Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770


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Thread: Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

  1. #1
    Member Tinycafe1972's Avatar
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    Default Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

    Hello,

    I have been debating buying a Tormach for some time now. I've decided I just can't stay away from adding the capabilities of a CNC mill to my shop any longer. I have read lots of negatives about Tormachs. However there are plenty of people out there that seem to love them. Tormach is right in my price point of what I can afford. My use case is a personal machine. My many hobbies all revolve around me being able to work metal. Aluminum, Steel, and Titanium. Titanium only in very small parts like knife liners. Tool steel only in annealed states. Mild steel in bigger parts. I could get away with a 440 for the work area I need, however I feel like I should up size now so I have the capability in the future.

    Is there any reason I should not buy one? Pros/Cons of buying used? How many of you have had bad experiences?

    Thanks you for any help!

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    Default Re: Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

    I have only had good experiences with Tormach, I don't think other companies will give the support that they do for a garage machine hobbyist like me. I started with a 440, and it was able to learn so much so fast I quickly wanted more work area and HP, someone bought my 440 and I was able to order a 770. I would recommend starting with a 770M at least. the 440 is capable of doing a lot but it can be restrictive . I'd love to have a MX or even a a Haas but the $30K is just more than I can spend for making parts on the weekends. The Tormach's can do anything the larger machines can do just a bit slower . If there is something specific you curious about ask away.



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    Default Re: Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

    I bought 3 of the 440's based on what I've read on forums regarding tormach's support , and how long they've been around . Aside from a blown spindle drive and the crappy oilers these mills have been awesome . The oilers were covered under warranty and were upgraded , the spindle drive was just out of warranty and that was only a $400 fix . These mills in a year and a half have accumulated thousands of hours each , so a blown drive somewhere wasn't exactly a shock

    I looked at the tormach mills that were available at the time and I also weighed getting more novakon in the shop . I set aside X budget and was going to spend every dime one way or another . I wrote a pro's and con's list and I took into consideration , price/mill , power consumption , number of running spindles vs work envelope . It's nice to have lots of room on the table but if a guy doesn't utilize it then it's a lot of extra space eaten up in the shop for nothing .

    My torus was already using the only high volt plug I have in my shop , and it was a matter of getting an electrician in the get me more power or run 110v . When the 440's arrived and were setup , I connected all 3 mills and their computers to the same outlet as an experiment expecting that I'd blow the breaker , and it didn't happened . Based on that I will easily drop in another 3 mills when the time comes . The cool thing is that all 3 mills take up about as much space as my one torus alone

    I've worked on a variety of professional cnc's over the yrs and the last 8 were running haas , and though these mills are not professional machines they are quite capable for most machining applications .



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    Default Re: Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

    I got my 770 in early 2013. I'm retired and my machine is mostly used for hobby work although it has also earned a few dollars over the years. I would love a larger work envelope but I didn't have the room nor the money to accommodate. I've never a problem that I couldn't troubleshoot and fix myself. This group has numerous very knowledgeable members. If you have any Tormach related questions, ask and you'll get honest answers.



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    Default Re: Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

    I bought my 770 in late 2013.
    For the past 6 years, it's been a great machine.
    I've only had minor breakdowns, mostly computer-related.

    PROS:
    1. Full CNC capabilities. It can do anything a "real" CNC can do, but you have to baby it. Light cuts, light radial passes, less feed.
    2. Great support from Tormach
    3. Price
    4. Easy to repair.. and replacement parts are cheap.
    5. Add-on options, (4th axis, Tool changer, etc.)
    6. R8 spindle

    CONS:
    1. Tapping sucks on the 770. No accurate depth control. and if you "push" it too hard, the spindle stalls. (Threadmilling is the better option).
    2. 'X' travel is only 14 inches, and 'Y' travel only 7 inches
    3. Not very rigid, and prone to chatter if pushed. (Hence the light cuts)
    4. 1 (Chinese) Horsepower spindle motor. (Stalls)
    5. Not Super-accurate, with a bit of table backlash and slop. (+/- .003 accuracy)

    For the kind of work I do, it's been a good machine.
    It's made me a lot of money over the past 6 years, and has easily paid for itself.

    But, in retrospect, I would have been happier with a HAAS Mini-mill.



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    Default Re: Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

    I have the 440, and it is just enough for me. I do 6061 aluminum, A36 hot rolled mild steel, and 6-4 Titanium. I got the 440 instead of the 770 because it just barely fit in the niche I had available. In fact, I'll have a really hard time to get in behind it if I ever need to -- and you do need to while you install the thing! Take that into consideration.
    I highly recommend flood coolant and the full cabinet and the power drawbar. All three highly recommended! (I'd used 1100s before, but with the old non-full cabinet they frequently made a mess. And manual tool changes get old very quickly.)
    If you're OK with the precision levels and power levels of the Tormach series, it's a nice piece of gear for the garage. If you're trying to run a business, you'll probably want something with significantly more powerful spindle, faster rapids, and more robust automatic tool changer, but then you'd pay more, too!



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    Member Tinycafe1972's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RussMachine View Post

    CONS:
    1. Tapping sucks on the 770. No accurate depth control. and if you "push" it too hard, the spindle stalls. (Threadmilling is the better option).
    Can you speak a little more on this? I know Ridgid tapping isn't a option without an encoder. Do you use a tapmatic style compression/tension head? I would like the ability to tap, even if it means adding an encoder. However it would be nice to be able to get started with something.



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    Default Re: Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

    I have the Tormach T/C tap holder and have used it successfully. Depth is a little iffy so use it for through holes or those not threaded near the bottom. Thread forming taps rather than the traditional thread cutting taps eliminate the problem of chip buildup. For me the problem is having sufficient torque. Since I mostly cut aluminum or plastic my 770 is usually with the belt in high range. This is fine when tapping 4-40 but doesn't cut it with 1/4 inch or larger taps. Moving the belt from high to low to tap and then back to high for cutting the next part is a huge pain and time waster. In consequence I mostly do hand tapping or thread milling for larger threads.



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    Default Re: Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

    Can you speak a little more on this?
    You CAN tap on the 770 without an encoder.
    Depth-control is the only drawback.

    I use the R32 Collet- Tension/Compression tap holder from TORMACH.
    And without an encoder, depth control isn't exact. (+/- 2-3 threads)
    When tapping, the holder will "stretch" at the end of the cut when the spindle reverses.
    It will cut an extra 2-3 threads while the tension head "stretches",
    This isn't really a big deal when tapping thru holes, but nerve-racking in blind holes.

    Also, the largest tap I can push with the tapping head is 5/16" (8MM).
    Anything larger, and the spindle wants to stall.
    For 3/8" (9MM) and up, I have to threadmill.

    Threadmilling is actually the better choice, for depth control (in blind holes), and finer quality threads.



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    Default Re: Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

    I would like the ability to tap
    FWIW, I have learned to love the magic of thread milling.
    I go all the way down to M2.5, and can still use a thread mill (Sandvik makes a nice set, which sometimes goes on sale on Amazon)
    The tooling is more expensive than regular taps, but on the plus side, it doesn't break unless you really screw up the G-code.
    The thread milling cycle in Fusion has worked great for me, once I figured out what all the parameters were.



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    Default Re: Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    Sandvik makes a nice set, which sometimes goes on sale on Amazon.
    Do you have a link to the thread mills that you use?



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    Default Re: Talk Me Out of a Tormach 770

    I use this (and its bigger brothers) for M3 and up: https://amzn.to/2OBhGBB -- it's a Micro 100 tool, and works well.
    It's a single-thread tool and thus works for a variety of nearby pitches.

    I use this for M2.5: https://amzn.to/2KxxWCe -- this Sandvik was about $60 when I bought it. I think there are two sellers on Amazon with different pricing strategy :-)
    Note that that tool is multi-thread, and thus only works for the exact pitch.



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