CNC router tools for woodworking, metal machining, plastic cutting and composite cutting with precision collets and toolholders
Think & Tinker, Ltd.
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NEWS

Friday, April 24, 2015:

T3 Modifications Incorporated Into All 2-Point and 3-Point Steel Rule Die Kerf Cutters

At the beginning of May 2014, our proprietary T3 flute geometry was incorporated into the design of all 2-point and 3-point kerf cutters. T3 was specifically developed to focus shearing stresses away from the tip of the cutter, significantly reducing bit breakage in systems with less than optimal TIR and backlash characteristics. As a result, bits with the T3 modifications are less sensitive to unexpected changes in wood density and composition as well as rapid changes in feed rate or cutting direction. As an added benefit, the T3 mods also serve to reduce deflection and extend bit life.


tapered-stub tip

click on image for more>>>
Wednesday, July 2, 2014:

T3 Modifications Incorporated Into All 2-Point and 3-Point Steel Rule Die Kerf Cutters

At the beginning of May 2014, our proprietary T3 flute geometry was incorporated into the design of all 2-point and 3-point kerf cutters. T3 was specifically developed to focus shearing stresses away from the tip of the cutter, significantly reducing bit breakage in systems with less than optimal TIR and backlash characteristics. As a result, bits with the T3 modifications are less sensitive to unexpected changes in wood density and composition as well as rapid changes in feed rate or cutting direction. As an added benefit, the T3 mods also serve to reduce deflection and extend bit life.


tapered-stub tip

click on image for more>>>
Wednesday, July 2, 2014:

T3 Modifications Incorporated Into All 2-Point and 3-Point Steel Rule Die Kerf Cutters

At the beginning of May 2014, our proprietary T3 flute geometry was incorporated into the design of all 2-point and 3-point kerf cutters. T3 was specifically developed to focus shearing stresses away from the tip of the cutter, significantly reducing bit breakage in systems with less than optimal TIR and backlash characteristics. As a result, bits with the T3 modifications are less sensitive to unexpected changes in wood density and composition as well as rapid changes in feed rate or cutting direction. As an added benefit, the T3 mods also serve to reduce deflection and extend bit life.


tapered-stub tip

click on image for more>>>

Wednesday, July 2, 2014:
tapered-stub tip
click on image for more>>>

Tapered-stub PCB milling Tools Outperforms V-tip Engravers

After more than 2 years of development, we are pleased to announce the EM3E8 / EM2E8 family of tapered-stub PCB Trace Isolation Tools. These bits feature a flute design that has been fine tuned to insure very efficient debris removal, even at full plunge. Much stronger than a conventional V-tip bit, they cut at higher feed rates, producing a superior edge finish with a longer cutting life. Extensive testing in the field confirm that they outperform V-tip (1-flute and 2-flute) mechanical etching bits in all aspects of trace isolation and copper rubout.

They are, in short, the next generation of PCB mechanical etching tool.


Tuesday, May 15, 2014:

"O" Flute Microtools

As micro-manufacturing has exploded across widely diverse market segments, there has been an increasing demand for O-flute cutters with smaller diameters, especially cutters in the micro range below 1/16 in.. All that was needed was to determine the scaling factors that would allow O-flute microtools to be economically fabricated while maintaining the rigidity to ensure low bit deflection and excellent edge quality under high chiploads.

So, after more than enough false starts, here are the first of the a new generation of micrO-flute® end-mills.

micrO-flute tip
click on image for more>>>

Tuesday, March 4, 2014:

BOPG-1618-NUTs In Stock!

BOPG-nutThank God!

The folk in production found a small cache of Bosch 1618 nuts that were not quite ready for sale. Well. They are now. Quality Control has waved their magic wand over them (or whatever it is they do) and released them to the Sales Department to find good homes.

To take one home today, just click on the nut to the left.


Friday, January 3, 2014:

1/2" dia. Spring-form Collet Reducers

After years of telling our customers that collet reducers are made by Satan, we decided to see if we could design and build one with the same level of precision and balance as our ER style spring collets. While there are some inherent differences between tapered collets and cylindrical collet reducers, minor tweaks to the inter-leave geometry enabled us to reliably produce reducers with low TIR, uniformly high clamping pressures and virtually perfect balance. Best of all, no Satan.

Collet reducers
click on image for more>>>

Thursday, December 12, 2013:

New Collet Adapter Brings full ER16 Comptibility to Routers and Spindles

Er16M Collet AdapterThe CEPG-ER16 collet adapter has been totally redesigned to make it smaller, lighter and better balanced. With spindle-class TIR, the CEPG-ER16-0500 is the perfect component to adapt readily available ER16 collets to spindles and consumer-grade routers with 1/2" shank capacity. When used on a CNC router, the reduced size consumes less than 2" of the Z-Axis working distance. The 1/2" shank is thru-bored 0.255" to accommodate tools with extra long shanks.

For specific applications, click on:


Tuesday, October 15, 2013:

Porter-Cable 890 Series Compatibility Alert!

Over the past 5 months we have received a handful of reports concerning Porter-Cable 892 routers that are incompatible with our precision collets. The root cause seems to be the same problem that plagues the Bosch-Colt routers, i.e. a spindle bore taper that no longer conforms to the original specification. So far we have not found an 892 with this problem, but it is a cause for concern nonetheless.


Friday, September 27, 2013:

Porter-Cable and Bosch Compatible 3/8 in. Collets are Back in Stock!

It seems that, no matter how many of these bloody things we make, it is never enough. Who knew that there were so many 3/8 in. shank tools out there?

Precision-grade (PG), ultra-precision (UP) and extreme-precision (EP) collets are waiting on the shelf for the:


Friday, September 27, 2013:

Introducing: Think & Tinker ER Nuts and Collets

Ever since we developed our laser based collet measuring system, we've been measuring everything that we design, grind, or purchase. Our goal was (and is) to hold ALL of the products that we sell to the same standards of quality, precision and performance.

Unfortunately, sometimes you find things that prove to be very disappointing. Such was the case with the ER collets and tool-holders that we purchase from an outside vendor. First we found substantial deposits of rust between the leaves on a whole batch of collets (see picture at left). After we cleaned them and measured the TIR and taper angle, we discovered that many of the so-called Ultra-Precision (UP) collets in our inventory weren't so ultra-precise. While this batch was the exception, and not the rule, the fact that these rather expensive tool holders fell so far short of the in-house quality requirements that we had established for our own nuts and collets, was very troubling.

Rusty ER16

So. We decided to make our own. Not only have we been able to implement the new production processes that we developed for our other collets to produce higher precision parts, we also significantly reduced the cost.

(for more information, click here)


Tuesday, March 14, 2013:

The 3/16" (0.1875 in) Collets for the Bosch, Bosch-Colt, Hitachi, Rigid, Porter-Cable, and Dewalt Routers Are FINALLY Here

Well! This certainly took a lot longer than anticipated. Although the design and pre-production were completed more than a year ago, a totally full production schedule did not allow the fabrication and testing of ANY new products until now. In any case, they are here now and ready for prime-time.


Tuesday, March 14, 2013:

The 1/4" (0.2500 in) PG & SG collets for the Bosch-Colt (Rigid 2400) are back in stock!

We now have ample inventory of both grades (SG & PG) of the Colt 1/4" collet on the shelf and ready to go. This will be the last lot of 1/4" Colt collets that we produce.


Monday, March 4, 2013:

Extreme-Precision (EP) Collets Now Available for Porter-Cable, Milwaukee, Hitachi, Dewalt and Bosch Routers

The new grinding and measuring techniques developed over the past year have now been applied to the collets we make for the Porter-Cable 7518, Hitachi M12, Milwaukee 5600, Bosch 1618, Dewalt 611 and all compatible routers. After some minor surgery on the ordering pages and product database, EP grade collets and collet kits are now available.


Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013:

New Measurement and Grinding Processes Create Our Most Precise Collets Ever!

For the past 6 months, we have been developing a techinque that would allow us to simultaneously measure both the internal bore and the external taper of our collets to a resolution of 0.000050". That's 50 millionths of an inch! Although originally conceived as a method to speed up post-production quality control, the ultimate goal was to enable us to experiment with different grinding processes in an effort to make collets far more precise and predictable than ever before.

Three weeks ago we started making measurements that showed that the new equipment was capable of performing at the level of precision that we required. It allowed us to formulate the tweaks to the grinding process that we hoped would lead to a significant improvement in precision and consistency.

Last week, most of the final touches were added to the optics, mechanical system and mesurement & control software. On Monday of this week, we started measuring collets better than any we had developed before.


Monday Jan. 21, 2013:

Dewalt 611 / Porter-Cable 450 Collets & Nuts Are In Stock!

After a seemingly endless series of design changes and broken promises, the collets, nuts and spanners for the Dewalt 611 & Porter-Cable 450 compact routers are finally in-house and ready for prime time.

Much longer than the collets for the Bosch-Colt, the 611 collets exert much high clamping and retention forces on tool shanks, virtually eliminating any possibility of the bit pulling out during cutting. New grinding and measurement techniques have conspired to make this the most precise family of collets we have ever produced.



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