ShopTask 20 XMTC 1995

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Jay Kempf

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Looks like I am getting one of these turn mill drill combos. A friend has it in storage and the CNC part hasn't worked in a while. I have a complete set of redundant drives, steppers, boards, hardware, power supplies lying around so we decided to bring it back at my shop.

Anyone have one of these and can provide any experience with it. Basically a mini mill with a lathe drive and tailstock. Can run manual or CNC. I think it will be a good addition to the prototype shop. I have a ton of little milled aluminum parts to do. My big router is not as good at this as something with a big cast base. Getting turning for free seems like a good thing.
 

lakeracer69

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A single machine that does everything, does nothing well. This has been debated around the web many, many times. The hassle may, or may not, be worth the price. Free or otherwise.

Good Luck
 

Jay Kempf

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No such thing as free. Available would be a better term. Still have to put time and money into installing and refreshing it. Was looking at mini mills for thousands and then I would have to convert to CNC still. This is already there, way more solid cast base and already cnc. Really only need it for 3D milling metal parts. If the lathe works even manual that's a plus. Have all the parts I need to make it work again. Curious about the spindle power. My current router runs off of Fusion360 and Mach3. Been doing some metal cutting experiments with it and it works fine but it isn't for that. It's for cutting molds in soft stuff and for that it works great. Anyone have one of these? Success or horror stories?
 

Hot Wings

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I have the non CNC version. I wore it out. The ways are dog-boned so there is slop in the middle. You can still do some pretty good work if you take the time to compensate........or move the work to the unworn section.

The mill tower is pretty flexible, but again if you take your time it can do a decent job. The first thing I built was a Benson rotor head.

IMHO a DRO would be a better addition than CNC for this machine. I've got the parts to convert it to CNC but not the desire.

One other problem that I've had, since day one, is that it is a rope start machine. The contacts in the motors for the starting cap just don't work reliably.

Edit:
The little "L" bracket on the lead screw under the table is pretty lame too. I've always wanted to replace it with a stiffer part, but never have.
 

Jay Kempf

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Thanks HW.

The reason for CNC is to use Mach3 to get a DRO and all the rest. This machine is already CNC and very lightly used so I don't have to convert. I am getting better and better with Mach3. It has both manual and CNC drives on 4 axis and variable speed.

I will check all the ways and gibbs for wear. But I don't think it has been used enough to be worn out like yours. Thanks for the heads up on the dogbone wear. I'll set up to inspect, check, true, whatever. I don't have any heavy duty stuff to do. Mostly just prototype aerospace stuff conceptual, loose tolerance verification pieces. Sometimes making parts for other machines.

Is yours this vintage:
upload_2019-12-3_15-28-31.png
 

Jay Kempf

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Excellent. Thanks. We'll be going through it and getting all its bits and pieces clean, straight and true. First order of business is just to power all the axis and do a slop evaluation. Then cut some test pieces and measure parallel/square/dimensions.
 

blane.c

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The 3 in one's, always need to do a lathe operation in the middle of a mill set up or vice versa. Accurate drill press but up and down play in mill head can be a problem for some milling operations. Good machine in the shop but you will likely have wants, like a stand alone mill.
 

Jay Kempf

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Well, got the thing to the shop. Can confirm it is all CNC and so has no threading shaft to be a problem as that is all done with steppers. We have a bit of logistics in the shop to get it in final position and all bolted up. But it is all there and boxes and boxes of tooling, clamping, accessories. Also looks like the long axis is slightly loose but not hour glassed. Will have to be partially disassembled or moved to either end to clean, inspect and then adjust to take out the tiny bit of play. All else seems tight and solid, working, pretty straight and clean.

We are also in the middle of a large Z upgrade to our CNC Router to get near 12" of Z. Going well but more fiddly stuff to do. Then baseboard hot water in the new composite room. Never ends.
 

Topaz

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Well, got the thing to the shop. Can confirm it is all CNC and so has no threading shaft to be a problem as that is all done with steppers. We have a bit of logistics in the shop to get it in final position and all bolted up. But it is all there and boxes and boxes of tooling, clamping, accessories. Also looks like the long axis is slightly loose but not hour glassed. Will have to be partially disassembled or moved to either end to clean, inspect and then adjust to take out the tiny bit of play. All else seems tight and solid, working, pretty straight and clean.

We are also in the middle of a large Z upgrade to our CNC Router to get near 12" of Z. Going well but more fiddly stuff to do. Then baseboard hot water in the new composite room. Never ends.
I "liked" your post because I'm really happy for you. But realize that I hate you because I have nothing even remotely similar. :D

I have no mill, and my own lathe was old when Noah used it to turn parts for the Ark, and is in storage because I have no place for it in the shop.
 

Jay Kempf

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It's all a lot of work :)

I'll buy you a plane ticket if you wanna come out and play... And put you up in the apartment. Bring your ski boots.

And on the other subject still trying to get the Bonanza home. Weather has gone in the crapper for weeks and weeks.
 

donjohnston

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Looks like I am getting one of these turn mill drill combos. A friend has it in storage and the CNC part hasn't worked in a while. I have a complete set of redundant drives, steppers, boards, hardware, power supplies lying around so we decided to bring it back at my shop.

Anyone have one of these and can provide any experience with it. Basically a mini mill with a lathe drive and tailstock. Can run manual or CNC. I think it will be a good addition to the prototype shop. I have a ton of little milled aluminum parts to do. My big router is not as good at this as something with a big cast base. Getting turning for free seems like a good thing.
I've got their BridgeMill. Found it on Craigslist and got it for about $1,500. With a LOT of tooling! The "Jack of all trades, master of none." is true. It's not nearly as good as a Bridgeport Mill and SouthBend Lathe. Then again, I don't have the space nor money for those. I've made some good parts on this machine. My favorite is this static port with wedges.

I don't think it's great for threading. Having to switch between lathe and mill can be... annoying. But it gets the job done. The DRO is nice too.

I've been thinking about replacing the drives with a VFD setup.



 

Jay Kempf

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Still working on setup and debug. There are a lot of boxes of tooling and accessories including a quick change tool post... It'll take quite a while to get through it all. Still have to find a second cheapo computer to drive it.

Nice static port work.

It will never be a Turn Mill :)
 

pfarber

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I have one, not sure the model. Biggest gripe on mine is the capacitor start motors.. they burn out the cap's QUICK of you stop/start a lot. Gears are noisy, pretty loud machine.

I milled some M-1919-a4 semi internals and never had an issue. Also did some one off projects. I have the DRO option so I ignore the garbage dial indicators.

I'm going to be selling mine. No need for it now. The lifetime warranty is sweet.. never had a problem with support. Wanted to CNC it but the factory kit is wildly overpriced and I really don't use it enough to justify the cost of servos/power/software.
 
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