Vision Tool & Machine Design

Pat Skidmore
Machinist & Toolmaker

2664 Burning Bush Road
Ringgold, GA 30736-9710

  • Pat Skidmore has been designing tooling, setups, and procedures since age 15 which has resulted in improved parts with more efficient manufacturing. He has been involved with CNC since 1962, which was called NC at the time, back when tape was used instead of a computer.

  • CNC is more efficient for large quantity runs; however CNC is less efficient for small runs.

  • The work Pat performs manually using machine tools of his own design, results in precision work equal to that of CNC. Thus Pat's specialties are small runs of high precision work, prototypes, improving existing designs, and new designs.

  • Additionally, Pat has 8,000 apprenticeship hours with Cincinnati Milacron (formerly Cincinnati Machine Tool), plus 7 years experience as a Cincinnati Field Engineer. Pat is also a former tool and machine designer at Combustion Engineering in Chattanooga, and has been a precision machinist for more than 50 years. Pat is fully qualified to help you with your project, whatever it might be. No job too small.

  • What if you discovered a machine shop that could routinely machine to 0.0005"?

  • What if that machine shop was so flexible that it could work in any material, from the hardest stainless steel, through slippery Teflon?

  • What if that machine shop could make prototypes, models, production enhancements, production parts, replacement parts, solve unusual problems, and even do precision restoration of anything made of metal (even unusual items, such as antique machinery)?

  • What if you discovered a machine shop with wide experience in a lot of complimentary areas such as metallurgy, mechanics, machine design, pneumatics, hydraulics, and solving your most nagging problems? You know, the ones that drive you nuts that you just can't find anyone to fix....

  • What can you think of that you need done that is too small a job, too precise a job, or too complicated a job for most machine shops?

  • Right now, while it's fresh on your mind, pick up the phone and call Pat Skidmore...

  • But wait, first take a look at a tiny sample of some of the work Pat's done over the last 46 years...

Pat Skidmore was designing tooling, setups, and procedures starting at age 15 which resulted in a better part with more efficient manufacturing. (He's 61 now.) In the picture below, at age 15, he designed some machine setups that enhanced the manufacture of this universal vice, which he also made:

Pat made this parallel tool makers clamp at age 15:

This is a small cannon Pat made at age 16:

This is a trailer hitch ball Pat machined at age 16. It's made from a single piece of type 304 stainless steel:

This is a vertical adjustment ring and tube Pat made to vary the height of a Geiger counter with respect to its target. It is used on a computer operated instrument which is used in the paint and plastic film industry:

This is the Geiger counter housing that fits into the above vertical adjustment tube:

These are precision scale weights that Pat made for a TVA QA lab. They're made of type 316 stainless steel:

This is a general purpose dial indicator base Pat made to specifically set up to gauge the parallelism of the lower platen to the cutter head of a wood planer:

The next two pictures are a dial indicator fixture Pat made that are used to set the blades in a wood planer cutter head.

This is a dispensing valve Pat made that metered and dispensed a radioactive solution onto its target. A PhD in Nuclear Chemistry had previously had valves similar to this made by other shops. None met his metering precision criteria. Pat's did. The problem with the other units was that the Teflon metering valve would score when rotated from one position to another. Pat designed a method for polishing the intersection of the main bore to the various intersecting orifices by the use of compressed air to force an aluminum oxide slurry through the unit to polish it. It worked:

This is a high speed spindle Pat made which is used in the electronics industry. It carries a carbide cutting tool to trim the leads off the bottom side of printed circuit boards after they've been wave soldered:

This is a quick change microphone test fixture Pat made for a telephone equipment manufacturer that designed telephone equipment for the hearing impaired:


This is a bronze lens adapter ring Pat made for an antique 8 X 10 view camera:

This is a nylon body for a wire wound resistor made for an electronics company:

This is a storage tank level sensing probe:

This is a powder coated aluminum link with nylon wheels.

This is a concave face stainless steel idler pulley used with a round rubber belt.  2 bearings would be pressed into the ID:

This is a highly machined acrylic block:

This is a sled (platen) assembly. The small bottom piece rides on urethane foam which is being slit to 2 mm thickness. It's balanced perfectly so that the force on the foam is virtually nothing, yet enough to follow the top of the foam a constant thickness cut. This is used by Woodbridge Foam Manufacturing in Chattanooga. A digital indicator would be mounted on the unit and its stylus rides on the sled. The digital indicator provides feedback to control the thickness of the cut. You'd have to hold this in your hand to appreciate its precision and balance:

If you're a machinist that's tired of dragging your tailstock back and forth, Pat Skidmore can add an air bearing to your lathe so that you can push the tailstock back and forth with one finger.

If you need any adapters made for anything, call Pat. Examples are photography, antique cars and trucks, antique machinery, motorcycle adapters, race car brackets and adapters, and anything else you can think of.

  • Instrument quality machine parts

  • Machine Technician

  • Field Engineer

  • QA and laboratory parts & components

  • Custom Tools

Call Pat Skidmore at 423-596-5841
Email Pat
if you have any questions...

Pat Skidmore
Vision Tool and Machine Design
2664 Burning Bush Road
Ringgold, GA 30736
423-596-5841 cell
Email Pat
Shop rate is $75 / hour.
Call to discuss your project.