Category Archives: Whats New

Femco HL 25N CNC Lathe

On or Offsite CNC Training
Tel: David 07834 858 407

A Femco, yes they let me out again, tagged but free to train my victims.

Sooo, today I got to work on a Femco not to be confused with products designed to keep your private parts smelling nice n fresh


As is often the case there were no machine manuals. This is not like pissing into the wind no no this is pissing into a fuckin sunami with a water infection (tsunami so that’s how you spell it).

This one is the Femco HL 25N, Fanuc Oi TD control with macro, whoopee.

Femco HL 25N CNC Lathe

Nice simple two axis lathe, absolute doddle.

No Manuals, No Doddle

Anyway I couldn’t get it to bloody budge. It was like trying to get a teenager out of bed at 6am in the morning (fuck you).

It does everything except for Zero return, Jog and Rapid mm mmm. Apart from that it was great.

Definitely won’t be able to bull-shit my way out of this one.

Hand-wheel, check.
Spindle on off, check.
Index turret, check.
Coolant on, check.
Light on, check.

I suppose I could tell the customer that it was a demo machine and never designed to actually move around. Only thing is they want to make stuff on it so that idea wouldn’t work.

Anyway there was only one way to do this, we decided to take a very logical precise and scientific way to solve this problem of the lazy turret.

Yes you guessed it, we just keep pressing buttons until something happened. Pushing buttons on the fly as it were.

Low and behold it worked.

Is it me or is it outright blindingly shit-faced obvious????


Please tell me no. You hold the button in the middle as you press the outside buttons. Works for RAPID, JOG and ZERO RETURN

Normally that button is to change the moves to rapid. Not here, this machine has a rapid mode.


In fact everything on this dial except for the first four selections.

Sooo. That meant we could zero return the machine, phew.

Only an hour into the training and we’re just moving the machine around. But honestly how would I fuckin know. I mean without a manual and unless you worked one of these beasts before you couldn’t know.

Talking of bull-shit it’s something I never do, I mean yes I do bull-shit everybody does especially after 14 pints of lager.

No I mean when I’m training people. I’ve learnt it’s best to say sorry I don’t know. Then afterwards I will spend hours making sure I do know.

Some trainers, and you know who you are, will gloss over shit that they don’t know and it’s easy to do but in the long run it’s not good for anyone.

Anyway It’s Not Over Yet.

Next challenge. Tool arm, all I want to do is get it to rear it’s ugly head. It wont come out.

Tool Measurement arm please reveal yourself. Honestly this one is bonkers.

Have you guessed it yet?


You hold down the ready button (that’s the one that switches the machine on) and simultaneously press P SET and voila. It appears.


You just can’t know this stuff without a manual. Can’t blame the customer as he bought this machine at auction so it’s always a bit of a lottery.

Anyway once all the, shall we say “teething problems”, are out the way it’s time to have some fun.

Femco Let the Madness Begin

Measuring Tools

With the measuring arm down you can do what you want. So if you wanna smash or just bend this thing it’s dead easy.

Rapid Full Wack     TICK
High Feed                TICK
Index Turret           TICK
Index Turret Whilst Checking a Tool TICK  (I love this one)
Feed as fast as you want whilst checking tools TICK

Anyway that to one side at least it clears the the wear offset each time you check the tool. Which in my experience does not happen on all machines so beware.

It also jumps to the correct offset and displays the offset table. Some machines don’t even do this. Means you can measure the wrong tool mmm.

The tools on this turret are very close together. I mean it’s got 12 tools and they are crammed in. It’s like trying to breakdance in a Mumbai shopping centre on Black Friday. So extra care is needed.

Watch Out For

Tools hitting the chuck when proving out. Don’t forget that the tool you are watching has one sat right underneath it just waiting to kick you square on in the knackers when it clobbers the chuck.

Also when using tool measurement arm you can hit it underneath with the tool below. Now this shouldn’t happen but if you have some unusual weird tool that sticks out too far, it can hit.

When Measuring Tools Do This

Drive the tool in the opposite direction first. That way if you are in Rapid mode by mistake you will spot it.

It is also important to measure the tools at the same feed-rate. This ensures constant measurement and consistent figures.

Mazaks and the like just fix the feedrate when the arm is down so you automatically get the same feedrate regardless of dial position.

When I grow up (which people say I never will) I’m going to make a tool measurement arm that does all these things so you can’t trash it.

Always keep the rapid down real low when setting up a CNC machine.

No more than this.

Femco, It’s A Cool Dude

There is a massive difference between machines with regards to what they allow when using a measurement arm.

Like parents some let the kids do what the fuck they want and when they visit you your house gets trashed and you have to pretend it’s all ok (bastards).

This Femco HL 25N CNC Lathe is the “Hippy” of machine tools. It’s the laissez-faire, the “don’t give a flying fuck”, the “stay on ice man” machine tool. Anyway you get it.

It doesn’t have any respect for your welfare or your wallet. You wanna break this thing go ahead and do it, it’s cool with that.

Joking Aside

This Femco is a second hand machine bought at auction and I recon it’s half decent. The previous owner obviously looked after it. No battle scars, no dents in guards or cracked windscreens. Sounds lovely too, spindle nice n quiet and no axis noises.

Once you get your head around the weird protocol shit it’s easy. Just remember to press the buttons in the right order.

Setting the work offset is easy too. Call out the tool MDI (lay off the reset button) then press this


The work-shift screen will manifest.

Then press this.


You will see the work-shift figure update.

Job done just don’t press reset otherwise tool offset may be dumped and everything goes tits-up.

This Femco has Fanuc Oi TD

It has Macro which is great, oh and somebody changed the brackets around.  Just give me a minute I’ll explain.

On a Fanuc control like this it’s a pain the the arse to put comments into your programs. That’s because you have to press a million combinations of buttons to get to the curved brackets.

Anyway by changing a parameter you can make the square brackets into curved brackets making it all much easier.

Fanuc buried access to these extra buttons for brackets and commas and stuff like that deep in the bowels of the control. Without a metal detector and a private investigator they remain the fourth secret of Fatima. For my thick readers this link will save you googling this.


Well what can I say.  If this was 1980 I’d be saying these graphics are cool. Unfortunately they are in a time lock a nice way of saying crap.

Anyway I’ve done this rant a million times so I’m not repeating it as much as I know you want me to.

If you have graphics then I will always recommend their use.

If you make a daft typo type error or like me you forget that in G74 the Q value can’t have a decimal point. Then the graphics will show an alarm.


G74 Z-25. Q5. F.2:


G74 Z-25. Q5000 F.2:

This is way better than finding it at the prove-out stage.

You have to use machine lock and just run the program in memory as normal. Machine lock switch has to be pulled out to work (to stop you accidentally turning it on)

Use the feed potentiometer to speed up and slow down the graphics.

Be careful using graphics with machine lock. Zero return the machine BEFORE and AFTER use of machine lock.

Setting Speed In Manual on Femco

No need to program in MDI all you need is this.


Just be careful to leave it turned down or you may get a nasty shock when you start the spindle.


The turret is absolute “dog shit off a stick fast” so be careful. You can’t select individual tools so it’s a bit like playing roulette trying to get the tool you want. But at least it’s bloody quick. Shame there is no cuddly toy prize when you select the right tool with your first press of the button.

Inches “Oh my God”

For you Americans just say millimetres “holy goddam shit”.

The previous owner had this machine in inches. Now you can’t just program G21 it’s a common misconception. The G20 or G21 are just a check. It will just alarm out if you are in inches and you program G21 to mm. It’s like a shot across the bows, a warning.

Sorry suckers it’s a setting. Oh and to completely fuck you over it does not convert the program. It merely changes the decimal place. Useless. Other controls are available that convert. Never mind.


So just switch your machine into MDI and press away.

Oh just one thing before you go…… the machine must be at zero return when you do this.

What No G53, Femco Horror

Cover me in bat shite, this is bad. No fuckin goddam G53. Life can’t go on. Fanuc you guessed it, it’s a bloody option, can you believe it.

I use G53 all the time for sending the turret to a tool change position.

Now if you never heard of G53 don’t worry it’s OK. I got your back, yes you are a bit stupid you should know that but just take the time to read this, it’s for a machining centre but it works just as well on a lathe.

Honestly my friend it beats the shit out of G28.

Chamfer and Rads The Saving Grace

So glad it can add chamfers and rads to a program. Just add R3. to the end of a block and you will get a 3mm radius.

It works with C3. too to give you a 3mm 45 degree chamfer.

Important to note that the way this machine is set up you don’t use a comma.

G1 Z-20. F.1
X10. R3. 

Femco Sample code


G0 X50. Z0
G96 S200 M3

G1 X-1.6 F.1

G0 X200. Z200.


This is the way it was programmed before and I don’t really like it because that T0300 is a tool change and if you altered the tool number you might forget to change that one too BANG BANG

That’s why I’d sooner have G53.

The jury’s out, send me your suggestions.

Femco HL 25N Editing Fanuc Oi TD

This Fanuc Oi TD control has copy and paste and it’s easy to copy a program (if a bit convoluted) and there is a USB for saving programs.

Just press and hold the shift key to send a screen shot to the memory stick. You get a nice picture of the screen on your USB.

Very small memory by today’s standards, but on a two axis lathe you must be a greedy bastard if you run out.

Sorry Mr Femco

I like this machine, honestly I hadn’t heard of it before but they have been around for years.

The Femco brand from South Korea has been around for a long time, it stand for Far Eastern Machinery Company. So now I get it. Sorry for the cheap joke but if you read my stuff you’ll know about my infantile sense of humour.

I couldn’t resist a cheap joke. Maybe he’ll change the name to something more catchy like Anusol CNC, just and idea.

Thanks for reading. Love you all.






Hitachi Seiki Made Some Brilliant Machines

Category : Whats New

Hitachi Seiki made some amazing machines many of them are still around. Read about one that I recently trained on and the typos in the manual.

I have pondered for a while about writing this article because what triggered it was a miss print. Actually I don’t know what you call it. Maybe a translation error. If you read to the end you’ll see why.

This article is purely frivolous so if you are seeking CNC Programming knowledge there’s not much. (Except for the bit about the Hitachi Seiki machines)

Read one of my other articles which are crammed with useful programming tips and information.

CNC Programming

Are You a Self Taught at CNC Programming?

It is very common now a days to be self taught in CNC Programming. I don’t have a problem with this because really I fall into the same category.

The problem seems to be with some people is that once they get everything running enough to satisfy the boss they stop learning and look no further.

The thing with me is that while my contemporaries were reading the Daily Mail reinforcing their racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic views, I spent my time reading the boring shitty old manuals.

This in turn gave me knowledge that I could use in later life to charge people much inflated prices for CNC Training.

These manuals really were absolute dog shite in terms of the way they were written.

I mean they were full of mistakes and misspelt words and even the smallest thing took ages to understand. Fuck knows why I persevered and learnt, but I did.

Remember there was no YouTube no TicTok not even an Internet. Platform shoes were mandatory even the mullet hadn’t been invented yet.

I still do it to this day, read manuals that is.

Do what?

I just love Machine Manuals, my house is full of them. In the fridge, behind the cooker in the toilet, stuffed up the drainpipes.

My wife told me off for using my mobile phone whilst sat on the toilet. Anyway I have stopped that and now I take machine manuals into the toilet not a mobile phone.

Being made of very thin paper means you can wipe your arse on the health and safety bits at the front of the manual should you run out of lavatory paper. You certainly can’t do that with a mobile phone can you now?

As a young boy my grandmother taught me a valuable lesson when it comes to toilet hygiene and protocol.

“Grandma” I said “I don’t think you washed your hands after going to the toilet”

“David” she replied indignantly “your grandma does not get her hands dirty when she uses the toilet”

My grandmother forever the pragmatist.

Back to Manuals

I often say to my customers, as they are throwing me out “I just read the boring shit in the manuals that you can’t be arsed to read”

Obviously I’m not going to encourage you to read the manuals as I may never work again. No, no you carry on the way you are.

Rolls Royce 1971

I remember in the 1970’s I got my first motorcycle a Honda CB 160. I loved that bike but managed to crash it and write it off within a couple of months of buying it.

I think it was the only time in my life I ever saved money.

Sixty five pounds and eight shillings I saved. This represented months and months of mowing lawns, selling petrol and babysitting as well as looking after tropical fish whilst the owners were on holiday.

Oh and if I had time left I delivered green fruit with Rod the green fruit man. I also tried some male prostitution which I was no good at on account of me being an ugly bastard and I was way too shy ever approach anyone.

Anyway this money meant I could put a deposit down on the beast below.

Courtesy of Angus Dykman.

Honda CB 160 this very kind guy Angus Dykman allowed me to use his picture. Please visit his website (click picture above) he has loads of interesting motor cycles.

Couldn’t you just lick this picture? So nice. And feel free to lick your laptop.

Let me start by telling you I am one of those rare men who admits to being a shit driver.

At the time I was serving my apprenticeship at Rolls Royce and all my mates had British bikes like Triumph’s, BSA’s and Norton’s.

They took the piss out of me quite a lot for having a Japanese motor cycle,  calling it a “Sewing Machine” and “a piece of Japanese shite”.

Political correctness had not been invented so “sewing machine” was a common place word. None of us were very articulate and our vocabularies were minimalistic. We had all learnt to swear but were not too good at filling in the gaps in between the expletives.

Also bear in mind we hadn’t long beaten the Japanese in a world war so I think we were allowed to say nasty stuff about them. At least for a while anyway.

Every night after finishing work all the apprentices would descend on the car-park where our prize machines were situated. Most of theirs would have a pool of oil big enough to threaten local wildlife. Oh and did I mention the kick start.

The kick start for my younger readers was a lever you pushed down with your foot. This turned over the engine and hopefully it burst into life.

Should your engine backfire the lever would kick back and could catapult the rider through the nearest plate glass window. The lucky ones got away with a broken ankle which once plastered up could be fully functional again in six months.

Now my bike had electric start this was a button, no kicking involved. Oh and the crank case was cut horizontally making oil leaks a thing of the past.

From where our motorcycles were parked to the end of the car park drive was about half a mile.

We usually raced one another to the end of this drive. This was a race I did not need to win because most of them couldn’t stop when they got to the end. This was due to their ancient braking systems not being able to cope in a drag race.


For my younger readers a drag race has nothing to do with men dressing in women’s clothes and donning makeup and wigs.

As much as I like men dressed in women’s clothes and wearing makeup and wigs, in those days it was a race between cars on a flat track competing to run a quarter of a mile in the fastest time.

My Honda CB 160 hosted what was known as “twin leading shoe front brakes” which meant it could stop quickly. I mean not by todays standards but it certainly didn’t mean I would end up in a blithering heap of crap on the main road in front of the Rolls Royce car park.

The truth was this was the beginning of the end of the golden age of British Motorcycles. Years of underinvestment meant they were easy to catch up and overtake.

The Japanese perfected the many British innovations that never really took off.

  • Overhead camshaft.
  • Shaft drive.
  • Engine integral with the frame.
  • Electric start.
  • Platform shoes and flared trousers.
  • Sushi

It’s ironic to think that in later years Triumph motorcycle were reborn and probably copied the Japanese motorcycles and improved on them.

Anyway the only reason why I mentioned my Honda CB160 was that it had some hilarious misspelt words in the workshop manual.

Always eat healthy kids

Sorry my mind is a bit random today.

Hitachi Seiki CNC Programming

Hitachi Seiki

I’ll get to the point in a minute, but anyway I got to train my victims on one of these very recently.

What a pleasure it was these machines were awesome when they came out, I’m guessing early 90’s. I had the pleasure of training on them then and now years later they come around again.

The tool changer is amazing. You have a turret as usual but round the back there are loads more tools (12 I think). What a pleasant surprise!

It is a bit complicated to do a tool change. All tools are numbered so you have a table that tells you where each one is.

The tool change command is a six digit number. The first two are what turret station you want it in. The second two are the number of the tool you want. The last two are the offset.


This would get tool 23 and put it in station one in the turret.

These Hitachi Seiki machines were bloody expensive in the nineties but anyone with the bollocks and the cash to buy one would have made some serious parts.

This control was I think Hitach Seiki’s own called “Secos”. It was and still is a pleasure to use.

  • Easy program copy
  • Very easy cut copy and paste.
  • Poor graphics but better than most.
  • Decent size memory, in it’s day.
  • Ability to create programme templates and use them when creating new code.
  • Ability to use both sides of a grooving tool (width stored in offsets) no double offsets needed here. Just an H storing the width.

The Manual The Manual What about the Manual

I have been called childish by a lot of my readers and I’m afraid it’s true, I’m also about to confirm it so off you go if you don’t like it.

Now if you have got this far reading this article, you’re either having a really boring day or just as childish as me.

For any young person reading, your mum was wrong when she said “It’s not clever to swear”

It actually is clever to swear and also can be really very funny.

Anyway this is what I fell upon whilst reading the Hitachi Seiki manuals.

Hitachi Seiki

Read on it gets better.

Nothing prepared me for this. My mouth fell open at this next one.

This Is Not a Joke, Contains foul Language and Tigers


Warning if you don’t want to know what the “C” word is STOP HERE.


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hah.

This really was and is in the Hitachi Seiki manual. It is also proof that no one ever reads the manuals. One of these manuals probably contains the third secret of Fátima and there’s only me reading them. (Thick readers may have to google that one), go on no one is checking your search history.

WP to LinkedIn Auto Publish Powered By :