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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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Now displaying: May, 2020
May 29, 2020

"You're in the business of being in the business of a business!"


TOPICS:

  • Leadership & Internalizing Advice
  • Self-Reflection & The Last Dance 
  • Grimsmo's Delegating & the Tornos
  • Lean Manufacturing 
  • ERP systems
  • Credit reference tips


Leadership & Advice
Making the plans, the decisions, and having to steer the ship without a detailed map has its own set of unique struggles. The Johns mull over the abstract concepts of feedback, advice, and how timing and experiences affect their ability to receive and process it. Conviction behind the advice turns out to be a key concept.

A Flowery Moment of Truth
Fresh as a peach on the couch watching The Last Dance (a documentary about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls), Saunders finds himself doubting Michael's empty gas tank. While digging up a rose bush, Saunders gets hit with some serious self-awareness. Click here for NYC CNC's Movie Recommendation List.

Hardcore Machining Stuff...Well, Sort Of.
The Johns usually get into nitty gritty machining detail but today, they find themselves inevitably back on the subject of business. The deeper they get, these topics seem less and less mutually exclusive!

Delegating, Teaching, & Administering Responsibility
Last week, Skye took the reigns of the Tornos; Grimsmo's definitive proof that he's growing as the leader of Grimsmo Knives. While he admits that handing responsibility over is difficult, he's very happy and excited about what this means for the future. Not to mention, Skye is crushing it!

Click Image To See Full Post


Lean Manufacturing Has Nuance (just like everything else)

After a night of lights out machining, Grimsmo arrives to find an oil spill and that brings forth discourse about chip conveyors and possible solutions. Lean manufacturing can be tricky to pinpoint. Being proactive about potential problems is certainly a part of it but going overboard is easy.

The old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," certainly applies here.

Even more, the solutions MUST be simple, scalable, and sustainable. In other words, "the juice must be worth the squeeze."

The Scope of Inventory Tracking
Part of entrepreneurship is defining the scope of problems your business can handle versus the problems it should handle. Conflicted about investing time to develop custom inventory and PO tracking software, Saunders reaches out to the lean master, Jay Pierson, and gets a surprising response. Kanban cards, bar codes, and simple PO generation are tossed around this theoretical ERP skull session.

Fusion 360 & Dr. Phil Experience (the awesome machinist, not talk-show host)
Stay tuned for in-depth adaptive CAM troubleshooting videos from NYC CNC. Speaking of Fusion 360, how the heck does Dr. Phil do that!?

Prompted by an IG story with "automate simple tasks" plastered on it, Saunders and Grimsmo can't help but marvel at Dr. Phil's ability to rapid prototype & machine complicated parts. Grimsmo's planning a YouTube video where they sift through his Fusion file--stay tuned! In the meantime, watch this incredible, free, Autodesk University Course by Dr. Phil on 5-Axis rapid prototyping.

Click Image Below For Dr. Phil's Awesome AU Course

Touch Points of Business - Interactions ARE Messages
Every interaction a client has with a business is considered a touch point. They can be anything from calling customer service to how easy it is to order products.

For instance, at the mention of ordering material for the KERN, it's abundantly clear that Grimsmo has stumbled upon a negative touch point surrounding credit reference forms. Luckily, Saunders has great tips on how to handle it!

The Bigger Picture

Negative interactions with other businesses tend to make you look more closely at your own. There is a clear difference in companies that care about customer experience and ones that don't. Each interaction, whether positive or negative sends an important message about who you are and what you value.

May 22, 2020

John & John slowly start getting back to "normal". Grimsmo knives are starting to get back to full operations again after a 7 week shut down. The boys take this time to reflect about organizing and managing their time. Saunders' also dabbles in "S tools" for organizing tools.

Here are all the instagram links as mentioned this episode!

Laurens

Ken @ zodiaceng

Amish 

Rob Lockwood

Phil

Saunders Machine Works

John Grimsmo

May 15, 2020

Business of Machining: It may be simple and direct, but it's not forced or uncomfortable. BoM also happens to be a "subtle acronym" for Bill of Materials.

TOPICS: 

  • Naming businesses and products
  • Asking For Advice: The Student Mindset 
  • Processes - Scalability & Sustainability
  • Datron NEO - Sneeze Guards & ProvenCut
  • Parting Off: CNC Lathes
  • SAGA ON KERN?

Grimsmo and Saunders discuss what it's like to name products and companies. The next time you hear Bashing Strawberries, you'll know exactly what they mean.

Discord Group Chat Provokes Good Conversation & Deeper Musings
We're all hardwired to find information that validates our belief system and discount anything that contradicts it.

However, when asking for advice, we must learn to put our biases aside. On that note, Saunders shares a fitting and humbling book excerpt about maintaining a student mindset.

How To Get Things Done Well - Sustainable & Scalable
Are you the technician focused on specific day-to-day tasks, the slightly unhinged company visionary, or somewhere in between? Determining where you are along this spectrum can help you determine the next steps in your business.

Datron NEO - How You Doin'?
Saunders discusses what it's been like the past few months with a Datron NEO. Everything from the work envelope compared to machine footprint, spindle speed, and an intuitive control, Datron NEO gets two thumbs up from SMW.
Hey Marv, if you're listening, can a Datron outpace a KERN?

Should You Increase SFM Just Because?
Grimsmo wants to leverage a higher SFM but there is never free lunch.

PARTING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW...
Saunders shoulda got a 5-C. Holding 1/4" thick mod vise washer between the main and subspindle for parting off doesn't leave any room. Having to take an additional finishing pass on the part isn't ideal. Although a 20 second pass seems like no big deal is it scalable and sustainable? NO.

Speaking of Sustainable...
Grimsmo kicks around the idea of making the one-and done SAGA part on the KERN instead of the NAK and other ways improve production.

HELP! It's Too Simple for Technology!
Saunders needs help from YOU! If you know what would work best to solve his camera + monitor woes, he's all ears.

May 8, 2020

John might have had a little hiccup on the Kern. A work piece flew out of the vise. Don't worry, everything is good! The Boys also had a great chat about managing tool inventory in a shop. With some great references and a video that can be found here. John & John also chat in length about 5 axis parts and the qwerks of Fusion 360!

May 1, 2020

CNC Lathes, Mills, Manufacturing & Small Business

TOPICS

  • CNC Lathe & Mill Trials and Errors
  • Subspindle Stabilization Solutions
  • 5-Axis Window Machining, Tabs, and Hot Glue
  • A Different Workholding Solution You Might Not Have Tried
  • Will the KERN make the Linda Wheel obsolete?
  • Dovetail Workholding Instills Confidence
  • Technician Time
  • Shedding The Bootstrap Mindset 


RAISING A BURR? DISH.
Saunders aims to avoid a post-machining deburr process for the square, tapered mod vise washers. He discusses the results of chamfering with the Harvey double-sided, double-angle cutter, using the subspindle and a 3D printed mandrel to stabilize the washer during part off, and a new idea that involves a 1" square collet.

Solutions Should Not Cause More Problems
When trying to improve machining strategies and workflow processes, make sure you're considering reliability, scalability, and poka-yoke. If the solution is clunky and prone to error, don't settle!

5-Axis Window Machining, Tabs, and Hot Glue
While touring Stewart-Haas Racing (video coming soon), the decal crew asked the V.P. of Operations, Tony Frazier, if their machine shop could fashion an aluminum decal squeegee and Saunders offered to help! He gears up to record voice over for the entire process. Although it's not a technique that lends itself to automation, Grimsmo still wants to have that trick in his back pocket!

A Workholding Solution You Might Have Never Tried
Saunders shares an awesome workholding technique when it comes to machining parts that are difficult to hold AND it can also provide reliable machining datum for Op 2.

Technician Time
Covid-19 lockdown might have some silver lining after all. Without distractions, Grimsmo finds himself getting very comfortable with the KERN in terms of probing, measuring, pallet changing, mounting vises to pallets, and making incredible progress on the rask knife tombstone fixture. Perhaps when the lockdown is lifted, there will be a new rask in the offering!

LINDA WHEEL OR SWARF!?
If you're a veteran of this podcast, you already know about the "Linda Wheel." The Linda Wheel Arrives in all the way back in Episode 12. The question is, will the KERN render the Linda Wheel obsolete?

Dovetail Workholding FTW
Remember that scary block of 4140? Grimsmo's now sold on dovetail workholding!

Bootstrapper Mindset Holding You Back?
When you're a bootstrapper by nature, the problem is you're using limits to plan while your business is growing! While this mindset does serve a great purpose, the trick is to know when to use it and when to abandon it.

 

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