Any Houston Texas one man Cnc shops?
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  1. #1
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    Default Any Houston Texas one man Cnc shops?

    Wondering if anyone else in the Houston area has a one man Cnc shop, thanks for the responses guys ,,

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    Yes, but Im only part time. I employed full time at another shop.

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    I know a man just north west of Houston that has a one man shop for his second job.. He has not had a single job since last year. The oil bust has hit everyone and work is hard to find. The larger shops do not have enough work and are taking in anything to keep the doors open. Thus the small stuff that makes sence for the garage shop guys is hard to find...






    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

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    Man that sucks, is he running any Cnc's or just manuals?

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    That's good too hear , do yu stay busy at yur own shop ? How's the work flow so far for yu this year?

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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Miller View Post
    Man that sucks, is he running any Cnc's or just manuals?
    CNC only......

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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Miller View Post
    That's good too hear , do yu stay busy at yur own shop ? How's the work flow so far for yu this year?
    I am always busy, but I am very different than most shops.. I am so diversified that when one industry has problems I just focus on the other areas... My machine shop supports my other projects.

    I learned my lesson in the 1973 Oil bust

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    There is almost no work out there right now. We are seeing a slight uptick in the last few weeks but it is very erratic. Shops have closed up left and right. Worst I have ever seen it. I have beat every bush I could find and had a few projects in the last several weeks to quote but only one job panned out, but I am extremely grateful for it, and made pretty good money on it. Other than that it has been dead for a year now. Not trying to be a downer but there is no way I would start a shop unless you had some kind of deal set up for work. As stated above, the problem now is that everyone is dirt cheap just trying to stay afloat.

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    The problem with guys like me is that Baker, SLJ, NOV etc wont deal directly with us. We still do their work, but its through the bigger shops. That means we get crumbs. When there is work that is fine. I work fast and smart and still make good money on the crumbs. But, there just arent any crumbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgmrmike View Post
    The problem with guys like me is that Baker, SLJ, NOV etc wont deal directly with us. We still do their work, but its through the bigger shops. That means we get crumbs. When there is work that is fine. I work fast and smart and still make good money on the crumbs. But, there just arent any crumbs.
    Yup I hear yu on that too, right now it's slow here in Houston , I do notice it getting a little better since the bigger company's are starting hire again slowly, good thing is I still have time to think about everything ., thanks for the responses everyone

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    IMHO you guys need to get off your butts and realise its a flawed business model. Your running cnc's in your garage doing overflow type work, times busy its a great plan. Hit a quiet spell, yeah no overflow, your dead! Simple as that!!!

    IMHO its far better to offer more - not do just some one elses work, but find a product line and peruse it. This is a small planet, with a great mail system + WWW. Just because within 50 miles of you is as dead as a door nail does not mean there’s not work out there, you just have to think differently, find different things and play a different game. Anyone can stick a CNC in a garage and start up, it's what you then do with it that truly makes or breaks things.

    My case that ment taking my tools, making some different tools using those which i now use to make a range of unique products which i sell globally. My customer base is aimed at the bit of society with money and that are in a position to spend that money (think going after a sponge soaked in blood, not just picking up the nearest stone to wring out because its easy) Not a industry in terminal decline!

    So stop listening to people telling you its slow, get on the WWW and find stuff people want then work out how and make it. Best parts the profit margins, yeah direct sales is like testicles being plucked clean with tweezers at times, but the return - mark up is so much better! Haveing a thousand customers means that black listing the assholes really does not matter!

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    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    IMHO you guys need to get off your butts and realise its a flawed business model. Your running cnc's in your garage doing overflow type work, times busy its a great plan. Hit a quiet spell, yeah no overflow, your dead! Simple as that!!!

    IMHO its far better to offer more - not do just some one elses work, but find a product line and peruse it. This is a small planet, with a great mail system + WWW. Just because within 50 miles of you is as dead as a door nail does not mean there’s not work out there, you just have to think differently, find different things and play a different game. Anyone can stick a CNC in a garage and start up, it's what you then do with it that truly makes or breaks things.

    My case that ment taking my tools, making some different tools using those which i now use to make a range of unique products which i sell globally. My customer base is aimed at the bit of society with money and that are in a position to spend that money (think going after a sponge soaked in blood, not just picking up the nearest stone to wring out because its easy) Not a industry in terminal decline!

    So stop listening to people telling you its slow, get on the WWW and find stuff people want then work out how and make it. Best parts the profit margins, yeah direct sales is like testicles being plucked clean with tweezers at times, but the return - mark up is so much better! Haveing a thousand customers means that black listing the assholes really does not matter!

    I agree completely, but for some its easier said than done. I designed and built a digital night vision scope. ( It is popular here to hunt wild pigs at night ) Every single person that has seen/used it was completely impressed. But just as I was finalizing the design another well established company started selling one. Mine has been declared better by every single person that has compared them side by side, but the other is made in china and has a price point that I cant compete with. And a huge advertising budget. Despite its almost embarrassing lack of clarity and range it has probably outsold mine 1000:1 In the last few weeks I have stopped selling them, I was beat by the big boys and made in china, plain and simple.

    The real issue may be that I am not an idea guy. Im the guy that is very good at making things, but terrible at coming up with ideas etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgmrmike View Post
    I agree completely, but for some its easier said than done. I designed and built a digital night vision scope. ( It is popular here to hunt wild pigs at night ) Every single person that has seen/used it was completely impressed. But just as I was finalizing the design another well established company started selling one. Mine has been declared better by every single person that has compared them side by side, but the other is made in china and has a price point that I cant compete with. And a huge advertising budget. Despite its almost embarrassing lack of clarity and range it has probably outsold mine 1000:1 In the last few weeks I have stopped selling them, I was beat by the big boys and made in china, plain and simple.

    The real issue may be that I am not an idea guy. Im the guy that is very good at making things, but terrible at coming up with ideas etc
    I think your scope is probably a fine idea, you could have a marketing problem. If your scope is really better, make some videos showing how it is better, charge more, and chase the low volume high price market. Seems likely there are people who will want the most expensive best scope, they just don't know you have it...

    **on edit, i watch a couple youtube gun channels, see if they would do a review for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    IMHO you guys need to get off your butts and realise its a flawed business model.

    IMHO its far better to offer more - not do just some one elses work, but find a product line and peruse it.
    Better?

    I have tried a few products. Some were quite successful. I hated every second of it.

    The nice thing about job shop work is variety. You never know what might come through the door. It's interesting to setup new jobs and always have to figure out how to make something.

    Making a product is the perfect form of torture for me. Go to the same place every day. Perform the same small set of tasks over and over. Deal with selling things to the retarded general public.

    No thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    Better?

    I have tried a few products. Some were quite successful. I hated every second of it.

    The nice thing about job shop work is variety. You never know what might come through the door. It's interesting to setup new jobs and always have to figure out how to make something.

    Making a product is the perfect form of torture for me. Go to the same place every day. Perform the same small set of tasks over and over. Deal with selling things to the retarded general public.

    No thanks.
    I've been wondering for a while what method you would suggest for starting a new shop?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillside Fab View Post
    I've been wondering for a while what method you would suggest for starting a new shop?
    Hell I don't know. I just did something and it kind of worked. Now that it kind of works I can focus on making it more fun/interesting.

    If you're a machinist, be a machinist. Don't be pressured by everyone here to become an OEM widget maker. The world needs job shops too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    Hell I don't know. I just did something and it kind of worked. Now that it kind of works I can focus on making it more fun/interesting.

    If you're a machinist, be a machinist. Don't be pressured by everyone here to become an OEM widget maker. The world needs job shops too.
    Alright, that makes sense. I guess I am really wondering about what you think the ideal method is to transition from the day job to your job shop? I would think you would have to save up 100k+, lease a building, buy some used machines, and quit the day job?

    It seems the make a product in the barn at your house suggestion is so popular because of the lower initial investment and flexibility to keep your day job. Then if you are successful and become bored later, you pay people to run the business and play golf, or farm, or start a job shop.

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    I surly didn't save up $100k.

    If you want to do job show work for commercial customers, it's pretty much impossible to do while maintaining a day job. Business happens during the working hours of the day. Customers need to be able to reach you. Parts need to be picked up and delivered. Packages need to be shipped and received.

    I tried running my shop for about 2 years while I had a full time job. At some point it just didn't seem possible. I read about guys here who do it but I can't figure out how. I couldn't take customer calls. I couldn't get UPS deliveries without me there to sign. I couldn't go pick up materials or get it delivered.

    I had been at my job for 3.5 year when I decided to quit. I'm sure it's a lot tougher to make that call if you worked somewhere for 20 years. I figured if it didn't work out I could just find another job. Working on 4 years later and I still feel that way...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I surly didn't save up $100k.
    What would you say the necessary capital investment in equipment would be to pay the owner a salary equal to a day job, in an average (whatever that is) economy? Also, what's a best case estimate of the time frame to build customer relations in order to bring in those higher quality jobs?

    I'm not arguing that OEM widget making is the silver bullet, however, you get to try your product ideas out while maintaining a steady income. That's a big plus in my book, if you have a family to support, and the wife doesn't like the idea of pulling a camper into your warehouse to live for a few years while you sort stuff out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillside Fab View Post
    What would you say the necessary capital investment in equipment would be to pay the owner a salary equal to a day job, in an average (whatever that is) economy? Also, what's a best case estimate of the time frame to build customer relations in order to bring in those higher quality jobs?
    I'm not exactly a shining star that anyone should try to emulate.

    IMO, there is no way you can quit your full time gig and jump right into self employment without taking a financial step backward. No way. If it was that easy more people would do it.

    You have to accept a lifestyle change until you can get things rolling. If you cannot cut your take home income by 75% for at least 3 years, you will probably not succeed. In my case, that wasn't a huge deal. I put off buying a house, I put off getting married, I drove (still do) a crappy old pickup, I invested most of my money into equipment anyway. If you are 45 with 3 kids and your wife doesn't work, it's a lot harder to swallow.

    I've seen a few businesses fail. In my opinion it was simply because the owners could not align their lifestyle to their business earnings. Most business owners are capable people. They are usually very well paid as employees. Many just don't understand that you can't build a business and take home a fat paycheck. It usually doesn't work that way.

    I worked for a truck repair shop. The guy who started that shop started at his house. He put up a building and started working on trucks at night while working full time for a Kenworth dealer. He did that for probably 8 years. Eventually he thought he had enough work to go full time so he did, at the home shop. Then he borrowed some money and built a new building and hired a full time guy. Eventually hired 4 or 5 full time guys.

    All the while he lived in a trailer and drove an 81 Chevy pickup you could see right through. I'd say he was at least 10 years into that business before his take home pay started to match what he made working at the dealership. But, he kept it going and now he has a respectable and profitable business.

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