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The Ultimate Guide to Hot Rodding Tormach CNC Machines: Get Stoked

Nov 1, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  1 Comment

countyjailshifterTormach has built a wonderful business in the hobby and low-end CNC machine world.  Their machines are not the highest performance, but they’re bulletproof, economical, and easy to work on.  Tormach even says that while they don’t recommend it, their machines survive crashes handily, making them ideal for education, makerspaces, and beginners.  I’ve seen many posts about folks looking to get into CNC as a business, and the common recommendation is not to buy a Tormach if you’re trying to make money.  Yet, I have met dozens of folks who are handily making money with Tormachs, many of them are making very nice livings with them, in fact.  We’ve done customer profiles on several.  Yes, they may eventually purchase more potent machines, but it was their Tormachs that enabled them to get started without taking on crippling amounts of debt.

I’ve come to liken these machines to the Chevy Small Blocks from the motorsports world.  Yes, there are many classes of racing that look down their noses at a Chevy Small Block–it’s no Ferrari Formula One Engine.  But many a hot rodder has had loads of fun with them, and there are classes of racing where they do great.

If the Tormach really is the equivalent, why not soup one up too?

For those who are loath to modify a machine, I can only suggest that Hot Rodding is not for everyone, and any change you make is made at your own risk.  Yet, I think it’s a shame not to take a shot at some minor modifications at least, for we are machinists, and machinists are the masters of their machines.  If anyone should be modifying them, it surely must be us.

Yes, by all means, wait until you’ve run your warranty out.  Perhaps start with some of the many fine modifications and updates Tormach sells which will not void your warranty.   Add a tool changer or a powered drawbar.  Upgrade the coolant system in some way.  But when you’re done with all that, explore the possibilities that are available.

I mean for this Ultimate Guide to Tormach Hacks, Modifications and Upgrades to be a living document.  I’ve gone through my notes and checklists and plugged in all the articles I’d been bookmarking.  The list of fun uprade projects for you to peruse is quite long, but it has just scratched the surface.  Please, if you come across a favorite modification for these machines or perform one yourself, give me a link so I can add it to the article.  Let’s make it easy for Tormach enthusiasts to find it all in one place if they want to go looking for trouble.

Have you made any mods to your Tormach CNC machine?  Is there a mod you’ve been wishing someone would figure out?  Tell us in the comments below!

 

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The Ultimate Guide to Hot Rodding Tormach CNC Machines: Get Stoked
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1 Comment

  • Check out John Saunders on YouTube at NYC CNC

    he’s built a healthy business up using Tormachs almost exclusively.

    They are impressive little machines, and just the fact they plug into your standard wall outlet with no need for 3 phase converters or VFD’s means you can get up and running and cutting in no time.

    even the path-pilot controller on them is pretty robust and well designed.

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