The holiday season is here.  If there is a machinist in the family, get a gift that shows you appreciate them, you understand the skill it takes to do their job, and that you love them as much as they loves their tools.  Here’s some gift ideas like CNC tool trays and fly cutters that you might not know about.

Supercharge Their Morning Coffee

If your machinist loves their cup of Joe as much as their HSS then get them a cup that reflects their  mechanical personality.  How about this take on the Genesis of Machining.

coffee cup for machinists

machinists mug zombie hunter

 

 

Or if they are preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse, then this mug over at Cafe Press is perfect.  Just remind them to leave this cup at home.  It will cause mug envy at work.

 

 

 

CNC Fly Cutter Set

Sure you could fall back on the reliable multi-stop, but isn’t that like giving socks?  Instead, show you appreciate their sharp eye for perfection.  Gift a CNC fly cutter set from The Tool Company.  You get 1 ½”, 2”, and 2 ½” diameter fly cutters.  They are completely balanced for stability at higher RPMs to give  the performance they demand. Every Tool Company fly cutter is heat treated for long life. They won’t crap out in the middle of a job.

CNC 50 tool trays are numbered for easy sequencingCNC Tool Trays

Get a tray for every spindle size. CNC tool trays for 30, 40, and 50 tapers sequence tools and speed set-up. It’s the gift of productivity.

CNC tool trays keep tools safe too. That’s a two-fer gift.

Easy grips handles give everyone a way to safely transport tools from storage to the work area. Not much in life is really “one size fits all” but these tool tray handles are.

Take the time to learn about their trade and learn the tools that make their lives easier. It’s a great way to say “you are important to me and what you do matters”.

Love, compassion, and respect. It’s all a great gift.

Give your machinist this gift this holiday season. Heck, remember this for their birthday too!

 

Most articles in this blog are about CNC tool trays, CNC tooling and CNC techniques. But we’ve never covered the topic of CNC machining in general.  Until now.

What Does CNC Mean?

CNC is an acronym. It stands for Computer Numeric Control. CNC refers to a machine that cuts, carves, routes, or mills under the control of a computer running sophisticated software. It is not robotics. Saw blades, router bits, drill bits and face mills are tools that are attached to a CNC controlled machine.

Machining in Three Dimensions

Regular mills and other machines operate on an X axis and a Y axis.  Remember math class? The X axis is horizontal line and the Y axis is vertical, perpendicular to the X. On the bed of a machine, the X axis is horizontal and the Y axis is the vertical. But CNC machining operates in 3 dimensions. A CNC machine uses the Z axis. The Z axis defines the movement of the cutter up and down.

Computer Technology Changed Machining

Digital technology changed machining in a big way. Before computers controlled machines, if you needed to drill multiple holes in a work piece, you had to manually operate the drill press up and down and feed the material at the same time. And you didn’t start that process until you inserted the tool in the spindle.

Digital technology created computers and software capable of moving the drill press and feeding the material. Now, CNC instructions tell the machine how and when to move.

Computer assisted drawing (CAD) represented a quantum leap forward in machining.  With CAD, you  design an object using computer software, then use software to convert the design into digital instructions the machine uses to produce work. With CNC, humans use software to control the machinery, not their hands.

cnc tool traysCNC Tool Trays, Saw Arbors and Multi Stops

The Tool Company knows CNC and manual machining. Whether you need a multi-stop for your manual knee mill or CNC tools and CNC tool trays to keep them safe The Tool Company has what you need.

CNC tool trays hold tools for manual machinists, fly cutters work on CNC and manual machines, and saw arbors get you up close and personal, no matter your machine.

Turn to The Tool Company for all your CNC needs.

In the past, we’ve covered CNC tooling, CNC techniques and even how to use CNC tool trays to build a tooling cart. But we’ve never covered the general topic of CNC machining.  Time to fix that.

What Does CNC Mean?

CNC is an acronym for Computer Numeric Control. It refers to machines that cut or carve while being controlled by a computer using sophisticated software instead of a human. You could be using a router, mill or lathe. But this isn’t robotics. Attach saw blades, router bits, drill bits and face mills to a CNC machine and get the job done.

3D Machining

CNC machines run on an X axis and a Y axis. Think back to a piece of graph paper. The X axis runs across the paper on a horizontal line and the Y axis goes up. The bed of a CNC machine is like that piece of graph paper. The X axis is the horizontal and the Y axis is the vertical. But you’ve got more than two dimensions with CNC machining.You machine in three dimensions.  CNC machines are like 3D printers because they recognize the Z axis. The Z axis refers to the movement of the tool up and down.

Digital Technology Changed Machining

Digital technology changed machining forever. Before the marriage of computers and drills, if you wanted to create many holes in a work piece, a human had to manually operate a drill press up and down. And feed the material. First, they manually inserted the drill bit in the spindle. It was labor intensive.

Then someone figured that a computer could control the boring job of operating the drill press. Suddenly a program could contain the instructions to tell the machine how and when to move. The same program could be used to feed the stock.

But the biggest change to machining began with computer assisted drawing (CAD). This technology allowed you to design something using computer software, then take more software to convert the design into a set of instructions that a machine could use to produce the work. Now humans control machinery with software instead of hands.

CNC tool trays, arbors, fly cuttersCNC Tool Trays, Saw Arbors and More

The Tool Company understands machining. Whether you need CNC tools or CNC tool trays to keep them safe and organized, The Tool Company has you covered.  We support American manufacturing. We only sell American made products.

Order your CNC tools and CNC tool trays today from The Tool Company.

The home hobbyist can’t always afford the luxuries in a professional CNC shop. But with a little ingenuity and out of the box thinking, you can replicate those luxuries.  Tool carts are standard for a professional shop. But not every home machinist has the dough to spend on a tool card. No problem. It’s easy to make one yourself.  Just get a few items and put them together. Buy a CNC 40 tool tray or 2 or 3 and a 16 x 30 utility cart.  Here’s what to do.

Find an Inexpensive Utility Cart

Look at Harbor Freight or Home Depot for a sturdy utility cart. Check out teacher supply or office supply stores too.

The size is important. You want a 16 x 30 utility cart. You want one that is on wheels too.  Those wheels give you the most versatility because they make your cart mobile. It doesn’t matter if it is metal or  high-grade plastic.  They aren’t expensive. US General sells them for under $50.  Get a cart that with two or three shelves. The number of shelves you need depends on the number of tools you want to store.  Make sure it is a 16 x 30 cart.

cnc tool traysThe CNC 40 Tool Tray Set Up

Now that you’ve got your tray, you need to hold your tools. So, get the number of CNC 40 tool trays you need for your current tools with room for expansion.  The CNC tool tray sold by The Tool Company is 15 ¾” by 6 ¾”.  That’s the perfect size for your utility cart. See, 4 of these trays can sit side-by-side on each shelf of your cart. That means a simple 2 shelf cart will hold up to 80 of your 40 taper tools.

It’s just that easy to protect your tooling and keep everything in order. Just like the professional shops, but at a fraction of the cost.

Now, this example was for a shop using a 40 taper machine. But it will work with a 30 taper too as long as you get your trays from The Tool Company. That’s because their 30 taper tray is the same dimension. It holds the same number of tools too.  The taper size is the only difference.

What’s Holding You Back?

So why haven’t you done this yet? Do you think it’s no worth it? Bah!

You’ll machine more efficiently. That’s because the tool trays are numbered for easy tool calibration and selection.  You can set up the tools in the proper sequence, set them up in the tray, and save time.

The American Tool Company CNC 30 and 40 tool trays are made of high-impact plastic. They protect your expensive tooling. They even have side ears to make it easy to pick the tray up out of a cart.  It’s like they think of everything.

So what are you thinking? Buy your CNC 40 tool tray from The Tool Company and order your utility cart. You’ll have one of the luxuries of the big guys by the weekend.

Need a gift for your CNC machinist? Why not give them the gift of productivity. Many people don’t think it is possible. Even The Harvard Business Review published an article about productivity and the challenges of data-driven manufacturing. They say the internet of everything is hype and that when it comes to CNC manufacturing “it will be years before we see real productivity gains”.  Well, you can give the gift of productivity gains without the internet when give sequenced CNC tool trays.

How Tool Sequencing with CNC Tool Trays Works

So, if your machinist must transport their tools from the tool crib or tool room to the machine, they must carry a tool tray. So, if thecnc tool trayy are going to carry the tools in a tray, why not in a sequenced tray?

When they put the tools needed for the job in the proper sequence before they get to the machine, they are more productive.  They decrease the tool change time.  At a glance, they will know what tool is next in the sequence.

Make set-up in the tray even easier, give them CNC tool trays with sequence markings!  When it comes to CNC manufacturing, nothing is random. So why should any machinist throw tools on a tray in a random fashion?  When they use a CNC tool tray with sequence markings, there is no mistaking the order of operation.

Your machinist works more efficiently with sequenced tool trays. ‘They’ll love you all year.

Give the Greatest CNC Tools Trays Made in the Greatest Country!

You need the greatest gift for the greatest machinist. That’s CNC tools trays with sequence markings. So, make sure you get a tray made right here in the USA.

The Tool Company sells CNC tool trays in a variety of sizes.  Whether your machinist works with a 30, 40, or 50 spindle taper,  The Tool Company has the tool tray to sequence and transport tools.  The size 30 and 40 trays hold 10 tools.  The size 50 taper tray can handle up to 6 tools.

Each tray is made in the USA of durable, high-impact plastic to protect their tools. They will love the built-in handles.They make it easy to carry from the tool settiCNC tool traysng room to machining floor.

Don’t give a gift made in a foreign country.  Support American manufacturing and buy your machinist a CNC tool tray made in America.  Order today for delivery by Christmas.

It is almost time for Halloween. Ghosts and goblins and zombies are scary. A CNC tool tray is not. Or, at least it shouldn’t be. Don’t be afraid to use a CNC tool tray to protect your tooling.

The Value of a CNC Tool Tray

Tooling is expensive. Dropping your tools is a scary thought. Breaking tooling is horrifying. See, these are the things that should scare you. Buying and using a tool tray protects you. So do it!

cnc tool trayA tool tray for the right taper size allows you to

  • set up tooling sequence in advance
  • safely transport tooling from storage
  • store tooling safely at the machine

When you compare the cost of a damaged tool to the cost of a tool tray, the tray is a clear winner. There are other benefits as well, even if you don’t machine with CNC.  A small shop or hobbyist can be disorganized. Disorganization is not productive. You waste time looking for tools. Using a tool tray forces you to organize your shop, even on a small scale. Little dogs learn by watching big dogs; and big dogs use a CNC tool tray to set up before they start.

Don’t Let Flycutters Scare You Either

If you’re vanquishing fears, don’t let a flycutter scare you either. Flycutters are wicked good for finishing. They cut large and shallow. You won’t get the same finish if you try to use an end mill. But, for some reason green machinists fear flycutters.

You’ve got to be careful when you machine. Period. A properly balanced and mounted flycutter is no more dangerous than any other tool. A homemade flybar is something to be feared. Fear a homemade flycutter. Don’t fear a quality flycutter.

Turn to The Tool Company for CNC Tool Trays and Flycutters

The Tool Company is the home of tools and accessories that don’t scare you. No matter the taper, we have a CNC tool tray that protects your expensive tooling. Each tray has handles for easy and safe transport. Sequencing numbers let you set up the operation before you get to the machine. These trays are backed by a 5 year warranty, like everything sold at The Tool Company.

Get flycutters, arbors, accu-feeds, collet wrenches and multistops too. Buy at The Tool Company and buy American made. We support American manufacturing and won’t sell cheap foreign knock-offs of quality American made products.

 

 

 

 

 

2017 is here and it’s time to take inventory.  So, what’s in every shop? Commercial and hobby shops all  have these things all in common:

  • Machinist doing the work
  • Machine (drill press, lathe, mill, etc) running the tools
  • Tools
  • Tool holders

Naturally there are the things like raw materials, cutting and cleaning fluids, and collets and their wrenches too. Hey and don’t forget chuck and his key! But what every efficient shop must have are the little things that allow all of the big things to work together.  A CNC tool tray is one of those things.

cnc tool trays

CNC Tool Trays by the Tapers

There may be many models of machines but there are just a few milling machine tapers. You will find that most machines have a 30, 40, or 50 taper. As you know, the larger the taper the more powerful the mill. 60 taper machines are extremely large and extremely uncommon.

The idea of a CNC tool is to perform tool set-up in the tool crib or tool storage area. Then you use the tray to safely transport the tools to the machining area. This reduces the risk of tool damage.

Tool carts aren’t easy to navigate between equipment. That makes them a bad idea. Carry a CNC tool tray with handles and navigate even the tightest spaces.

cnc tool trays

Tools Trays at The Tool Company

The Tool Company sells CNC tool trays for 30, 40, and 50 tapers. These trays are made with a high impact plastic. It’s tough enough to protect your your expensive tools. Both Rapid-Switch and NMTB fit.

Locate your tools at a glance.  The open design makes this possible. Each position on the tray is numbered for easy tool sequencing operation. That’s just another reason efficient shops use CNC tool trays.

Like everything sold at The Tool Company, these CNC tool trays are proudly made in the USA. They are proud to serve in your American shop.  Get serious about organization and efficiency in 2017 and start using CNC tool trays.  Order your CNC tool tray today.

 

It doesn’t matter what shop Dad works in, there are a few things that every shop has in common.  You’ll find these things all in all CNC shops:

  • Machines
  • Tools
  • Toolholders
  • Machinists

Of course Dad also has other things in the work environment like the actual work material, fluids, and collet wrenches hanging around as well. The most efficient shops also have the tools that help all of these things work together. If you want to help Dad be more organized and more efficient, then give him a CNC tool tray for Father’s Day.

 

cnc tool tray

CNC Tool Trays for Dads

Different machinists Dads use different machines.  But despite the differences in Dads and the actual CNC machines they use, there are only a couple of different milling machine tapers. That means Dad is most likely using a 30, 40, or 50 machine. For the most part, you find larger tapers on more powerful machines.  As the taper increases; the power increases. Dad might work on an extremely large machine with a 60 taper, but that isn’t common.

A CNC tool tray allows Dad to perform his tool set-up in the tool crib or tool storage area and then transport the tools safely to the machining area.  Dad gets to be efficient and safe.

You might be tempted to get Dad a tool cart, but they are not easy to navigate between equipment. If Dad has a CNC tool tray with handles he can navigate even the tightest spaces in the shop.

Awesome CNC Tool Trays for Awesome Dads

cnc tool tray for 50 taperThe Tool Company sells CNC tool trays for 30, 40, and 50 tapers. They are manufactured from a high impact plastic so Dad’s expensive tools are protected. That will make him smile. And whether he uses Rapid-Switch or NMTB, you’re covered because both will fit.

Dad will be able to locate his tools at a glance because the open design makes each tool visible.  Each position is numbered for easy tool sequencing operation. That’s just another advantage Dad will have when he uses his CNC tool tray!

Show Dad you care about American manufacturing.  Every item sold by The Tool Company is made in the USA.  When Dad retires, that CNC tool tray can his hold shot glasses, golf balls, and billiard balls.

Order Dad’s CNC Tool Tray Today

Shop CNC tool trays and order now for quick delivery. Show Dad you care. Forget the tie; get Dad a gift that he will use day after day. His co-workers will think you are so cool.


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