Augmenting Craftsmanship at Nagahara Flutes

Featured on the Tormach blog and in a previous Customer Showcase, we recently checked back in with Nagahara Flutes to see what they've been up to with their PCNC 1100. Improving the quality of the professional-grade flutes and the overall manufacturing process, Operations Manager David Scarbro explained in detail how CNC is augmenting the flute making trade.


Notes from the Editor's Desk

That's Gold and Silver! David from Nagahara Flutes sent us this picture. Probably the most expensive pile of swarf that I've ever seen. [nggallery id=61] From David: "We use speeds and feeds similar to brass for silver. Gold is a little harder, especially 10K. I've been told it is similar to Monel. Silver is "gummy". This is not a problem with our Tormach mill because we're not removing much material in any of the operations it performs. It's a big problem with our turned parts. We make all of our CNC turned parts on a SNK Prodigy gang tooling lathe. The challenge there it to keep the shavings from balling up around the work piece or cutter. Chip breakers don't work with silver." Nagahara Flutes has been on Milling Around before, with a cool custom screen set for Mach3 to automate tone hole machining for different flute models. They make flutes for world famous musicians, including this 20K Gold Model. Another SprutCAM7 Tutorial Dave Pearson from Sprut UK has added another tutorial to youtube: Creating Stops and Optional Stops [youtube][/youtube] Alibre Tech Tip Got this Tip from Alibre a couple days ago: Using Guide Curves with Sweeps And Finally, the "Knack" I'm sure Dilbert fans have seen this before, but it was new to me. It explains a lot about what makes Tormach (and our customers) tick. [youtube][/youtube] Thanks to Scott of SDM Fabricating for passing it along. He definately has a terminal case of the "Knack".


Nagahara Flutes: Customer Showcase of the Month

David Scarbro of Nagahara Flutes,, recently shared with us some details of a very cool setup with a PCNC 1100 at their Massachusetts workshop. Nagahara Flutes makes custom, one-of-kind flutes for professional and amateur players worldwide, including Sir James Galway, Alberto Almarza, and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. They have customized their PCNC 1100 with a 4th axis proximity switch for referencing and custom Controller Screen Set for selecting different flute tone hole configurations. [nggallery id=13]. David explains: Currently, there are 8 different pages in the custom screenset. Behind this is about 2000 lines of VB. Much of this code is arrays with X,Y & A location data for the different flute models. There are also arrays for the tool numbers, Zs, Feeds and Speeds for the different milling operations. There are approx. 70 different tools. For each flute, the pitch (A=440,442,444), style (inline, 1/2 offset, full offset) and model (Standard or Full Concert) requires a different mandrel and each mandrel has its own set of work offsets. Eventually, we'll have about 40 mandrels. We're still in the process of making the mandrels for all of the pitch/style/model combination on the Tormach. There are special screenset pages for making mandrels. Normally, the screen buttons allow the operator to select model and options for a flute. The operator is then prompted as they work to install the correct mandrel and tools. Several new customer showcases have also been added to our showcase page. We also got a little bit of press in this week's issue of Machine Design

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