Mechanical engineer by day, PCNC 1100 owner Vesa Silegren revs things up a bit on the weekends. Performance racing enthusiast and self-taught machinist, when Silegren isn’t out on the course in his Honda CRX, he’s back home in his Chattanooga, Tennessee based shop SV Technologies, LLC.
“When I started racing in the late 1990s, I saw everybody had video cameras in their cars to record the race. I saw a need for a better camera mount so I made a billet camera mount on my manual milling machine. I put it in my car and took it to the track. When the other racers saw it and said, ‘Where did you get that from? Can I get one of those?’ So I made some more and started selling them.”
“I fabricate pretty much all of the stuff I do for the race car by myself on my PCNC 1100,” Silegren continued. “I make helmet hooks, steering wheel hooks, mirror brackets and performance parts for carburetors and exhaust systems.”
FloCool, Silegren’s patented design for oversized spin-on adapters for cooling engine oil are manufactured on the PCNC 1100. “The billet spin on adapter and the oil manifold products are designed to cool engine oil a little bit better. In racing you want to run it as cool as you can and this is one product line that increases performance,” he said.
Born in Finland, Silegren spent his formative years learning machining techniques in his father’s machine shop in Sweden. “My father taught me a lot of the stuff I know today as far as machining goes. I also picked up some CNC courses along the way. But, really, until I bought the Tormach mill I wasn’t able to put it to use.”
The financial decision to purchase a PCNC 1100 came in 2010 when manufacturing demand reached a volume that surpassed the performance of Silegren’s manual mill. “I came across Tormach seven years ago, but I didn’t have the financial means to get one. Then in 2010, my volume was such that I got the PCNC 1100. I have a couple of distributors in the U.S. now, and I pretty much spend my weekends working in the shop.”
Available for contract machining, Silegren advertises his milling, turning, drilling, welding, drafting, and design/build services on his website. “I’ve done support and custom work for racers and gunsmiths. Contract machining is maybe 20-25% of my business.”
Relying on the instructional videos produced by Tormach and SprutCAM America to learn his machine and modeling. “The Tormach website is great and the videos were very helpful as far as making the decision to purchase the PCNC 1100. Even after I purchased the mill, I watched the videos to look at different machining techniques,” Silegren added. “I have AutoCAD here and then I transfer the design over to SprutCAM. I’ve watched many of the SprutCAM video tutorials when I first got the mill and they’re very helpful.”