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Planes, Trains, and…Bowling Balls?

I’m a bowler. I’ve been bowling in leagues for about 9 years now, and while, I have yet to bowl a perfect game (although I have come pretty close) or pick up that unforgiving 7-10 split (I have never come close at all), I have had my own custom ball since I’ve started. As with all things custom, personal bowling balls can come fitted to your hand and are drilled, often on site, to meet your hands’ specific dimensions. When I recently went to buy a new ball, imagine my surprise as I watched the pro shop owner drill the holes in my new bowling ball using a carbide tipped Silver and Deming drill.

The advantage to a Silver and Deming drill is the smaller shank size. These large diameter drills have reduced shanks that can easily fit into a drill press, such as the one a bowling alley pro shop would have. Did we sell this specific pro shop owner the drills he is using on my ball? Probably not. But we have sold a lot of drills to bowling ball manufacturers for the very same purpose. This got me thinking about the various jobs and projects that our tools have been used in.

As a precision cutting tool manufacturer,

we gear our tools toward those who need precision in their work: automotive companies, engine designers/builders, aerospace companies, etc. However, that is not the only things that our tools can be used for. Sure, the buyers in those industries make up the majority of our sales and yes, they do make some really awesome things; but I find that the uncommon uses of our tools are way more interesting.

Every week we get calls from all sorts of people inquiring about our tools. Over they years our tools have helped make paintball guns, compound bows, guitars, clarinets, armor plating, and numerous car parts (most recently the hoods of the Corvette Stingray by Chevrolet). We have helped send satellites into space, build bridges (literally), manufacture golf clubs, eye glasses, windows and doors, fishing reels, and duck calls (no not for Duck Dynasty). Our tools have made faucets, boat engines, and artificial limbs. They have helped lay railroad tracks and build trains. They have been used in high school shop classes and, very interestingly, by a library binding company (interesting, mostly because I have no idea why or what they were used for). They have made knives, ammunition, microsurgical tools, and, as mentioned before, bowling balls.

Not that long ago, we were contacted by a man in South Florida who owned a business that grew, chopped, and bottled organic herbs. I already know what you’re thinking: herbs and cutting tools…were is the connection? I asked the same thing. Turns out he was using some specially made tools that were attached to a spindle and spun around in a grinder to cut the herbs into small flakes (think of the cords on the head of a weed-eater). We modified the tool with some carbide tips to increase the tool’s longevity and lower our customer’s costs.

There have been times when people call up and ask about buying some of our tools for their projects, only to learn that our tools may be overkill for their job. We are always willing to sell someone our tools, but we also believe in taking care of our customers (and their wallets). If a customer explains that they are doing some simple home projects or repairs, then they really do not need to spend the money for precision tools, when a simple drill from Lowes or Home Depot will get the job done.

So even though we are a precision cutting tool manufacturer, there is no limit to the types of work that our tools can be used for; which, in its own way, can make coming to work each day more interesting. The idea of simply making cutting tools may not sound all that exciting. But given all that our tools go on to make, now that is exciting.

We would love to hear about the cool things that you make. Leave us a comment to share and thanks for reading.

Chadd Brown

Super Tool, Inc.