Need some advice on first CNC lathe

Hello and thank you in advance for your help.
I am considering buying a cnc lathe in order to start making camshaft cores. I only need to make one type. About 23 inches long from tool steel bar.

IMAGE(http://factorydaily.com/fdattachs/fdattachs7/112802413133911.jpg)

the shop that used to make them for me would do one side and then turn them around
IMAGE(http://factorydaily.com/fdattachs/fdattachs7/https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1MlsYx-GULo/TPUs6RJcMeI/AAAAAAAAJ34/l-DnND6T-NY/s720/IMG00011-20101109-2038.jpg)
My question is, do you guys think a bridgeport ROMI CNC ez path could get something like this done?
What about a HAAS TL1 ?
I am looking for any suggestions as to what kind of machine I should be looking at getting to attempt to turn full bar into a core.
18 x 2 1/2 bar was used before to do these cores.
My current shop that used to make these is going out of business soon so I am trying to figure out what I need to do because finding another shop to do this work is not really an option at this point.
I don't want to have to spend more than 20k, it is possible? Any advice is appreciated.
thank you very much

Depends on the trough hole size of the lathe to flip them, or buy a used turning center with a tailstock. Haas will be more than 20K, and you really will want a turret.

Thank you, I thought a turning center is a CNC with a turret. Do you have any recommendations for turning centers with a tailstock as far as brand or model or control to go with?

Stick with name brands. I'd probably look for an okuma cadet big bore. Should be able to pick up a mid 90s vintage for that money. Maybe find a Mori Seiki sl25b, daewoo puma, a few others.

I agree that you should make sure to get a automatic turret lathe, name brand. I have never used a Haas but have been told that they are not very rigid. I would think you are definitely going to want a tailstock, and for setup look for one with a swing down pre-setter. For the price you are trying to stay within, I think you will need to get an older model, but should be able to find a pretty solid machine for that price. As for lathes way the option of having a conversational control.
Chad

Are these blanks then final machined by somebody else? If so why not have them do the blanks also?
The problem as I see it is your budget, it is going to be difficult to find a used machine that can handle 2.5" bar at the price mentioned. It is doable but you may spend a lot of time looking. If you look around you may even find a specialized lathe for turning camshafts. Ether way do realize that unless you have signifance volume the lathe will sit idle more than it is running. This is a bad thing.
So unless you have a lot of work for the lathe, why not look a little harder for an outside supplier. You say it isn't possible but I don't see a lot of cam shafts in that pile, it may be cheaper in the long run to find a suitable job shop.
By the way you don't need a lathe with a large bore if you can handle establishing a center in the bar on another machine. A slightly long bar could be chucked with a tailstock support and the turning done on one lathe setup. Some sort of follow rest may be needed though. I would have to think though that how final finishing is done, and how that machine operates will some what define how you machine these blanks. In otherwords understand the entire process before plunging in with a machine purchase.
Also you might want to rethink your budget, the right lathe could give you parts ready to be heat treat and the final grind. You might be able to actually save

Are these blanks then final machined by somebody else? If so why not have them do the blanks also?
The problem as I see it is your budget, it is going to be difficult to find a used machine that can handle 2.5" bar at the price mentioned. It is doable but you may spend a lot of time looking. If you look around you may even find a specialized lathe for turning camshafts. Ether way do realize that unless you have signifance volume the lathe will sit idle more than it is running. This is a bad thing.
So unless you have a lot of work for the lathe, why not look a little harder for an outside supplier. You say it isn't possible but I don't see a lot of cam shafts in that pile, it may be cheaper in the long run to find a suitable job shop.
By the way you don't need a lathe with a large bore if you can handle establishing a center in the bar on another machine. A slightly long bar could be chucked with a tailstock support and the turning done on one lathe setup. Some sort of follow rest may be needed though. I would have to think though that how final finishing is done, and how that machine operates will some what define how you machine these blanks. In otherwords understand the entire process before plunging in with a machine purchase.
Also you might want to rethink your budget, the right lathe could give you parts ready to be heat treat and the final grind. You might be able to actually save ???? by buying a more expensive lathe that gives you near net shaped parts. A search online should bring up plenty of reference materials about lathe manufactured cam shaft cores.

Thank you for the good advice, I appreciate it. The cam business is like no other. Most shops get their cores from overseas, very few make their own cores. In the past, these cores were made on a Mori SEIKI NL2500 and then that shop closed so after many months of engineering I had this other shop do these with their Mazak.
I just heard from them that they are looking to go out of business so like you said I have to consider finding another place to do these or start thinking about doing them on my own.
Yes, at the shop we have another machine that we could use to establish center. That is why I was thinking about the Bridgeport ROMI Ez path initially but after reading your advice, I think I might want to invest more money. At first it will be only doing one kind of cores but eventually I could expand to other types of engines.
With cnc lathes there are so many brands, its pretty nuts. You guys know how many shops in this business invest money in a new or used machine only to find out that it cannot do what they need it to do etc No
When my mentor was selling his Mori Seiki, the Mori Seiki dealer bought it back for like 150k, had had paid 250k for it the year before. Obviously I do not have that kind of money and its not possible to get a loan but maybe I can stretch it out to 40-50k, the money I can invest in a CNC turret lathe .
The bar used is a 18 x 2 1/2 24 inches long tool steel.
thank you so much for opening my eyes

Well the day came and my CNC guy is out of business.
He supplied all his fixtures and setup notes and diagrams along with Mazak Fusion 640 programs and also the same programs converted to Mazak Matrix.
So I am officially on the hunt for my first CNC machine. After reading and doing a lot of research, I think the Mazak QT15 might work out for me , if I can get one that works well with no problems.
Price seems to be around 15-25k for a 1987-1993 range.
I need 8 to 10 inch chuck and a working length to 20 inches or close and the bar is going to be 2 inches in diameter give or take a little bit.
So since I have the programs and setup notes with all the tooling that is being used etc etc I am seriously thinking going that route.
My obstacle now is that I would need to convert the matrix program to T2 for these programs.
Getting a machine that will run fusion will add another 20k to the price of the machine as it looks like.
MY question to any of you that are willing to help me with some advice is,
is it possible that I might encounter certain operations on the matrix program that I will not be able to duplicate in the T2 format?
Maybe I would need to hire a mazak T2 expert to come on site and program my machine?
This one machine that is short of close to me, is a MAZAK QT 15 with a Kitagawa B208 Control. Does that matter?
I am not looking on ebay because most of the machines up there are probably not in great working condition unless someone gets lucky.
Do you guys think the Mazak Quick Turn 15 is a good buy for around 15k or should be looking at another CNC machine and having my code converted to G code and starting all over again?
I wish I could afford a machine with matrix so that I would not need to do any special programming now that I have the programs that were used to make my parts.
I called Mazak and they want 91k for a new QT 200, that would be super but unfortunately I cannot afford close to 100k for a machine.
thank you very much with any advice

I guess it wasn't an option to buy the Mazak your CNC Guy was running?

I guess it wasn't an option to buy the Mazak your CNC Guy was running?

Unfortunately, not because he is trying to sell the whole machine shop with various machines, 3 mazaks etc etc
The amount of information he gave me goes above and beyond what I was expecting so now I have all the tooling needed, setup needed and 640 control and Matrix code for the software.
From what I gathered, the QT15 needs to be programmed on site with no way or loading a program through a disk or some short of an interface

There are also QT15s with the somewhat newer T32 control.
I would expect many/most machines to have the possibility to send programs by cable with a DNC software, though I don't know if the cable port was a standard feature or option in those 1990s machines.

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