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Browsing articles in "Beginner"

Tormach 440 Spotted in the Wild

Feb 4, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, Products  //  1 Comment

I was just over at Santa Cruz Electronics, our local Tormach dealer in Northern California, when I happened to spy a happy little CNC mill in their back room.  Seems they’d just taken delivery on one of the new Tormach 440’s.  I have to say, it is just the cutest little CNC mill ever, and…

37 Things Your CAM Won’t Do For You That GCode Programming Can

Jan 19, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, GCode, Manufacturing, Software, Techniques  //  4 Comments

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated — Mark Twain
Myth: G-Code Programming is a Thing of the Past
Reality:  G-Code Programming Compliments CAM Extremely Well
Like Mark Twain sort of said, “The reports of GCode’s death are greatly exaggerated.”  Even MMSOnline agrees that the idea G-Code programming by people instead of CAM software…

What’s An Entry Level CNC Machine Capable Of?

Jan 12, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Projects, CNC Router  //  4 Comments

I’m fond of saying there’s not much you can’t make with a CNC machine, but I’ve got access to some pretty nice hardware.  People want to know what it all costs and what can someone just getting started do.  The answer is not much different.  If you’re patient and can work around the limitations of…

All About Wood Types and Feeds and Speeds for CNC Routers and Mills

Dec 29, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Router, FeedsSpeeds, Software  //  2 Comments

I get asked fairly often why there are so few wood choices in G-Wizard Calculator’s Material Database, or how to convert wood hardness to Brinell to tell G-Wizard about the differences in hardness for various kinds of wood.  After all, there are probably a couple of hundred different choices for Steel including all the alloys…

The 24 All-Time Most Popular CNCCookbook Articles

12 Days of Christmas?  Yes, and here are 12 each of the all-time most popular Cookbook articles and Blog Posts.
What’s the difference between a Cookbook Article and a Blog Post?  Typically the Cookbook articles are longer, more in-depth, and often are part of an extended series.  Blog Posts can be just as useful and…

Shaper Tools: What If Hand Tools Were CNC?

Dec 1, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Router, Cool, Products  //  2 Comments

The Shaper Router: Hand Tools with CNC…
CNC has been undergoing rapid evolution lately, especially at the entry-level part of the spectrum.  Mere mortals can have 3D Printers, Laser Cutters, and CNC Mills in their garages these days.  Even the Apollo Space Program never had so much access to CNC as the average maker does…

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…

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