So waddya replace it all with?
I can't count the amount of times I have read on here people saying I want to spend this much for this hobby, and can it be done. Well, I have decided to do a post detailing all the money I have spent realizing what I need, not realizing what I don't need, and ruining all those things I needed and had to replace. Ill start with my first machine and continue on. And please realize that I am in no way bashing any vendor or manufacturer at any point in this post.
Sherline 5400 Mill:
Ebay price $700.00
Ebay price $15.00
Sherline Lathe (without Headstock or Motor):
Ebay price $500.00
Replacement Gib $12.50
Replacement Gib Holder $8.00
High Tech Systems Modular Vise 80.00
Hold Down Set $40.00
Small Endmills $45.00
Small Lathe Cutters $20.00
Cut-Off Tool Holder $25.00
Sherline Rotary Table $150.00
3 Jaw Chuck $75.00
Other Assorted Stuff: $150.00
All Sold For A bit more than half of what I payed
So waddya replace it all with?
Why would you sell all of your stuff?
Id say you got off lite, I myself am in this hobby about 6-7 times that!
BTW, what did you get as a replacement?
2nd And Current Machines:
Sieg X3 Mill:
Grizzly price $1200
Lathemaster 8x14 Lathe:
LM price $925.00
5-inch Kurt-type vise $90.00
3-inch Toolmakers vise $50.00
3-inch vise hold downs $25.00
Clamping Set (wrong size, too big) $60.00
Right Size T-nuts: $20.00
Rotary Table $200.00
Kool Mist System $150.00
Endmills (cheap and good included) $250.00
123 Blocks $40.00
Fisher and Starret Three Edge Finders (replaced as broken) $40.00
Tormach Tooling System (Money WELL Spent) $500.00
Laser Edge Finder (Nice) $90.00
Polarizing Attachment For Edge Finder $20.00
Two 4 jaw chucks (1 for Rotary Table, 1 for lathe) with adaptors $200.00
5 inch 3 jaw (needed to be replaced) with adaptor $100.00
Replacement 5-inch Bison (Beautiful, buy it) with adaptor $400.00
Indexable Cutters for lathe (crappy and cheap, throwaway) $40.00
Quick change tool post including extra posts (okay) $200.00
Assorted Keyless Drill Chucks $150.00
Flycutters (cheap) $40.00
HSS cutting bits $40.00
Cut-off Bits $25.00
Live Center (nice one) $80.00
Boring Bar Set Carbide (cheap but works well) $30.00
Other Assorted Tools $400.00
All of this stuff I still have, and most works great, even if it is cheap. The exception, the cheap 3 jaw chuck and the indexable tooling. I replaced the chuck with a bison and couldnt be happier, and I am just waiting to find a nicer indexable tooling set to replace the crap ones I have.
Also, I dont have enough good things to say about the Tormach tooling, works great and makes tool changes fly, especially for cnc which is coming in next post.
So what are you going to upgrade to next?
Now here is the doozy, cnc of the x3 only so far
CNCfusion ballscrew kit with preloaded ballnuts $750.00
Replacement zero backlash couplings (I broke and wore out mine) $70.00
Replacement preload nuts (I ruined mine) $25.00
G201 (all replaced because I blew everyone one) $300.00
G203 (replacements) $450.00
CandCNC MiniIO with Status Board $80.00 FOR SALE!
Winford basic breakout Board (works best with optical limits) $25.00
Siig Parallel Cards (replaced one because I burned it out) $80.00
Huge Gigantic Enclosure $100.00 FOR SALE!
Second Enclosure (PC case, real find) $15.00
Replacement Enclosure for PC $50.00
Optical Limit Switches (Great when i can get them to Work, which is my shortcoming, not the Makers) $450.00 MIGHT BE FOR SALE SOON!
Replacement of one (I burned out one, a near impossibility and I did it) $50.00
Power Supply (Big One) $150.00
Nice Plugs for motors and extras $75.00
Coolant System (Built From Lowes)
Big Plastic Container $20.00
Smaller Plastic Container $10.00
Filters and Hoses $30.00
Snap Hoses $25.00
Fixture Plate Enclosure (worked like poop) $250.00
---includes machining and metal
Rubbermaid Enclosure $50.00
Real Enclosure $300.00
--includes huge stainless table, a real find and mdf, sealant, and metal angle
As of right now, everything works great, except for the optical limits which have been a real headache. I also had to replace the original computer with another one because I dropped it and it smashed. The original computer enclosure, which was a real nice aluminum one, got taken to the goodwill by accident.
Last edited by pzzamakr1980; 02-24-2008 at 08:01 PM.
These are the conclusions I have reached so far. One, I am an idiot and am a glutton for punishment. Two, don't think making something yourself will be cheaper or better, the two generally dont exist together. The enclosure is a perfect example. Rather than make a big waterproof box that everthing goes in in the first place, I though I'd make something small and cheaper. Neither of my ideas worked well. Then there is the coolant system. For less money I could have purchased the system from grizzly which is decently made and requires no effort to seal or build on my part. Plus, it is cheaper. Then there are the electronics. Electronics are complex, and can be a real pain in the butt. So if you don't know what you are doing, seriously consider having someone else do it for you and paying the extra good bit for a working, plug and play system. While burning out three drives is extreme, its not all that difficult. Plus the expenses for incidentals adds up quickly. Thirdly, never buy small. Fill the whole darn working area with the biggest machine you can, because even now I find my x3 to be too small. On that note, cnc'ing your own machine can be extremely rewarding, frustrating, and above all expensive. If I could do it again I would purchase a Tormach or splurge and buy an IH. Both are reputable and well made and come with a warranty and quality checks. This would be the case even if I wanted to start on a manual mill. An mpg simulates a manual very nicely and then the step to cnc doesnt cost you any more. Before i can begin production with my X3, I still have to tram the column and spindle, measure and work out backlash, fix the grinding in the y-axis, and automate the spindle and coolant. Plus, I still dont have working limits, which is a real pain, especially since I want to have tool presets in mach for each tool.
All of these costs also don't necessarily take into account shipping, which is probably and additional 1/6th of all the costs added together. Nor do the costs quantify stress, and the fact that while my machine is down, I cant make anything, which is perhaps the biggest bummer of all.
The cost: 8850. This is a low ball estimate, and does not include the Sherline Equipment. Even without the Sherline though, I guarantee that with shipping and stuff I cant think of, the total cost of this is over 11,000
I am eternally grateful!
I can't think of anything that I'd rather spend 11 grand on.
What else could you possibly buy that could give you this much enjoyment?
Consider it a year's tuition from the school of hard knocks.