Tormach Tooling System: What’s New and What’s Next

The TTS line has been an exceptionally popular and successful line of products.  It’s also been pretty dynamic, with a continuous series of improvements and extensions.  Some of the changes are not all the obvious, but there’s a lot of engineering hours behind them.

Few people have noticed that there is now a dimple on the set screw holders.    It’s opposite the set screw, 180 degrees.  That design change hit the streets a little more than a year ago.  Another one is the double alignment slot on the R8 collet.  I think we’re the only place in the world that puts two alignment slots in an R8 collet.  Any guesses on what these are about?

You probably guessed it, it’s for balance.  With the development of the PCNC 770 we realized that we’re probably the only company in the world to take an R8 spindle to 10,000 RPM.  Naturally we wanted to consider all the ramifications of that.  The imbalance of a standard design is really very small.  We did a lot of performance testing at 10K and found that nobody could detect the difference between a balanced and unbalanced tool or collet in sound or in the surface finish.  Technical staff here like fancy instrumentation systems, so we got an accelerometer and vibration meter and did some additional testing.  The test equipment showed a clear difference between the balanced and unbalanced model so we decided to move to the balanced design, despite the fact that there’s no observable difference in cutting.  The difference is undetectable at 5000 RPM, so it only matters on the PCNC 770.

One new arrival is a tool tightening fixture, on the web on one of the TTS pages.

There are more new TTS tools in ocean shipment at the moment.  These include an ER16 collet holder and a TTS edge finder.  They should be here in a few days, showing up on the web site soon.

Other new tools are in queue for design and testing.  No specific dates, but we’re looking at developing a number of tool holders in the coming months.  These include:

  • TTS Slitting Saw based on the modular series so it would have different extension lengths.
  • TTS mounted Haimer 3D Zero Master. Very cool product, only made cooler by the addition of a quick change TTS mount.
  • TTS carbide insert chamfer tool.
  • TTS fly cutter, or perhaps a fly cutter set.

If you’re hot to get any one of these accelerated for release, or if you’ve got other ideas of what we should make, please let us know.  We like making new tools and we’re always looking for ideas.

Remember, Tighten your Tools

While we’re on the subject of TTS, we occasionally hear that some people have issues with the tool slipping.  This shouldn’t be a problem if used correctly.  Always keep the tools and collet clean.  Remember the drawbar should be tight for heavy cutting.  Damn tight.  We’re talking about 25 to 35 foot lb.  Don’t worry about the drawbar threads.  The drawbar is a wear item.  Lubricate it with anti-seize and replace it when it looks worn.

We’ve heard a variety of perspectives on this subject. Some people clean their tools with solvents while others swear by certain brands of detergents. Some lubricate the outside of the collet and put an abrasive past on the inside of the collet. A few people will roughen a tool with sandpaper to get a better grip on it.

All those anecdotal stories prompted us to get geeky on the subject. We’ve just completed a disciplined series of tests to measure pull forces. Look for a White Paper next week with specific recommendations backed with data. We’ll post it here as well as on the main website in our whitepaper library.

PS: Thanks for great response to last weeks lathe post. Many great suggestions that we will be taking hard looks at in the next few months as things move forward.


5 thoughts on “Tormach Tooling System: What’s New and What’s Next

  • Avatar
    October 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Greg: Again, great to see all of this new information. Coincidentally, I was looking on the Tormach website for some information and, after spending about 90 minutes of browsing (I found the info, but kept browsing), I have to say that the website needs to be better organized. There are too many nuggets of great information which are scattered on different pages, lightboxes, pdf’s or in different sub-pages. The lack of a clear hierarchy makes it it difficult to remember where you are or where you found something. This problem is exacerbated as Tormach introduces new mills, accessories, etc. I can only hope it gets worse with a new ATC :).

    Another tip: the complete product list page ( should include a link to each product’s respective page (picture, price, details, etc). OR searching for the part number should yield that result. I am putting together my order and wanted to read more about the video extension cable to see if I needed it; it was difficult to find by navigating through the PCNC 1100 accessories page, the complete parts page didn’t have a link, and using the search feature for “30280” yielded terrible results.

  • Avatar
    October 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I like all of the new information and applications coming out as well. Out of those proposed tools, the slitting saw would be the most useful for me especially if you did a video testing different feeds and speeds. Slitting is always a pain for me usually because my cheap holder makes the saw only cut with a few of the teeth fully and I can’t seem to get dialed in on feeds and speeds.

  • Avatar
    October 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Those Haimer 3D edge finders are the bees knees for zeroing. The only bummer is mine’s a 20mm shaft like most of them. How about a precision-ground TTS-to-20mm adapter?

  • Avatar
    October 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    While we are on the topic of TTS holders, I ordered a new batch recently and noticed the collar portion is now a LOT thicker than it was in the very first generation of holders. Can you comment on what drove that design change? Balance again?

  • Avatar
    November 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Would like to see a TTS tool holder for a 1/8″ diameter tool, yes I have read all the reasons why you don’t currently make them (runout, lack of Weldon flats on small tools, etc), however for those who use a lot of small tools in a non precision enviroment it is too costly to have a bunch of collet TTS holders for these small tools. It would be easy for a user to grind a flat on their own end mills. When engraving text or designs in either plastic or metal the runout of a tool is a non issue, I also cut out shapes from 1/8″ thick plexiglass and the tolerance is wide open on those. Thanks for all the great other products so far.

Comments are closed.