A defining characteristic of my business has always been personally making most of the components I sell, for example all of my welded components are made in my hangar, Conversely Gold parts , like the hubs and the oil filter housings, have been made to my specifications by the same Florida aerospace machine shop for 25 years. The CNC machines that make them cost hundreds of thousands of dollars .
In the last 18 months I have spent a great deal of time and a cubic yard of money to increase the percentage of products I make in house. The first Tool and system I bought was a Van Norman 944S Boring bar, so I bore and hone all the cylinders I sell right in the hangar. Second, I purchased a new MillRite, the CNC in the video, it makes any flat part like top covers, alternator brackets, ring gears etc. The third system is a Winona PH-2000-12 seat and guide machine to rebuild Corvair cylinder heads. The whole goal is to have better control of the time line of parts production, and to directly control the quality.
None of this happens without the assistance of good friends. The PH-2000 was picked up in remote Arkansas and brought to my shop by a old friend: the Van Norman was loaded by a crew of my friends and one of them went to great lengths to track down modern tooling for it; the selection, installation, upgrade and training on the MillRite is all the work of one friend, 601XL Builder/Pilot Ken Pavlou. I have had it in operation for nearly a year, but Ken was just here and completed radical modifications of his own design, to make it vastly better, and importantly, much easier for The Troglodyte in Chief , (me) to effectively use.
This installation is the last major production upgrade for the year. We are 115 days from leaving for Oshkosh, and it is time to use this increase in tooling to fill the shelves.
Video: The is the upgraded CNC in my hangar, it is machining a ring gear for a #2400 ultra light weight starter kit. It is working on the six mounting holes. It doesn’t drill them, they are milled with a circular pattern, so a 1/8″ mill can make a 3/16″ hole. The hex shape on the screen is the tool path between the individual holes.
5 Replies to “In House Manufacturing”
The things friends will do to keep you busy.
You are blessed with friends, but pretty sure your friendship has also been a blessing to them. Cool machines!
You are fortunate to have so many friends William. It’s the best gift in life!
Very nice CNC setup WW! Congratulations!
Proud of you