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Browsing articles in "Manufacturing"

Machining Wood in a Vertical Machining Center Like Taylor Guitars

Oct 10, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Manufacturing, Techniques  //  5 Comments

If you’ve never seen it done before, it probably doesn’t occur to try machining wood in a VMC. After all–they’re really designed for metal and plastics, right? Well, they’re most commonly used in those applications, but they can be very successfully used to machine wood as well. If your business involves wood, you just might…

What Do the Top Shops Do Differently From Most Other Shops?

Sep 24, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Manufacturing, Techniques  //  7 Comments

I love learning about the Best Practices of most any industry because I want to know what put the Top Dogs at the Top?
There’s an audience that wants to believe they just got lucky and that they’re no better than anyone else, and there are elements of truth to that–to be really successful does…

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…

A Quick Way to Make Lots of Holes With CNC

Aug 26, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, DIY CNC, Manufacturing, Techniques  //  3 Comments

Here’s a cool idea.  Suppose you had to make one of these:

Lots of little cooling holes in the electrical chassis panel…
Sticking in the CNC mill and doing lots of drilling and milling is the first thought that comes to most of our minds.  And that’s not a bad idea at all.  But a …

7 Combination or Multi-Function Tools to Save You Time and Money

Aug 5, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Manufacturing, Products, Techniques  //  4 Comments

A combination or multi-function tool is just what it sounds like–a single tool that can perform the functions of more than one tool.  They can save you time and money by eliminating the need for a tool change or saving you a position in your tool carousel or lathe turret.  They can take a little…

Here’s a Quick Way to Figure Out Whether to Build a Fixture

Jul 17, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Manufacturing, Software, Techniques  //  5 Comments

It’s been said more than once that great fixtures are the secret to profitability for machine shops.  But that’s not always true.  There’s the shops that leave a couple of vises permanently mounted to the table, set their work offsets to the corner of a fixed jaw, and swear by that.  Not much of a…

Say Hello to G-Wizard Estimator: Feature Based Cost Estimation

Jul 15, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Manufacturing, Products, Software  //  No Comments

G-Wizard Estimator v0.1 has been released into the wild!
We’ve finally done what we’ve talked about for a long time–we have taken the cost estimation functionality that had been in our G-Wizard Calculator and created a stand alone product we call G-Wizard Estimator.  GW Estimator will be focused entirely on Cost Estimation and Quoting for…

Shop Productivity Survey Results

Jul 7, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Manufacturing, Products, Software, Techniques  //  2 Comments

Thank you to all who participated in our Shop Productivity Survey!
Now it’s time to share the results.  We surveyed CNCCookbook readers on what they felt were the most important areas to improve in their Shop’s operations.  Here are the results:

It was a wide-ranging survey that touched on a number of topics.  Predictably, the…

What Blocking and Tackling Improvements Should Your Shop Focus On?

Jul 1, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Manufacturing  //  No Comments

What are the right areas for improvement in your Shop?
Basic Blocking and Tackling–it’s the stuff we do every day, day in and day out, to get the job done.  It’s not as sexy as the silver bullet instant fixes, but it pays the bills.  There are a bunch of basics every Shop has to…

Rapid Prototyping With ProtoLabs

Jun 29, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Business, Manufacturing  //  5 Comments

ProtoLabs bills itself as the “Fastest Provider of CNC Machined and Injection Molded Parts.”  They were founded in 1999 by Larry Lukis, a successful computer entrepreneur who was dissatisfied with how hard it was to get injection molded parts made quickly for his computer company.  Lukis decided there had to be a better way and…

The 5 Hardest Things About CNC Feeds and Speeds

Jun 17, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Manufacturing, Software, Techniques  //  9 Comments

When we recently did our What’s Hard About Learning CNC survey, the area that came out ahead of all the others was Feeds and Speeds:

What’s Hard About Learning CNC?
It was rated the hardest category by beginners, intermediate, and advanced CNC’ers–everyone has trouble with Feeds and Speeds, at least some of the time.  In…

What’s the Value of All Those Options Your Machine Dealer Wants to Sell You?

May 30, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Manufacturing, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

Industrial CNC Machines are complex beasts.  Part of that complexity is inherent, and part of it comes from the myriad of features available for the machine.  This article is all about a dollars and cents approach to figuring out what those extra options are worth to you.  The idea is to come up with a…

Great Grinding Videos from Suburban Tool

May 20, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Manual, Manufacturing, Products, Techniques  //  1 Comment

Have you spent much time on a surface grinder?  Do you ever need to hold a couple of tenths or less on a part?  Would you like to make super-precision tooling?
This kind of work is a little off the beaten path for many machinists.  It’s the realm of Tool Making and Toolmakers, and it’s…

4 Premium Coolant Systems and How to Calculate Their Feeds and Speeds in G-Wizard

May 13, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, FeedsSpeeds, Manufacturing, Products, Software, Techniques  //  2 Comments

Coolant, in many ways, is the lifeblood of CNC, although paradoxically, it’s “Coolant” properties are it’s least valuable component for many of the Coolant options that are available.  This article surveys the different Coolant options, talks a bit about their pros and cons, and shows how to set them up in G-Wizard Calculator so your…

Auto Loading a Milling Vise

Apr 24, 2015   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Manufacturing, Techniques  //  4 Comments

Saw this one on the latest installment of the Tormach blog.  It’s an auto-loading setup for a milling vise built by machinist Joe Gerad:

Auto-Loading a Milling Vise…
We’ve featured vise auto-loaders before, but this one is so cheap and cheerful, I just had to run it here.  There’s a pneumatic gripper mounted on the…

 

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