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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Aug 30, 2019

In this episode: NEW IDEAS: 

“It’s amazing what can happen when you Palletize your life!” - Saunders

Grimsmo’s new love...The BUYER’S Choice System

If you know about Grimsmo Knives, you know about their Maker’s Choice system. This is the way they’ve been selling their knives for YEARS. The title of the Buyer’s Choice System says it all; if your name is picked, you can order a knife specific to your ideal Norseman. Check out the Grimsmo Knives website, and Grimsmo’s Instagram account for more details and to sign up

“It’s the merger of the digital and physical world that’s so intriguing to me!” - Saunders

The DIGITAL Side of the Business

Saunders and Grimsmo talk ERP systems such as Airtable, ProShop and...Google Sheets??

Learn what you can do with an ERP system, what the benefits are, and when to scrap yours if it’s not working for your company. 

“We love google sheets. Our business runs on google sheets” - Grimsmo 

‘Nobody should have to count inventory“ - Grimsmo

Bonus tip: Get a scale for your parts

Does EVERYONE need a custom system?

Grimsmo and Saunders discuss if it’s possible to have a system that’s customizable to everyone’s needs. In this day and age, your business runs online. 

Saunders’s Flipped the Switch on his NEW project PROVEN CUT

“We break tools so you don’t have to” - Project Slogan  

Learn about what “recipes” you can use with this service

Aug 23, 2019

Settling In Nicely
Anyone remember what it felt like to push that clunky snooze button on an LED Panasonic alarm clock? The Grimsmo family is settled comfortably in their new home--so much so that John has no recollection of his alarm or swiping the snooze.

Double Time Reality
Although Grimsmo's slowly inching toward handing off more
responsibility within his company, this week it's double duty.

Swiss Switch
After machining an emergency collet on the Swiss FOR the Swiss, Grimsmo gets midway through part setup only to realize inventory is lower for a different part. Upon hearing that the information was calculated by handy Excel spreadsheets rather than the ERP system, Saunders warns about the dangers of divergent systems.

Orange Nuggets
Saunders admits that right now, SMW doesn't have a good inventory tracking system in place. Kanban cards are proving to be tricky with the varying sizes of fixture plates BUT 3D printed orange that's an idea! While it might seem too simple or even lazy, isn't that exactly how efficiency is born?

What do wool shoes have to do with machining metal? EVERYTHING.

It doesn't matter what you sell, valuable lessons can be learned from ALL types of businesses. What IS important is being able to apply those lessons so your business can benefit.

Expanding Horizons
Join in as the Johns discuss points from their current reading material that hit home!

Check out the article on NYC CNC for more awesome points from The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing!

Recommended Reading for Manufacturing Machinists:

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
Good to Great by Jim Collins

Aug 16, 2019

Work/Life Balance

Saunders had a great time at Autodesk Fusion 360! Now it’s onto the Field Museum in Chicago with his family.  

“Your business and personal life has to go hand in hand!” - Grimsmo 

Grimsmo moved into the new house over the weekend, and it already feels like home. 

When can an entrepreneur start to give themselves a salary?

Saunders talks about putting your profits back into the business in order to guarantee success, but at a certain point everyone needs to pay themselves. And there can be practical tax and insurance benefits to having a regular salary too. Saunders and Grimsmo talk about this, and what it means to borrow money from your business. 

Start by asking, “what would your business do if you needed to borrow money?” This question can help you define where the value of your business lies, and help you make better decisions when it comes to purchasing decisions. 

“Don’t buy sh** that depreciates” - Saunders

“Lifestyle businesses”

Saunders encourages Grimsmo to take the next step with his business, and hand the reins to the employees of the company. 


Text and Email are SO last decade. 

Make the recipient of your message fall of their seat: send them a video response to their query. 

Saunders uses to do this. 


Other topics in this episode: 

  • When to help people
  • Automation and systems in place to make it happen 
Aug 9, 2019

Portland, Oregon. Autodesk Fusion 360 Academy Day 2.
Sans the glitz, glam, and exuberance of Autodesk University Las Vegas, the close-nit vibe and Fusion focused course material makes for an amazing time.

Saunders shares an AWESOME Fusion 360 hack from Rob Lockwood's 5-Axis Fixturing Course.

During the event, Saunders has dinner with Don Grant from Helical/HarveyTool, the same person Grimsmo met at Autodesk Toronto in July. Turns out, Don had a sweet solution for Grimsmo's 3/32 problem!


(may be an exaggeration but...just go with it)

During critical knife handle milling, 3/32 4-flute endmills were dying within 1 pallet, which means having to re-work each pallet (PAINFUL) BUT---the good news is the Helical 5-flute endmill coated for titanium has lasted through 17 PALLETS AND IS STILL GOING STRONG!

AC gets repaired only to break down again two days later. Although the Nak LOVES the heat and is churning out uber-consistent parts...the lapping machine begs to differ!

How's the TORNOS?
An expensive coding mistake serves as reminder to quadruple check code AND make sure the post is smooth, refined, and operating without requiring manual manipulation.

Home Sweet Home
Grimsmo and FAM are moving into their first home!

The desire to see a day in the life of other shop owners has remained strong for Saunders, especially if he could do it in stealth mode. Everyone tends to change behavior slightly in the presence of company or a camera.

Corncob, Triangles, & Toblerones
The new tumbler that emerged from a trade deal has dividers. Erik tosses his SAGA into the corncob section to see how it holds up.

Aug 2, 2019

Our podcast name is DA’ BOM

In other words, welcome back to the Business of Machining folks, where we talk about business, machining and in this case, budgets. 

Grimsmo and Saunders dive into all those little bits of business advice you would never think to give to a new entrepreneur if asked. They talk best budgeting software, time management, shipping, and lots of seemingly mundane, but equally important, technicalities to running a business. 

Look out for a Chip Break episode on the NYC CNC YouTube channel where Saunders covers the necessity of budgets, accounting, and how to motivate yourself to get. It. Done.


Grimsmo has brought Grimsmo Knives to a place he didn’t even allow himself to imagine it could be 4 years ago. 

“I just didn’t understand that it was possible” - Grimsmo

The Johns discuss how big to dream in the beginning, and about the importance of small steps (like when Grimsmo anodized knife handles to get his foot in the door of the knife making world. 

Growth happens. 

“The fixture plate we made 18 months ago was great, and there was nothing wrong with it, but the one that we shipped today was better” - Saunders


Are you a push or a pull person? How about BOTH? 

Grimsmo and Saunders discuss the difference between these two types of people, and how you can be different ways in different situations. 

It ain’t always breezy bein’... an inhabitant of Canada.

This summer has been HOT, and the Grimsmo crew up north has especially been feeling the heat with the AC broken for the last two weeks of July. Next step: find a new shop. 

Saunders makes a new product, which he calls his “Norseman”. AKA his MASTERPIECE! What is it you may ask? Well, this description is no place to find spoilers, so you’ll just have to listen to find out!

Jul 26, 2019


Grimsmo's KERN will be used as a positional 3-axis for knife making at first, meaning he doesn't need crazy tool or gauge lengths--at least until he decides to get fancy.


Saunders and his team are back to Earth from visiting the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., where Adam Savage, Andrew Barth, and Jen Schachter assembled the Apollo 11 Hatch Door Replica for Project Egress.

3D Pit Stop
On the way back to Zanesville, SMW stopped at Xometry. Although they're primarily a software company, don't be fooled. They're all about lean manufacturing with some LEGIT 3D Printing machines. The next time you go to the break room and reach for a donut, it could be HP Polyjet tomfoolery.

Smart People....Smart People Everywhere!
At Autodesk Toronto, Grimsmo sees some familiar faces and picks some brains---smart brains.
Nothing beats getting to hang out with a new Robo drill and The True Croatian Sensation.

Haas releases their UMC-500!

With a base price of $121,000, you can be sure that all the bells and whistles will give you an amazing machine for under $200,000. While Saunders generally sticks to his debt-free preference, his experience with the benefits of 5-Axis machining make him slightly lean the other way (as long as the circumstances make sense, of course).

10 Top Notch Things About KERN

They can machine through a human hair but....the big question is: how do they set THAT up?
If you think about it...chances are, you'll be able to figure it out.

It's 5 O'Clock somewhere...Yates Precision to be exact!
Jake's taking care of 5 O'Clock shadows safely by making safety razors.

Click the Image Below to Check Them Out


Do the best you can as much as you can.
What would happen if you had to visibly put your name on every part?

A clear filter canisters from McMaster bites the dust and Grimsmo's not the only one!


Jul 19, 2019

Hungry...for SUCCESS?

If you wanna be an entrepreneur, you've gotta HUSTLE! And if you're in the manufacturing industry, you're also making parts. Grimsmo balances running the shop/being the boss, with learning the new machine. 

On Grimsmo's decision to buy a Kern...

“You’ve restored harmony” - Saunders

It's not two lathes against one mill, now there will be an equal number of each. 

Y aren't you working?!

Grimsmo struggles with the Y-axis of his Swiss lathe. 

“Every time I think I get it, there’s another little headache”  - Grimsmo


“You have to get your mind into it. It takes time to warm up. You can’t just hop between modes” - Saunders 

Saunders and Grimsmo talk about strategies to balance machine time with other priorities, like thinking deeply, and home-life. 

A Saunders' tip: Voice notes bring you back to the way you were feeling when you took a note. 

Tool Tracking Strategies

Saunders is using AirTable

Grimsmo is using ProShop and his 3D printer

When to go BIG...and when to 3D print -1 chips

Grimsmo and Saunders discuss when to come up with a cheap solution to a problem...even when there's already a tool-for-that out there. 

Project Egress

Saunders is off to DC for the unveiling of the previously secret project. Didn't make it to the Air and Space Museum on July 18th? Check out the project in this video.  


Jul 12, 2019

Apollo 11. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. 50th Anniversary. Adam Savage. Project Egress---need I say more!? SMW was given an amazing opportunity to collaborate with other makers and Adam Savage's team to make an Apollo 11 hatch door replica for the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. If you'd like to see the assembly of the door on July 18, 2019, click here for details!

Click the Image Below For Video

Still reeling from the arrival of the Tornos, Grimsmo makes a
NEW MACHINE ANNOUNCEMENT! He shares his story about visiting Kern, why it's right machine and why it's the right time! Get in on the juicy details about the machine specs and options.

Click Image Below to TOUR KERN!

Lights Out Production on the NAK!
Grimsmo comes in to find his Nakamura STILL churning out delrin bearing cages for the Norseman. Once Grimsmolocks finds a new shop, a bar feeder will soon follow--just think about the production possibilities!

Slow Down For Lights Out?
In the machining community, many talk about slowing down operations when the lights go out, but why? The Johns take their best guesses; process reliability, extended tool life? At this speculative stage, the benefits of slowing down are difficult to understand, especially when it comes to consistency.


What we DO know is that when the toilet brush is closer....we're more likely to give the bowl a scrub. We've been there; excited about a project only to realize the tools needed aren't handy or there's a nagging, tedious task that must be completed before moving forward. It's not exactly laziness but this tangential mini-task sucks away joy and focus; resulting in either procrastination OR failure to complete the task at all.

Saunders challenges the audience to come up with a word for this!

Jul 5, 2019

The Elements of a Machine Shop: Coffee, Coolant, Oil, and FIRE! 

Swiss Lathe Update? 

“I have both crashed it and set it on fire” - Grimsmo

About the fire…it wasn’t THAT bad

Folks from the manufacturer of Grimsmo’s Mist Collector reassure Grimsmo that the machine is usually completely fine after a small fire like that. 


“You don’t want to talk about crashing your machine, but this is a safe place” - Grimsmo 

Is a Swiss worth the risk? 

Despite the fire, Grimsmo still thinks he might have been better off if he got the Swiss before his conventional lathe. 

Breaking down the pros and cons to buying a Swiss before a conventional lathe

“The swiss is a little more complicated” - Grimsmo 

“But when has that ever stopped you” - Saunders

Grimsmo moves onto the second part he’ll have made on his Swiss lathe: spacers for the knives

How do I get started as a machine shop? 

Saunders answers this question by differentiating between simply selling a product, and running a business. 

“Think about how your work affects your customers!” - Saunders 

Making your services more convenient, and improving customer service, pushes you PAST the competition. 

“It’s easy to do, but it’s easier not to do. That’s why so many people don’t do it” - Grimsmo

“If you have to have an excuse, that’s your problem. Not your customer’s problem” - Saunders

Learn more about this topic in the book How to Win Friends and Influence People

Saunders thanks the audience; his wife is doing great! And is even back to work! 

Check out the NYC CNC Hermle video

And it was ALL a dream

You can be a machinist and a dreamer at the same time. You just might dream about different things. Saunders, for example, gets a killer deal at an auction on a machine!! his dream 

In the DC area on July 18? Come to the Air and Space Museum!

Saunders will be there hanging out and watching a demonstration. More details in this episode.

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. 


May 31, 2019

For over a year and a half, Saunders and his team have been pouring themselves into a new business venture!
John considers this "the biggest thing he's ever done" and rightfully so.
The goal: redefining the way the machining world consumes and learns speeds & feeds.

Click HERE to be notified when the beta launches!

Pearly Whites
Using the tried, true, cheap, and beloved superglue workholding technique, Grimsmo was finally able to machine those mother-of-pearl inlays for knife #1000!
After that, it's off to BladeShow with the other knives, pens, and coins....wait, did you say coins!? This year, Grimsmo's chipping in a little extra awesome token of appreciation.

Click Image Below to Watch NORSEMAN 1000! - Shop Life 013

Tornos - Yeah, I got time for that.
Grimsmo's comfortable with the pace of the Tornos setup.
With fire surpression installed, next on the list is the
60,000 RPM electric spindle, 2000 psi chip blaster, routing the lines for coolant, and tooling. You know what they say; slow is smooth, smooth is fast!

Activating Tool Coatings with Temperature
When a manufacturer gives S&F recommendations, the variance can be pretty wide.
Saunders wants to figure out how to improve tool life on an OSG  A tap. Is running it at 35-40 SFM fast enough to make use of the tool coating?

Hard Wired Hustler
If your ultimate goal isn't sipping a fruity drink on Cabo beach, that's okay!
Many entrepreneurs seek to find a path to freedom in terms of time and money but to others, that's pure boredom.

Hustle Good, Hustle Bad?
What's your definition of hustle and grind? This phrase carries conflicting ideas. On one hand, society idealizes those who push themselves to the brink and on the other, it means if you're NOT frantic and exhausted, you're inadequate and lazy. These concepts cause an internal struggle between expectations and reality so, it's not about whether or not you should's about HUSTLING THE RIGHT WAY. 

Speaking of the right way to hustle, what would Jay Pierson Say?
When you're trying to find a solution or advice, it's helpful to
think about how those you admire most would respond.


If you want to get ahead of your competition, click HERE to watch Jay Pierson's IG video where he stresses the importance of doing things others won't do AND how freeing up time for himself and his employees has allowed his business to improve!


May 24, 2019

You won’t be driving around in a parking lot for this episode, folks. It’s our shortest one EVER! Grimsmo's got some swiss lathe installation guys in this morning, and sometimes the work day starts earlier than 9am 

Grimsmo Recieves his Tornos Swiss Lathe

The Grimsmo workshop has changed. There is now a new machine behind Grimsmo, and lots of set up to do.

About the Lathe:

  • Tornos GT13
  • Has space for LOTS of tools
  • Relatively smooth delivery and set up. Fits where it was supposed to
  • It will take about two weeks for it to be ready to play with, and that’s okay
  • The bar feeder is on the left, whereas a Citizen lathe is backwards

Saunders’ Surgeon Mentality

Strategy to keep you clear headed, patient, and focused on the task at hand. Rushing will just end up causing more problems in the end. 

Question of the Day: How do you stay focused while remaining available to help?

Saunders gives some good advice on this topic

Check out Tim Ferris for more advice on how to focus 

Lean goes wrong?

Is there room for some fat in a company’s diet?

This is the theme of a potential video that might be done in collaboration with Jay Pierson. Saunders gives a little teaser.

JitBit App

Get your computer to automatically do things for you.

Fanuc Tip

Colorization > Comparison

PSA: Saunders and Grimsmo learn about the comparison view on Fusion. It’s a fun little tool, and something that both the Johns will be playing with. Let us know if you’ve heard of it before, and how you use it!

May 17, 2019


BLADESHOW 2019 is just shy of 3 weeks away and GK is ready.
On their 8th year of attendance, something is different.

The usual 2-week, frantic crunch to stock up on product IS NOWHERE IN SIGHT. Not only do they have knives and SAGA pens ready, the 1776 American Independence knife is nearly finished aside from some final engraving!


**You know you're a machinist when you measure time by trade show events.**

A New Business Diagnostic
If your company is growing, there's an important question to ask yourself: How does our business appear to a new hire? Are the roles, departments, and protocols clearly defined? Not only can this question give an outside perspective, it can also help you assess and diagnose problem areas.

Suffering for Success?
Hollywood has left no industry unscathed when it comes to dramatic portrayals. The question is, how much has it impacted your expectations?  Just because you're not endlessly toiling away in a dank, dark shop fraught with impossible odds doesn't mean you're not hustling. Let's call it "grinding smarter, not harder."

The Million Dollar Question: HOW DO I GET MY BUSINESS STARTED?
Data Tracking & Mentorship
Shortly after Barry was hired as the GK accountant, production significantly improved--and that's not a coincidence! Grimsmo stresses the importance of tracking data. More specifically, how much product you need to produce to stay consistent.

Saunders recommends checking out SCORE, the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors.

Technically, there isn't a right or wrong way to get started; however, there are ways to increase chances of success. Avoiding debt as much as possible continues to be at the top of the list. Plus, Saunders announces that CHIP BREAKS will be making a come back in the near future!

We just want to know...does the 6000lbs INCLUDE the Fanuc manuals or is that an additional 6000lbs? Since it's Friday, enjoy this IG post of Grimsmo's new Tornos!


Don't forget to use this promo code to get your Fusion 360 Academy pass for $99 (HALF OFF!).


If you enjoy this podcast or it has helped you, please share it with others!


May 10, 2019

Survival Mode
Although this term is usually in reference to stress, this time it's literal. Saunders gears up for a lesson in bushcraft.

Routine Maintenance - Like a Boss?
Learning the inner workings of a machine is just as important as learning the inner workings of your brain. 

Could Grimsmo's nightly walks and new to-do list system be paying off? For the past week, the team's been busting out SAGA pocket clips like nobody's business!

Click Image Below to See Post.

Check your to-do list and watch the David Allen TED Talk <--click here!

Badge It Up
Saunders marvels at Grimsmo's Dura Vertical sticker collection. Speaking of stickers, SMW just stickered and shipped a box to Blackforest, Germany containing a Robin Renzetti-inspired, modified, lathe tool-post.

Click Image Below to See Video.

Robin Renzetti: THE SOLID TOOL POST MOUNT <--click here to watch

Intricacies of 5-Axis Machining
Saunders delves into the specifics of the first UMC-750 5-axis part including the material, workholding, toolpaths, CAMplete, tooling, and how part of it KICKED HIS BUTT.

Wax, Wane, and Lightning Bolt
Sometimes you don't realize your excitement and passion has waned until you suddenly get a jolt. Having 100% adoration for your profession 100% of the time is nothing to be guilty about---IT'S NORMAL!

Grimsmo: BTW, I crashed the lathe last week.

Saunders: You're just going to casually throw that in there 27 minutes into the podcast!?

Grimsmolocks & The Precious Real Estate
Still on the hunt for a new shop, square footage is tricky to determine for a growing company. He doesn't want a space that's too big; he wants a space that's JUUST right.

Fly on the Wall (well, kinda)
Saunders wishes he could shadow Grimsmo for a day, but only if he didn't know he was there. The question is, will a set of headphones and a laptop make him inconspicuous enough?

N2(1) WUT?
GK is getting into cryogenics so they can freeze themselves and wake up in the future---j/k (at least about the freezing themselves part). Get the scoop on how and why they use cryo at GK!

The 1776 American Independence knife is about to be engraved with some 13 colony action for its BLADESHOW debut.

If you're in the neighborhood, come say hi!

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!

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