PDA

View Full Version : Information regarding Tree 325 Please?



tminnig
01-04-2011, 06:00 PM
I have been machining for about 16 years now, and am considering purchasing a machine of my own to put in my garage and do a little side work. I have found what seems to be a good deal on a 1990 Tree 325, but unfortunately I don't have any experience, nor do I know of someone that does, with this machine. I would like to go and look at it sometime this week, but was hoping that maybe some of you that are familiar with the machine could give me some direction as to what things I should pay particular attention to.

I would like to get into doing some tooling and R&D type work... short production and short lead times, if that helps. I need to know what type of accuracy and precision I can count on assuming that the machine is in good shape so I don't get myself in hot water with a part that the machine is not capable of producing. Also, I would really appreciate any information concerning common problems or other things that may affect my purchase decision. This will be a small shop (in my garage). I would also like any information regarding air requirements.

Thanks in advance,
Travis

underthetire
01-04-2011, 06:11 PM
J325 is a good machine, however a 1990 might be a little "early" think those still had a system 10 dynapath. It's still a good control, but didn't have the EIA programming (G-code) with the conversational. Air requirements- anything will do, just a air drawbar. Failure modes- in order of importance.
1. Spindle drive. They fail. Make sure you can see the spindle run. If you buy the machine, remove the spindle drive and clean the back of it and the cage around it. 2-3K to fix
2. Axis are old DC. Check for noise, they get out of tune, and the encoders get loose after time. If it has a jittery axis, double think your purchase or at least plan on a tune up or motor rebuild.
3. Quills, "some" shops used the trees to make millions of holes at max RPM. That was fine, but the spindle would heat up and cause the quills to lock up in the head.
4. Check backlash.
5. Check spindle temp at max RPM for 5 minutes- slightly warm ok, hot=problem

All in all one of the best CNC knee mills ever made. Plan on no better than .0005 on a old machine like that. New I could tune to .0002 on a 12" circle.

cncserveng
01-04-2011, 06:28 PM
I have worked on these machines extensively during my time in CA, and underthetyre is correct about it being a nice little machine. It has Baldor drives and a lot were converted to a later Baldor system when the original became obsolete. Try and get one with this update if you can.

There were some backlash issues due to worn ballscrew or maladjusted gibs, the motor encoders were open inside the motor and often got dirty so the glass disk needed cleaning with alcohol and a cotton bud, this was often was the cause of axis dither. The drives can be tuned using the Baldor information to set standstill frequency and following error etc. quite easily.

From a service point of view it was a nice little machine to work on, I loved the way you could nearly always get them going on the first visit, I very rarely needed boards for the system 10, but did have occasional corruption.

But, as you have been advised...... make sure everything works after being properly warmed up.

underthetire
01-04-2011, 06:32 PM
FYI it may not have Baldor, Tree used Servo Dynamics-those were ok, they also used MSI for a while.

cncserveng
01-04-2011, 06:38 PM
You are absolutely correct, the obsolete Baldor drives were indeed replaced with MSI, keeping only the original motors.

So it will be easy to see if there is an update.

underthetire
01-04-2011, 06:45 PM
Actually, it's more complicated :) They started with Servo Dynamics, then went to an early baldor/motor/drive combo, then got cheap and put MSI drives and motors on. Then went to the newer Baldors. When the MSI motors failed, and they did a lot, especially on X, then there was a Baldor motor retrofit that worked with the MSI drive. If the MSI drive cards failed, then it was a full conversion to baldor.

The MSI motors were the black ones, Baldor the normal grey. Don't remember the color of the servo dynamics, but I think they were black to. I used to teach the Dynapath class at the local distributor, still one of my favorite garage controls.

cncserveng
01-04-2011, 06:49 PM
You are probably correct, I returned to England in 2000 so dont know what Tree did after I left, we never see one here.

tminnig
01-04-2011, 11:25 PM
Thank you very much for the information so far. I have written down your list of checks and will take note of those items you mentioned. Not having EIA programming capability is a major concern for me and may be the nail in the coffin for this particular machine.

Which control would allow me to use G and M code as well as the conversational programming?

What year did they start using the Baldors?

Is there a 'best' year(s) to consider?

Thanks again, I really appreciate your time and expertise.

Travis

underthetire
01-05-2011, 10:43 AM
You really want a Delta control then. If i remember correctly, at power up you can push a softkey under the screen, it says advanced or options, something like that, and it will tell you with a * what functions it has. If you hit mode select, programming, then you should see EIA on the menu as well.

You might be ok motor wise on a 90 machine, IF i remember correctly, 1995-1998 or so were MSI, but i'd bet most MSI machines have been changed to baldor now.

tminnig
01-05-2011, 02:51 PM
With a couple more questions to the machine tool dealer, I have discovered that it is a Delta 20 CNC controller. Sounds like this may be a good buy for me.

Thanks for the information. I'll go look at it in the next couple days and make a final decision once I have had a chance to really go over it in person.

Much appreciated!!

Travis Minnig

underthetire
01-05-2011, 02:58 PM
Just found one here for sale from a guy that I know. It's been in his garage since new, doing protoype stuff. It's in No. Ca., if you need details I can make a call.

tminnig
01-05-2011, 10:10 PM
PLEASE!!! That's great! Feel free to PM me with information if you don't mind. Or I can send you my email in a PM. Whichever you are most comfortable with.

Thank you very much. I have an appointment to see this other one in the morning, but I'm not the type to jump on a decision, so I will wait to commit to anything until I've heard from you.

Travis

MadPickinSkills
01-22-2011, 08:23 PM
Thank you very much for the information so far. I have written down your list of checks and will take note of those items you mentioned. Not having EIA programming capability is a major concern for me and may be the nail in the coffin for this particular machine.

Which control would allow me to use G and M code as well as the conversational programming?

What year did they start using the Baldors?

Is there a 'best' year(s) to consider?

Thanks again, I really appreciate your time and expertise.

Travis

Hello,
My 1990 J325 has a Delta 20 controller. Not sure which ones they put the 10's on. All the ones I've seen (not many) have 20's. Mine does have EIA g-code capability as well as the Dynapath delta stuff. If you're planning on using mastercam to program it, mastercam comes with a post processor and machine definition for the delta 20 controller that uses their conversational code.