Toolmaker makes wire guide for other toolmakers

The Universal Wire Guide from moldmaker Tech Mold Inc. (Tempe, AZ) was developed by Bill Kushmaul, president, and Paul Moosbrugger, CNC wire EDM and small hole specialist, to address the company’s need for a standard tool that would eliminate maintaining an inventory of wire guide sizes, or waiting for a special-sized guide to be made and delivered. It also eliminates the time-consuming process of inspecting each size guide before use. Setups are quick and easy, and multiple hole sizes in a single part can be accomplished with predictable accuracy since the centerline of any electrode held in the guide is always in a known location and can be easily adjusted to accommodate the broad range of small to large electrode diameters.

To guide the electrodes, an infinitely adjustable three-jaw-style precision mechanism was developed. To allow for quick adjustment of the diameter setting, a lever-action adjustment device was designed. Once the diameter is set, it can easily be secured with the nondistorting, built-in lock. The three jaws that guide the electrode employ replaceable ceramic rod-type inserts for wear resistance. However, the ceramic rods reportedly are long lasting and in many instances, even after a year of usage, no wear can be detected.

The Universal Wire Guide is constructed from hardened stainless steel for years of trouble-free service. Replacement ceramic jaw inserts are available and easily installed. After using the Guide in-house for more than a year, Kushmaul was satisfied that the tool provided many benefits to small-hole EDM users, and wanted to share this technology with other machinists.

“We want to help strengthen U.S. precision toolmaking industries in today’s highly competitive marketplace,” says Kushmaul. “The Universal Wire Guide is something we believe will help shops achieve a greater level of quality and boost competitiveness.” The cost of a complete guide is $2300-$2425. To order, e-mail [email protected]. [email protected]

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