View Full Version : New CNC Turnkey

01-11-2009, 10:16 PM
Well, I picked up my CNC from Industrial Hobbies in November, and I'm just now getting around to posting about the pleasurable experience that I had.

First off, Tommy and Gene are more than friendly. I enjoyed my trip to Connecticut more than I can say, and the trip from Austin TX was well worth the time. Gasoline was cheap, and I somehow managed to drive straight through without virtually any sleep (an hour or two here and there). I spent three days at the Industrial Hobbies shop, learning new things about the CNC mill, and machining in general. Gene, Tommy, my son Dylan, and I stayed into the nights working while my machine was being completed, and the time spent getting familiar with the machine was time well spent.

For anyone concerned with time to delivery for their turnkey Industrial Hobbies CNC mill, I can confirm that dealing with a family business more than offsets any scheduling delays. My machine was delayed a few weeks but after visiting the IHCNC shop and dealing with Tommy and Gene both then and since then (over the phone), I have absolutely no regrets regarding my purchase. Although some other CNC mills may be available today, or on a very tight schedule, I feel confident that Tommy and Gene will more than make up for it in personal service after delivery of the mill.

I am new to machining, although I have a long history with mechanical things (cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, ...), and I have significant experience making things from metal. I also own a 13x40 geared head lathe, and I have machined more brake lathes and rotors than I could possibly count while employed as a mechanic and in auto parts sales. I am a competent welder, and I have completed several large custom projects (V8 in a Chevrolet Vega, 6.9L diesel in a 1977 IHC Scout 2, ...). I have a moderate shop at home, and I currently have several motorcycle projects in progress.

Each day I am rewarded with new things to learn on the mill and the design software, and the benefits are enormous. I started out on my new mill with a rack I made from ash to hold my silver & deming drill bits using the CNC features just for positioning, and I then hand drilled the holes. Next, I designed a simple rack in software for my R8 collets and I used the CNC features without manual intervention (straight from model to g-code to machining) to make two duplicate racks, again from ash. I then designed a bracket to repair my son's laptop hinge mount that broke off when he dropped the laptop: a custom aluminum piece to attach to his external monitor port which was right under the broken hinge mount and now provides the missing mount. Next, I designed and milled an aluminum handle for a ball turning attachment for my lathe using a 3" boring head. I also milled a boring bar from cold rolled steel to fit into the boring head to turn balls, a bar that uses carbide inserts. The ball turning fixture handle includes a ball at the end of the lever, and I used the ball turning fixture with a makeshift handle to successfully turn a ball on the end of the CNC'd handle. I ordered a 4-jaw chuck for my CNC rotary table, and I will attempt future projects like the handle using the rotary table (I also used my lathe for this handle).

I built the stand for the CNC mill using my Miller TIG welder, and I added flood coolant using parts I fabricated in house from brass. Everything has been turning out top notch, and I can't put into words how happy I am with my Industrial Hobbies turnkey CNC mill purchase.

I attached a few pictures of the mill. I posted pictures on my flickr account, if anyone is interested they can find them by searching flickr for "Industrial Hobbies CNC". My photos are organized into sets for anyone interested in pictures of the mill or photos of my additions to the mill or items I have made using the mill. I am not certain if links are allowed, so here is a link in case links to photos are allowed in posts: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29941724@N08/sets/

I plan on using my Industrial Hobbies CNC mill to make restoration parts and custom parts for several motorcycles in my collection that interest me: 1975 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV, Yamaha YSR50, Honda CBR929RR, a few trials motorcycles, .... I plan on doing this full time, and I am currently in the preliminary stages of getting together a working shop. I have a degree in Computer Engineering, but I have chosen to leave that career and to instead pursue a home based business related to a long history I have with motorcycles (and vehicles in general). I plan to make parts for my motorcycles, and to then produce those parts for sale to other motorcycle enthusiasts. I don't plan on getting rich, just squeaking by while enjoying the things in life that matter (family, making things, working for myself, ...).

01-11-2009, 11:11 PM
Veggie - thanks for the post!!! Wow - Austin to CT... that's a haul. Glad to see you love your IH. I also had a chance to visit Gene & Tommy in their New Britain shop and agree that they seem to go the extra mile. The IH turnkey CNC looks like a great machine. What options did you get on your IH?

01-11-2009, 11:29 PM
The options I ordered were:

2HP VFD & Motor
X-Y Table Extensions
6" CNC 4th Axis Rotary Table
Tool Kit (vise, collets, hold downs, end mill set)

The trip was long, but well worth it. I visited the Great Smoky Mountains on the way up (a quick drive to the top to throw a few snowballs with my son) and I took the tram into NYC from Newark, NJ, and I spent a couple of hours walking the streets (China Town, ...). Additionally, I got to see a part of the country that I had not yet seen (the Appalachians, northeast coast, ..). All great stuff, and I now look forward to making similar trips in the future, albeit in a more leisurely time frame.

01-12-2009, 12:50 PM
I'll 2nd the motion that "that is a haul"!!!

Enjoy. I'm still waiting on mine. The 'nest' is ready!

02-04-2009, 10:27 PM
Hey, Its been entirely too darned long of a dry spell here ! I have been waiting for some more here and my patients are wearing thin ! Joking aside ! I'd really like some more follow-up on this. I might be mistaken but I think this would be a first to have turn key input from a happy that is HAPPY IH customer !

02-08-2009, 09:25 PM
I might be mistaken but I think this would be a first to have turn key input from a happy that is HAPPY IH customer !

No, you are not mistaken, although I'm not sure HAPPY says enough. I was hoping to get to using my rotary table so that I could respond to your posting with photos of my first rotary table project, but, alas, I keep getting sidetracked. I am welding up a nice cart for my control PC, and I suspect it will be a couple of weeks before I conquer the rotary table. Additionally, I recently added a dog to my family (rescued from the streets), and I have been forced to tackle a few projects to make my house 'dog friendly'.

But, at the risk of sounding like a shill, I really can't say how happy I am that I bought from IHCNC. I am a corporate refugee, and I am not certain that I will ever again work in a corporate environment. I have come to believe that businesses like Tommy and Gene's are what make America great, not large corporations, and I am ecstatic to be a part of supporting a family business like IHCNC.

For example, my control box was the first box built at IHCNC by Tommy's wife Cassandra, and it was literally a work of art. I have a minor in Electrical Engineering (Computer Engineer), and I have years of experience prototyping electrical components, and I understand the value of methodical layout. My control box looks like something I would have done myself, and that says a lot given my obsession over perfection. I was so excited about the quality of the craftsmanship and time put into my control box: the wires don't just run between the components, they are carefully laid out in parallel, with spacing, and bent on the ends in such a way that component replacement will be trivial. No spaghetti in my control box!!!

My IHCNC turnkey has opened up doors for me that I still dream about, literally, and I am so happy that I did my research before I purchased, and that top level quality and service came together with the purchase of my mill.

Additionally, I can't even begin to put into words how great the Spada family is on a very personal level. I encourage anyone considering the purchase of an IHCNC mill to talk with Tommy and Gene, and to visit the shop if possible when they take delivery of their mill: I know that I will always remember my visit to the IHCNC shop and the kind hospitality of the entire Spada family.

02-08-2009, 11:38 PM
As I read your very interesting & possitive post, I thought that I was seeing sparklers and fireworks going off on the horizon ! This is definately something we have been missing here since the conseption of the site. Us oldtimers with back issues have been riddled with complaints, a few on the basic system which have been masterfully sent into oblivion and a mirriad of issues which the root cause is always looking back in the mirror ! By all means keep active here and keep your mirror clean !