How about the original question, Does anyone have any experience with the Smithy CNC mill?
I was looking to convert my Bridgeport to CNC but I am about to give up. For the life of me I cannot find out what I need to do the job correctly.
I already have Mach 3, Dolphin Cad software and think I will use Gecko drivers but beyond that no one seems to know what I need. Does anyone sell a kit with motors , wiring and drivers???. Any of these companies that sell this stuff have anyone knowledgeable enough to help me get what I need? Most do not even have phone #'S that you can call and ask questions.
I am telling you I am so frustrated that I am about ready to say screw it and buy a Smithy CNC that I can just plug into the wall and go.
It really depends on what your needs are and your wallet thickness.... There are a myriad of different cnc conversion kits for knee mills that will result in a useable and accurate machine. These kits are pretty pricey and you have to be able to confidently install it yourself. There are also a bunch of fellas on here that build their own conversions on the knee mills such as Ray L ( Himykabibble) and others that have resulted in good accurate machines that are pretty capable. If you do not wish to do all the work yourself then you might be better off with a tormach or smithy or IH machine and keep the Knee mill manual. I have a Lathemaster Mill that is similar to the IH machine and I am cnc converting it right now and I also have a small knee mill that will remain manual. The other option is to sell your knee mill and take advantage of many of the nice CNC knee mill or bedmill offerings currently for sale all over the country since the economy sucks. There are a lot of tree mill happy users as well as other makes. If I had the funds I would try to get into a nice commercial bedmill such as a prototrak or similar, possibly a hurco or milltronics machine but I do not have that kind of cash. That is why I chose to roll my own cnc machine and build an enclosure and control unit myself. It is no easy task tho and I have nearly four months of actual work into it now and I am still a ways from a finished machine. The Tormach seems to be a very good machine and the IH also seems like a VERY capable machine as a turnkey from IH. I suppose you should seriously ask yourself what you intend to do with the machine and wether or not it is gonna be for fun or profit or both and then decide which way you want to go and how much money to put into it. There are a bunch of different manufacturers machines represented on this forum with subforums for each, I would read thru and look at pics of all of them and try to decide what you like and need and go from there. The Smithy 1240? looks like a nice machine and the guys on the smithy forum seem to be happy with them. Look closely at the travels of each machine and the spindle speeds available and also the types of motors and ballscrews on each machine to compare the quality and decide for yourself what best suits your needs and buy it... or build your knee mill...good luck either way man....peace
Thanks for the response Pete from TN.
I have done more research from when I made my post in frustration and have come to the conclusion in either a IH or a Tormach and just keep my knee mill manual.
Yes there are deals out there that you can get now like a Bridgeport 2 axis CNC for about the same price as either of the two bench top models I mentioned above but I really do think I want to have a 3 Axis CNC though.
I can always do the big stuff on my manual mill.
Thanks again, Todd