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    Head phones, ear buds...

    I've been using over ear bone conducting headphones in the workshop for a couple of years now and they've been great. They don't actually go in your ears so don't affect your ability to hear machines / coworkers etc but you can still hear your music just fine. In noisy environments I use ear...
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    Inspecting NPT Threads

    Thanks for all the replies. I ended up quoting a longer lead with a gauge and a shorter "make it fit" lead with the mating part. Unfortunately I'm in the UK so McMaster isn't a viable option although prices for the gauge are similar over here. I'm reluctant to buy used gauges. Did that when...
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    Inspecting NPT Threads

    It's not something I have considered however I would still need to inspect the thread after to make sure it's within tolerance.
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    Inspecting NPT Threads

    Is there a way to inspect an external NPT thread without the use of a gauge? I've got a customer who wants me to machine a 2" external thread on a part but it's a pretty urgent job and the lead time on a ring gauge is too long. Is it possible to accurately measure the threads without the use...
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    New mini-lathe, tailstock question

    You are right - there should be full contact on the flat faces. There is no real easy fix for this other than to enlarge the Vee groove in the tailstock. Personally, even though I have a few mills in the shop I wouldn't be attempting a repair on that unless it's something I acquired for...
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    Customer puts work on hold

    I agree, I don't like payment up front for general work. I do however insist on new customers paying up front. Sometimes I let it slide if the job is low risk to me (i.e. if they didn't pay I could afford to write it off). On this particular occasion the work in question not only required a...
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    Customer puts work on hold

    That's where we're at just now. We've had the chat their job is the priority for the next week or two. They are a good customer and are still putting work my way so I don't think this has upset the relationship and going forwards they are on credit terms where, so long as I'm not out of pocket...
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    Customer puts work on hold

    I had a new customer approach me for a fair chunk of work last year. I quoted the work and as they were a new customer requested payment up front which all went smoothly. Anyway, shortly after the PO has been placed I am told they are reworking some of parts and that the order is now on hold...
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    Companies managing shop's time

    It's never really bothered me when customers don't pick their parts up on time (apart from I don't like finished parts kicking around for ages). The invoice date is the day it's ready and as long as they're paying for the expedite I make a little extra off of their poor planning. The customer...
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    Run another cycle as everyone leaves

    Depends what your insurance policy says I suppose. Mine states lights out machining is a no-no so personally I set up for the next shift at the end of the day.
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    Silicone Free Coolant

    Thanks for the recommendation - I'm over in the UK so not sure that's an option.
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    Silicone Free Coolant

    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll look into it - I've certainly drank my fair share of coolant so food grade sounds good!
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    Silicone Free Coolant

    Thanks. I spoke to my current supplier and they have come back to me stating all of their coolants contain some silicone. I'd like to get a few recommendations if I need to switch companies. Last time I trusted a coolant rep blindly I ended up having to drain the machine a week later!
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    Silicone Free Coolant

    I'm a job shop and as such turn a lot of different materials. Current coolant has started to take on a green / blue tint due to some brass I've machined recently so I'm planning on switching out the coolant and cleaning the tank / conveyor etc require something that is silicone free for some...
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    Aluminum Bronze Turning in a CNC

    I run it from time to time. Runs fine with similar feeds and speeds compared with 4140 although I've never pushed it to see how far I can go. I've always just popped a fresh insert in and ran it like any other job with no issues although I think it can be prone to grabbing whilst drilling if...
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    Are Industrial market place's like Xometry worth the time for finding new work

    With regards to Xometry I would argue it's worth getting on their approval list by completing the test part. They actually pay you for the test part albeit not much. Either way you're not out of pocket for doing so. My reasoning for doing this is that as a one man operation you can go from...
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    Partial Shipments

    I sometimes do this but then tell the customer something like "I decided to work on and get the lot finished so I could deliver all at once". Happens to me quite a lot though. Customer wants me to rush one or two through out of an order of 5 parts or so. Usually it would take longer in setup...
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    Should I tell my customer that I do work for their customer?

    This is what I was wondering - it shouldn't really make a difference. I just want to make sure I'm not creating a situation further down the line. As it was I was on the phone to my customer anyway so I dropped it in that I'd been working with them for a while now. Made for a bit of...
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    CNC Jobs from online platforms (no prints/drawing/specs)

    Most of these platforms will state the required tolerance on the PO but if there are particular tolerances on certain features then they should be supplying a drawing with this information. If I get a 3D model only I factor in to my quote making inspection drawings. I appreciate you can't do...
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    Should I tell my customer that I do work for their customer?

    Thanks everyone for the input. That's a good idea - this is a new purchasing agent so I don't have that much of a relationship with them at present but it's a nice way of slipping in that I do work for them. I think I'll just pop a statement in the email stating that they're a client of mine...