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Old 01-12-2013, 01:08 PM
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Default Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

I am looking at Getting into a small cnc For under $4000..I would like to stay small because right now im renting a small basement suite so no alot of room ..I mostly would cut aluminum brass or stryrene ..Im sure if i need to do any larger work i could trade work with Steamer or RClogger
I would preferably like something turn key with software loaded or included..Plug and play
I was just recently looking at the Sherline and they have a turnkey model ..I like the feature that the stepper motors have the hand wheels and can be used as a manual mill as well..opinions on this ?
Any feed back from the folks out there that have or had anyone of these machines would much be appreciated and is there a preferred software to get or stay away from..Thanks
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

One thing that I really like about the Sherline mill is that it's a really simple task to tram the head. Just like a miniature Bridgeport! The other square column mini mills are not so adjustable! Sure, you can still tram them, but it's not as easy. Often times it involves a whole lot of work. Taking the head off, shimming it, bolting it back together, ect.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Sherline /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Thankyou Nathan..Another question ..How important is it to have a closed loop over an open loop when it comes to say machining a pump...Is the open loop capable of doing this task if the backlash is very minimal

Last edited by tracksntreadslou; 01-13-2013 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Wish I could help you answer that one, Lou, but I can't. I don't have a CNC set-up. Obviously, closed loop has feedback, which is a big plus, but isn't there software that can compensate for backlash, with open loop set-ups? I've done a little research on CNC conversions, for mini-mills, like mine, but never went much further. I heard such software existed.

As much as I like the Sherline mills, the one thing that swayed me to a Sieg mini mill clone (Little Machine Shop.com) was it's heft, mass, and larger table travel. You can never have to much machine. I gave up the CNC for a little more rigid, and larger mill, but I did install digital read-outs, which is very nice to have. Highly recommended for any milling machine.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Espeefan View Post
Wish I could help you answer that one, Lou, but I can't. I don't have a CNC set-up. Obviously, closed loop has feedback, which is a big plus, but isn't there software that can compensate for backlash, with open loop set-ups? I've done a little research on CNC conversions, for mini-mills, like mine, but never went much further. I heard such software existed.

As much as I like the Sherline mills, the one thing that swayed me to a Sieg mini mill clone (Little Machine Shop.com) was it's heft, mass, and larger table travel. You can never have to much machine. I gave up the CNC for a little more rigid, and larger mill, but I did install digital read-outs, which is very nice to have. Highly recommended for any milling machine.
I guess if you wanted to be super accurate you could combine a DRO on your machine as well to see how true it is and use your cursers for really accurate machining ..I am looking at a taig with an open loop ..just not sure if i should be swayed into spending the extra couple thou into going for the modern closed loop sherline
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Rob Steamer found this really intresting site explaining the open / closed loop systems..Going to do a little homework
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Let us know what you find out, Lou. I'm kind of surprised more guys haven't chimed in yet. There are some real pros out there. I'm just a beginner.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

I don't know about open or closed loop but this is what I can share. The biggest factor to me when choosing a small mill was the machinable area. This is what I have come across. I am just a beginner here when it comes to machining and CNC. So I don't have much to input but I have a manual taig that I'm in the process of converting to CNC. Waiting on parts from taig to complete. I also am in a small basement suite with not much room at all. I can say a few things about the taig mill. Its a great little mill. X axis travel is 12", Y travel is 5.5" and the Z travel is 6". I thought this was pretty good. Not bad of a work area except the Z axis only being 6 inches. Try putting a rotary table with chuck on there and there is very little room to work with. This is really the only problem I have found with taig. To help remedy this when I turn it CNC. I'll just be bolting my lathe chuck right to the table. Taig has an adapter for this. Overall the size and power is plenty for now. If there is a part too big for the mill, which I know I have later on, I'll just do one section at a time. When I get a bigger place I'll be looking at getting a seig X3 or a BF20 mill for cnc.

If your looking for a closed loop system have you looked at MAXNC? I dont know anything about their mills but they offer a closed loop package. I like the machinable area on their maxnc15. 12" of X, 7" of Y, 9" of Z. Its around your price limit. Lots of Z and Y. http://www.maxnc.net/

Sherline mills I have never used or seen in person but I saw a picture of one sitting next to a taig mill it looks tiny compared to taig. Considering its machinable area its not that bad. 9" of X, 5" of Y, 6.25" of Z. For the 5400 model. Not that far behind taig but still watch out for that short Z axis. Only expect to use short endmills or drill bits if mounting parts on a chuck and or rotary table.

Sieg mini mill clone. Again I have no experience but machinable area, littlemachineshop, 11.8" of X, 5.1" of Y, and 9" of Z. Plenty of Z travel. If I knew back when I bought my taig, how much 6" really was of Z. First time buying a mill or using one. Then I may actually have gone with the Seig. If you decided to go this route then here's some links on the seig. Decent write up of a cnc conversion. http://zarthcode.com/zarthmill-my-si...cnc-mini-mill/ Also check out http://www.hossmachine.info/

Hope this helps
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

I don't have to much add to the thread, but I thought I'd throw a photo of my mill into the mix. I can only tell you that it's been a great little machine for me, so far. I've been extremely pleased with it's performance, especially after adding the DROs.

When I first got it, there were some issues I had to address, and the spindle bearings started going bad on me within a couple months, but I changed them out for some quality bearings, and it's been smooth sailing ever since. I also added thrust washers to both the X and Y axis screws, and a heavy 1/2" steel plate, which runs, and is bolted to the entire length of the column, to make it more rigid. With these three improvments done, it's become a really great mill, handling everything I've throw at it so far. I've been really happy with the purchase. I would have gone larger, if I could, but I keep the mill in the basement, and I wanted something I could carry down there by myself. It's weighs almost as much as I do, and though not really easy to move around, I can manage, if I have to. The next mill I buy, I hope will be a Bridgeport! I can always dream.

The added mass, bigger tables, and table travel, compared to a little Sherline mill makes me feel I made the right decision. My mill is bigger, but not to big, if you know what I mean. I felt that even a Sieg X3 would have been to much for me. Once the head on my mill is trammed, I really don't change the set-ups. Otherwise, I love how easily the Sherline can be trammed!



This photo is when it was brand spankin' new. That's why everything is so clean! Normally there are chips everywhere!
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

I'm in the middle of converting my BF20L to CNC. It has been quite easy, I've been making mounts for ballnuts and motors for a few weekends now and plan finishing it this weekend. I also got my ballscrews which are premachined and ready to use, just have to repack the balls for bigger ones. I haven't really started building the mill but the preparation has been quite painless. Probably the electronics will give me few sleepless nights but thats ok if in the end I can make beautiful parts.
What I would say and others said to me that go with bigger than you intend at first point. Bigger have more mass, rigidity etc to make chips. And the bigger worktable also makes your workholding much easier, I know what I'm talking about. Also you don't have to upgrade so fast if you plan to grow, you can usually use the same tooling in even bigger machines because they have the same spindle.

Plan that tooling can easily take same money or even more than machine is worth! You will always find something that you need so this is a endless pit, sorry

Could you give me the link to that closed and open loop thing? Electronics is my weak point.



If you have more questions then ask
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Thanks for all your comments ..Some very good points to consider ..Prices ..Weight ..Limitation ..accuracy..availability of tooling and probably many more that i havent mentioned

Heres that link to how its explained..Open / closed
http://www.kanabco.com/vms/cnc_contr...ontrol_03.html
There is also some of this topic on CNC zone ..From what ive found so far is that The closed loop is preffered and more accurate up to a point ..Depending on backlash ..If your machine is quite sloppy the work has a tendency to get pulled into the work .
Most hobby mills were made with the open loop on account of afordablity . earlier closed loops were very expensive ..Now with the prices going down Sheline /Taig /and Maxnc offer the turn key models with Closed loop at very affordable prices
http://www.sherline.com/8540pg.htm
http://www.maxnc.net/product_p/maxnc15.htm
http://www.microproto.com/MMDSLS.htm
http://www.taigtools.com/cmill.html

Heres another good link with a used buy and sell section and a good forum
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/classi...cat.php?cat=14

Question for you hobby machinest...How much of your X - Y - Z travel do you use when making the most of your hobby parts ..Do you find you have not enough with your make and model

Last edited by tracksntreadslou; 01-14-2013 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Lou , At 25"x 16"x 16" I'm out of travel on my x but this is not a hobby mill . I'm lookin at gettin something in the 60"x 30" range in a year or 2 . I out grew the taig the min I set it up . My suggestion Is get as big as you can afford and have room for . I'm not to impressed with the Tiag ( shouda listen to Lynn before I got it ) you'll pay a little more on the sherline , but I think you'll getter a better machine .
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

There's a magazine called Digital Machinist, same people that put out
Home Shop machinist. Hope this help's. Sorry don't know how to Post link's
From my phone.
Cheer's, Neil.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Lou, for most of the parts I've been making for my trucks, I've been running the X about 6" max, and on the Y, around 2" to 3". On the Z axis, well I usually don't need that much travel, but when I use my Albrecht drill chuck, I find that I am glad to have the 9" of travel that I do. Mostly for the throat opening. The chuck itself takes away about 5" of my Z axis height, and for the most part it's never been a problem, but having that extra room is a plus, if only because you don't need move the table (the work piece) out from under the spindle to switch from the drill chuck to a collet, or vise versa. There was one job where I had to cut a drill bit shank shorter in order to get it into my chuck, and still have the clearance to slide the work under the spindle, without the drill bit hitting an edge, but there are sometimes ways around that too. You can get away with a center cut end mill to drill a hole, as long as depth isn't a problem, or grab a collet to fit the drill bit, assuming you have a larger drill bit. But, yes, there are times when I'm glad I've got that much throat opening, and Z axis travel.

I should also note that when you start drilling holes in frame rails, it's nice to have a lot of X axis travel. Less work piece re-positioning that way, and as another bonus, having more X axis travel can sometimes mean you don't have to remove your vise (which you just indicated and squared up) to maching something you can't fit into the vise. You can get away with using the last 3" to 6" of X axis table travel, to the side of the vise, instead. Or run two different vises. You'll never really have enough table travel. It's imposible!

One last thing I will mention is probably pretty common stuff, but another selling point for me, and my mill, was that it used an R8 spindle. Best thing about that is any tooling I buy for my mini-mill, will someday carry over to a larger machine, if I ever buy something bigger. So I bought the best drill chuck I could, and some nicer collets. That's more of an investment. Buy it once, and I can always run it on a Bridgeport.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Thank you so much for all your input and advice ..I sure wish I could go with the route IHSteve went but room weight $$$ and power are a factor ..I like your Setup Nathan ..very slick and not too pricey..I read some good reveiws on that machine
I Did end up going with a used Taig against your advice steve ..Probably be kickin myself in the butt later ..lol..For now the price is right and I get my feet wet ..
Thanks again
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Congratulations on your purchase, Lou. I hope you enjoy machining your own parts as much as I do! You'll start to find all kinds of excuses for using your mill.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:41 AM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Lou , that mill, I got, is $60,000.00 new you gotta have some work for it to pay for it .

I did the same Lou . but it's still working . I still didn't break a belt yet , but it showing it's ware
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

Well heres what i ended up buying ..a pretty decent deal for $1500..No software though ..

It came with a free version of mack 3 machine control .finding a few glitches in the system ..Besides the limitations that come with the free mach it seems to be working ok.I am going to purchase a full version in the near future ..If anyout out there knows can i just upgrade on the version I have so my settings all stay the same or will I have to make a clone with a new one and swap to the new one ?

I wasnt Quite turn key but having to set everything up has been good on account of the benifit of learning how things work..I installed the Home/limit switches and after about 20 hours of learning and set up I am at the point now that I can Load Gcode and cut air ..lol..all in the confines of table limmitations

My steppers and DROs are calibrated and rotory table has the 360 degee programed as well..Back lash was very minimum and and calibrated ..It is now time to start start learning CAD/CAM..I found a complete set of used Bobcad v21 pro with bobart ,tutural cds and drivers for a great deal ..Any of you Cnc pros out there familiar with Bobcad
After the dust settles I will be into this for about $2000 with all software included Pics to follow
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???







also came with these
1. 3/16” Chuck (with key)

2. Hold down set

3. Various collets

4. Various endmills:

a. 1/16 – 3/16

b. 3/32 – 3/16

c. 1/8 – 3/16

d. 3/16 – 3/16

e. 5/32 – 3/16

5. Micro Edge Finder

6. Sherline Mill Vise (http://www.sherline.com/3551inst.htm)

7. Slitting Saw Arbor + Slitting Saw (http://www.taigtools.com/c1110.html)

8. 1 inch spindle wrench
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Sherlie /Taig /Maxnc or bench top router ???

http://www.digitalmachinist.net/ Here's the link for digital machinist magazine.
Cheer's, Neil.
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