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: June, 2019
Jun 28, 2019


Breaking the Silence on Project Egress!

This "Top Secret" mission is a collaborative, maker-inspired, project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Saunders shares his crazy story about what the project is, why it's so important, how it ties into his renewed passion for 5-axis machining, and why he's ready to get a "real" lathe!

If you want to meet up and see the project, swing by the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, July 18th!

Collet Bushing Drama

Old Red, White, and Blue won't provide the proper sized thread,
so he turns to the Swiss for an answer instead.

Until the custom collet bushing arrives, the Tornos is a chucker lathe. Although there were some concerns about long stickout and tool deflection, surprisingly, the Tornos is STILL dead nuts!


Click Image Below to See Post

Swiss Training Continues
The Tornos has made over 500 parts so far! By making what is essentially a dowel pin, Grimsmo's learning how components of the machine work together. Also, his familiarity with FANUC control on the Nakamura comes in handy.

Can I Get Your Digits?
Instead of 4 digits, the Swiss has 5....meaning Grimsmo
can move the machine in increments of ten millionths!

So you're in the market to buy a machine but before you do,
there are considerations you may not have thought about! Check out Guide to Buying CNC Machines.

Don't Judge an Endmill by its Coating!
A while back, Saunders mentioned his preference for owning uncoated endmills to avoid having material-specific tools. In theory, this makes sense but Laurens steps in to set Saunders straight! Sure, the coating is something to consider but there are other characteristics such as the edge grind on the flutes and relief that are MUCH more important.

Jun 21, 2019

Easy as 1-2-3! 

It's easy to commit to recording this podcast every week when you love it! 

“This is one of my favorite things to do each week” - Saunders

“This podcast is a safe space for us to brag OR complain” - Grimsmo

Even after so many episodes, the podcast’s format remains the same: two buddies gush over machining, the challenges that come along with it, and running a business.

The Swiss Lathe TURNS into a conventional lathe (for now)

A fluke in the order for guide bushing delays the Swiss Lathe from being used to its full potential for almost a month.  

Not to fear, it will still be making chips! Grimsmo explains how.

Keep it clean. 

With such a small space, Grimsmo is finding it hard to keep the shop clean and organized. Saunders and Grimsmo talk shop organization and maintenance. 

Should YOU be worried about someone copying your idea for a product?

Saunders and Grimsmo discuss this, how they’ve handled this question in the past, and how making the right call on this issue can help your business thrive.

“I’ve never been worried about a copy because people are buying a brand from us” - Grimsmo

Check out the book Blue Ocean Shift for further discussion of this topic.


“Don’t ask your friends and family for feedback!” - Saunders

You want feedback from the context of the market in which your product will be sold. 

Speeds and Feeds

Saunders and his team gear up to launch their biggest project yet: redefining how the machining world consumes and learns speeds and feeds!

Sign up to be notified about the beta launch HERE

How to create a system that is beyond yourself and your personal calendar

Having a business means involving your team in process changes, and system implementation. Saunders and Grimsmo brainstorm ideas on how to do this. 

That’s SO metal, man.

Discussion of different types of metal. Which metal works for your project?

Jun 14, 2019

Saunders and his team gear up to launch their biggest project yet: redefining how the machining world consumes and learns speeds and feeds!
Sign up to be notified about the beta launch HERE!

BladeShow Brain Blur
Erik & Jo (pronounced Yo) drive the tail of the dragon on the way to the most important show of the year. Although booth decor might not be their forte, who needs a fancy booth when you go #fullgrimsmo? Still reeling from the deep conversations in the pit, the fun, the excitement, and the "in-person refreshers," Grimsmo returns with the warm fuzzies and deep gratitude. A few days later, he's clear, motivated, and ready to hit the ground running with ideas inspired by the show's synergistic effect.

What EDC items are in your pockets? Is it a knife, pen, flashlight, a tape measure--maybe that's only a Jimmy Diresta thing.... No matter what you carry, those items need to be tough!

"I've been really wanting to take a SAGA and just kinda throw it down the road and see what happens."- Grimsmo in reference to testing the durability of his pens.

Don't worry, if you ever suddenly get the urge to chuck your SAGA down the street, don't worry! Replacement parts will be available.

Grimsmo was asked to do a full-on pocket dump at BladeShow! Find the video HERE on BEST DAMN EDC's Channel! 

Not only are we talking about pants pockets, we're also talking about tool changer pockets. Although Grimsmo got a steal of a deal on used Eumach machines from Miltera, time will tell if it's going to be more money and hassle than it's worth.

Sometimes you have to take a gamble! Despite knowing there's a chance that the Eumachs might might blow up in his face literally and financially, there'a also a chance that it could be AMAZING!

GrimsGROW Knives
It's definitely time to get a new shop but how can you get a jump on planning the layout if you haven't locked down a building yet?

With the eventual return of the Rask, you know the Linda Wheel Saga must also return! The team is ahead on Norseman production thanks to Angelo and now they're using downtime to improve the process and sift through the nitty gritty details to get a proper GK blade finish.

Jun 7, 2019

Saunders pushes through the pain of a bowling injury. He's still tough enough to make parts on his new 5-axis machine! And there's SO MUCH to learn about it. 

Saunders wants to work on the 6th side of a part with his 5-axis, and then eventually tab it off

Let's start a tab. 

Saunders gives some tips on how to tab off a part, and what he's learned since starting to play with his 5-axis.

"Filing is not great, scotch brite wheels work but it’s not the best. The trick is just to get really good at tabbing" - Saunders

QoftD: How are X and Y handled by the post?

Learn more about this in Saunders' recent video


Meanwhile, there should be a better way in Fusion to do tool orientation. 

“I would absolutely consider a 2 or 300 tool machine now” - Saunders

More and more Swissish everyday

Grimsmo is getting the Swiss lathe all set up, and it's bringing the team closer together (quite literally)

"The shop is TIGHT" - Grimsmo 

“In the ideal shop you never have to say excuse me” - Angelo

The Grimsmo shop is running out of floor space, but everyone is being a good sport and is excited about the new machine!

More to come once Grimsmo translates the french manual that came with one of the components of the machine...or maybe he'll just get an English one. 

Fun Fact: Grimsmo’s Swiss lathe was made in the Tornos factory in Taiwan. Up until that factory was planted, Tornos had really only been in Switzerland land and, after 150 years of being in the same location, the CEO says "It was SO nice to start from scratch!" 

Prune the beautiful tree that is your machine shop.

“A purge every once in a while is not enough, I want to be pruning the tree and regularly cleaning things out” - Saunders

Swiss Lathe timeline

  • Schedule application engineers for mid to late next week, which should coincide with tooling getting delivered
  • Then make some chips!!

Links mentioned in the podcast:

The Digital Refractometer

Proportional Mixer for Coolant and Soluble Oil

Speeds and Feed Class with Saunders

Also in this episode:

  • Don't flood your shop, leave your car keys on the "off" switch
  • Grimsmo moves the air compressor through his tight shop. "I should've done it a long time ago!" - Grimsmo
  • Grimsmo buys a second coolant/oil drum, and Saunders buys his first one
  • How rotary unions work 

Grimsmo’s got blade show this weekend!

Catch him and his team at booth 952.