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Articles

Multi-Spindles Are Coming Back

July 1, 2013 - 9:45am -- Lloyd Graff
Wickman 1" 8-Spindle at Graff-Pinkert

“What goes around, comes around.” It’s a dumb cliché, but it’s what I am seeing in the screw machine business today.

The cyclicality of business is playing out as the auto industry in North America pushes toward the magical 16 million units a year mark. Thank god for the F-150, now the “best selling car or truck in America.” Tradesmen are buying, businesses are buying, even Aunt Millie is buying a vehicle today, and most of them are put together in North America with millions of perfectly turned components also made here.

Add a revival in home building and all those unleaded brass fittings needed and it means a lot of spindles turning, after the up and down gutting of the traditional turned parts world over the last 15 years.
My guess is that one third of the shops that ran multi-spindle automatics have gone away since the wholesale outsourcing trend to China began in the late 1990s.

The Davy Crockett of Screw Machines

May 10, 2013 - 10:57am -- Noah Graff

Tim Haendle was pleased with himself when I talked to him Wednesday. He had bought 100 carbide inserts – used of course – for a hundred bucks at a Hoff Online Auctions Internet sale of a screw machine shop in St. Paul, Minnesota. He’ll regrind them for use on one of the 22 National Acmes he runs in his shop, buried in a forest in Mendocino County, 100 miles north of San Francisco.

Turning Iron Into Gold

May 6, 2013 - 12:20pm -- Lloyd Graff

I love the used machinery business because it is a competitive treasure hunt every day. It asks us for impossible calculations about realizable values for illiquid, flawed, sometimes rickety, filthy objects that often have little tangible worth when we are asked to buy them.

Here’s an example of the type of situation we consider at my company Graff-Pinkert every day. A firm has a 25-year-old screw machine or rotary transfer machine that it does not need at the moment. It has long been written off the financial statements, yet the potential seller feels it still has value but doesn’t know how much. He calls dealers for comps, checks eBay for similar machines, and considers whether he may use it again soon himself. He advertises it or calls us and probes for an offer. We feel the piece may have enough potential value that would make it a worthwhile addition to our stock, but we need to determine whether it is badly worn and will require substantial expensive refurbishing, or if it can be sold in its present state, which usually means full of oily chips, a nasty appearance, and out of production.

If by chance the machine shows well and is still running good parts, it becomes inviting for our broker competition, which hopes to turn it quickly for a modest but quick profit, without doing any of the difficult work of returning it to its original state of productivity.

Come to Graff-Pinkert Before Anderson Auction!

March 17, 2013 - 6:14pm -- Noah Graff

Going to the auction at Anderson Fittings Wednesday, March 20?

While you're in the neighborhood, this is a fantastic opportunity to see the great machines at Graff-Pinkert, located in the same industrial park as Anderson Fittings, only a half mile away! Drop by our showroom Tuesday after inspection of the auction, or any time Wednesday.

Why Visit Graff-Pinkert?

The auction has three ACMES. We have 20 at our shop!

No Loading Costs

No Buyer's Premium

Nobody bidding against you

Quality Guaranteed

Graff-Pinkert will sell you a machine tailored to your needs

Life After the Breakup

March 13, 2013 - 10:02am -- Lloyd Graff
Lloyd Graff, Rex Magagnotti, Noah Graff with INDEX MS32C

I bought out my brother Jim’s interest in Graff-Pinkert six months ago. I promised him that I would not write about the breakup, but I want to take a few lines to describe how the post breakup is going for me.

The day after our deal closed I was vacationing with my wife, my sister and brother-in-law at the Chautauqua Institution near Jamestown, New York. (We had planned this trip a while before with my sister. That the breakup with Jim culminated at the same time was an odd coincidence.) The four of us were having lunch on the grounds when my iPhone rang and Jim’s name came up. I gulped, walked outside and took the call.

Jim quickly got to the point. There was a deal available with Wickmans and Hydromats. He had already looked at it. He wanted to know if I was interested in buying it. My head spun. Was this déjà vu? Was it 2012 or 2011? We had just broken up a 40-year relationship and now he was calling me to work on a deal?

“Well, uh, yes,” I stammered back. “Sure.” It was a pretty short conversation. This was not exactly how I expected my first day of solo ownership of the family business to go.

Call Us About a Machine and Get a $50 Gift Certificate!

December 3, 2012 - 12:48pm -- Noah Graff

Call Graff-Pinkert with a legitimate inquiry about a machine you want to buy or sell and get a $50 gift certificate to Cheese Cake Factory or Outback Steakhouse.

An email inquiry does not qualify for this opportunity. Graff-Pinkert must have a genuine phone conversation with you to recieve a gift certificate. The topic of conversation must center around a CNC turning center, CNC Swiss, Multi-spindle, or Rotary Transfer Machine that you would like to buy or sell. Even if no deal takes place we still give you a gift certificate--as long as we get to have a quality conversation.

Why are we doing this? We want to talk to potential customers on the phone, even if we have to pay them to do it.

Only the first 25 callers will receive gift certificates, Promotion ends Friday Dec. 14.

Give us a call today and ask for Lloyd, Rex or Noah

Call: 708-535-2200

Which Multi-Spindle Is Right For You?

November 26, 2012 - 6:05pm -- Noah Graff
Slides on a 1-3/8" 6-spindle Wickman (Notice the steel on steel end-tool slide to stem)

In addition to CNC lathes, Hydromats and newer European multi-spindles such as Schutte, INDEX, and Euroturn, Graff-Pinkert historically has specialized in mechanical multi-spindles such as Wickmans, Acmes, and New Britains.

The following is a basic guide to help you choose the best mechanical multi-spindle for you.

The first question to ask when deciding which machine to buy is who is going to run the machine. If the operator is an Acme-man or a New Britain veteran who has only run those machines for decades, it's usually best to stick to the equipment which that operator knows best. However, if an operator is open to using any multi-spindle and they can run the job on a 6-spindle machine, Graff-Pinkert generally recommends using a Wickman.

The main reason Graff-Pinkert recommends Wickmans is that it's a much lower cost to tool the machines. There aren’t any cams to change on Wickmans, just lever ratios. You loosen up some bolts, you slide it into the throw that you want and your done. Setting up an Acme or New Britain requires. ...

Rotary Transfer Machine Information

November 13, 2012 - 12:16pm -- Noah Graff
Hydromat 45-12 at Graff-Pinkert

The following is some basic information for people interested in Hydromats or other rotary transfer machines:

Rotary transfer machines are ideal for even larger quantities and more complicated parts than those produced on multi-spindles. Rotary transfer machines are used to produce turned parts which require many operations such as cross drilling, cross tapping, milling, and extensive back-working. The machines normally are used to produce volumes in the millions annually. Some of the most popular rotary transfer machines worldwide include Hydromat, Eubama, Micron, and Buffoli.

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