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Which machining tools do you guys use?

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  • Which machining tools do you guys use?

    I realize this is slightly off topic and may get deleted, but figured it was an appropriate place because I'm sure a lot of you fabricate your own parts later to be plated in some fashion. I would like to utilize some of these plating products on some parts I want to make but first need to find a good lathe and mill at reasonable prices to make my parts.

    I'm particularly interested in what machines M_D (a user on this forum) utilizes to make his/her parts because I saw some of these in the photo gallery and man were they beautiful! Any help or guidance on this would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Thanks for the compliments on the parts. Most all of the parts were completely machined with CNC mills and lathes. We have some manual machines, but they aren't used much unless it is for a simple second or third operation. The CNC's (and CAD/CAM software) make it more feasable to make the parts "fancier".

    I don't know if CNC's are what you have in mind, or if you are looking for manual machines, that will make more of a difference than actual brands.

    If you need some more specifics, you can e-mail me by going to I would post an e-mail address here except it just results in more junk e-mail because there are computers out there that go through all the web sites on the Internet and automatically obtain the e-mail address and sell them to spammers.


    • #3
      So did you make all those parts that appear in the gallery? They were completely awesome!

      Actually, I am interested in CNC equipment as I don't want to do manual operations.


      • #4
        Hey M_D, got your email and replied. Did you get it?

        If not, can you just tell me what brand/model CNC lathe and mills you use to produce those parts so I can start making some parts and anodizing them? Thanks again, Dan


        • #5
          If you are interested in machining, especially CNC machining, is a good place to start.

          Basically, with a good lathe and 3 axis milling machine you can make 95% of all parts imaginable.


          • #6
            Hey, thanks for the link. That looks like a great site. But I'm still interested in what machines m_d used.


            • #7
              Re: Which machining tools do you guys use?

              Personally, being a Journeyman Tool & Die Maker for over a decade now and a CNC prgrammer/setup man, I know first hand that the parts produced on a CNC machine, be it a lathe or milling center can most certainly be duplicated on conventional machines. Both types of machinery have their pros and cons.

              The biggest advantage that CNC equipment has over the conventional "old school" machinery is speed. If you have 100 pieces to manufacture, taking into consideration the setup and programming time required for CNC equipment, chances are you are still going to produce you 100 parts much faster than on a conventional machine. Isn't this what CNC was designed for in the first place...Production? The other biggest advantage to CNC equipment is repeatablility. Assuming your tooling holds true from start to finish and with a little operator supervision, the first part produced will essentialy be identical to the last part produced. The biggest disadvantage to CNC equipement is obviously the price tag.

              Not just anybody can program or setup a CNC lathe or mill, however, a monkey could run one (maybe 2 at a time). As long as the zoo had one CNC programmer/setup man, the monkey cage at the local zoo could produce shuttle parts for NASA. This is where my love for conventional machinery stems from...A monkey couldn't walk up to any conventional lathe and cut a 2mm pitched thread inside a 4" diameter tube end without a few "F-sharps" or some in depth trainning. Monkeys hit the green "Cycle Start" button on CNC equipment everyday...All day. I guess its just my pride and love for the true "art" of conventional machining talking...Don't mind me!
              View My Anodizing Line


              • #8
                Re: Which machining tools do you guys use?

                Redriver hit it right on the head, I too am a machinist(manual or cnc), and I would agree with what he said.
                I would add that cnc is great for those "Bastard" arcs, also!
                1 more thing, its not the "brand" of machine that is as important as the person running it, stick with any well known brand name and you should be fine.
                Last edited by Canute7; 04-24-2006, 10:06 AM.