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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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?


Nov 2, 2018

Happy Halloween! Dry Ice anyone? It’s super cool! (pun intended) Check out this project another machinist did with dry ice.  

Grimsmo talks about the benefits of quenching your blades in dry ice after heat treat, and is working on a palette that will also improve the process. Saunders is also working with dry ice to blast parts.

Before you become a mad machinist for Halloween, maybe this solution will fix your mill:

Did your machine stop working? Grimsmo tried many different ways to fix his Mori, but in the end he just had to UN-press his emergency stop button...and turn his machine off and on about ten times.  

Keeping track of mistakes and solutions

It’s not just parts a machinist/entrepreneur needs to track, it’s also thought processes. Learn about how Saunders and Grimsmo use documents on their computers, and ERP software to keep track of everything going on in their shops and minds.


“It’s important to be able to easily search for the solution” - Saunders


Saunders is comparing different ERP softwares, so if you have implemented or used the small business ERP software from SAP, Oracle, or Odoo, Saunders wants to hear from you! You can contact him here.


The Grimsmo Team has a new addition to the shop: an Engis 24” plate lapping machine! No training required. Grimsmo and Saunders discuss the extent to which training is valuable for new machines. 

Check out Grimsmo’s Instagram for pics of the new machine, and stay tuned on their YouTube channel for a video all about it.


Saunders is clearing up the shop to make more room. His philosophy to help him get it done?

“If we’re not using it, it’s not making us happy, and it’s not part of our story, it goes” - Saunders

Jumping write into November

Grimsmo does not have a completed pen and it’s the end of October, BUT he still thinks he can get pens into production in November.

Save your business A LOT of money by thinking about exchange rates

The Grimsmo Team is 100% Canadian! But their customers aren’t, which means not all their banks should be either. Grimsmo shares the plan that he and Barry hatched to save money on the business by thinking about exchange rates, monthly costs, service fees, and product subscriptions.

“For every transaction through Shopify, we’re paying a percentage transactional fee” - Grimsmo

That’s all for now folks!

Oct 26, 2018

Shootin' the Breeze
Grimsmo and his son, Leif, pay Saunders a quick visit.
TURNS out, machining isn't the only thing he's precise about.
Saunders digs into his quality engineering obsession.

How to Win Friends & Influence People is a life-changing read. Do yourself a favor and get a copy by clicking HERE!

Family Heirlooms
Everyone says they look AND act like brothers,
so when Grimsmo becomes the owner of a sentimental
Kennedy toolbox, it just feels right.

Jack Roman from Tuff Writer Pens features GK
in his EDC (Every Day Carry) + Micro Manufacturing Documentary.
Tuff Writer Pens <<<<Click Here to Check Out Their Site!

Zeroing In
Grimsmo conducts interviews and narrows it down to 2 awesome candidates.

"Be careful the story you tell yourself" - Grimsmo
When a group of manufacturing class students visits GK,
his goal is to open minds. Believing in broad and stereotypical job titles could prevent you from finding your passion!

The End is Nigh
With the end of the year drawing closer, Saunders
embarks on restructuring the website.

We're Out of Potato Chips
Saunders receives a beta Smart Supply logistics locker and with it, the ERP mindset is back. This Allting "Vending Machine" won't be putting out snacks, but it will be a huge first step in the ERP direction.

Speaking of ERP...
Grimsmo admits he needs to involve his team
more when it comes to Pro Shop but the benefits
are already obvious.

Airpods: Lifestyle Creep or Lifestyle Keep?
Saunders FINALLY tries Airpods and they
live up to the hype. Now that his hands are free,
he gives a BIG thumbs up.

Click HERE to get a pair!

Machine Tool Design Fundamentals
Saunders wants to know more about machine tool design. Other than piecemeal conversations and venturing into the rabbit hole, he's not sure where he can get a comprehensive overview.

Pocket NC Tombstone project inspires a workholding solution: a lathe chuck SUBPLATE!
Stay tuned for the upcoming Wednesday Widget.


The United States of Steele
Alec Steele is selling everything and moving to the states
to start a shop!
"The future will be kind to him." - Saunders

Phenomenal Feedback
The shop tour videos are always fun for Saunders
but since he's considering a direction for the business and the channel, he's not sure how they fit in the grand scheme.
Grimsmo chimes in with a great suggestion.

Stay tuned for the video where we follow a crucial C-17 part
from Forging to finished AND the full length tour of Vahl, Inc!

Saunders has his AU bag packed with
Leif's hat and a Sandvik Boring Bar for Laurens.

Click HERE for AU Las Vegas Registration!

Oct 19, 2018

Grimsmo is putting pens write back into the game! He and Angelo had a nice long meeting where they made A TON of changes to the internal workings of the pens.

Curious about what changed? Watch out for new Saga Saturday videos coming again soon on Grimsmo’s YouTube channel!

Learning is great, and it’s even better if knowledge can be used right away! Saunders learns what a “living hinge” is (keep listening to find out), and he bought a Skyhook crane (which is also new territory for him).

Which would YOU choose? Red or Blue? And no, we’re not talking about pills.

“Welcome to the Loctite Episode!” - Grimsmo

The Johns discuss loctite, different variations you can get, and how its versatility makes it so AMAZING!

What does loctite do? Fills in all the gaps and gives you 100 percent thread. It prevents the start of the reverse rotation.

The Balance of Risk and Reward

There’s always a risk when you sit down with a mentor or someone in the field, but from Saunders’ experience, the good always outweighs the bad.

Saunders talks about his trip to New York. He did SO MUCH in the two days he was there, but especially enjoyed his tour of the VAHL shop. There will be a video of that, so keep an eye out on Saunders’ YouTube channel for the shop tour!

Take away from the trip? Saunders says it’s always great to get a little out of his comfort zone, but he has to reflect a little more before he knows exactly what lessons he's learned.

How do you measure lean?

Saunders and Grimsmo discuss what goals that have when they implement lean strategies into their workflow.

“Better results at the end of the day is all the matters” - Grimsmo

The machines Saunders has makes him: “parts , money and happy”

Workflow improvements?

Grimsmo uses UpWork a lot to get results, and now the shop is also considering a fine grinding machine that would cut down on lapping time.

Grimsmo is going to visit Saunders this weekend! It’s a great time for them to just hang out, and be dads together.

Oct 12, 2018

:: Solving a toolpath mystery ::

:: The John Saunders Turkey Machine ::

:: Don't judge a fish by how it climbs trees ::

Saunders asks himself, "What the heck ARE we?"
Does having multiple areas of specialty dilute
the business? After some revelatory conversations,
he's "zeroing" in on what it means to be SMW.

"Daddy, I'm trying to find John Saunders Turkey Machine Shop."
While enjoying the Canadian Thanksgiving festivities,
Grimsmo's daughter, Claire, is on the hunt for a hilarious
and totally under-rated video. Click The Image to Watch!

Often, words lose their meaning and need
updated to accurately reflect our ever-changing world.
By changing the suffix, the word "Marketing" gets new life.

The gradual arc on a GK knife handle goes from 1 line of G-code to 50, leaving behind noticeable facets that the guys have to buff out. Luckily, in this digital age, we can turn to the machining
community to ask for help!
Thanks to @laurenswijnschenk, the proverbial thorn in Grimsmo's side is gone. Check out his Instagram HERE!


First, pull over and open your laptop!
Have you ever used the "View Toolpath" feature in Fusion?
If you haven't, you aren't alone!

The NYC CNC full length IMTS video hasn't been published yet but here are some
shorter IMTS videos to tie you over!

Grimsmo Knives IMTS 2018 Day 1 - Becoming Swissish

Grimsmo Knives IMTS 2018 Day 2 - Small Booths

IMTS 2018 Top 10 CNC Machines

Their "We're Hiring" video has been released to the interwebs but
in order to be seriously considered, you MUST make a short video
about yourself! A deep conversation ensues about the art of hiring employees that you don't want to miss!

Click the Image to Watch!

Saunders is back in NYC, looking at a Mori Seiki SL-1A with FANUC control...but will the forklift have enough capacity to handle the instruction manuals?

Finally Got Some Green Tops!
Grimsmo gears up to try out Helical tools for the first time.

Oct 5, 2018

What processes work best for your shop?

Sometimes it’s as simple as wrapping green tape around material you’re not using or using google sheets more often, and other times it’s necessary to get creative with a new tool! BTW the Grimsmo shop has a band saw now.

“It all depends on your goals”- Grimsmo

If quantity is your goal, you focus on materials that make products faster. If your goal is quality, you have to invest in materials to make them top notch, but you should make sure it’s not taking any longer than it needs to.

Tiny Tolerances

Grimsmo and Saunders discuss tolerances. They are a crazy important consideration, maybe even more important than we realize. How do you make sure your perfect parts are actually perfect?

Saunders asks himself questions like “What tolerances do I need?” as he plans his trip to NYC to look at a used FANUC 2-axis lathe.

The Journey: it never ends.

Saunders is inspired by Tony Robbins too! As the Johns discuss realistic goals from the next year, to the next TEN years, Saunders reminds Grimsmo of a Tony Robbins quote:

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year, and they underestimate what they can do in a decade”

Everyone puts so much pressure on themselves over the course of a day, or a week or a month, but those little steps will lead to huge results. It just takes time.

“It has to grow organically for it to work, and it has to take ten years, and it has to be a struggle” - Grimsmo

Ask yourself: Where were YOU last year? It might make you feel pretty good.  

As a side note: Grimsmo’s hiring!

The official announcement was out on their YouTube channel Thursday Oct 3.

Hmmm...What should we buy next?

The Johns get Swissish (again) as they talk about how a Swiss Lathe works.

With the lapping machine being overused, a fine grinding machine is starting to look like a more real part of the future for the Grimsmo Shop.  

Fine grinding machine by Supfina:

Model that Grimsmo is considering:

Supfina Spiro F5

Keep an eye out!

Saunders is going to releasing a new product by the end of this year!

Sep 28, 2018

Get Well Soon, Grimsmo!
He might be under the weather but shop life waits for no one...

When you enjoy working, you have to be more
conscious of that sneaky little thing called burnout. You might not notice until it's too late!

Pride and Humility: The Balance
William breaks a toy at school.

Tony Robbins Total Immersion
Grimsmo and Meg attend a Tony Robbins event and return revitalized!
Love him or hate him the "I'm Not Your Guru" guru
has ways to break limiting thinking patterns and bestow clarity. Using a different framework makes critical decision-making easier.

As Saunders releases the first of many Johnny 5 videos, the negative nancies get their panties in a twist because of an estimated 2-year timeline. Rome wasn't built in a day...right?

Hesitation Parallels
Saunders has found THE microscope and a jib-crane solution but suffers a case of Paralysis by Analysis while actively fighting lifestyle creep.
From Grimsmo's last video (BACK FROM IMTS 2018!) he's STILL gotta order titanium round bar BUT this order entails more than clicking a button...

Sep 21, 2018

Are you ready to talk technology and tools from IMTS with Saunders and Grimsmo?

I hope so! Because this episode gets nice and technical

The Johns are back from IMTS, inspired, and ready to get back to hustling. They’re happy they can pick up where they left off because of their awesome employees holding down their respective forts while they were gone, and keeping up with the daily grind and processes.

“Make the process the expert” - Grimsmo

Thanks for coming out to the Manufacturing/Entrepreneurship Summit! It was a blast!

In this episode Grimsmo and Saunders reflect on the event and wrap it up with some final thoughts on certain questions that were asked during the Q and A period.

Teaser: Their favourite part of IMTS was talking to and learning from the people, and it’s amazing to see how many parallels there are between entrepreneurs’ stories.  

At the show there were plenty of machines of the future, but what about machines of their future? Still lots!

Grimsmo discusses Swiss Lathes and 5-Axis machining, and Saunders gives some tips on how to get the deepest of information about machines from company representatives at the show.

“It’s almost worth stretching the truth to get a deeper answer about a machine, even its based on a question about a fictional tool” - Saunders

Pro tip: Go to a machine show! Even if it's small, it’s a great place to meet like-minded people and get some answers first-hand.

Looking into a Microscope

Saunders debates getting a super cool microscope from Vision Engineering. Without the show, Saunders might never have found that company.

“Go outside your comfort zone and find something you never would have otherwise” - Saunders

Crush it this week!

Sep 14, 2018


Energy = Kinetic

People = Inspirational

Podcast = Straight, No Chaser


Experience IMTS as Saunders and Grimsmo as they meet people on their way to AB Tools.  BOOM. You're on the podcast!

Sep 7, 2018

Buying Machines for your Business

Grimsmo and Saunders talk about the importance of Customer Service when it comes to buying a machine.

“Just sell me machines and give me service” - Grimsmo

Service is important because....

“Fun Fact: Everything mechanical in the world ceases to work at some point” - Saunders

When it comes down to it, the quality of the machine is going to affect your relationship with that company. Don’t forget to consider a warranty! 

CALLING ALL LISTENERS! Saunders has a query.

The shop in Ohio is getting HOT, and NYC CNC is thinking about getting a climate control system sooner than expected.

Specifications for the project:

  • Our shop is 50 x 80 ft. with 15 ft. ceilings
  • NYC CNC doesn't think more insulation is necessary
  • What are our listeners thoughts on using a mini-split? Link to the definition of a mini-split here. How about on an “Energy Recovery Ventilator”? We don’t want to “cool the country with our AC” (as Saunders’ mom would say)

ALSO, Saunders would like to know if anyone has a CMX 1100, and what YOUR thoughts are on it. What is it comparable to?

Contact Saunders here or at

Lapping up time

Grimsmo can’t wait for the new lapping machine to come in, it’s going to make processes A LOT faster.

Pro tip: Using UpWork to solve your problems also helps you get work done faster.

Choose the right machine for YOU!

The Johns discuss how to choose the right machine for your needs, even when there’s so many solid options out there. The two of them also talk about how to make processes on Grimsmo’s mill more efficient and reliable.

IMTS is NEXT WEEK! And the Johns will be there running around, asking questions, and learning new things.

They talk about what they want to see at IMTS. Here's a little teaser on Grimsmo’s IMTS list:

  • He wants to learn more about machine tracking software

And how about Saunders?

  • Thinking more long term about good coolant management
  • Looking at CMX and DMU 50 machines

Don’t forget to SIGN UP for the Manufacturing Entrepreneurship Summit 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

Sunday, September 9th, 2018 (ONE DAY BEFORE IMTS!)'s FREE!

Workshop Topics:

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

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



The Expo is on Sept 29, 2018. AND Saunders is having an open house on the DAY BEFORE THE EXPO! Check out the links below for more information. 

Mid-East Ohio Model Engineering Expo
Info on Saunders’ Shop Tour on Sept 28, 2018

Aug 31, 2018

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

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

Grimsmo shows tremendous strength in his ability to self-evaluate

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


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

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

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

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

Warren Buffett's 10 Rules for Success

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


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

Workshop Topics:

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

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


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

Aug 24, 2018

Moving from CNC to RNR

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

The Grimsmo Shop Reaction: 

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

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

Stay humble.  

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

Playing fair with your customers

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

Psst...Can I Rask you a question?

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

Possible Solution: The LX 160

New Training Classes at NYC CNC!

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

You can sign up for a class here

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

Quick tip to avoid buyers’ remorse:

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

Saunders Answers: Should you QUIT your job?

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

Is #PaulAkersMoment a thing?

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

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

Aug 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accounting for Machinists and Entrepreneurs: Beginner's Guide

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

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

Aug 10, 2018

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

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

Call it what it is! A BUSINESS.

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

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

The Johns get inspiring (and a little cheesy):

“Believe in yourself!” - Saunders

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

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

QOTD: How do you dream about things?

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

Goals to grow the business! For what? Growth!

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

IMTS is one month away!

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

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

Register for the event, here!

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 3, 2018

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

S&H Shop Tour Video

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


Jul 27, 2018

Both Saunders and Grimsmo have been working towards the success of their business for about a decade, and an article written about NYC CNC helps them both reflect.

Just as a new lifestyle starts to creep up on the Johns, things start to speed up at the Grimsmo shop. Erik beat his knife making record! Now it’s up to the others to keep up!

Wake up, John! 

How you wake up can determine the rest of your day. What’s your morning routine? Grimsmo has tried out a ton, but both Saunders and Grimsmo have found that getting that extra time with their families in the morning makes them more productive.

“Having a focus list helps you say no to a lot” - Saunders

Get ‘er done!

Saunders decided it was time to revamp their fixture project, but that’s all he had to do with it. Alex the intern did some awesome problem solving and met the challenge head on! It comes down to delegation and trusting your team.

Fancy New (Shop) Toys

Speaking of delegation, Saunders literally just bought into one of his employees ideas, and now Ed at NYC CNC has a new Mark II 3D Printer because of it! Basically, this machine gives you the ability to run stronger material than a run-of-the-mill $400 3D printer. You can learn a lot more about its special abilities to make an Auger for your Haas in Saunders’ upcoming video!

Oh no! Grimsmo’s toaster broke! I guess it’s time for a new tempering oven...

When you have a brand new lapping machine, but you’re still using a toaster oven to temper your blades, you know it’s time for an upgrade.

Running a machine shop? Get a microscope. ‘Nuff said.

Complicated coding makes for more efficient machining; keep an eye out for Grimsmo’s video on engraving!

Interested in making knives? Grimsmo’s got some advice for you. 

Grimsmo and Saunders have a similar story, but the real reason it's inspiring is because it's replicable. Being an entrepreneur is difficult, but anyone can take small steps to achieve their bigger goals. 

For example, take a look at Grimsmo’s first knife. The blade was 304 stainless steel!

“Businesses like CAMplete look overwhelming when you see them today, but the reality is that that’s not how anything is built. It’s grown over time” - Saunders

Saunders and Grimsmo went to visit CAMplete when Saunders was in Canada, check out the video! Coming soon on Grimsmo's YouTube channel

Saunders’ Pro tip: lean machining can be done at any level

Jul 20, 2018

What today's episode lacks in pep, it makes up for in realism:
Entrepreneurship can be exhausting--and it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

After the Johns team up in Canada, the overwhelming excitement settles, leaving the need for recuperation behind.

Stay tuned for the video and video podcast!

A change in surroundings brings new thoughts and ideas to
the table--literally.

Saunders and Grimsmo discuss their trip to CAMplete Solutions, Inc.--a company that designed specific software to bridge the communication gap between CADCAM & machines. To learn more about CAMplete Truepath or CAMplete Turnmill, click HERE!

Entrepreneurship & Open Minds
As Saunders's confidence in 5th-Axis machining increases,
he admits, "It's time for a lathe"--with a Y-Axis, of course!
The guys discuss Y-Axis benefits and 3-Axis toolpath milling differences & preferences.
"It's a whole new world!" - Grimsmo

While on their CAMplete adventure, Grimsmo can't help but feel responsible for alarming out the MAM72-35V.
Check out Grimsmo's Hanbei Error Alarm Remedy!

Torque Wrench Myth Laid to Rest?
While the data isn't scientific, Saunders gets confirmation about stored torque wrench values from a reputable defense company!

D'jever See This Before?
Grimsmos ER11 Lindex Collet Nut Cracked!
Click the photo for full IG Post:

BIG ASS Fan Arrives at SMW (video coming soon)
The nomenclature is fitting and it feels amazing!

Grimsmo Knives blows the door WIDE open on new shop developments--Tune in to check it out!

It's still a shock when people say they binge on Business of Machining podcast episodes and we want to give a sincere thank you to those who listen and show their continued support! 

Jul 13, 2018

It’s Friday today, which means that Saunders picked Grimsmo up yesterday morning to take him on a trip to Kitchener, ON, and visit CAMplete. Saunders is stoked to pick their brains about 5-axis, but they are really just happy to be doing it together!

“If you don’t live in a 5-axis world, you wouldn’t even know what you’re missing” - Saunders

Let’s talk about processes!

Stay tuned for a bonus podcast episode...on YouTube! It’ll be their first video format podcast

It’s ALL about the flow

Grimsmo’s shop is doing well right now with their one piece flow setup, he and Saunders talk about how to set up their workflows and palettes to maximize their productivity.  

How can you improve workflow?

What can The Office teach you about machining? Saunders talks about how The Office and the movie “Deep Impact” inspired him to “seize the day, be deliberate, keep planning, and keep working”. Good news: you can do this well into old age.

Saunders’ “Not a To-Do List”

“One of the things that no one tells you as an entrepreneur is that it can be difficult to not have a boss” - Saunders

Saunders and his wife sit down in the morning to talk business and set a focus area for the day. This turns into a focus list that helps Saunders justify how he spends his time.

What does a “goal” mean to different people?

Article mentioned in podcast: The seven things you must go through before making $1 million in revenue

“Actions have to match the ambitions, or else you’re just making it up” - Grimsmo

Grimsmo’s upcoming improvements: heat treating processes, and the lock bar insert for the knives.

5-Axis Blues Bliss!

Saunders was hesitant at first about going 5-axis, but he is in love with it now!

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