Well I've been wide open throttle here for a few months but feel like I'm spinning my wheels. I had to do another equity infusion (read: I had to stick more personal money into the business) to get things back on track with monthly payments and such. It took a bit more money and effort that I thought it would to get the new-to-me turning center up and running. It always does! I'll try to remember to link that thread here for posterity.
Made my first several batches of my hardened steel t-washers so technically the thing has already paid for itself. Waiting on honing of some collets so I can start doing my DOM tubing cutoff. That is gonna be a huge time saver!
The CCA Racing Products torque plate and other fixture sales have been picking up - lots of word-of-mouth referrals. I've been trying to streamline the ordering and payment/shipping process to minimize the amount of time I'm not making product. It has been very hard to keep up on production of the other stuff - hand tools and white label products - and I've been trying to get my production fixtures built for the hand tools.
Trying to get photos taken for the new website, but I'm gonna need a bigger photo booth! I have a local customer that has offered up theirs, but usually I have to ship these things the same day I make them so not a lot of time to run across town for a few pictures.
I'm also partnering with a US company to start supplying custom-labeled, US-made dial indicators with my hand tools. This is a big step up but I can still beat the crap out of most industry pricing, and I'll be the only one selling a 100% made-in-USA product. The engine building and race car world still cares about that sort of thing. Big thanks to Frank Mari for giving me a pointer to that company while he was on vacation.
These have to be the easiest-to-read dials I've ever seen.
Starting on the production fixturing for that tool:
I'm building it so that I will just pull the vise jaws off my 20" Orange vise bodies and throw the pallet and "faux 4th" setup on there. I am building a -90/0/90 indexing system so I can do three operations on eight parts at once without moving anything fixture to fixture or vise to vise.
Speaking of Maritool... their new coolant skimmer is awesome. Less than $500 and so far the best one I've tried. That is about the same price as the Abanaki / Next Gen separatory tank type and the adjustability on this one is much easier than setting a float level! Plus it has a time delay setting so I can hit the button when I turn off the machine and it will wait six hours for the coolant to settle, then run for an hour.
Yeah, yeah. I guy who spent as much time as I have working with spent metalworking fluids should have gotten squared away with tramp oil removal a long time ago. Just goes to show how awesome modern quality coolants are.
As of this week I think I've had the Okuma on the floor for a year. Hard to believe, time really does start moving faster as you age.
Alright, I actually have a part that runs about 45 minute cycle time for OP1/OP2 combined so I was able to type this up and now I'd better get back to some shop maintenance stuff and building projects, and I also need to continue programming a few things. It never ends!
ETA: I meant to say that I did try those floating oil absorbing pillows from McMaster just to try a cheap stop-gap while I'm trying to not hemorrhage money, and it did not work AT ALL.