Times They are a Changin’

| 9/8/2020 12:00:00 AM

Photo by Unsplash/Jonathan Borba 

Inventor Eli Whitney created the first manual milling machine in the early 1800s after the U.S. government asked him to invent a better way to produce mass quantities of firearms. Prior to his invention, highly skilled machinists (using mostly files as production tools) were required to create intricate metal pieces. This process took a great deal of time, and few people were qualified. 

In the 1940s, John T. Parsons refined the manual milling machine into a precision system using data in a reference system. 

Fast forward to the present, and enter the CNC (computer numerical control) milling machine. With accurate programming data and training, machinists can use this automated process to produce exceptionally precise parts with very little wait time. The hundreds of meticulously designed, individual parts in a complex mill machine lend to its accuracy.  

Change is inevitable — often unwanted — and we forget about the pieces of progress that get the wheels turning towards modern marvels and now help us build our world. Machines that quickly duplicate irreplaceable parts and make engine restorations possible. You can see the final piece of the Jacobsen Twin restoration puzzle, made possible with access to a machinist who quickly fabricated new wrist pins. 

Change also brings the creation of equipment to test and educate, such as those used in Dr. David Cave’s explanation of low-tension ignition systems


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