Do you make better money off easier or harder work
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  1. #1
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    Default Do you make better money off easier or harder work

    Just a general question. I am not a shop owner (my dad owns the shop) and he always said that he made more/better money off easier-ish work than harder work where you have to beat your brains out all the time.

    It is just me and him ( I am his only employee) and sometimes I like to get other people's opinions too, such here on PM. I am sure everybody would love to do easy work all the time. But what have you guys noticed you make better money on. Easier or more difficult work? I am sure everybody's mileage varies.

    Any thoughts?

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    You might want to try to give your question a little more accuracy. In my profession (not a shop machinist) the easier work pays way more comparatively but hammering out the easy work leaves the hard work piled up so I got to mix it up and balance best I can.

    I would think most don’t really get to choose what work walks in the door, only what walks out.

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    I'd bet the big money is made at the extreme ends: making washers is easy , once you're set up. Making a one-off space
    /Laser/nuclear thingy is probably a cash-fest for all concerned (except the sucker that's paying - us usually!)

    At the simple end , marketing costs far more than the product .

    At the high end getting the job is the expensive part

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    We make our own product. It sells for $$$$$ ... but it is labor intensive. The machining is *fairly* easy (although we do hold tenths on our stuff) the big time/labor sink is in assembly and testing. That said, have another new machine on the way, moving our shipping department so we can set up a new electronics lab... Life is good here (:

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    I have no doubt that the less work your work is, the more money you make.

    At one end are manual laborers, the hardest work for the least pay.
    At the other extreme is capitalist investors and traders, who have no limits to potential profits for their deals, millions can be made in minutes.

    US tax code seems to punish work and reward profits made without working.

    I work for fun, and make my money while not working.

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    This thread is the internet equivalent of the guy who walks around the shop with a toothpick in his mouth asking everyone he sees, "Are you workin' hard or hardly workin'!?"

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    Just to clarify, we only do cnc and manual machining. No fab work.

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    I think the best option is to find work that's hard, then find ways to make it easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beege View Post
    I think the best option is to find work that's hard, then find ways to make it easy.
    That is what I find is the most "fun".
    ...lewie...

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    Depends on how you define "make money".

    The hard work has much better margins. Way more profit.

    The easy work as more volume.

    I make more money in the same hours for hard work, but easier work put a larger volume of money in the bank each year.

    Also, the hard work typically get you the opportunity to quote the easier work.

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    Don't take this wrong, but this is kind of a weird question and hard to answer. If you mean hard like difficult then I would say that if the work is challenging technically then it would probably pay more since not everyone can do it. If you mean hard like physically hard then you would need to look into the psychology of it. For me there is mentally hard and physically hard which leaves you at the end of the day in two very different conditions. I don't think you could really say whether or not hard work or easy work pays more. You have to look at the big picture which can get out of focus sometimes.

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    It all depends on how well you priced the job in the first place, IMO&E the more money, the better the pain relief.

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    There are a lot of variables involved...it depends on volume, life of the program (if it isn't a one shot deal), cost of material & expendables, Tolerances etc.

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    You make the best money when the job is a job that only your shop can do, and you know it, I always love the cust to say "I hope you can do this for me I have been everywhere" I always reminded the cust that I need his day to day work too, and when the only work the man gave me was the hard to do stuff the price got high, My Dad always said if you dont like the job or the cust, come up with a price that makes you glad to see them...Phil
    Last edited by Phil in Montana; 05-07-2021 at 06:33 PM.

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    Most of my work is short run. 5-50 pcs is a normal order.
    Matl is marked up, programming, special tooling or fixtures are all factored in and amortized across the qty of parts.

    I make my best money on repeat orders because all those initial costs have already been covered by the first run and are still included in the per pc price on repeat orders.

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    I am many years past the point of doing work for the practice or experiance, if it is not a good paying job they need to take it somewhere else, however I find for the most part everything is easy once you know how. I have some jobs that fall in a box from the lathe that need washed off and shipped, others that need flipped, flopped and moved around in a VMC as many as 7 times before finished parts come out but these are simply steps that need done, do them in order and it is easy enough. That being said a person with the right skills and appropriate attitude could complicate the shit out of any of our jobs to where the parts cannot be made no matter how hard they try, removing any hope of making any money peroid.

    I have seen it done many times, some folks have the tallent of complicating everything they contact.
    If you point out to them that they could screw up a wet dream after ten years on a deserted island they get all bent out of shape.

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    It’s all about finding a niche imho, I’ve been to hundreds of shops and factories, the profitable find something difficult, concentrate on it, find smart ways to do it, then it seems to sell itself, I was at a welding shop recently, they concentrate on skid plumbing for offshore, the place next door do these things they call Christmas trees, valve things for the bottom of the sea, I know squat about them, but they are booked up for 3 or 4 years!
    General job shops don’t seem to transition to high value, people undervalue their work, just like a carpenter on site, he has a huge repertoire of things to learn yet is valued little more than a labourer, the gas fitter comes in and makes 3-400% of the carpenters money
    Answer seems specialise but still retain some capacity for walk ins as eggs in one basket has higher risk
    Just my rambling thoughts so excuse me
    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizer View Post
    I am many years past the point of doing work for the practice or experiance, if it is not a good paying job they need to take it somewhere else, however I find for the most part everything is easy once you know how. I have some jobs that fall in a box from the lathe that need washed off and shipped, others that need flipped, flopped and moved around in a VMC as many as 7 times before finished parts come out but these are simply steps that need done, do them in order and it is easy enough. That being said a person with the right skills and appropriate attitude could complicate the shit out of any of our jobs to where the parts cannot be made no matter how hard they try, removing any hope of making any money peroid.

    I have seen it done many times, some folks have the tallent of complicating everything they contact.
    If you point out to them that they could screw up a wet dream after ten years on a deserted island they get all bent out of shape.
    Man you said! Guy like that here. Stupid simple yes or no question and it drags into a half hour discussion.

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    Really depends on how your shop is set up.

    If you have good machinists and a wide variety of tooling on hand you can do complex low volume parts and make good money.

    If you have bare bones equipment and tooling and have a bunch of touchhole operators you're going to go backwards fast on anything that's not low tolerance high volume work.

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    I started out doing plastic injection molds and product development and now only do simple aluminum parts, mostly skim all sides of a rectangle. The simpler my work got the more money I made. Granted I have designed 90% of the parts I now make so that may have something to do with it, but that was/is far from hard.


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