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  1. K

    Business Strategy/Entrepreneurship thread for metal shops

    I can certainly say I do not know exactly what I am doing. I am positive my kids would tell you that too. Years of leadership made me confident. It is impossible to stand in front of thousands of folks and be uncertain or fearful -- good, bad or ugly my job was to lead the way forward. When...
  2. K

    Business Strategy/Entrepreneurship thread for metal shops

    It is difficult to find opportunities in the beginning. The only real options are hiring a broker (crapshoot and expensive) or watching the various business sale listings (lots of noise). After a while, our network grew and opportunities come to us. Other owners, lawyers, accountants...
  3. K

    USPS $15.00 surcharge -- package over 30 inches

    There is a $4 surcharge over 22 inches. $15 over 30 inches. $1.50 for mis-measured boxes. We were shipping about 50 USPS packages a day that hit the 30 inch limit. These now go with other carriers. I’m sure they will now take advantage and raise prices. This pricing also gives Amazon...
  4. K

    I landed a new job

    What does any of this political conspiracy talk have to do with this forum or thread? There are boards for both right and left wing nuts that would enjoy this dialog.
  5. K

    Dynasty 300 hf arc starting issues with new helmet?

    The high frequency is both conducted and radiated from the welding circuit. Poor ground connections and coiled cables can cause significant problems. Check the grounding on the machine. Normally, no current should be flowing in the ground bonding wires. Welding machines often have High...
  6. K

    OT: Ditch Witch SK 1550

    Yea, we torqued it with a 3/4” impact wrench…… We have farmed for years and I buy grade 8 everything. I don’t use split lock washers because they will easily crack. If it busts, I will teach him how to get the bolt studs out. The machines do get used hard. Constant back and forth. Dragging...
  7. K

    OT: Ditch Witch SK 1550

    They are very compact machines. Everything fits with no room to spare. They easily pay for themselves when they run. Ditch Witch could have avoided a lot of problems by adding about 1/2 inch to the drive sprocket diameter. The reason they used three studs instead of four to hold the motor is...
  8. K

    OT: Ditch Witch SK 1550

    His Ditch Witches are those stand up loader machines with a swivel grapple on the front. He uses them mostly for loading a big chipper. I have a Vermeer trencher. It can turn at about a 15 degree angle while digging without much trouble. It puts a lot of side pressure on the chain so it is...
  9. K

    fuse types

    Fuse sizing is not nearly as easy as it would seem it should be. I have seen some nice guides published by fuse manufacturers and distributors. Unfortunately, none of them make the topic simpler and the branding jargon makes the topic more confusing. Normal operating currents, open circuit...
  10. K

    Mail-in welding fab companies?

    We kept one welder / fab guy. Good catch The rest were ready to hang up their torch. We have several people who are pretty good. I have a lot of metal joining experience and can teach. We just got another job in today to silver solder some sort of ancient super-duty electrical contacts...
  11. K

    Electrical enclosures

  12. K

    patent pending - how to find details about whats patented?

    If they get a patent with claims covering your product, you do "infringe" their patent. However, their patent may or may not be valid. The patent will not be enforceable if you can demonstrate you publicly disclosed (published, marketed, sold, etc.) they product before they filed. We ran...
  13. K

    I'm tired. Tired and I don't think I have any left in me, to give my company

    Have you been evaluated for sleep apnea? Getting a CPAP made my life 2X better.
  14. K

    Business Strategy/Entrepreneurship thread for metal shops

    Take it for what it says. The thread is about entrepreneurial strategy. I shared ours. The comment about tired businesses is accurate. The companies are past their prime. The owners want to retire. Investment has stalled. All companies have “activity traps” that are best abandoned...
  15. K

    Material Sourcing forum?

    There are products out there already. AMM is a relatively affordable rag that reports prices. Their indexes are skewed toward large players and they do not make their data collection methods or statistics known. They changed their index baselines a few years ago and it caused all kinds of...
  16. K

    Material Sourcing forum?

    I believe it is very helpful to know the current prices and who the most competitive suppliers are. Ox is right about it being a seller’s market. Consolidation, shortages and financial speculation are causing chaos in the metal markets. Suppliers do protect their VIP customers. Geography...
  17. K

    OT: Ditch Witch SK 1550

    I helped a local "kid" fix a small log skidder today. I don't normally do this sort of work but he is a family friend in a jam. He has two of these standup Ditch Witch machines -- $52k each. The hydraulic track drive motors are mounted with three 1/2" studs. Those have sheared off of each...
  18. K

    Ergonomics in the workplace

    It is good to have a thick wallet :D
  19. K

    Business Strategy/Entrepreneurship thread for metal shops

    Building Wealth I joined my kids in a business because I wanted them to have an avenue to build wealth. I spent 35 years in the corporate world and I now subscribe to the theory that corporations are the new plantations. I never believed that until the past five or so years. The...
  20. K

    Mail-in welding fab companies?

    We bought a shop that had a welding business dating back to the 1940s. We kept the email and phone number but abandoned the name and the welding portion of the business because we don’t seek job work. We receive all manner of emailed RFQs for welding and brazing production parts. We have the...