Big Thing Follows Me Home… Again

By admin, January 5, 2023

For some reason, large pieces of machinery just love to follow me home. In December 2022, it was a 9000 pound late-model VMC (vertical machining center) from a defense contractor’s large machine shop. The bearings failed in its spindle motor and they swapped some control parts with another machine.

Sometimes I wonder what regular people do with their days…?

Vertical Machining Center on drop deck trailer with forklift

This one is cleaning up very nicely. I went over the control electronics and got it booted up in its new home, so I can check out the XYZ motions and determine what to do with the motor. It’s a 15000 rpm spindle, so I won’t be replacing the bearings myself (using a big hammer).

The machine only ever cut aluminum, so it’s quite clean. With 40 inches of X, this is a sweet machine. Yes, I know it’s not a Mori Seiki, but let’s just say it was a very tiny fraction of the price of a Mori!

Milltronics VM20 in new home

Coincidentally, the first CNC I ever worked with was a Milltronics. While PC based, the OS is thankfully Linux and they have a pretty decent conversational programming interface and nice graphics. I’d love to keep this thing in my garage for tinkering, but it seems likely it’s already sold 🙂

Ah, Linux!