1100M and 1100MX in Warehouse

How to prepare your workshop for a Tormach 1100M/1100MX CNC machine

Tormach was founded on the idea that hobbyists and professional engineers alike should be able to access affordable, capable CNC machines that are easy to learn, use and install. That’s why a Tormach is perfect if you’re looking for an extra machine in your workshop or you want to get your CNC projects off the ground from home.

But before you stand at the end of your driveway excitedly waiting for the Tormach truck to bring you your new state-of-the-art mill, you need to do a bit of boring stuff to get your workspace ready for your new machine.

Double-Check that Your Tormach 1100M/1100MX Will Fit

Even though the 1100M/MX’s impressive compact footprint means it can fit into spaces many of the other big boys just simply can’t, it still has to obey some laws of physics.

So before you take delivery of your 1100M/MX, you need to double-check the machine is suitable for your workspace. After all, it’s going to be there a long time thanks to its robust cast iron frame, table, hand-scraped hydrodynamic ways, tapered adjustment gibs, and reliable, interchangeable parts.

Here are the dimensions so you can measure up just to double-check.

Table Size: 34 in. × 9.5 in. / 863 mm x 241 mm
Table Slots: 5/8 in. - Three slots / 15.9 mm – Three slots
Spindle Nose to Table Max Clearance: 16.5 in. / 419 mm
Spindle Centerline to Machine Column: 11 in. / 279 mm
Typical System Footprint: 69 in. × 56.5 in. / 1753 mm x 1435 mm
Overall System Height: 96 in. / 2337 mm
Typical System Weight: T1600 lb / 726 kg

Clear the Area

Getting your workspace area ready for your new Tormach 1100M/1100MX mill doesn’t just mean clearing a place for it to sit. It also means ensuring you can both work and maintain the machine safely in the years to come.

Yes, you can move it at a later date if you really must. But re-leveling and re-squaring a CNC machine can turn out to be a much bigger job than you think (and it isn't something we recommend you do too often). So why not just get it right the first time?

Ensuring you can maneuver around the mill with ease when both working and servicing the machine is important. Accessing service panels, safely changing tools, and lifting heavy materials on and off the mill are factors you need to consider when choosing your machine's new home.

A handy tip is to map out where the machine will sit using cardboard, old cloth, or anything else you can fold to the exact measurements. This lets you better visualize the floor space required and how much space you’re going to need to start making chips fly safely.

Lifting Equipment

It's essential to have lifting equipment onsite to set up your machine - regardless of you installing it yourself or utilizing Tormach's On-Site Installation service. Depending on your workspace, you’re going to need access to at least one of the following to ensure a safe, secure installation.

Engine hoist or overhead hoist

Pallet jack or pallet truck


Gantry crane

Check for Potential Snagging Areas

It’s also essential you check for any potential sticking points such as narrow doorways, ramps, steps, soft ground, tricky angles, low ceilings, etc. Not that any of these can prevent the installation per se, but it’s often a good idea to plan the lifting route well in advance to save time on the day (especially, if it’s bad weather).

Sending us an image of the obstruction is always advised if you think it could be a problem. Our installation engineers are experts at navigating tight spots, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Remember! Your Tormach 1100M/1100MX needs juice before it can bring your projects to life. So check your installation site has an electrical supply of at least 240V if you want to start milling straight away.


Of course, we know you’ve already got a light wherever your new CNC mill is going to live. But just double-check the milling area still gets light when your 1100M/MX is installed.

For example, check your new CNC machine doesn’t block any main wall lights, that the ceiling light you have is bright enough to work by, and that you can clearly see all moving parts of your mill at all times (especially when performing important routine maintenance or repairs).

Tool & Material Storage

While it isn't a necessity, it’s always a good idea to plan how your workspace will function once your machine is on position. A well-planned workspace can make a big difference in day-to-day machining comfort and to project deadlines.

Can you easily access the tools you need? Do you have somewhere warm and dry to store your materials (especially wood)? Can you move around without banging your head or knee every two seconds? Can you get easy access to regular cups of coffee while you’re milling and a cold beer when you’ve finished? (You’d be surprised how important that is to the Tormach engineers!).

Trust us! Taking the time to plan your workspace now can eliminate all those small inconveniences you will grow to detest later down the line.

Leveling and Squaring Your CNC Mill

Leveling and squaring your Tormach 1100m or 1100MX CNC mill is easy. It can be done with a basic toolset but it’s an essential stage of your machine installation to ensure both safety and quality assurance.

What you’ll need to get started:

1 x Tormach 1100MX CNC mill (obviously)
1 in. block for the 1100M (or 1100MX)
10 mm or ⅜ in. diameter bar
Clean, lint-free cloth
10 mm hex wrench
Machinist stone
Mill Stand Leveling Shim Kit
Precision machinists level (0.0005/10 in. graduations or better)
Pry bar
Torque wrench and 10mm hex wrench socket adapter
WD-40 (or similar water displacement oil)

We have a great video to walk you through the installation process if you need any help.

Yup! I want to see the pros doing it first.

What’s Left To Do?

Why not use the time to brush up on your CNC skills?

PathPilot is our state-of-the-art CNC controller and the brain of all our machines.

So while you’re waiting for your new CNC machine, why not take it out for a trial run thanks to PathPilot HUB - our cloud-based, full-featured PathPilot simulator.

Yes, please. I’d love to try PathPilot.

Also don’t forget, we have a library full of blogs and videos packed with great CNC hints, tips and advice about how to get the most out of your Tormach 1100M/MX.

Take me to the resource library.

What Else Do You Need To Do?

Well, we advise getting a big calendar, marking off the days till your machine arrives, and booking the entire day off work to geek out with your new 1100M mill.

Happy CNC machining!