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Husband, Father, Bonehead
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Discussion Starter #1
There is a local company that will be going to HAAS CNC mills and they are getting rid of some of their old equipment. From what a friend has told me, I MIGHT be able to grab a Chevalier (Chev-ah-yea) model- FM4vkh. I know nothing about mills but am willing to learn! Questions I have for you guys:
Is the brand any good? I have heard of Bridgeport and Haas but not these guys.
What are the things I should look at before picking it up?
I can't find used prices for this mill, what would be a decent price if everything is in working order?
Should I drain the oiling system, Move the tables into certain postions, Anything else... before moving?
Speaking of picking it up...What is a good way to move a 1.75 ton hunk of precision metal from a warehouse across town to a home garage? I have a truck and medium sized trailer, just not sure how to get it in and out of the trailer and in the garage. Hire a company to move it?


I downloaded a brochure and here are some specs:
94" tall
90.5" at it's deepest
99.25" wide
10" x 50" Table
Spindle motor is 5HP
Spindle taper is NST40
Weight is around 3400 lbs.

I am not sure on what accessories it comes with.
 

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Premium Member
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1,211 Posts
Oooo, everyones dream to have a mill in the garage!!!

But, before you get too excited, check the working voltage of the mill, lots are 3 phase.

Even a free mill might not be affordable if you need 3 phase power...
 

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You can get 3-phase converters to use in the home...I've never heard anything bad about them although my exposure is limited.
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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3,235 Posts
The Chevalier brand is just "OK". It depends on what you want to do with it. They are upgrading to a Haas machine for a reason. Not sure if that Chevalier machine has any canned programs in it to do things (circular interpolation, drill pecking, etc.) but you're probably going to need a computer with a CAM program (MasterCAM, GibbsCAM, etc.) and that will start to get expensive. If buying Cam software you will also need the post processor needed to talk to this machine. If this machine uses an oil mist to lube and cool the spindle, it will get messy in the garage.

When moving the machine I would move the X axis to the center position, move the Y axis as far back as you can then place a block of wood on the table and bring the Z axis down to hold it in place to kinda stabilize the machine movements. Oh...and hire a rigger. Do not attempt to move this by yourself with friends. Someone could get seriously hurt.

HTH and have fun.
 

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Junior Charter Member
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2,632 Posts
It looks like that's a pretty basic Bridgeport style knee mill. I couldn't say a price since that is so wear dependent. Does it come with a DRO? How's the backlash on the x and y axes? Does it have a power feed on the x and y? It looks like it would be more than enough for a home shop, but price and condition are everything here.
 

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Oh you said MILL. Came in expecting something else. Dangit. :evil:
 

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Machine

Another thing to consider is the maintenance of the machine. You might want to investigate about service people readily available and parts. Parts for my FADAL are reatively inexpensive, parts for the Mori Seiki lathe I used to have were outrageous. Might be worth having someone inspect the machine also. They can look at the backlash numbers in the machine controller and let you know how good or bad the leadscrews are, the number of hours on the machine, etc. There is probably a reason why they are getting new machines. I would also be concerned about running this machine on a 3 phase converter. Just my two cents worth. A rigger is a must.
 

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Nevermind, I should have googled the model number before I posted. For some reason, I thought we were talking cnc machines. My bad, and the converter would be ok.
 

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Junior Charter Member
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I don't think this is a CNC, guys.

Oh, I meant to say earlier that you can definitely do it yourself. You'll need a tall hoist and maybe a forklift, but moving it isn't a huge deal. You want to pull the head and knee off and then move the base without either attached. I'd do it this way since you probably want to give it a good checkover, anyway. Or, if you are stubborn, you can move the knee all the way down, then rotate the head as close to 180 as you can get(so the head is upside down above the table), then go from there.

Also, 3 phase isn't a dealbreaker, and it should lower the price significantly. Building a rotary phase converter is not tough and if you can find the right motors surplus or something, not overly expensive, either. We have a commercial rotary phase converter in a shop where I work and have no issues other than having to make sure we don't turn our engine lathe on while the CNC lathe is running, or it will throw an error. If the engine lathe is already running, no issues at all.
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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Ooops....never mind.
 

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Premium Member
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Guys, I didn't say it couldn't be done. Just wanted Kyle to know he might not be able to plug it in when he gets it home.

He listed many of the particulars for the mill, but not the input power requirements...
 

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Senior Charter Member
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With a 5 hp motor I would bet it's 3 phase. Phase converters are a little pricey for me. From what I've read about $500 I believe.
It might be worse than that. Where I live, they will only allow 100 amp service to your house. They won't even listen to you tell them you will pay for it.
 

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Junior Charter Member
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161 Posts
Frequency drive for single to three phase

You may be able to get a variable frequency drive that takes 230 VAC single phase input and has a 230 VAC three phase output. Automation Direct has a three HP maximum for this kind of VFD but someone else may have it. Cost from AD for a 5HP VFD = $360

Mike
 

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Ok guys all great ideas mentioned electrically and getting a milwright to move it.

Mechanically to check all axis' (sic) loosen any of the lockdown clamps that hold any axis tight for doing multiple set ups that involve no movement. Then take a dial indicator and hand or power feed the axis throughout it's whole travel to see how much wear there is in the axis. This will tell you how good the machine will hold zero to the backlash you have in that axis. Backlash should be less than .001. The more backlash you have the lower the price the more to fix, unless you know someone who can remove the backlash for you.

Good luck and great find.
 

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You may be able to get a variable frequency drive that takes 230 VAC single phase input and has a 230 VAC three phase output. Automation Direct has a three HP maximum for this kind of VFD but someone else may have it. Cost from AD for a 5HP VFD = $360

Mike
If you do have to go to 3 phase the only way to go is with the rotary converter, the phase shift electronic type don't work near as well and in some cases can cause damage to the driven motor. As stated earlier building a rotary out of a motor is not that dificult. -- Chuck
 
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