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    Removing gas nitride residue from stainless

    We have a family of new parts made of 400 series stainless, that have to be hardened and then gas nitride. They come back incredibly hard (1300 vickers!) but with a mottled yellow-grey residue all over them. The residue doesn't wash off with the usual things I have tried (simple green in...
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    Material Sourcing forum?

    Everyone here's having trouble finding some material, or believing the BS quote they did manage to get for some material. Doe anyone else think that having one centralized forum here for materials sourcing and pricing threads would make sense? I mean, we don't have a ton of power against the...
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    Copper $30 a pound???

    I just got a quote back on 1/4" diameter 182 copper at thirty bucks a pound from one of the usual suppliers. Not ground or anything. Around 100 pounds. I haven't had to buy copper recently and sure, everything is up double but come on. Is this just a "we don't have any, go away" quote or is...
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    WTB 3 axis automatic surface grinder

    I need a 3 axis automatic surface grinder, in the 10"x20" range. It's just for squaring up laser cut blanks before machining, so it doesn't need to be fancy, but it needs to do a lot of them. Coolant would be nice. If anyone has something like that they're not getting good use out of near...
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    Shutdown: How long could you go?

    Well, it was an interesting few hours this afternoon at our Pittsburgh R&D shop. Mid-afternoon the governor announced a closure of all "non-essential" businesses in the state for two weeks. No specifics. This evening they issued clarification saying that "Industrial manufacturing" was on the...
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    BSP fitting source?

    I need a source for relatively low pressure 2-1/2" BSP fittings to connect to a vacuum pump. McMaster and the rest of my usual suspects only go up to 2". Even just a bushing with 2-1/2 BSP on the outside and 2 NPT on the inside would get me there. Before I go buy some 55 degree threading...
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    "The oil was expensive..."

    This probably isn't the right place to post this, but I have to vent somewhere. I went to look at a fairly recent used machine, a Thermwood CS45 5x10 CNC router with C axis. 4 years old. Nice machine, 150k or so new. Guy says he never really got the hang of it and closed up his shop. Broker says...
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    Brother Speedio S500X1 16k

    I have six (mostly) matching Brother Speedio S500X1 machines. Four are from 2016 and two are 2015. I got them for doing electronic cigarette cases, and that market has cooled significantly, at least as far as machined parts go. I only have enough work to keep four busy, so I'm looking to sell...
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    Why are wood cnc machines so cheesy?

    I'm looking to get a CNC router, some for wood but mostly to do polycarbonate and large parts for enclosures. I don't need to run it all the time, and I'm not a cabinet shop, so I need accuracy more than I need blazing speed. I just can't seem to find find a medium-duty 5x10 machine with ATC...
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    Okuma lathe how to use live tool with spindle turning

    I'm trying to run a live tool drill (on center) while I'm turning the main spindle on an Okuma lathe with P300 control. I'm getting an Error 1763-01 which says that I commanded the live tool without enabling the C axis. Which I did, obviously. Does anyone know how to defeat this interlock? The...
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    Small Contact Pin - 10k pieces

    I've been making these in small quantity on a CNC lathe, but that's very much not the right tool for any volume. Eventually they'll be cold headed, but we're not to that stage yet. These are pretty small (.208 long and .075 diameter) so they should go on a very small Swiss. I need an initial lot...
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    Brother HS-70A Wear parts source?

    I'm looking at picking up a Brother HS-70A for in-house tooling, fixturing and prototyping work. I know the Brother EDMs are orphans, but it seems like you can get aftermarket wear parts for the earlier ones. The HS-70A was only on the market for a few years. Those of you who have them, where...
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    More auctions - a harbinger of economic doom?

    I've been seeing a massive uptick in the number of auction advertisements in my inbox for the past few months. Even some with shiny late model equipment purchased after the last recession but old enough to be paid off. We've been dead slow for the past few months. Are anyone else's recession...
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    How much does a crash reduce the value of a machine?

    I was heading up to a local machine tool dealer to look at a demo machine they were planning to change out for a new one. About a year old, 600 on hours, 30 cutting hours. 10 minutes before I get there I get a call "yeah, you probably shouldn't come up, we crashed it..." Well hell, I was...
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    Rapid injection molders that are actually any good?

    I really need to find a reliable prototype injection molder. I just lost a month and $17,000 on Xcentric Mold. Without getting into it, not going to ever deal with those chuckleheads again. Can't even produce geometrically correct parts, let alone to tolerance, and want me to pay them to fix...
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    Welding extremely small wires

    I need to weld five 36 gauge type T thermocouples at right angles to a length of 28 gauge nickel 200 wire for a test fixture I am building. Which is a bit nasty to begin with, but here's the real kicker. I have to weld the two thermocouple wires to each other and the carrier 28 gauge wire...
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    How many jobs have your CNCs created?

    There's yet another gloom and doom thread running where the robots are destroying jobs. But in another reality, I've built my company from scratch around automation, so any jobs we have are a net gain. Further, if it wasn't for automation I'm certain that only engineering, and not manufacturing...
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    Does anyone actually turn with a Brother M140X2?

    I need a machine for the engineering bay so I stop pulling machines off production work every time I make a prototype or a one-off. Right now we have two Y axis live lathes and 7 Brothers, plus some other stuff. It seems like, if the turning functionality of the M140X2 is real rather than a...
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    What should I pay to hire a manager for a new shop?

    I'm looking to move my machining operations into a new building (in a different state) from my electronics operations. I'll be there two or three days per week most weeks, but I will want a shop manager to run the day to day. New shop will be Pittsburgh area. It'll be a captive shop, so no...
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    Fiber laser recommendation for thin sheets?

    I'm looking at adding a fiber laser here for prototyping and some specific production. However, we are an electronics shop so what we do ranges from tiny (smaller than a dime) to pretty tiny (fits in the palm of your hand easily) It seems like most of the bigger manufacturers are concentrating...
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