Author Topic: CNC type needed to make calls  (Read 6620 times)

Offline Steel Rain Calls

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CNC type needed to make calls
« on: July 28, 2014, 12:15:21 PM »
Looking at a CNC machine to make calls and was wandering what type I would need I found one but not sure if it is the right type. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Offline Butch1

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 10:43:50 PM »
What lathe are you looking at? I believe you commented an a youtube video i posted awhile back i have 2 lathes the first is    about 100 lbs the second one an emco compact5 200lbs is a much better lathe.I am off work for 6 more weeks, shoulder surgery and read the forum most days i will be glad to give my opinion to this post.

Offline Steel Rain Calls

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 08:34:13 AM »
What I am looking for is a CNC Lathe to speed up my production.
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Offline Butch1

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 02:48:19 PM »
Sorry, I thought you had already found one. Here is my opinion on this if you dont already have a machine  and dont know cnc programming i would find a windows xp pc for controling a machine, go online and find mach3  software "a cnc  pc control" download the the manual for mach3 turn and read it this is a pdf and you don't need xp for this. You can also install  the control  software xp recomended for this and simulate a machine and write gcode this is all free. but if you install the drivers without buying a license it will remove some functionality and limit gcode to 500 lines per program but i only use 40 to 60 lines for a barrel or insert anyway.By the way gcode is the language the machine use to move the cutter in x and z for lathe or xyz for a 3 axis mill,it can be written manually in wordpad and saved in mach 3  this is how i do it, or you can draw it in cad and use cam a postprocessor to write the code but i havent learned that yet. I only really use a few g codes g00 is rapid travel g01 is linear movement for straight cuts or tapers, g02 and g03 circular interpolation cutting radius. The mach3 manual has g and m codes listed in it mcodes can turn on coolant pumps,spindles,rewind programs etc. you can start with this now and dont need a lathe or mill to practice while you try to find a machine,even if find a complete machine with another control you will still know gcode and be better educated as to machine design basics servo(feedback systems)or stepper(open loop) hope this gets you started.                                                         
Now  some general opinions on machines the hevier more mass the better it will cut surface finnish  more important w steel iron.
Next a machine can only produce a part to tolerance if the machine is tighter than the part  being made spindle, screws etc.My machines on my youtube videos were inexpensive. One lathe the goose keg example only weighs around 100 lbs and has leadscrews  and open loop stepper motors. The mass of the lathe limits chatter free cutting depth. Next is my duck call barrel example this is a emco compact5 pc lathe retrofited w mach3 control. I had to make a expanding mandrel 2mt it has open loop steppers and ball screws i cut wood and acrylic on it takes about 2 to 3 minutes to make a barrel.As wade mentioned on a earlier post ball screws hate dust, this lathe weighs 200lbs cuts better and faster than the first one so i catch the dust as best i can i dont worry too much i have $400 in it. these lathes only have small spindle through holes .625 aprox so i have extra steps in drilling etc. I turn inserts on the smaller lathe but it takes 5 to 7 min to do then i drill it on a manual lathe and cut the toneboard radius on a jig or my cnc mill.  you can load a machine start it and do something else while it runs. the lathes i have seen tabletops are emco, denford orac, southbend magnaturn lightmachines prolight my small one is is a lightmachines lathe works but the emco is so much better,emco lathes have a automatic tool changer option you can install drills and different cutters in and write tool changes in the program.Turning calls on a cnc isn't as much fun after awhile as a manual lathe but my toneboards only require a few file swipes to the back of the corknotch and they are all same. i can always use the jig and turn one on the wood lathe when i want.I'm getting off the subject so this should get you started if you have any questions i will try and help. this was just my  :2:

Offline dogcatcher

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 02:53:00 PM »
You will need awful deep pockets, they are expensive, real expensive.  Then you will need some training, they aren't plug and play type of machines.  Some you can se up and it does everything, including loading the raw material, some or not much more than high dollar duplicators, and there a lot of options in between.  Good news, they do great work, bad news, most are not designed to work with wood.

Send Wade a PM and ask him for advice, he has more knowledge than anyone of the duck callmakers that I know of.

Marvin
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Offline Butch1

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 04:01:33 PM »
By the way what are you wanting to invest in a machine? Are you looking for a tabletop or full size 5000 lb plus lathe?

Offline Steel Rain Calls

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 05:38:35 PM »
Right now I am wanting one of the vertical style to help do my inserts. I also found a much larger floor model at a steal of a price but I am a little worried about what is wrong with it due to price. Training would not be a problem due to I know people who run them and it would be nice to have in the shop so I can try to save on out sourcing.
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Offline Wade@WEBFoot

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 08:39:13 PM »
Heads up, there is a pretty steep learning curve.
Just like everything, there is the constant battle of cost, efficiency, knowledge, software, tooling, tool holders, cutter geometry and specifics etc...  it goes on and on.  Some of it makes a huge difference, some of it just shows up when one compares the not as good way to go against the better way. 

Lathe or mill, there is a lot to learn.  The lathe is simpler to learn, but wont cut tone boards for you (well unless you get an integrated type machine, but those are either horribly flimsy or have lots of zeros in the price tag and weigh tons.

Those little machines can do it.  I know people who use the little sherline machines to make calls, and are happy with that.  But the one thing I see that catches my attention there is the reason for the machine.... if its for repeatability... a lathe might be a good idea... if its for speed, then it depends on how good you are on a wood lathe and the material.  On wood - I bet shy of a good heavy machine, an accomplished lathe hand on a wood lathe with the assistance of a little metal lathe could out run the hobby machines.  The repeatability would be there for certain things, but not for others.  So - there is one area of balance.

Of course price plays a roll... what ya got to spend?  Remember, the lathe is only the machine... then comes tooling.  Remember setting up to make calls on the wood lathe?  Yeah... its likely to be way more than that to tool up a CNC of any type.  A mandrel, collet chuck and lathe tools - maybe 300 bucks if you dont go cheap...  some sort of custom contraption to be able to run more than one tool at a time on the hobby cnc will set ya back more than that most likely. 

Get into the big machines (industrial) and the game changes severely... you got horse power now, bigger spindle through holes, and huge improvements in rigidity.  But you also need 3ph power, a rigger to unload and place it, and so on...  and you can get into tools... a holder for a profiling tool, probably 100.00, plus inserts are 5-10 each, and many places will only sell in boxes of 10.  Then hole making holers and tools.  A good boring bar is 130 plus... then inserts... again 7-10 each and only available in boxes of 10.

One thing that confuses me is you talk about getting a lathe, then say "I am wanting one of the vertical style to help do my inserts." - vertical lathes usually have a very different use than making calls... so that makes me think your talking a mill?  If so... then you get to talk tool holders, can be cheap, can be 100 each... then the tool for them to hold... picking an endmill, then getting the feeds and speeds so it doesnt break, or melt, or burn, or chatter.

Once you battle all the tooling on either machine... you will need to be able to draw it out, so you can get coordinates, and then covert to g-code.  The G/M stuff isnt bad... just memorizing what does what, but the positioning, that takes some accuracy, especially when you start talking arcs (G2 and G3) and if youre running a mill to do tone boards, you gotta map the board, then program it...  which will be easier than an arc most likely, but take a long time to do by hand.  (Ive done programming from scratch by hand and used CAM programs from a CAD drawing and the time investment is large - when going completely by hand)  But if you dont understand the code, and a CAM program spits out something wrong and you get an error... and you dont know/understand Gcode... how do you fix it?  Spent many an hour staring at a drawing and running a calculator to try and figure out an error on a arc movement... only to find I was off .0001 on a rounding error and the control spit it out.

I wont lie, its fun as all get out.  I love this stuff.  It turns my crank...  but there has been a lot of trials and tribulations in learning, figuring out, and getting things where I feel they need to be.  But I know a lot of people arent quite as picky as I am... so it may be easier for people who arent OCD about this kind of stuff like I am.  I love tools and machines and toys and so forth... and Im the self-reliant type...  but many a time have I realized that I was not that smart in bringing certain things in house... and should have just farmed em out.

If you have people who know machines and run them... might they not be a good source to check with as well?  Since you can sit down one on one and they can see your part, know you and your abilities, and make some suggestions?  Ask them about software too...  most of the good ones, that actually make things more efficient usually are in the 4 to 5 digit price range.  There are some free-ish types out there... maybe they would work?  Maybe not?  wont know til you try, but then you have the time in it, even if they end up not working for you.

In the end it all comes down to your wallet, your perseverance, your wants and needs, and the way you logic things out... can it be done? CERTAINLY!  Is it fun?  To the right type of person.  Should you do it? All depends on you.

One last thought before I head in for supper-
I know some people dont like outsourcing... others live for it and hardly do anything in house except package things up... but you have to - at some point - put a value on your time.  If youre going to end up making 500 calls over the life of the machine, then have (lets just pretend everything you buy is good quality and a deal and fairly cheap) 5k in the equipment side of things (machine, repairs, tools, tooling, electricity etc...) for the life of the machine... you have 10 per call already, plus material, plus time, plus learning time, etc...  So whats your time worth?  What if you crash the machine while youre learning?  There is lots to consider...  but sometimes you have to look at the forest rather than the trees.

It may be the funnest thing you ever do... could be the worst idea you ever had... only you can decide that.  But there is A LOT to consider...  So be sure to go in with your eyes WIDE open.

For example... one bone headed brain fart on my behalf took my lathe down for two months, and cost me 1800.00 in parts... used parts.  So the unthinkable does come along.  Glad I found used, cause new, Id have been in it for nearly 2x what i paid for the machine.  But thats an industrial machine... and I had enough knowledge to diagnose and repair myself.  Had I had to pay to have it done... oy...  makes my stomach roll just thinking about it.

I am by no means saying "dont do it" - but you do need to realize... you dont just buy a stick of acrylic, a CNC lathe, stick it in the chuck, and press the green button.

Ill try and remember to check in here now and again to add to anything Butch has or answer questions.
Wade




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Offline Steel Rain Calls

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2014, 01:04:14 PM »
Thanks for the comment Wade I appreciate it! I realize that there are many different things to learn and also to buy in order to get what I am after. I am very OCD when it comes to my calls and such but I just thought it would make things a little bit easier and it has been something that I have always wanted to know how to do. I think it is awesome to be able to take all the information and put it in and in the end hopefully if all calculations were correct I would be able to turn my own calls on my machine. To me that would be the biggest joy in the whole process and I also like to try to attempt to do as much as possible for myself not just to save money but also so I can gain the needed experience to so many of us are searching for. Thanks again! :thanks:
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Offline dogcatcher

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2014, 03:56:52 PM »
I was at one of our machines hops this morning picking up some tractor parts, I asked about CNC.  The owner said to look up Haas and go to their "build a quote" page.
http://www.haascnc.com/baq.asp#gsc.tab=0

After looking at the basic costs of a few of the machines, I will just pass this on to you.

Marvin
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"Call and they will come."
Helping those that are helping themselves.

Offline Butch1

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2014, 11:48:39 PM »
Was this the type of machine you were looking at? This is knee mill that someone removed the controls from and was going to use as a manual mill. This mill had tight ballscrews quiet spindle y axis had  no play or lost motion x had no play z or the quill has around .0005 play from the bevel gear/screw arangement,this machine was on ebay and about 60 miles from my house I paid $1600 for the mill it weighs 3000 to 3500 lbs then a week later i found a dc servo kit on ebay made an offer and bought it for $900 bought some syncronous belts and pulleys worked on a cabinet and motor mounts over the winter the neighbor gave me a pc had to install home/limit switches on the mill and bought a new vise for $500. My estimated total for this mill is about $3500,it will take a .200 depth of cut with a 7/8 endmill at proper feed in steel no problem so i figured it would cut toneboard arcs.The bad thing is if a guy goes this route the iron is old 70s or 80s usually.I will hopefully post som pics of th mill in this reply.I am the type of person that enjoys the satisfaction of being able to do things on my own and learn new things i was a auto mechanic/shop forman for 22years 6 years ago i tested and had the opertunity to get in the skilled trades at caterpillar.we dont have machine in my plant other than my maint dept and the metalurgical lab i have never worked as a machinist , so what i guess im trying to say is I would go with a small emco lathe you can turn barrels and inserts and cut the tone boards on your jig at first to learn, the emco pc5 only needs a chip removed from the driver board and mach3 will run it the cost of these are $500 to about $1000 on ebay if you watch. I also bought a cad program (bobcad) and they sold it at student pricing without cam for $200 in 2012 just needed it to figure my centerpoints for arcs. Have to go ,here's the mill, control box partially assembled and a couple calls from the machines

Offline R.FINCHUM

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2014, 06:45:39 AM »
wow! heck of a job to be put it together like you said and you were pretty lucky  to get them. I used to run a cnc and manual and I decided with just what you were talking about that if I get to where i need one now(which I dont) I would get someone set up to do them for me for awhile. I dont sell enough calls to even think about purchasing a mill or cnc. 3ph power, place to put it. I turned down a huge compressor for 50 bucks because of 3ph. I could have converted but didnt want to. With just lube and all the rest not counting set up that you dont know you will need will eat you alive. unlike you and Wade, I havent run either one for 15 yrs. Way more to either than meets the eye. I have one advantage, my wife is a cad cam operator. I can have a few calls made for the amount you have in this mill and for what a cnc set up costs a few more. You have broke this down really well and for me made a case to outsource. I have never run anything but alum on a cnc or mill so I dont have any experience with acrylic and understand wood can be a nightmare with shaving blocking everything up. We made bomb and missle components for PC dynamics, now defunct, for the old Aegis program(smart bombs in desert storm). I enjoyed it then, just not enough funds or place for it and all the extras you need to set up properly. But I do envy you yours and its been a long time since I've heard the terminology used. thanks for that. So for now, its just me and old Jet.

Offline Steel Rain Calls

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2014, 10:06:37 AM »
Yes sir! That is the type I was meaning when I posted.
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Offline dogcatcher

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2014, 11:10:38 AM »
Butch1, curious on how long it takes with your set up to make a group of calls?   If you needed 48 acrylic duck calls how long would it take to have them ready to go out the door?  Do you have to be there while the 48 calls are being run, or is it all automatic?

Thanks

Marvin
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Old style calls for today's outdoorsman
"Call and they will come."
Helping those that are helping themselves.

Offline Jon @ JRwoods

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Re: CNC type needed to make calls
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2014, 03:23:04 PM »
Quote
you dont just buy a stick of acrylic, a CNC lathe, stick it in the chuck, and press the green button.
  Wade.

TRUTH!
Way back when I ran an okuma making all kinds of bits for Beech aircraft.  We had programmers, I never could write a program from scratch.  I knew enough to be a good button pusher and setup my own parts.

I bought a Smithy combo machine, it slows down my call making, costs too much, tooling is a pain sometimes, manual everything and its just enough to make me realize I don't want to start down the path of CNC.   When i need to make something one off, it will do it, but I have to want to make it pretty bad!


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