Business of Machining

John Grimsmo of Grimsmo Knives and John Saunders of NYC CNC discuss their success, struggles, goals and more as machinists, business owners and entrepreneurs.
RSS Feed
Business of Machining




All Episodes
Now displaying: August, 2019
Aug 30, 2019

In this episode: NEW IDEAS: 

“It’s amazing what can happen when you Palletize your life!” - Saunders

Grimsmo’s new love...The BUYER’S Choice System

If you know about Grimsmo Knives, you know about their Maker’s Choice system. This is the way they’ve been selling their knives for YEARS. The title of the Buyer’s Choice System says it all; if your name is picked, you can order a knife specific to your ideal Norseman. Check out the Grimsmo Knives website, and Grimsmo’s Instagram account for more details and to sign up

“It’s the merger of the digital and physical world that’s so intriguing to me!” - Saunders

The DIGITAL Side of the Business

Saunders and Grimsmo talk ERP systems such as Airtable, ProShop and...Google Sheets??

Learn what you can do with an ERP system, what the benefits are, and when to scrap yours if it’s not working for your company. 

“We love google sheets. Our business runs on google sheets” - Grimsmo 

‘Nobody should have to count inventory“ - Grimsmo

Bonus tip: Get a scale for your parts

Does EVERYONE need a custom system?

Grimsmo and Saunders discuss if it’s possible to have a system that’s customizable to everyone’s needs. In this day and age, your business runs online. 

Saunders’s Flipped the Switch on his NEW project PROVEN CUT

“We break tools so you don’t have to” - Project Slogan  

Learn about what “recipes” you can use with this service

Aug 23, 2019

Settling In Nicely
Anyone remember what it felt like to push that clunky snooze button on an LED Panasonic alarm clock? The Grimsmo family is settled comfortably in their new home--so much so that John has no recollection of his alarm or swiping the snooze.

Double Time Reality
Although Grimsmo's slowly inching toward handing off more
responsibility within his company, this week it's double duty.

Swiss Switch
After machining an emergency collet on the Swiss FOR the Swiss, Grimsmo gets midway through part setup only to realize inventory is lower for a different part. Upon hearing that the information was calculated by handy Excel spreadsheets rather than the ERP system, Saunders warns about the dangers of divergent systems.

Orange Nuggets
Saunders admits that right now, SMW doesn't have a good inventory tracking system in place. Kanban cards are proving to be tricky with the varying sizes of fixture plates BUT 3D printed orange that's an idea! While it might seem too simple or even lazy, isn't that exactly how efficiency is born?

What do wool shoes have to do with machining metal? EVERYTHING.

It doesn't matter what you sell, valuable lessons can be learned from ALL types of businesses. What IS important is being able to apply those lessons so your business can benefit.

Expanding Horizons
Join in as the Johns discuss points from their current reading material that hit home!

Check out the article on NYC CNC for more awesome points from The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing!

Recommended Reading for Manufacturing Machinists:

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
Good to Great by Jim Collins

Aug 16, 2019

Work/Life Balance

Saunders had a great time at Autodesk Fusion 360! Now it’s onto the Field Museum in Chicago with his family.  

“Your business and personal life has to go hand in hand!” - Grimsmo 

Grimsmo moved into the new house over the weekend, and it already feels like home. 

When can an entrepreneur start to give themselves a salary?

Saunders talks about putting your profits back into the business in order to guarantee success, but at a certain point everyone needs to pay themselves. And there can be practical tax and insurance benefits to having a regular salary too. Saunders and Grimsmo talk about this, and what it means to borrow money from your business. 

Start by asking, “what would your business do if you needed to borrow money?” This question can help you define where the value of your business lies, and help you make better decisions when it comes to purchasing decisions. 

“Don’t buy sh** that depreciates” - Saunders

“Lifestyle businesses”

Saunders encourages Grimsmo to take the next step with his business, and hand the reins to the employees of the company. 


Text and Email are SO last decade. 

Make the recipient of your message fall of their seat: send them a video response to their query. 

Saunders uses to do this. 


Other topics in this episode: 

  • When to help people
  • Automation and systems in place to make it happen 
Aug 9, 2019

Portland, Oregon. Autodesk Fusion 360 Academy Day 2.
Sans the glitz, glam, and exuberance of Autodesk University Las Vegas, the close-nit vibe and Fusion focused course material makes for an amazing time.

Saunders shares an AWESOME Fusion 360 hack from Rob Lockwood's 5-Axis Fixturing Course.

During the event, Saunders has dinner with Don Grant from Helical/HarveyTool, the same person Grimsmo met at Autodesk Toronto in July. Turns out, Don had a sweet solution for Grimsmo's 3/32 problem!


(may be an exaggeration but...just go with it)

During critical knife handle milling, 3/32 4-flute endmills were dying within 1 pallet, which means having to re-work each pallet (PAINFUL) BUT---the good news is the Helical 5-flute endmill coated for titanium has lasted through 17 PALLETS AND IS STILL GOING STRONG!

AC gets repaired only to break down again two days later. Although the Nak LOVES the heat and is churning out uber-consistent parts...the lapping machine begs to differ!

How's the TORNOS?
An expensive coding mistake serves as reminder to quadruple check code AND make sure the post is smooth, refined, and operating without requiring manual manipulation.

Home Sweet Home
Grimsmo and FAM are moving into their first home!

The desire to see a day in the life of other shop owners has remained strong for Saunders, especially if he could do it in stealth mode. Everyone tends to change behavior slightly in the presence of company or a camera.

Corncob, Triangles, & Toblerones
The new tumbler that emerged from a trade deal has dividers. Erik tosses his SAGA into the corncob section to see how it holds up.

Aug 2, 2019

Our podcast name is DA’ BOM

In other words, welcome back to the Business of Machining folks, where we talk about business, machining and in this case, budgets. 

Grimsmo and Saunders dive into all those little bits of business advice you would never think to give to a new entrepreneur if asked. They talk best budgeting software, time management, shipping, and lots of seemingly mundane, but equally important, technicalities to running a business. 

Look out for a Chip Break episode on the NYC CNC YouTube channel where Saunders covers the necessity of budgets, accounting, and how to motivate yourself to get. It. Done.


Grimsmo has brought Grimsmo Knives to a place he didn’t even allow himself to imagine it could be 4 years ago. 

“I just didn’t understand that it was possible” - Grimsmo

The Johns discuss how big to dream in the beginning, and about the importance of small steps (like when Grimsmo anodized knife handles to get his foot in the door of the knife making world. 

Growth happens. 

“The fixture plate we made 18 months ago was great, and there was nothing wrong with it, but the one that we shipped today was better” - Saunders


Are you a push or a pull person? How about BOTH? 

Grimsmo and Saunders discuss the difference between these two types of people, and how you can be different ways in different situations. 

It ain’t always breezy bein’... an inhabitant of Canada.

This summer has been HOT, and the Grimsmo crew up north has especially been feeling the heat with the AC broken for the last two weeks of July. Next step: find a new shop. 

Saunders makes a new product, which he calls his “Norseman”. AKA his MASTERPIECE! What is it you may ask? Well, this description is no place to find spoilers, so you’ll just have to listen to find out!