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Browsing articles in "Beginner"

Can’t Afford a CMM? Just Use a Mill With Accurate DRO

Nov 19, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Manual, Techniques  //  7 Comments

A CMM is a device used to take accurate measurements from physical objects–typically parts in your machine shop.  The letters “CMM” stand for “Coordinate Measuring Machine.”  They’re extremely useful to have around, so much so that many shops experience productivity boosts when they locate a CMM right on the shop floor where it can be…

20 Kinds of Digital Tooling to Make You a Better CNC’er

Nov 3, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Software, Techniques  //  2 Comments

What’s your budget for Digital Tooling?
When I was learning to be a manual machinist, people used to say, “Budget as much for tooling as you do the machine.”  They were right–conservative even.
Then I went CNC, and I started noticing a lot of that tooling wasn’t needed any more. Though I might like to…

How to Deal With New Materials in G-Wizard

Oct 22, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software, Techniques  //  1 Comment

I recently had a customer contact me about a material that wasn’t in G-Wizard’s Material DB.  He had been told it was similar to a material that was there, but he felt the Feeds and Speeds G-Wizard was giving were a little too far removed from what the manufacturer was suggesting.  Let’s use his problem…

Check Out Our Omnibus List of Over 40 Ways to Improve Surface Finish When Milling or Turning

Oct 19, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Techniques  //  No Comments
Bad surface finish due to CADCAM issues

I just updated the chapter on Surface Finish in our free Feeds and Speeds Tutorial.  It now has over 40 great tips to improve your surface finish when Milling or Turning.  Based on our recent survey on Feeds and Speeds, many of you consider Surface Finish to be one of the most important qualities you…

What’s a Surface Grinder Good For?

Oct 13, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Products  //  1 Comment

Passing along this great article by Tormach as an introduction to Surface Grinders.  I know I’ve answered the question many times, “Why would I use a surface grinder?”  I really like Tormach’s inexpensive approach to an automated surface grinder in their PSG-612 product.  Just set it up and let the automation do the tedious part.…

What Every CNC’er Ought to Know About Slitting Saws

Oct 7, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  2 Comments

Slittings Saws:  They’re pretty scary when you first try one, but they’re darned handy once you learn the ropes.  We’ve just added a new installment to our free Feeds and Speeds Cookbook (an in-depth tutorial series) that walks you through all the details on Slitting Saws including Feeds and Speeds, Tips, and Techniques.
The other…

The 17 Cent Flood Coolant Enclosure

Oct 1, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  5 Comments

A lot of materials require some form of lubricant when machining for best results–aluminum will bond to your tool eventually if you don’t use some lubricant.  There simply is no combination of feeds and speeds that will 100% prevent it from happening, but a little mist or flood and there’s no problem.  Most materials can…

G-Wizard Guided Tours: Just Right Documentation

Sep 15, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Products, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

Sometimes a quick video will get you up to speed quickly on a product feature–that’s why we offer G-Wizard University (accessible from the Help Page) for both our Feeds and Speeds Calculator and the G-Wizard Editor.  But, other times, the video goes by too fast and you’re scrambling to get all the details so you…

Odds and Ends: 5 Handy Shop Tips and Tools

Sep 10, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Products, Techniques  //  1 Comment

I’ve been collecting these for some time to put into an article like this, so here goes!
Use a 1-2-3 Block as a Small Parts Rack
I did a team build on a little steam engine and had to make a bunch of connecting rods.  BTW, team builds are great fun.  Each person makes enough…

The 12 Secrets of Machining Tough Materials on Small CNC Machines

Sep 9, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

Machining difficult materials like Titanium and Stainless Steel is a scary business if you own a smaller CNC machine.  Even doing aluminum versus plastics and woods can be daunting.  Our article on machining aluminum for CNC Routers is one of the most popular we’ve ever done, for that reason.  But here is the surprising thing:…

Did You Know CNCCookbook Has a CNC Dictionary?

Sep 2, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

We created our CNC Dictionary a long time back, but continue to add new terms to it.  It’s part of a long line of reference materials to help beginners come up to speed on CNC. Some other great examples include:

CNC Beginner’s Cookbook:  Beginner’s get started here.  This page guides you down a path of…

Quickie Vise Pallets for Small Parts

Sep 1, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Projects, Manufacturing, Techniques  //  5 Comments

The secret sauce for a lot of very clever machine work is in the fixturing and workholding, so I always pay attention when people are posting pictures of their fixtures (he’s a poet and just don’t know it, yeah right!). Here is a nice simple little fixture from Travis on CNCZone:

It’s kind of like…

Decimal Points: A Quick Way for the Unwary to Crash a CNC Machine

Aug 24, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, GCode, Products, Software, Techniques  //  1 Comment

Those of you who are relatively new to CNC but who have been around more experienced CNC’ers have probably wondered why they always add a decimal point in the GCode, even when there’s nothing following the decimal.  For example, to go to 5 inches (or mm in metric) right of the origin, they will enter…

8 Brands to Consider for the World’s Best Screwdriver

Aug 19, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Manual, Products  //  34 Comments

As machinist’s, we use screwdrivers a lot, right?  Many of us are also major tool junkies.  So, when we get tired of the usual Craftsman or SnapOn options, where do we go for a better screwdriver?
I thought it was worth some research and came up with 9 brands.  What makes a better screwdriver?  Lots…

Adam Savage’s Radical Alternative to Tool Boxes

Aug 9, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Projects, CNC Router, Cool, Techniques  //  16 Comments

What’s better: crazy crowded drawers or a nice vertical organized tool stand?
I’m a toolbox fanatic.  Almost every year when they go on sale after Father’s Day or Christmas, I look over the deals, and buy another rolling tool box.  It seems like there are never enough drawers available to really organize a shop, and…

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