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ddgman2001
01-21-2007, 11:35 AM
It looks like the Taig mills have the best bang for the buck. It also looks like they'd run a lot quieter than a typical high-speed induction motor spindle. The price is in my budget and a 4th axis would be useful every now and again.

I'm looking for a mill for PCB's and light aluminum work. That would mean bit sizes from 1 mm up to 1/4" or 3/8" max. I'd like to be able to run coolant but not mist.

The machine would see roughly 4 hrs per week of light production use.

Any downsides to the Taig that I should be aware of?

metalbyter
01-21-2007, 12:52 PM
The Taig mill is perfect for that use.
I use mine for short production runs (<1000 pcs ) this last project involved drilling thousands of 3/16" holes in 304 SS without a problem.
I mill PCBs on my taig as well and really like the 10K spindle.
Taig makes a CNC ready model that you can just bolt the steppers onto
and build your own driver box.
there are some pictures and more info on my web sitehttp://microtools.ca:rainfro:

CountZero
01-21-2007, 02:25 PM
@metalbyter

Thats one impressive setup you have with your VMC... Just watched the video, amazing.

doanwannapickle
01-21-2007, 04:14 PM
I have to agree. For the money, the Taig is a very good platform to build on. Some very good engineering at a very low price. Here's the one I did a couple of years ago. http://www.chicobritish.org/CNC/
My goal was speed and precision so I added ball screws. Not a trivial task.
For limit and home switches I used optical switches with a .005 gap. With the newest Mach3, they repeat to no more than .0002.
The weakest part of the machine is the cast saddle. It tends to wear quite quickly and lacks good oiling. I added oiling when I first put the machine together but it still wore too fast for my liking. Since putting together the photo album, I got the saddle hard anodized and Teflon impregnated. Great stuff.

The people at Taig are great to work with as well

Walt

metalbyter
01-21-2007, 06:18 PM
Yes the aluminum parts will wear faster but the way i look at it.
The table costs about the same or less than a tool plate at $120.00
any part can be replaced in minutes and the parts are always easy to get.
Heck the whole headstock is only $62.00.
for small production thats hard to beat.

doanwannapickle
01-21-2007, 08:37 PM
Not the table, it's already hard anodized and wears very well indeed. It's the saddle that's a concern. And it isn't the cost of replacement parts, they are very reasonable. Replacing a saddle is a bit more involved than just swapping parts. It all has to lapped, scrapped, or otherwise bedding in to the other parts to make for a precision machine. Even Ford (the guy at Taig) told me he'd love to do more of the things I did but, like all engineering, you have to draw the line somewhere or the cost goes through the roof.

Also, it's particularly difficult on my machine since I made extensive modifications putting in the ball screws. I'm holding tolerances to tenths, that makes things a bit more critical. Changing out the saddle on my machine is probably an eight hour job (plus the cost of the saddle). That really makes the cost of the hard anodize (around $280) a bargain.

I'm not saying everyone should go to this expense. Obviously, these machines perform brilliantly for most people. I do think that anyone that uses the machine seriously should add better oiling. It's simple and machines thrive on oil.

And, it's such an easy machine to work on, I would even recommend totally disassembling a new machine and make sure all the factory lapping compound is cleaned up. Little things like this add up to a machine destined for a long life.

Regards,
Walt

metalbyter
01-21-2007, 09:00 PM
Great job Walt.
I think I'll have to add an oil system to my list of projects.

kuhncw
01-21-2007, 09:19 PM
Walt, the modifications to your Taig are impressive. Are the ball screws rolled and if so, how did you center them up to turn the ends?

Regards,

Chuck

doanwannapickle
01-21-2007, 10:05 PM
Great job Walt.
I think I'll have to add an oil system to my list of projects.

I'm doing this from memory so please don't quote me, BUT, I believe the details of how I did the oiling thing are buried in the all-to-prolific-before-mentioned-photo album. If not, let me know and I'll reverse engineer my own sh*t. (wouldn't be the first time.)

Walt

doanwannapickle
01-21-2007, 10:31 PM
Walt, the modifications to your Taig are impressive. Are the ball screws rolled and if so, how did you center them up to turn the ends?

Regards,

Chuck

Truth be told, it was mostly luck and the foresight to inspect as I went.

Like many people on this board that build this stuff, I didn't want to spend much until I was sure it would work. Of course, the only way to see if it would work is to build it. The classic Catch 22. Everyone I contacted said it either had never been done or couldn't be done. Well, any decent engineer knows that it can ALWAYS be done if you throw enough money at it.

Even though I'd had a good year, and, really , really needed this machine, I didn't have that much money. (we ain't NASA) (although, I have done some NASA stuff, rocket science IS fun)

I digress. OK, funding is always a concern so I did what anyone would do. I went to eBay and got what I could get with the intent to upgrade if it actually worked. There are actually two different brands of screws in the machine.

Back to your question. (Finally!!! sigh) I just chucked them up and checked the root as best I could. I have an adjustable 3 jaw and dialed it in to zero all around. I then turned and bored it with CBN (thanks again to eBay) I must have gotten something right. If you take a close look at the photo album, I didn't even use flex couplers. I didn't want the added overhang they would add to the stepper motors. I pinned the shaft on the steppers and slotted the ball screw. They just plug into one another with near zero clearance. Scary, but it works if you're careful. Really, really careful.

Walt

kuhncw
01-21-2007, 10:43 PM
Walt, thanks for the information. I have a Bison adjustable 6 jaw, so will use that. I am not modifying my Taig, but I have some rolled ball screws that I hope to put into an x-y table. This project is from before I bought the Taig, but I'd still like to give it a try.

Regards,
Chuck

kuhncw
01-21-2007, 10:45 PM
Oh, Walt, one more thing and that is your screen name of "doanwannapickle". Does that perhaps come from Arlo Guthrie's "The Motorcycle Song"?

Regards,

Chuck

Jay C
01-22-2007, 04:35 PM
The Taig mill is perfect for that use.
I use mine for short production runs (<1000 pcs ) this last project involved drilling thousands of 3/16" holes in 304 SS without a problem.
I mill PCBs on my taig as well and really like the 10K spindle.
Taig makes a CNC ready model that you can just bolt the steppers onto
and build your own driver box.
there are some pictures and more info on my web sitehttp://microtools.ca:rainfro:

Wow :cool: Love the threading and of course the VMC vids.

Jay

ddgman2001
01-25-2007, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the input. My mind is at ease now.