The arrival of the Tormach PCNC440 demanded a review of my compressed air infrastructure. I have Bambi 24V pot belly compressor which previously only fed a dust off blower. In addition to this, the compressor now has to feed the new Tormach power drawbar and the Fog Buster coolant system.
To aid distribution I sourced locally a 4 port manifold with an in and pass through in line. This gave me a couple of spare ports for future expansion.
The Tormach PCNC440 arrived with US style push and lock black tubing and fittings with ubiquitous 1/4″ BSP threads. Thank goodness something is common. In total I had something like 15 threads to seal and PTFE tape did not do the job. Soapy water revealed a bubble factory.
A quick scan on the web and it seemed that Loctite 577 was recommended. RS had it in stock and it was a revelation to seal the threads. You just squeeze a thin ring of 577 around the thread and screw it home. Job done ….. but maybe they won’t ever come apart again …. well that’s a problem for another day.
Last Monday the delivery lorry arrived and the driver skillfully backed his 7.5T truck onto the drive and dropped off a number of boxes. Much excitement ensued not only from me but my three helpers – Andy, Dave and Ian.
Dave and Andy set on immediately to assembly the stand and Ian and myself continued with planning how and where the machine would fit into the workshop.
Great news that my new milling machine has arrived in the UK and is awaiting clearance at Southampton docks. (Not so good news but as budgeted was the 20% VAT on the shipped total and import duty of 2.5%).
Some significant moving round is going to be needed in the workshop to get it installed and I expect a number of days downtime while I get to grips with it. On the bright side I have some close friends keen to lend a hand.
After attending the NYC CNCFusion 360 and CAM training course at Saunders Machine Works in Zannesville earlier this year I decided to upgrade my shop to CNC operation. During the course we had used Tormach machines and I had a good chance to asses them and the PathPilot CAM control program.
After a great deal of deliberation I opted for the PCNC440 from Tormach. There were various reasons for this but the main one related to available space. If I had sold off my Myford VMB milling machine and the BCA Mk3 Jig Borer I could have fitted in a Tormach PCNC770 but it would have dominated the shop. The PCNC440 allows me to keep the VMB and just sell off the BCA. Anything that I could do on the BCA I will be able to do on the PCNC440.
I have got very sentimental about the VMB and have done various mods to it including digital readout (DRO) and acquired quite a lot of tooling for it. I can do things quickly on it and as yet I don’t know how easy this will be on the PCNC440.
Going for the PCNC440 also brings some restrictions. The fact that the spindle cannot be reversed is probably the main thing. This means threading must either be done with machine taps (which I have never done) or it must be done offline with conventional taps. In preparation for this I have ordered a Mosquito tapping arm and more details of this will follow once installed.
I have ordered the power drawbar with the PCNC440 and the Fog Buster coolant system together with the Tormach tooling chucks. It was a lot of dollars and the F/X was miserable when I placed my order. Tormach shipped within 10 days which was impressive. After some investigation I chose ACC as the UK freight forwarder/importer and they have been excellent in helping me understand the process and arranging the shipment from the US via Montreal to Southampton.
It is going to be a big crate and our drive is not going to be easy to access for the delivery truck. More to follow once I have a delivery date.