diagram here: https://www.tormach.com/store/index....90&portrelay=1
    Step
    I found that upgrade diagram, but it doesn't look like anything that's in the main cabinet. I'll need to find a little more history on it but one of the shop guys was telling me the last operator had it running well but didn't like it because it's "a toy". Which... for commercial aerospace manufacturing I imagine is true, but for prototyping and small runs is perfect for what I need. Well... this and the Guifil bender

    When you say 3-phase stepper, that doesn't change the power requirement does it? I want to stick with single phase in my shop for sure.

  6. #6
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    Re: PCNC 1100 Info

    Quote Originally Posted by BMC_Dave View Post
    When you say 3-phase stepper, that doesn't change the power requirement does it? I want to stick with single phase in my shop for sure.
    Nothing to worry about. This just refers to how the stepper motors operate. It has no impact on the power requirements of the mill. it remains single phase.

    For reference this is what the bottom of the cabinet on an unmodified series 1 should look like. The original spindle drive (VFD) is on the right.
    Attachment 422906
    Step

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    14

    Re: PCNC 1100 Info

    Quote Originally Posted by TurboStep View Post
    Nothing to worry about. This just refers to how the stepper motors operate. It has no impact on the power requirements of the mill. it remains single phase.

    For reference this is what the bottom of the cabinet on an unmodified series 1 should look like. The original spindle drive (VFD) is on the right.
    Attachment 422906
    Step
    Cool, that's what I suspected. Yep that image is what's in this machine, so I'll consider the cost of upgrade as well. Thanks so much for posting that!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    14

    Re: PCNC 1100 Info

    Welp, picked it up $3,000. Just got to get it back to my shop and I'm off to the races!

  9. #9
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    Mar 2008
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    218

    Re: PCNC 1100 Info

    That is a late model Series 1. I have the same thing (an even earlier serial number) and it is definitely upgradable to essentially* a Series 3.

    *Minus some front panel changes, which don't actually need to be changed anyway.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    14

    Re: PCNC 1100 Info

    After binging on NYCCNC and Tormach videos I'm at least a little informed now haha. I'll be purchasing the spindle upgrade immediately, but at least for now I don't see the need for the servos. It came with what seems to be a complete TTS operator set, though analog, and plenty of bits to get me started in aluminum at least. I was able to talk to several of the previous operators and they all had great things to say about it and its condition, so it should really just be plug-n-play. I'm going to ask the shop if I can borrow some leveling tools, but I think I can get there myself with a water level if need be. With the spindle upgrade, does that come with the gauge or is that visible in PathPilot?

    ETA: I was referring to the spindle load sensing about the gauge.

  11. #11
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    Nov 2012
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    Re: PCNC 1100 Info

    Wow, 4th axis too.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2006
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    3021

    Re: PCNC 1100 Info

    If it has the Series I steppers and drives, then it is worth the ~$800 to upgrade to the Series III steppers and drives. Also the power drawbar is a useful upgrade if yours doesn't already have that.

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