This week is like last week and the week before that. I went fishing Friday afternoon and haven't left the house/shop since. Shop supplies and materials for jobs are delivered. Outgoing orders are picked up.
I had an issue with one raw stock vendor taking 8-9 days before they ship, but I have located another metal vendor that typically ships the next day and has a lower transit time. Their price is a little higher on most similar stock pieces, but not enough to set off my cheap-o-meter. For future stock I am still ordering from the first vendor, but now I know I can get material for current jobs in a more timely manner.
Right now I am waiting on stock for three jobs, and everything else is ahead of schedule. That's a little worrying I guess. I've been overloaded and behind schedule for the last couple years.
AS long as I have orders coming in I'll be ok from a business perspective. I heard a cash register notification sound from my phone a little while ago. So that's another order anyway.
Personally. Well my attitude is the same so you decide. Still haven't had the time to crack a book. Not if you don't count tool catalogs anyway.
I understand in this day and age its not PC, but I'll say a prayer for each and every one of you guys. I hope you guys all weather the storm in good health and come out the other side financially whole.
I stopped in at the local Lowes today to pickup a couple of
3/4' flat washers. I drove past the front entrance down to the Contractor Entrance. Only to find the Contractor Entrance what now the store Exit. And there was a outside line of about
10 people (6' apart) waiting for permission to go in. I decided to travel another 5 miles to a Hardware Store to get what I needed. They had different rules but no lines of bodies.
I moved the refrigerator from my front office to the communications closet in my personal office. I needed a brass hex bushing to finish hooking up the ice maker, So i walked out in the shop and made one rather than screw around with Lowes or Home Depot.
Right now if I need most parts "right now" I make them rather than going out and dealing with all the crazy. If I can wait a couple days I add them to one of my regular vendor orders and they cost me a lot less than the local box store charges.
Wow Bob, You seem to have certain advantages that us others will never have. Can I place an order for a 3/8-16 Acorn Nut?? Delivery by Thursday would be nice. That is when I will be repairing my Mower Deck that keeps burning up belts. Oh, never mind I did get a 3/8-16 half nut that should do the job. :-)
I have some half nuts. They are used to engage and disengage the lead screw on a lathe. You have a 3/8-16 one? Really tiny lathe? Part of a quick release mechanism on a tiny drill press vise? Usually they are for an acme or a trapezoidal thread. Are you sure yours will work in place of the 60 degree V threaded acorn nut? Is your acorn nut an unusual thread form? Is this why you need one fabricated?
Yes I could make a 3/8-18 acorn nut. I could potentially have it there by Thursday. Freight would be a killer. I think I also have a box of them in one of my drawers full of nuts and bolts. Does it have to be fabricated in house or would a mass produced one be satisfactory?
As to your washers. You really should establish a relationship with a decent local commercial nuts and bolts vendor. (probably NOT Fastenal) You probably could have purchased a whole box at a commercial vendor for what a few cost at one of the box stores. Usually if I just need a couple of anything small my local (regional) fastener store just gives them to me. I try very hard not to take advantage of that. Often I'll buy a box just to have it on hand, and not be embarrassed by getting it free unless a box is just to much to spend. Usually its not. They are always a LOT cheaper than a box store for hardware in their product range. I'm fortunate that Copperstate Bolt is just a couple miles from my shop. Closer than any other source really.
I was always a little surprised more communications contractors didn't make more things. I routinely fabricated camera mounts for specialty applications. Made my own recessed cover plates for mounting optical sensors across heavy traffic areas. (actually made press dies to modify the cover plates) Sometimes I made things because the best solution for an application didn't exist. Other times because what was available wasn't the best fit and was way to expensive. A few times other contractors were interested in my "inventions."
Recently I was working on a new product for machinists. I wanted some knobs (shoulder bolt with a LARGE knurled head) for the project. What I found was either expensive and poor fit for the application or moderate priced cheaply made and a lousy fit for the application. I made my own for the prototypes. I could have them made in 10K qty pretty cheaply per unit, but 10K units is still a lot of money. I'll probably only sell a dozen (maybe a couple dozen) completed products per year. The economics of that should be obvious. I walked out and stood in front of the lathe and asked myself. Can I make these efficiently enough to pay myself my going rate and still be less than the small quantity price of buying them. One at a time maybe. Then I walked over and stood in front of one of the CNC mills and asked myself can I batch out more of them in less time with less manual labor by using this?
The biggest problem I have now is that my shop was never intended to be a machine shop. It was a warehouse for my contracting company with a small office in front and a small work area in back. When I wired it I thought what I was doing was overkill for an office air conditioner, lights, and a few outlets in back. Now I often find myself adding up in my head the current draw of everything that is running in the shop to make sure I am not going to overload the main. I try to never use any of the welders while CNC mills are running. I just bought another machine. It will be here next week. LOL.
I need to stop boring you guys with what I am sure sounds like needless bragging and get back to work.
Bob, Bored or not I find your typing fun to read. I have some machine shop experience working in the plastic industry for 22 years. The last 14 of those years as the Maintenance Supervisor. And some of the years working in the R&D Department. Then it was having to take another .005" off the mandrel and re-knurled so the diameter of the overflow tube in an American Standard toilet could be brought into tolerance and production could start saving product to fill the truck for shipment.
A lot of times is was "just figure it out" and make the dang thing work. Making special parts in the machine shop was always fun. There were times that the first off ended up scrap so that the second attempt would actually do the job.
My Acorn Nut now Half Nut is for my mower deck. Last year after burning up a belt I saw that the tensioning cam was loose and had some wear on the on edge. I removed and had ground a new surface. Upon reassembly I didn't notice that there most likely a Acorn Nut on top of the pivot bolt that was locked against another nut to hold all together and not let it get loose. My bad for not realizing that it may have been what happened or started the problem in the first place. Anyhow, all came loose again, burned up another belt and made things ugly. I have now order a new replacement cam an will be replacing on Thursday or Friday. Since I could not find a Acorn Nut at the Hardware Store I went for a Half Nut to lock the Pivot Bolt in place. All should be good then.
BTW for some reason my grass did not seem to take a vacation and is still growing. I did look at just buying a new mower, But, trying to balance maybe $40 in parts and a little time against $2000 for new seemed to be make sense. I could be wrong but, I will live with it.
Again I appreciate your typing. I am sure others may enjoy as well.
So, the next time you take a break from working remember to set a alarm clock so you get reminded when it is time to get back to work.
I didn't proof read the above much. Please excuse any typo's. :-)