View Full Version : Well... Got a Taig

01-24-2009, 03:14 AM
Recently I converted an X1 that I bought almost a year ago.

The conversion was rather rewarding but I've really grown tired of the inaccuracy and rigidity issues...

I didn't have a huge budget, about $1200 is all I wanted to spend (well really didn't want to spend that much :p). I intially considered an X3 or other competing mill in that class, but decided considering my limited space, and importantly, lack of an engine hoist that i need to settle for something smaller -- further more, I'd need to spend 75% over my budget to get it all up and running as a cnc.

My options left were an X2 and some kits, or a Taig. This was kind of a hard choice for me. On the one hand I know that the X2 is an extremely capable machine and you can most certainly upgrade the hell out of it (...Hoss...) but after all the hassles of the X1 I decided that the Taig would be a better option.

I went through Taig Tools for ordering, really couldn't beat their January Special (Collet Set, Vice, 2 End Mills, and Free Shipping)...

So, I ordered the 2019CR-ER on Monday (1/19) and got it today (1/24) -- not bad! Standard two boxes, though I must admit, gluing the boxes shut may have been over kill...

To be honest I thought it would be a bit bigger then it was, though the table size certainly did not disappoint, and I was more amazed at how well the machine was constructed. From the factory the machine seemed very well adjusted.

After getting the column mounted and squared up (only with a square, still need to tram it) I adjusted the Z-Gibs (as they were a little tight from the factory) its a rather strange dance trying to adjust tapered gibs to be honest. Anyone have any good tips?

After the head was moving freely I attached my motors, cleaned out my enclosure and propped her up. After wiping down the ways with Vactra 2 I started running the motors about to see how they performed. The Z-axis gave me a bit of trouble at first, once coated good with oil and once I got my acceleration adjusted correctly in EMC2 the z moved right along.

Rapids are 24ipm on each axis. Not bad considering the HobbyCNC controller, and 24v power supply.

The movement of the table and head is extremely smooth compared to my X1,. After I got the motor aligned correctly with the spindle pulley's I decided to turn the motor on - WOW is it quiet compared to the old knashing teeth of the X1's gear box... On top of that, I measured about 0.0004" in vibration on the spindle, not too bad at all, the X1 would vibrate in to the 0.001" range.

But I guess the real shocker for me was when I measured the X/Y backlash. Stock straight from the factory, both axis' showed about 0.0025" of backlash, about 1/3rd of what I could get my X1 -- and that was after a lot of work...

I think it was well worth what I paid, machine is already up and running (just some hours after getting it out of the box) and the quality is in a whole different league compared to the X1, and most likely the X2.

Crevice Reamer
01-24-2009, 10:10 AM
Congratulations! I think this mill is the most bang-for-the-buck. Keep us posted please.


01-24-2009, 12:50 PM
Congratulations! I remember when I opened the box on mine years ago.

Good luck and good cutting!

TOC Admin
01-24-2009, 04:39 PM
Congratulations.....You are Going to Love its Capabilities


01-24-2009, 05:57 PM
I managed by sheer dumb luck to get the column trammed within 0.0004" this morning. So, I decided it was to make some test cuts. I have a Niagara 3-Flute 1/4" roughing end mill. At 6700 rpm, and 20ipm I was taking very nice 0.05" doc cuts with a finish that was so smooth that it'd only take a minute to polish to a mirror finish.

Needless to say I was impressed.

Then I ran in to a problem... I have a 3" Screwless vice from littlemachine shop. There is a part that I cut a lot its 3" by 4", being a mold there's a channel cut in to the part. On the X1 I'd put the part in my vice and find the bottom and left edges and let it go. But, it seems the 3" width of the stock, plus the ~1" fixed jaw of the vice is further away from the column then the spindle is... Trying to figure out the best way to clamp these parts down now.

I'm considering ordering either the headstock riser, or perhaps the tooling plate from Nick Carter and building a fixture to cut the part (and possible several of them considering my HUGE x-travel now)...

Being stubborn of course I decided to clamp down my part straight to the table and indicate it in. Started cutting, wow is it fast and smooth. Unfortunately 6700 rpm + 0.05 doc + 20ipm is probably too fast and had without coolant... Ran find for a few minutes and then the cutting sound started to change until the spindle stalled. Luckily being the first cut I had my hand over the e-stop, didn't damage the part or break my cutter. Though the steppers did move the part a bit, guess clamping to the table wasn't the best idea..

01-26-2009, 01:30 AM
DeusExMachina, congrats on your purchase. Great choice.

Funny thing was I bought a used X1 after reading your posts about your X1. Before I saw the X1 advertised, I had a line on a Taig Micro Mill, but since I am a beginner, the X1 should do for now. I soon found out it wouldn't do. I ended up buying a Taig instead. See my other post for my story on that (One way to end up with Taig...)

01-26-2009, 11:40 PM
I have to admit, the taig has done nothing but impress me. Great machine, and way better then the x1 (though way more expensive..)

Bit of an accident tonight... Yesterday I built an aligning fixture for the part I was trying to cut earlier. Just a simple L bracket that clamps down on the table. So I indicate in the fixture, clamp my part down and let it cut. After about 15 minutes or so I hear this awful screaching sound and go running in to kill the machine.

Turns out for some reason during the finish pass, the head decides to pick up and rapid back to the start point for another pass, just so happens that rapid swung it right across one of my clamps hold the part on the table... Almost full depths with a 2-flute end mill straight in to the side of a steel clamp...

Luckily, at rapid my motors don't have a whole lot of torque so instead of destroying my cutter, I just left a huge gouge in the clamp before the steppers ran out of torque to advance the cutter. Probably would have done all sorts of damage on the x1... The Taig happily tried to slice through a 5/8" chunk of steel, and I think it would have done it with a little more torque!

(The end mill was a HSS 2-flute 5 degree tapered end mill ) End mill didn't look any worst for wear, knocked my part out of alignment a bit though. I loosened up the mangled clamp, re-aligned my part to the jig, re found my lost edge and precoded to finish the part without any problems...

Interesting how careful I was with the X1, 8 months, never damaged anything with it, never broke a tool and hit a vice. Was just too damn worried about stripping out the gears!

Crevice Reamer
01-27-2009, 03:25 PM
The X1 gearbox would have been full of white plastic confetti by the time the endmill barely scratched the clamp. You were wise to be careful.


TOC Admin
01-28-2009, 02:54 AM
Never Fails, Soon as you walk away the Gremlins take over........;)

04-07-2009, 12:21 AM
I'm thinking of getting one of these taig mills, do you have any recomendations now that you own one?

How precise is the table on this thing? are the axes on the machine on bearings or do they just slide along their mounts?

04-07-2009, 10:05 AM
How precise is the table on this thing? are the axes on the machine on bearings or do they just slide along their mounts?

Most smaller/medium sized machines use dovetails for the ways. One side of the dovetail has an adjustable brass shim (the gib). You adjust the gib to remove any play. The dovetail system has been used on machine tools for many decades with great success. When you get up into larger/high speed machines you see some different types of linear rails being used.

I'm not sure what you mean by how precise is the table. The Taig uses adjustable split nuts on each axis. You tighten these up to remove the backlash between the lead screw and the nut. Some other machine use ball-screws. One is not inherently better than the other, it depends on the quality and how the whole system is designed. Every type of screw will have some imprecision in the thread pitch along its length.

On any mill, CNC or manual you cannot be guaranteed that the bed (table) will be perfectly square to the spindle. You can adjust it really close (say 0.002") but to get it perfect you need to use a tooling plate that you surface on the same machine, or shim your vise, etc, etc.

04-07-2009, 11:34 AM
On any mill, CNC or manual you cannot be guaranteed that the bed (table) will be perfectly square to the spindle. You can adjust it really close (say 0.002") but to get it perfect you need to use a tooling plate that you surface on the same machine, or shim your vise, etc, etc.
Saying you can get it to 0.002" is misleading as you don't indicate how much that error is over. In other words without a dimension that it is measured at (0.002" with a DTI swinging a 6" diameter circle) the 0.002" is meaningless. To "get it perfect" you wouldn't use a tooling plate, you'd use a DTI and the existing table. If you use the non-squared spindle to surface a plate all you are going to do is make a bumpy non parallel plate, and then tram the spindle to that. Not the result you want. There are "tramming jigs" that straddle the vise, but they are a little different than surfacing a plate.

04-07-2009, 11:42 AM
Well, what I meant by precise is really amount of slop in the gibs. Say I align the table perfectly, when it starts to move there's some slop and it'll wobble or deflect as the cutting starts. i'm guessing these mini mills are really for machining parts, not so much for fine cutting/carving. Or am I way off?

04-07-2009, 03:45 PM
Saying you can get it to 0.002" is misleading

I was meaning if one indicates from the spindle to one end of the table and then the other. It will be close but there will it will always be off some, that is why we both talked about a surface plate :)

Well, what I meant by precise is really amount of slop in the gibs.

I think what you are talking about is backlash. If you were using a manual machine it is the amount of 'wiggle' in the handle (or the amount you have to rotate the handle when changing the feed direction before the table moves.) You adjust the gibs to remove (nearly) all 'slop', I say nearly as there will always be some very, very small amount in any moving object. You also adjust the split-nuts for each axis to reduce backlash. Typically you can get backlash down to the 0.001~0.002" range.

As I mentioned before the lead screw (or ball screw) will have some tolerance it will be within per foot (all of them are imperfect on every make/model of machine). So over the entire length of the table there will also be some slight discrepancy as well.

I'm not sure what it is your trying to make with your machine so I can't be more specific in my answers. The machine will do both 2D and 2.5D machining.

04-07-2009, 05:09 PM
Heck, it'll even do 3D if you ask it nice.

The machine will do both 2D and 2.5D machining.