DIY Stand


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Thread: DIY Stand

  1. #1
    Member Tinycafe1972's Avatar
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    Default DIY Stand

    Hello,
    I am going to be purchasing a 770 in the near future. The Tormach stand seems very overpriced for what it is. The videos I have watched about setting up the mill make it look pretty flimsy. Has anyone built their own stand out of steel tube? I was thinking of building a square tube structure with leveling feet, and filling the lower part of the stand with sand to add weight. Does anyone see anything wrong with this approach?

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    Member peteeng's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY Stand

    Hi Tiny - No good approach. Use alumina grit blast its twice as heavy as sand. Sands not very dense half aluminium. Peter



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    Default Re: DIY Stand

    Yes, that's been done. If you go back through the old posts, you'll discover that there have been a number if diy stand builds. The consensus is generally that doing a good one takes significant effort and costs a substantial fraction of what a stock stand does. A number of builders have commented about how hard it is to get a stable stand.

    I did a diy stand, largely to save money. I didn't save much, the stand wasn't very good, and within a year or so I'd replaced it with the Tormach stand. The time I spent building, and then patching, a diy stand was time not spent making chips.

    If you've got the tools, the skills, and the materials already, it may make sense. If you have to buy the materials, think twice.



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    Default Re: DIY Stand

    The stand is fairly heavy gauge (I'd guess 16 gauge or better) and has a few metal bars in important reinforcing areas. The edges are all broken/rolled so it gets its stiffness from being assembled into a rigid frame; there's no sub-frame when you take off the walls.
    If you're a pro welder/fabricator, already have a mill to put the mounting holes in the right place, and have spare stock you wouldn't otherwise use profitably, perhaps it would make sense to make your own? Otherwise, get the one that's actually designed for the mill.

    Also, you want the power drawbar, and the flood coolant kit. And flood coolant needs some kind of enclosure. If I wanted to save money, I'd use the shower curtain method. If that's not good enough for you, then get their designed enclosure.

    The enclosure that goes on the stand, integrates polycarbonate windows that slide to make space when needed. It also doesn't have a separate frame, but gets its rigidity from assembly. This is beneficial because there are fewer pockets for coolant and chips to hide in.

    (Caveat: My experience is of 1100 and 440 mills, haven't used a 770.)



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    Default Re: DIY Stand

    I bought an 1100 Series 3 this past June from a gentleman who had fab'd up a "decent" stand from 1" tubular steel and 14-gauge steel panels. Problem was he tack welded the sheeting to the outside of the tubular steel and ended up with leaks between the welds. Caulked everything up, but all of the panel welds had to be ground off to remove the enclosure from the mill for transportation.

    I'm going to start the new enclosure with his original 1" tubular steel base that lays on the chip pan. At the moment I'm leaning toward using Creform tubing to construct a framework for steel/plastic hanging panels. His original design did a poor job of coolant management, figure on bending up sheet metal deflectors for around the perimeter. Creform framework will be on top of that, hanging panels will fit inside of the deflectors to coolant hitting the panels will run down and back into the chip pan. This winter I plan on learning Fusion 360 and will practice by drawing the stand. Then comes all of the Creform tubing cutting. Plasma cutting the steel panels, table sawing the plexiglass/polycarb windows, then put it all together.

    Maybe a stock Tormach enclosure isn't such a bad deal . . . .

    Bruce



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    Default Re: DIY Stand

    My stand is plywood and 4x4 lumber, weighed down with left over metal stock and weights etc. Plans came from this forum IIRC. It has worked for me for 5 years, but I'm not machining anything with tight tolerances and I go slow to keep the machine from swinging around. My major issue with the Tormach stand was that I don't have space for it-- the machine goes in an alcove that's not wide or tall enough with the OEM stand. Once you have to move walls and plumbing and ducting around to get the machine to fit, or build an addition onto the house to actually park the car in the garage, that OEM stand gets even more expensive... wish there was a really basic stand option.

    The one thing that really sucks with my stand is that it does not contain chips very well at all; put some tough into that. Rather than try to feed them into a bin, I just made the table the size of the space and vacuum after every program run, but a bunch make it through the cracks and obviously it's hard to clean. The one exposed side makes a awful mess. Luckily I have a six year old who enjoys vacuuming it all up. We'll see how long that lasts.



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    Default Re: DIY Stand

    I've seen the shower curtain method used to great effect.



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    Default Re: DIY Stand

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    I've seen the shower curtain method used to great effect.
    I actually picked one up this weekend but didn't have a chance to hang it. It sounded too ghetto to suggest, thanks for breaking the ice



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    Default Re: DIY Stand

    If you're afraid of how things look, rather than how things work, then you will miss out on many good things in life!



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    Default Re: DIY Stand

    Quote Originally Posted by hybridmojo View Post
    I actually picked one up this weekend but didn't have a chance to hang it. It sounded too ghetto to suggest, thanks for breaking the ice
    The Tormach stand seems expensive before you start to try to figure out how to build one. Those chip trays and the way it attaches to the base is non-trivial.

    A shower curtain on cheap overhead track so you can slide it, hanging INTO the tormach chip tray works quite well. The full upper enclosure is VERY expensive and blocks light and access to every side of the machine. The shower curtain can just be thrown open when you want to get at it to clean up. Yes, it gets dirty after a while... so does the pretty box enclosure. I could buy a new heavy curtain for $20 anytime.





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