I’m getting my 8L set up (stupid Amazon taking over a month to get me an engine hoist) and I would love to run either gang tooling or a tool turret. I have done enough research to know Tormach doesn’t sell the gang tooling setup for this machine so I would have to figure it out on my own and I have seen a few people have done just that. The main problem I have is that I got the 8L because an unexpected opportunity popped up locally. I was actually looking to get a mill as my next major shop purchase. All of the people I have seen set up gang tooling have milled a plate and/or holder themselves. As I don’t have the ability to mill one, does anybody know of a place where I could find a drawing to the plate so I could look into getting one made? Better yet, if anyone would be able to make one for me, that would be awesome.
On a similar note, it seems like most people opt for gang tooling on the 8L opposed to some kind of turret. I know there are advantages and disadvantage most obviously being space but I found this turret which looked like it might work. Has anybody tried something like this? How did it work out?
Couple of quick comments, neither of which are a direct answer to your question, but…
Engine hoists are rentable. Do you have a Sunbelt rentals in your area? Sure, it’s a significant percentage of the cost of a cheap one from Amazon, but if your shop space is at as much of a premium as mine is, that thing will just be in the way for the rest of its life. I was happy to pay to not have it in my shop after I was done with it.
As for the gang tooling, I can’t help you there except to echo that this is something Tormach should really offer for 8L customers. With a mill, you could easily do something like this. If you’re willing to pay for it, send your design to a place like Xometry, Protolabs, Fictiv, or even PCBWay (which is probably the cheapest).
As for the turret, I haven’t seen the one you linked to. I was seriously considering the one from Altaros along with Tormach’s USB M-Code I/O Interface Kit and still hope someone here takes on that project and documents it all for us to copy. Unfortunately, I decided I can’t be the “lead penguin” on this one.
Good luck and welcome to 8L ownership. The machine is not without its quirks, but within its admittedly narrow Goldilocks’ zone, it can produce nice parts.
I don’t yet have an 8L but hope to in the relatively near future. I do have a 1100mx though so if you decide to outsource your gang plate I’d be happy to help. Might even make two to keep one for my lathe when I get it. I’d suggest avoiding xometry. I’ve been a supplier for them for some time now and while it started out fine, lately I’ve found they pay their suppliers so poorly, the raw material is often more than what they’re paying for the job. Meanwhile the customer is paying as much or more than they would going to a local shop.
I had thought about using a rental but I figured between the 8L and the PM-1228 manual lathe, being able to move things around without hiring people was a capability I should have.
I saw that video and, after watching it again, saw that there is a contact email. I’ll see if he can help me out.
Finally, I am aware of all of those services but I need a design before I can worry about making it. I understand the concept, but was hoping someone with hands on experience could help me figure out what the plate and holders should look like.
Thank you, I might very well take you up on that.
This video is where I first saw the gang tooling setup for the 8L. He’s a business, so I figure he’d sell the design or a fully made one. I’m not quite ready to purchase one yet, so I haven’t looked any closer yet. I definitely like the turrets mentioned above. I’ll be watching this space until I’m ready to buy something myself.
I sent him a message.
I’ll report back when I get a response.