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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Now displaying: August, 2018
Aug 31, 2018

The Grimsmo Grapple: Touchy Subjects
The guys do their best to be open and honest but some topics
are hard to discuss!

Compartmentalizing family vs. business life is easier said than done. At GK, business IS family, so it's near impossible!

Grimsmo shows tremendous strength in his ability to self-evaluate

Instead of hiding behind a smile, he admits his own truth.
On his quest to become more assertive, unlearning habitual ways of handling conflict and replacing them with more effective strategies is a lengthy process--a process needing constant practice.
The old "build-up and blow-out way" isn't the Grimsmo way!


Throw a couple of broken through-coolant drill bits
onto the pile and you've got the making of a "wild week."

"Could a line of code turn the coolant on to STRAFE the hole instead of going into it?" - Saunders
(To understand this plausible solution, play DOOM or search the urban dictionary).

Centered Saunders
Being an entrepreneur means you're a defacto leader.
As the leader, you inadvertently pass on your ways of handling
chaos to your team. If you freak out, they'll freak out.
If you approach with a cool head, they'll follow suit.

Useful tips can be found everywhere...even at Jimmy John's!
While on a lunch break at Jimmy John's, Saunders notices
a list on the wall.

Warren Buffett's 10 Rules for Success

Grimsmo shifts his perspective to that of an investor looking from the outside in.
Saunders poses 2-sided hypotheticals about what outside investors AND business owners want.


Manufacturing Entrepreneurship Summit 2018 - Chicago, IL!
The Manufacturing Entrepreneurship Summit will be held at mHub
Sunday, September 9th, 2018 (ONE DAY BEFORE IMTS!) and---it's FREE!

Workshop Topics:

  • Product Development
  • Bootstrap Entrepreneurship 
  • Growing & Operating a Job Shop
  • Optimizing Surface Finishes with CAM & Tooling
  •  Fixturing Tips & Tricks
  • Lean Shop Operations

Guest speakers: John Grimsmo, Jay Pierson, Tim Paul, Bill Fienup, John Saunders, and Zach Kaplan!


SIGN ME UP! <<<<<< Click Here to Register Now!

Aug 24, 2018

Moving from CNC to RNR

Grimsmo takes a well deserved break. His idea of a vacation? Renting a Tesla and taking it out on the open road to Tobermory for a coupe days. No need for new windows when you’re out in nature! And sometimes you can be most productive when you're relaxed. 

The Grimsmo Shop Reaction: 

“Guys, John’s gone! We can do whatever we want!...LET'S CLEAN!” The Grimsmo shop has gotten cleaner since he left it on Wednesday last week. 

The best advice you can give may shock you! And it’s *drum roll please*...

Stay humble.  

“Your company comes with merit, and it shows something good about your personality, but still be the kind of person someone would want to get stuck in an airport with” - Saunders

Playing fair with your customers

Saunders and Grimsmo discuss Tormach vs. vertical machining centers, and the expenses involved in software updates that you aren’t allowed to do on your own. Will their businesses have to take a page from this book in the future?

Psst...Can I Rask you a question?

Grimsmo answers Saunders query about whether he’s going to start getting into Rask production again anytime soon. Answer: it’s complicated. There’s a technical problem that needs fixing before production can start up again, and Saunders and Grimsmo swap ideas about how to fix it.

Possible Solution: The LX 160

New Training Classes at NYC CNC!

This is the first week of Saunders’ new Haas machine training classes!

You can sign up for a class here

Saunders is also working on a secret project, stay tuned into this podcast for him to announce it within a couple months.

Quick tip to avoid buyers’ remorse:

“Don’t buy the machine unless you can sell yourself on it all day long, everyday” - Saunders

Saunders Answers: Should you QUIT your job?

Hint: Make sure you don’t turn your passion into a burden, stressing for money can do this.

Is #PaulAkersMoment a thing?

Saunders gets a new setup for the camera, and reduces setup times.

Still SUPER EXCITED for IMTS! Coming up! We’ll hear a lot more about it in the next episode.

Aug 17, 2018

The Johns share heartwarming entrepreneurial moments that hit them RIGHT IN THE FEELS.

Square One
No matter your experience level, the learning should never stop. Each new aspect of business sends you back to the green.
If your brain is exploding, you're doing it right!

A Testament To Self-Care
Grimsmo and Saunders know the drill (pun intended) when it comes
to "taking time off." Usually it's for business related events but if you're listening now, Grimsmo has left the building! He's on an adventure--but he may or may not leave the laptop in the FRUNK.

The Mori. The Haas. Bada Boom or Biiig Bada Boom?

Nail on the Head
Ryan Wenner's quote about the "2 most important skills for entrepreneurs" resonates with Saunders. ALSO: Changing your definition of the word "failure" can change your life!

Business as Usual
Implementation of a shared maintenance schedule is in progress at SMW, which brings up preventative maintenance (batteries in particular).

HAAS ATM Groups--we were doing it wrong!
That moment you realize you've over complicated tool life management--and LAUGH ANYWAY.

HAAS Training Classes at SMW
That old block of machining wax is FINALLY getting put to use AND, it benefits those who purchase a Haas without the Renishaw!

FEED ME SEYMO--I mean, GRIMSMO! You don't have to be a fortuneteller to know that a BAR FEEDER is in the GK future!

Growing too fast or not at all could end up in closed doors.
While changing your definition of failure, it wouldn't hurt to
get new perspective on PROFIT; it's more than just owner take-home.

now that we have your attention....
Accounting is a dreaded subject for most but you
owe it to yourself and business to understand it!

Saunders discusses contribution margin and why
it's a number he likes to focus on.
Click below to learn some accounting basics!

Accounting for Machinists and Entrepreneurs: Beginner's Guide

AND...if you ARE going to borrow money, don't get "fleeced."
If you have a grip on how loans work, take the quiz and watch
"Should I Take Out a Loan?" just to be sure. You don't know what you don't know!

::::Under Pressure::::
TORN about IMTS: Grimsmo is pumped to find his dream machine while Saunders works to regain his curbed enthusiasm.
BE STINGY with your time and DO NOT FEEL GUILTY if you have to turn vendors down.

Aug 10, 2018

Work/Life Balance: how kids can make you sleep better

Sound like an oxymoron? Sometimes we need an escape from work; you can get stressed because you’re working too much.

Call it what it is! A BUSINESS.

When payroll gets involved, that’s when it gets serious (and when something starts to run like a mini corporation). The Johns discuss the difference between planning and dreaming when it comes to growing your business.

“If there’s a decision you can solve for under 100 dollars, solve it yourself.” - Tim Ferriss, Four Hour Work Week

The Johns get inspiring (and a little cheesy):

“Believe in yourself!” - Saunders

“‘It’s fun to dream’ is the wrong phrase. The phrase should be ‘it’s fun to plan’” because it’s all part of the true picture of the business. - Grimsmo

“The future will be kind to me, as I intend to invent it” - Saunders

QOTD: How do you dream about things?

What if I got…? Is a form of planning.

Goals to grow the business! For what? Growth!

Sometimes you’re not working for a sports car, you work so you can grow your business and invest in it. The Johns talk about what they're working towards. 

IMTS is one month away!

Grimsmo and Saunders will be there a day before IMTS starts (Sunday, Sept 9) for the Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship Summit, which is a version of the NYC CNC open house, and there will be plenty to learn! Grimsmo will also be doing a workshop on knife making, and talking about the business.

The event will be held in a pretty great space called mHUB in downtown Chicago.

Register for the event, here!

TO-DO or WILL-DO? that is the question. 

Putting something on a piece of paper as a to-do list doesn’t mean it’ll get done, and everyone has a different kind of to-do list that works for them. Saunders and Grimsmo talk about the differences between theirs.

“Its surprisingly hard to find a system that works for you” - Grimsmo

The final part of this episode is all about Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems

Grimsmo is in the midst of setting his company up with ProShop but, similarly to to-do lists, everyone uses ERP systems differently.

Aug 3, 2018

The Importance of Self-Care
Take a second to think about YOU. Have you slept well? Eaten well?
If you're used to running on empty, it's time to refuel and recharge.
Take care of yourself today. Your business depends on it!

Grimsmo goes on a BENDER, but it's not what you think!
Engraving is now 98% closer to being a lights-out operation.
While he didn't get much sleep, he IS energized by tackling
those neglected tasks!

MO' Money, MO' Problems
So, you've got the revenue but do you have the
critical thinking skills to plan and budget wisely?

Toolholder Controversy
With a plethora of tool holding options and mixed messages from intelligent members of the machining community, making a good choice is tough. Try tossing in a price-point and you have a recipe for uncertainty.
The guys discuss REGO-FIX powRgrip, ER Collets, and Shrink Fit, to name a few.


At first, those teensy percentages online stores or payment processors charge seem like nothing but it all adds up!

Some payment processors may not take kindly to your product, so BEWARE!

Rob Lockwood. Answers. Giant Sandwiches in the Dark. What does it mean?
During Lockwood's visit to GK, he was asked what he would change.
For the past 3 months, Grimsmo's been eating a GIANT SANDWICH in the shadows--one that he's now ready to share with everyone!

S&H Shop Tour Video

On that note, here's some food for thought:
"Don't become an entrepreneur SIMPLY because you dislike your day job. THIS ISN'T ANY EASIER!"