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[4]

Can You Over Accessorize?

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wrmiller

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#1
This is not a a small machine, as bench mills go, but I seem to be running out of room to hang stuff. :rolleyes:

In the pic I'm playing with my new FogBuster while making some steel and aluminum parts. Currently using a mag base for holding the nozzle, but I think I may have to fab up something a bit more sturdy. But then I loose the flexibility of location. Hmmm... Things to think about.

DSCN4370.jpg
 

higgite

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#2
What is this "over accesorize" that you speak of? ;)

Tom
 

David VanNorman

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#4
Darn nice looking machine. Who handles it and how much. What is it's parameters.
 

wrmiller

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#6
Darn nice looking machine. Who handles it and how much. What is it's parameters.
Charter Oak, model 12z. Specs are on their website, along with the options they sell. It has a 39.5" by 9.5" table, but I like to call it a 10x40 (sounds cooler). And more Z-axis travel than I know what to do with. It's basically a RF45 on steroids. :)

Mine has been upgraded a bit: 3hp 3 phase motor w/VFD, two-step belt drive conversion (approx. 200-4800 spindle rpm), self installed one shot oiling system and a bunch of tweaking/tuning/modding to suit my preferences.

Precision Machine has a new 9x40 that I suspect is very similar to this one, but Matt didn't carry these a year ago when I bought this thing.
 

tmarks11

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#7
Precision Machine has a new 9x40 that I suspect is very similar to this one, but Matt didn't carry these a year ago when I bought this thing.
The PM940 is $650 more than the CO 12Z, but... it comes with drive motors on the X & Z axis, and a quill DRO and a stand, and free shipping. Shipping on the 12Z can be up to $560.

http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM-940M.html
 

wrmiller

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#8
One of the reasons I picked the 12z over the 932, besides the increased Y-axis travel, was that while the mill doesn't come with a stand by default, I could optionally order a stand and have it made to my height specifications for no extra charge. That was a biggie for me. Having them put wheels on it was just icing on the cake. :)
 

bmckenzie

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#9
Man, that is a nice looking machine!! I have one on the way (well I hope, it has gotten delayed from China once already) and I can't wait!! I got the belt drive and 3hp VFD on it. Looking at your machine I am dying here.

So, you have had your 12z for a year or two now right? How do you like it? Are you glad you bought it? Any recommendations/guidance you would give a new (or about to be) owner of one of these bad boys?
 

Tony Wells

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#10
What accessories? I see no accessories!
 

GA Gyro

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#11
Too many accessories...

Sounds like 'too many items in the man cave'... which is impossible... :)
 

Ulma Doctor

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#12
"Can you over accessorize???
absolutely not,
it's kinda like having too much money or being too good looking
 

chips&more

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#13
I can’t spell axsesorrys, so I don’t worry about it. Also ear muffs are a good axsesorry, because my wife can spell accessories:oops:…Dave
 

wrmiller

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#14
Man, that is a nice looking machine!! I have one on the way (well I hope, it has gotten delayed from China once already) and I can't wait!! I got the belt drive and 3hp VFD on it. Looking at your machine I am dying here.

So, you have had your 12z for a year or two now right? How do you like it? Are you glad you bought it? Any recommendations/guidance you would give a new (or about to be) owner of one of these bad boys?
Actually, I do like it. For what it is, it's quite the little work horse. Let me explain that. As some here will tell you, I have bought quite a number of machines in almost three years because my desires kept changing the more I got back into this hobby. When I ran across the 12z I was looking for the biggest machine that I could man-handle by myself in the garage and that didn't require a fork-lift to deliver (the PM935TV wasn't available at that time). This machine was the first one that I bought that actually exceeds my requirements for work envelope. I do mostly pistolsmithing, some rifle work, and other small projects. I will use a 1/2" or 5/8" rougher when making the bigger stuff (my bigger stuff) like fixturing, tools, and whatnot, but most of the time I use 1/8", 1/4", and the occasional 3/8" size cutters for the work I do. My smaller PM25 uses these cutters as well, and performs admirably for it's size, but given the same task, the 12z just purrs along and doesn't get ruffled at all. Sometimes I wonder if it even know it's cutting anything with the smaller cutters. Gunsmithing isn't hard on machines, but it does require accuracy. And the smaller workloads I put on this mill will have it lasting a very long time. You can push this mill harder with 1" endmills and 3 or 4" shell mills, but the harder you do, the shorter the lifespan will be and I would argue that if you need to run cutters that big, you bought the wrong machine. My reasoning for buying this machine having already bought a PM25 was primarily to get the larger work envelope, not for using larger tooling. While the 12z easily handles tasks the little guy struggles a bit with, that was just icing on the cake for me. I will admit having a 2.5" face mill glide over a 20" long piece of Fortal aluminum at a 10 thou DOC finishing cut does put a smile on my face. For some here, that's nothing, but for me it's been a long time since I've had that capability.

So, having said all that... :rolleyes:

First and foremost, this is a Chinese machine. Some things will work great out of the crate, some things will need tweaking depending upon your expectations and desires. When I got mine, I went through and pulled all of the gibs and checked them for flatness, burrs, and whatnot, then stoned them and did some homemade 'flaking' on the bearing/sliding side of the gib to assist in oil retention. Then I had to address the table in that it's top surface is ground (and very flat) but the edges were razor sharp and the surface a bit rough. The factory doesn't bevel the slot edges, so be careful, they are very sharp. I basically draw-filed and stoned the edges and ran a small file on the underside edges to remove burs so my t-nuts slide smoothly. And I stoned the table top to smooth it out a bit. None of that was much in the way of work, but I figured it would make the overall use experience more enjoyable.

Then I decided to put on the one-shot oiling system from CO. To do that you have to pull the table and saddle as the saddle has to be drilled, tapped, and the oil galleys on the ways have to be either machined in or done by hand with a dremel and carbide burr. So with the table and saddle off I decided to examine, measure, debur, stone, etc., the mating surfaces of the saddle and table. I followed CO's instructions for installing the oiling system as I had no idea of what I was doing back then. Now, after using and thinking about this some more, I would have done it differently, and actually end up with a simpler, more efficient system (I may do that in the future). I didn't do the oiling system mods to the head/column interface piece as I was impatient to get the machine back together and using it. So I keep a oiler handy and squirt the column ways down before I use the machine. I may eventually finish the job, but it's not on the radar right now.

There's more, but somewhere in this sub-forum is a thread or two I started when I received the machine and kinda followed through my setup and initial mods. If you can find them they may help when you get started on your machine. And, you can start a setup thread of your own and I'll help when/if you want it. :)

I don't want to lower your expectations any, but I hope you're not expecting a perfect machine to show up that doesn't have any loose screws, slightly mis-aligned front plate (mine was canted a bit, but nothing a file couldn't fix), or other fit/finish stuff. It IS a chinese machine after all. But...the major pieces fit together quite well and perform as expected for a machine in this price range.

I hope you enjoy your new mill!
 

bmckenzie

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#16
And, you can start a setup thread of your own and I'll help when/if you want it. :)

I don't want to lower your expectations any, but I hope you're not expecting a perfect machine to show up that doesn't have any loose screws, slightly mis-aligned front plate (mine was canted a bit, but nothing a file couldn't fix), or other fit/finish stuff. It IS a chinese machine after all. But...the major pieces fit together quite well and perform as expected for a machine in this price range.

I hope you enjoy your new mill!
Thanks for all of that! I think I have read every post about CO mills on this forum. I wanted to make sure this was the right purchase before I made it. I don't expect it to be perfect. I don't mind if some things need a little work. I am new to all of this, so I just hope I am up to whatever it takes to do the work. Aside from that though, this is a hobby. If the machine needs tweaking, well cool, I am doing my hobby :) I picked this bad boy because it was HUGE but like you say doesn't take a fork lift to move around. Also, I would like to try to CNC this thing at some point. I forsee a tormach type setup for this thing. I hope I can accomplish that, but if not, I will learn a lot in the process.

I have a PM1236 lathe coming too, so I will have all kinds of machinery to get setup and tinker with here soon I hope. The PM1236 is already being worked on, the mill probably won't get in the US for a couple of weeks yet.

Anyway, thanks again, for your comments to me, and for all of your posts! Very informative and entertaining! I am sure I will have some questions when the 12z arrives!
 

wrmiller

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#17
CO mill and PM lathe...sounds familiar (I have a PM1340GT). :encourage:
 

maker of things

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#18
Bill have you considered fitting a maxi-torque power draw bar like coolidge put on his new mill? Looks like you still have some room there. Just trying to be helpful.
 
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wrmiller

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#19
Naw, I don't find myself changing tooling more than few times to make a part and I don't consider it that big a deal. Thanks for the 'helpful suggestion' though. :)

I get all kinds of comments about the nameplate. I still grin when I see it. Thanks again dude. :encourage:

So how is your mill working out? Or have you moved on to something else?
 
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maker of things

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#20
Surprisingly, I have actually been working on it. I built a whole new stand and have 95% of the electronics setup (not installed) and tested and am working on the ball nut mounts currently. Could have that thing under "magical cnc" control this calendar year possibly. Also going to try hydraulic oil in the head to see if that will kill the sudsing action I'm getting now with 80w90. Guess you don't have that problem anymore with your belt drive.
 

wrmiller

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#21
Nope, the head is bone dry since the belt drive install. Spooky quiet too. Where did you get your ball screws and nuts? I'm still wanting to convert mine even though I won't be doing the magical cnc part.
 

maker of things

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#22
Linear motion bearings on ebay http://www.ebay.com/usr/linearmotionbearings2008?_trksid=p2053788.m1543.l2754 I got the 2505 screws with double ball nuts, one end machined. He can machine whatever you want if you send him a print. Most of the guys have been using the 1605 screws successfully but I wanted to keep as close to stock size as possible. Some have stated that I would have to do significant machining to the bottom of the table to clear the ball nuts, but it doesn't look like it to me. I can just bring the table over to my FIL's house and clean it up on the BP though so I'm not worried.
 

wrmiller

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#23
Let me know, because that's (clearancing the underside of the table) not something my PM25 will be able to handle. Hand-held grinder maybe?
 

maker of things

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#24
Will do. I don't see what the "extensive machining" would entail. I see some ribs that look to be the lowest point and based on my "precision" measuring look to be nearly 2" off the saddle. Maybe a couple would need a slight trim with a grinder? I'm getting dangerously close to actually taking the mill apart and start installing stuff. X looks to be the only place where it could be an issue so I'll check that out first.

With your DRO do you bother with the scales by the handles? The metric lead screw would kind of make those useless, especially with being nearly double the thread pitch.
 

wrmiller

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#25
There are scales by the handles? ;)

I have DROs on all of my machines. No more squinting at dials or counting turns. And having absolute position information means backlash is almost a non-issue as well.
 

maker of things

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#26
I'm sure you are not afflicted by this problem, but my counting suffers from frequent incursions of ADD. 200...400...600...what am I having for supper tonight?..700...oh crap what was my count again?
 

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#27
] OK I have another one. Ever think about a speed handle similar to the type usually found on bridgeports? I googled and didn't come up with one result. The 3 spoked thing is getting a little old and it interferes with my work lights. Surely someone has made one?
 
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