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"Win the Lottery" Home Garage Machine(s)?

sansbury

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Location
Boston, Mass.
Let's say you hit the number and could put one or two really nice machines in a home shop for your own projects. What do you get?

Hard Limits are:
- Size: Nothing too big, say roughly Haas Mini-Mill size give or take a bit
- Power: Garage will have 100A now, 200A in about a year or as soon as I can get the main panel upgraded to 400A (parts are badly backlogged right now)
- Age/etc.: preferably new or relatively new/available with good parts/tech support

In terms of cost, I'd be curious what people would do for, say, under $50K, $100K, and "no limits." Assume this is for core machine only, no tooling, shop will have air, etc.

My biggest priorities are very high flexibility, ease of reconfigurability, and fast setups since >95% of my parts are first article prototypes. Typically fit in a cigar box, made in 6061 or acetal, 3-axis with 1-3 setups and everyday tolerances. My current mill is a Tormach 1100 and it's been very adequate but I'm very limited on spindle speed/rigidity with the 6K R8 spindle. I'd really like a full proper probe/toolsetter setup. I also really favor setups that run well on mist/air/MQL-type setups because managing/disposing gallons of used flood coolant is a huge PITA for me.

Right now the leading contenders I'm thinking of are things like the Syil X5, something Haas like a super-mini or compact mill, or the Datron Neo. The Syil seems like a lot more machine for the price of a new Tormach. Haas feels like the price escalates fast with options compared to the other machines, and the compact mill seems more specialized for small workpieces versus just being a smaller footprint. The Datron meanwhile seems like a very purpose-built prototyping machine, but also very narrowly specialized in terms of tooling, workpiece size and materials, and I am guessing is $150K+. Maybe for the same price there are better ways to spend it.

Curious to hear where the real experts in here would go with this.
 
  • Let's say you hit the number and could put one or two really nice machines in a home shop for your own projects.
  • Size: Nothing too big, say roughly Haas Mini-Mill size give or take a bit
  • Power: Garage will have 100A now, 200A in about a year or as soon as I can get the main panel upgraded to 400A (parts are badly backlogged right now)
  • Age/etc.: preferably new or relatively new/available with good parts/tech support
  • My biggest priorities are very high flexibility, ease of reconfigurability, and fast setups since >95% of my parts are first article prototypes.
  • Typically fit in a cigar box, made in 6061 or acetal, 3-axis with 1-3 setups and everyday tolerances.
  • managing/disposing gallons of used flood coolant is a huge PITA for me.
I turned that into a bullet list for you. You said won the lottery so cost is out the window. Also eliminated used machines for the same reason. Eliminated 'no coolant' because you get no advantages of high speed machining if you can't clear chips. Flood coolant is that reality.

Haas VF-2YT: Mini Mill is nice but, too small. You said the size of a cigar box. A cigar box in a Kurt vise is uncomfortably tight for a MM and you won't fit two Kurts in a MM without issues. Simple side A side B cigar boxes, in a pair of Kurts, works perfectly in the VF-2. The YT option buys you an extra 4" in Y. Add a rotary or trunnion if you want.
Haas TL-2: I picked the 2 because you have an unlimited budget so why pick the TL-1? It's not a good value if you option it to death (vs just going with an ST) but, you said versatile and fast setup. The TL wins on setup versatility. Budget is unlimited so you're going to buy the expensive turret option and then not use it 90% of the time. A Dorian tool post is more versatile but, you'll want that turret sometimes.

Yeah, people will come back with other machines that might be cheaper, or might be faster but smaller machining volumes, or might be amazing but, won't work in a 100" garage. Truth be told, the VF needs a hole cut in the drywall between the rafters to clear the head at full height. That's as much as you're going to squeeze into the space.
 
Speedio all the way......Tormach=POS. Syil=commie POS. Haas=best of the worst POS.

What's the advantage of a Speedio when running one off parts and prototyping, where you are sitting there babysitting single runs of a part? I get it for high production of parts you have proven out.
 
Up vote for Speedio. Our M140X2 and R450X1 machines kick ass. Another one we have are TC32BN QT machines. Blink and you'll miss the tool change... Also very reliable machines with even better service support from Yamazen in our experience
 
Lottery jackpots regularly go above $300million so why limit yourself? If you're going to ball out on a home shop, you mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger.

I'd get a DMG MORI Lasertec6600, add the ultrasonic option now you have a machine that could make possibly anything imaginable. A building and foundation to fit it and you're only out a paltry 10 or 12 million.

Or.... spend that 10mil on hookers and blow. Then pay Xometry two nickels every time you want a phone mount made for your new Ferrari, your choice.
 
What's the advantage of a Speedio when running one off parts and prototyping, where you are sitting there babysitting single runs of a part? I get it for high production of parts you have proven out.
I went from a Haas VF-2ss to now three Brother R650's. The advantage is better build quality that doesn't need service calls as frequently, better accuracy, better finishes, quieter, uses significantly less power, more ergonomic, better control, better support, more customizable. Oh, and they're pretty fast, too. Just my experience, having owned both.
 
I went from a Haas VF-2ss to now three Brother R650's. The advantage is better build quality that doesn't need service calls as frequently, better accuracy, better finishes, quieter, uses significantly less power, more ergonomic, better control, better support, more customizable. Oh, and they're pretty fast, too. Just my experience, having owned both.
↑↑↑↑ This X10 ↑↑↑↑
 
I went from a Haas VF-2ss to now three Brother R650's. The advantage is better build quality that doesn't need service calls as frequently, better accuracy, better finishes, quieter, uses significantly less power, more ergonomic, better control, better support, more customizable. Oh, and they're pretty fast, too. Just my experience, having owned both.
I had a 50 taper haas sitting across from a 40 taper mazak, same part, same program, same 1/2" endmill same gage length, same kurt vise same programer and operator (ME). Tool life was was a little more than 2 to 1 better on the mazak. I think it was 5 or 6 parts per endmill on the haas and 12 to 15 on the mazak. Cutting weldox plate.
I know there are a lot of variables but that was all the proof I needed.
 
I had a 50 taper haas sitting across from a 40 taper mazak, same part, same program, same 1/2" endmill same gage length, same kurt vise same programer and operator (ME). Tool life was was a little more than 2 to 1 better on the mazak. I think it was 5 or 6 parts per endmill on the haas and 12 to 15 on the mazak. Cutting weldox plate.
I know there are a lot of variables but that was all the proof I needed.
Basically my same experience, except 40 taper Haas vs 30 taper Brother. When I bought the Brother, I was concerned about rigidity, and of course it can't take as big a cut as the 40 taper, but what I found over time is that the Brother removes less material (by ear and by measured taper in the Z direction) per spring pass than the Haas did with 1/2" endmills. So the 30 taper is actually producing LESS taper from tool deflection. On most of my tight tolerance interpolated features, I've gone from 2 spring passes on the Haas to 1 on the Brother.

The point being, Brothers are NOT less rigid, they only have less pullstud pressure. At least, that's how I've come to understand things.
 
When I win the lotto I'll be hiring all the pure CNC jobs out but need a couple machines for the artsy fartsy stuff. That means both manual and simple CNC.
Southwest Industries prototrak wins for this.

I could never live without my Monarch 10EE. maybe get one with a 30" bed.
 
but, won't work in a 100" garage. Truth be told, the VF needs a hole cut in the drywall between the rafters to clear the head at full height. That's as much as you're going to squeeze into the space.
I'm building to at least 10' ceiling height so I have a little more space.

Or.... spend that 10mil on hookers and blow. Then pay Xometry two nickels every time you want a phone mount made for your new Ferrari, your choice.
I'm more of an Aston Martin guy, but yeah... $#@!ing around in the shop is a healthier way to spend my early retirement than hanging around bars in South Florida.

I'd get a DMG MORI Lasertec6600, add the ultrasonic option now you have a machine that could make possibly anything imaginable. A building and foundation to fit it and you're only out a paltry 10 or 12 million.
I'll bookmark that for the third time I sell the company... Would be fun to see the local building inspector's reaction when I file the permits for that foundation. "You're putting WHAT in there!?"

The Brother Speedio machines were definitely on my mind.
 
Speedio of some flavor, and Mori NLX with Y and C is what I'd drop in my garage. Of course, I'd rather have a Swiss, but we all know I'm biased, and the Mori gives more versatility for normal people who make normal parts.

Of course, I'd still have to have a knee mill and a manual lathe too... Too much fun making chips to do it all behind an enclosure.
 
Most machines are easy to get. I would make a very nice big shop just as important a requirement as the machines.

If you won the lottery for a billion and cashed out for hundreds of millions and machining stuff is important to you I cannot fathom getting excited to have anything from Haas.

I could spend a few million on a nice little 20K sq ft machine shed alone. 6" metal insulated panels, Bridge cranes, HVAC, storage cabinets, epoxy floors, huge raw material inventory. 10 mil or so more for machines and tooling.

If you had half a billion or so to work with 15m for a home shop sounds reasonable to me. Better investment than a big yacht or a small island anyway.
 
Let's say you hit the number and could put one or two really nice machines in a home shop for your own projects. What do you get?

Hard Limits are:
- Size: Nothing too big, say roughly Haas Mini-Mill size give or take a bit
- Power: Garage will have 100A now, 200A in about a year or as soon as I can get the main panel upgraded to 400A (parts are badly backlogged right now)
- Age/etc.: preferably new or relatively new/available with good parts/tech support

In terms of cost, I'd be curious what people would do for, say, under $50K, $100K, and "no limits." Assume this is for core machine only, no tooling, shop will have air, etc.

My biggest priorities are very high flexibility, ease of reconfigurability, and fast setups since >95% of my parts are first article prototypes. Typically fit in a cigar box, made in 6061 or acetal, 3-axis with 1-3 setups and everyday tolerances. My current mill is a Tormach 1100 and it's been very adequate but I'm very limited on spindle speed/rigidity with the 6K R8 spindle. I'd really like a full proper probe/toolsetter setup. I also really favor setups that run well on mist/air/MQL-type setups because managing/disposing gallons of used flood coolant is a huge PITA for me.

Right now the leading contenders I'm thinking of are things like the Syil X5, something Haas like a super-mini or compact mill, or the Datron Neo. The Syil seems like a lot more machine for the price of a new Tormach. Haas feels like the price escalates fast with options compared to the other machines, and the compact mill seems more specialized for small workpieces versus just being a smaller footprint. The Datron meanwhile seems like a very purpose-built prototyping machine, but also very narrowly specialized in terms of tooling, workpiece size and materials, and I am guessing is $150K+. Maybe for the same price there are better ways to spend it.

Curious to hear where the real experts in here would go with this.
That is a silly mind game, but sure... let us play
!. New property with a 2500 sqft or more extensive shop. Preferably a barn with an overhead crane. Oh, and a lovely house with a lake to keep the ole' lade happy
2. Speparate woodshop, metal shop grinding, and welding shop. If you think of it, a blacksmith area as well
3. the woodshop...A lovely new table from Altendorf with Handguard. A shaper with a sliding table from one of the big guys (Martin, Altendorf, Felder, etc....). a 24" planer, 16"+ jointer, a 24" bandsaw, mortiser...every tool from Festool ...and more goodies.
4. Grinding area: an 8x24 or larger new surface grinder, fully automatic, maybe CNC. A CNC tool and cutter grinder. Belt grinder, pedestal grinders...add more stuff.
5. Manual machines. A rebuilt Shaublin 135 lathe or Monarch 100ee, something similar. A Deckel PP3 or similar fully rebuilt, and all the lovely accessories to play with
6. CNC: I'm not sure about the lathe, but something ultra-precise and something that can turn a 13"+ thingie, Mori? A Kern Micro for a mill, and maybe something larger for "rough work," a Mory DMG? I'm not sure this would be a learning experience. Since money is no object, get the best.

sooooo. House, land, shop, toys. Say 50 to 100 mill, and you are set.
 
Most machines are easy to get. I would make a very nice big shop just as important a requirement as the machines.
New property with a 2500 sqft or more extensive shop.

Unfortunately this is one area I'm constrained. Unless I move (and I like the location too much for other reasons) it's tough to squeeze anything too much bigger than a 28x44' building onto the site. I'm planning a basement in the back third of it (with a properly engineered floor/ceiling) so total space will be around 1400sqft with 700 of that being a heavy duty pad on the ground. I'm less concerned about this because I've been working comfortably in more like 600 square feet for the past decade.

And the truth is if I had the space and put up a 5K pole barn or something, it would probably only be a year or two before I filled it with questionable choices. I mean, I *could* use a bulldozer every once in a while...
 








 
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