Industrial Express Welding and Machine Shop
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  1. #1
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    Default Industrial Express Welding and Machine Shop

    Hey Guys,

    I am in the process of moving my shop to a new space, and I figured now would be a good time to start a shop thread.

    I've lurked on this forum for many years, always reading and learning. I've been encouraged and inspired by a lot of you guys, and I really love the community and knowledge here. Wheelie, Ox, CNC Toolcat, JP, David N, Ewlsey, all of you guys and more have been very educational and helpful in getting me to start my own shop.

    Just a little about me. My name is Jake, I've been working in the trades for my whole career in some fashion or another. Most of my career has been in welding and fabrication, but I've done a fair amount of machining along the way.

    Industrial Express is my company, a metalworking job shop. I started my business as a side hustle shop about 4 years ago, and went full time in March of 2018. I hired my first full time employee in June of this last year. Things are humming along nicely right now, we have a part time welder as well to keep up with the work.

    We do mostly welding and fab work at present, but there is a steady diet of repair work and manual machine work, as well as plenty of strange one off prototype widgets and machine parts. My primary customers are food and beverage producers. Ice cream plants, breweries, bottled water, things like that. We also make parts for product testing equipment, coatings companies, ultralight aircraft, worker safety, and a wide variety of other industries. My only "rule" is I don't work on cars. Heavy equipment and industrial machinery is fine, but I hate working on passenger vehicles. We specialize in aluminum and stainless welding, but we do plenty of plain old MIG on steel.

    I recently purchased a used 98 Hurco BMC 4020 VMC to augment the shop's machining capacity, so I feel like it is finally appropriate to have a shop thread on the Practical Machinist, vs just my paltry small manual machining department.

    Anyway, here's a few shots of the new digs. I just got keys a few days ago, so we're still moving in. I have most of the smaller machines moved, but I need riggers for a few things. The shear and VMC, mostly. I also have to move the stock rack, pallet racking, office, and a number of other small things.

    New shop is about 4000 square feet, give or take a few feet. I have 480V and 208V 3 phase panels. I believe this suite has 200 amps of both, I'd have to check the breakers to be sure. Plenty of power for me anyway. It feels absolutley HUGE, my last shop was half this size, and I could only use about half of it for machines and work space. So this is a massive upgrade.

    The shop is kind of a mess right now, nothing is really set in place permanently right now. I have (mostly) everything wired up so we can keep working while we move. I need to keep things somewhat mobile in case the riggers need the room for their forklifts moving the big shear.

    I have a 5 ton bridge crane over half the shop, and 2 jibs in the center of one bay, 1 ton each.

    img_7269.jpg

    Some of the manual machines. I still have to move the drill presses and a lot of tooling. 19" x 80" Leblond Regal, 10" SB Heavy 10, standard issue Bridgeport.

    img_7272.jpg

    This corner behind the welders will be sheet metal equipment. Right now its just a staging area.

    img_7273.jpg

    I'll keep updating as I go. I'm sure I'll be leaning on you guys for CNC help as I get moving with that machine.

    Thanks for looking.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_7269.jpg   img_7272.jpg   img_7273.jpg   img_7265.jpg  

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arc-On View Post
    Hey Guys,

    I am in the process of moving my shop to a new space, and I figured now would be a good time to start a shop thread.

    I've lurked on this forum for many years, always reading and learning. I've been encouraged and inspired by a lot of you guys, and I really love the community and knowledge here. Wheelie, Ox, CNC Toolcat, JP, David N, Ewlsey, all of you guys and more have been very educational and helpful in getting me to start my own shop.

    Just a little about me. My name is Jake, I've been working in the trades for my whole career in some fashion or another. Most of my career has been in welding and fabrication, but I've done a fair amount of machining along the way.

    Industrial Express is my company, a metalworking job shop. I started my business as a side hustle shop about 4 years ago, and went full time in March of 2018. I hired my first full time employee in June of this last year. Things are humming along nicely right now, we have a part time welder as well to keep up with the work.

    We do mostly welding and fab work at present, but there is a steady diet of repair work and manual machine work, as well as plenty of strange one off prototype widgets and machine parts. My primary customers are food and beverage producers. Ice cream plants, breweries, bottled water, things like that. We also make parts for product testing equipment, coatings companies, ultralight aircraft, worker safety, and a wide variety of other industries. My only "rule" is I don't work on cars. Heavy equipment and industrial machinery is fine, but I hate working on passenger vehicles. We specialize in aluminum and stainless welding, but we do plenty of plain old MIG on steel.

    I recently purchased a used 98 Hurco BMC 4020 VMC to augment the shop's machining capacity, so I feel like it is finally appropriate to have a shop thread on the Practical Machinist, vs just my paltry small manual machining department.

    Anyway, here's a few shots of the new digs. I just got keys a few days ago, so we're still moving in. I have most of the smaller machines moved, but I need riggers for a few things. The shear and VMC, mostly. I also have to move the stock rack, pallet racking, office, and a number of other small things.

    New shop is about 4000 square feet, give or take a few feet. I have 480V and 208V 3 phase panels. I believe this suite has 200 amps of both, I'd have to check the breakers to be sure. Plenty of power for me anyway. It feels absolutley HUGE, my last shop was half this size, and I could only use about half of it for machines and work space. So this is a massive upgrade.

    The shop is kind of a mess right now, nothing is really set in place permanently right now. I have (mostly) everything wired up so we can keep working while we move. I need to keep things somewhat mobile in case the riggers need the room for their forklifts moving the big shear.

    I have a 5 ton bridge crane over half the shop, and 2 jibs in the center of one bay, 1 ton each.



    Some of the manual machines. I still have to move the drill presses and a lot of tooling. 19" x 80" Leblond Regal, 10" SB Heavy 10, standard issue Bridgeport.



    This corner behind the welders will be sheet metal equipment. Right now its just a staging area.



    I'll keep updating as I go. I'm sure I'll be leaning on you guys for CNC help as I get moving with that machine.

    Thanks for looking.
    Congrats all around, starting a business, providing employment and service to your customers.. nice looking shop and equipment.
    You will have a very profitable and enjoyable venture if you are willing to keep at it.
    Thanks for sharing
    Mike

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  5. #3
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    You have the makings of a damn fine shop there! Very nice!

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    You have the makings of a damn fine shop there! Very nice!
    Thanks Wheelie. Your shop thread has been a huge benefit to guys just starting out. I really like your perspectives and outlook on running a small machine shop business. You tell it like it is, and show the good with the bad. Really helps with getting a real world picture of what it takes to make a buck in this business.

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  9. #5
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    Sorry I haven't been super diligent on my updating this thread. I'm working hard to get my shop all moved and it sucks up a lot of time. I'm gonna work on that.

    We had some rigging adventures a week or so ago. About 2 years ago I bought this shear and stored it in my buddy's storage building until I had a shop big enough to use it. Its a Pexto 10-U-10. Capacity is 10 foot of 10ga steel. I know it will do 10 feet of 11ga stainless, which is all I will ever need to shear. My neighbors have a 10' hydraulic that will do 1/4", and flat bar is sheared in the ironworker. I really have a soft spot for old mechanical shears, they are really cool machines that just work so well.

    On the far right is my buddy Mark, he has a very nice CNC shop about an hour's drive from me. Driving the Hyster is my dad and my employee Ben is on the left.



    When we unloaded the shear two years ago, I wasn't overly happy with how Pexto didn't really provide any good lifting points. Mark and I looked the machine over, and decided to make these lifting eyes that bolt onto the main actuator arms. These are basically the connecting arms that connect the shear arm to the crankshaft, and are plenty capable of supporting the machine's weight. We cut the plates on Mark's waterjet and I welded them up. Back beveled and 2 hot tig passes followed by a real hot pulsed spray MIG bead to finish. They worked like a champ, and saved us a TON of sketchy rigging.



    We lifted the machine up one end at a time and put it on Hillman skates. Then we used the sideshift on the forktruck to shift the machine over in front of the door.



    Once in front of the door, we were able to get a forklift on either end and get it outside.



    Once outside and in the driveway, we were able to re-pick so the trailer could back under the shear for the trip to my shop. Mark's forklift fleet includes the old Clark he has named Bertha. Bertha is a 16k capacity truck with 8' forks. A few years ago the Hercules threw a rod through the cylinder wall so he swapped in a Cummins out of a Dodge pickup. Made up a bellhousing adapter and some engine mounts and she's a runner again.





    We really didn't want to make two trips and bring Mark's Hyster, so I ended up hiring riggers for the unload and final movement of the shear and VMC.

    A rare photo of yours truly running the crane on one end of the shear while the riggers were on the other end.



    The Pexto's final resting place. I have it about 6 feet off the back wall so we can still shear full sheets in half if needed, and there's enough room to walk between the squaring arm and the wall. Now I need to bolt on the front supports, square up the squaring arm, and calibrate the back gauge. But it is powered and shears nice.


    The VMC I bought was from my landlord, so all the riggers needed to do was move it into my suite.



    The mill's home is right outside the office. That way I can keep my computer in the office and run a CAT5 cable out to the mill and keep the dust and crap off the computer. I hope. I may end up getting a dedicated laptop for the mill, but for now this will work. It was also the only place it would fit well.



    Still gotta move my stock rack and a few other things, then I have a bunch of skids to unload and put away, all while trying to keep work moving out the door. Haha, moving sucks.


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