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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlewis0831 View Post
    Thank you for the add!

    I was with my previous company for 6 years and spent the last 3 years implementing two MicroVu CMM instruments to our inspection processes. I am hobbyist at heart and love building things.

    I moved to Southern California in September and started a new job at a growing medical device manufacturer. We rely on several local and foreign machine shops to supply us the parts to build the device we sell.

    I have always wanted a hobby grade CNC mill, but now I am contemplating on going full scale. If I did go full scale I would have the opportunity to provide parts for my company, which would be very lucrative. I have somebody who is willing to front $60k to get it started if I am serious. In yours guys opinion is this doable with this budget? I lack CNC experience, other than being a CMM programmer and working with machinist at my previous job to insure quality. I am a quick learner and mechanically inclined. Thoughts? Thanks guys.
    .
    .
    many a person who starts their own business ends up at retirement age with no savings and living on $1100/month SS as they reported not much SS income over the years in business. their own business basically acts as a money pit absorbing and preventing any savings
    .
    if you work for somebody and find a company that pays reasonable well and has plenty of overtime if you want it, you should easily have $500,000 saved in 401K by the time your 62
    $500,000 can be put into lifetime monthly annuity where you get $2000/month for life and in addition to say a additional $1600/month SS at 62 thats $3600/month at early retirement age. if you work longer obviously you would have more.
    .
    my father had his own business and ended retired on $1100/month SS and no savings. no way i would ever want to end up that way.

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  3. #22
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    Note that I’m not a machinist and have never worked in a machine shop. But I have worked in very large corporations, small corporations, government and run my own businesses.

    So here’s a couple of thoughts.

    You plan to continue with your current job and run these parts as a side business with the blessing of your company. Right? First of all, since this is, in fact, a huge conflict of interest I’d get it signed off in writing with the legal department and the CEO that they are fine with you doing this. People have a bad habit of “rethinking things” when an employee is doing something that is more in the employee's best interests than in the company’s.

    As all the others have pointed out, these parts may not be “overpriced”. That may just be the opinion of someone at the bottom of the food chain who doesn’t have the slightest idea of what machine time, tooling replacement, insurance, operating expenses, etc. cost in the real world.

    Here’s what I would suggest:

    Help the company’s production – With the blessing of the company, offer to see if you can find better suppliers for the parts that you find problems with. Ask for a reward, maybe a fixed bonus or percentage of savings, if the supplier you find works out better than the current one. MAKE SURE the purchasing agent is on board with this. He/She may see you as being a big help. If He/She sees you as invading their turf they will torpedo your little boat and do everything possible to make you look bad and get you fired.

    Help the company’s R&D – Start up your small scale operation, buy a CNC mill, learn to use it and make some parts. Once you can actually make good parts, see if the R&D folks will send some work your way. After the R&D people think you are the best thing since sliced bread, consider taking on other work.

    Don’t expect that either of those will be easy.

    Good luck.
    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlewis0831 View Post
    I lack CNC experience, other than being a CMM programmer and working with machinist at my previous job to insure quality. I am a quick learner and mechanically inclined. Thoughts? Thanks guys.
    Why in the world would you think you could open and run a machine shop then?

    If you really want to give it your best, get a job as a machinist making parts like the ones you're planning on. Once you can run the place, start your own. Don't just do it because free money.

  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    my father had his own business and ended retired on $1100/month SS and no savings. no way i would ever want to end up that way.
    Talk about confirmation bias...

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    Thank you for the constructive criticism and acknowledging this would be a "side buisness" and an opportunity to expand my skill set in something I enjoy. I should probably mention that the lender would be my father. He is retired and we share the same interests in hobbies(he's bored). I probably should of posted - Is $60k enough to get a small garage job shop going? As I mentioned there is no rush to put money on the table. I'm 30 years old and have been successful in my career path(401k, health benifits, and savings have been established many years ago as others questioned). The dynamic at my job is difficult to understand and very different from what I'm accustomed to (semiconductor industry). Trust me, being a senior level QA Tech, leading ISO audits, and years of SPC management, continual improvement runs in my blood now. As I mentioned management is showing little interest in our machine shop suppliers. I felt like this would be a good opportunity to step up my original plan of a hobby grade mill to something that would also in time allow me to efficiently machine parts for my 9 to 5 job with the proper training.

  8. #26
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    I should probably mention that the lender would be my father. He is retired and we share the same interests in hobbies(he's bored).
    Bank Of Dad.. When nobody else will help you out, the Old Man always will. My old man(and mom) has helped me out and BAILED
    me out more than once.


    He's bored??? He's looking to do something fun, you're just the excuse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    Bank Of Dad.. When nobody else will help you out, the Old Man always will. My old man(and mom) has helped me out and BAILED
    me out more than once.


    He's bored??? He's looking to do something fun, you're just the excuse.
    Yah, moms tired of catching him at his newly found hobby of going to the indian casino. We are both financially sound, but if he wants to help fund an adventure out of boredom than so be it lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlewis0831 View Post
    .............- Is $60k enough to get a small garage job shop going? ....................
    May depend on your timing. The economy crashes about every 8 years and the last time was 2008. During 2001-2002 and 2009-2010 you could get some really amazing deals on low use machines. I'm fully expecting that to happen again.

    Steve

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    $60,000 would be enough to get started if someone has a good amount of experience on the equipment and type of machining they are starting out with. That isn't the case with you, first you won't have the skills to get by with the basic minimum in a lot of areas. You won't be touching up tooling on a belt sander or diamond wheel you will be replacing with new the second something gets a little dull. You will also spend more on fixturing that most as you will not have the skills to cobble something quick and dirty to get by with. You will have to stock more tooling than most as you will have to have plenty of items for experimentation and lots of duplicates because all newbies go through tooling like a sugar addict goes through candy. Also all newbies crash machines and tooling, you could cause $10,000 in damage with one oops.

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    The basic premise of assuming that a startup home-shop operation can compete with regard to price and quality of the many experienced shops for production work is flawed to begin with, IMO. Then there is the high probability that the business relationship with the current employer won't work out.
    Starting a home shop to do prototyping, R&D work, odd jobs and perhaps some production of one's own product can make sense, competing with professional shops for volume jobs is probably not too practical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlewis0831 View Post
    Thank you for the constructive criticism and acknowledging this would be a "side buisness" and an opportunity to expand my skill set in something I enjoy. I should probably mention that the lender would be my father. He is retired and we share the same interests in hobbies(he's bored). I probably should of posted - Is $60k enough to get a small garage job shop going? As I mentioned there is no rush to put money on the table. I'm 30 years old and have been successful in my career path(401k, health benifits, and savings have been established many years ago as others questioned). The dynamic at my job is difficult to understand and very different from what I'm accustomed to (semiconductor industry). Trust me, being a senior level QA Tech, leading ISO audits, and years of SPC management, continual improvement runs in my blood now. As I mentioned management is showing little interest in our machine shop suppliers. I felt like this would be a good opportunity to step up my original plan of a hobby grade mill to something that would also in time allow me to efficiently machine parts for my 9 to 5 job with the proper training.
    That is because they don't *have* to be. Trust me, I work in a giant corp of America work environment, and most guys could care less (or even notice!) if they are being overcharged by a factor of 2 or 100. We (not me personally, but I am/was involved for my employment) tried starting a machine shop, no support from upper management and it went in the toilet. Didn't matter we could internally provide better parts, faster turn around, etc.

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    Sit back and think for a minute. Are you willing to put your own 60K on the table? Are you willing to face dad and say,hey fella, no sweat,it all went down the Swanee? Still it was my inheritance so not your problem.
    If you get a demo on a machine,any machine,you will realise that with ten minutes training you will be the bee's knees,well that's what the salesman said. Unfortunately it doesn't work like that and with CNC it definitely doesn't work like that.
    So let's get down to basics. You need a machine,tooling,inspection equipment,3 phase, backup machines,storage and much much more.
    I wish you well with your endeavours and hope you make the right choice which ever way you jump. I

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I fooled myself into thinking I could do work for my former employer. I'm still waiting for that first PO...
    My first response is suspecting the former co-workers of envy and jealousy.

    When I was younger, I didn't understand that resentment played a huge part in driving many people.

    Once met a guy on the monster-truck circuit, based out of Wheeling WV. He tol me the locals had no interest in cheering him on; they prefered cheering strangers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car2 View Post
    The basic premise of assuming that a startup home-shop operation can compete with regard to price and quality of the many experienced shops for production work is flawed to begin with, IMO.
    Thats your opinion, does not make it fact or fiction. One thing lots of people forget is there’s a lot of ways to do a hell of a lot of the same things in this trade. Old farts get set in there ways - do it the way there currently tooled up for. Some times there’s a big advantage in starting from a clean slate to do something.

    Remember the fake chinese chicken eggs? Now most people in the uk would simply get a chicken if they wanted to make eggs, feed the chicken and wait for it to drop out of there ass, not the chinese, nope they worked out, then made fake eggs on mass. presumably it must have been cheaper for them to do it this way than raise chickens?

    Just remember your at A the customer wants Z yeah you can follow the heard and go all the usual steps or some times you can miss a few take a diffrent path and still end up at the same end solution. Yep your inexperienced and nieve, but that does not mean you might not have a idea thats better than the current suppliers approach. Does mean there’s a greater chance of issues catching you out though.

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    You do not have to look far to find companies today that are of small, medium, or very large size that all began in a garage. The story, often proudly proclaimed in the "About Us" section of a companies brochure or website, tells how Dad or Grampa, started making a few widgets in his garage or basement only to grow into a very successful and lasting business. Most likely, how humble the beginnings circumstances might be are less important as a determinant for success than the determination, people skills, eagerness to learn, and intelligence (and luck) of the beginner.

    Denis

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    I think it's a great situation to get your dad involved into something that keeps him busy and challenged. At the same time you can spend time together. The money isn't important so I would go for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by dlewis0831 View Post
    Thank you for the constructive criticism and acknowledging this would be a "side buisness" and an opportunity to expand my skill set in something I enjoy. I should probably mention that the lender would be my father. He is retired and we share the same interests in hobbies(he's bored). I probably should of posted - Is $60k enough to get a small garage job shop going? As I mentioned there is no rush to put money on the table. I'm 30 years old and have been successful in my career path(401k, health benifits, and savings have been established many years ago as others questioned). The dynamic at my job is difficult to understand and very different from what I'm accustomed to (semiconductor industry). Trust me, being a senior level QA Tech, leading ISO audits, and years of SPC management, continual improvement runs in my blood now. As I mentioned management is showing little interest in our machine shop suppliers. I felt like this would be a good opportunity to step up my original plan of a hobby grade mill to something that would also in time allow me to efficiently machine parts for my 9 to 5 job with the proper training.

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    Dont spend you parents savings starting a machine shop
    If I had a time machine id go back to when I signed my first workshop lease and punch me in the face to stop me doing it

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    If you see room between actual production cost and the price they are paying, then you could stand in the middle to supply your employer and source from subcontractors.


    No contract, no $ out



    It that's wildly successful, then use that $ to start a hobby shop at home.

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    This the American dream and likely all the warnings here will not dissuade you from doing this. It sounds like you understand everything except how difficult quality really is when you do not fully understand how a part is machined. Use the 60K to hire a retired machinist to train you and get your machines setup. There are years of experience needed to get all but the simplest parts to button push equals good parts stage. Be prepared to diversify immediately or sell your equipment and find a job because the parts you will be running will become obsolete and you may not win the bidding process for the next big thing. Been there.

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    If I'm reading this right, the OP is a QC person who just happened to see the
    prices being paid for said parts.

    Basing a whole business startup on peeking a glance at some prices seems risky for
    several reasons.
    1. You don't know why these prices are "higher than you think they should be"
    2. You don't know why the buyer stays with these vendors.

    It could be your company demands short runs and fast turnaround hence pays for it
    with higher prices.

    It could also be the buyer is sending overpriced work to friends, and you go and get in the middle of that and see how long you last.

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