Yes, I can make that for you…..

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Moni, who I now consider a friend, came to me by a mutual friend. Moni had a need for a shape cutter. It looked like a small cookie cutter though she never told me what it was to cut. She had a couple problems; first her sample cutter was a little too large for her needs. Second, Moni wanted to cut 100 pieces at a time, not one!     This is exactly the type of challenging I love.       A prototype device, all food grade stainless and not a slam dunk.

raw tube material SS
The first thing I had to do was to find a tube material that would form into the desired shape and size.
Next, I had to design and fabricate several swaging tools to form the tube into the shape. After all 100 pieces were parted off, sharpened and de-burred, I went into the forming of this shape.
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This was a several step process. First I squeezed each tube section into a slight triangle.
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Then I pressed an armature into the cutter to shape the three outer lobes. A lathe chuck then formed the final shape. The last step for the shape cutters was to press the sedge armature out of the shape. Repeat 99 times.
After all the shapes are made I used a water jet cutting machine to cut out 100 tight fitting shapes in a 1/8″ stainless plate. I also cut handles and stiffeners for the device. Each cutter has to fit perfectly in the corresponding hole so when fit, a simple fuse weld around the top will be all that’s needed.
fit up for fuse weld

    fit up for fuse weld

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This also keeps the heat input low and leaves a smooth cleanable surface. Even with this low temp TIG process, the plate warped like a potato chip. With the use of the handles and stiffeners, I was able to maintain the arc shape desired  for the cutting action we wanted.
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Some finish polishing, final straightening  and the cutter is ready. This project is a perfect example of what TRUEFORM DESIGN is all about. A person with a dream of a tool that doesn’t exist, and a company that creates that dream into reality. What’s your dream? What do you need to make your life or business better?

The perfect gift

cigar

We are not close to Christmas. We are several months past my birthday and Fathers Day is long gone. Therefore, its now safe to discus something very important.
; The Perfect Gift. Everyone knows time is money. So why do people give gift cards? Gift certificates and cards are like giving negative time. To have to go out and shop is a time suck for most people. I guess I’m not like most people, I don’t like to shop. The perfect gift for me is time. Time by myself is usually even better. The best way to receive a block of time all by myself is with , of all things, a cigar. With the gift of a cigar, it’s basically like giving me an hour all by myself with nothing to do but enjoy the smoke, smell, taste, and the calm that overtakes me when smoking a cigar. Nobody in my family wants to hang around me when I smoke a cigar, which is bad when I want to hang with them, but not so bad when I need an hour to be alone. Friends that share my love of cigars are, well, there aren’t any. Only my brother will smoke with me. He lives a busy life two hours away, so we don’t get more than a few times a year to share a good smoke. Another problem is that all the fine establishments near by won’t allow me to smoke! Never the less, a fine cigar is still the best gift you can give, as far as I’m concerned.

If anyone reads this, and you want, I’ll be happy to bring you a cigar and share an hour with you. My gift to you…

A Hammer, Nail and a Welder

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This is a tool being milled to shape and size.

A wise man once told me when I was just starting out as an apprentice at BEPEX, “Scott,” he said, ” What we are doing here is special. We are elite. There are not many like us.” He had my attention. After all, I was just a new apprentice. I had started as a grinder. That is one step up from the very bottom; sweeper. I actually had the huge responsibility of polishing, de-burring, sanding, surfacing and general “clean up” of all types of fabricated items. From small hand held components to huge school bus sized (and much bigger) pressure vessels. As a grinder, the finished product that we shipped often was last touched by me. In the food and chemical industry, finish is quite a big deal. After a year or so, I won a welding/ fabrication apprenticeship. I can still remember looking into the eyes of my mentor as he slowly explained his aged theory. He went on,” Scott, in every garage across Sonoma county, and anywhere for that matter, you will find a hammer, nails, a screw driver or two, a hand saw and other carpentry tools. You will rarely find a welder. A milling machine. A shear. A press break, etc…” He was right. That day I realized that, he and other mentors over the years would share with me a new language. New skill sets. Contacts. Age old processes that have not changed for 100 years. And the ability to invent new processes to accomplish a desired result. He and others would share a culture not understood by many but critical for everyday life of everyone on earth. I have been trusted with a lot more than job instructions or a career. It wasn’t until I started Trueform that I realized that people sometimes need someone that speaks the language. Someone that can identify a problem and come up with a manufactured solution. I am that person.

So, what’s your problem? And how can I develop a fix for you?

Blog Topics upcoming…

Now that Morgan @ The Central Office has given me the opportunity to be a blogger, here is a short list of the upcoming blog topics I plan on touching on;

-What I do at Trueform

-The perfect gift

-The finish is everything

-Hammer, nail and a welder

-Metalworking’s biggest misconceptions

-If I was a metal…

-Art   Craft   Science

 

No certain order and I may not get to all of them but just stay tuned and I’ll do my best.IMG_4908

Who would want to read a post from me you ask? I have no idea. Michael Hyatt, one of my digital mentors, started his blog to organize his thoughts, explore new ideas and document his journey among others. I wish to do the same. So, if nobody ever reads this, fine. It will be a huge help to me just to get ideas down on paper. If everyone starts reading, watch out, I’ll need your credit card!

 

I’ve done that like a thousand times….

Really, one thousand times. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything a thousand times. Maybe hundreds, but thousands? Recently my son’s Little League contacted me because they wanted to do something special for a coach that has been in the league for 40 years. John Perry has coached now, over 1000 little league games! Quite a feat! In fact, he has coached more Little League games than anyone in history as I understand it. Therefore when the Westside Little League wanted to name the field where they play after John, they knew a sign would be required. One of the board members contacted me to see if I could bid the job. The budget would be tight and the delivery date was critical. It would need to be delivered for a special ceremony dedicated to Mr. Perry. And of course, the colors would have to be that of the Oakland A’s. Well the job was a success and forevermore our field will be known as “John Perry Field”. I am humbled to be part of this project.  The back story of John’s years of dedication are what make the job so rewarding. What is your story? What will your sign say? Can I bid it for you?

Scott

Trueform – definition

TRUE: to bring (an object, wheel, or other construction) into the exact shape, alignment, or position required.

FORM: the visible shape or configuration of something.

I have been dreaming up what I wanted Trueform to be for about a year now. During that time, I have worked on some really interesting projects for others and myself. In the process, I am always fine tuning and discovering what this company will be. I hope to write about the progress along the way here. I’ve never been a writer but I believe it can be very useful to gather and process ideas. Also to showcase special jobs I’ve done. I have a few large possible projects on the horizon but I am also excited about a few new product samples I will be finishing up soon. I know these products will be well received in the local bars and restaurants as well as auto retailers. I think those targets are ambitious enough, I’ll update my progress soon.

 

Scott

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