CNC Machinist Opens His Own Shop; Starts the MooreCNC YouTube Channel
Anyone familiar with the machine tool industry will recognize his last name. As the owner of a tool and die shop in Bridgeport, CT, Wade Moore’s great-grandfather Richard S. Moore was unable to find machine tools accurate enough to hold the tolerances he needed, so he built his own. That was in 1924, and today the Moore Tools brand of jig borers and grinders represents the utmost in precision, with thousands of its machine tools in use around the world.
Unfortunately for the Moore family, ownership of the company passed to an outside investor after some particularly hard times during the late 1980s, right about the time Wade was born. His father soon found himself a user of Moore jig grinders rather than a builder, having opened a service and repair shop for his family’s line of equipment. After finishing high school, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut and took a job with a local aerospace company. His siblings went in similar directions. It seemed the family legacy of machining and machine tool building had finally come to an end.
That’s when Wade saw the advertisement for the Chipmaker Challenge, a competition sponsored by machine tool builder Hurco at IMTS 2014. The rules were simple: whichever applicant provided the best business plan to a panel of five judges would win a $130,000 CNC machining center.
The results were not what he’d hope for. “I was one of the seven finalists, but that’s as far as I got,” Moore said. “I was sad about it at first, but then realized, ‘Hey, I’ve developed this great business plan, so why not put it into action?’ A few weeks after IMTS, I opened my own shop and continued the Moore legacy for the fourth generation.”
Four years later, Moore Engineering purchased two brand new Hurco machines, has several full and part-time employees, and is happy with the direction his business is going. This more than any recognition of his family legacy is why he recently tackled a new initiative, one aimed at bringing young people like himself into manufacturing: the MooreCNC YouTube channel.
“I was lucky enough to be surrounded by manufacturing from a young age, but for a lot of folks, it’s a steep learning curve,” said Moore. “That, and so many teens are pushed into higher education rather than being given an opportunity to at least consider a career in the trades. This is my attempt to give back to the community that’s been so good to me.”
Launched just prior to IMTS 2018, Moore’s channel is gaining attention, covering such topics as his work with the Chipmaker Challenge, instructions for Inconel machining, and a tutorial on how to make a wedding ring (Moore and his wife recently celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary). You’ll also see a video of him with his grandfather, who has sadly passed on since it was taken.
Perhaps his only regret at this point is the fact that he never got to meet the man who started it all, although he did have an opportunity recently to learn more about him—over the summer he was contacted by the people at Moore Tool in Bridgeport, notifying him that they’d found two file cabinets full of his great-grandfather’s correspondence during the war years. “It was almost like being in his head,” said Moore. “To read about the hardships they went through back then, and know that they were still able to build a successful business in spite of all that—it’s been very motivating.”
As for himself, Moore finds business ownership fulfilling. “It has its ups and downs like anything, but my Mom told me years ago that the best investment is the one you make in yourself,” he said. “I’m very thankful that I took her advice.”