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  1. #1
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    Default CNCToolCat's Cat-House

    Quote originally dated 8/6/2009

    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    Congrats on 20 years Ox! I enjoy reading your posts in general, and this thread about your shop is very entertaining.

    Now, to get off me lazy butt and start a thread about my 12.5 year old shop...

    Since you don't seem to be able to git'r started at the beginning, I'll help you by linking the current status.


    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/cnc-machining/project-qt28-230636/


    You can take the reigns and run now?



    This is a fair warning to ARB too BTW....


    ---------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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  3. #2
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    OK Ox, you got me!

    I will try to get the CatHouse thread going here in a day or two...

  4. #3
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    Yeah.....

    Nothing worse than these guys who tend to drag things out!


    Get on with it, will ya!!

  5. #4
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    WE WANT PIC'S! WE WANT PIC'S!

    Jason,

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by alliancefab View Post
    WE WANT PIC'S! WE WANT PIC'S!

    Jason,
    We better see pictures this week or we are going to tar and feather you.

  7. #6
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    Jumping on the bandwagon
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails thread_is_worthless.jpg  

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  9. #7
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    Ok, here's a pic of the 40' x 100' Cathouse:



    More later...





  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    More later...
    Greg.

    You should know by now, the proper protocol for that is.

    TO BE CONTINUED…………….

  11. #9
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    Nice looking building. Do you rent or own it?

  12. #10
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    I had the building built back in '01. Moved in in August '01, from a rented 2000 sq.ft. building, where I started the shop back in March of '97.

    Even after 10 years, there is still lots to do with the building and property. Finish the offices (more on that later), finish the gradework, concrete the driveway, etc.

    But, the coolest part is the land and building are all mine. Thanks to my "hillbilly frugality", and good fortune of lots of decent paying work, we were able to pay for the land and building as we went.

    I purchased 3 acres of land from the county, in an industrial park right alongside Interstate 81. Got a good deal on the land ($30k vs. asking price of $60k), based on my business plan presentations, and promises of job creations, to the local industrial development authority.

    Man, did we have to jump through hoops just to be able to buy the land.

    And what about all those jobs, Mr. Catman? Well, we have ebbed and flowed with the economy, and averaged 3 to 4 part timers, and me full time of course, over the last 10 years.

    I guess you can say I am lucky, because the county has not said one word to my lack of creating multiple full time jobs. After all, I can't help how the bigger economy rolls, right???

    Actually, my plan all along was to stay small, and use part timers as needed. (Don't tell the IDA...)

    In the famous words of our friend Wrustle...to be continued...

  13. #11
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    Great looking shop cnctoolcat! It's always good to see the local guys doing well, I started working for a 7 man shop 6 weeks ago and I love it! This is coming from a guy that spent 20 years in a 50,000 SF building with 100+ employees, now I feel like the owners can actually see that I'm making them money! Good luck and more pics!

  14. #12
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    Way back in early '97, I finally found decent shop space to rent, so I was ready to get started on the machine shop dream.

    I was working as a manufacturing engineer for a chain hoist manufacturer (CM Hoist), and had spent the last 7 years cutting my teeth on Mazaks. Right after I started there in '91, we bought our first Mazak, a 6-axis Multiplex with gantry robot loader. Boy, talk about jumping into the deep end!

    During my 7 year stint at CM, I purchased some land in a local subdivision, and proceeded to build my own house. I did everything except gradework, framing, and sheetrock. Doing it this way was a major [email protected]$$, but it allowed me to have the house paid for in 5 years! (Took about that long to finish it too...I did move in 1 year after starting though...)

    Also during this 7 year period, I spent 1 year in Japan, as an "exchange engineer", working and studying Japanese manufacturing methods. And, the biggest change during the 7 years??? I got married.

    Anyway, I found the 2000 square foot space, which was part of a larger building, which once housed a very prosperous coal mining machinery repair business. Eventually tax troubles doomed the company, but I believed it was a good omen to have the shop in such hallowed ground.

    My strategy was twofold: I was going to get an equity loan on the house, to provide a good cash flow cushion, and then lease 2 brand spanking new Mazaks.

    Why brand new?? Well, this was back in '97, and used machine tools were bringing a premium...mainly because of the strong economy. Plus, aside from attending an auction, without the internet, it was pert-near impossible for a bloke like me to find good used cnc equipment for sale. Used dealers were my only option, and they were mighty proud of their machines. Plus, it was almost impossible for a startup to get a big, maybe 6-figure, loan for cnc equipment.

    By buying new, I could easily qualify for a lease for two Mazaks.

    I had to be very strategic in my house loan/machines lease process. Why?? Well, I was applying for the house equity loan at the exact same time I was applying for the lease for the new machines. If either bank or leasing company sniffed out the other, I could very likely not get one or the other, or either loan! Without the house loan, I would be cash poor and probably unable to make the lease payments.

    But, alas, my timing was perfect. I got approval for the equity loan, and the machines lease just about the same time!

    So, I was going to be proud owner of a brand new SQT15 2-axis cnc lathe, with parts catcher and chip conveyor. And a brand new VTC16-B vertical machining center. The tab? A whopping $193,000!!

    Here's the SQT a few years later:


    And the VTC:


    To be continued....

    Greg

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  16. #13
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    Nice building, looks in a great location.
    Sounds like you really jumped right into it going for 2 brand new machines, must have been an interesting first couple years.

  17. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SND View Post
    Sounds like you really jumped right into it going for 2 brand new machines, must have been an interesting first couple years.

    Yeah - my thoughts as well...

    It is amazing at how we all enter each different part of our biziness [of life?] at such different times and places in our lives?

    I just kant imagine ever starting that way. Obviously he had some work all lined up via some prior connection. And I suspect that he will cover something about that later?

    Heck - I spent jist over $10K to git started and had troubles with that!

    Now he is buying machines that were used even when he started...

    I find that happening here as well. When your knee deep, somehow a little more doesn't seem to matter so much, but as you start to see light, the little bits start to seem bigger. Of course you are older and don't have quite as long'a outlook either....


    -------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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  19. #15
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    I would definitely like to hear more about the decision to now buy used machines and getting them back into shape instead of still going new, did you buy more new machines after those 2 ?

  20. #16
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    3 acres of industrial land for 30k

    That is about 2 million or more here, no joke. No wonder you can afford to buy new machines

  21. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrustle View Post
    Yeah.....

    Nothing worse than these guys who tend to drag things out!


    Get on with it, will ya!!


    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! LOL!!!

  22. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Yeah - my thoughts as well...


    I just kant imagine ever starting that way. Obviously he had some work all lined up via some prior connection.


    -------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    Well.... I started with 2 brand spanking new mchines with no real customer in sight, but a promise of one to come my way when I get set up. I didn't go onward with that being the only plan or reason of course, but I had a great plan of how to get me some clients and some work. 4 years later I can say ether I made the right decisions at that time or I was very fortunate. But it sure took a LOT of hard work, fun and hard work (as some of you lucky cats already know). Not too bad now, 4cncs and 3 peeps including myself all tooled up ,, busy as a bee . Also, there are way more reasons that our main man Cat did not mention in regards to the advantages of buying new, but again us crazy cats who made that decision know... (and I bet some who bought used also know)
    Although at times I thought I was for myself.

    By the way, my hat is off to you, it is so appealing to me to have a land out in the country and build a shop and a home on that land. That is a neat building, I can see you r a man of quality choices, judging by the machines you choose and all that you've shown us. Thanks for sharing. But I must say, too bad you didn't go with Mori instead.

  23. #19
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    Skipping some years, here's some pics of the current shop....for your viewing enjoyment...
    Overall view (kinda messy in this pic, was doing some cleaning up):


    "Left" side of shop:


    "Right side" of shop:


    Top view of QT28N I am working on (yeah, I know, it's been a while for a post in that thread...):


    More later....

    Greg

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  25. #20
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    Great pics -cool shop! Man alive - compared to what I am starting to fool around with, the spindle and drive belt on the "in repair" Mazak is massive.

    keep em coming...

    Brent


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