Why an Automated Bandsaw Will Save You Money

When operating a machining or fabrication shop, every dollar counts. Most shops have a bandsaw in their equipment lineup to alleviate the cost of getting custom-cut lengths from a metal supplier. While having a bandsaw is useful, it can still be a drag on your checkbook because of the manual labor required. Normal bandsaws have a simple design: you lift the blade, set up the stock, fire up the saw, check the hydraulic cylinder so the blade doesn’t fall too fast for the metal you’re cutting, and let the saw do its thing. After the stock is cut, you need to repeat much of that process, which means you need someone in your shop babysitting the saw. While automatic bandsaws have been available to free up the operator manning the process, their pricing of $20K and up didn’t make them a money-saving option. Even a used automatic saw can cost around $10K. Until now. The Tormach AF50 Autofeed Bandsaw is currently in beta, and things are going well! With the AF50, you can program up to 999 strokes, meaning there’s no longer a need for a dedicated operator to spend valuable time and effort cutting raw materials. And, even if you’re on a budget, it'll be available for under $7K. [youtube]NMDSmxCKp6c[/youtube] Our bandsaw can save you money in three major ways:

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9 Things That Machinists Are Thankful For

It’s that time of year where we reflect on all the things we’re thankful for! While we’re all thankful for our families and good health, as machinists, what are we thankful for? This list isn’t exhaustive, as I’m sure we’ve missed a few things, but here are nine things the machinists at Tormach are thankful for.

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Interpolated Holes Not Round? Fix It!

One of the great advantages of CNC over manual machining is the ability to create holes of almost arbitrary size using an end mill that follows a helical path.

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Fixture Plates and Why You Should Use Them

Machining parts is easy... work-holding is the hard part! Fixturing, part setups, and work holding is a never ending skill. Any time I have the chance to tour a factory, walk a trade show, or talk shop with another machinist, I try to learn as much as possible about workholding. There are countless creative uses for vises, soft jaws, 1-2-3 blocks, toe jacks, and other tools. A good workholding setup can mean improved surface finishes, more accurate parts, and better tool life. Furthermore, setups can simplify short production runs, ensuring that all parts in the batch meet tolerances. Process reliability is a key part of machining and making. The easier it is to implement good fixturing, the more likely you are to embrace it! One of the best ways to increase the functionality and work area of the machine table is with a fixture or tooling plate. Check Out the SMW Tool Plate There are three key benefits to a fixture plate:

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Why You Need a 3D Printer in Your Shop, and Why You Don’t

Over the last decade, 3D printing has grown in popularity and decreased significantly in price. Even though 3D printing is a long way from bettering CNC machining in speed, materials, or reliability, additive manufacturing technology may have a place in everybody’s shop. If you have a mill, why do you need a 3D printer in your shop?

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How to Level, Not Tram, Your Mill

[youtube]YD7hhFtkAo8[/youtube] Machinists are always looking for ways to improve their machining - whether that's work on their machine, taking classes, or buying new accessories. Tramming is one of the ways that manual machine (knee mill) owners use to re-establish a perpendicular plane from the spindle to the table, but that term has found it's way into the CNC world as well. The knee mills have a tilting head that moves separate from the base of the machine, by design. As the spindle head of these manual machines are frequently manipulated for various machining operations, there needs to be a way to re-establish, or true up, the mill to a square position. Tramming is the process of getting that tilting head squared up with your table so you're machining is nice and level. 3-axis CNC machines, like Tormach PCNC mills, have a cast iron column that can't really be adjusted. That's why for regular maintenance, and peace of mind for many machinists, a CNC machine should be leveled, not trammed. If you do have to make subtle adjustments to the column or head cast joint sections (which is exceptionally rare if leveling is done correctly), then the process is called 'squaring the mill.'

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