Note: The special offer on these racks has been extended for two weeks–it’s good until March 1st.
It’s only appropriate that our first real product review is the Santa Cruz Electronics TTS Toolholder Racking System. SCE is one of a select few Tormach distributors, and they happen to be right in my home town of Santa Cruz. I’ve been having weekly lunches with owner John Bower for some time. John came to be a Distributor because he was a very happy customer. He’s an avid CNC’er who does a lot of work for the large contingent of Luthiers around town. There are some very famous guitar brands made here at the high end, and John works with many of them.
The Rack (as I like to call it) came about when I brought John a crude napkin sketch at a lunch for an idea I had. I wanted a toolholder storage system that would hang on my Tormach’s Enclosure. The idea was to get the tooling off the benchtops and drawers and into a convenient easy-to-access location near the mill. As I say, the original sketch was crude but John put together a very snazzy product in a relatively short time. It’s made of anodized aluminum and laser cut acrylic.
Here it is hanging on my Tormach PCNC 1100 mill:
Ignore the paper towel dispenser and the little parts tray, they’re just magnetic add-ons for the enclosure. The Rack attaches via the existing bolts that hold the enclosure together. Just remove a few, drop The Rack into place, and reinstall and you’re done. Construction is very sturdy, which is nice. Here’s a detail of an acrylic shelf:
The shelves are thick laser-cut acrylic and they look awesome. In fact, the whole unit looks great on your mill enclosure.
What do I like about the SCE TTS Racking System?
Well, I’ve already mentioned its good looks.
But, the part that you quickly get used to and couldn’t live without is the organization it brings to your tooling. Specifically, I number the holes in The Rack and use them in conjunction with the Tool Table in the Path Pilot controller for the Tormach. As soon as I put a tool in a holder, I measure its length with the surface plate and height gage, select a spot for it in The Rack, and enter the data into the Tool Table. Now every time I use the Tool, I make sure it winds up back in the same slot. This just gives me peace of mind that I’ve got the right tool lengths associated with the right holders at all times. It works out really nice, and as I say, you get so used to it you wouldn’t want to be without The Rack ever again.
I recommend it highly to any Tormach owner!
The Rack Model Line Up
John and Santa Cruz Electronics have made sure there is a model of The Rack for every situation. They have them for the 1100, 770, 440, and even wall hanging and table top models if you don’t have an enclosure or don’t want to attach a rack to your enclosure. Personally, I am thinking about getting at least one more Rack as I accumulate tool holders. I really like keeping them so organized, and my plan is to add fields to our G-Wizard software (both Calculator and Editor) sometime in the near future to let you indicate where in your tool storage system a particular tool can be found.
Don’t have an enclosure yet or want to hang a Rack on the wall? No worries!
Any of the enclosure mounted racks are easy to hang on the wall.
What Do They Cost and How Can I Get One (Pssst: Special Deal for CNCCookbook Readers!)
You can get your own Rack from Santa Cruz Electronics just by calling them. Their number is (831) 479-5444. They’re good people to talk to, and they’re a full stocking Tormach dealer, so if you have other Tormach needs, they’re a good source.
Here are the prices on these racking systems:
PCNC 1100 and 770 Racking Systems: $299
PCNC 440: $260
Prices do not include shipping, which is extra.
Now here’s the thing: I talked to John and got CNCCookbook readers a special deal:
When you call to order your Rack, just tell them you want the CNCCookbook deal. They’ll give you 10% off and free shipping if you’re in the continental 48 states ($20 shipping credit otherwise).
That’s a great deal on an accessory you will absolutely love using. Give Santa Cruz Electronics a call today at:
The CNCCookbook special offer expires Wednesday, March 1, so don’t miss it!
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