The Practical Machinist (www.practicalmachinist.com) is one of the best sites on the Internet to see what's on machinists' minds on a day-to-day basis. The web site offers a live community forum that lets anyone leap in with questions, or to give answers on machining problems, and it takes in just about anything else under the sun.
If you're stuck with a machining job, you won't have to spend much time on the site before someone comes up with an answer, takes a stab at an answer or gives you advice on where to go to find an answer.
The site has something for just about anyone, from shop owners and the serious professional machinist to the hobbyist. And, if you just want to socialize with like-minded machine heads, you can get on and post messages as long as you can avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.
AMERICAN MACHINIST has joined in partnership with The Practical Machinist, and that web site will become the official bulletin board and forum for this publication.
Nothing really is going to change on the site, but you may notice as we integrate it with our magazine and website over the next 60 days that AMERICAN MACHINIST will have an increasing presence there, and we will help to support it.
As one of the most active and thriving forums on the Internet for machinists, The Practical Machinist will give us the ability to pull together the more-or-less fixed information presented monthly in our magazine, information that is updated more frequently on our web site (www.americanmachinist.com) and information that is vital and up-to-the-minute, posted by anyone who visits the Practical Machinist site.
In sum, we are trying to provide friction-free dialogue using a variety of methods to get new and important information about our industry to you.
The Practical Machinist web site is another way that machinists are brought together, and we at AMERICAN MACHINIST are proud to be partners with this vital and thriving part of our community.
If you haven't been there, you should visit it.
One more word on another new initiative at AMERICAN MACHINIST: The deadline to submit surveys in the 2006 AMERICAN MACHINIST Benchmarking Survey is March 13.
We have had many responses to the survey that we will use to provide you a tool to help you to improve your shop, and we want to encourage as many people as we can to fill one out. The survey is anonymous and confidential, so that no one will be able to identify information from your business.
If you haven't filled it out, there is still time. You can find it at www.AMBsurvey.com
You can take and submit the survey on line, or you have the option to print it and send it back by mail or fax. We hope to hear from as many of you as possible.