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Craftex CX600 Motor Problems

#1
Hello,

So I purchased a Craftex CX600 back on August 28, 2017. My machine has become nothing but a nightmare.
In this short time I have had the following happen,

1. Motor failed. It all checked out good when measuring resistance. The magnets were still fixed to the case. I tried new bearings in it. However it had a super rough spot when turning the shaft. When power was applied the shaft would still rotate but would shudder. Essentially not functional.
Wait time for replacement part was 4 weeks

2. Speed controller would shut down the machine within approximately 5 seconds of contact between the 3/8 end mill and a piece of cast aluminium with a cut depth of 0.005.
Wait time for replacement part was 2 weeks.

3. Digital RPM sensor worked intermittently for a week after replacing the speed controller but then quit all together.
Wait time for replacement part was 2 weeks.

4. Speed controller would supply sporadic power and had dead spots throughout the whole range.
Wait time for replacement part was 2 weeks.

5. Motor failed. The last job it was used for was drilling 1/4 holes in 1/8 mild steel. Next time I went to use it, absolutely nothing happened when I turned it on. I dug a little bit deeper and the brush holders had melted themselves to the brushes and the retaining caps for them melted to the brush holder not allowing them to come out. When I grabbed the box that the replacement motor came in, I discovered Busy Bee had sent me the incorrect motor. When that was brought to their attention, it was a over the counter exchange for the correct one.
Wait time for replacement part was same day.

6. Melted/shredded plastic gear. I was surfacing a small piece of aluminium with a small fly cutter (approximately 1.25" diameter) and all of a sudden it made an awful grinding sound. I'm expecting another dead motor so I took it off. The plastic gear driven off of the brass gear on the motor had melted/shredded.
Wait time for replacement part was 2 weeks.

7. The arm holding up the box with all of the electronics fell off. I went to install the new plastic gear and placed my had on the arm and it fell off. The steel arm on the steel flange was glued together. I have no idea why it wouldn't have been welded but it wasn't.
Wait time for replacement part was 2 weeks.

8. Motor failed. I was drilling 1/2 holes in an aluminium block about 3/4"deep with a pilot hole of 3/16"and stepped through 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", and 15/32". On the final hole size of 1/2"the motor made a strange sound. I looked up at the top of the motor and I saw the brushes arcing and shut it down instantly. The one brush holder had melted itself together. The other brush had fallen off of the wire holding the 2 pieces together.
The machine has now been down for 2 weeks.

Busy Bee offers a 3 year warranty on the machine for parts and a 90 day warranty on labour.

At this point in time Busy Bee will no longer offer any parts and demand it must be sent to their Ontario store for inspecting and servicing. When I asked about the turnover time I was told a month or so. Which is most likely going to turn into 2 months. The cost is going to be $50 an hour with no estimated cost for the inspection and servicing. The only answer I received in this regard was "It shouldn't be to bad but I can't say for sure".

So between August 28, 2018 until now I have had the machine for 9 months minus 3 days. My total down time waiting for parts has been 16 weeks or 4 months. I was unable to use the machine for about a month and a half due to moving and another 2 weeks of vacation. In 9 months the machine has only usable for 5 months but used for only 3. I can't justify giving Busy Bee anymore money for something with a 3 year warranty that has been used 3 months. With the high probability of the machine coming back with the same quality of parts and struggling with the same issues, I think I am better off sourcing out upgraded parts of higher quality.

I don't know exactly where I should be looking for parts or what I need to completely eliminate all of the original electronics in this machine.
Any guidance or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

CalgaryPT

Super User
Vendor
Premium Member
#2
Holy cow. So sorry this is happening to you. Craftex has been hit and miss for me. Some stuff great and I have for years, others not so much.
 
#3
The thing that frustrates me the most about this situation is that my CX600 is supposed to be the replacement option for the CX612 I purchased there a few months prior to the CX600. The CX612 had both of the t-slots pull right out of the table. Its either that or the fact that they expect me to pay additional money for something that clearly isn't much more than a heavy duty paper weight that sometimes spins around but not often. 20170821_080610.jpg
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
#4
Jeez what a pain in the butt. I feel for you. Its the classic dilemma, do you keep swapping out parts or call it quits. I wish there was someone other than BB to deal with in Canada. There aren't many mini machines in this size that basically don't come from the same place I figure. Does it help that Grizzly offers what looks very similar, or it US price premium on top of the same parts?
http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mill-Drill/G0758

I have a gut feel that speed control module might be the source of much of what you have described. Shuddering, rpm variation, cogging... all can be a function of SC or related wiring.

Next size up is this kind of mill. Unfortunately the 'post' as opposed to dovetail. Modern doesn't appear to carry the RF-45 dovetail gearhead type for some reason. http://www.moderntool.com/products/modern-model-md-930-drilling-milling-machine/

I wish I could offer good advice. I know what its like to be down a machine & not being able to work. But that looks to be particularly frustrating.
 

Tom Kitta

Active Member
#6
You basically have two options.

Option (a) which I suggest is to get rid of the machine. There is no point of putting good money behind bad money. Electronics they replace with is of very poor quality and will continue breaking and taking with it the rest of the system. Clearly a pic of broken table shows that the rest of the machine may have quality issues as well. I suggest an auction sale with a hit. This way you don't have to deal with a person coming backing and wanting money back for a lemon.

Option (b) would be to either try to fix the machine with Grizzly parts or try to fix it by putting a different motor in it and control speed via VFD - rip out all their stuff and put brand new other components... would not be pretty.

I mean what would you do with a lemon car? I think most people would get rid of it but I know some will keep it and continue fixing it.
 

Tom Kitta

Active Member
#7
120v is somewhat of a problem but remember that original Bridgeport Mill had 1hp spindle motor & 120v can support 1.5hp (or 5hp if you are in shady compressor business)
 
#8
Ideally Option (a) would be the first pick. But if I want to continue any metalworking in the foreseeable future I need to work with what I have. I want to completely gut the electronics in the machine and put in some type of brush-less motor with a matching controller. I'm not overly knowledgeable with the electrical aspect of motors and controllers.
 

Bofobo

Well-Known Member
#9
In my cx machine the motor is in the open, is your in that box up top? Some pc fans could help cool that down. I removed the restrictive air flow cap that it had and put a fan in a duct over the top to suck the heat out and away, i was able to attain longer use intervals but its a bandaid solution. Im looking at upgrading to a treadmill motor myself at some point
 
#10
I originally had the cover on the top but after the first motor went I left it off. If I could put my hand on the motor and be able to leave it there I didn't think it could be hot enough to cause any failure issues. Do you know if the treadmill route would require anything additional to regulate the speed?
 

Bofobo

Well-Known Member
#11
Can be purchased on eBay with the speed controller as a set, would still require a speed sensor to give proper rpm reading but they have many models of that available as a stand alone
 
#12
I grabbed a free functional treadmill off of kijiji tonight. After I go thru everything I'm confident I should be able to get it to do something. The motor is 4.25 hp so if it works it will be a substantial upgrade :)
 

Bofobo

Well-Known Member
#13
Well then score! I picked up one prior but hadn't the foresight to grab the board i didnt own the mill to put it on at the time either, 20/20 hindsight
 
#14
I will let you know how it goes. I may have some trouble with mounting the motor but I'm sure I will figure something out. I was shocked to see how many people are getting rid of their perfectly good treadmills. 4 new ones came up today alone.
 

Bofobo

Well-Known Member
#15
No one really uses them for long its a nice sentiment but they are dust collectors, who wants to run indoors?
I had a great idea though, all those stationary bikes at the gym should be hooked up to the power grid like wind turbines, "Now its worth while to burn that fat energy, be part of the green revolution"

Update! Its kind of a thing, but not in a gym setting. And more of a "green power" enthusiast device. Compatable with ordinary bicycles in a home trainer type of configuration. Haha what a world
 
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Janger

(John)
Administrator
Premium Member
#17
I have the same machine I bought 3 years ago. I’ve had no issues at all. Sorry to hear about this. I think you can make a case to busy bee for a refund, a new machine, or a free repair, it’s never been right from day one. Write a letter to the president and involve the BBB. Your documentation is great. Small claims court if you get nowhere.
 
#18
I don't want to bash on busy bee but they have been absolutely useless. I get the run around in calgary. I get the number for customer service in their main store and he is one of the most ignorant people I have ever encountered. I asked for someone else's number or email and I get a chuckle, a no, followed by being hung up on. The topic of refund or exchange has come up many times and I got the pleasure of dealing with the same guy from the main store. And it's the same deal... chuckle, no, and hang up.
 

Tom Kitta

Active Member
#19
Well, you should learn a lesson not to ever buy from Busy Bee. I stopped buying anything from them few years ago. I guess some people still shop there as they didn't close down their store yet. KMS is not much better - I only now look for used machines there - if KMS puts something on a heavy sale like 50% off it so far always means its junk. Modern tool - same.

In Calgary we do not have enough competition in the field of machining to have places with great customer service. The only place that religiously follows their stated policy of customer satisfaction is Princess Auto - but they are not exactly machinery dealer. Another place that is just awesome is amazon.ca.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
#20
As another option, here is a link to (what I understand to be lower cost) VFD / motor supplier as another option. I have no firsthand experience other than some guys have retrofitted various machines with them. http://dealerselectric.com/

One day I am going to bite the bullet & do a motor makeover on my drill press. Not that my motor is acting up but more to give me (ideally lowest cost) exposure to brushless 3p commutated & VFD setup programming. And of course, if it all works out, true variable speed range vs. flipping dirty fan belts. Pretty much any classic motorized shop machine could benefit from this type conversion, would be good to know about.

I'd also encourage you to have a good look at the mounting for a retrofit. Eyeballing the (Grizzly) manual looks like the motor bolts to the top plate but also shaft/key/diameter issues into the existing sheave. I can visualize a few homebrew parts & mods in there.