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.
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Business of Machining



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Dec 8, 2017

“The business is becoming its own entity, and we all work for that business” - Grimsmo quoting Pierson

Saunders and Grimsmo reunite after missing one of their weekly chats and they have much to discuss.  As their businesses grow at a fast pace, having a great team and managing stress are becoming more important.  The guys work to advance the skills of their teams as well as their own.

Jonathan Lewis is back to teach another Tig Welding class. 

Superior Welding Instagram

Get your pro-membership for NYCCNC here.

“Find great people, get them on your team, and let them do great things” - Saunders

Both of them have taken on a new team member in the past week; Saunders hired an intern from an award winning high school robotics team with a passion for engineering. Over in Canada, Grimsmo’s new Media Producer (and first hire), Erin Kelly, is taking on full time duties and crushing it. Grimsmo can’t stop generating ideas for his team to accomplish together and getting more excited about his work. By the time the new machinist arrives in January, it will be as if he’s “split himself into four people”.

Anything else? Yeah, lots!

Saunders reminds Grimsmo to get excited about what you do, and John talks about how this can reduce stress levels.

Having trouble with thread mills?  Saunders offers advice.

Engineering students from McMaster do a presentation on Grimsmo Knives. Stay tuned to Grimsmo’s YouTube channel to watch the presentation and the chat afterwards between the students, Grimsmo, and Erin. More videos coming soon!

Saunders talks about custom vacuum plates.

Grimsmo combats his supply problem by making Rasks instead of Norseman knives. He declares he will never run out of material again.

Review of new Vibra Tumbler (spoiler: it’s great!). Video of unboxing and review coming on Grimsmo’s YouTube channel soon!

There is a lot of power in communication, especially if you’re a supplier. As Grimsmo says, “the human empathizes with personal problems, but the business doesn’t’ care at all.”

Get ready to hear the podcast with less and less of a lag between taping and publication. With two media people, “The Business of Machining” will be much closer to real time.

Dec 1, 2017
"Everything you do is a representation of who you are, even down to how you wash the dishes." - Grimsmo
Saunders returns from his 3rd round of AutoDesk University feeling refreshed. His perception of AU has evolved from one of pomp and circumstance to one of understanding and appreciation.  Plus, if your're a FUSION ULTIMATE customer, GENERATIVE DESIGN access has been granted.
If you didn't make it this year don't fret. Catch the keynotes, livestreams, and more for free here!
Stop! Hey! What's that sound? 
Production and quality are full steam ahead at Grimsmo Knives but the earsplitting sound of the tumbler is driving everyone nuts. With new equipment on the way and a media person to tackle branding and YouTube, John's bursting at the seams with ideas! 
Check out the CMTS Video to see the Vibra Tumbler here.
Vibra Website
Leica A60 Microscope
Growing, Growing, Gone?
Adding people means increasing payroll. An accountant can show you the numbers but what story does it tell?  According to a U.S. Bank study, 82% of businesses fail because of cash flow problems.  
Budgeting Video
Machine Shop ROI
Generalized Business Assessment
NYCCNC struggles with demand while Grimsmo Knives struggles with supply.  The guys discuss a direction for the podcast and desire to allow people to connect in a more personal way.
How many circles the parking lot does it take to finish a Saunders and Grimsmo podcast?
The fact that people tune in leave both Johns awestruck--even after all this time. 
Nov 24, 2017
"It's a good time to be alive." - Grimsmo
It doesn't get any better than having the world of information at your fingertips.
SAYONARA lag time!  The guys record using ZenCaster to lean out the podcasts and close the gap between life and release date.
What happens in AUTODESK UNIVERSITY.  Saunders attends to speak about Social Media and Modern Manufacturing.    
One step back, two steps forward. While gathering information about the intricacies of an ERP system, Saunders realizes the first step starts with streamlining processes in the shop.
The only thing harder than saying "no" is following through with a begrudged "yes."
Grimsmo finds that being honest and upfront gets easier with practice. 
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Grimsmo and Erik?  
Not only are they literally flying high, this past few weeks of production have left them on cloud 9.
Erik's Instagram Post
Hiring employees is a lot like DATING.  While the comparison might seem like a stretch, the similarities are striking. Although local schools and colleges have a pool of candidates, the protocol for reaching out seems ambiguous.   
In a world of immediacy, it's no surprise that finding uninterrupted time is like trying to find Sasquatch.  Maybe it's not about finding it, it's about deciding what can wait.
Calling all listeners! We want to hear from you.  If this podcast has helped you, make a post on Instagram or Facebook.
Nov 17, 2017

"Grimsmo's frowning at me with disdain--"

With Thanksgiving rounding the corner, this episode of Business of Machining offers a lot of food for thought.
After a night of tossing and turning, Saunders uses his inability to sleep to his advantage.
How's that Norseman pallet coming, Grimsmo?  Finishing the much improved pallet while 
keeping up on production is a challenge.  
The Johns are definitely not fans of arrogance but is it possible to be too humble?
Saunders contemplates the biggest business decision he's had to make thus far and it's all about ERP (enterprise resource planning).  While no holy grail of systems exists, one in particular catches his eye.
Check out ODOO here.
The Grimsmo Knives roster is set to gain some new names.  When hiring someone you know, it's not a question of their knowledge or ability.  The real question might surprise you.  
"Don't forget, you're the boss." - Saunders
The guys talk toolingchip formation problems, and solutions.  If you're getting 
some SCUFFS, you aren't alone!
When you hear the phrase, "custom tooling," what comes to mind?  Dollar signs and hassle?  
Put your mind at ease because it's much easier than you think!
Saunders and his team take Turkey Day to the extreme in a new, must-see video soon to air.   
Nov 10, 2017
The car is kaput. Grimsmo makes due with his mic from home.
If you've successfully changed the insert on a boring bar while holding your child, 
you might be a machinist.
Time flies when life is good.  Grimsmo reflects on obsession
When you say yes to the short term goal, are you short changing yourself?
The path from point A to point B isn't a straight line, so of course it takes longer to get there. 3.14 times longer, to be exact.
Grimsmo reveals a new, big goal.
"I hope you have time to talk to me in two years!" - Saunders
Saunders has what he describes as the BEST WEEK EVER.  Who knew 3 pieces of software could make such an impact?
What the heck is a nurdle?  It's not just a recommendation from the American Dental Association.
Take some advice from Tools of Titans and Stay Calm by clicking here
Remember: Slow is fast, Fast is smooth.
Asana is the MVP for organizing projects.  Think digital Pierson Boards! 
See the S&H Tour Video here.
Fusion released FORM TOOLS!  Click here to learn the trick.
Frank discussion ensues about dealing with unexpected visitors when time is of the essence.
Nov 3, 2017
What do speaking French, VENN DIAGRAMS  and SUPERPOWERS have in common?
This episode of Business of Machining, of course.
As an entrepreneur, staying true to yourself and your VISION is tough.  Not only do you have to have a passion for what you do; it also has to coincide with what people want. 
The launch of the new NYCCNC Website has Saunders close to making a phone call.
Perfectionism could be overkill but that's what makes it a Grimsmo.  
Knife Spacer Instagram POST
Dowel pins.  Do you buy or make your own?  
Orange Pallet VIDEO
Dowel Pin Instagram POST
What is your SUPERPOWER?  We're not talking about flying or telekinesis here. 
Find out the big surprise Saunders has for his son and how Grimsmo makes Erik's life better with a pneumatic cylinder.  Check it out HERE.
Grimsmo's putting the force multipliers to work.  
Click HERE for a video on UPWORK and FIVER.
Although he's excited about his new product, he's made some decisions about documenting the flashlight process.
My First Light Misunderstanding
Oct 27, 2017
Saunders chaperones students to Ariel.  If you're looking for inspiration, you may not have to fly across the ocean to find it.
Click HERE for Ariel Video.  
Geeking out at the local computer shop, Grimsmo purchases a much needed new laptop.  Despite the new technology, a problematic Fusion file hasn't improved.  The Johns discuss potential causes, solutions and the best ways to structure a large file
Take notes!   
Once a bootstrapper, NOT always a bootstrapper!
This mentality has its merits but when your business evolves, it may no longer serve you.
Is it time to let go?
Saunders and employees are vetting ASANA, a software to keep track of projects and Grimsmo works on finishing some fancy knives promised.  
Oct 20, 2017

Saunders says 'tis the season with an Uberchuck commercial:

Saunders visits EMO in Germany while Grimsmo uploads his first YouTube video in months: CMTS!

Grimsmo debates the future of producing videos: in-house or enlist outside help?

McMaster University partners up with Grimsmo knives for a marketing class project!

Saunders speaks on Social Media at a local Machinery Dealer open house
What can YOU get out of an Open House Sales Event? Will a Royal Chuck get Saunders over the Lathe hurdle? Bar Feeder Secrets that Machine Dealers won't tell you! The key to buying a new machine? Play the market!

UpWork FTW! Grimsmo implements a great solution to their maker's choice system via some custom code written by an UpWork expert.

Finally, Saunders and Grimsmo are both due for new computers! What to buy?!

Oct 13, 2017
New year, new approach. Grimsmo returns from CMTS; his first trade show since IMTS in 2016.
No matter how discerning you plan to be, the almighty sales pitch has the power to undermine due diligence.   
Click here to time travel back to IMTS 2016
If you're considering EDM, this one's for you.  If not, it's cool anyway. Tune in for a simple explanation of the process as well as the pros and cons.
For entrepreneurs, perpetual consideration of better technology and processes is crucial to success.  Any purchase must hinge on more than it being the apple of one's eye.
Saunders relays the importance of RETURN ON INVESTMENT.   
Machine Shop ROI Video
What is a BRAIN TRUST and how can you develop this invaluable resource? 
Luckily,  Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People has some advice.
Get the Ebook for $0.90 here
Fostering business relationships that produce win-win output is obvious but what happens if you focus on the INPUT? Saunders realizes he's made a mistake when he meets his anodizer.
Video microscope or old school like biology class?  There are benefits and drawbacks to both.   
Microscope on Amazon
"Tiiiiimmee is on my side...yes it is!" -- I THINK...
Spending time on time management?  Although it might seem counterproductive, 
tracking time is a good way to find inefficiencies.
Time Sheet Video on Patreon
Oct 6, 2017
"To say it was life-changing would be a bit dramatic was life changing!" - Saunders
Saunders shares his EMO experience while Grimsmo gets ready for CMTS in Toronto. 
A year has passed since they attended IMTS and major changes 
have taken place not only in their shops but in their lives.  
Tradeshows are inspiring but for some, they are intimidating.  
Saunders offers advice for those who are new to the scene.
If you're seasoned, it behooves you to keep an open mind.
New advances in technology can impact the direction of your 
business in the future.  Unfortunately, pill-bottle parts
catchers were not on this year's line-up.
To get a horizontal or a 5-axis pallet system?  That is the question.
Tune in to find out what Grimsmo's keeping his eyes peeled for at CMTS.
Click here to see the tour of Orange Vise.
Saunders and Grimsmo love to talk about machines but today they shine the light on 
software.  They make a call to action for the youngest members of our society to 
get involved!  Who knows, maybe you could end up becoming a programmer for hyperMILL!
Sep 29, 2017
Statistically, it's incredibly likely to get dark every day; however, there is 
0% chance of Saunders holding a focus group.
You have a great product to offer the masses but is it enough to be successful?
If you haven't considered MINIMAL PRODUCT VIABILITY, you might be in for a surprise.
Grimsmo's confidence in his ability to create a product from start to finish leaves him 
conflicted about sharing his flashy new product.
With each success, pressure to achieve the ever-rising bar can be overwhelming.  The pursuit
of perfection could be costly. Renshape Video
Grimsmo shares highlights of "Day with Renishaw."
See the FANUC macro book here
Saunders leaves tomorrow for EMO in Hannover, Germany. He's excited but nervous.  
"I'm not the same person I was when I went to IMTS."  
"That is cool but it's not cool." 
How do you simplify processes and is there an easier way?  The guys share their tactics. 
Thumbstud Instagram post
Click here to check out Home Shop Machinists podcast with guest speaker, Robin Renzetti.
You've still got time! Leave a review on iTunes for the Johns
and get a chance to share your voice until the end of September.
Sep 22, 2017
Have you ever heard of EUSTRESS?  Probably not.  But you've definitely experienced it. It's a feeling our co-hosts lovingly refer to as "the grind."
With the pre-order in the past, Grimsmo turns his 
focus and renewed energy toward the Norseman workflow and 
the automated process for Maker's Choice knives.
While some think chip thinning is overrated, Saunders believes understanding this machining phenomenon is valuable.
Click here to see the video. 
"When we're going on an information binge and trying to learn something, you've got to look hard!" - Grimsmo
In the age of information, we often spend more time searching than learning.
Saunders rocket pitches his goal to create an epicenter of tailored
information via revamping the new NYCCNC website.  In terms of the big picture, he hopes to foster a supportive, like-minded community.
"I'm leaving on a jet plane"---AGAIN?
Saunders packs his bags for EMO in Hannover, Germany.
GET INVOLVED: On Wednesday, October 4th, Saunders will attend the 
Reynolds Machinery Open House in Dayton, Ohio to speak about 
social media and manufacturing.  All are welcome.
DON'T FORGET: September isn't over and your chance
to leave a review for your co-hosts on iTunes isn't either.
Your review not only gives them insights but it
also gives you a chance to have a conversation
with the co-hosts.
Sep 15, 2017
BEEF.  That's what's for 7am.
People that lack authenticity can test your nerves and leave you 
feeling raw but it's easy to let it go when there are bigger fish to fry.
Today is the first day of the rest of Grimsmo Knives.  
After an arduous journey with a 2.25 year pre-order, the new
direction for the company becomes clear. It's like a breath of 
fresh processes. 
If you want to dig up the past, perhaps you should try using your Grimsmo Knife.  According to prehistoric sources, it does a DINO-mite job. Click here
As Saunders prepares for his family vacation, he's also drilling his brain (pun intended) about incorporating re-ground tools into the workflow for the steel fixture plates.  
Will he be able to leave the shop rest assured or will his brain spiral out of control?
TRELLO?  Is it me you're looking for?
Saunders and Grimsmo discuss the benefits of using this app as well as others for organization, research and other tasks.  
Happy belated birthday to Grimsmo! According to Saunders, they 
have now reached a new milestone: Boring Dad Birthday Age.  
I'll take my FANUC macro book and be on my way now, thanks.
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.
When life gives you 62 Rockwell, you become....a cannibal?
Click below for a peek if you dare.
Head over to iTunes to give the co-hosts a shout, especially if
the machines are running. Until the end of September, you can leave a review and get 
a chance to mull things over with the guys.  
Sep 8, 2017
"I don't always find EXTRA KNIFE ORDERS but when I do, it's when I have T-minus 6 days until the deadline. "- Grimsmo
If you haven't seen your reflection in a while, check out this Instagram post.
Record players are scarce these days but there's something that might work in a pinch.  A PROFILOMETER???
For Saunders, the benefits of a Cogsdill are becoming more evident
but is it the answer for the steel fixture plates?
Have we forgotten the Linda wheel?
Grimsmo doesn't want to purchase the same wheel again but he may not have a choice.  Production must be able to continue whether or not he has found a way to get better results.  That moment when your business starts making the decisions. 
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it's with WTF anodizing.  There aren't many fish in the sea but that doesn't mean doing it yourself is sustainable.
QC Video
The guys discuss shifts in their primary roles as entrepreneurs and morning routines.
Saunders must have some interesting S&F for those 11 minutes.
After tuning in, head over to iTunes to leave a review for the co-hosts! 
From now until the end of September,
your review = chance to shoot the breeze with co-hosts on the topic of your choice.
Sep 1, 2017
Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.
Out of nowhere, Grimsmo has an astonishing spike 
in productivity but Saunders is perplexed.  Did he wake up with
superpowers or clone himself?
Bureaucracy?  More like bureauCRAZY!
Saunders finds himself peevish and bogged down with
what should have been a simple task.
With the right tools in the right places,
machining the steel fixture plates should, in theory, 
be a cinch; however, with 471 holes, tool deflection and wear are proving
to be a challenge.  
Both Johns are looking forward to next month's trade shows but 
for Grimsmo, September is a new beginning.
Whodunnit? Here's a clue: it wasn't Colonel Mustard in the library with 
a candlestick. Find out which one of the guys had to hit the E-Stop and why.    
If you haven't left a review on iTunes, it's not too late!
Leave a few words for the co-hosts for your chance to 
have a chat with them.
Aug 25, 2017
"I've felt what drowning feels like and it sucks." 
Grimsmo's pushing full steam ahead but is it enough to meet the deadline?
Reducing Stress = Immediate Relief, right? Not exactly.
Unfortunately, ANY change in your normal stress level can leave you feeling 
worse because it's not what you're used to. Saunders grapples with finding a new
How do you pay Uncle Sam and what do they call it in Canada?  
Paying sales taxes in their respective countries is different but do they agree on 
the notion of getting financial business advice and what to do with it?
Saunders and Grimsmo discuss BORING BAR pre-machined surface sensitivity, process
reliability, and faking it 'til you make it.  In this case a wrong CAN make
a right. 
Keeping up on social media platforms is tedious but with a few
hacks, you can stay on top of your game. 
#toomanyhashtags #watchyourfingers
Now Trending: Can't high five a friend because you're far away?  
E-FIVES are the next best thing. 
Don't forget to leave a review on iTunes to 
get your chance to talk with the co-hosts!   
Aug 18, 2017

Feel like picking some BRAINS?

By reviewing this podcast on iTunes from now through the end of September, you could be chosen to have a CHAT with the co-hosts on the topic of your choice!

Saunders visits Madison, WI for Tech Days, formerly the Tormach Open House and
Mitutoyo America Corporation, second to The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in metrology accuracy.

And I said, "LAAATHE, what's goin' on?"
Grimsmo's coming in hot his inserts are turning to TOAST! Reaching out
for some help on Instagram, he's told to go back to school when it comes to SFM.
Click here to see Instagram post.

Should Grimsmo dive into arduino and put a z-axis motor on the
Tormach Surface Grinder? It's a yes AND a no from Saunders.

With the August 31st deadline fast approaching, marking the Rask Advent Calendar
has become an exciting part of the day.

Crunching numbers on accounting and the role it plays in capital investment.


Aug 11, 2017

Video: Q-Mark


How long have you been in survival mode? If you're feeling under the
weather, there's a good chance it isn't last night's dinner.
When it comes to stress, be prepared to bring solutions to the table.
If there isn't a solution, venting and validation can offer relief.

Saunders and Grimsmo mull over ways to avoid past pitfalls and new ideas
to move their businesses forward. Often, the right decision isn't the easiest decision.

What gives? Saunders and Grimsmo share personal experiences
and frustration about companies who refuse to give a ballpark when it
comes to pricing.

No more guessing! Saunders reveals plans for the $11.82 teaser nugget.

On philosophical note, the guys talk about inspiration and legacy.
The phrase, "You can't take it with you" takes on a new meaning.

Aug 4, 2017

Video: Okamoto - I DO give a chuck! 


The Rask order is nearing completion and the stork's bringing the VF2.

Saunders has a fantastic week. Systems are falling into place but
he reminds himself "not to count his chips while he's at the table." Grimsmo
still thinks it's a good idea to pat yourself on the back every once in a while.

The guys discuss accounting, tool organization and an important question
that was posed by Saunders in episode 17. Now that Grimsmo's had
some time to think, he's got some answers but what if it wasn't the
right question to ask?

Tune in to find out about a project that will give some weight to spinner
production and Saunders's $11.82 "teaser nugget." Can anyone guess
what's going on with that? Hmmm...


Jul 28, 2017

Orange Vise Tour 


Grimsmo returns from vacation but was he able to relax?

Saunders tinkers with a new plan for organizing tools.
Just because they're the same size doesn't mean they go together.
To maximize efficiency, you may need to think outside your tool box.

PROCESS RELIABILITY, tell me what it means to me...
Reliable and consistent results take the cake over pushing tool paths to the limit.

The guys get to the nitty gritty on boring heads, tool life and custom macro for probing.
Saunders plans to test his codes to instill some confidence.

Grimsmo dreams of a book about FANUC macro code for his birthday.
"If it's a Fanuc intruction book, it'll probably have to come freight delivery." -Saunders

The Founder, a movie about the McDonald's franchise, offers food for thought.
Even if you don't plan on franchising your business, this movie could help you "dial in" your

Are they status boards? No one is sure exactly,
but they're working like a charm! Tune in to find out what the guys will be calling them

Jul 21, 2017
    Orange Vise Tour

Machine ROI

Delivering Happiness

Grimsmo + Vacation = Worry/Anxiety?

Normally, the idea of vacation should produce feelings of excitement and
relaxation but for Grimsmo, it's a different story. "What is the end goal?"
The guys are in a constant state of defining and refining goals.
How do you know you've made it if you don't know where you want to end up?

In his quest to pay it forward and build a positive community for machinists,
Saunders often connects to his audience by showing lessons learned the hard
way. No matter how thick the skin, the internet trolls get under it by using
petty and destructive comments to assert themselves.

Grimsmo "discovers" EDM --Not Electronic Dance Music, wire EDM for knife making!

Mitutoyo comes to SMW to do a Measurelink Demo. When it comes to business
partnerships, personal connections can add weight to business decisions.
At the end of the day, it's still a business needing to thrive.
Jul 14, 2017
Pierson MPS
Link to Saunder's Video RE: ChipBreak about drawings:
As patriotic holidays arrive and fireworks are ignited, both Johns get fired up about PROCESS--the process of making processes, to be exact.  What if you have no idea where to begin?  The important thing is not WHERE you start but THAT you start.  According to Grimsmo, "Sometimes you gotta make that first crappy one before you can find the better one!"  
Saunders finally takes the plunge (pun intended) and purchases a VF2.  "I only need to buy one more tool, honey!"  Saunders is convinced that a Mitutoyo Bore Gauge is the missing puzzle piece in his repertoire.  At least for now.
Not only do entrepreneurs have to be aware of thinking flaws, they have to be willing to admit and combat them.  When it comes to improving processes, you are the captain of a ship searching through your business for hidden treasures.  Even at the helm, you might realize you don't know everything and that's okay.  In fact, that's a good thing!
Jul 7, 2017

Delivering Happiness:
Grimsmo Pierson MPS Video:

"We've got to talk."  The suspense is killing Grimsmo after receiving cryptic messages from Saunders during his Californian machine shop trip.  

Saunders and Grimsmo get honest about the current state of their businesses.  Bootstrapping has its merits to a point but it can also inhibit your personal growth.  If you don't let others build the ship, you'll never get to steer it!  Being able to steer when the tides are changing is crucial.

For the first time in 10 years, it's not John Saunders and the business; it's the business and John Saunders.  While Grimsmo has been embracing more managerial practices, he feels that breaking the bootstrap barrier is far way but Saunders believes that now is the time.

Saunders might have gone to California but Grimsmo gets a taste of Hollywood when he visits a prop-designer in PA with Carl from Lakeshore Carbide. Now that Saunders is back in the building, it's time to get caught up.

Jun 30, 2017

Pierson Tour:

Grimsmo Knives work-flow boards:

Pierson QC Review video:

"Goals are tools that allow me to say no"--What does that even mean?  

On this episode of Business of Machining, Grimsmo and Saunders are taking action to improve workflow processes and quality control. While Grimsmo visits a machine shop at a local college, SMW hosts a TIG Welding class with Roy Crumrine and Jonathan Lewis (WELDING TIPS AND TRICKS PODCAST).  Grimsmo shares an Instagram photo that strikes Saunders in a profound way.  Pictures are STILL worth a thousand words--and shows that inspiration and perspective can be cultivated from anywhere! Saunders adds another new member to the team with a focus on Arduino and automation and Grimsmo gets a few new suggestions for a chip load issue on the lathe.     




Jun 23, 2017

"I'm not the host, we're co-hosts" and for now, they want to keep it that way.  For these two, paying it forward and reciprocity keeps the wheels turning.

Blade Show has amazing products but for Grimsmo, the people and interactions are the bread and butter(knife).  Today, he plans to chop up 20 billets of timascus.

Got heartburn?  It might be your workholding.   Saunders racks his brain about his current system and Grimsmo offers some perspective on plausible
solutions while the Richard King Scraping Class is hard at work.  

The 30-year-old Okamoto grinder turns out some impressive results when subjected to the 5-Block test.

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