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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Tormach Personal CNC Mill > What should I inspect for on a used Tormach mill?
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  1. #1
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    What should I inspect for on a used Tormach mill?

    I'm working out the details to go look at an 1100 series 3 next week, what are some important things I should look out for? Supposedly it's been used enough to have needed the axis steppers replaced and the tool changer on it has its control board fried. Not real sure what that last bit would mean for operation but apparently it makes parts just fine without that board.

    Are these mills prone to wear at certain points that I can inspect? If it has backlash, can that be adjusted out?

  2. #2
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    Re: What should I inspect for on a used Tormach mill?

    Quote Originally Posted by setlab View Post
    I'm working out the details to go look at an 1100 series 3 next week, what are some important things I should look out for? Supposedly it's been used enough to have needed the axis steppers replaced and the tool changer on it has its control board fried. Not real sure what that last bit would mean for operation but apparently it makes parts just fine without that board.

    Are these mills prone to wear at certain points that I can inspect? If it has backlash, can that be adjusted out?
    Download the manual from Tormach. It'll tell you how to adjust backlash, which starts with inspecting for it, plus the other inspection points around squareness of Z, X & Y. If they'll let you, pop the way covers off and check the Z and Y ways.

    "Fried ATC board" could mean anything from you need another $100 board, to the entire ATC electronics are toast, and you don't really have a way to tell without replacing the board, so pay accordingly. Look up under the umbrella to see if the forks still have their black plastic bolts holding them on. They're annoying to replace so people doing production sometimes swap them for steel bolts, which is fine until they crash it, but the screws are supposed to be a protective weak-link.

    All that said, even a beater machine can make decent parts if you are realistic about the machine's capabilities and wear..

  3. #3
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    Re: What should I inspect for on a used Tormach mill?

    I would run X,Y,Z axis' through their motions, both slowly and rapidly to make sure they're working.
    Then reference X,Y,Z again, make sure they return home.
    Also run the spindle slowly, then top speed and listen to it.
    Both Forward and in Reverse.
    Look in the electronics cabinet for burn or scorch marks.
    Grab the table and push it back and forth to check for obvious slop.

    If X,Y,Z and the Spindle are working, then everything else is a pretty easy fix.
    The good thing about TORMACH's are their ease to repair, and the parts are relatively inexpensive.

    If it's a good deal, GRAB IT!

  4. #4
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    Re: What should I inspect for on a used Tormach mill?

    Thanks guys, my red flag is up a little bit on this machine but it's in the just cheap enough to probably not be a total piece of junk machine category. Last thing I need is another big project to troubleshoot a ton of details or be a big money pit right now.

  5. #5
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    Re: What should I inspect for on a used Tormach mill?

    If you are at all doubtful, put the used mill through it's paces with some fairly tough material, like 4140 or SS, and using your own (known good) cutters.

    I bought a Clausing lathe years ago and only tested that it powered up fine before committing to buy. Once home, I discovered that the key had sheared out of the motor pulley and ended up forking out another $900 to replace that part. Worked out OK for me in the end but taught me a valuable lesson.

  6. #6
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    Re: What should I inspect for on a used Tormach mill?

    Quote Originally Posted by shred View Post
    "Fried ATC board" could mean anything from you need another $100 board, to the entire ATC electronics are toast, and you don't really have a way to tell without replacing the board, so pay accordingly.
    Nice thing is that Tormach has released the schematics for the ATC Board on their github. It is a really simple board prob a simple fix if you have basic electronics diagnostics skills.

    https://github.com/tormach/Repair-In...oard%20399-001
    Machines: Grizzly G0704 Mill W/ 3-Axis DRO | Birmingham 12X36 Lathe W/ CNC Retrofit PMDX-126/107 W/ESS 3ph W/ WJ200 VFD

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