Tormach 1100MX Question

Hello and Happy New Year to all. I have what may be an odd question.

I have a fairly outfitted home machine shop with both manual and CNC machines. I am considering ordering a fully loaded 1100MX but space has become a real issue. I am seeking opinions as to whether or not the Tormach can replace a series 1 - 2HP Bridgeport mill? I understand that the Tormach has less travel on the X axes so I am not considering this in the final evaluation.

Thanks,

Steve

What are you doing with the Bridgeport ?
I was working in a gunsmithing shop couple years ago and the 1100s3 we had was able to do all the work, but I was also using the manual mill for rapid job, by habit. The conversational of pathpilot is also great for that.

Thanks for the reply. I think you have told me what I suspected is the case. I use the Bridgeport for one off parts and quick setups for accurate multiple drilling and tapping sequences in simple parts. I have made more complex parts with the use of a rotary table and dividing head, and understand that this is where CNC will shine.

I assume that the need for multiple or more complex parts more than justifies the Tormach.

I am really more concerned with the power availability even though both machines are 2 hp. The Bridgeport has a lot of torque and the Tormach has a higher spindle speed, but the VFD on the Tormach reduces available power with reduction of RPM.

When I worked at a shop that had a manual mill and a Haas, I would do stock squaring on the manual mill, use it as a glorified drill press, or first iteration prototypes. It seemed that I always ended up making a second version on the CNC. I currently have an 1100, and it does a great job at the the things I used to use the manual mill for, and if anything, my first iteration parts come out better because I didn’t spend the time mucking around on the manual to start with!

I agree with Bluebird, pathpilot makes using the mill quite easy. The whole spindle power/torque/rigidity thing is apparent, but that is just an adjustment in machine expectations. I don’t expect it to be able to hog through steel with a 3" carbide shell mill, and that’s ok with me. It’s a compromise, I think I’d take the 1100 over a CNC retrofitted bridgport for the type of work I do. It does enough other things well to make up for its weaknesses, but those weaknesses might be an issue if you have needs that you can’t compromise on (i.e. you need lots of low RPM torque, or some other special requirements).

You mentioned other CNC machines, would the 1100 be in addition to an existing CNC vertical machining center?

Your response content is exactly what was looking and hoping for.

I understand that I will need to change the style of my operations when I switch to the Tormach and I don’t want to be foolish by giving up the Bridgeport and then finding that the new machine is a pain to do a simple small operation.

The other CNC machines that I have are Plasma and 2 hp spindle.

Thank you for the response.

Steve

No problem. Good luck with your decision.

Another thought crossed my mind: There is a fairly large youtube presence of the 1100 mills being used for various applications. It might be worth taking a look finding someone doing something similar to what you want to use the machine for, and see what those operations might look like.

What software does your Plasma run?

-KS

I have watched many you tube videos with this machine being used and I am impressed with what I have seen.

I don’t have a particular use/need in mind for the 1100MX. I have had a home shop for 30 years and have been an amateur machinist and fabricator since I was born :grinning:

I typically sell enough fabricated parts or plasma cut brackets to support my tool and machine hobby and more. I have built cars and motorcycles from the frame up, so I am excited to add more automation to my cave.

My plasma machine which I built runs with a Linux computer and Bladerunner (Command CNC) software. I use the same setup with my spindle and it works great and also has a SATC.

I think it’s the CNC spindle cutting aluminum parts that has inspired the Tormach evaluation.

Thanks,

Steve