The forth session that I attended was Introduction to CNC Tool Tables and Work Offsets and it was presented by Nolan Serink. Nolan went over the various methods to build a tool library in Mach3 and even touched on the set-up of the the Automatic Tool Changer. These are all things that are covered in the Tormach literature, but it was good to see Nolan go through this step by step. There were also some knowledgable Tormach owners in the group so they even added their insight into the mix. There are always a million ways "to skin a cat", but I welcome getting many different perspectives in order to find the way that works best for me and my application. I spent some time in in the Workshop room taking pics of the various Tormach mills that were set-up with different cabinets. I may have to build one of these for my machine as i find myself making big messes and this would make for a cleaner work environment. I really love the lights in these as well as the spindle light on a couple of the machines shown above. I walked away from this workshop wishing that I owned a tool touch off tool as well as a digital height gauge; I wouldn't mind an ATC as well if I had the money.
I went to two other workshops at the end of the day. One on Cutting Tool Section for Beginners conducted by Andy Grevstad and SprutCAM Case Studies conducted by Jacob Steuber. Sorry for not having any pics of these two workshops or the Tormach classroom (which is a very nice setup). Both Andy and Jacob did an excellent job and although I am not a SprutCAM user, I found many features that Jacob introduced very informative and insightful. I have a feeling that I will be taking a more serious look at SprutCAM in the near future based on what Jacob showed.
Those two sessions wrapped up the day, I filled out a survey form (and then Tormach gave us all 10% off cards) and then said goodbye to everyone that I had met during the open house event. If Tormach plans on doing this in the future, I would highly recommend attending. The Open House was the perfect mix of showing the Tormach product line and education on CNC machining. Regardless of owning a Tormach machine or not, I would highly recommend attending. There were NO SALES PEOPLE at the this event and I don't imagine you will ever see a sale person at Tormach. Tormach is different than most CNC companies as you can easily see what things cost if you are interested in purchasing and there aren't any people trying to reach a sales quota. Their machines are well built machines, and for the money I think you would have a hard time getting anything in this size range that holds this kind of tolerances and repeatability. I guarantee that if you buy a machine from Tormach that you will get THE BEST customer service ever and that you will always be able to talk to a local person if you have a problem. This is a small company with big ideas that is able to meet the needs of whatever size business or hobby you happen to have. I think the biggest strength of Tormach is the people that work there. If you just want to talk shop, their employees are interested in speaking to you as everyone there seems to be an CNC enthusiast and interested in sharing tips and ideas for making parts. They have first hand knowledge of what their products can do and they are connected to their customers and what they are using their machines for. This Open House was proof that they want to build relationships with their owners as well as potential customers and I walked away from the event knowing that I made the best choice when I decided to do business with Tormach. Thanks for everything, Tormach!