After three years of learning basic machining skills on my Bridgeport milling machine and Grizzly lathe I decided it was time to upgrade to a Tormach CNC. I had hoped I could find a used 440 or 770 model at a reasonable price, so I was ecstatic after months of casually searching when I serendipitously came across a very reasonably priced Tormach PCNC 1100 less than an hour away for sale at Machinery Values in North Jersey! Lady Luck smiled at me!
I drove to the warehouse and inspected the Tormach PCNC 1100 there in person. The team at the warehouse allowed me to see the CNC mill operated under power. Everything on the machine was in good working order except for the bed which had been accidentally milled in a few spots on the slotted table by the previous owner. Ugly but by no means a dealbreaker for me. I was able to negotiate a small price reduction based on this fact.
Tormach PCNC 1100 CNC milling machine bed – you can see the accidental holes and grooves made by the previous owner.
The Tormach PCNC mill was delivered a few weeks later by Hopatcong Rigging company.
The Tormach PCNC came shipped via flatbed truck and the mill came mounted on its stand. The rigging team unloaded the mill onto a fork truck from the base and carefully drove the mill via the fork truck up my quasi steep driveway without issue. The mill just barely fit inside the garage door. The rigging team was able to place the hobby CNC mill just inside my garage door (it just fit, but I think Tormach designed their machines this way in order to maximize capability for use in hobbyist garages). The rigging team then used a pallet jack under the machine to precisely slide it to the desired spot in my garage.
After plugging in the controller and the CNC to power the machine booted up and came online without any issue. Jogging along the X, Y, and Z axis worked perfectly. The legacy keyboard is a bit sticky for some of the buttons and will require replacing. My old pancake compressor to power the power drawbar is just too loud and will need to be replaced with an ultra quiet compressor so I can hear myself think when I’m operating the machine.
First Test Run
I followed the manual to mill a pocket in a piece of wood. To my relief everything worked perfectly!
Overall my newly acquired CNC mill has some aesthetic blemishes on the table and the paint could use a touch up, but other than that I think this machine is an excellent launching pad for my CNC journey!