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: Page 11
May 3, 2019

Topics of Discussion:

People are different, but the Johns have more than just their name in common. They also think too much.

“Everyone thinks they’re normal” - Saunders

How else are people different?

  • Extraversion vs. Introversion
  • Book Smarts vs. Street Smarts
  • To-Do List Writing Methods. Ex. Make a video for future you! Then set up a reminder to watch it.

“At the end of the day, doing is what gets things done” - Grimsmo

Episode Golden Nuggets:

Power (of) Walking

Grimsmo gets some exercise to clear his head, and get some time out of the windowless shop.

The FORCE of Chill

Don’t be frantic. Be the ultimate “single-tasker”, and focus like a surgeon.

Outcomes, Actions

"What will it look like to me when it’s done? - Grimsmo  

Define the outcome, and take practical steps to NAIL IT.

Book recommendations:

The E-Myth

Getting Things Done

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Rocket fuel by Gino Wickman

Apr 26, 2019

Talking Growth and the Entrepreneur Mindset

Having a team doesn’t mean you’re not an entrepreneur anymore. You still have to clean those toilets!

Check out “The E-Myth”

“When you live it it’s not cliche at all” - Saunders


Grimsmo is more and more comfortable with delegating tasks, which is awesome! But don't worry, he is still around to help whenever his team needs him.

Hear about what Grimsmo’s been up to, and what local day trips he’s had lately (hint: true to Grimsmo’s nature, the trips involve machine shops)

“You’ve gotta live in the clouds AND the dirt” - Gary Vee

Translation: keep dreaming, but also keep working.

“If you’re never in the clouds, you suffocate” - Saunders

Forkin’ Around

Saunders loses an old friend: his forklift. Grimsmo and Saunders also talk about the potential horrors of neglecting workplace safety.

“it’s like driving past a car crash, you can’t NOT look” - Saunders (QotD: Does that make him morbid?)

Should Grimsmo write off his pen clip probs?

The Johns discuss the problems that Grimsmo is having with machining his pen clips, and problem solving strategies in general. If this problem isn’t fixed, Grimsmo might have trouble nailing down a sustainable workflow for the part.

Apr 19, 2019

The Joint Open House - 8 Years Strong
Grimsmo remembers how he felt when he first went to a trade show: out of place. 

Tip from a veteran attendee: "Form relationships, ask questions, be direct, and make it happen." Not only was this event an internal pat on the back, you could say that Skye's big wish has been granted or rather, GRANITED.

After visiting Kern, Grimsmo's wheels are turning. It's just a matter of time before he figures out how to dress the lapping plate full Grimsmo style.

You know you're a machininst when the only tattoo you would ever consider is an inch to micron conversion table.

Mountains to Ski and Mountains of Footage
The guys brought home TONS of footage from their Euro trip, so
stay tuned for all of the awesome tours to come from Tornos, Hermle, Kern, and more!

TACrafted Tour - A bright young man with a bright future
Click the image below to watch!

Sometimes what you're looking for might be right under your nose, or in Grimsmo's case, a block away. After a quick meeting with his realtor, he might have zeroed in on a potential new shop! When considering a larger space, it's important to allow for growth without over committing.

Saunders is a guest on the Welding Tips and Tricks Podcast
While covering the subject of ROI, the importance of CASH FLOW BUDGETS or live budgeting becomes clear. Sure, numbers matter BUT there are many non-monetary ways in which a capital purchase can be justified.


Spring Tease a.k.a Pending Summer
The season change is welcome BUT that means rising temperatures
are soon to follow. A/C is an expensive purchase but it's important for SMW to have a comfortable working environment for employees and trainees as well. It's up to Saunders to figure out how to minimize the operating costs while maximizing its benefit.


"Make it once, make it right, and then make it the best.

                                                                          - Grimsmo



The SAGA pocket clips are the last component needed to make 100+ SWEET PENS!


SMW Workflow Woes
Having all fixture plate models in a master file isn't ideal BUT neither is having an individual file for each. The possible solution might introduce more error.

Apr 12, 2019

The Grimsmo Team is headed to a local machine show!

The Joint Open House

Participants include: Elliott Matsuura, SST, Ferro Technique, and DMG Mori.

It will give Grimsmo and his team a chance to ask lots of questions, and learn new things. There’s a lot of small tooling reps there, so it’s a good chance to make new connections as well as build current relationships.

“I’m actually kind of jealous” - Saunders

How to Maintain Tool LIfe

PLUS Learn about automation in tool maintenance!

In Germany, the machine knows when it needs to warm up and runs the warm up program so you don’t have to think about it.

The Johns discuss their trip to Europe

Saunders was there for 2 weeks, and Grimsmo for four days

Look out for the factory tour of Kern and Tornos on YouTube (COMING SOON!!)

Saunders’ takeaways

  1. Learned about the European perspective in business. Cleanliness and organization is key!
  2. Saunders noticed that the companies they visited have a more fluid system of working with apprentices, and are connected better with schools do you inspire young people to get into manufacturing?

If they’re already interested in technology, it’s a breeze! Guess what, Manufacturing IS technology (which makes it sexy)

Keeping track without living to track

It’s SO difficult to keep track of purchasing and what we need

“Purchasing is kicking our butt right now” - Saunders

ProShop is doing a good job at the Grimsmo Shop. He has a list of what he’s waiting to get, and it gets checked off when it arrives.

Grimsmo Book Review

“Getting Things Done” - David Allen

This book isn’t for everyone, but it’s got some great ideas for every entrepreneur or busy person!

Core concept: every thought you have, write it down into a system you have in place.

How do you manage ALL the things you need to get done?

“If most of it doesn’t get done, life still goes on” - Grimsmo

“Ideas are worthless, it’s execution that matters” - Saunders

Apr 5, 2019

EUROTRIP 2019: A Dream Come True

First off, apologies for the missing podcast last week but it wasn't because they didn't try! With Laurens Wijnschenk-Mauritsz in tow, it was the prime opportunity to record. The problem? A sleepy cell phone!

Although Grimsmo's returned to Canada, Saunders is adamant, "There are more factories and I'm not leaving until I see them ALL!"

"Screw it, let's do it!" - Grimsmo
With only 6 days notice, a gentle nudge from Saunders, and help from Marv Gro, Grimsmo is able to arrange his flight and score incredible tours of TORNOS and KERN.

Before embarking on his trip, Grimsmo makes a pit-stop at Elliot-Matsurra to sign Swiss paperwork for the Tornos GT13!
For now, he's prepping for its arrival with coolant, tooling, and the 6' LNS bar feeder. He's also plans to use TISIS, a software that will aid in the programming process.


Oddly enough, when Saunders crosses the border from Austria to Switzerland, the appearance of a Mercedes station-wagon is almost prophetic. To Grimsmo's surprise, his hunks of metal for machining Norseman parts at Kern Microtechnik make it through security!

Factories and Machine Shops, BIG AND SMALL.
This trip isn't only about visiting the biggest names in the industry, it's also about seeing what's cookin' in the impressive home shops of Stefan Gotteswinter and TACrafted with Theo Assfalg.

After visiting 3DTechDraw in Amsterdam with Laurens, Saunders heads to Hermle in Stuttgart, Germany. Meanwhile, in Moutier, Switzerland, the birthplace of Swiss lathes, Marv and Grimsmo meet with Michael Hauser, CEO for an insiders view of Tornos; a company that holds customer support in high regard. They still make replacement parts for lathes that are over 100 years old! Now THAT's customer service!

Heidenhain: More than a great control for your machine.
We take for granted that we live in a world where measurements
are standardized. Back then, these guys were the ones making
copies of THE meter. In addition to manufacturing every single linear scale, Heidenhain might just be the definition of climate control.

Grimsmo and Marv machine a Norseman handle AND do some blade surfacing at Kern Microtechnik. 14+ hours later, it's time for the Johns to finally meet up. A late night with burgers, beers, and friends still reeling from the days' excitement turns into slap happy machinists making CAM jokes before getting some shut-eye.

KERN - The Best in the Land
The guys share their experiences at the uncontested BEST micro precision machine tool company in the world. Hitting sub-micron tolerances ADED means special care must be taken to thermally stabilize the machine tool. When cutting tools MUST be hand loaded because the resistance from the ATC motion could break the flutes...holy moly.

Finally, for Marv and Grimsmo, their trip ends with scenic views and gnarly ski slopes. On the last run, Marv challenges Grimsmo to a race.

Saunders moves onto the NTMA leg of his trip with Big Kaiser America, where he will soon visit Big Kaiser, Blaser, and Speroni.

Trips abroad certainly broaden the mind and bring a fresh new perspective and energy that is sometimes lost in the day-to-day minutiae. The more you know, the better 'cause the times they are A-changin'.

Mar 22, 2019

Let the podcast go on!

Saunders may have lost his voice, but that’s not stopping these two from putting out another episode.

Get ready, goal set, go!

Grimsmo is hitting lots of goals lately. The team averaged their ideal daily production number for the ENTIRE month of March!

Grimsmo is also on his final steps of purchasing a Swiss Lathe! Learn more about its specs and the steps Grimsmo is taking to prepare for his Swiss in this episode.

Upcoming goals in the Grimsmo shop:

  • Get a new shop!
  • 5-Axis, baby

How to Negotiate

It’s not all about getting a lower price! There’s lots of valuable add-ons or conveniences that you can push for. If you’re the customer, you’re in a position of power! Grimsmo talks about what he negotiated for when shopping for his Swiss, and shares some strategies.

Note: Building relationships with distributors HELPS!


Customer service isn’t everything, but it’s the company’s first impression

“They just make it so easy to buy from them, and their product is quality, so why not!” - Grimsmo

Saunders makes a point for the distributor model

“Sales forces are a relic of the past” - Saunders

What to expect when you’re expecting a Swiss Lathe

Grimsmo researches necessary tooling, and preparations he has to make for his new Swiss Lathe. Watch out for a video on Grimsmo’s YouTube channel where he goes into this more!

Lapping machine vs. a great end mill in a great machine?

Grimsmo talks about tools for getting that perfect mirror finish that the Grimsmo team is quickly becoming known for. 

“That is the full-Grimsmo machine!” - Grimsmo

BOM goes international!

Saunders is visiting some machine shops around Europe, and Grimsmo tags along to check out the Kern Factory in Germany, and Tornos in Switzerland. While they’re at it, they plan on taping a BOM episode in Germany.

Mar 15, 2019

Word of the day:


In other words, Saunders has his 5-axis Haas machine, and he’s spending some time lately getting to know it and CAMplete. He talks about his 5-axis starter kit, and moving up to technology that seemed almost unreachable before.

AND it’s helping Grimsmo thaw to the idea of learning more about 5-axis machines himself.

Becoming Swissish ROUND 2!

Grimsmo talks about his trip to Elliott Matsuura to check out some Swiss Lathes (one of which might just be purchased by the next podcast episode)

It's all about design, baby 

The Johns discuss which design programs they use for their machines, and which ones to use with Swiss Lathes.

Bonus at Matsuura:

THEY HAD A ROUGHNESS TESTER! While Grimsmo visits, he gets to check out the roughness of his blades and handles. In this episode he lets us know the EXACT measurements.

Grimsmo bought an Ultrasonic Cleaner, and Skye approves.

“I wash the parts with water afterwards, and they’re cleaner than I could have gotten them before [having the Ultrasonic]” - Skye

Want to learn more about different kinds of cleaners? Saunders mentions this Wikipedia article as a great resource:

Ultrasonic Cleaning

The Johns finish off this episode with talk of other cleaning supplies, cleaning methods, and a couple more notes on Swiss Lathes. Stay tuned.

Mar 8, 2019

A Stone's Throw Away
The parallels in the lives of Grimsmo and Saunders are uncanny to say the least. Both get the chance to clear their heads--one on Lake Ontario and the other on Lake Erie.

Full Steam Ahead
During one of the most emotional weeks of his life, Saunders watches on Instagram as the UMC-750 and TM3 are delivered in his absence--and that's a beautiful thing. With a team he can rely on, he's been able to focus his attention on who needs it most: with his wife! We're happy to say Evonne's made it through surgery and on the road to recovery!

Grimsmo gives an occupational talk at a local school. By taking
a hands-on approach, he's creating memorable experiences that resonate with the younger generation.

Grimsmo knows exactly which part the Swiss lathe will play in shop production. In addition to tool holders, drill holders, and inserts, he plans to purchase a 60,000 rpm (not a typo) electric spindle to mill the torx pattern on the screws!

In last week's episode, Saunders suggested that Grimsmo try ramping down to solve a recurring tool problem. Did it work?

Phil asks a thought-provoking question about whether or not to alternate between OP1 and OP2 on a 5-axis machine tool with 10 pallets. Short answer: It depends.


Higbee Threads? Tell me more!
With the SAGA having threaded parts, this clearly the way to go FULL GRIMSMO!

Mar 1, 2019

When high production is vital to your business, planning ahead for down time when employees are down for the count could make or break.

Although Skye thought he escaped the illness that overpowered his co-workers...he spoke too soon.  Angelo steps up to the plate.


After Saunders tours Superb Industries, Inc., the Moore Jig Grinder poses a challenging question. How can you incorporate skilled labor into a process sheet?

Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Baker's Man....How Many Backups Should You Have on Hand?

Having doubles of EVERYTHING is not feasible so that means careful decisions about which replacement items you keep. Lead time, cost, and cash flow are just a few!


Big Kaiser goes haywire, causing SMW to begrudgingly scrap an expensive part. While troubleshooting, Saunders has his finger on it but is none the wiser.


Grimsmo arrives to a flashing red light and a broken 1/8" flat 4-flute end mill--and this isn't the first time.  When it comes to machining the tabs off of SAGA clips, this tool isn't cutting it (pun intended).

Kyocera Insert Update: 

After blowing close to one insert per part, the problem is solved. Now, GK can get 200 + parts out of one insert!


From Swissish thoughts to full Swishish, Grimsmo's zeroing in on the machine GK needs.

In addition to the UMC-750, Saunders makes another purchase that will be a game changer.

Feb 22, 2019

Maximizing use of the Mill

Grimsmo’s mill was STILL running when he came in this morning! That is one. Great. First.

On top of that, last week was the highest week ever for production at the Grimsmo shop.

“You keep saying that!” - Saunders

Apparently record breaking is the new norm, and Grimsmo is still trying to produce even more.

Saunders’ reminder

  • Reminders can increase production! Sometimes it’s just a small forgotten step in a process that got in the way of producing more. Pro Tip: Set a reminder for that step  
  • While you’re at it, set reminders for yourself so you stay on track with who you’re trying to become


“Your spindle is only ever down for a pallet change” - Grimsmo

Book Recommendation!

Do you love history and machining? Freedom’s Forge could be a great pick for you! It dives deep into the history of WWII, while also taking technology and available machines into the equation. Plus, Saunders highly recommends it.

Check it out here.

The ULTIMATE machine buying guide

Check out the NYC CNC website for important information and tips on financing your machine, and how to find the right one for your needs.

“Most people don’t mind paying for something, they just don’t want to pay for it if someone else didn’t pay for it or got a better deal” - Saunders

Pro tip:

“It only matters what goes into the loan documents in the end” - Saunders

Tidying Up, Saunders Style

Saunders doesn’t regret purging the workshop of unnecessary stuff for one second.

Are YOU ready to binge shop tours?

  • Superb Industries Shop Tour Coming Soon! While you’re waiting, check out @adam_the_machinist on Instagram.
  • Also check out the Fabrisonic video tour on Saunders’ Youtube channel
  • And look out for shop tour videos based on the 2 week binge of tours Saunders will be doing in the next couple weeks.


The time has come for the Saga Sign-Up List to go LIVE! Grimsmo launched it this past weekend as a link on his Instagram bio. More information about the pen will go up on the website soon. For now, you can learn more about the Grimsmo custom pen by checking out the Saga Saturday videos

So, real talk. When is the swiss lathe coming?

Grimsmo and Saunders discuss the need for a swiss lathe in the Grimsmo shop now that producing pens consistently is becoming more imminent.

“I just don’t want to spend a ton of money on bells and whistles I don’t need” - Grimsmo

And it’s also a matter of the machine fitting in the shop. But that's a question for another time. 

Feb 15, 2019

Proud Machining Moments Hit Home
Sometimes you only need an upward glance to find comfort and strength. 

Click Image Below to See the IG Post:


#Throwback #NeverForget

An epic Lakeshore order is a testament to how far you've come but the past is never too distant.
The Taig ER-16 spindle and some cheap double-sided end mills conjure up fond memories of the early days.


Saunders discusses the emotional impact of a "major curve ball."
This health concern causes terror and confusion, but one thing is clear: it puts life into perspective.

"It's not a sprint. It's a marathon."


Although entrepreneurs are driven by behavioral economics such as fear, convictions and outside interactions, at the end of the day, it's decision time. The Johns discuss how their ideas and plans have evolved.


Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in WWII

Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments

The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World


CASH CRUNCH: How cash flow management can affect your business decisions.

Goals are easy to declare BUT they ignore the actions between.


Feb 8, 2019

The Pen and Knife Balance

With limited machines, Grimsmo is always trying to balance knife and pen production. Sometimes he has to get creative.

Saunders and Grimsmo talk tools, and creative solutions to achieve Grimsmo’s high standards.

“That would work, but it wouldn’t be the finish I want” - Grimsmo

Sometimes the solutions are simple.

“We both figured out at the same time that the live tool needed to go’s just one of those little things that takes forever to figure out” - Grimsmo

SMW Bought a 5 - Axis!

It’s a Haas UMC-750, and Saunders signed the paper work for it last week. It should be delivered in about 2 - 3 weeks (so soon!). Look out for the video on Saunders’ YouTube channel.  To make space, they would also move the other machines around a little.

“You’ve got your high-end cell, and your training cell” - Grimsmo

Pro-tip: You don’t want too big of a machine because it makes it very difficult to get to a small part, so you have to solve that by lifting the part up high off the table.

Interested in getting trained in 5-Axis machining? Keep following Saunders for updates on potential classes.

“I’ve always been more interested in showing what you can do with a machine, rather than showing what you can’t do with a machine” - Saunders

Grimsmo’s Future 5 - Axis

“I would get a palletized version...Rob Lockwood sold me on the idea” - Grimsmo.

Listen to the episode with Rob Lockwood as a guest! It’s episode 93 of this podcast.

“I try to push the boundaries for accuracy, not so much for power” - Grimsmo

Failed Lean "Fixes"

Collaborative video between Grimsmo, Saunders, and Jay Pierson. 

Where have YOU tried to go lean, and it just didn’t work out?

3D Printing without heat...Can it be done?

Saunders tours a revolutionary 3D Printing company called Fabri Sonic.

“You can put electronics in your 3D printed part!” - Saunders


  • The Snippet Tool on every windows computer. It’s so small, but helps SO much.
  • Creating a keyboard shortcut in your phone to fill out your hashtags automatically.

At the end, Grimsmo and Saunders get into measurement techniques, and solving problems by probing. Saunders mentions that he learned a great technique from Edge Precision’s YouTube channel!

Feb 1, 2019

It's cold. It's winter. Who cares? Moving on.

This episode is a hodgepodge of entrepreneurial and philosophical gold nuggets.
From Maslow's Hierarchy to epoxy floors, the Johns cover it all.

Even IF we are in a doesn't matter!

Machinist's Philosophies
After watching the Joe Rogan podcast episode featuring David Goggins, Saunders is particularly fired up!

Joe Rogan + David Goggins Podcast Episodes


Rollercoaster of Entrepreneurial Love
It's normal to get down but maybe you have to get down to get back up. Without overcoming struggle, you can't get a sense of accomplishment.

Jan 25, 2019

Getting Social In 2019, and sharing reality!

Grimsmo starts to post Instagram stories daily. Bonus: We get more info on the upcoming Saga Pen!

BUT Saunders and Grimsmo agree that they don’t need to stay up-to-date on everything all the time.

“Use Instagram the way that works for you...we’re not just going for clicks and views, we’re trying to build a community of people who care, and want to see what we’re doing” - Grimsmo

Example of a Reality Check: In Grimsmo’s latest video, Jo mentions that we’re using the old tumbler a little more than the new tumbler lately. And that’s just a reality.

Saunders guest stars in another podcast! It’s called The Edge with Bantam Tools

This company is now owned by Bre Pettis, one of the owners of NYC Resistor, and the 3D printer company, MakerBot. 

Growing Pains = Long Term Gains

To think about hiring, you’ve gotta think about firing

Saunders and Grimsmo talk about the difficulties of being an entrepreneur.

“I hired too quickly, and I fired too slowly. The problem with having a bottom performer on your team is that he/she gets all the attention, when the second worst performer flies under the radar” - An inspiring entrepreneur Saunders is quoting

“Being an entrepreneur is something I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy, yet all of my best friends are entrepreneurs” - Grimsmo

Great example from The Eagles Biopic on Netflix

What did it feel like when the band broke up? “It was a terrible relief” - Don Henley

Even when there’s no specific problems with the team, as an entrepreneur, it’s still necessary to constantly be thinking about the future (which includes the future of employees).

Saunders and the Mobile Desk

Saunders gets a backup battery for his computer, and sets everything up to be movable. Now he can move his office, into a quieter space.

Let’s talk about finance! Growth eats cash for breakfast!

“I haven’t yet felt the benefits of running a profitable business” - Grimsmo

Saunders and Grimsmo discuss how to regard the finances as accurately as possible.

“Most businesses fail not because of lack of profitability, but because of cash flow”

The Saga: Almost a Year in the Making

The Grimsmo Shop seizes every chance they get to make pen parts when the lathe isn’t making knife parts.

Grimsmo talks about Angelo’s strategies to tighten those tolerances on the super small parts of the pen.

The pens will be sold through the Maker’s Choice list, but it’s not live yet. Subscribe to Grimsmo’s Instagram and YouTube for updates on this.

Lathe is running well, and Grimsmo adjusted the SFM! What is SFM? There’s a video for that.

Saunders has a question for the audience!

The big fan is great for cooling the air, but we want a better climate control system for the summer.

“I wanna buy a beer for an HVAC guy!” - Saunders

ALARM! Wrong tool in spindle

Grimsmo had two pallets alarm out at one custom code that he had put in. It helps protect his tools and his parts with one warning called “wrong tool in spindle”

Jan 18, 2019

Spoke Too Soon. 

Last week's episode featured Great Mood Grimsmo. He was in high spirits only to find Norseman fixture alignment issues that would plague the team for the remainder of the week. He and Angelo wade through the GD&T lake to find the variance and formulate a possible solution that involves changing the probe tip from 6mm to 2mm. 

Click the Photo to View Post!


For Saunders, Monday morning bestows some thorn-in-your-side gifts. A letter from the bank creates strained relations, a Fusion 360 glitch causes Manual NC to malfunction, and an RFQ response from a vendor that results in a purchase, except they left out one TINY detail.


As more machinists open their shops to viewers via social media and YouTube, big name companies recognize the potential benefits. The landscape of the machining industry is evolving.  While proprietary information is still kept confidential, more businesses are warming up to visitors and sharing. To boot, long gone are the days when the idea of having 2 Renishaw probes on the same machine seemed cray-cray.

What makes the BEST WEEK EVER? Hint: It includes the National Tooling and Machining Association and ZEISS.

Processing Post Processing
If you want to get started on Post Processing, check out the videos on the NYC CNC page HERE.

Spooky Sounds and Stethoscopes: Solved.
The strange noise emitted from the VF-2SS in episode 100 has disappeared. Was it a major issue or a simple fix?

You know what really GRINDS my gears? Quality Control.
Quality and lead time issues with outside vendors provoke questions. Saunders has reservations about bringing a particular process in-house but keeps an open mind to solutions.
Don'tcha wish you had a Bourdelais around the corner?

Jan 11, 2019

This episode is a good mix of strategic philosophy and technical discussions. Stay tuned for talks about how to stay motivated AND motivate your team at the same time! Such is the life of an entrepreneur. The Johns will also talk troubleshooting, and favorite tools.

Pass it on

Grimsmo fixed the pass link on the Maker’s Choice “Congrats” e-mail, and now people can pass the purchase link along quickly if they don’t want it. Without that link working, it takes 24 hours for turnover!

What do you want in a knife?

Grimsmo adds a short survey to the Maker’s Choice system so people on the list can answer a few questions and help the Grimsmo team tailor knives to the market.

But this raises the question “how do you differentiate between valuable and non-valuable feedback?”

Grimsmo’s systems may be improved, but he’s not finished yet! Saunders and Grimsmo discuss how to integrate knife customization back into the Grimsmo business model.

“Don’t paint the future with the past. You have a lot more maturity now when it comes to your ability to run product through the shop” - Saunders

The Saga Continues…

The Grimsmo pen is still in the works, and getting prettier by the day. But at 32 rockwell, is the new material for the button and slider too soft? Skye gets assigned the task of clicking the pen all day to find out.

What’s your favorite tool?

Saunders: ¼ inch end mills FTW! There are so many reasons why they’re great!

A well versed fellow from Helical Solutions visits the SMW shop and breaks down just how unique end mills really are. Saunders also toured Helical Solutions’ shop! Check it out on Youtube!

Grimsmo’s favorite tool? The Leica Microscope. It’s used all day every day at the Grimsmo Shop, and knives just couldn’t be made the same without it.

For those of you who are going to ask about Grimsmo’s Lathe Insert Tool that he mentioned:

VBMT 110302PSF AH725

Slow and steady does not always win the race (if you’re a machinist)

“That’s a classic example of how you think you’re gonna be safer and smarter by going slower and easier, but it doesn’t always mean that” - Saunders

How much is too much lifestyle creep?

“I know there’s life style creep, but I just don’t feel bad about it” - Saunders’ friend

There’s a difference between treating yourself, and spoiling yourself. 

Crush it! 

Jan 4, 2019

Happy 2019!
The guys elaborate on the first time they met in person at the 2015 Tormach Open House.
Did Grimsmo inadvertently set a precedent when he purchased his first vertical machining center before having a shop to fit it?

The guys get caught up in festivities, family, and friends. This time of year reminds us to cherish time with our loved ones, to reflect, and to ring in the new year with a zest for life.

Tom Lipton's sobering words hit home and leave Grimsmo with goosebumps. Check out the post HERE

The Saunders family takes off to D.C. for an impromptu vacation. While visiting museums, he finds himself in awe!

Preventative Maintenance Talks
Be a good machinist by taking care of your machines!

10 Things YOU Can Improve for 2019

Spooky Sounds and Stethoscopes
The VF2 is making a weird noise, so it's time to get to the bottom of it. Could it be a rotary union coupler issue?

Knife Parts Stocked? 


Sayonara, Kyocera Inserts?
Previously, the SAGA clips decimated insert after insert BUT WHY!?
Angelo and Grimsmo pour through the code to find the place where
old habits die hard. They are pumped to see if adjusting the SFM will solve the problem! Stay tuned for an update!

Find out which machine Grimsmo's got his eye AND a quote on!

Dec 28, 2018

Last podcast episode of the year!

BUT how important is the calendar year anyway when you’re constantly trying to achieve your goals?

“I’m already living in 2019” - Saunders

2018 THEME OF THE YEAR: STRESS (and how to cope)

Saunders went through some of the older episodes, and apparently the Johns talked about this a lot.

“I’m okay stressing about the future. I’m not okay stressing about the present” - Saunders


“If you’re stressing about the present, it means you’re doing something wrong or you need to do something” - Grimsmo

Are you ever satisfied when you’re committed to continual growth?

Saunders debates between a vertical spindle or a CMM, but there’s always another thing that will make your business more effective. Just remember that the things you really really wanted last year have now become a part of the regular process flow.   

2018 Quote of the Year! (from a previous episode that Saunders dug up)

“Did we have fun? If not, we die” - Grimsmo

Should work be fun?

Thanks Eleanor, but fun sure makes it easier!

“There is something to be said for diving into your work, but loving your work makes it that much easier” - Grimsmo

Check out the book Saunders mentions!

Warren Buffett’s bio Snowball

Shifting Pens to Priority at the Grimsmo Shop

Knives have been a priority for a long time, Grimsmo struggles with taking the time he needs to get pens MOVING! At least there’s no doubt that the pen needs to be a staple product.

SO, time to get Swissish...

Saunders: “Dude, you NEED a Swiss Lathe!”

Grimsmo needs a Swiss Lathe for pen parts.

THE E-MYTH REVISITED (Revisited by Grimsmo, that is)

Going 100 PERCENT into the new year!

Episode 100 will come out then. For now, what’s your legacy?

Dec 21, 2018

Down for the Count
An illness drags Grimsmo home to recuperate for a few days.
Did it have a negative effect on GK production?

Urban Survival Gear: The Chapstick of Pens
Apparently, this pen has magical features not listed in the description. It vanishes but only reappears once replaced!

Check Out Tactile Turn Pens HERE

Deep Cuts
Grimsmo gets his FIRST custom knife from Brad Southard, complete with sweet engraved surprises. Buying a part of the story is the best way to support small makers!

Check out Brad's Knives HERE 

Husky Style Toolbox Finds a Home
After purchasing the new toolbox, no one was sure
where to put it but don't worry...Angelo's got this.

Fellow Entrepreneur Frustration
While growth is the epitome of success for most companies,
they risk spreading themselves too wide, leaving their original specialty to suffer.

"Quality isn't a light switch." - Rob Lockwood

LEAN GONE WILD. Could it be a thing?
Saunders entertains the idea of a video about lean shop improvements gone wrong.
Hey, what can I say? Sometimes Kaizen foam gets out of control!

Dialing in the 2019 Direction
Saunders films a new YouTube channel intro that defines specific areas of focus for the new year.  Stay tuned for its upcoming release on January 1st, 2019!

Relishing the Two-Pallet Run
After burning the midnight oil to fine tune the CAM, Grimsmo's tandem pallets are ready for a test!
Before you get gung ho about tombstones and pallets...there are a few things to consider. Array storage probing, anyone?

Siri's Kryptonite
Saunders points out the utility of recording voice notes; however, you may want to forego the transcription.

Small Improvements. Big Impact.
Saunders is pairing down. Smaller desk, less clutter, one monitor instead of 2 AND Jared's gettin' a new PC.
Check out the popular NYC CNC Article on What Computer to Purchase for Fusion 360!

Screwed Up in a Good Way
GK is building up knife part inventory so SAGA production can commence.
Fun Fact: Each knife has 7 screws!

Does The Canadian Dream include a Swiss Lathe?
Analyzing downside risk causes Grimsmo to approach a new machine tool with extreme caution.

'MURICA Serial No. 1776
With thoughts of American independence on his mind, Grimsmo's coming up with something awesome for the 1776 knife.

Next Week's Episode
The guys will rummage through 2018 podcasts.
The past is close, yet so far away.

Dec 14, 2018

Starts off on a SUPER positive note: “We’ve got the recipe down!”

The team is taking initiative, and making projects their own.

“You need the best guy to come up with the process. Then it’s trainable, it’s a recipe.” - Grimsmo

Healthy shops, happy team

Do your machines need filters?

Where are we at in the SAGA of the Saga Pen?

“Priorities, man” - Grimsmo

Knives are the first priority, and the lathe has been running non-stop for the past few weeks in the Grimsmo shop. That’s awesome! But it means there’s less lathe time for pen parts (which are entirely made on the lathe).

Saunders’ Challenge: What spindle to buy next? Check out Saunders’ December shop update! It breaks down how to budget, and what time of year is best to buy.  


Grimsmo is successfully running two pallets(!!) at a time now on his mill, but getting this to work was no cake walk.

Among the casualties: a Cogsdill Tool

“I was so worried about the programming side of it, that I didn’t worry about the mechanical side” - Grimsmo

Your tolerance is inTENTH!


The Johns talk machining and getting their tolerances down to tenths.

Sad news: factory closing the doors after 100 years of operation

  • 100,000 sq/ft factory closes down
  • Saunders goes across the street to say goodbye, learn, and check out the auction

Back to the company

The Supfina fine grinding machine is no longer happening for Grimsmo. BUT Nifty Bar upped their game and meets the Grimsmo standard in grinding! Could this be better?

Questions raised: 

Q: Can an FAQ make up for a subroutine?

A: On a shopify website, perhaps!


Tune in to hear Saunders’ and Grimsmo’s 2019 goals!

Sneak peak:

Grimsmo: Get a new fixture installed to allow a four pallet setup

Saunders: Work steadily on improving the Shopify website

Dec 7, 2018

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE...where you might get a little misty-eyed.
The cycle has ended; the coolant is off so WHY is the foam still growing!?
With no through-spindle coolant and small ER collets, Grimsmo's got no explanation for the extreme coolant atomization--annoying problem but fun to say!


Saunders notices an off-white tinge occurs sooner than it should but instead of replacing it and shrugging it off, he examines potential root causes.
Will sending samples reveal what's really going on?

Improving Shop Environment Quality for $200? Yes, please.
Saunders has been working to improve shop air quality.
Between the Big Ass Fan, the ERV, and the new Fan/Filter Modification from Grimsmo's new lapping machine video, it's like a breath of fresh air.

So far, it's working great but whether or not the charcoal filter
will clog remains to be seen.

Want to get an upgrade? Check out this NYCCNC page for a bill of materials.

Double Dose

AU Toronto pays Grimsmo a visit to talk Fusion 360. PLUS,
the Elliot Matsuura APS Engineer stops by to talk machine tools and custom codes!

What makes it Swissish?

There's some fuss on WhatsApp about the 
Tsugami SS327-5AX Swiss Lathe with B-Axis

Pallets? Check. Code? Please wait.
Grimsmo wants the code to complete for one pallet, rewind, move over, and start from the stop but there's one BIG problem: Fanuc and it's dinky memory size...

Come on, MAN.  It's 2018!  You can't even BUY memory that small anymore! 

To make matters worse, logic can't be used in the DNC side of memory which holds 2G (plenty of room).  So, that means 2-3 hours of alone time (hand coding) and the pallets should be good to go.  

Tune in to hear about Grimsmo's end of 2018 thoughts AND outlook for 2019!

Nov 30, 2018

It feels like winter in Canada (brrr), but America just had their thanksgiving weekend! Just remember, big data collection never takes a vacation.

Directed Marketing is WEIRD

Big box stores, like Target, have to stay ahead of the competition and now (in the digital age), that involves marketing to individuals. But even stores that collect big data can fail if they don’t use it properly; Target failed in Canada!

“The store’s called Target because everyone’s a target” - Grimsmo’s dad joke of the day #DJOTD

These days, it’s necessary to be a little more aggressive with marketing, but is GK or NYC CNC ever going to get into it?

The NYC CNC website is getting REVAMPED

They will be phasing out paid memberships, and bringing NYC CNC content (videos, articles etc.) back to the open open source world. Saunders is really excited about paying it forward through his website. BUT there’s a catch. “Pro-articles” are still behind a padlock. You have to give your name, e-mail address, and a little information about yourself if you want access to those. It’s NYC CNC’s own way of getting to know its customers a little better.

Saunders and Grimsmo talk about their friendship, and how far they should push each other. the Grimsmo Shop

The lathe has been running almost non-stop for the last two weeks. Yay! Sometimes it goes for a while without being used. That’s mainly because knife parts are a priority, but pens are coming soon and they are going to keep the lathe SUPER busy.  

Saunders and Grimsmo discuss other ways Grimsmo can use the lathe.

“Things you need to do before buying a new machining center” - the title of the article that Saunders is working on

In this article, he’s going to cover what to ask, be aware of, how to buy, what not to buy, what to negotiate when buying a new machine, details to think about, financing options, and much more. Listen to this episode, and you might just hear a little of the advice before the article gets out.

“You don’t ask you don’t get. I mean, that’s the rules of life right there” - Grimsmo

Videos Coming Soon to a YouTube channel near you!

  • Keep an eye out for a Haas “Tips and Tricks” video on Saunders’ channel
  • Grimsmo’s working on prepping the fixtures that Amish made for him, and getting clamps made. There’ll be a video on that today (Friday)!

Saunders (feels like he) is in a whole new shop!

The shop has been rearranged to maximize productivity and efficiency. They are also working on a final purge and getting rid of things they don’t need. Saunders is going to continue to reorganize today, as well as set up his new Energy Recovery Ventilator, which is an awesome air filtration system.  


Next week, we’re going to talk about new years goals!

Here’s a little teaser:

Saunders is thinking that he wants to work on being more “in control”, and have a more calm, cool, and collected sort of mentality going into the new year.

Nov 23, 2018

Verbal agreements feel warm and fuzzy at first but have nasty side effects. While it feels awkward to request a written agreement from a friend or a service provider you've worked with before, be assured; there are far worse consequences.

"Free is the most expensive price you could ever pay for something."
Offering "blem" products at a discount to the public initially sounded like the obvious thing to do; however, when customers started relying on blems instead of purchasing a full priced product, it robs your business.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...including an Urban Technical Gear pen. That means, someone's in the market for a new pen--eagerly awaiting the commencement of SAGA production.

Nerding Out Level: Business Operation
The guys discuss the benefits of FREIGHT SHIPPING.

Alarm Bells
The anodizer discovers corrosion on the fixture plates.
Will the plates be saved? More importantly, can the
SMW team solve the mystery?

After a day-long bearing cage setup, GK is rearing
and ready to make tons of them...but there's a problem:
Tiny way oil tank runs out way too fast.
Production screeches to a halt during the night and at daybreak, with half of the expected quantity in hand, the guys formulate possible solutions for keeping that oil level in check.

Linear Scales and Servo PID Loops
Anyone know how it works? Saunders is curious to find out whether
the scales or the servo's loops take precedence.

If you think procurement is the same as purchasing, think again.
Grimsmo continues to utilize ProShop for purchase orders while
Saunders scratches his head at his current kanban problem.

Nov 16, 2018


Welcome to Autodesk University

With a focus on Fusion and Manufacturing

Special guest for this episode: Rob Awesome Lockwood!

Here is the link of the event Grimsmo, Saunders, and Rob Lockwood were at. 

It's time for Grimsmo and Saunders to head to class for four days straight of learning, inspiration, and a little bit of teaching.  

In this episode, we catch Saunders, Grimsmo, and Lockwood in the thick of the event in Las Vegas, and hear their thoughts on the courses they've attended so far and what they think of popular topics of the event.

“It’s wonderful to meet the architects of [Fusion 360]” - Saunders

Featured classes: 

  • 101 Tips on Fusion 360 - Maximize the number of features you know about, and use, on Fusion 360 (especially helpful for the self-taught machinist)

“The self-taught Fusion experience means that we’re probably missing out on some key functions that would make our lives easier” - Grimsmo

"The most valuable stuff that I've gotten is the underpinning stuff of fusion" - Lockwood

  • Under the hood of Fusion 360 - Keep your sketches light weight!
  • Utilize Macro Programming and Probing to Make More Parts, Better - Taught by Grimsmo
  • Speeds and Feeds - Taught by Saunders
  • CAM with Generative - Overview by Lockwood
  • Design Thinking with Fusion 360 - Jeff Smith (@blaster701 on Instagram). Saunders loved this class! It got him to think more about designing with intent. 

Let's Talk Fusion

The three machinists discuss the changes Fusion could make, the changes they have made, and what the implications of these changes could mean for the software and the community.

“If everyone is doing it incorrectly, there's really a discussion to be had about changing the workflow” - Saunders

What's the hot topic of the conference? Generative Design

“Everyone’s talking about generative here” - Grimsmo

"Some of the designs look like when you see a whale carcass" - Lockwood

"What’s neat about [generative design] is, by definition, all of the results are manufacturable, technically” - Lockwood

"Ask me about singularity" 

- A quote Lockwood's conference badge

Saunders and Lockwood both give their definitions of Generative design in manufacturing, then the three of them discuss its implications. They also discuss the definition of singularity design for manufacturing. 

Psst...Miss the event but want to watch the classes anyway? 

Fear not! Lots of the classes were recorded and are online.

Fusion Payment Model

Fusion continues to offer the free version, but there is only one paid version now and it’s 500 dollars a year. These three believe it's a good value, and an easy to understand model

We may be talking about Fusion and manufacturing a lot, but don't forget...

"Autodesk is a giant company, and the world is a giant place, and our manufacturing sector is a small percentage of what they do" - Grimsmo

The conference is finished, and everyone's back home, but they are feeling more inspired than ever. 

What do YOU think?

  • How can a design software improve buildings of the future such as hospitals and schools?
Nov 9, 2018

Anodizing Paintball Guns, a Brochure, and a Parking Lot

Jay Pierson's story of past failure in his MHub speech conjures entrepreneurship jitters of 2010 for Grimsmo.
Failure is almost a pre-requisite for success and as a major industry player points out on the NYC CNC forum, "You first have to exist [in other people's minds]."

Click HERE to Watch Jay's Speech

Don't forget: the successful people you admire today
were once standing in your shoes.

[[]>-- Renaissance of Making IN THE MAKING --<[]]

Saunders is a guest speaker on the Bantam Tools Podcast episode with Bre Pettis, co-founder and former CEO of MakerBot, scheduled to air in a few months. They share entrepreneurial stories, philosophies, and discuss bringing opportunities to places where people can afford to innovate.

ERP Check-Up
Saunders thinks by sharing their experiences, more people
would be able to understand how an ERP could benefit them.

The Elephant in The Room - The Lathe Sits Idle
Grimsmo's got the software, the equipment, and the manpower to let go of control but he's clinging on for dear life. Are you running your business or is your business running you? Saunders expresses sincere and deep concern for the future of Grimsmo Knives. His advice: GO COLD TURKEY.

SMW Fixture Plates - A, B, O, K.
How can you easily explain differences between products without inadvertently implying something negative?

Autodesk University,  Las Vegas - Are your presentations ready? 

For both Johns, their presentations are great--at least in their heads. If you were listening to a speeds & feeds presentation,
what would you want to know?


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