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View Full Version : Budget changed, now what..?



Rekd
03-01-2005, 04:24 PM
It's taken a year to convince my wife to let me get a mill. My goal is to get a decent manual mini mill that I can convert to full 3 axis CNC as money permits.

I was first limited to $300-$400 for the mill. Seems the wifey's been stockpiling money, and graciously said "If you have to spend a couple hundred more to get something you can use better, do it". :D

(She said the same thing about buying my last truck, and didn't faint when I came home with a GMC 2500 HD DD 4x4, so here we go...)

At first I was looking at the Grizzly/Homier mini mills for around $400-$500. With the budged increase, I figured I could possibly get that mill and a good start on the conversion.

But now I'm thinking the TAIG Micro Mill or Sherline 5000/5100 mills for around $700 would likely result in a better CNC when all is said and done. Is this true?

Are the Taig/Sherline mill's good for manual stuff? They seem to be a bit less rigid than the Grizzly/Homier types, just from looking at the pictures.

Also, what might I be looking at money wise to convert the Taig/Sherline to 3 axis CNC?

I'm planning on ordering by the end of the week, and am really excited. But I don't want to get all giddy and get the wrong stuff.

TYIA

cncadmin
03-01-2005, 04:32 PM
How about one of these- http://www.imsrv.com/deskcnc/bench_top_cnc_systems.htm

Rekd
03-01-2005, 04:41 PM
Looks like just a kit alone for 3 axis will be around $700 to $900 plus the machine. They look like good systems, but I prolly won't be able to do it all at once due to funding issues.

Halfnutz
03-01-2005, 07:52 PM
If you go the Sherline or Taig route you must check out Zylotec, they have ready to roll cnc kits from 325.00, specifically designed for Sherline/Taig. Good luck and have fun, its the best hobby Ive ever found.

trubleshtr
03-01-2005, 08:53 PM
Rek'd There is a mill sherline mill for sale in the cnczone classified area you might be intrested in?

JRouche
03-01-2005, 10:33 PM
Not have ever used either of the mills I kinda feel unqualified to give an opinion. Hhaaa, but it's never stopped me before.

I like the fit and finish of the sherline/taig.

I like the apparent increased stiffness of the Grizzly/Homier.

The way I approached my buying decision was to think about what I would keep from the original machine after the CNC conversion. Basically that is only the major castings. All the peripheral "stuff" was removed. So if sherline/taig has nicer screws, cranks, dials, prettier paint or similar it doesn't matter cause it's gone.

Second to the casting quality would be drive motor quality and the method of delivering the power. Belts (round, flat or Vee) or gears. And the speed of the spindle, is it appropriate for the material you will be ruining, oops, no, I meant finessing :)

Spindle taper, available tooling, costs?

Now if you wont be replacing the screws with ball screws you will have to consider the quality there.

What is nice is you can get replacement items for all four mills and there is a wealth of info available throughout the internet.

You are in one of the best stages of converting a mill to CNC, "lookin through the wish book".

JRouche

fireball08
03-02-2005, 07:53 AM
I have heard good things about the Taig I have a micro mill converted to cnc and I also just got a Proxxon MF70 off ebay for 200 that I will be converting to cnc for engraving small parts. I like the micro mill but it has some limitations and other things you must work around Z axis can be a headache. I have heard from a friend the Taig moves very smooth in all axis and you can move it with one finger in all axis. I don't have one just what I have heard. Good luck.

Nathan

JFettig
03-02-2005, 08:26 AM
Rekd, youll likely spend what you paid for the machine in tooling(cheaper machines anyway)
If you were to convert a mini mill, full ballscrew and all, it would eat a sherline alive.

I have used a sherline a while back and Ill tell you that it wasnt necessarily a good experience.
I have a video of my mini mill but I havent gotten it uploaded, PM me and Ill show you how to download it off me, will be uploaded somewhere soon.

Jon

Rekd
03-03-2005, 01:07 PM
Thanks all for the info. (JFettig, I d/l the avi and it was audio only)

I will likely be ordering the TAIG micro mill. Looks like a fairly tough and smooth machine.

JFettig
03-03-2005, 01:26 PM
oh, Youll need the newer divx codec for that movie,

how much will a taig machine cost overall? and what kind of spindle taper does it have?


Jon

Rekd
03-03-2005, 01:31 PM
The 2018s (has the machine, a vise and a couple collets), runs $684.00. The taper is a 15° (30° included) Taig Micromill (http://www.taigtools.com/mmill.html)

Looking into the codecs, thanks!

nervis1
03-03-2005, 04:04 PM
Rek'd I had a Taig mill for a year or so, converted to CNC with a flashcut stepper system. The mill is put together very well, and everything works as advertised, but the thing is tiny, and does not have much HP, 1/4 hp last time I looked for their CNC model. Expect programs to take a long time because of speed feed limitations, and you'll have to stand there with some sort of mister, or coolant. It'll be a mess on the floor.

I'd hope you could actually see one in action before you spend the money so you know what it and is not capable of.

BTW if you do decide to go with it, I have a Flashcut 3 axis stepper drive box that you can have if you want it, that'll save you a few bones at least if you decide to use steppers.

Rekd
03-03-2005, 04:40 PM
Rek'd I had a Taig mill for a year or so, converted to CNC with a flashcut stepper system. The mill is put together very well, and everything works as advertised, but the thing is tiny, and does not have much HP, 1/4 hp last time I looked for their CNC model. Expect programs to take a long time because of speed feed limitations, and you'll have to stand there with some sort of mister, or coolant. It'll be a mess on the floor.

I'd hope you could actually see one in action before you spend the money so you know what it and is not capable of.

BTW if you do decide to go with it, I have a Flashcut 3 axis stepper drive box that you can have if you want it, that'll save you a few bones at least if you decide to use steppers.

Thanks nervis1. I haven't placed the order yet, so I'm still open to ideas and will try to get some more info on each's capabilities.

nervis1
03-03-2005, 04:53 PM
I'll add that if I had to go back and had 6-700 bucks I'd elect to get a minimill like a griz or Homier, something with an R-8 spindle that I could use quick switch tooling with (so you can do tool changes in program), and add ball screws, and CNC as funds permitted. I think you could also upgrade the drive motor with something much larger if you wanted to...the Taig has such a small frame that a 1-2 hp motor would be as big as the mill itself!

I think you'd end up with a mill with much bigger cajones if you went that route.

One other thing to consider is resale, say in a few years you are going to get a bigger mill I think a Taig will be more saleable than a mini-conversion, I sold mine in a week for just about what I bought it for, so in the resale category the Taig has the advantage I think.

JRouche
03-03-2005, 10:10 PM
Rekd, I'm posting some links I found while researching the various bench/table top mills. They are not in any particular order. You may have seen most of these CNC mills but just incase....


Mini/micro mills
http://www.billsbest.com/thatlas.html
http://members.cox.net/kdntool/_sgt/m1m2_1.htm
http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Main/mini-mill.htm

Sherline
http://www.matronics.com/cnc/mill.htm
http://www.cuttingedgecnc.com/cncsetup.htm

Taig
http://www.microproto.com/micromill2000.htm
http://users.adelphia.net/~wjdupont/my_taig_cnc_mill.htm
http://www.cartertools.com/picture.html#PTM
http://www.taigtools.com/cmill.html

General info
http://www.desktopcnc.com/general.htm

Sieg X3 (now if I could get my grips on one I would go ahead and get the X3)

http://www.tokentoolroom.com/mill.html

http://world.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_pagecontent?lp=ja_en&trurl=http://www.tedatum.com%2Fthms%2Fshop13.html

http://world.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_pagecontent?url=http://homepage3.nifty.com%2Frockhill%2Ffuraisu-9.htm&lp=ja_en

JRouche

Rekd
03-07-2005, 09:36 PM
Rekd, I'm posting some links I found while researching the various bench/table top mills. They are not in any particular order. You may have seen most of these CNC mills but just incase....
...

Finished going thru the links. Great help in making my decision.

Bottom line: Nervs1 nailed it down for me with the aid of the links above... I'm going to want something I can beat on a bit. And the R8 collet on the Harbor Frieght mill will work better for me as well. I'll also have a bit more money to get started early on the conversion by getting this instead of a Taig or Sherline style.

Thanks to all!

I'll keep you posted (i.e. pick your brains) when I start the conversion.

ynneb
03-07-2005, 10:30 PM
Thats fantastic Matt.

Its one thing to work with CNC machines professionally, but another thing to build your own. ( I would guess).

You must start a work log and take lots of pictures.

Now that you are building one, ( Doing a conversion), I consider you a real member of the zone :) Welcome newbie. If you need us to show you around, please let us know.

Halfnutz
03-08-2005, 07:59 PM
Hey Matt, I see your right down the road from me, Im in San Juan Capistrano. I just ordered ballscrews for my HF and will be putting them together over the next couple of weeks. Providing my install goes ok, if you need help with turning the ends of yours let me know, I have a lathe and a torch for anealing them. Good luck

twomoons
03-09-2005, 01:56 PM
i just got a full 4 axis CNC taig yesterday!! This is a VERY impressive piece of equipment!! So far only demo stuff, but on my way to great things. Very rigid and very precise.

Rekd
03-09-2005, 05:13 PM
Thanks, halfnutz. I'll prolly take you up on that.

Where'd you order the ball screw from?

Halfnutz
03-09-2005, 09:15 PM
Matt, I got the screw and nuts from Rockford. 51.00 for a 6' screw and 125.00 ea for dual nut preloads. The 5/8" 0.200 lead is the cheapest they have. I also have plans from Homecnc for making the preloaded ballnuts for a little less money. Ill send you an email when I start assembling and you can check them out if you want.