CNC Router Expert Turns to a Tormach Mill

As the host of the CNC Router Tips podcast, Bill Griggs is well-known in the world of CNC routers, but now he’s taken to machining harder materials with his PCNC 1100.

Griggs considered getting a CNC mill with a single purpose. “I was looking to make one part. So, I started looking for which machine could handle that. A machine that I could operate in my house, on my schedule, and using my creativeness to make it. The PCNC 1100 answered that.”

With a very specific purpose, Griggs bought his mill to make parts for CNC routers. “The part that I make is a design that I created to help people who use CNC router tables set up their workpiece.” As he explains, setting up your workpiece on any machine can be a daunting task without the right tools. “Which is where I came up with the triple edge finder – it allows you to find your X, Y, and Z, as well as a few other things.”

Griggs was looking for a tool that could help him make the parts he needed, while still fitting in his small shop and not breaking the bank. “For my machine, we’re talking about $23K to $24K … that’s not something I can just reach into my pocket and drop down. So, I started by saying, ‘I’m making this little part … how many of these do I need to sell to pay for this machine every month?’ When I did the math, I realized I was selling enough in a week to pay for a month of the machine.”

While there are other machines that could do the same work that he needed, Griggs says that they were overkill. “They had things I didn’t need. With my 1100, I can come up with an idea, do some prototyping, research it, and push out a new product at will. I don’t know of any other way that a guy in his garage can come up with a product and get it out there this easily.”

Making money with his parts helps, but that isn’t his driving force. “I want to see people getting out there and taking a shot with their CNC equipment. My mom was a teacher, and she used to tell us that we needed to teach what we learn. She had this saying, ‘each one teach one.’ ” Griggs continues, “I feel that responsibility – to carry on that legacy. That lesson stayed with me. That’s why I do the CNC Router Tips podcast. That’s why I talk about the Tormach. Any information that I can gain in this lifetime that I don’t share with somebody or teach somebody, is wasted information.”

Griggs isn’t only cranking out his triple edge finder for routers, he’s also busy developing new parts and concepts. “My business aspirations aren’t just to sell parts. I could see this growing into parts, software, and services, and other online channels.”

He’s looking to not simply grow his business, but pay it forward by educating people in the world of CNC. “It’s all about going out, taking something and making it yours, and then helping somebody with whatever it is that you make.”

Check out the CNC Router Tips podcast.

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Chris Fox

Chris comes from a publishing background with years of experience in science, technology, and engineering publications. Previously an editor with Product Design and Development and Gizmag, he has a keen eye on the maker community and the changing landscape of the world of prototyping, product development, and small-scale manufacturing. Chris has been working with clients to create Tormach's customer success stories since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheChris_Fox

Chris Fox

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