Frequently Asked Questions
Can I CNC OPTIMUM & METEX PRO Milling Machines & Lathes?Gary BesleyIt is possible to CNC any milling machine, but like anything knowledge and price are the biggest considerations. To CNC a machine to do it quickly with high quality is not cheap. To CNC a machine to high quality and low cost will not be quick. To CNC a machine cheap will not be quick or high quality. Things to consider:
- A lead screw type mill can be CNC but will need to be compensated for the backlash and this can be tricky without strong coding skills.
- Ball Screws will eliminate backlash but can be expensive to come by.
- Either stepper or sevo motors to run your ball screws will also be required, again these vary widely on price.
- You will then need a controller & software to run the motors.
- OPTIMUM only offer the BF20 as a CNC unit in Australia for hobbyist and do not wire the motors to the controller so that there is a high level of skill required to set up and run.
- A full CNC center set up with a computer and everything factory installed will cost between $20k-40k. To be able to offer a DIY CNC kit for larger machines can bring this cost down to around half the cost depending on the machine size and operators skill level.
Can I get MT2 or MT3 with 1/2″ Whitworth tooling?Gary BesleyMorse Taper 2 & 3 are metric measurements and 1/2" whitworth is imperial, some OPTIMUM BF20 & MH28 milling machines will come with this size drawbar but it is far from a common size. At Redfox all our METEX by OPTIMUM BF20's come with a MT3 M12 Drawbar so you can buy tooling almost everywhere. We do hold stock of these Drawbars, get in contact by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 9016 9866.
Can I order replacement Band Saw Blades?Gary BesleyThe OPTIMUM & METEX Range of Band Saws come with a bi-metal blade as standard. Unfortunately we don’t carry stock of the blades as they are usually a common size and there can be too many variations of tooth geometry, teeth per inch and quality relative to price. We recommend https://www.bestblades.com.au/bi-metal-blades and you can choose the TPI based on the material your most likely to use it for or have a few variations on hand.
Can OPTIMUM BF20 & MH28 Have X-Axis Power Feed?Gary BesleyCurrently OPTIMUM do not provide an x-axis power feed option for the BF20 or MH28 and they do not intend to supply these in the future. Alternative options are the METEX PRO MP25L/MP30L or METEX by OPTIMUM BF30L which do have x-axis power feed options available.
Getting the most out of your cold saw bladesGary BesleyThere are a few things you should do when you get a new cold saw blade to get the most out life out of it. Coolant The first thing is to make sure you are using good coolant. Coolant is a huge part of the cutting process when using a cold saw. The coolant is not actually what helps the blade or material stay cool when cutting. You could cut without coolant and the material would still be cool to the touch. The coolant is necessary to prolong the life of the blade. It's a lubricant which is important to help the blade's teeth last longer between sharpening. Breaking in the blade A fresh blade, new or resharpened, needs to be broken in before it is used as normal. If a blade is not broken in, you could risk premature dulling. The way to break in a new cold saw blade is to feed it slowly through the material for the first few cuts. Usually four cuts is good enough. This will extend the life between sharpening.
Tips For Using Your New Cold Saw BladeGary BesleyHigh-speed steel (HSS) cold saw blades do not "cut" - they "mill" through your material. It is important to remember that - especially with a manual machine - you have to let the blade do the work. Forcing the blade through the material will only decrease the life of, damage, and/or break your cold saw blade. Below are some additional tips to getting more life and using your blade optimally. A lot of these tips might sound self-explanatory, but it never hurts to revisit them especially is you have multiple employees who might be using your cold saw machinery.
- As mentioned above, it is very important to let the blade do the work. Too much pressure will increase chattering and vibration leading to premature dulling.
- Of course, we always want to make sure the cold saw blade is tightly secured to the main spindle and the boltholes against the bolts in the right rotation to prevent backlash.
- Your material must always be tightly clamped in the vise to ensure it does not move in the cut. If your material moves in the cut, you are sure to break your cold saw blade.
- If possible, always make sure to cut through the thinnest part of the material first. For example - when cutting 25mm x 75mm flat bar, stand it up so your cold saw blade cuts through the 25mm part. If you are cutting angle iron, cut with the angle pointing up.
- If your cold saw machine has two speeds, reduce it to the lower speed when cutting stainless or alloy steels. If possible, use a smaller diameter with a higher pitch.
- Inversely, when cutting non-ferrous material, use the higher speed, larger diameter, with fewer teeth.
- If you are cutting square tubing with a seam, make sure the wall with the seam is set up so it is vertical in the cut.