Business of Machining

John Grimsmo of Grimsmo Knives and John Saunders of NYC CNC discuss their success, struggles, goals and more as machinists, business owners and entrepreneurs.
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Business of Machining








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Nov 22, 2019

This week both John's talk about how John Grimsmo crashed his swiss lathe. John Saunders talks about his class called "Growing Into 5 Axis at Autodesk University". They also touch on rigging and moving CNC equipment and a new tool management system that Saunders' created!

Nov 15, 2019

Entrepreneurial visions are known for being lofty, clearly defined, fixed ideas backed by extreme conviction. The truth is, visions evolve. Where you are now was probably an inconceivable thought back then.

If you're thinking of becoming a manufacturing entrepreneur but don't know where to start, the guys have one simple piece of advice that can be the driving force for your business!

Establishing Company Culture - Organic or Intentional?
The Johns discuss the ideas behind creating a culture of excellence.

How New Employees Can Add Value
Seek out and embrace opportunities! This isn't just about what's in it for you; it's also about the value you can offer. "In order to have a growing and fulfilling career, you can't just make decisions. You need to make decisions with opinions."

Honesty & Transparency - What Are You Hiding?
When Grimsmo brings up a side project, he brings the core of the podcast to the forefront. The guys aren't just there to pump each other up. It's about being honest, even when it's not easy. Strap in for this heavy dose of truth.

Working Capital
Big Check Cashed Late + High Number of Receivables = Not Good. Time wasted tracking down dollars and receiving ridiculous excuses leaves Saunders frustrated. Now, he's calling out the biggest offenders and it's NOT who you think!

Net 30, Net 60, Net 90
Do you negotiate discounts with vendors for early payment? If not, it might be a good idea to start!


Nov 8, 2019

This week we talk about new shops and the sometimes ugly process behind it. Also John Saunders finally gets a lathe!

Other topics discussed this week are the beginning of their careers in the early YouTube days. Finally getting a part made right just feels so good! John Grimsmo talks about the Saga pen being in full effect. Saunders' Fanuc Robodrill is rocking hard, it is making him re-think the robot arm.



Nov 1, 2019


If you're a Business of Machining podcast listener, send us an audio clip so we can add it to future episodes! Make sure to listen to this episode for further details!

What's Up in Saundersland?
John returns from Spectre EDM in Blue Ash, Ohio.
"Good EDM Shops never cut corners (pun intended)."

If you have any burning questions about EDM, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming tour video on YouTube! The comment section will be open to Q&A!

Tool Life Problem Resurfaces at GK
Back in episode 136, Grimsmo's 1/8" ball end mills were snapping at the collet nut. Custom tooling with a more rigid shank was working perfectly (at first). Grimsmo's making some toolpath tweaks and Saunders suggests that the issue might even be coolant related.

Speaking of Coolant, What's in YOURS?
Saunders gears up to release a video about H2O.
The layman's version will show different ways to test and monitor
water quality, clear up confusion surrounding initial fills, tap water versus pure water, subsequent top offs, and more.

Saying Goodbye is Hard!
Erin is leaving Grimsmo Knives for bigger and better things and we're all going to miss her! She's got a lot of exciting freelance work lined up and she's heading back to Africa! In her place, GK welcomes Fraser Cuviello to the team. Saunders agrees to trade the coolant video for a Grimsmo Knives video featuring Fraser's savvy skills.

Click the Image Below!

Machine Shop Stuff Goes Awry: Red Lights, Running Out of Air, and the Ontario Burn

- Parts Catcher Arduino bites the dust
- Maker's Choice Google Script Breaks
- Saunders walks on ERP system
- Running out of air

Oct 25, 2019

What would Scott Harms do?

We all have people we look up to, and take cues from in our lives. For Saunders, of course, that person is a machinist. Saunders got to TOUR of MetalQuest in Hebron, Nebraska, so keep an eye out for that on his youtube channel

Teaser: This guy is positive AND realistic! It’s a story of slow growth, but it’s very relatable as an entrepreneur. 


Even though Saunders was only at MetalQuest for the day, he got some real mellow vibes from Scott and the employees. Saunders and John talk about what makes a good work environment. 

PLUS the company has their own ERP system! So processes are smmmooootthhh

ERP = Enterprise Resource Planning. An ERP system is “a modular software system designed to integrate the main functional areas of an organization's business processes into a unified system” - Reference

Aka. Lots of things are AUTOMATIC


So, basically all you need is robots.

Grimsmo and Saunders talk about how they’re improving their own processes lately (hint: drilling concrete is involved). But remember, money spent one place, can’t be spent somewhere else. 


Real-estate and machines are top of mind for Grimsmo and Saunders, and the Grimsmo Team has FINALLY found a new shop and is SCALING-UP!

The two Johns talk real-estate advice, and how to negotiate when leasing a new building. You can often talk to the landlord to improve a space in general if the improvement adds value to the property. 

“You can often negotiate a tenant allowance” - Saunders 

“If your broker isn’t totally comfortable talking about this, you need to find a new broker” - Saunders 

Goodbye Erin, it was nice! Hope you find your paradiiseee 

Erin leaves the Grimsmo shop to go to Africa and throw herself into freelancing. Fraser is the latest addition to the Grimsmo team! 

Keep an eye out for the RJ Cylinder Shop Tour on Saunders’ Channel 

Oct 18, 2019


Finding a space that fits your business but still allows room for growth can be tricky. The mammoth 26,000 sg ft building turns out to be a bust for Grimsmo. However, he's found THE ONE and it's PERFECT--as long as the concrete's deep enough (more on that later).

You don't know what you don't know.
Signing leases might seem casual and straightforward especially if you've personally rented an apartment or house. However, there are lease options you aren't aware of that can come back to haunt you.

Check out this basic rental agreement overview to make sure you're on the right track!

Once you've found a great place for your manufacturing business, you gotta check the floors. In the midst of signing paperwork, you might forget how important the thickness of the foundation or substrate is! Some machines require a certain thickness to guarantee a level of rigidity while others may not.

Grimsmo and Saunders share their experiences with hiring employees. They discuss the importance of finding candidates who share the same passion, work ethic, eagerness to learn, and what should be done if the "fit" isn't right.

Grimsmo's honked off at the workflow for the SAGA pens.
He's been batching parts up to this point but would prefer the one-piece flow like the knives. Saunders and Grimsmo discuss potential solutions that include staggering production and dedicated machines.

Oct 11, 2019

Taking it to the NEXT LEVEL 

Should The Business of Machining be more than a conversation between machinist/entrepreneur buddies?

Saunders and Grimsmo discuss what makes BOM stand out among podcasts, and how to be more clear in their intentions for the podcast.  

Who can you trust?? To answer to your question

“Be careful in this day and age because anybody will answer your question” - Quote Saunders liked

In a world of opinions, decide in advance whose opinion you trust. Target your questions to those who can best answer them. 

Saunders’ Baby, ProvenCut, PARTNERS with Xometry

Some Xometry products will go up on the ProvenCut website. 

Lights OFF, camera, action! 

Grimsmo does his first night of “lights off machining” on the Swiss Lathe, and realizes how much help a camera surveillance system would be to allow him to keep an eye on the machines when he’s not there.

“I feel like I’m making the machines feel lonely when I turn all the lights off” - Saunders 

The Power of a $10 End Mill

Grimsmo and Saunders talk about spindles, tool life, and setting up a system to better understand when their tools are wearing out. 

“My one [$10 - $20] end mill can do up to 500 parts!” - Grimsmo

Some measuring equipment is better than others...

“Woah, that’s an optical comparator on steroids!” - Grimsmo

When to Customize your Website

Saunders and Grimsmo talk about different features that web hosts provide, and the pros and cons to getting a custom website. 

Other Topics in this Episode: 

  • Balancing machine time to crank out parts for everything
  • Saunders is going to check out the UMC 500 at a tool show this week

Thanks for listening! 

Saunders and Grimsmo discussed having more specific topics on BOM episodes, such as what to look for in a new hire. If you liked this episode, give us a review on your podcast app! We’d love to hear what you think.

Oct 4, 2019


Grimsmo and the gang are shutting down the shop and heading to CMTS to learn! Everyone has an eye out for things that could improve GK processes AND now that Grimsmo's in a 5-axis mindset, he's ready to absorb as much as possible.


Although trade shows are fun and full of information, they can also steal time from your business. Attending a trade show can feel productive; however, it can also be a cleverly disguised distraction preventing more important, dreaded tasks from completion.

Gearing Up for a Trade Show Visit?
Click Here for some tips to make the most of your time there!

Saunders gets Marie Condo Points for unloading the Bridgeport, which hasn't been used in over a year---except when Ed's using it as a Broachport. Making decisions to pare down can be difficult because we think our stuff is more valuable than it actually is. The good news is that determining ROI can help!

DOMO ARIGATO, MR. ROBOTO (If you sang this, you get 5 bonus points)
Ahhh, the FANUC Robodrill has arrived but it's lonely and J5 is sizing it up.A sub panel has to be added to feed the Robodrill and and another "evil" machine.

Is it Big Plus? There are a few clues here and there but nothing definitive. Once the wiring is finished, the SMW team will determine the automated workflow for a new mod vise product!

Ready Robotics - Possible Solution to FANUC woes?
During a fireside entrepreneurial chat with FlexArm, they bring up a company based out of Columbus, Ohio (50 minutes from SMW). Turns out, they have an OS that lives on top of FANUC to control FANCUC and other robots. Does this mean that SMW won't have to learn FANUC?

Having 3D printed models of your machines DOES help immensely but they are also limited. After being presented with an abnormally large moving bill for the TM3-P and the UMC-750, SMW finds it valuable to have skates to avoid being at the complete mercy of the riggers.

THE P.O. PLUNGE - Who are you and what have you done with JOHN!?
Saunders signs the P.O. for the lathe (pretty sure the real John has been swapped with a lathe-loving cloned version). He even ENJOYED making a part on the Slant Pro recently....

Since the Robodrill needs to be bolted down, he decides to wait until the lathe and bar feeder arrive before determining its semi-permanent placement.

Not only does SMW have plans for a few new products for this machine, they also plan to add turning recipes to ProvenCut!

Grimsmo finally speaks to the elusive guy he's been texting for the last 3 months about the 26,000 sq ft shop.

Sep 27, 2019

Buckle up for this EPIC episode of BOM!

Saunders and Grimsmo both have a LOT to talk about as Grimsmo bargains for the shop of his dreams, and Saunders takes on multiple projects that each have BIG implications and potential

Behind the GrimsBRO scenes 

When it comes down to it, Grimsmo Knives was started by two brothers, and they continue to make big business decisions together. Grimsmo shared a chat on his Insta story (@johngrimsmoknives) between him and Erik, and it left people guessing.  

BUT Grimsmo KNOWS what he wants. 

After visiting his dream shop a couple days ago, he says: 

“[The shop] is different than what I expected, but it’s also everything I expected. Price wise, it works” - Grimsmo

NYC CNC 5-Axis Machining Class FINALIZED

Saunders finalized his first 5-axis machine training class! The ROBODRILL is rigged up and ready, are you? 3/6 slots are already sold out, so reserve your slot ASAP  

2 Day Class (Dates): Dec 5 - 6, 2019 

Price: $1750

Hey girl, you wanna Netflix n’ LEARN??

Both Johns recommend the Netflix documentary on Bill Gates

What is YOUR definition of success?

Highlight: Everyone has a different definition of it, and yours shouldn’t be defined by someone else’s parameters for your life. 

“Work and family are really the only two things I care about in the world” - Grimsmo 

Saunders and Grimsmo discuss what success means, and what role happiness plays in the equation. 

Book recommendation: 

Delivering Happiness By Tony Hsieh

Also discussed in this episode: 

  1. Google ads campaign for fixture plates. What social media platform is best for your business to advertise on?
    1. Check out Grimsmo’s video on cleaning out the Mori Mill 
  2. Saunders visit with QualiChem, and a discussion of different coolants and filtering methods (Water matters!)
  3. Cleaning parts with an Ultrasonic Cleaner, and which one to buy 
  4. Saunders admits that he’s warming up to lathes. Proof: “I have a fanuc in the shop, and I like lathes” - Saunders. Will BOM ever be the same again??
Sep 20, 2019

A simple, offhanded comment in episode 134 generates a heart-warming response from the machining community.

Click Image Below to Check Out Original Post from Ignite Digi



Operation StickerBomb = Success!

At first, Kern Microtechnik isn't about that sticker bomb life but when they realize that people aren't defacing property, they fully embrace it! Who doesn't love a high-precision company that can kick back while in the throws of a haughty, sophisticated event like EMO?? We ALL do. By engaging with the community, they're fast becoming the holy grail of machining no longer hidden!

With Great Machines Comes Great Responsibility

The final signature on Kern paperwork at the kitchen table brings about entrepreneurship topics that have no time for subtlety. Grimsmo and Saunders get deep into the cavernous issues surrounding determining a presence, focusing on value for the community, profitable companies getting the side eye, and a major caveat to leadership: no one is holding your nose to the grind stone.

"As difficult as this is, I've grown into it and I'm enjoying the challenge. " - Grimsmo

Stay tuned for the RETURN of Chip Break!
Saunders has a video in queue about the top 10 business success tips that he swears by. The list might be old and crusty...but the points are things you may have never considered!

Leap into Automation
Unfortunately, a local college doesn't quite have the infrastructure to cultivate a thriving robotics program, which means SMW ends up purchasing the first piece of their automation puzzle: a FANUC Robo Drill with a Robotic Arm & Vision System. Once Saunders is finished crying into his Space Mouse, the plan is to dive in head first and figure out how to implement the robotic arm into production for the new mod vise system!

How to Send a Machine Abroad
Step 1. Call CSA
Step 2. Insert Maple Syrup into Elelectonics Enclosure?
Step 3. Hope that's enough to smooth things over...

Sounds like a legit plan!

You CAMplete me.
Moving the body really gets the blood flowing--to your head, that is!
During a morning workout routine, Grimsmo is struck by the realization that he might have miscalculated and purchased tooling that won't be able to reach! "I need CAMplete like....NOW."

ProvenCut to the Rescue
1/8" ball end mills are snapping at the collet nut, so CAMplete whips up some specialized tooling with a more rigid shank to save the day. While that's a good short-term solution, but is the issue REALLY shank rigidity? The Johns dive into deeper questions about tool pressure, number of flutes, axial doc, and coolant. The Johns turn to ProvenCut to double check a recipe and compare notes in Fusion 360 to get to the root cause.

If you don't already, consider following ProvenCut's Instagram! 

Click Image Below 



Sep 13, 2019

Do you even lathe, bro?

“I LOVE LATHES!” - Not who you’d expect

As Saunders gets deeper into research for his potential lathe, he plays 20 (000) questions with Grimsmo. If you’re thinking about buying a lathe yourself, or you just need some basic lathe tips, this is the episode for YOU! 

Get your notebook out, and let’s get started! 

Quick tips: 

“Get what you know you’ll need, and just buy more stuff later” - Grimsmo

“This is like getting an HD TV when you’ve been reading and brailing your whole life” - Saunders

“Stabilizing your tool can improve your finish” - Saunders 


Submission Deadline: Tuesday September 17th, 2019.
Winner announced on September 20th Episode!

Grimsmo and Saunders are now both using the project Saunders created: Proven Cut ("We break tools, so you don't have to!")

Meet up with Saunders on Oct 9th! 

If you're in the mid-west, come check out the Haas event on October 9th. Pssst, they'll have a UMC 500! 

Haas Training in the Midwest

Sep 6, 2019


If you're a parking lot circler, share the podcast for a chance to WIN!


Submission Deadline: Tuesday September 17th, 2019.
Winner announced on September 20th Episode!


Hints of an upcoming lathe purchase have been gracing these podcast episodes for some time. Saunders asks Grimsmo for advice on the right number of radial and axial live tool holders AND which machine features to purchase or skip to maximize utility.

Holding tight to visions of automation, they discuss benefits and drawbacks of CAPTO holders, bar feeders, and palletization.

European Manufacturing Philosophy - Investing without Hesitation?
Visiting machine shops isn't just about the cool machines and parts. Company values, cultures, and philosophies make themselves known. Saunders reflects on his tour of 3D Tech Draw and one striking observation spanning factories in Europe; namely the lack of hesitation to make long term investments in tooling or automation.

Watch 3D Tech Draw Tour |

If you're headed to EMO (the world's largest trade show) this year, you have an assignment: FIND GRIMSMO'S EROWA AND STICKER BOMB IT!

Our minds love to make up unrealistic emotions about the items on our to-do lists. Often, DOING the task is rarely as bad as THINKING about it. Speaking of to-do lists, could a deliberately drawn, small box beside the task lead us to be more deliberate and methodical?

Self Imposed Deadlines - You're NOT REAL, MAN!
Deadlines are a necessary part of being a business owner. The question is: How can you create deadlines that you believe in, that give you the same sense of urgency and dedication that an outside force of accountability can produce?

Saunders makes the mental decision to move forward on implementing ERP. He continues to gather information, specific needs, and arrange meetings with end users to determine which system will work best for SMW.  


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. 


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