Buying Used PTP Equipment

Reliability and service can be issues, say those who've done it. August 30, 2005

I am thinking about buying a PTP machine to use in conjunction with a beam saw for cabinet parts. I decided on PTP over a router as I want the flexibility to do solid wood tenoning, boring, and etc. They also cost a lot less. What are the pitfalls in buying a machine from 1998 on? Has anyone done this?

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor C:
There is no problem with purchasing a second hand machine, but make sure you get an engineer to give it a look-over first. I have known people to buy and have a good couple of months then the drying gearbox or spindle gives up the ghost to great expense.

From contributor W:
PTP and beam combination work great in a high output, repetitive environment. If you are doing custom one-off stuff then you would be better suited with dedicated manual machinery. If you are doing mainly cabinets then a beam saw and a double line drill will suffice. The PTP is a great machine, but they can be very expensive to maintain and run.

I have bought a used one before and would not do it again without having spent a lot of time watching the machine run before buying. The most important thing I learned the hard way is that it is not so much the brand that you pick rather than the service that you have available locally. If you have to fly someone in every time the machine goes down then you will be paying a lot more for repair and down time.

From the original questioner:
Are you still using that machine or did you replace it?

From the original questioner:
I did have manual machines but sold them when I moved. I now get my ply parts from supplier w/a SCMI Router. The delivery and control are sometimes an issue. I switched from dowel construction to dado rabbet.

I would like to use our a case clamp rather than stapling or screwing, so I would like to have a single 5mm dowel in parts to locate them front to back. In a previous thread someone told me that PTP are not accurate on end boring. Additionally, I lean toward PTP to be able to
machine solid wood with tenons or sliding dovetails on the ends. Does this make sense, or am I tilting at windmills?

From contributor M:
I have a beam saw and PTP for cabinet manufacturing - both bought used. The saw is a 1999 sigma 90 from ex-factory and has been absolutely perfect for four years now. The PTP is a Masterwood bought through an auction - also excellent performance going on three years now. Knowing the product is the key to used equipment, also a little luck.