G'day all, I'm a native Californian (meaning I was here before things got anywhere near as bad as they are) and just married to a gal in Cootamundra, NSW. It's my intention to relocate permanently to Coota, but timing is something very much up in the air right now.
I work from home as a small machine shop. I have a manual Bridgeport, a NMTB40 taper CNC knee mill running Ahha (with intent to switch to Mach3), Hardinge w/Omniturn CNC, a 50's vintage Hardinge Chucker, Roll-In saw, and a whole mess of tooling and misc hand power tools for machining and light fabricating. I have a TON of questions regarding what, if anything, I should bring with me that requires power.
My Bridgeport is rated 50/60hz, but nothing else is. Cheap and easy out is run the other three big machines via inverter and set output to 60hz. I can readily convert the drill press and saw to 50hz motors there. For the not inconsiderable number of power hand tools, I'm looking for a small generator here that I will drive with a 50hz motor there. That's something of a pain, but I have a sizable investment in these tools.
Among my many questions:
Aus Customs folks advised that bringing in used machines requires special permits. Anyone know anything about this?
Are there any electrical code issues with my plan to have a basic sub-panel supplying 110v/60Hz from the generator? If so, would not hardwiring anything and just using extension cords work?
Availability of NMTB 40 taper holders in metric, see a few on eBay here now and then, would be nice to add metric holders there if they can be had reasonably.
Is anything in the way of cutters, drills, taps, available there in inch sizes?
I plan to bring a mess of such items to support my own stuff (repairs and such). Yes, I will of course be adopting metric as fast as possible, I work with it now and have some metric tooling. Just wondering if I needed any inch stuff if it could be found there or if I'd have to import it. When I was there a couple months ago, I noticed screws in a hardware store labeled as "1/4 x 30mm", leading me to believe there might be a fair bit of inch hardware and tooling floating around still.
Coota is a ways from anything, where would the nearest suppliers of tooling and materials such as aluminum plate and extrusion, and plastics such as Delrin be located?
As I mentioned right off, I'm not sure when I'd be moving. Economy is a big factor. I have several folks there interested in hiring me, so I'm -not- counting on showing up, setting up shop, and trying to make a living. And not sure if I could find enough work to justify the expense of bringing everything over. Maybe the BP mill and source an engine lathe there...
I'm already looking at approx $10k for a container and getting it delivered there, adding a second container would really add to that. I could get a 40' container here about as cheap as a 20', but given the layout of my driveway, a 40' would be nigh well impossible to set down, let alone winch all the machinery uphill into it....
While I may not bring the big iron, I will be bringing all the tooling and such, and may just set up a small fix-it type shop when I can buy a mill and lathe there. And with that, what are the big names in older quality mills and lathes?
Are Bridgeport and Hardinge common at all? Would be looking for R8 spindle mills, 5C capable engine lathe. What am I likely to pay for a Bridgeport or clone with DRO, and a lathe in 35cm x 100cm capacity?
Hardly gotten started with questions I fear. I know it sounds like I need to figure out what I want to do, but that's the point of all these questions.
Need to figure which way to go. Sorry for the long post, but it's a big move and I want to make sure I consider everything.
Grass Valley, Calif.