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  1. #1
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    Default The Factory Amsterdam

    Ran out of work at my other job and it's a slow day in general so I might as well get my shop photo thread going.

    39753108_1720929081345617_7013150306913484800_o.jpg

    I guess I'll start by introducing myself and my co-founders - I'm Brad (center), turning 24 tomorrow, recent RPI graduate with a Bachelor's in Design, Innovation, and Society that took me 6 years and a couple major changes. I bought a bench lathe when I was 13 (Horrible Freight 8x12) and that got me hooked on machining. I was fortunate enough to go to a high school with a FIRST robotics team that had decent funding and a well-equipped machine shop with a couple Haas TM-1s and TL-1s, so I learned basic setup and programming pretty early on. I also took classes at a local community college in the summers, and eventually started co-teaching them with the professor there. I really just wanted access to nicer tools to make cooler stuff, since it's pretty hard to convince your mom to put a VMC in her garage when you're 16. Anyway, I currently work part-time as a contract programmer for a local shop to make ends meet while we aren't paying ourselves at The Factory.

    My co-founders are Isaiah and Kevin (right and left, respectively). Isaiah and I went to the same high school but he's two years younger - he has some machining experience as a result, but didn't get as into it as I did. He's a fast learner though, and we tag-team setup and programming on most jobs. Incidentally, I didn't really know Isaiah well before RPI, and the three of us got to know each other through the student auto shop on campus. We were all bored one summer and got talking about starting a company...so we did. We found a building about 40 mins from us in Amsterdam, NY that was too cheap to pass up - $0.20/sqft/mo for renting part of a floor, $0.10/sqft/mo for the whole 20k sqft floor. Six floors. Signed the lease in Sept '17, bought a Grizzly G0704 and a conversion kit (don't do this), and got started.

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    Part of the space before we moved anything in, and the Grizzly in its "enclosure" - a ~8'x8' room that was already built on the floor that we filled with space heaters to get through winter.

    By Jan 2018, we had the Grizzly running well enough that it was cutting its first parts: aftermarket performance upgrades for Nerf blasters. Nerf parts are actually how I got started in machining, and it's a niche that's just large enough to make machined parts viable products. The hobby has expanded massively in the past few years, and we use those parts to fill idle time on the machines when we can. Still working on getting better/faster at changing out fixtures and tooling to take advantage of those gaps when we can.

    20180524_161017.jpg20180401_181955.jpg
    First parts we ran on the Grizzly, before/after deburring, powdercoating, engraving. They're plunger heads that are part of an assembly to replace a stock part in a Nerf Longshot to handle higher spring loads without the mass of a solid metal rod.

    We do our powdercoating in house, which is something else I got into because of Nerf. I started out with that cheapo $60 HF gun, and it served me well for the better part of 4 or 5 years. Bought a second one to reduce color change times, and then we eventually upgraded to a RedLine EZ50 (highly recommend as a cup gun). Powdercoating is now probably about half of our income, and we've gotten a BIG oven (pictures in a later post), pretty hefty sandblaster, and an awesome screw compressor to support it. We do motorcycle frames, rims, that kinda stuff, and it's been a great supplement to machining when work is slow.

    Photo limit, continuing in the next post

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    20180518_162145.jpg
    Here's those parts in their assemblies.

    Anyway, the Grizzly sucked at a lot of things, snapped the Z axis ballscrew in a drilling cycle one time, and was generally a miserable experience. It made me twice the machinist I was before I started with it. I learned so many workarounds to its limitations, little tricks in Mastercam that I didn't even know existed, and strategies for using small tools with only 3000 RPM to work with. I would never recommend one to anyone trying to bootstrap a shop like we did, but it certainly got us started and perhaps most importantly, demonstrated to our machine tool dealer that we kinda knew what we were doing and could be trusted financing a real machine. We also ran some jobs for a local lab equipment company that I got in touch with through alumni connections, pretty easy work with long lead times that could accommodate the limitations of our equipment and schedules.

    So, we filed our LLC May 1, 2018 and secured financing on a 2018 Super Mini Mill about a month later. Of course, we unknowingly placed the order the day after Demo Days and it took TEN WEEKS for delivery

    Since we still didn't really have any expenses other than rent, we stopped taking new orders for the duration of that summer and just finished up the existing work for that lab equipment company with powder coating to supplement things. The Grizzly was just awful to deal with and wasn't profitable enough to really justify killing ourselves in a tiny, hot room all summer.

    The SMM showed up the week before classes started (great). Got the plunger heads running on it, and even with shitty tooling, the cycle time dropped from 35 mins/part to a hair under 7. Ran a couple other jobs on it, but work slowed down towards October, especially as we all got busy with midterms. This was a problem, though, as none of us had any money, and that machine payment is gonna come through every month regardless of whether we have it or not. So, we launched a new product.

    img_20181230_190449.jpg20181103_183423.jpgimg_20190105_174717.jpg
    These are flywheel cages for the Nerf Rayven. They're the only metal ones on the market, and they're basically motor mounts for high-RPM brushed motors that spin up a couple wheels real fast to shoot darts like a pitching machine. They take about 20 mins each between 5 ops, and I can probably get that closer to 15 when I go through and reprogram a few things before the next run.

    Well, they took way longer than planned to finish and ship. We were (and pretty consistently are) a couple months behind schedule on delivery, because we kept having to pull them out of the machine to make room for job shop work. It's HARD working around just one spindle. After our experiences with a couple runs of cages, we're probably going to be moving away from offering consistent product lines at least until we have more machine capacity because I hate having to explain to our customers that we got a huge rush job again and that's why their order is delayed.

    Anyway, that brings us to roughly February of this year, when we started to really get into the swing of things. Unfortunately, I can't post any of the parts due to NDAs, but long story short, one of my longtime friends (originally also from the Nerf community, incidentally) works for a major 3D printer manufacturer in their new product development and manufacturing engineering department. He messaged me one day asking if we'd be interested in taking on some of their QC jigs for their production line in China - I said HELL YEAH! Well, since they're a startup, they want things yesterday, they don't care what they cost, and they're willing to throw money at whoever can make that happen. I'm down for that. Most of their parts are MIC6/ATP5 tooling plate, which is awesome and easy. Tolerances are on the tighter side but nothing crazy, just enough to let us pad the quotes a bit. They like us because we do exactly what they want in the timeframes they ask for, and despite being slightly more expensive, we beat the quality of Protolabs/Xometry by miles. IMO it's pretty sad that you can set yourself apart just by doing what you say you will, but I guess that's kinda how things go now. They're by far our biggest customer at this point and they've let us expand very rapidly.

    I'm about to leave my contracting job for the day and didn't have nearly as many photos on my google drive as I thought, so I'll shoot some more when I go up this afternoon and post them when I get a chance. We've got a bunch of old equipment too, some of which Kevin's dad had laying around and some of which we found on Craigslist/Facebook Marketplace, and I know there's a bunch of people on here who are into that kinda thing. Once I get through the whole story of what we've done/how we got here, I'll talk a little bit about our structure (evil socialist co-operative ooOOOooo), our plans for the future, and some of the car stuff we do for fun in the same space. Probably gonna mostly end up updating this while I'm at work and I'm generally not on PM on the weekends anyway, so expect more Monday I guess.

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    Sounds good ... up 'till that next to last sentance.
    I'm hoping that doesn't mean what came to my mind first....

    I didn't even know Grizzly ma .... mad...... uh - "marketed" sumpthing that resembles a drill press with x/y table.

    Old Caddy's are usually way better than a new Kia.


    BTW - I really like that firth pic!


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

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Keep up the hard work, looks like you guys are doing well. In job shop work, how many different customers do you guys serve?
    Please continue to update us on what you're doing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Sounds good ... up 'till that next to last sentance.
    I'm hoping that doesn't mean what came to my mind first....

    I didn't even know Grizzly ma .... mad...... uh - "marketed" sumpthing that resembles a drill press with x/y table.

    Old Caddy's are usually way better than a new Kia.


    BTW - I really like that firth pic!


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

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    Don't worry, I'm not here to get political, I just wanna explain the way we do things and how it works for us. Also gonna try to convince Isaiah to make an account eventually so he can explain the financial side of things, since he's better at that than I am.

    Yeah those G0704s are...something. It made parts though, and paid for itself in 6 months or so, so I guess I can't complain too much. You gain a new level of appreciation for "real" tools when you start off with that kind of crap.

    Funny you mention old Caddy's, actually. Kevin has (well, had, as of yesterday) a Coupe De Ville with a 396 in it, swapped in to replace a seized Oldsmobile 350 diesel. Yeah, THAT motor. The one that destroyed the American diesel market for a solid 30 years because of how awful it was. He blew out the bottom end on the 396 driving back from the store yesterday - the one thing he didn't touch on that motor, last touched in 1971 by whoever originally built it. I guess 50 years ain't bad. There's some photos of the engine bay if you go a bit farther back on his Instagram.

    Speaking of IG, our company page is @the_factory_amsterdam, and I have one set up for the Nerf parts at @roboman_automation if anyone is interested. I haven't been great at keeping up with the Roboman one, and Isaiah handles the one for The Factory, so it gets updated whenever he has time.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffm8622 View Post
    Keep up the hard work, looks like you guys are doing well. In job shop work, how many different customers do you guys serve?
    Please continue to update us on what you're doing!
    Thanks! We have two main customers at the moment, the biotech/lab equipment company and the 3D printer company (not naming names for reasons). We've done prototyping work for other people as well, mostly via RPI connections. I've got an upcoming job (first steel job that's more than a one-off, too!) that I got through the company I contract for, since they're bad at small parts and short lead times and we aren't. Hopefully that leads to more work in the future. We're also working on line cards and we're planning on pounding pavement and knocking on doors this week and next in search of more customers. Apparently there's a huge surplus of work in the area, even for aluminum widget kinda stuff, so I'm hoping we can find some leads.

    Powdercoating has given us a much more diverse customer base, which makes sense considering the car and motorcycle scene around here. We only charge $400-500 for a typical set of rims unless they need a LOT of work or it's some weird finish, and most of the other shops in the area want at least twice that from what I've heard. It's easy work and it pretty consistently picks up the slack for our bills, especially with the vintage mini bike frames we've been doing lately for this guy who has something like 30 of them. We just put up some new Facebook marketplace ads and got around 20 responses in a week.

    Finishing work in general is great for us, and apparently there are very few shops in the region who do it well. Even media blasting - the shop I contract for needed some stainless bars glass bead blasted, and the place they originally sent it out to ordered the wrong media twice (around 800 lbs each time), then asked us for money to buy more, then got a different finish than they supplied on the sample because the owner's son didn't write down the settings he used the first time... Unbelievable. We matched their sample finish on the first try with a bucket of media off MSC and a $150 Harbor Freight blast cabinet (that we have since upgraded from and sold). I don't get it.


    That blast cabinet's final ride
    (Hoping direct links to Google Photos work so I don't have to keep uploading them 5 at a time, lemme know if it doesn't)

    I shot a whole bunch of equipment and shop photos yesterday while I was banging my head on the wall trying to find the missing bolt of a specific length that the hardware store (which also closes early on Sundays) doesn't have for the toe clamps on a vise we don't use very often, so I'll get as many of those up today as I can.

    Oh, did I mention we're on the 6th floor, and about 120' in the air thanks to 18' ceilings and 18" thick floors?

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    I noticed that you was up in the air a bit.
    Doo you have any guideline as to what your floor rating is?

    I was looking at a building that was 3 story, but only 7" thick floors near as I can tell, but the supports are pretty close together, so ... ???
    Just not going to werk for me.


    I wouldn't say that motor did nearly THAT much damage.
    It was a cheap entrance motor to check the market.


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

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    I noticed that you was up in the air a bit.
    Doo you have any guideline as to what your floor rating is?

    I was looking at a building that was 3 story, but only 7" thick floors near as I can tell, but the supports are pretty close together, so ... ???
    Just not going to werk for me.


    I wouldn't say that motor did nearly THAT much damage.
    It was a cheap entrance motor to check the market.


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

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    Total floor load is around 3.5 million lbs evenly distributed (175 psf x ~20k sqft). We have some civil engineer friends and they aren't worried at all about larger machines up there. Apparently these old mill buildings were comically overbuilt because the materials science side of things just wasn't developed enough in the 20s to be able to reduce the safety factor to a more reasonable number, so they just threw concrete and rebar everywhere they could. One of them was saying he'd expect it to handle much, much more than the rated load as long as the concrete is in good condition, not that we intend to play that game.

    Next machine is an Okuma M560V, and should be installed in the next month or two after money is finalized. Gets pretty interesting getting that into the building...our freight elevator is 18' long and can handle 8,000 lbs, but the machine is 18,000, so it's going through a (pre-existing) 12'x12' cutout in the wall via a crane. We were going to have to go with a VF2 for weight considerations until we got quotes from a few crane companies - turns out, it's only a couple grand more to have the Okuma delivered to the riggers, loaded onto their trailer, stored until we want it delivered, and then they'll crane in a forklift that can handle it, bring in the machine, move it into place for us, and pull the forklift out. As it was, we were gonna have to pay a Haas tech $3500 to take the toolchanger off the VF2 to fit it through the elevator door, and that's on top of the other rigging costs.

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    Anyway, here's more pictures, starting with the old ones that I dug up.




    Here's the view from the side facing the Mohawk River. The building directly in front of us belongs to Stickermule, and that's their main production facility, so if you order stickers from them, they're coming from right next door to us! Unfortunately, they won't let us pick up from them, so our order has to go on a UPS truck, drive to the distribution center, then come right back to us the next day. Kinda silly, but I get it - they're running 3 shifts 24/7 now and the volume they do is incredible.



    Project miata (got rear ended/cosmetically totaled, gonna swap something big in it eventually) and my beater 636 that spontaneously combusts, the day after we signed the lease. For a while, we just had a few project cars in the space and didn't really do much for about a month.





    The state of the space as of late March of last year. Note the plastic sheeting that we hung up in an attempt to keep heat in for the winter - at the time, we were only occupying about 2500 sqft of the floor. We still don't have a real heating system, but we're gonna have the whole floor heated by this winter now that we rent all of it. You can also see the beginnings of the office/mill room in the background of the third picture.


    I shot this panorama yesterday from next to the elevator to give an idea of how much space we're working with (pardon the mess, we have a bunch of crap everywhere from the annual 4th of July party and all the construction that's neverending as we expand and move things around).




    Alright, so on to equipment. Like I said, we've been moving stuff around a lot now that we just quadrupled our available space, so a lot of our tools are placed wherever it was most convenient to wire them up because we needed them right that minute. We're planning on hiring an electrician to un-fuck the magnificent ratsnest of wiring that previous tenants left behind over the past almost-century sometime later this year when we have more funds for that sort of thing.



    So here's the mill room currently. There's also a beefy Kent surface grinder behind the SMM that needs TLC, and it's probably not going to stay in that spot. Our little 100W Chinese laser is off to the left and out of frame. It's shockingly good at what it does and we use it primarily to engrave through powder coated surfaces.



    DSM-59 that we picked up off eBay for a pretty solid deal with a ton of tooling. It has the 3/4" shank turret, which is unusual from what I understand. I desperately need to buy more collets and if anyone is willing to uh, part with a parting slide, I'm in the market.



    I want this thing running so bad, it's just gonna be a while before we have the time and funds to dedicate to that.

    Everything else is outside of the mill room spread across the floor in various corners.



    Bandsaws and a little press (yes we took out the trash)




    I like old lathes, if you can't tell. I grabbed this off of Facebook Marketplace for $600 and we can't figure out exactly what it is yet, but it's some kind of #5 capstan lathe. Has a badge on it that says "Mass. Dept. of War" which is pretty neat, and all other identifying nameplates have been removed. It's still on a couple pallets because we aren't sure where to put it yet and I'm gonna have to take some time to clean things up before we get there. We found out afterwards that it's actually closer to 5400 lbs instead of the ~3500 that we thought it was, which explains why the forklift did a little stoppie when we pulled it off the trailer. "Rigging" that was interesting and involved multiple pallet jacks and curse words.



    This saw ROCKS. Another $600 auction find. Showed pictures to the Doringer guy at Eastec and he went "man, if I bought that, I'd clean it up and sell it for 4 grand!"




    A few welders, some of which have been wired up and disconnected at various points over the last year and a half. I guess I'm our most "qualified" welder in that I took a D1.1 class about 7 years ago and kinda know what I'm doing but I'm far from a pro fabricator. We've got someone who wants to join us soon who is an extremely talented welder and fabricator, and I really wanna see what he can do. That's Kevin's late uncle's K5 Blazer in the background that he inherited and is currently fixing since one entire bank of pistons cracked and the crank sheared in half.



    These are SO quiet and smooth. Kevin's dad gave them to us (along with the forklift, bandsaws, and surface grinder) when we were first getting started.



    Our current blast cabinet and screw compressor. The compressor is old and loud as hell but outputs 100 CFM at 180psi - through an open 1 1/2" pipe



    Powder coating area. The wood box is a mini spray booth for smaller parts that reclaims powder and works surprisingly well considering it was a class project for Kevin and Isaiah and they built it in a weekend. The big metal box is our new oven, which is a dramatic upgrade from what we were working with before.



    This is the old oven, and it's the first piece of equipment we built (the Grizzly took a bit longer to finish). Yes, it's two steel cabinets sheet metal screwed together. We liberated them out of the abandoned/condemned/asbestos-filled building next door (which is connected to ours via a catwalk on each floor except the first). The insides have more rescued sheet metal that's tack welded over fiberglass insulation stuffed in the doors and sides, and a few oven elements from AliExpress provide the heat. The control box is actually pretty well done (Kevin's handiwork) and it's probably the only reason the whole thing hasn't burst into flames yet despite one of the SSRs failing in the on position a few times. We don't use it anymore now that we have the new oven, and it's going in our "museum" now.


    Ran out of image space according to the forum but that just about sums it up. We also have a Mr. Deburr that's a recent purchase and a large hot tank that might be visible in some of the other photos. The next big effort is storage, since as I'm sure you can see, we currently have almost none. Roller chests, better shelving, etc. I hate mess and am also terrible about creating it wherever I go thanks to ADHD (I'm sure many of you can relate) so I need to figure out some kind of system that works for me, especially since I do most of the machining and need to know where those tools are.

    Feel free to comment or ask questions, I'll try to post more stuff about the business itself when I can and I'll update the thread as I make parts we can actually show here.

    Also, I'd love to see any examples of line cards or whatever you guys use when you go find work. I just had $26k of "oh yeah it's a sure thing we'll get the PO out tomorrow" work fall through on me today so I REALLY need to get us more jobs.
    Last edited by Roboman01; 07-08-2019 at 06:08 PM.

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    Very cool stuff.

    I wouldn't know what to do with that much space. I have only 2k square feet and am bursting at the seams.

    Keep the pictures coming!

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    Not real sure about the Miata thing (never heard of them 'till recently) but the admin here is all over them....
    Must be a "coasty" thing?


    Otherwise - I'm real impressed with what a bunch of kids these days have hanging around!
    Actual Detroit Iron - from the good old days (of rust!)
    That K5 looks swell from here!!!

    Kan't make out the video game, but that's kewl too!
    You guys got quite the pad there!


    I'm not sure about the turret lathe either.
    Pretty sure that aint no Warner and Swasey.
    So that pretty much leaves Gisholt and Bardons and Oliver. Possibly Jones and Lamson?


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

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    I'm not sure what impresses me more, the stable of vehicles or the fact you've got an M560 on the way.

    Very cool operation you guys have going.

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    Fuck.

    My business partner just called me 5 minutes ago and said the landlord sold the building out from under us to Stickermule. He told us originally we had first rights of refusal on it, and that if they even bought it, they'd keep all existing tenants. Well, so much for the first part, and they apparently changed their minds about that second part. Dunno how long we have there yet, but this is about to get real...interesting. Good thing the 560 purchase is still pending financing.

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    Update on building:

    So we met shortly after this and spent some time calling around to figure out exactly what's going on. Long story short: we don't know, nobody knows, and something's fishy.

    Now, this isn't the first time the landlord has tried to pull a fast one on us - back before we took the whole floor, he called us to say a potential tenant was signing a lease for the remainder of our floor space and that we should take any extra space we need before that happens. Well, we called up that potential tenant and he was very confused, since he hadn't talked to the landlord in weeks, and wasn't even seriously considering that building anymore. He DEFINITELY stopped considering it after he heard about that. This was right after the guys below us moved out (cabinet shop renting the whole 5th floor), so the landlord was hurting for rent and we guess he figured he could get some quick cash by scaring us into making a rash decision. Nice try.

    There is a small Ukranian man named Rus who lives in the first floor in a small apartment he built. We love him and he's most of the reason the place is still standing. Rus is dependent on the landlord continuing to own the building to maintain this arrangement, since Stickermule would want him gone (it's not even really legal for him to live there). He found out about this at the same time as we did, leading us to believe that something is happening. That's not good for us or him.

    The landlord won't tell us how much the building sold for, whether it has actually sold, is still in escrow, or has even entered escrow yet. The Stickermule people who are supposedly handling the acquisition and transition sounded fairly confused on the phone and could not help us.

    So basically, we know that the building is at the very least in the process of being sold. We don't know when the actual sale will take place or how long we have to be there. The landlord told us we'd have to be out in two months but sounded uncertain about that, and it doesn't match up with what he told us before or the other things we've heard. The other tenants were completely in the dark about all of this and had to hear the news from us.

    You think moving a machine shop in two months is hard? Try moving an entire American Ninja Warrior gym like the guy on the 4th floor has, and then convincing all your customers to move with you. We're trying to get all the tenants together to discuss this because we're certainly going to be fed conflicting info moving forward, and we have to be able to sift through the bullshit to figure out what's actually happening and how bad we're all gonna get shafted.




    The next move is figuring out what all of our options are for the various scenarios that could come up. We're almost certainly going to have to move, unfortunately. There's a building nearby for sale - 41k sqft for $330k, which is a damn steal. But, we don't have the kinda cash for a down payment yet, though the mortgage payment itself would be around what we're currently paying in rent. The previous 5th floor tenant from our building has a lot of extra space at his new spot downtown, conveniently right next to the building for sale, and offered us the possibility of renting from him and even exchanging powder coating work for some of the rent. There are a few other more modern places for rent around us, but they're all extremely expensive compared to what we're used to, so they're worst-case options.

    We're also talking to the town, since there's a bunch of empty mill buildings like the one we're in scattered all over. The cabinet guys got their current building (9 stories, easily 250k sqft if not much more) for $7500 on the promise that they'd clean it up and modernize it since it was full of old tires and who knows what else from people dumping hazardous waste in it for years. An arrangement like that would be awesome for us, since it'd give us the space for our future plans that we were originally planning for our current spot, after buying it in a couple years. We want to do community and nonprofit work around making/manufacturing, including a makerspace that has *gasp* good tools, training, and so on, with the eventual goal of including vocational tech education to help people get jobs, since Amsterdam is a very economically depressed area. Hopefully we'll hear back soon.

    So yeah. Not much we can do until we know what's actually going on, so we're just going to double down on getting as much work as possible for the next few months to build a significant cash buffer if SHTF and we gotta move fast.

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    I own property like your building but here in Wisconsin. Leases don't terminate on a property sale, the new owner has to honor any leases. Do you have a lease? I don't mean a month to month thing, I mean an actual 1 year, 3 year, 5 year or whatever lease.

    I've driven around your area and there are cool buildings like that all over the place. I'm sure you can find a new home. Could take a while to buy one though.

    Just curious but how is it that your first floor looks to be wood, but the upper floors look to be poured concrete?

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    Quote Originally Posted by adh2000 View Post
    I own property like your building but here in Wisconsin. Leases don't terminate on a property sale, the new owner has to honor any leases. Do you have a lease? I don't mean a month to month thing, I mean an actual 1 year, 3 year, 5 year or whatever lease.

    I've driven around your area and there are cool buildings like that all over the place. I'm sure you can find a new home. Could take a while to buy one though.

    Just curious but how is it that your first floor looks to be wood, but the upper floors look to be poured concrete?
    Our lease is up after August. Stickermule previously said they wanted to keep tenants and would renew leases, and have now gone back on that and want everyone out. The landlord was dragging his feet on the new lease paperwork when we took the whole floor and were going to have a year lease starting last month, but he hasn't sent it to us yet though we have paid for one month at the full rate already. Guess this explains why he was dragging his feet. We'll definitely find a new place if we have to, though I'd rather stay here for as long as we can so we can do it more affordably and actually budget for the move.

    We called our lawyer yesterday and she said that if the new owners are unwilling to make reasonable accommodations to let us move at a normal pace, force them to evict us. If nothing else, it buys a LOT of time, especially with the surprisingly comprehensive commercial tenants' rights laws in NY state. Even a simple court hearing could buy us 3-6 months, and then a judge can issue a ruling on top of that to give us further time to vacate on the basis that we were not provided with reasonable notice to get things moving. Even better, we have email chains with our current landlord from just a week or two ago where he tells us that the building will not be selling anytime soon and that we don't need to make plans. If we can get 6 months, it won't be a problem. 2 months will. A year would be perfect.


    All the floors are concrete under old-growth hardwood. There's about 18" of concrete for each floor as far as we can tell (hell, the roof is over a foot thick based on holes that were drilled for previous HVAC installations that were since removed).

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    I'm a landlord so looking at this situation from the other side of the table. If I have to evict a tenant that can take a while and be costly so I usually try to work something out. Also I try not to be an asshole. I might offer a tenant a few thousand or more if they leave quietly and fairly quickly. You might try that out. Explain that you've got to get a mover and on and on and on and if you could just get a few thousand dollars you could get everything rolling. Offer that you could agree to move by X date but you'd need something to make it happen.

    My buildings have concrete floors. I like your wood floor. Wondering how did they put the wood down over the concrete? Are there sleepers and then the wood nailed to that? Is the wood glued to the concrete somehow? Is it all just held down by gravity? Inquiring minds want to know....

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    Quote Originally Posted by adh2000 View Post
    I'm a landlord so looking at this situation from the other side of the table. If I have to evict a tenant that can take a while and be costly so I usually try to work something out. Also I try not to be an asshole. I might offer a tenant a few thousand or more if they leave quietly and fairly quickly. You might try that out. Explain that you've got to get a mover and on and on and on and if you could just get a few thousand dollars you could get everything rolling. Offer that you could agree to move by X date but you'd need something to make it happen.

    My buildings have concrete floors. I like your wood floor. Wondering how did they put the wood down over the concrete? Are there sleepers and then the wood nailed to that? Is the wood glued to the concrete somehow? Is it all just held down by gravity? Inquiring minds want to know....
    Yeah, we're definitely going to try to negotiate, eviction is a last resort that nobody wants to deal with. I like the idea about some kind of financial incentive, since that would directly help us get out of here faster too - might bring that up when we find out who to actually talk to. We're pretty sure they just got through the offer phase at this point and still have to go through escrow after a few conversations this afternoon, so that'll buy us a little extra time to get things together.

    The boards are nailed in with a LOT of nails. Sometimes 5-6 per board, different sizes, sometimes between boards with the head holding two edges down, sometimes right in the ends. As far as I can tell, they went directly into the concrete and there's nothing else holding them down, but I haven't tried to remove one to look. Seems like the boards are around an inch thick, too. I think floors like this are fairly typical of old mill buildings from the 20s and 30s, and they're certainly nicer to stand on for long periods than straight concrete, though floor mats still help a lot with fatigue. Unfortunately, wood like this is literally unavailable these days, because it's all old growth that's now either gone (in our floors) or part of protected forests. I do know that it commands quite a steep price on the resale market when these buildings get torn down or remodeled because of that scarcity and because of how beautiful it is.

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    Shame, the space looks wildly attractive. Cool shop, cool story...looking forward to seeing how the adventure continues to unfold.

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    I tend to like buildings that are efficient and don't cost a ton to heat or keep cool.
    For what you guys are making, it could be run out of a 2 car garage easy.
    Best of luck with the products, I hope it all works out for you guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SND View Post
    I tend to like buildings that are efficient and don't cost a ton to heat or keep cool.
    For what you guys are making, it could be run out of a 2 car garage easy.
    Best of luck with the products, I hope it all works out for you guys.
    Most of the business can't be. The Nerf parts aren't our main work, I just can't show the stuff that actually makes us money because of incredibly strict blanket NDAs, but I'll ask if I can show some parts the next time I get a chance. There's no way our powdercoating ops would work with less than 2k sqft or so, and that wouldn't leave any space for machining, which has to be at least somewhat separated to keep stray powder out of things. The main limitation we run into right now is the SMM's travels because our customers want bigger parts from us, we just can't physically fit them into the machine, hence the M560V that will be delivered wherever we end up. Space is cheap out here if you aren't picky but small buildings are often much, much more expensive because they're much newer.




    Also just got my hours cut at my day job to 1 day/week because they're out of new parts for me to program. This week is going great
    That's as good a kick in the pants as any to force me to make some money here I guess, but about a month or two earlier than I wanted. Guess my savings are going straight to student loans for a bit...


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