Manual Mill DEMO


Recently a client purchased a bench top milling machine for his home shop.  I have been commissioned to teach an introductory lesson on manual milling. The two hour Demo will include tooling, work holding, cutter types and holders, indicating parts in line, and “tramming the head” among other things. We will meet in Vallejo at his shop and I have room for one more person. If you want to learn some basics of manual milling in a hands on shop environment, feel free to contact me. First come, first served. Materials will be provided, date will be 6/11 or 6/18. Cost will be $80.

What’s in a Door Handel?


door hardware, stainless steel
                               Custom Door Handles  
custom stainless hardware
Interior and exterior view
custom stainless steel , brushed finish, custom hardware
Double door custom handles, stainless steel, hand brushed finish.



Custom door handles are one of the first things that people notice when they approach home, business or restaurant. It is normally the very first thing someone touches. The next emotion or memory they have will be framed in the reference of that very first touch. Sure, you could have your guests enter through a standard “straight from the hardware store” door knob or handle, but think of the impact that a custom door handle would make. Perhaps the logo of your business is the first thing touched, or as you pull the door of the bike shop open, you notice a bicycle handle bar in your hand. This would engage your guest before he or she even enters your shop. I think she would have a sense that you care about her shopping experience if you went to such lengths wow her.  Recently TRUEFORM completed a job like this. For the home owner, no off the shelf handle would work for her custom double door. After we consulted, I designed a handle that she and her husband loved that also solved a problem. Unfortunately the door was purchased with standard hardware bores already milled. This limited the custom options that were desired. My design incorporated the use of the pre-bored holes and resulted in a great custom look that the client was looking for. The construction material is all 316 Stainless Steel. And a hand brushed steel finish was employed. The result is a stunning effect with the eccentric radii and contrast between the deep mahogany wood and the bright smooth stainless.  Imagine what effect a custom handle would have on your door. Contact Scott at Trueform Design for a free consult of your situation.

What have I been working on?

machined parts

What have I been working on you ask?

a personal Electric vehicle with exciting cutting edge concepts

a Large custom home remodel that requires custom railing, desks, benches with integral alcohol burners and out door façades.

developing an invention that will hopefully be showcased in every pet store in the US

a custom door handle, designed and installed

a portable staging system

a custom display for a pipe connector manufacturer

along with the development of my line of products for the retail and restaurant industry. Yes, that is broad and has been keeping me quite busy. What can I work on for you?

Big Magnetic “S”

Letter magnetic
“S” Magnetic / chalk board


Happy New Year to you! I hope your holidays were as great as ours! Check out our new magnetic wall hanging in my living room. It held all of our Christmas cards this year. We can do all letters or numbers, anything you like. We like the raw metal surface but you can chalkboard paint them, powder coat, zinc or Galvanize, whatever. Trueform is here to customize for you. As 2014 starts out, we are working on all types of projects. From sporting goods to construction, commercial replacement parts to custom novelty items. If its metal (plastic, carbon fiber, wood, etc…) we can have one made for you, or one thousand…

The Christmas table.

candle holder, center piece, metal work

I am a sucker for miniature Christmas tree center pieces on the table for Christmas dinner. If not that, perhaps some holly around a big red candle like my Mom has put out for decades. I think the little red holly berries have all fallen off by now. However, if you are ready to turn a new leaf and do something different this year, may I suggest this 3/16″ thick steel, waterjet cut “Grass Candle Holder” from my Etsy store. None of your friends have one and you can still wrap old  plastic holly around it…


Merry Christmas to all.



How do your Customers know what you want them to know?

wine label holder
Hold cards, labels or place settings.


In your wine store, you don’t want your customers grabbing bottles, rifling through stacks of bottles just to find the last Merlot in the Zin display. How better to communicate with your customers than with custom label holders? Just put one of these classy handmade label holders in front to identify exactly what you have for sale. The beauty of these label holders is that they can be changed out quickly and easily. And best of all, you don’t buy them at Costco like every other tasting room out there! Fixtures like this set your self apart from others. Let me set you up with a complete set of label holders. I can even custom design units with your logo or an emblem that conveys your brand while educating your customers. What do you want your customers to know? It is my job to design a clever way to help you answer this question. From label holders to plaque holders and banner stands, My team and I are dedicated to clear communication of your message while selling your brand.

GOOD DESIGN and a powerful LINK

When designing a part or product, there are several things you can do to reduce the overall cost of manufacture. For years managing a machine shop, I have come across some terrible drawings. The ones on the napkins or scratch paper are sometimes the best. Often times, machined partscompanies retain high level engineers that have never made anything. Of course this may not be their fault but designing parts that can actually be made with machine shop tools is a learned skill. Recently, we were machining a cover with an O-ring groove. The print had no flatness callout. When we asked the customer how flat the plate needed to be, their answer was, ” you know pretty flat, but don’t machine it flat.” Now the tolerance for the depth of the O-ring groove is +/- .005. There is absolutely no way that can be achieved with out machining the surface of the plate. Of course when the plate came in from the customer, it had a bow in it roughly 3/16″ or .190″ This required grinding and pressing before we could even touch it.

  This type of problem is so common. Designers always forget the most important information, or just assume that the fabricator or machinist knows what the designer was thinking. We all see parts differently and seldom do I just guess correctly. There are two ways that engineers and designers can combat this expensive cycle; education, and experience.   Experience- Even if an engineer doesn’t actually make a part, just having him or her in the shop while the machinist or fabricator is building the item drawn, can be a huge advantage. We have had our customer’s engineers call or stop by so they can really see some of the issues we deal with, and it cam be extremely helpful for all involved.   Education-   This is where my blog post may be most helpful… Last summer, I made a connection with a local shop that specializes in very high end complex parts made in difficult materials. They are a wonderful group of guys and gals ready and willing to help out when the parts get a little too fancy for our capabilities. Over the years, the CEO has developed an E-book that deals with these issues in a real world way. This e-book should be required reading for ALL designers and Mechanical engineers. Following these points will save an immense amount of time, money and frustration when the designs can be easily made. Most of the time small insignificant changes made to the drawing can save hours. Engineers, please read this short book and set yourself high above your competition.

go to this link,  and click on, Designing Cost Effective Machined Parts                         ‘

How do you cut PVC?

I’m glad you asked. Anyone can cut PVC. The plumbing in your house is probably made of PVC. You may have worked with PVC in your sprinkler system like I have. The PVC we work with at Trueform is much different however. Instead of 3/4″ or 1/2″ that you would use at your home, try 12″ and forget about nice and easy 90deg cuts. Our customer, Mitered Drain came to us seeking another supplier for the difficult 18deg cuts required in their PVC products. The current project they are working on is for a high tech company’s new facility in Texas. Mitered Drain supplies high quality, simple runoff drains for residential and commercial markets. Their design employs a very difficult to cut, acute angle in thick walled PVC, then a custom manufactured grate is fastened to the cut surface. Trueform has developed a technique to reproduce this sharp angel cut leaving a smooth machined cut every time. By listening to what the customer needed and developing a repeatable process to make these cuts, Trueform has made a great relationship with Mitered Drain for years to come. Part of this process was to design and fabricate this cutting device that finish cuts the angle on the PVC. It basically becomes a manual milling machine that mills the rough cut flat. Each part comes out perfectly like the last. Consistency, accurate, just what the customer wanted. Trueform’s goal is to build solutions like this for you and your company. Please contact me anytime for a free consultation.


PVC CUtter
  custom cutting device

Whats New?

Grand Tetons, Beer
Yes, that is a Grand Teton Sweetgrass American Pale Ale posing with my brother in front of the GRAND TETONS!

Whats new? everything. I have not posted lately because I have just returned from a whirlwind trip to Wyoming to celibrate my grandmothers 90th birthday. While my Dad, brother and I were there, we went on sevral shop tours. Wyoming is machine, fab and toy shop central. Who knew? The oil fields are very dependent on local machine shops as well as the huge AG business around there. And when everyone is done working in the shops or in the field, they go home to play in their personal shop. I must have viewed over 75 motorcycles (indoor only) , a few boats, many many cars including perfectly restored 60s’ and 70s’ muscle cars, snowmobiles (not ‘snow machines’ in this part of the country)and more than one race car. I was born in Wyoming and I have never been more proud of that fact. The people of Cody WY are the proudest people I have ever met. Not in a bad way, just in an honest way. I cant wait to go back. Great landscape, great people, great towns, great beer. Next time there will be some vintage dirt bike riding- no joke.

If I was a metal

candle holder, center piece, metal work

If I had to chose a metal that best reflected my personality, what would it be? This question was posed by a fellow metal worker on his website. Each employee got to chose a metal and describe why it was a representation of themselves. Honestly I’ve never thought about it much. Once when a Church team leader wanted to identify different groups, he asked each what our favorite color was. He would then make us identification tags in that color. Each team of three or four got their own color. People got really into this. When it came to my turn, I answered the honest truth; the color of metal. He just looked at me.  I ended up with grey name tags for my team.

Of course raw metal can be any color of the rainbow depending on the material makeup, heat treatment, condition etc. I think that’s why I find it so interesting; its like people or feelings, hard to define. For me to answer the question, I would like to say some exotic hard to machine “unobtanium” but I’m probably more like plain old carbon steel. Sure, its abundant, low cost and a bit dirty, but the most beautiful things can be made out of it.From a simple candle holder, to a bridge that connects across the San Francisco Bay.

Obviously , as I see it, its the design rather than the material itself that speaks. Great design trumps technical mumbo jumbo. Not to say that material choice isn’t of paramount importance, but don’t forget great design as well. I would love to design something for you.


So what type of metal would you be? Or, if that’s too difficult, what’s your favorite color?…