Did you Spring clean your shop this year? If not, then fall is a great time to get organized. If you’ll spend the winter working in the shop, then Fall is the time to get your R8 tools and collets together and get them organized in an R8 tool holder.

R8 tool holder or collet

R8 Tools

Bridgeport, a milling machine manufacturer, invented the R8 taper for their equipment.  A drawbar through the spindle prevents loosening. Insert tools with an R8 taper directly into the machine’s spindle. Collets are the tool holders. So, you place your collets directly into the spindle and the tighten the collet with the drawbar.  The R8 system uses collets  18″ to  34″  diameter.

This isn’t new info. If you machine you know this stuff. What you need to know is a way to keep R8 tools and collets organized and protected.  That’s the job of the R8 collet trays.

R8 tool holders

courtesy Exact Tooling

Collets Need Protection

Those collets that see regular use probably stay rust-free and in pretty good shape.  The collets that don’t see much use can get rusty.  Humidity control is the best rust preventative. Use fans in the shop to circulate the air. Fans also reduce humidity and moisture.  Run shop fans constantly to keep air moving. Heating and air conditioning affect temperature and humidity.  Avoid wild temperature swings. Large temperature changes cause metal to sweat.  So, any time the shop closes for a week or a few days, keep the fans and climate control turned on.  If you don’t, changes in temperature when you reopen will cause metal to sweat.

Protect rarely used collets with a light coating of oil.  Heavy-duty oil is too hard to clean off. That’s just a waste of time. Use a product like Breakthrough CLP to protecting your metal.

Store your collets and tools in a R8 tool holder tray.  Our R8 tool holder is made of high-impact plastic. It will not rust. In addition, it won’t rust expensive tooling.

R8 Tool Holder Tray

R8 t0ol holder trays or collet racks protect collets and keep them organized at the same time.  The 52 holes in the R8 tool holder gives you enough room for a full set of collets and places for emergency extras too. Steel stamped collet trays damage tooling. High-impact plastic won’t.

Use a tool holder tray that is American built and strong.  Our R8-52 tray is the tray for you. Need a 5C tray? We got you covered.

Our R8 tool holder is simply the best. Because your collets deserve the best, order your R8 tray today.

20 Sep 2018

Did Nostradamus Predict the Collet Wrench?

There are no tags

It was fun pretending that Edgar Cayce predicted the collet wrench. Even more famous than Cayce is Michael de Nostradame. He was a French medical doctor, astrologer and prognosticator that todaywe call Nostradamus. People read his 4-line poems to get hints to the future and see if he was right about history. People say Nostradamus predicted everything from the London fire to World War II. Let’s see if he predicted the collet wrench!

CNC Lathes and Mills

Collets are the tool holders used on CNC lathes and mills. The collet wrench  provides just the right amount of torque. But, CNC equipment didn’t exist in his time.  How could Nostradamus predict a tool for equipment that didn’t exist? He must have used some really “special” tea leaves.

“Something and nothing in combination
Become instructions
The great monster goes to work
Making by removing”

The quatran makes a clear reference to digital electronic processing. When “something and nothing in combination become instructions”, you’ve got the binary ones and zeros that are the base of programming languages.

This match concept was conceived by George Boole in 1847. Not only did Nostradamus predict digital processing, but he saw how it would impact manufacturing.

Now, the part about “making by removing” is clearly a reference to subtractive manufacturing. You use a lathe to remove the parts you don’t want to make the part you need. The collet holds the tool in the lathe and the collet wrench adjusts the collet that holds the tool.

5c collet wrenchHigh Impact Plastic

The  collet wrench sold by The Tool Company is manufactured with high-impact plastic. This stuff wasn’t even in around back in the 1500’s when Michael was crystal ball gazing and writing with quill and ink. But, did he see the flourscent orange plastic handle in his visions? Possibly.

“From the death of the old
A new material arises.
Wonderous in its strength.
A delight to the eye”

Maybe “from the death of old a new material arises” refers to dinosaurs that died, decomposed and transformed into the black oil that we turn into plastic! By Jove, that’s it!

The Tool Company collet wrench is strong because its made of polystyrene. This wonder resin can be machined and molded. Its way better than regular styrene. You can make it any color. The Tool Company thinks bright orange is a good idea. The bright color is a “delight to the eye” because it is easy to find in a cluttered machine shop.

Don’t Wait to Get Your Collet Wrench

Nostradamus wasn’t big on dates as part of his prognostications. But he said the world would end in 3797. On the off chance he got the date wrong, you should probably get your collet wrench now. Nostradamus never said where to get a good collet wrench. If he had, he would have said buy your collet wrench from The Tool Company.

The concave face aligns perfectly. The handle is sturdy, durable and easy-to-find. Buy your collet wrench at The Tool Company now. The end may be near.


The Tool Company is just full of good news. Your favorite seller of the ultra precision arbor and fly cutter is stoked to share some good news for metalworkers. The Gardner Business Index for Metalworking has been decreasing in durable goods capacity utilization.

courtesy Stuart Miles

So What?

Why do you care? Because its incredible news for metalworkers. So, you better grab your tool tray, your collet wrench and your ultra precision arbor and get to work.

Because the backlog index is accelerating, durable goods capacity utilization should shift from contraction to expansion. After 22 months of contraction, that’s good news too.

Remember,  the backlog index is a growth leading indicator.  And, it’s a reliable leading indicator to boot. Finally, contraction is ready to shift to growth.

It’s time to work.

Potential for Growth in Jobs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a faster than average job growth rate. They predict growth of 17% to 2024. This includes jobs for metal and plastic workers. For toolmakers, the news is even better. How does a job growth rate of about 6% sound to you? Toolmakers are getting close to retirement and few workers are entering the field. This is one job with tremendous potential for growth.

Millwrights have an even brighter future. Their predicted job growth rate  is 14%.

So, CNC workers have lots of good news to cheer about. When the manufacture of durable goods grows the number of jobs grows too.  It doesn’t matter if you make goods or make parts, you’re going to have plenty to do. So, get your tools ready!

Get Your Ultra Precision Arbor and Get Ready!

Gold Series ultra precision arbor set

Gold Series Ultra Precision Arbor Box Set

Get ready to go to work with American-made tools. The Tool Company believes in American manufacturing. We only sell products made in the USA.

We back what we sell with a 5 year warranty. Our ultra precision arbor incorporates Vibra-Core technology. This reduces chatter. Only our accufeed brings finger-tip control to your press.

Why settle for cheap imitations made in foreign countries? Just buy the best from The Tool Company. Then get to work! The future is bright for metalworkers, millwrights, and all machinists.

Ready to grow? You should be. Grab your slitting and slotting saw and your slitting saw arbor and get working. The American manufacturing outlook is bright this year so you better grab sunglasses with your safety glasses.

growth in GDP is good news for manufacturing

GDP is Growing

Growth in GDP

The overall gross domestic product was initially expected to increase 2.5% in 2018.  But with 6 months of growth under our collective belt, turns out GDP should grow 2.9% this year. That makes 3 years of consecutive growth. That’s even better than 2016.  It could be higher, if the stock market is any indication. We are just days away from a record for number of days a bull market.

What this means for Manufacturing

Here is better news. Manufacturing should rise almost as much as GDP. This is the time to get your tools (know where you put your slitting saw blade and slitting saw arbor) and get to work. U.S. manufacturing is forecast to  grow 2.8% this year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting job growth too. 20.5 million new jobs before 2020. Consumer spending and business investment are up too. That’s good news for manufacturing, too. There will be more health care spending. More spending in health care requires more medical supplies. In the US, mills and lathes are busy. Grab your accufeed to drill those small holes and your slitting saw blade and slitting saw arbor to make tiny cuts. Healthcare isn’t the only industry that needs you!

There will be an additional 2.1 million jobs in technology. If you can design and convert to G-code you are in high demand.

ultra precision arbor for machining for aerospace industry

Growth in Defense and Aerospace Industries

You don’t need alien technology or work experience at Area 51 to get in on aerospace. Globally, aerospace and defense are expected to grow 4.1%. After their recent decline, this growth is welcome. There’s a backlog of civilian plane orders to clear. That’s going to require parts. Who is going to machine the parts? Let’s machine them in the U.S. The United States makes up half of aerospace global production. That’s a lot of work for machinists and machine shops. Are you ready?

Grow through Quality

It’s no secret, some of the most successful machine shops grow because they have a reputation for quality. If you’re going to machine for aerospace, defense, medical or other high-tech industries, you need precision and a commitment to perfection.

slitting saw arbor set

Slitting saw arbor set

That type of quality requires the right equipment, the right machinist, and the right tools. Get quality tools at The Tool Company. Every slitting saw arbor, accufeed, kneestop, and general reach arbor we sell is made in the USA. We back them with a 5 year warranty. We’re ready to do our part to bring back the proud tradition of American manufacturing. Are you ready? Buy your slitting saw blade and slitting saw arbor and get to work!


A fly cutter is any single point cutter attached to the mill.  They are a must have finishing and facing tool.  Fly cutters may be more common in the manual machine shop, but CNC machinists know that fly cutters win over face mills when it comes to the best finish. That’s because fly cutters clear a large swath with each pass.  Make fewer passes and get a better finish.  It’s a low-tech tool for a high-tech finish.

cnc fly cutter for precisionWhat Makes a Fly Cutter Great

A fly cutter is a cylindrical body that holds a cutter.  It’s not the best tool for carving out lots of material, but it is dynamite for removing small amounts.  That’s why it is a great finishing tool.

Finishing with a face mill isn’t the same. Face mills use multiple cutters.  And multiple cutters inserted into one tool is a recipe for a poor finish if the inserts are not exactly the same height. Exactly.

A single cutter is the best option when need the smoothest finish. You can get a face mill to do the job by removing all the cutters but one. But why would you? Just start with a fly cutter!

Watch a Fly Cutter Work

See for yourself. Check out the fly cutter at work in this video:


The initial finish might have looked pretty smooth. But, with one pass with the fly cutter there is a much better  finish.

cnc fly cutters set

Set of 3 fly cutters

Use the Best Fly Cutter for the Best Finish

It just makes sense. Use the best fly cutters and get the best finish. And, you get the best fly cutters at The Tool Company.

Pick from 3 sizes. Each size is balanced. Get better stability and cutting action. These fly cutters are American made, like everything at The Tool Company . Each has a 5 year warranty.  So, you know they are made to last.

Don’t get ripped off by cheap fly cutters.  You deserve the best. Order your fly cutters from The Tool Company today.




Thinking about expanding into a new niche? The need for medical industry machining is growing the population ages. But like all niches, machining for the medical industry has its  challenges. First, the materials are different. Second, the sizes are really small. You need all the help you can get. If you machine parts for surgical implants or medical instruments you must machine very small parts (think micro machining) and work with titanium and plastics. You need powerful software too. Plus you’ve got to find the work. The Tool Company can’t help you find medical-industry customers, but we make the tools like the ultra precision arbor and micro drill to get the job done once you get the job. We even point you to some really powerful software to get you up and running.

The Real Value of  Tools

Micromachining and microdrilling require extremely specialized equipment. Buying tools isn’t a time to be penny-wise and pound foolish. Don’t let sticker shock prevent you from buying the best precision saws, ultra precision arbors, and software.

Keep cycle times short and setups simple. Maximize all available turret positions. Invest in quality saws and ultra precision arbors for long-lasting performance. Then, put them to work. Experiment with feeds and speeds until you find the sweet spot.

The Right Software

Autodesk Partmaker  is a Knowledge-Based Machining program that will turbocharge software helps productivityyour productivity. The software takes specific information about your shop then adds in, feeds and speeds, tooling and repetitive processes to speed programming. You receive several options to manufacture your parts based on your available tooling and batch size. Use as a stand-alone program or with FeatureCAM Ultimate and reduce programming time.

SmartCAM also makes use of a Knowledge-Based Machining Library. It is super simple to use. Even first time users can cut metal the first day. Then, set up new jobs by grouping data and associating machines and materials. The newest version improves the user interface even more. Because it doesn’t matter if the software is powerful, if you can’t use it then it’s garbage.

ultra precision saw arborUltra Precision Arbor, Micro Drill Adapter Made in the USA

No matter the job, your work is only as good as your tools. Rely on an ultra precision arbor or a micro drill adapter from The Tool Company.

Will you machine with a cobalt or high speed steel saw? Buy an ultra precision arbor from The Tool Company. It utilizes a Vibra-Core design to reduce vibration and chatter. Go for extra long reach out and get closest cutter to work area available.

micro drill adapter made by Sierra AmericanThe micro drill adapter at The Tool Company is one of the most accurate mini-drill adapters sold. An accufeed is the secret weapon for less drill breakage used by machinists everywhere.

Everything we sell at The Tool Company is made in the USA and backed by a 5 year warranty. So, go ahead and explore new niches. We’ve got your back.

Just because you own a small machine shop  doesn’t mean you must forgo all the time savers used by large shops.  Just think creatively and think out of the box. For example, you know tools are in danger every time they get moved. So, don’t spend money on an expensive tool cart. Make a tool cart yourself. It’s an easy DIY project.  All you need is a CNC tool tray  and an inexpensive 16 x 30 utility cart.  Here’s how.

Find a Utility Cart

The cart is easy to find. Go to the closest Harbor Freight or Home Depot. Fire up that Amazon Prime account. Just look for a few things

Get the 16 x 30 size on wheels. The wheels are important if you want versatility. It doesn’t matter if you get metal or high-grade plastic.  Harbor Freight sells one for under $50. The number of shelves you get depends on the number of tools you need to store. Got tons of tooling? Get the 3 shelf model. Making a cart for the home/hobby shop? Two shelves should do you.  Just make sure it is a 16 x 30 cart. The size is crucial.

Next Comes the CNC Tool Tray

Step two. Get the right number of CNC tool trays to store your tools. Get the right size CNC tool tray. For example, buy a CNC tool tray from The Tool Company and it will be 15 ¾” by 6 ¾”.  So, you can set 4 of them side by side on each cart shelf. Depending on the number of shelves, you will store  up to 80 of your tools. That’s if you have 40 taper tools and a two-shelf cart.

That’s it. One completely genius and absolutely affordable way to protect tools and keep them in order!

It still works if your machine has a 30 taper. The Tool Company’s CNC 30 tray is the exact same size and holds the same number of tools. That means this genius hack works for CNC or manual machines with a 30 or 40 taper.

CNC tool tray for sale at The Tool companyUsing The Right CNC Tool Tray is Important

For this hack to work, you need a CNC tool tray that is a perfect fit. It’s a bonus that the perfect fit just happens to be the perfect tool tray. That’s because the perfect fitting tool tray comes from The Tool Company.

Numbered openings make tool calibration and selection easy. Use the tray numbering to sequence the tools for the job in the tray.

Like everything at The Tool Company, all tool trays are made right here in the USA. As a US machinist, support other US manufacturers!

These CNC tool trays are made of high-impact plastic. So, they protect your expensive tooling from damage. Side ears make it easy to remove the tray from the cart. Awesome!

So, what are you waiting for? Go and get your a CNC tool tray or 3  and make yourself a rolling tool cart.  Order your CNC tool tray here for a 30 or 40 taper and you’ll know it’s made to fit a 16 x 30 utility cart.

The Tool Company, seller of machining tools such as the ultra precision arbor and fly cutter has good news for those in the manufacturing industry. The Gardner Business Index  continues its positive trend. This indicates manufacturing economic and business conditions are better than average.

What This Means

The Gardner Business Index (GBI) was 58.2 in May. Compared to May of last year, the GBI is up 3.9 percent. That means the economic and business conditions in manufacturing are better than average.  Supplier deliveries, production, employment, and new orders drove the Index higher.  Backlog and exports lowered the index’s average.  All index components expanded during the month. That’s really good news. Even the exports reading moved above 50.0.

Why do you care? The movement in the backlog index indicates a shift from contraction to expansion. So, contraction is ready to shift to growth. That’s really good news for people in manufacturing. Grab your cutter and your ultra precision arbor get your tool tray and get ready to get to work.

New Jobs Added

The job growth rate is predicted  to be 17% out to 2024 if you believe the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Like the GBI, that’s better than average. Things look good for machinists as well as tool and die makers too. That job growth rate is about 6%. Don’t let the number fool you. Toolmakers are retiring and young people aren’t entering the field. That makes for a job with tremendous growth potential.

The future is even brighter for CNC’ers. The predicted job growth rate for CNC operators is 14%.

Looks like good news all around for manufacturing workers. As the manufacture of durable goods grows  there will be plenty of jobs. It doesn’t matter if you make goods or the parts to make goods, you should be busy. Get your tools ready!

ultra precision arbor

Need an American Made Ultra Precision Arbor or Slitting Saw Arbors?

Are you ready? It’s time to work. So, make sure you work with American made tools. The Tool Company  supports American manufacturing. We believe in it.

Every product we sell is proudly made in the USA. We back our tools with a 5-year warranty. Every arbor well sell utilizes Vibra-Core technology. Get rid of chatter. Want finger-tip control? Get it with our micro drill adapters. You’ve got the job; we’ve got the tools.

Get the best, and get it at The Tool Company. The future looks good for manufacturing. Get your ultra precision arbor, your fly cutter or tool tray and get ready now.


CNC fly cutters are single point cutters that you attach to a computer controlled mill.  They are the finishing and facing tools no shop can be without.  There may be more fly cutters in a manual machine shop, but CNC’ers know know that a fly cutter beats a face mill every time for a superior finish. That’s because fly cutters cut a larger swath on each pass.  As you know, the fewer the passes, the smoother the finish.  It’s a low-tech tool for a high-tech finish.

cnc fly cutters set

set of fly cutters

CNC Fly Cutters Rock

CNC fly cutters are just a cylindrical body that accepts a tool for cutting.  It’s not the tool for removing large amounts of metal, but it is perfect for shaving off very small amounts.  Fly cutters rock the finishing world.

Face it, finishing with a face mill just doesn’t cut it. All puns intended. Face mills use multiple cutters.  When you put multiple cutters into one tool you get a bad finish if the inserts are not exactly the same height. And, you know they won’t be.

For the best possible finish, a single cutter is always the best solution. A face mill can only do the job if remove all the cutters but one. Still, it won’t be the same. So,  just start with a fly cutter!

Watch CNC Fly Cutters in Action

Watch this Tormach with a fly cutter. Just one pass and its incredibly smooth.

As you can see, after just one pass the fly cutter provides a great finish.

The machine in this video is a Tormach CNC machine. But, if you use a manual machine, the geometry is the same you just adjust your feeds and speeds as described here.

Use The Best CNC Fly Cutters to Get the Best Finish

The finest finish comes with using the finest CNC fly cutters. You get the best fly cutters at The Tool Company.

Three sizes are available. Each is balanced for better stability and superior cutting action.  Best of all, everything we sell is made right here in the USA.  The CNC fly cutters come with a 5 year warranty. So,  you know they are made to last.

Order your fly cutters today and get the best finish from the best fly cutter made. Your works deserves the best finish, the finish you get from a fly cutter from The Tool Company.



Well the first quarter of 2018 is in the books. How are those New Year resolutions going? Did you resolve to get organized, but it didn’t happen? It’s not too late. There’s still plenty of time to get your R8 collets together and get them straight. Just go ahead and get them in an R8 collet tray.

courtesy Exact Tooling

R8 Collets

Bridgeport developed the R8 taper for their milling machines.  A drawbar extends through the spindle to the top of the machine. This keeps things tight and prevents loosening. You insert tools with an R8 taper  directly into the machine’s spindle. The collets (tool holders) go directly into the spindle. Tighten the  drawbar into the top of the collet. You’re set.  The R8 system uses collets  18″ to  34″  diameter.

You know this; it’s not new. But, there is a new way to keep those R8 collets organized and protected.  Use collet trays.

Protecting Your Collets

Collets you use regularly stay in good shape and rust-free.  Collets that aren’t used as often get rusty.  As a preventative, control humidity to control rust. It’s the best rust preventative. Therefore, use fans to circulate the air in the shop. Fans reduce humidity and keep moisture down.  Run shop fans constantly and keep moving air. In addition to affecting temperature,  heating and air conditioning affect affects humidity as well.  Avoid wild temperature swings too. Because metal sweats in drastic temperature changes.  So, if the shop closes for a long week-end for Memorial Day or the week of 4th of July, keep the fans on and the AC running.  Otherwise, when you re-open the shop and turn the AC on, the metal will sweat.

A light coating of oil protects collets that aren’t used regularly. Avoid using heavy-duty oil. It’s too much work to clean it off.  Breakthrough CLP  protects more than just gun metal. Just saying!

Store collets in a collet tray.  The Tool Company’s R8 collet tray is made of high-impact plastic. It doesn’t rust and won’t rust your expensive tooling.

R8 Collet Trays Love Your Collets

So, use collet trays or racks and protect your collets while keeping them organized.  The 52 holes in the R8-52 tray has enough room for one full set of collets and room for emergency extras as well.  Steel stamped collet trays can damage expensive tooling; high-impact plastic does not.

Store your collets in a tray that is American-built and American-strong.  Store your collets in a Tool Company  R8 collet tray.

Buy your collet tray today from The Tool Company.  Don’t trust your collets to cheap, foreign made trays from inferior materials. Get a Tool Company tray and get an American made product, backed by a five-year warranty.  Your collets deserve the best.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 10
plastic collet trays | cnc tool trays | cnc tool holders | fly cutters | collet wrenches | general purpose arbors | micro drill adapters | slitting saw arbors | slotting reach arbors