Lost shaft repair job - was I too expensive? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heavey Metal View Post
    $45 is cutting a fat hog

    $110 is ass rape.
    I assume the bearing fit has to be held fairly tight, less than .001" tolerance I would guess. So you can turn the old shaft, by the way holding a tight tolerance if you are pressing a bushing onto it (again probably about .001" total tolerance), turn the bushing up, press it on, turn that down now to fit the bearing (again I have to think you need to hold .001" if it is a bearing). So all this is a 1/2 hour job for you? Ya, maybe it could all be done in a half hour with all tools at hand. But if you are doing it on a manual lathe you are indicating the shaft true before you cut it, right? In a cnc you might be able to bore jaws and save those so you just load them up and get it true within a thou or so.... I don't know about the rest of you guys, but when I have to do bearing work its always time consuming trying to get the fits correct. But then again, I am working with .0007" total tolerances in most cases... Anyways, to the OP, I would not sweat it. It seems to be profitable at $45 you almost have to tool up in some way, be that making pre-sized bushings, or making some type of fixture/lathe jaws so the shafts are easy to indicate or whatever. At 2 or 3 repairs a month just doesn't seem worth the trouble.

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  3. #22
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    Mike, if this is typical to most the shafts i deal with (especially of European kit) it will already have a centre in it, goes straight in the 3 jaw but hung out at least a 1', makes my 3 thou of run out in the chuck irrelevant when it runs on the centre in the tail-stock. Have over 20 QCTP holders all with tools in them, funnily enough all with arms reach of the lathe, drill bits within say 10 short paces, mt sleeves are normally to hand at the lathe, i make money doing this, you can't do that with out tooling ready to go, no diving through draws - buckets of crap to find it! Yeah, sub thou tolerances no issue, need to be about a 1/2 thou IMHO at this kinda size. Would take the 20mm worn sharft to size i want with in 3 cuts, cut three being the one bang on the money. If i could not do that reliably after near 2 decades turning i would go flip burgers.

    Bore jaws for a one of repair? How the hell is that ever going to make money?? Grip the job and just use the centre to do its job, so long as the chucks a way from the centre (say more than 10x bearing length) the angular error caused by a few thou run out is not going to even be measurable on the typical length of 20mm bearing land. Hell i have machined rubber coated rollers this way with out issue. This is the kinda job were any half decent manual lathe + fast operator with a decent QCTP setup can really show its worth.

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    Based on your description of the repair I'd be at about $70.00 per shaft.
    I charge that per hour and don't see it actually taking a full hour.
    If you have plenty of better paying work....let it go, if not, thoughts for
    the future.
    Usually somebody somewhere that is set up for a particular type of job,
    it's what they do. Unless you want to dedicate the time and tooling
    they WILL be able to beat you on cost. The customers that need those
    jobs, in big numbers will find them.
    David

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  7. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by true temper View Post
    Just remember if you win every bid you are working too cheep.
    Absolutely true.

    I figure if I lose 50% of my bids, my rates are coming in about average.

    If I lose 80% of my bids, I'm making enough money to make me happy.

    You can work 1,000 hours per year at $100/hour, or 100 hours per year at $1000/hour.

    Same income, but very different lifestyles.

    - Leigh

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  9. #25
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    There's a few variables missing.

    Are they supplying the sleeves or you making them?
    How many are they bringing you to do at a time, all four each month or one at a time?
    Is this the only job you do for them? (I know it shouldn't matter but it most DEFINITELY does)

    If I had the bushings pre-made and they brought me one at a time I would be at about 1 hour each. There is no way WITH CLEAN UP and SET UP that this job takes less time than that. Now if I'm doing a few of them at a time then that price can be adjusted.

    Robbie

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  11. #26
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    You know how long they were taking you, so you alone know if you could have done them cheaper(aka, reasonable price/shop rate) and not risked the customer eventually finding out they could get it for less.

    That's just how business goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by projectnut View Post
    It might be that the other shop is doing it at a loss just to get their foot in the door. If they do quality work in a timely manner the company will likely expand on the work they give them. It's done all the time. In the retail business it's referred to as a "loss leader". You sell (or in this case repair) something at a loss hoping it will bring more and better paying jobs and customers through the door.
    There's is always going to be a shop somewhere who has an idle CNC or employee who can do this kind of job. With such a low material cost, the marginal rate for labor may be almost zero. Having said that, you do seem to be charging too much.

    OP: Is this the only job this customer places with you?

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    Or a manual OD grinder the apprentice could use to knock out the grinding in 15 minuets.
    Then five minuets to press on the pre-made.. and 10 minuets to tickle OD on the set-up machine.

    Manual time in a small shop perhaps $40 to $60 an hour.

    (Yes that would be a shaft having centers)

    Not much could be done with the design because a shot bearing likely getting hot enough to spin.
    Perhaps the choice if bearing is part of the failure mode and might be improved... or not.

    Number of repairs to a shaft might be a possible improvement with closer steps in sleeve ID..

    Making the shafts new for 3 or $400.

    Perhaps take a look at the other shop to see if it is a like shop or do they have advantages.

    But Gone is Gone

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    Quote Originally Posted by The real Leigh View Post
    Absolutely true.

    I figure if I lose 50% of my bids, my rates are coming in about average.

    If I lose 80% of my bids, I'm making enough money to make me happy.

    You can work 1,000 hours per year at $100/hour, or 100 hours per year at $1000/hour.

    Same income, but very different lifestyles.

    - Leigh
    That's pretty much how I work, only in a different industry. I rarely have to "bid" any jobs anymore sometimes my customers call for a price so they know how to bid. The secret is to do good work and be prepared every time.

    Being a price whore = race to the bottom

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  16. #30
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    I would say we don't know the whole story on all three sides of it, we don't know exactly what the OP has on hand for tools or how quick he is with them, we don't know what the new shop is doing, as mentioned, it could be a bored guy in his garage and we sure don't know what is going through the customers mind, it could be the new shop guy goes to the strip club regularly with the purchser.

    It could also be that the new shop knows something you don't, like it doesn't have to be as close a tolerance. I do some recurring parts for a company and when I first got them, I spent a ton of time on them because of what I was told by the purchaser. After a couple times of doing it, I had a question and actually went to see the parts on the machine in use and found out that the critical feature was not as critical as I was told. Saved me a ton of time after I found that out and I am making more money on them now.

    Another anecdote, I work with a local millwork shop and one of his long time employees left to go to work for a new company and started to take alot of work from him due to prices being so much lower. It took longer than we thought, but they went out of business in 3 years, but those were some aggravating 3 years for him. If he would have tried to chase those jobs and matched the price, he would have went out himself, instead he found new customers and now has the old ones too.

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    We had a TCT form tool that had the form going the steel shank so we had to make it in two precision parts (carbide and steel) and braze it with extra care.
    Another vender went to the customer and got approval to just braze the form to a shoulder stop and have no continuing form behind but the change was not added to the print. We lost the job and about a year later saw what had been done. Still the print was not changed.

    Some times favoritism is a factor as to advantages.

  18. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by InventIt View Post
    Ok guys,
    I had to ask, am I too expensive on this shaft repair job? Well obviously I was because I just lost the job to a shop doing it for 60% less then I charged! ouch!
    Part is a 50mm dia. shaft about 18" long with a step down on one end for a bearing journal 20mm dia. by .600 long. I get the shafts with the bearing journal worn down and I turn the journal to 16mm and press fit a sleeve onto the 16mm stub. Then I turn the sleeve down to 20mm for a slip fit into a 20mm bearing. I was charging $110 to do the job. No large quantity on this job, I only did 4 to 6 repairs every other month. The company I was doing the work for pulled the job from me last week and I found out today they are getting them done for $45.00 What would you guys charge for something like this?

    Btw, company that was bringing these to me buys them from a German manufacturer and pays almost $600.00 ea! Shaft lasts for maybe 2 months before needing repair!
    .
    if a big company needs shafts work done and has maintenance machinist who's time for the day is already
    paid for on a maintenance budget that can do the job for the cost of the hand sharpened tooling $.25
    the maintenance machine shop equipment is already paid for on the maintenance budget
    .
    i used to get hundreds of jobs like that every year my boss would ask me to do to saving spending
    money outsourcing the work. at first the engineers thought we were not good enough to do the work
    but after we proved we could do it, the bean counters or budget watchers would insist we do it.
    plus since we did it in house we could do the job faster as part did not need to be delivered by truck
    .
    i would say not a chance you could compete with that, even if you did the work for free.
    the bean counter or those watching the money budget will decide who does what jobs usually
    .
    as long as our WW2 surplus machine shop equipment was big enough to do the jobs, we did it.
    the newest machine i had to use was a 1992 Prototrak mill that the "real" shops sent to the junk
    yard when they upgraded their equipment with newer stuff

  19. #33
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    I guess so much of shaft repair depends on the tolerances involved. When I am repairing shafts they are expected to be a good ground finish and sizes held to the bearing size to generally minus 3 tenths with no taper.

    To me this added level of care makes it easily a $100+ job.

    If your customer does not need or perhaps know that he needs these tolerances for a good bearing fit and you can get away with doing it quickly in the lathe than I could see charging a little less.

    Generally my work is in machine tool spindle shafts and I have never seen anyone try to repair a shaft by pressing on a sleeve. Maybe it is because the shafts I see are normally at least case hardened.
    Plus the customers generally expect spindle repairs to be expensive and there machine downtime is not worth a cheap marginal repair.



    In the end you have to match your technique and price to the customer.

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  21. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmtool View Post
    I guess so much of shaft repair depends on the tolerances involved. When I am repairing shafts they are expected to be a good ground finish and sizes held to the bearing size to generally minus 3 tenths with no taper.

    To me this added level of care makes it easily a $100+ job.

    If your customer does not need or perhaps know that he needs these tolerances for a good bearing fit and you can get away with doing it quickly in the lathe than I could see charging a little less.

    Generally my work is in machine tool spindle shafts and I have never seen anyone try to repair a shaft by pressing on a sleeve. Maybe it is because the shafts I see are normally at least case hardened.
    Plus the customers generally expect spindle repairs to be expensive and there machine downtime is not worth a cheap marginal repair.



    In the end you have to match your technique and price to the customer.
    .
    as a maintenance machinist you balance repair costs against how long repair lasts and what equipment
    does.
    .
    had some printing cylinders 500lbs heavy with bearing journal worn for splash guards. repair would be
    easily over $500............. i tried using aluminum foil tape and it would work satisfactory for many
    months. same bearings would get printing ink in bearings. i popped seals out and cleaned and
    regreased and popped bearing seal back in. could do maybe 10 times.
    ........ bottom line doing the unexpected i saved the company easily $20,000 in less than 6 years.
    i used to keep a pile of 50 bearings rough 4.5" dia and the stack a couple feet high to show the boss
    the bearings at $100 to $400 each we used to throw away every few months .
    ......... i got pay raises every year as a thank you for thinking of ways that worked and saved money.
    like that job paided $7/hr more than what i make now. only reason not still there is product made
    is old fashioned (photographs) as many just use ipads, iphones, etc now to show pictures

  22. #35
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    Sleeving a shaft is something I might do if the shaft is case hardened. But most of the time, it will be welded up and remachined. Only 1 precision surface to worry about, instead of 3.

    If you cannot weld, it's tough to be competitive in the repair biz.

    As for worrying about altering the state of the original shaft, that's a matter of experience where you ask about its usage so you can determine how welding will affect it. Taking a clean up cut on the worn surface is helpful to ascertain the type of metal and it's state of hardness. Alloy shafts subject to high torsional forces should not be welded as the heat affected zone will never match the original state of the material, and the weld deposit won't match either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuFlungDung View Post
    Sleeving a shaft is something I might do if the shaft is case hardened. But most of the time, it will be welded up and remachined. Only 1 precision surface to worry about, instead of 3.

    If you cannot weld, it's tough to be competitive in the repair biz.

    As for worrying about altering the state of the original shaft, that's a matter of experience where you ask about its usage so you can determine how welding will affect it. Taking a clean up cut on the worn surface is helpful to ascertain the type of metal and it's state of hardness. Alloy shafts subject to high torsional forces should not be welded as the heat affected zone will never match the original state of the material, and the weld deposit won't match either.
    .
    we would use brush plating to to add metal then grind to size
    .
    SIFCO ASC : Selective brush plating equipment and solutions
    .
    sometimes as simple as a old lathe turning part slowly with a plastic tray to catch dripping chemicals
    .
    usually has to be ground to size even if tool post grinder as a lathe tool bit might catch the plating and
    peel it off.
    .
    semi automatic setup might be 5 minutes to setup and come back in 1/2hr to take plated part off to
    grind which might take another less than 10 minutes

  24. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis In SC View Post
    I would not be surprised if the other shop soon pulls the old trick of raising the price.. OR, the quality of their work is below par, and the customer will come back to you later.. If they do, raise the price, and do the work on your term, your schedule, etc.
    Amazing how many times I have seen jobs leave and then come back.. Grass is seldom greener elsewhere...
    I've heard it said this way: "Fast, Cheap, Good. Pick any two"

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  26. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    .
    we would use brush plating to to add metal then grind to size
    .
    SIFCO ASC : Selective brush plating equipment and solutions
    .
    sometimes as simple as a old lathe turning part slowly with a plastic tray to catch dripping chemicals
    .
    usually has to be ground to size even if tool post grinder as a lathe tool bit might catch the plating and
    peel it off.
    .
    semi automatic setup might be 5 minutes to setup and come back in 1/2hr to take plated part off to
    grind which might take another less than 10 minutes

    I always send out stuff to be hard chromed. The Sifco process looks more feasible in house then a big tank operation. (much less toxic chemicals on hand) Do you use their nickle product? Someone once told me they had problems with it flaking off. Have you seen this?

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    Default brush plating

    Quote Originally Posted by pmtool View Post
    I always send out stuff to be hard chromed. The Sifco process looks more feasible in house then a big tank operation. (much less toxic chemicals on hand) Do you use their nickle product? Someone once told me they had problems with it flaking off. Have you seen this?
    .
    we used cobalt metal. faster to apply. never had plating flake off but if metal was not
    cleaned properly i have seen tank plated items where plating came off like it was foil tape
    .
    we also used gold plating to fix scratches in printing press cylinders. it was easy to
    see color difference and when sanded with micron abrasive paper the gold would sand
    off flush with the rest of the chrome plated cylinder.

  28. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmtool View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    we would use brush plating to to add metal then grind to size
    I always send out stuff to be hard chromed.
    My concern with brush plating is uniformity of thickness.

    Precision grinding really really wants a uniform block of material under the wheel in order to produce a uniform surface.

    If you get zero cut in one area and heavy cut in another, that's going to produce a non-uniform surface.

    The solution would be to plate much more heavily than needed, so the minimum plating thickness exceeds the required minimum.
    That would use more material and time than hard chrome plating.

    Just speculation on my part, since I've never used the brush method.

    - Leigh


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