Red Hot

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Energy, Equipment and Tooling, Fabricating

Electricity is expensive on Vancouver Island. This was a large part of the reason why Pacific Energy Fireplace Products Ltd. had long steered clear of CO2 lasers, opting instead to stick with its tried and true CNC turret punches. Yet fabricators have been successful with lasers for over three decades. Compared to punching, laser cutters […]

Mini Mills

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Equipment and Tooling, Machining

Nineteen minutes into the second period and the University of Ottawa’s women’s hockey team, the Gee-Gees, trails by one. Out of nowhere, the Montreal Carabins’ left wing bruiser Helga Lefèvre smashes Gee-Gees centre Holly McDuff into the boards, fracturing her cheekbone and leaving a ragged gash above Holly’s hairline. Blood turns the blue line red, […]

5 X 5

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Equipment and Tooling, Machining

Tooling up a vertical machining centre is easy. Just bolt a pair of 6 in. machinist vises on the table and call ‘er done. And while this path-of-least-resistance approach may be limited, it’s also fast, easy and cheap. Unfortunately for the owners of five axis vertical machining centres, machinist vises don’t cut the mustard. Five […]

Lightly Touched: Choosing the best marking method for delicate workpieces

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Equipment and Tooling, Machining

Back in my shop days, most workpieces were marked by using hardened steel stamps and a 2-lb. hammer. WHAM! That heavy-handed approach didn’t cut it when the shop began supplying thin-walled aluminum brake sleeves to Boeing. We ordered a bunch of rubber stamps and gently rolled the part number in permanent ink around the sleeve’s […]