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Flycutter

This next one is a bit more esoteric.  It’s the first time that I can think of that I created not a product, but another tool.  Using tools to create tools is a new phenomenon to me, and still somehow magical.  I can expand the capabilities of a tool with that tool itself.  Whoa.  I need a moment.

What the hell is this?  A flycutter is a toolholder that mounts in the end of a mill.  What’s a mill? a big machine that holds material securely and moves a cutting tool into it slowly and precisely.  What’s a toolholder?  It is something that helps the machine hold the actual cutting bit in a special way–in this case, at a funny angle.  What’s the meaning of all this?  What’s going on here?  What are you saying?  Easy, easy, I have pictures.

Here’s another attempt at ‘splainin’: the flycutter holds a pointy bit of metal at an angle, and itself gets stuck into the mill on the other end.  The mill spins it around, so the point of the pointy bit traces a circle.  That circle, when slowly moved across a bar of metal, makes it very, very shiny, and flat to a very high degree of precision.  A video!

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