Discussion in 'The Shop' started by rodw, Jan 18, 2013.
Nice. Wonder what I could get for mine with its custom stand and 3axis DRO.
Mine had the custom stand, DRO, coolant and a collet chuck. I was not really trying to sell it, it just happened....
Or keep lathe and CNC it like I am doing the Mill and get a 336. Now THERE is a plan.
Yeh, I thought of that. I've seen some photos of one thats been converted where the guy removed all of the gearboxes at the headstock and saddle. Using LinuxCNC you can use your existing DRO scales for encoder feedback for servo motors but don't ask me exactly how!
5um linear scales from what I have read are not enough resolution for feedback. At least that was what I understand for a mill and suspect same for lathe. Looking at 2500 to 3000 ppr optical rotary encoders at the moment. MUCH cheaper than linear scales.
I had 1 micron scales on my 320G but realistically, I can't see a real problem. 5 Micron scales are accurate to 0.005mm, mine are accurate to 0.001mm. Its unlikely you can hold that level of accuracy (eg +- 0.005mm) and if anything, the lower counts on your scales might be an advantage as the frequency able to be read is going to be a limiting factor but as I said I have no idea.
Nice shed Rod. Mine is similar in size. 2.6 x 3.8 metres. C6 lathe and X2 mill. Have had them for about 10yrs. Never miss a beat.
Well, its taken about a month to move in but now my business is in an industrial shed with a bit more room and a few more toys.
Small walk behind forklift in the background. The hoist is for some R&D work for vehicle products and is wired to 3 phase power. All of the e-commerce stuff in pallet racking to the right.
And a compressor perched up above the toilets
But I really digress. The Hare and Forbes Annual sale pricing is now available and I went down there to buy an AL336 Deluxe to replace the lathe I sold yesterday
But while I was there, I noticed a couple of used lathes the said they had traded from a school a day or so earlier and while they had a few queries about them, nobody wanted a 3 phase lathe.
So these are 4 years old and just traded in. They have hardly been used and they still had the steadies wrapped in plastic in the cupboards. They have faceplates, coolant, 3 & 4 jaw chucks, drill chuck and even a couple of tools. These have a 40mm spindle, DI-4 chuck and are made in Taiwan rather than China. New, they are another $1k dearer than the AL336 I was going to buy.
So cutting a long story short, I screwed them down to $3900 and put a deposit down. So I got rid of a well used lathe I bought new for about $2k and upgraded it to a lightly used but rather dirty lathe about the same age as mine worth $6.5k new (with the coolant) for an outlay of just $1100. I'm pretty happy with that.
So I'm just waiting on their service department to give it the once over before they deliver it to me. I guess if I ever take it home, I'll just have to add a VFD. Anyway, I'll report back when I get it delivered and wired in.
The building looks great ! and nice deal on the lathe.
It looks like some work to do getting everything set up and in its place, but that shouldn't take long.
Have fun, be safe and good luck.
It's nice to see a vehicle hoist in a shop/shed. I have the same but wider to accommodate larger vehicles. The two post design is wonderful for access to all components. I allowed friends and neighbours who needed a hoist for repair to use my hoist but eventually I had to stop the offer. I didn't mind providing a specialty tool or some advise but when they came totally unprepared and expecting me to do the work I pushed back.
My shed is one half dedicated to auto repair and the other half a metal workshop. If you will not have employees the space between machines doesn't need to be generous as only one machine can be used at a time. If you have a mill placing it diagonally in a corner saves a lot of room.
I would put in lots of racks for storage before you layout the machines and work benches. Once I place something on a rack it becomes part of my memory system for later retrieval. You can't have too many storage racks.
Congrats on an industrial space for your shed. I considered the same move but worried about break in and theft when the shed is not in use. Perhaps that's why my home shed is usable but tightly packed.
Thanks Scott and DJP for the feedback. Yes, don't ask me what the insurance cost. I had to have liability insurance which meant I needed product liability as well. Ouch!
I have not decided whether to take my small SX3 mill from home up there or just buy a drillpress.
There was a space above the office that had no access to it, just a doorway with no stairs and a ladder. I knew where there was a set of metal stair stringers so we relocated the doorway, added a cavity sliding door and ran stairs up. (Handrail has now been extended)
Upstairs is a fully equipped photo studio for product shots. This area here is for packaging so we have pull out wireless scales under the bench for freight and a very cool Ranpack machine that fills boxes with environmentally friendly crumpled paper void fill. A Zebra label printer is tucked away under the stairs for shipping labels. Our software is very efficient as the store interfaces with our inventory management and Xero accounting plus with all of our shipping providers so it only takes a few mouse clicks to ship a product, get a label from the freight provider and generate the manifest. Behind this area is two rows of pallet racking that go full length with a small area for machine tools at the back. Next on the agenda is an Android based barcode reader that will allow us to scan our barcoded components into the carton while picking so you can't make a mistake and the shipping label will be printed from the barcode scanner.
Friends who have similar small business ventures making unique products for other industries have moved to CNC machines. I was able to purchase a Myford lathe and Bridgeport mill plus big metal band saw when they upgraded. A big issue is making parts for previously sold assemblies where everything needs to fit and work in the field. Packing and shipping were never mentioned as issues, perhaps because these sales are not to the general public but to specific unique industries. If you are into e-commerce (shopify) then I can see your need to focus on fulfillment speed.
Thanks for sharing your venture as it's a nice change of topic on the forum.
I think it depends on whether you are selling to other businesses or to consumers. We use Australian ecommerce software called neto. Nothing has its level of integration with fulfilment. So much so, they now offer Shopify users an addon that lets them do the fulfilment like we do.
I don't really have any parts that need CNC equipment although I do have some laser cutting done. I've tried to avoid hands on production myself. Currently I have a shipment of plastic parts on the water from China. I initially approached them for supply of the raw material which was always in short supply in this country. Eventually they offered to machine the parts and sent a sample which tested fine. The shipment represents a saving of about AUD $30k and will be packaged and labelled in kits ready to go. I have another part that is laser cut and I have thought about cutting it on my plasma cutter. It costs me AUD $7.45 each once its machined and powder coated. The Chinese have quoted USD $1.15 per piece and are going to send me a sample. Its hard to justify in house production although I did think of adding some CNC capability earlier.
One last observation from the small machine shops building devices for particular industries. These guys like to stay one man shops with no desire to expand production with employees. Perhaps it's a retirement plan for them but they do seem happy.
Enjoy your venture. Happiness is found in the journey and not the end result.
Thanks. For me the hobby is the business, not making stuff in my shed. My time is too valuable for that. Staff will come but there are some fundamentals left to to tick off. Maybe in the new year.
Hmm, Photobucket is offline so my photos have disappeared. So time to upload a couple. Quite a funny day on Friday. Paid for my lathe at Hare and Forbes in the morning and they put it on transport to me in the next suburb. Ducked hoe after that to pick something up and then stopped at Chris's place. I asked him what he knew about 3 phase power and he said a fair bit. I asked him if he made house calls and he said he did. The truck arrived and the guy was adamant that he had a delivery for me despite the open truck being latheless. Then he said "Oh my God, I forgot to pick it up! SO an hour later he came back and I was able to sling it off with my little electric forklift and get it in position. It was pretty easy to connect up and everything worked perfect. This pic shows it after I started to clean it up. Once I finished cleaning it the next day, It was looking almost like a new one.
Then there was the matter of converting it to a QCTP that was compatible with my tooling and holders. Chris said to lock two nuts on the toolpost and it will just screw off which it did. So later I didn't have any 16mm dia steel so I dropped back in again to see if he had any. He did and then proceeded to cut the required threads for me. The bottem post is the original one for the turret style and the top one is the one we made. Chris suggested to machine some flats on each of them to suit a 14mm spanner which only took a few minutes on my mill.
So here is the final result. Very happy with it now!
This morning I got the coolant tank all cleaned out and filled so the only thing left to do is to is to add a work light and sort out my tool holder rack to store everything ready to go. I dialed in 3 of my most used tools to centre height that I use all of the time so its really ready to go. I also had a sparky there today who lit up a 3 phase power point for my yet to be replaced plasma cutter so its all coming together.
I think you may need a bigger shed! You have some very nice toys there.
Great thread guys, read it all this afternoon. Nice to have the room you need.
I had a Sieg X3 (CNC conversion), a 1m toolroom lathe and a mini-lathe (more CNC) in my garage, but have since moved into an apartment and Mill is in storage, I sold both lathes.
I just rented a storage unit at Kennards, and there is a power point outside, so will be moving the mill there and buying a Hafco AL-320G which I will strip immediately and convert to CNC.
I did a website showing some of my mini-lathe conversion if anyone is interested: www.cncprojects.net
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