Save time with this Tormach 1100M CNC mill workholding hack

06/ 23/ 2021

When you first started learning CNC - after realising the Tormach 1100M was the best fit for all your hobbyist and light industrial maker needs - you needed to know the basics before you could start making chips.

That meant knowing your x from your y axis, the variation of feed rates, how G-code works, and what to do when you crash your mill (which is a painful but important right of passage for any upcoming CNC machinist).

But now you know your Tormach better, now you have the basics under your belt, you’re probably looking to step up your CNC education. You want to join the major leagues and start making parts faster with less fuss - either because you want to boost your stock output or you want to spend more time with either your family or with fellow makers.

Whatever the reason, this handy workholding hack will help you get the most from your Tormach 1100M.

But this handy hack isn’t just about reducing your production time. It will also get you thinking like a machinist. Being a great CNC maker is about more than knowing what your machine can do. It’s about also understanding how to make the machine work for you. Just like when Eric Clapton said of the blues ‘sometimes it’s about the notes you don’t play’, being a good CNC machinist is sometimes about ‘the cuts you don’t make’.

This hack will show you how to save time by working through multiple CNC mill operations using a single work offset.

The single work offset CNC mill hack

Imagine you’re looking to make a machine part ( like this):

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At Tormach, we have a long-standing philosophy that we want to provide the most value to our customers. That’s why you have the ability to self-service, we have free technical support for as long as you own your machine, and you can take delivery of a mill, lathe, plasma table, or router via a liftgate truck.

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Tapping parts by hand can be a pain. It can be slow, tedious, and lead to crooked threads if you are not careful. For many hobbyists, tapping on a CNC machine is not an option, with taps requiring too much spindle power for hobby level machines and/or an encoder to synchronize the spindle rotation to the thread pitch.

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Last year’s pandemic brought about a number of challenges for everybody. This year’s post-COVID hangover has added an extra wrinkle for businesses to navigate as the world begins to open back up. We are happy to say that everybody within our organization weathered the COVID storm unscathed, but the ripple effects from the world shutting down are beginning to emerge.

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