Ep. 21 – John Saunders, Entrepreneur and Self-taught Machinist

By Noah Graff

Scroll down to listen to the podcast with John Saunders.

In today’s podcast we interviewed John Saunders, founder of Saunders Machine Works and the creator of the NYC CNC YouTube channel. John is an innovative entrepreneur who lives and breaths CNC machining. When he was 24 he had an idea to sell an automatically resetting steel target for practicing firearms, but he had no engineering background, no CAD experience and no machining experience. After working on a prototype with a contracted engineer he decided that before he would pursue production of his product he wanted to fully understand the production process.

He bought a Taig CNC milling machine and put it in his one-bedroom New York City apartment. He quickly realized he was passionate about CNC machining and taught himself to use his machine on nights and weekends for two years. Using resources on the Web, instructional DVDs and New York’s MakerSpace NYC community he eventually gained the skills to machine a prototype of his automatically resetting target by himself. Since his first time experimenting with his Taig until today he has religiously documented his machining projects on YouTube and now NYC CNC has acquired over 273,000 subscribers.

Today Saunders with a staff of six employees, runs a machine shop in his hometown of Zanesville, OH. His company runs an intensive training course on machining and welding, and it uploads at least one YouTube video a week about machining. He also cohosts a weekly podcast where he discusses his challenges running a small machining business.

Question: What practical skills have you learned on the Internet?

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2 thoughts on “Ep. 21 – John Saunders, Entrepreneur and Self-taught Machinist

  1. r in nyc

    Talking about targets.
    Great job.
    The targets are quite useless without guns!
    With the draconian and UN-constitutional laws in NYC, I learned a lot about how to manufacture “Ghost Guns”.
    Just like the old days of “moonshine”, it is VERY difficult to regulate items that are REALLY easy to make. Now we have cheap 3D printers and the Ghost Gunner milling machine for $1200 bucks to make all the guns you want, as well as the code for free on the internet! (I have a nice lineup of Haas CNC’s)

    Remember, our Government was created with numerous checks and balances. But no one teaches history or civics anymore.
    as evidence, I present self proclaimed Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, our newest member of the house.
    Let us look an the newest darling of the media, democrats, socialists, and communists who said:
    “If we work our butts off to make sure that we take back all three chambers of Congress — uh, rather, all three chambers of government: the presidency, the Senate, and the House,”
    Has the The Judiciary been eliminated in her world/ Or will “The Party” be taking care of legal matters henceforth? I guess she spent too much time studying the wonders of socialism, and communism rather that how These United States were formed and founded. I will wager that she NEVER EVER read the Declaration of Independence, US Constitution or Bill of Rights & amendments.
    And look at all the socialist, and communist regimes that failed. I find it quite sad how Venezuela has fallen from the news as the once thriving country has self destructed under socialism.
    As Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”
    Some other Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pearls of wisdom:
    “We’re gonna flip this seat red” did she want it to republican of full throttle Communist ‘Red? Honest mistake or Freudian slip?
    Does she even have a clue?
    “Abolish ICE” and advocate for ILLEGAL immigrants. (who cares about the citizens and the legal residents that voted for you to represent them.)
    “a 17-year-old can walk into a shop and get a rifle, I think, is unacceptable.” FYI: Federal law prohibits anybody under the age of 18 from purchasing a firearm from a licensed arms dealer. and she is going to make laws? May the Good Lord help us!
    “I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress, so how do I get an apartment?” Ocasio-Cortez asked The New York Times earlier this month. “Those little things are very real.” Nothing says ‘working class’ like becoming an international celebrity while winning a race for a $176,000 per year job.

    Remember, The Founding Fathers thought of most all possibilities and included the ultimate check and balance between the people and an oppressive tyrannical regime!

    As the Second Amendment states:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
    Constitution of United States of America 1789

    Keep your powder dry!
    Molon labe


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