Tormach Servo Motor Upgrade

Tormach Inc. is now offering servo motors for its line of 1100M and 770M CNC milling machines. Servo upgrade kits are now available for current users of these machines, which allows them to transform their current ‘M’ series machines to ‘M+’.

Complete information on obtaining the user-installed servo motor upgrade kits, with video tutorials, can be found on Tormach’s website:

Users who upgrade to servo motors will enjoy numerous benefits, including:

-Faster speeds – more than double feed rates
-Higher acceleration – allows machine to get up to speed much quicker
-Reduced noise
-Closing of the feedback loop into the control system
-Time and money savings on every part made

Tormach has released a video that is available on YouTube that shows examples of the time savings that can be achieved using the servo motors over the conventional stepper motors:

“For the vast majority of machinists using our 1100M and 770M mills, upgrading to the servo motors is an easy decision,” said Lori Morrison Bufalo, Marketing Director at Tormach. “We’ve made it easy and affordable for users to perform this upgrade and start getting even better performance out of their Tormach mills.”

The cost to upgrade to the servo motor package is $1,995.00. Additional recommended items including an automatic oiler kit are available for an additional fee.

Later this year Tormach plans to offer a BT30 spindle upgrade package to users as well. This upgrade will allow users to take their ‘M+’ mills to the ‘MX’ level, meaning they will have the servo motors along with BT30 spindles, encoders, and power drawbars.

The Business of Gunsmithing: A Practical Strategic Compendium

Have you ever thought about becoming or learning to become a Gunsmith as your career choice? There are many people that have the skill sets and aptitude to take on the role of this mysterious career choice. But what does it, or will it, entail exactly?

Author Mark R. Hollensen wrote this book to provide you with many of the answers to your questions concerning starting out, pursuing and ultimately making a career as a Gunsmith.

The Business of Gunsmithing: A Practical Strategic Compendium covers nearly all of the strategic business categories and essential elements associated with the job, as well as providing real life experiences, successes, and setbacks. The book was written very matter-of-fact and provides in-depth details of what you can expect when entering the field of gunsmithing as your career choice. For anyone contemplating a career as a professional full-time Gunsmith, or are already in the business, this book is a must-read.


Kindle eBook

Tormach at FIRST Robotics Championships

Tormach Inc. provide on-site CNC machining services at the FIRST Robotics Championships held at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI from April 24-27, 2019.

Called ‘The World’s Largest Celebration of STEM for Students’, FIRST Robotics expects over 10,000 visitors and over 800 teams of students at this year’s event in Detroit.

This is the third year in a row that Tormach has been on-site at the FIRST Robotics Championships. The company is one of the event’s machine shop sponsors and also supports the regional FIRST competitions that take place around the country leading up to the championships.

Tormach had two CNC machines at the event, the company’s PCNC 440 and higher-output 770M mills which can easily handle cutting plastics, aluminum to hardened steel and titanium. In addition, the company will have a desktop router ‘and a well-stocked toolbox’ at the event to support the students, according to Jenny Bannink, Tormach’s Lead Machinist. Jenny and Tormach’s Brandon Faulkner will be working the Tormach machines.

Typical on-site setup at FIRST, with the laptop showing the CAD image and the actual product being machined on the Tormach mill.

“We really enjoy supporting the students at the FIRST events,” she said. “Education is a major initiative at Tormach, and we love the opportunity to not only help the students on-site with their projects, but also to show them that machining and manufacturing are great career paths to follow.”

At the FIRST events, Tormach set up an onsite machine shop in the ‘pits’ that are usually strategically located right in the middle of the action on the show floor. Students bring their robots and projects to Tormach for on-site repairs and modifications. The machining necessary to fix or improve a product can be challenging at times, said Bannink, but the experience provides a great real-life example for the students of what a CNC machinist’s job entails.

“We’re providing ‘on the fly’ machining services at these events, and it’s a competition; if a 120 lb. robot falls 6 feet to the floor, for example, or a gearbox malfunctions, that team of students needs help, and they need it quickly,” she said. “Also, some schools bring solid models and blueprints for their products, and others bring sketches; there’s a lot of on-site designing and re-designing happening between the students, coaches and Tormach machinists.”

Women in STEM

Jenny Bannink grew up on small dairy farm in Wisconsin. After graduating from high school, she attended college for one year, but left school due to financial constraints. “Growing up on a farm, I loved helping fix machinery and realized after high school that I wanted to pursue a career as a machinist,” she said. “I ended up going to a trade school and learning CNC machining, which has been a great career for me.”

Jenny tells a story of a young woman she met in St. Louis the first year Tormach supported the FIRST competition. A junior in high school, she approached Jenny and asked her ‘are you a real machinist’? Is it hard to do as a woman?’ “I told her ‘the machine doesn’t care’! We discussed some of the challenges of being female in a male-dominated field. Fast forward to last year, that same woman stopped by to see her again at a regional FIRST event. “She told me she’s now going to school for tool & die machining. I was so happy to see her and hear her story. Young women need to know this is a great career choice and if they want to do it, they can.”

Tormach's Matt Coppola and Jennie Bannink on-site at a recent FIRST regional competition in LaCrosse, WI.


FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
FIRST is More Than Robots. FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21 st century work-life skills. Read more at

About Tormach

Carbon Caper: Rico Morgan Book 2

American Gunsmith authors also pursue other writing. Ray Ordorica released the second novel of his Rico Morgan series, Carbon Caper. Available as eBook or print from Amazon.

A triple murder in back-woods Idaho has Rico Morgan stumped. Two well-known TV personalities and a bum, dead for what reason? Could it be diamonds? Maybe one big one? The murders lead Rico, Mole and the gang to adventures in Mexico City, then into the lion’s den in Caracas. Thing is, the lion hired ’em! Rogue CIA men throw a wrench in the works, and the Russian presence in Venezuela doesn’t help. It’s a rock-hard tale as modern as tomorrow, and it has nothin’ to do with climate!

Interview with Ray Ordorica:

So Rico and Mole are at it again, eh? Why Caracas?
Actually I had no idea we’d be going to Caracas when I had the guys in the canoe in chapter one. Nor did I know what was stolen. The story evolved from news events. But then, why not Caracas? The Venezuelan scene is hot in today’s news, and even more turbulent than in the book. The rock mentioned is also a big news item. Most of the big news events in the story are true, though I took some liberty with the leaders in VeeZee… There are some really spooky images of the blacked-out city online. It’s also the murder capitol of the world, with 98% never solved.

That bit about the big Linebaugh revolver…True?
The 475 and 500 Linebaughs have indeed killed elephant. I had one for some years and sold it for the reasons discussed in the book. If you hold a hugely powerful gun like the 500 Linebaugh wrong you’re going to get badly hurt. Current loadings for it are even more scary than what’s presented in the book.

Doug Koenig on Gunsmithing

A skilled gunsmith can customize any gun for improved performance but it takes first hand, higher-level shooting experience to fully appreciate what those customizations need to be. Here’s a champion shooter’s view on the craft.

by American Gunsmith Staff

Doug Koenig began shooting competitively in 1986 when he entered his first match at the age of 17. Since then, he has amassed more than 70 National and World shooting championships in a variety of action/practical disciplines. They include Steel Challenge, Sportsman’s Team Challenge, NRA World Shooting Championship, USPSA, and Precision Rifle Series. He is best known for his string of NRA Action Pistol wins at the Bianchi Cup as the first shooter to post a perfect 1920x, the highest score ever with an X count of 187, and the most overall tournament wins of 18 total.
Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Mazan Books

Percy For Sheriff

From author Paul Mazan.

My new book Percy for Sheriff is now available on Amazon ( in both Paperback and Kindle format. This is the followup to Chicago Rhapsody that many have been asking for. Dick Dzik and Percy are off on two different investigations this time. Both stories are full of surprises and a bit of humor. My editor thinks this is the best thing I’ve written and I do hope you agree.

Book two in the adventures of a cop with a smart mouth and a smarter K-9. When an armored car robbery goes bad in Des Moines, the two surviving crooks end up hold up in Dick Dzik’s county. They think they have everyone outsmarted without realizing that every move they make in rural Iowa is giving them away. Conflict erupts between the Des Moines Police Chief and Dick but, impressed with the quick solution to the Armored Car Robbery, the Mayor insists the Chief bring in Dick and Percy to investigate a case of police corruption that they have not been able to solve. Two characters from book one including Dick’s former girlfriend show up and causes tension between Dick and his new girlfriend. Late one lonely night, Dick and Percy crack the case and the race is on to see if Dick can get the evidence to the Attorney General before the bad cops find him.

Check out author Paul Mazan’s other books on Amazon, including Chicago Rhapsody: A Dick Dzik and Percy Novel, An American Odyssey, Heart of a Warrior, Fighting Poles, Quinton, and Vengeance.

Ayoob reviews Ordorica

Ray Ordorica, current American Gunsmith contributor and former editor of Gun Digest’s annual Handguns Illustrated, has a number of books worth checking out.

His newest, Border Caper (Rico Morgan Book 1) is an adventure novel and Alaskan Retreater’s Notebook: One Man’s Journey into the Alaskan Wilderness is his personal real-life adventure.

Massad Ayoob has a great review here: