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Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

3 Important Tips for Novice Machinists

Anyone attempting to set up a mechanical fitting/machining shop can attest to the seemingly steep learning curve. Certainly, getting starting with machining is not a trivial matter at all. However, it is not nearly as overwhelming as it can seem.

The secret, as with many things, is to break up the process into a few simple, actionable chunks.

Study Up on Types of Machines and Machining Tools

If you are setting up a machine shop, chances are that you intend to sell your services at some point. Mechanical fitting is a wide field, so it is important to figure out exactly what types of parts you will be dealing with.

Different parts require different machines to repair and manufacture. Once you’ve chosen your niche, you need to determine the materials and sizes that you will be dealing with.

For example, you may intend to manufacture and repair steel protective casings. In this case, you know that your primary material will be steel, and that you will need fairly accurate machinery (since protective casings are usually built with tight tolerances).

Generally, you can do a lot with a lathe, a bench grinder, and a drill. Learn to use the basic machines, and if any specific needs arise that your machines can’t seem to fulfil, then you can expand to more specific machinery.

Learn to Operate both Manual Machines and CNC

CNC (computer numerical control) is a huge part of modern machining. Computer-aided machining has the potential for far greater accuracy and speed than manual machining. In fact, many people will espouse the superiority of CNC machining over manual machining.

While this is certainly true for top-end machines (that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars), learning the principles of machining through manual operation is still a highly beneficial process.

Manual skills translate to a deeper knowledge of the principles of mechanical work. This not only allows you to operate CNC machines better, but gives you the ability and knowledge to identify and correct problems as they occur.

Master Basic Measurement Equipment

Essential machining equipment goes beyond simply the tools that do the actual machining. Measurement equipment is a vital part of any mechanical shop, and is critical in ensuring that work is completed to the highest degree of accuracy.

Learn to properly and accurately use the following tools:

  • Callipers
  • Micrometer
  • Centre Finder
  • Edge Finder
  • Dial Test Indicator

The above tools should be able to take most of the measurements necessary to carry out mechanical fitting and machining.

To familiarise yourself with their use, practice on a fairly complex part. Find a part (which you know all the dimensions of already) that has holes, curved edges, and multiple angles, and practice using the tools to calculate the dimensions.

If your measured dimensions correspond with the official ones, you know that your measurements have been accurate.

For more information about mechanical fitters or machining in general, contact a company such as Hamilton Engineering.

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Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

5 Ways to Advertise Your Local Business on a Budget

A website and social media presence are both great ways of advertising a local business, but they’re not the only ways to get customers through your front door. If you have a business that needs local customers and clients such as a hair salon or restaurant, you also don’t want to concentrate too much on gaining a worldwide audience as you would with a website, but should concentrate on advertising in your neighborhood. Consider some simple but effective ways of doing this while staying on a budget.

1. Use car signs and bumper stickers

Magnetic car signs (like those available from Ascot Sign Company) are good to use if you need to remove them at certain times, whereas bumper stickers are a good choice if you don’t mind having a permanent sign on your car. These signs get seen by everyone in the neighborhood as you drive around running your errands, and a simple logo and website address can be enough to get customers and clients to want to find out more.

2. Use flags and banners outside your establishment

If you don’t have an obvious entrance then customers and clients may not be able to find you. Using flags and banners not only makes your entrance stand out, it can also catch the attention of anyone driving or walking by. A flag or banner that advertises a sale or other special event can also draw in foot traffic.

3. Create flyers and circulars

You can have flyers and circulars delivered with the local newspaper or with coupon books, or you can walk around the neighborhood and deliver them yourself. In either case you reach your local neighbors directly, more so than creating a website and social media presence, both of which are difficult to target to a local audience.

4. Use online classified ad sites

Classified ads are no longer just found in newspapers but there are many websites that carry local ads that you can place for your business. Use these generously, in various categories. This can help you to reach as wide of an audience as possible.

5. Partner with other businesses in your area

You might work with another business to offer discounts on each other’s services, or to allow marketing material to be posted in both sites. For example, if you cut hair you might offer a discount on a neighboring massage therapist’s services for every hair cut, and they offer a discount on your hair cutting service with every massage. You might allow flyers to be displayed on your counter for a restaurant next door if they put your flyers on their counter as well. Working with local businesses can then turn their customers into your customers.

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Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Aluminum Versus Vinyl Window Blinds

Window blinds are a great option for accessorising your window. Binds offer certain unique advantages over conventional curtains when used for window treatment. However, due to the large number of materials used to make window blinds, it may be a bit confusing to pick the best material for your blinds. Aluminum and vinyl are among the most commonly used materials in the making of window blinds. The article below provides a comparison between aluminum and vinyl as window blind materials.

Physical Appearance

Physical appearance is an important factor to consider when choosing window blind material. This is because the blinds not only serve a functional purpose, but an aesthetic one as well. Aluminum blinds are more adaptable with a large number of interior house designs because aluminum blinds can come in a variety of colours and shades.

In contrast, the spectre of colour choices for vinyl window blinds is quite limited, and a large number of vinyl blinds will come covered with a wood-grain surface. In as much as this is a disadvantage in the context of this comparison, it is an advantage in the sense that homeowners need not worry about the additional cost of painting vinyl window blinds.  

Durability

Buying window blinds is not an every-day activity. This is why you need to ensure that your chosen blind material offers great durability when compared to other blind materials.

Aluminum window blinds are known for their great durability thanks to the tough nature of the parent material used to make them. This makes it very difficult for the mentioned blinds to break or suffer cosmetic damage, thereby enhancing their durability by a significant margin.

On the other hand, vinyl window blinds are also durable but cannot outlast aluminum blinds. Superficial or cosmetic damage, such as stains or scratches, are more visible on vinyl blinds. These blinds also don’t have the structural strength to resist pressure as well as aluminum blinds do. They will therefore reach their breaking limit faster than their aluminum counterparts.

Energy Efficiency

A comparison between vinyl and aluminum window blinds would not be complete without comparing their levels of energy efficiency.

As a metal, aluminum readily conducts heat, which makes it inferior to vinyl in terms of energy efficiency. Vinyl window blinds have similar insulation properties with aluminum blinds with the added advantage of moisture resistance. This is why vinyl blinds are the best for use in areas that experience high condensation levels.

There is great importance attached to choosing the right materials for your window blinds.  Be sure to compare various properties of different blind materials before you make your final decision. For more information, contact a business such as Homemakers Lifestyle Blinds, Awnings & Security.

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