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  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Angrybear View Post
    If I have my facts right the Denfords in question run on older technology that involves Parallel Ports, ancient PCs and antiquated software. I understand they can be updated, but I wouldn't have the faintest idea where to start. Im currently relearning CAD, and have yet to still learn CAM, speeds and feeds, work-holding, etc etc. Im not sure my limited brain could also fit in having to learn the seemingly complicated skills involved in how to update everything, and get this working with that and so on. I fear a Denford would quickly become a very heavy, expensive, paper weight.
    I wouldn't be too concerned about something that uses a parallel port. It's still widely used, you can get a PC with one for very little, and use WinXP or 7 32bit.
    Admittedly I know nothing of the more industrial machines but I've had no problem with the likes of mach3. And I updated my parallel controller to an ethernet controller for more I/O. Re-wiring wasn't too difficult and changing the software ports and pins
    If you have all the documents it helps.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnHaine View Post
    I may be prejudiced but from your description of what you want to do I think a router-derived gantry machine is unlikely to be rigid and precise enough. I think I have seen a Nomad machine in a university student workshop and it seems quite restricted in trying to lock you into their software - also it is essentially a gantry router. It's when you want to start machining steel and small parts such as watch bridges that rigidity and precision start to matter, but also "engine turning" type work might look wrong if the machine isn't sufficiently precise.
    Depends on who's built it.? I have built fixed gantry-style routers that will knock a taig or Sherline mills into next week in terms of strength, accuracy, and performance. To be honest I treat and see both as toys in comparison.!

    The Denford machines are ok-ish in strength terms and precision but they fall down in other areas such as spindle speed. With micro tooling like what is needed for watch making then spindle speed becomes massively important and they simply don't have the speed and are not easily upgraded.
    Most have a maximum speed of 3000rpm or 5000rpm at best which just isn't fast enough for micro tools, even 24000rpm which routers use is considered borderline fast enough and on machines, we build for such type of work 40,000 and 60,000 rpm would be used.

    That said the Nomad would be a poor choice, not because it's a router but more because of the build quality low spec components, and weak structure.

    Also, Just because people use them to make such things doesn't always show or tell the whole truth about how easy it does the job and the effect of doing that job on the machine affects wear and tear on it.
    Also, IME very few will tell you the truth, and often if they do give a favorable report that is often because they know no different and don't have the experience of using a machine that is more capable so believe their machine is the bee's knees.!
    We see this all the time from people who buy our routers after coming from lesser machines like Workbee's etc, within a very short time they quickly realize they are dealing with a different beast which opens up possibilities and takes quality and accuracy to levels there old machine could only dream about.!

    Now, the problem Angrybear will have is to find a new machine that is capable in strength terms with components that allow accuracy and with a spindle suitable for micro tooling is the Budget. 3000 just isn't going to buy such a machine. I certainly couldn't build one for less than 5000 which I'd be happy to put my name on to do this type of work.

    An old professional engraving machine would be a better choice to look out for IMO if buying second hand and here's why.?
    They have high-speed spindles 60k and 100k is not unusual for engraving machines.
    They are built very strongly because rigidity is crucial for engraving.
    They have a cutting area which would suit watches perfectly.
    They can be found quite cheaply.

    Angry bear Hope this helps and be careful what you buy because just because you may see a machine doing a particular job doesn't mean you are seeing the whole picture. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a minefield so before buying anything I'd strongly advise you to ask on the forum and resist the urge to click "Buy it Now"

    Good look.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: dean@jazzcnc.co.uk

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to JAZZCNC For This Useful Post:


  4. #13
    JAZZCNC - That was an exceptionally useful post, thank you. I had thought the higher spindle speeds would be necessary with such small tooling.

    Can you think of any particular engraving machines that I should look out for? If I could somehow stretch to 5k (sell some toys) could you do anything with that? You must have an incredibly long waiting list?

  5. #14
    Not sure how well this will be received, but I thought I would show you guys the sort of stuff I make. I know it’s not cnc related, but may be of interest to someone.
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  6. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Angrybear View Post
    JAZZCNC - That was an exceptionally useful post, thank you. I had thought the higher spindle speeds would be necessary with such small tooling.

    Can you think of any particular engraving machines that I should look out for? If I could somehow stretch to 5k (sell some toys) could you do anything with that? You must have an incredibly long waiting list?
    Hi,

    Gravotech is a very capable engraving machine and can be picked up relatively cheaply, though not exactly common, they do show up from time to time.

    Regards us being able to make a machine with 5k then yes possibly can, though won't be able to supply much more than a 30K rpm spindle for that kind of money. But 30Krpm is still very usable with small tools.
    In terms of strength and accuracy then yes without a doubt we can build a small machine for 5K. The best thing to do is email me so we can discuss it, my email is below.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: dean@jazzcnc.co.uk

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

  7. #16
    Hi Tim, did you decide on a machine to go with ?
    .Me

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