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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Tormach Personal CNC Mill > About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100
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  1. #21
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    Quote Originally Posted by mountaindew View Post
    A lesson I learned much later in life playing golf of all things.
    That's were I learned I was better with metal than wood.
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

  2. #22
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    All of these work fine in PathPilot for the last 6 months at least. Upgrade (free) to 2.3.6 or later and you'll enjoy them also. The current work offset is shown right above the axis DROs for me. e.g. "POS IN G54" or "POS in G54.1 P500" for the new expanded 500 work offsets.


    "The clock disappears during a tool change. When you stop a program the display defaults back to line 1. It doesn't have any way that I see to show what work offset you are working in."


  3. #23
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    Quote Originally Posted by old-cnc-geek View Post
    All of these work fine in PathPilot for the last 6 months at least. Upgrade (free) to 2.3.6 or later and you'll enjoy them also. The current work offset is shown right above the axis DROs for me. e.g. "POS IN G54" or "POS in G54.1 P500" for the new expanded 500 work offsets.


    "The clock disappears during a tool change. When you stop a program the display defaults back to line 1. It doesn't have any way that I see to show what work offset you are working in."

    Ok. I've mostly been avoiding upgrading because I run sneaker net for transferring files, and I have been to lazy to want to re-enter all my tools in the tool table. I guess I'll have to look at it.
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

  4. #24
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    You don't lose your tool table or work offsets or anything else when you upgrade PathPilot versions. It's all saved and restored properly. Even if you move from PP 1.x to 2.x which involves a quick re-imaging of the internal drive.

  5. #25
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    3+ years in, and repairs have been minimal. I would buy another one except I really need something bigger. In fact for mid price middle weight machines I sometimes recommend them to other people as a good first machine.

    1. I've had both Y-Axis way covers give up the ghost. Just a couple months ago. Replacements were pretty reasonably priced. Life of a fabric cover was reasonable.
    2. I had to replace a homing switch. It was over priced so I bought one third party along with a couple spares. I can't comment on life, but it lasted a couple years in a flood environment. I only remember ever replacing one other similar switch across all my machines.
    3. I had to replace the coolant pump fuse. It was not really the fuse's fault. I had written some iterative code that kept turning the coolant pump on and off in a short time period. Can't comment on cost. I have lots of spare fuses and I had one the right size. It was in one of the old metal tins from my dad's hardware store so it was probably a buck or two for a tin of five.

    Not yet repairs:
    1. I will probably have to repair the chip filter screen in the chip pan. Every time I clean it out it it seems to push down a little further.
    2. The paint Tormach chose doesn't agree with something else. I would guess either my coolant or the way oil. I'm running SC520 at around 5-6% and Mobile Vactra#2 way oil. Same as I am running on all my other machines.

    Accessories:
    1. I would absolutely not buy another Tormach umbrella tool changer.
    2. I would probably not buy another 6" rotary table 4th axis, but the one I have is adequate.
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

  6. #26

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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    My real take away from this thread is that Bob has an unused ATC collecting dust. Any interest in unloading it?

  7. #27
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    Quote Originally Posted by soofle616 View Post
    My real take away from this thread is that Bob has an unused ATC collecting dust. Any interest in unloading it?
    No I had an unused piece of **** collecting dust for a while. Somebody already bought it. I hope it did a good job of fertilizing their tomatoes.
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

  8. #28
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob La Londe View Post
    No I had an unused piece of **** collecting dust for a while. Somebody already bought it. I hope it did a good job of fertilizing their tomatoes.
    Is it weird that I want one even more now!

  9. #29

    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    Of the many criticisms of the Tormach that I have taken note of, the ATC has to be way down on the list. Bob got a lemon?

  10. #30
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    I don't spend as much time following these sort of things, but I read a number of criticisms of the Tormach tool changers in the past and I ignored them hoping I would be the exception who could use it day to day for lights out manufacturiing.

    Maybe the ATC is better than it used to be but mine sure as heck was not. For the weekend warrior who doesn't spend every weekend machining it may be just fine, but for everyday use it was a failure for me. Worked great for a few months and then just started crashing and no matter what I did I couldn't get it to work. The stupid thing stole two weeks of my life while I tried to get the damn thing to work properly. Finally I just got to the point where I had to get parts done and I couldn't spend any more time screwing with it. I ripped it off the machine and within an hour was running parts.

  11. #31
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    Other issues. The air operated oiler doesn't oil. Periodically I'll pop loose the hose and let it blow air for a while until it finally picks up some oil, and then I'll operate the power draw bar a few times so it gets some. The filter separator leaks. When I am using shop air, but not the Tormach I turn off the valve to that machine. No risk of forgetting since I need air to use the power draw bar. The cabinet of course leaks. I blame atleast in part the buytil tape. I've built enclosures before with either 3M 5200 or DAP tub and tile clear Those enclosure do not leak. I have not see the new enclosures.
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

  12. #32
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    Quote Originally Posted by CL_MotoTech View Post
    Yeah, +/- .005" isn't much of an endorsement.

    That said, I'd probably buy an 1100 used. Definitely not new. It's not enough machine for the price to justify a new purchase.
    That's 0.127mm in metric. That actually doesn't sound that great to me.
    I bet you could by a similar sized manual mill, convert it "properly", C5 and servos, and get a better tolerance for 10k or less.
    Prob higher power spindle in the process too.
    Will take some effort though.

  13. #33
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob La Londe View Post
    I don't spend as much time following these sort of things, but I read a number of criticisms of the Tormach tool changers in the past and I ignored them hoping I would be the exception who could use it day to day for lights out manufacturiing.

    Maybe the ATC is better than it used to be but mine sure as heck was not. For the weekend warrior who doesn't spend every weekend machining it may be just fine, but for everyday use it was a failure for me. Worked great for a few months and then just started crashing and no matter what I did I couldn't get it to work. The stupid thing stole two weeks of my life while I tried to get the damn thing to work properly. Finally I just got to the point where I had to get parts done and I couldn't spend any more time screwing with it. I ripped it off the machine and within an hour was running parts.
    FWIW, I had one of the first TTS ATC beta units. After we got the beta bugs worked out, it worked fine for me.

    But, I wasn't running lights-out production, just handfuls of prototype parts with half a dozen changes each for the most part. It would get frustrating when it got out of alignment or the plastic bolts stretched and it dropped tools or the PDB pressure wasn't set right. Those were rare but usually came in waves for some reason, so I can see why someone would stop using it if he needed parts now (btw, you can just delete out the tools and run manual changes without removing it. I did that a time or two).

    These days I have an MX with BT30 ATC. That I would run production with (and it did before I got it. Making ATC parts for Tormach). BT30 fixed the rare random issues with the old beta TTS ATC that I had. The only issue I've had with it was a cheapo imported toolsetter generated so much electrical noise that the spindle orientation sensor would wig out.

  14. #34
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    I actually successfully ran the ATC unattended twice. Once over night, and once so I could get a job done and still get out with my wife. Most times I was in the shop, and once it started flaking out and crashing repeatedly I never successfully ran another job with it again. That was also about the same time (still under warranty) that the guys at Tormach tech support got to be pretty snotty and unhelpful. When they did offer help it was mostly redundant stuff I had already done and in some cases stuff I told them I had already done. Some of that was no doubt self brought on. I am not very tolerant of burning time in non productive back and forth interactions. Since then I have contacted Tormach tech support one time regarding an issue with the tail stock I used with my 4th axis rotary table. Their part did not fit in their tailstock. I had to buy a reamer to make it work. They compensated me for my trouble, so perhaps the bridge to Tormach tech support is not forever burnt.

    If asked I would recommend against the Tormach umbrella tool changer. In fact I have. Somebody getting started doesn't need to deal with that headache, and Tormach doesn't give any discount for buying a package over buying parts separately. Once they are a more experienced and sophisticated user they can always buy it later. I often see responses to people's criticisms of various things like, "well mine was awesome," or "yeah lots of other people didn't have a problem." That's fine Lots of other folks may not have had a problem. That's good for them. Its sure as he11 not fine for the person that did have a problem, and its not good for the prospective user who won't find out about those who had problems. Its definitely not fine for the new person who is just going to be struggling to learn how to use their new machine. Save the money to replace broken tools, and decide later if its worth the risk.

    Does not having an ATC cost me some time per job. Yes absolutely, but not as much as you think. I run jobs routinely that use as 9-20 tools. Most unfortunately are more than 10. I did design some jobs to use just ten tools, but time lost from inefficient tool usage is often more than the time lost to walk the ten steps from the desk in my office to the machine room and change the tool by hand. Currently I have 45 tools programmed, and I do use all of them, although some are in the back row of the top rack for medium carbon steel cutting only. Something I don't do often on the Tormach.
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

  15. #35
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    Ok... I told somebody on an FB group today (sales/tools guy for Syil I think) that if it was a choice between waiting on a Tormach or a Syil right now I'd wait on the Tormach. They tried the "that was a long time ago" schtick, but I wasn't having it. I doubt they will ever offer me a discount machine to shill for them. LOL. Of course now that they have Sexy Cyborg shilling for them they don't need me anyway. Sex sells. LOL.
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

  16. #36

    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    The FB Syil groups are pretty awful. It seems like a bunch of people that aren't particularly good machinists crapping on everything that isn't a Syil. I believe they are great machines, but you pay for it. So I'm not sure why they get to feel so high and mighty.

  17. #37
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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    I have 3 Syil machines, and they are NOT great machines. They all needed quite a lot of work. All had some on finished machining and assembly issues, and one had a bad broken or incompletely cast saddle. No parts inside either. It was assembled that way.

    "That weas a long time ago. Give us one more chance." Um NO! Triple expletive no.

    I use my Syils every day, but if I spent the money again today I would buy more Tormach machines instead.

    I will spend the money again someday. Either rebuilding the Syils or replacing them with something else. Tormach has their issues, but the base machine wasn't not broken or incompletely assembled.
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

  18. #38

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    Re: About 20 Months Later - Would I Buy Another One? - PCNC1100

    Very apropos to the title of this thread, it's beginning to look very much like I am about to have the opportunity to get into another machine (or two) within the next 3-12 months. I've had my 1100M (now an MX) for about 26 months now and during that time have added servos, BT30 spindle, homemade smartcool, homemade 4th axis, Rapidturn, SMW fixture plate, and TONS of tooling. I've gone from knowing literally nothing about CAM or CNC machining to being the primary programmer and fixture designer/fabricator for my employer and my work is now making hundreds of parts a week that we previously outsourced. All thanks to what I've learned operating my Tormach. The opportunity that is presenting itself could go a couple ways. In one future, I "inherit" a few excellent condition Haas machines, likely a DT1 and an ST20 but possibly a VF3. In another future, I end up with enough cash to purchase something. It's been said that the real test of any choice is making the same choice knowing full well what the consequences of it will be. Unless something dramatic changes over the next several months, I expect to be placing an order for another 1100MX and a SlantPro unless the inheritance comes through.
    To be clear, no one is dying, I use the term inherit very loosely here.

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