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  1. #221
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    CNC controls are easy to use, regardless of brand, ever since they became equipped with CRTs. Pre-CRT, then yes there were some things to learn. Mostly it boils down to what you get used to. I've been programming, running, and repairing Asian CNCs since the late 70s. Maybe that gives me an edge or a different perspective. When I had to start learning Fadal controls I know it was a big PITA to learn. I'm sure if I had to step in front of a Haas and figure it out I'd have the same feeling. After a while though you get the idea of what to do and then it just runs the machine.

    Maybe a Haas is a good candidate to sell for scrap or to a hobby retrofit guy after 15 years when the control is no longer supported. You don't find many top-shelf Japanese machines facing that situation.

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    It sounds like you have the LLC formation on the radar. Have you looked into your ability to insure a machine under financing in a garage shop? Whether or not you can practically operate in your garage, it's likely that manufacturing is specifically prohibited making it tricky to satisfy all requirements for a loan.

    -Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by SVFeingold View Post
    This forum has taught me to dread Fanuc controls, not sure how the M80 stacks up.
    That's funny. When I was shopping, I wanted a Fanuc control as I consider it the standard to which all others are compared.

    I had to get landlord signature on my financing so if I default they will unlock to door for repo man.

    I understand being in CA changes things, but you can rack up lots of dough trying to fit that thing somewhere it doesn't belong. I was going to go the garage route when I moved to Texas but thought better of it. Riggers alone can add many thousands if the install location isn't easy for them. You can rack up one year commercial rent in no time. Insurance might care about location too, not sure. My 2 cents. Good luck.

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    Good point about the financing/insurance overlap. Mike I am not sure what you mean when you say "manufacturing is specifically prohibited." Are you talking about home insurance or machine insurance? Not sure why that'd be the case for the latter. For the former, I don't think this would be classified as "manufacturing" but I'd need to read the fine print.

    I'm still looking at commercial space, nothing yet. A year of commercial rent around here tends to be 75k+. I doubt the riggers will be sufficiently grumpy about rolling a mill into the garage to reach that number. Access is pretty straightforward, the door height is really the only sticking point. The height isn't really the rigger's problem though.

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    I thought I had mentioned insurance previously, but I guess I forgot.

    You absolutely need to have your insurance figured out. Your landlord will likely question you on it. Most home insurances will not cover a business in the home and will require additional coverage.

    I could not get a loan, with out having insurance, that added a considerable expense to the cost of the machine. The insurance company will want to know exactly what you are making and for what industries.

    Be sure not to use the *A* or *F* words while talking to anyone in insurance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    Be sure not to use the *A* or *F* words while talking to anyone in insurance.
    Well don't leave me hanging, which words?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    .......You absolutely need to have your insurance figured out. Your landlord will likely question you on it. Most home insurances will not cover a business in the home and will require additional coverage. .......
    Worth looking into, but IME not a problem. When a tree blew down and crushed my shop roof, the adjuster didn't blink at all when he saw and heard what the machines in my shop were. The only thing he advised was to get a rider added since I have "replacement cost" coverage on the policy. He thought it would possibly get messy if they had had to total the Mori and fund "replacement cost". His words were something like "it's no different than a customer having an exotic car damaged in a building claim, we just need to know if we face above normal exposure".

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    Quote Originally Posted by SVFeingold View Post
    Well don't leave me hanging, which words?
    I would say he's probably talking about things that fly and things that go Bang!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SVFeingold View Post
    Well don't leave me hanging, which words?
    As mentioned below, aerospace and firearms. You've never touched one, you don't know anything about them, and can't stand either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Worth looking into, but IME not a problem. When a tree blew down and crushed my shop roof, the adjuster didn't blink at all when he saw and heard what the machines in my shop were. The only thing he advised was to get a rider added since I have "replacement cost" coverage on the policy. He thought it would possibly get messy if they had had to total the Mori and fund "replacement cost". His words were something like "it's no different than a customer having an exotic car damaged in a building claim, we just need to know if we face above normal exposure".
    I don't want to be argumentative, and maybe it is a US/Canada difference, but that is literally the complete opposite of what I was told by about 6 different insurance companies the last time I went shopping.

    Quote Originally Posted by VTM View Post
    I would say he's probably talking about things that fly and things that go Bang!!
    Yep...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SVFeingold View Post
    Good point about the financing/insurance overlap. Mike I am not sure what you mean when you say "manufacturing is specifically prohibited." Are you talking about home insurance or machine insurance? Not sure why that'd be the case for the latter. For the former, I don't think this would be classified as "manufacturing" but I'd need to read the fine print.
    Lots of cities prohibit manufacturing in a residential zone. I think many people practically ignore this, but if you are dealing with insurance and they want to inspect the shop to see what they are insuring, it's going to come up. HOA's are another snafu. As for what you are doing being manufacturing, I would guess you'll have a hard time proving it's not when you have a very capable machine purchased under your business.

    The good thing is that electric car chargers provide a valid reason on paper for having substantial electrical service to your garage. When I lived in Pittsburgh, the permit office gave me a hard time about running 240V to my garage. They said the only thing you're permitted to do in a garage was park and store stuff.

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    @SVFeingold

    Minor brain fart + take-aways from Mark Terryberry (sp) (interview excerpt).

    That large part you showed with the deep pockets and side features , was wondering if an 3 axis mill + a right angle head would do that for you ? You have to flip the part over anyways (also) 6th side set up ?

    __________________________________________________ _________________________________________


    What Mark T was saying for smaller parts that to gang them on a larger3 axis table and "Go away " for a while / longer while, come back flip them (ten or 15 parts or more ) over in their fixtures and go away for a few hours / overnight. As compared to 5 axis part done one at a time ? Time wise maybe not that different other than the stretches of time you leave the machine unattended ? [This is through the "Lens" of 5 axis as enhanced automation.]. Mark was also saying that for positional stuff he claims that your regular 3 axis code / set ups can be stitched together for 5 axis (with minor modifications), [In other word eventual transition to 5 axis need not be a worry necessarily where you must put thousands of hours into before you make your first 5 axis part ].. Having multiple parts on a "Universal" might be one work around or compromise. ? But not so easy to jam into your garage...

    Seems you will be at the machine all the time anyway and unattended runs (like while you are at your day job would be "Verboten" ? ). + insurance + land lady (like what some are saying here.).

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    I think we have put five or six Brothers in residential areas of Northern California. Just because you have a machine does not mean it is a business to the city. Maybe just a hobbyist. Instead of a Ferrari a nice Speedio. If you need new electrical permits, that is a whole different animal.

    However, if you are not nice to your neighbors, who knows what might happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    .......I don't want to be argumentative, and maybe it is a US/Canada difference, ........
    I'm US. Don't know anything about Canada.

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    From what I've been exposed to as far as insurance/business language is concerned, it seems to be more about checking boxes (in large corporations anyway) than about getting into the specific ins-and-outs of what you'll be doing on a minute-by-minute basis. That is to say, the fact that it's a CNC mill doesn't mean it's being used for "manufacturing." Any more than my drill press is verboten because those are also used in manufacturing environments. Plenty of non-manufacturers have CNC equipment as well. I'm not too worried about that. We'll see how it shakes out.

    No HOA here and I've gotten a bit chummy with the neighbors. A few cookouts and movie nights (after the COVID madness) will be a great way to get to know everyone better. The general attitude at the latest gathering (when I asked if any of them were in an HOA) was "haha fuck HOAs." So the attitude is trending in the right direction at least.

    Whether insurance will have an issue with insuring the mill remains to be seen. I'm hoping for a similar experience to Vancbiker. I could put a million dollar supercar in there and insure it. I mean I couldn't, but in theory. This is way cheaper and much harder to total.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SVFeingold View Post
    From what I've been exposed to as far as insurance/business language is concerned, it seems to be more about checking boxes (in large corporations anyway) than about getting into the specific ins-and-outs of what you'll be doing on a minute-by-minute basis. That is to say, the fact that it's a CNC mill doesn't mean it's being used for "manufacturing." Any more than my drill press is verboten because those are also used in manufacturing environments. Plenty of non-manufacturers have CNC equipment as well. I'm not too worried about that. We'll see how it shakes out.

    Whether insurance will have an issue with insuring the mill remains to be seen. I'm hoping for a similar experience to Vancbiker. I could put a million dollar supercar in there and insure it. I mean I couldn't, but in theory. This is way cheaper and much harder to total.
    Hopefully for you it works out. All I can say is my experience. The first insurance company I talked to wanted a FOUR year list of everything I had machined to evaluate liability. Each, and every, single, job. With a description of what it was used for, the industry it was made for, the company it was made for, etc. I laughed, stood up, and left.

    The other four insurance companies I worked with wanted website, product list, industries serviced, services provided, frequency, dollar amount breakdown for each. Quotes ranged from $6k-$8k a year.

    The last company wanted website, product list, gross, and quoted $2500 a year. However, I have several exclusions, like I am not covered for theft, because they wanted steel bars over all the windows and crash barricades. Hard to do in a residential neighborhood.

    For reference, I do tool & die work, some general machine shop work, sell a few products, and gross less than $100k.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    I'm US. Don't know anything about Canada.
    I apologize, I SWEAR I looked at your location and it said a canadian city!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2outof3 View Post
    I think we have put five or six Brothers in residential areas of Northern California. Just because you have a machine does not mean it is a business to the city. Maybe just a hobbyist. Instead of a Ferrari a nice Speedio. If you need new electrical permits, that is a whole different animal.

    However, if you are not nice to your neighbors, who knows what might happen.
    I would be shocked to find out that a California city has looser regulations than my little Ohio town! Machine shops are prohibited. Period. Hobbyist, business, PERIOD. The only reason I get to continue running my business is one, the city only knows 1/4 of the story, I had my permit before they prohibited machine shops, I have a phase converter and can do all of my own electrical work. Machine shops are only allowed in Industrial and Manufacturing zoned areas.

    I am pretty confident if the city inspectors knew the whole story there would be some issues just like there would be for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike RzMachine View Post
    Lots of cities prohibit manufacturing in a residential zone. I think many people practically ignore this, but if you are dealing with insurance and they want to inspect the shop to see what they are insuring, it's going to come up. HOA's are another snafu. As for what you are doing being manufacturing, I would guess you'll have a hard time proving it's not when you have a very capable machine purchased under your business.
    I've tried to ride the line as much as possible between the "business" and "hobby". It can be challenging. I don't recommend it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    Hopefully for you it works out. All I can say is my experience. The first insurance company I talked to wanted a FOUR year list of everything I had machined to evaluate liability. Each, and every, single, job. With a description of what it was used for, the industry it was made for, the company it was made for, etc. I laughed, stood up, and left.

    The other four insurance companies I worked with wanted website, product list, industries serviced, services provided, frequency, dollar amount breakdown for each. Quotes ranged from $6k-$8k a year.

    The last company wanted website, product list, gross, and quoted $2500 a year. However, I have several exclusions, like I am not covered for theft, because they wanted steel bars over all the windows and crash barricades. Hard to do in a residential neighborhood.

    For reference, I do tool & die work, some general machine shop work, sell a few products, and gross less than $100k.


    I apologize, I SWEAR I looked at your location and it said a canadian city!



    I would be shocked to find out that a California city has looser regulations than my little Ohio town! Machine shops are prohibited. Period. Hobbyist, business, PERIOD. The only reason I get to continue running my business is one, the city only knows 1/4 of the story, I had my permit before they prohibited machine shops, I have a phase converter and can do all of my own electrical work. Machine shops are only allowed in Industrial and Manufacturing zoned areas.

    I am pretty confident if the city inspectors knew the whole story there would be some issues just like there would be for me.



    I've tried to ride the line as much as possible between the "business" and "hobby". It can be challenging. I don't recommend it.
    I would never call it a machine shop. Design firm, Engineering Resource firm but never admit to it being manufacturing. No different than if I made a cabinets for fun in my garage but owned a furniture design consulting firm. One of my customers has graduated from forging knives to making widgets. Speedio, table saw, gas forge and anvil or even a wood lathe. Can all be the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    The first insurance company I talked to wanted a FOUR year list of everything I had machined to evaluate liability. Each, and every, single, job. With a description of what it was used for, the industry it was made for, the company it was made for, etc. I laughed, stood up, and left.
    Holy shit. What.

    However, I have several exclusions, like I am not covered for theft, because they wanted steel bars over all the windows and crash barricades. Hard to do in a residential neighborhood.
    So they think someone will squeeze in with a hand cart and roll out a 10,000lb CNC mill? Maybe hoist it out the window?

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    For what it's worth, here are the most relevant codes I could find for the city:

    A.Where allowed. Home occupations are allowed in all residential zoning districts.

    B.Allowed home occupations. Certain commercial enterprises are deemed appropriate when conducted by the resident(s) of a dwelling in a manner accessory to and compatible with the residential characteristics of the surrounding neighborhood. For purposes of this chapter the following uses are deemed compatible with residential activities, and shall be allowed upon issuance of a home occupation permit:
    1.Consulting services. Consulting services whose function is one of rendering a service and does not involve the dispensation of goods or products;
    2.Design services. Drafting, designing, and similar services, using only normal drafting equipment;
    3.Salespersons. The home office of a salesperson when all sales are made by mail or internet order, or similar means, with no commodities or displays on the premises; and
    4.Secondary business offices. Secondary business offices where the business has its principal office, staff, and equipment located elsewhere.C.Incompatible home occupations.

    The following commercial uses are not incidental to or compatible with residential activities and are not permitted in residential zoning districts:
    1.Barber and beauty shops;
    2.Businesses which entail the breeding, grooming, harboring, raising, or training of dogs, cats, or other animals on the premises;
    3.Building trades contractor;
    4.Seamstress;
    5.Vehicle repair (body or mechanical), upholstery, automobile detailing (e.g., washing, waxing, etc.), towing services, and painting. (This does not prohibit "mobile" minor repair or detailing at the customer's location); and
    6.Any use not specifically listed in subsection B of this section.
    Prohibited uses in R-1 (Single-family) zoning district.
    The following uses are prohibited:
    1.Commercial and industrial uses (except those allowed by a home occupation permit);
    2.Storage of commercial vehicles;
    3.Storage of supplies and materials for commercial or industrial purposes;
    4.Storage of supplies, materials, lumber, metal and junk exceeding an area of one hundred square feet, except when such are being used for construction on the property with a valid building permit;
    5.Any use which is obnoxious or offensive or creates a nuisance to the occupants or visitors of adjacent buildings or premises by reason of the emissions of dust, fumes, glare, heat, liquids, noise, odor, smoke, steam, vibrations, or similar disturbances;
    6.Any use inconsistent with state or federal law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SVFeingold View Post
    For what it's worth, here are the most relevant codes I could find for the city:
    I just gotta wonder.... I understand most of those... But why the heck is seamstress included in the banned enterprises?

    Also, since seamstress is a gendered word, meaning female, could a male seamster get around this prohibition?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SVFeingold View Post
    Holy shit. What.



    So they think someone will squeeze in with a hand cart and roll out a 10,000lb CNC mill? Maybe hoist it out the window?
    Kinda odd how this thread has inadvertently built a really good case for Tormach's "Market space".

    I have commercial space but at my much more modest home in Denver / Aurora I threw a horse blanket to dry out over my fence (one quarter of its width over the fence out onto the side street), and within one hour a "neighbor" phoned up and complained and that I got a formal complaint from the HOA and warning of a $400 fine for putting a "tarp" on my fence. I actually get on well with my direct neighbors, we look out for each other. But one pernickity HOA "official" strolls by and that's it or a more peripheral neighbor.

    By contrast there are several small shops in my neighborhood in NM.

    My ultimate aim is to buy land (sooner rather than later) … Dooooo the building thing in a way that I can't have equipment taken away from me (not be crazy over financed) nor burn annually mucho dinero on rent.

    Maybe have a smaller commercial space to meet clients / hire facilities.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________

    When I was in UK they had a system that was funded by the European Union called an E-Space.

    Purpose designed for startups and tech incubators.

    Basically really nice commercial units (well built) on different floors with conference facilities + receptionist communal lunch area etc. Adequate power and height for high tech light to medium industrial work. [Admittedly it was in a more rural / deprived area of the country - hence the reason for the EU development grant for the "E-Space" facilities but yet still an hour from Cambridge.]. Short term leases. Excellent compound security and security of individual units. One could expand or contract easily as one needed. Rent was very reasonable. I met and hired some folks that happened to be working in adjoining units working on technical projects that I still work with nearly fifteen years later or more.

    I have often wondered if I should ever attempt the "Landlord " thing like an E-space and work out of a two or thee units myself. Kind of a pipe dream.

    There don't seem to be such gov. funding for such projects in the USA so much ?

    And now the UK has Brexited (mostly) but such facilities are still running without financial loss to the local council.

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