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Charter Oak Automation

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Andy152

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#1
Has anyone had any experience with the mills from Charter Oak Automation ,I looked at them at Cabin Fever last weekend . Not quite ready to buy yet but looking at what is out there .
Thanks for any impute Andy Miller
 

Aaron

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#2
Hi Andy,

I bought one of the IHCNC mills before it became CharterOak.
I looked into all c the mills available at the time.
Since IHCNC was only about 1.5 hours drive for me I had visted their shop several times and met the owner Tommy Spada. He was very helpful/ informative, I suspect you may have met him at Cabin Fever since he is still involved at CharterOak. Also got good deal on some options, 8" CNC rotary table and 6" Kurt vise...

I do like the mill, The CNC mill has been stabile and accurate.
I like the servo system (not just stepper motors)...
have also a ShopMaster BridgeMill that I converted to CNC using stepper motors....this non-servo system had issues which were corrected by adding SmoothStepper...but still does make me worry.

From my coversations with CharterOak, they have improved the build process and made some improvements to the mill since the one I bought over a year ago...

I may vist them this summer to see their new shop and check the current version of the mill, etc.

Modifications/ additions I made To my IHCNC mill
+Changed to belt drive because of the noise and vibration the gear box made...
I know that IHCNC / CharterOak claims advantage of high torque with the gear box, but I have no problems cutting aluminum or steel with the belt drive (I do not make super aggresive cuts though).
Although CharterOak sent me replacement gearbox bearings I found bad, it did not reduce the noise enough for me....(I like to hear the radio while milling).
+added temp sensors to bottom of the spindle and the gecko servo drivers mount.
+added way covers for the Y ways.
+added more valves to the one shot lub system to better control the distribution.
+added adjustable home limts for Z.
+made my own stand on casters for the control box at eye leve height for easy acces.
+made my own stand on casters for monitor/keyboard/mouse, shelves for accessories.

Hope this helps

Aaron
 

Andy152

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#3
Thanks for the imput. I'm a little father away from buying since the snow collapsed my garage roof in Feb but I'm getting closer to a new building . I'm probably down to Charter Oak and Precision Matthews, have to do a little more studying on the issue.
Have a great Memorial Day and lets not forget our veterans Semper Fi
 

Aaron

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#4
One thing I would check is the orthogonality of the machine at the suppiler before accepting it for purchase (dont forget to write down the serial number or casting number).
That is what I did because I did not want to have to scrape the ways of a new machine.
Ball bar type tests are not done on machines at this price level which have some variability in the manufacturing process...
I took to their shop my precision angle plate and indicator that mounts into a collet to check the orthogonality of each axis to the others.
You can get a precision angle plate at cdcotools.com Item# 22904 (6"x6"x4").
Of course if you have a bigger precision angle plate like a 9"x9" that would be even easier/better, but they are more expensive, and was really not necessary for me.
I rejected the first machine as its orthogonality was not good enough for me, the second machine was acceptable.
IHCNC was very accomodating, helpfull with the testing and understanding.
This could happen at any of the suppiers at this price level.

Just some advice for your consideration to avoid discovering sometime in the future Non-orthogonality of your mill.
 

xalky

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#5
I never heard of these machines until now. They're 30 minutes away from my house. :)

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
 

Aaron

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#6
Xalky,

If you vist them let us know what you find out.

I now see they are advertising in Machinist's WorkShop jun/july 2014, the CNC mill pic is showing now with spindle belt drive and the servo motors direct attached to the ballscrews.

Mine has the encoders attached to the ballscrews with the servo motors driving the ballscrews via belts which has had very good accuracy....wonder how much improvement the motors directly driving has made.
 

Andy152

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#7
I'm not sure what you mean by orthogonality . What would bi involved to check this .Thanks Andy
 

Aaron

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#8
When moving in one axis you would ideally what no movement in an other axis.

So, if using a precision angle plate you align the plate in one direction then watch indictor while moving in an other....

Example:
Set precision angle plate on mill tabel in "L on its side" position, align front surface of plate (X direction) by putting indictor in the quil and indicating on front surface of angle plate while moving moving back and forth in X until no runout (error), then move the idicator to side surface of plate (Y direction) and move in Y, the amount of error over distance is the non-orthogonally.

Do for:
Align to X side of plate, indicate Y while moving in Y
align to Y side of plate, indicate X while moving in X
move angle plate to "upright L" position:
Indicate on Y side of plate while moving in Z
Indicate on X side of plate (front side) while moving in Z

Get the idea?

Aaron
 
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Nelson

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#9
They changed hands. Tommy is gone. Tony is in.

Check this out on CNCZONE:

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/chart...port-forum/175543-charter-oak-automation.html

Paul, their operations manager, registered here, ostensibly to assist any members who own one of their machines.

I don't know if anyone has one of their machines, but to me, promotion is promotion.
I checked out the level of participation at CNCZONE and it is pretty minimal- the guy is probably pretty busy if he is the operations manager. They really need a rep or two to do what they claim they want to do and help people.

They do participate in Cabin Fever still.
 

Aaron

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#10
They changed hands. Tommy is gone. Tony is in.

Check this out on CNCZONE:

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/chart...port-forum/175543-charter-oak-automation.html

Paul, their operations manager, registered here, ostensibly to assist any members who own one of their machines.

I don't know if anyone has one of their machines, but to me, promotion is promotion.
I checked out the level of participation at CNCZONE and it is pretty minimal- the guy is probably pretty busy if he is the operations manager. They really need a rep or two to do what they claim they want to do and help people.

They do participate in Cabin Fever still.
They changed hands. Tommy is gone. Tony is in.

Check this out on CNCZONE:

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/chart...port-forum/175543-charter-oak-automation.html

Paul, their operations manager, registered here, ostensibly to assist any members who own one of their machines.

I don't know if anyone has one of their machines, but to me, promotion is promotion.
I checked out the level of participation at CNCZONE and it is pretty minimal- the guy is probably pretty busy if he is the operations manager. They really need a rep or two to do what they claim they want to do and help people.

They do participate in Cabin Fever still.
Nels,

I had read over this again and not sure what you meant by promotion is promotion... you may have been talking about Paul.
Was just trying to help with my experiences that it is best to check a machine at the manufacturer/seller before accepting it.
I do own the IH mill, here is a picture of my mill in my shop with the modifications I talked about and you can also see my Shop Master to the left of it.
Before someone comments about how the clean it looks, I had cleaned up the area before taking the picture (you can see the dirty blue shop towel behind the mill bit taped to the bottom of the head to help protect the Z lead screw, ).

Aaron
P1040176.JPG
 
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