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  1. My High-Z S/1000-T finally arrived all the way from Germany. This machine was ordered from Prototools about a month ago and is on their site as Heiz T-1000. Machines are built to order hence the long delivery time. I opted for the T series for the extra speed. My old machine ran at 800mm/min - way below my patience threshhold .

    The machine arrived in a sturdy chipboard built box with no apparent damage. Lifting the lid revealed the machine and a cardboard box with the controller, various leads, the software and 4 aluminium T slot planks for the clamping bed and a few other bits. The T Slot planks had been bound with what looked like Germany's version of the Sun tabloid - but every page seemed to be page 3 - not that I studied it in errr ... great detail ... oh no. Missing was the Kress spindle. A quick email to Phillip at prototools led to the discovery that it was missed from the shipping so they will ship it over the next couple of days. So far prototools have been very good to deal with. eMails are responded to promptly with good advice.

    I'd revamped the garage and built what my wife referred to as a dining room table rather than a shelf. My old machine was boxed in - which was nice for dust and damped down the noise a bit but also made access an exercise in contortion. The Heiz will be in the open so one of the first tasks will be to make some kind of 'hoover' attachment.

    The machine seems quite simple given the price but is very solid and sturdy. It's well put together with nothing loose and no play as far as I could determine.

    Set-up was fairly straightforward. The WinPC-NC controller software installed onto a Lenovo laptop without problems and prompted me to select the machine type from a pre-defined list. I found the jog function which asked me if I wanted to go to the reference. I said yes and the machine made the most awfull noise as the Z axis crashed against the stops. The supplied setup file didn't have the correct settings - time to RTFM.

    The manual is comprehensible; their English is much better than my German - lucky for me! I gradually worked through the setup and got all the axis homing properly. Then onto the motor testing and setting appropriate speeds and suddenly the machine is whizzing along with 6000mm/min rapids. I'll leave the full 7000mm/min for another day.

    Setting up the T-Nut plates requires drilling them to clamp them to the frame. I did a temporary job without drilling. There is a smidgin of flex in the middle of the bed so any metal work had better be done at the ends or the plates supported. The plates can be fixed to the bottom of the frame if working on deeper pieces or if wanting to fix a vice to the bed.

    Software wise I'm used to EMC2. WinPC-NC seems Ok, although I'm struggling a bit with some of the settings being saved as 'machine' settings and some saved against a working g-code file. The workround for me is to write g-code from vcarve pro to the same file so settings are kept. First test cuts were a couple of simple signs for my wife's school - just letters carved into round 15mm thick ply using a 60deg bit and a straight flute for clearance. Since the Kress hasn't turned up I'm using my 'old' Bosch POF600 - ok for this kind of work but I think the bearings have a wee bit of slop now. I finally figure out the concept of "workpiece" references and machine references and manage to cut two signs. The results leave a tiny wee bit to be desired (i'll put that down to the Bosch bearings) but are much better than the old machine.

    So far (1 day in), I'm pleased with the machine. It's fast, seems solid, robust and accurate. Support from prototools has been very good. I was a bit apprehensive ordering quite such an expensive 'toy' - but my initial impressions haven't resulted in me kicking myself or having one of those stomach sickening moments when you realise you've just blown a stack of cash on rubbish. However, it's early days yet so I'll try and post some more info when I've got a bit more experience with the beast.

  2. Great news, any pics of the machine ?

  3. I did take some pics - just need to downsize them to some reasonable size.

    Also - I posted in the new members thread to update davem who was interested in the machine. Both my attempts to post disappeared into the aether.

  4. #4
    Thanks pcstru,

    I already spotted your post above which I read with great interest. The early Z-stop bump would have worried me but I am very impressed that you had the machine up and running in a day. I'm afraid my project has a very long way to go before I get round to ordering any hardware but your information is already proving useful. I had noted the relatively shallow T slot panels from the Heiz site which you confirm really need to be supported in tthe middle (presumably across the shorter dimension). I would be working on deeper jobs so would need extension pieces to drop the bed lower (to allow for the rotary table plus a bit of workpiece upstand). Heiz mention a Z-extender kit but I have found no specific details of it as yet.

    Look forward to seeing your pictures.

    All the best


  5. Well, I've tried to attach some photos - no idea if it will work. There is one there of the garage before with the old machine - just for some comparison.
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    Last edited by pcstru; 26-04-2010 at 04:53 PM. Reason: Seems to have worked.

  6. Davem - The machine is reasonably close to plug and play, unlike my first machine which was a pile of bits! My biggest worry is the two motors on the X axis losing step and the gantry alignment going. My plan then is to just wind it against the stops but if it happens (when) I'll take advice from the supplier first. So far though, there is no sign of any step loss.

    The Tslot pieces can be attached to the bottom of the machine for deeper pieces, or for even deeper pieces left off altogether and the machine raised up (and presumably then solidly attached to ... well, something solid. I've a large slice from a chestnut tree which I plan to work. It should fit under the machine with the plates off and then I'll clamp the machine onto the 'table'.

    I'd be interested to know more about your project ... do tell!

  7. #7
    Intriguing photos pcstru, the machine looks somewhat smaller than I imagined when viewed in your (presumably) average sized garage. I'd be very interested to hear of any sign of losing steps on the X axis motors. I am assuming teutonic thoroughness means that they will have over-specified the motor torque to avoid getting either of them close to stalling - but what of a steep approach into your large slice of chesnut and my planned, shall we say, more 'sculptural' shapes in thick hardwoods? However, for starters, I hope to be doing fairly light modelmaking not that dissimilar to your clock projects. Unfortunately all this is still wishful thinking in that the super shed with super flat congrete base is a first necessity - I did say this was a long way off project!

    Thanks for keeping me posted and no doubt others will be interested to hear of your exploits with your new machine too.

    Best regards


  8. The photos were taken with a fairly wide angle (17-40mm) lens which tends to do weird things to (apparent) scale on the wide side - although the machine is fairly compact. The piece of MDF you can see on the bed is 915mmx620mm, cutting area is as the spec - 1000mmx580mm. I took a hefty plunge into a bit of oak at the weekend after I made an mistake between vcarve and the controller software. The router stalled and the machine motors stalled before I hit the kill switch. Everything seems fine though, which, given that these things happen is ... good. I'm dreading the day I plunge into the Alu T slot planks.

    'sculptural shapes' in thick hardwood, well say no more squire - nudge nudge, wink wink. Got any photo's!

    Given you are in MK - do you happen to know of any decent timber suppliers locally? I'm after good quality marine plywood for clock gears and some nice misc pieces of quality hardwoods for frames, ornamental boxes and the inevitable house sign requests?

  9. #9
    I am interested in your 'deep plunge' problem. What did it take to stall your 600watt Bosch (albeit into oak) and then stall the axis steppers too? Can I ask what size/type cutter you were using? One wonders if the Kress would stall under such conditions too.
    Definitely something you would not want to do a bit deeper and take out the T-slot bed planks - well not at 340 a pop! ( I thought that Heiz were a bit expensive on this component so I checked out alternative suppliers but they were suprisingly close on costs - although they did offer a slightly thicker 20mm deep plank).
    Re. wood suppliers. I'm afraid I don't know any but my neighbour is also into deeply curved wooden forms - but of the more regular variety - (he turns bowls!) I'll ask him where he gets his wood from. Incidentally we both have the excellent 12" throat Elektra Beckum (German again) bandsaws for cutting and preparing blanks. Both bought from Bedford Saw who are good for woodworking machinery, blades etc. - but you propbably already know of them.

    Bye for now

    Last edited by Davem; 27-04-2010 at 12:57 PM.

  10. Davem, the plunge was with a 1/4in twin flute cutter - the Oak was around 25mm thick with some MDF under it. The cutter went through the oak and into the MDF running at (I think) 3500mm/min before it stalled. It went in at about a 30 deg angle relative to the surface.

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