Wabeco manual or CNC lathes - opinions?

I've been thinking about small CNC lathes lately. If anyone has used or
owned one of them, would you mind sharing your opinions of it?
Mike
Reply to
Mike Henry
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I don't have one. But they do have a good reputation. Only if they weren't that expensive.
Nick
Reply to
Nick Mueller
CNC is expensive. It doesn't make sense to put it on such a small lathe. If you can afford CNC, then you can afford a bigger lathe and the space to put it.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
Your post wasn't clear. I think you are asking about Wabeco rather than CNC lathes in geeral. I have a Wabeco D3200E manual lathe. I like it but it was not cheap (close to 4k for the manual machine). One of the things I like best is variable feed speed that is independent from threading. It helps reduce vibration and get nice finishes. This probably is moot for a cnc lathe however since you'll have everything motorized anyway.
If you are serious about Wabeco, contact this guy:
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I got mine from him. Markus is great. Much better service than the few other US sellers of these machines. He did several midnite calls to Germany for me to ask questions (their manual is not as bad a the Chinese translations, but still has holes) He's in northern CA, which worked well for me because I could drive over and pick it up.
IIRC, Markus mentioned to me that the CNC options from Wabeco are pretty old technology. I think MDA actually gets the machines CNC- ready from Wabeco and then adds better drivers and software. I could be wrong because that wasn't what I was buying.
There is also a Wabeco forum on Yahoo (hosted by MDA). If you have more questions contact my email (user name).
Reply to
lens42
Depending on ones actual Needs, CNC ' WAS ' Expensive. There is a HUGE trend to use numerous small machines rather than stack up work behind one machine. It comes down the the actual needs of the operation, and also includes cost factors. Many conclude they can have higher throughput with 5 smaller machines for the same cost of 1 machine.
All depends on what they NEED.
Grummy
Reply to
grumtac
Webeco and also Prazi have not been inexpensive machines, because largely, as small footprint machines go, they are made to a much higher standard.
I have also heard good things about MDA, and I have heard of others who have been terrible representatives for Wabeco's fine product.
I know there have been Prazi machines under Flashcut CNC Control, and that is far better than what you might be familiar with. These machines were offered by a company that has gone by the wayside from the sound of things, however, I think there may currently be discussions between Flashcut and MDA to equip the current Wabeco offerings with better and more modern controls. In a world growing with PC based CNC controls, Flashcut certainly holds its own .
Nonetheless, the hardware of the Wabeco IS indeed a nice unit, and thus the reason for the higher pricing than other far east imports.
Grummy
Reply to
grumtac
Yes, but the point is, if the iron is a small fraction of the cost of an intelligent machine, then the economic thing is to tend to bigger iron.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
Well, so far it is just a thought and there is barely room for something the size of a Wabeco let alone something more substantial unless one or more other major tools disappear. I've got a Clausing 5914 for "larger" stuff but really don't want to mess with converting that as there are more than enough other projects to fill the available shop time. Besides, most of my work seems to be in the 3" and smaller diameters (usually less than 1") so a relatively small CNC lathe seems like an option worth exploring. The $14k price tag on the Wabeco is a bit daunting, however, especially as there hasn't been much in the way of user reviews.
Mike
Reply to
Mike Henry
My interest is primarily in their CNC lathes as I already have a manual lathe (Clausing 5914). It looks like Wabeco's CNC lathes are based on their manual lathes, so I thought that limitations or issues in the manual lathes would also be present in the CNC versions and owners of manual lathes are likely to be more common.
An acquaintance is also considering one of their lathes but has been having problems getting solid answers from the distributor he's talking to. That doesn't sound like the guy you were talking to so I'll pass along the contact info to him. Thanks for the pointer to the Yahoo group - I'll check that out later tonight as well as look into the controls if a purchase becomes more certain.
Mike.
Reply to
Mike Henry
According to Mike Henry :
Well ... I've got an Emco-Maier Compact-5/CNC. It is a 5" swing lathe, with resolution of either 0.01mm or 0.001". But that resolution is on the *radius* of the work, so the actual diameter steps are either 0.02mm or 0.001".
It is a stepper motor powered machine, not very fast, and the controller is based on an ancient 6502 CPU -- what the original Apple and Commodore PET computers used.
It is nice for threading to a shoulder -- either metric or imperial at the flick of a switch.
It has available a turret with six stations -- three for bar shanked turning tools to the sides, and three for things like drilling and boring. But it is a slow turret, and the programming of it is rather awkward. (You can't tell it "go to station 5". Instead, you have to tell it to "move up four stations", and *hope* that you remembered to restore to station 1 when you finished the last run.
It was used mostly in schools, for training people in beginning CNC work.
It is no longer made, but it shows up from time to time on eBay. So it is mostly a question of whether it can do what *you* need.
I do get serious use out of it -- but am more likely to go to the Clausing for most things, not the little CNC. It is complicated things that tend to get the CNC treatment.
A later version of this was made based on a (slightly) more modern CPU -- one of the IBM PC clones, and it required a special interface board in the ISA slot -- not a PCI one available.
The chucks and other tooling are excellent quality -- and expensive if you can find them new.
Just letting you know one thing which is out there.
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
That's another brand that is worth consideration, although lower resolution would be better if only to hedge a bit.
How do you create code for the lathe and load it to the controller? For my CNC mill I'm using SprutCAM for CAM and Mach2 for the controller.
That sounds a lot like the tool changer on the Wabeco, at least physically.
Small parts with 3-D profiles or larger ones with lots of machining steps (like model IC engine crankcases or cylinder heads) is what I'm thinking of too. Simpler stuff is handled pretty efficiently on the Clausing.
Thanks - I think I have an old Emco CNC brochure around somewhere and will take a look at that.
Mike
Reply to
Mike Henry
If you are serious about CNC lathes..
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If you want one..contact me off list.
I rarely find one used..but I do find them. Im currently rebuilding two of them, and both were sold "as is" and I was then hired to rebuild them
Gunner
"Deep in her heart, every moslem woman yearns to show us her tits" John Griffin
Reply to
Gunner
Just semi-serious at present as I'm still learning how to use a CNC mill. The mill is addictive enough that a lathe might be in the future. I'm in Chicago and that's probably a little out of your service area anyway .
Mike
Reply to
Mike Henry
Out of my service area indeed..but Ive got a number of users there that Ive turned on to machines, both new and used.
Gunner
Political Correctness
A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical liberal minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.
Reply to
Gunner
OK, I'll keep that in mind and have bookmarked the Omniturn site.
Mike
Reply to
Mike Henry
Also check the dealers site..lots of fun and interesting stuff. I supplied much of the documentation before I left the fold
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Gunner
Political Correctness
A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical liberal minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.
Reply to
Gunner
According to Mike Henry :
Well ... *I* generate it by hand, keying in the G-codes and M-codes from the front panel.
They *did* have a PC program for generating the code, and it can be uploaded to the machine via a RS-232 port -- but it is *very* picky about format. Decimal point is implied, rather than explicit.
No problems when keying it in directly from the front panel, but when you save the program via RS-232, you had better be exact in the number of spaces when you read it back.
Most of the machines had tiny tape drives for storing several programs (theoretically up to 99, based on the program name format -- a two digit number. :-)
There was a retrofit 3-1/2" floppy drive which was available at a later time. I've got one, but I need to machine up the mounting bezel for it. I don't know whether it used MS-DOS FAT format, or some unique format for the floppies.
It can be interchanged with a quick-change toolpost which allows a wider range of workpiece diameters. The turret is rather restrictive in that matter.
O.K.
O.K. Good Luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols

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