What's new
What's new

A humble request for mentor. Potential new shop.

I'm not sure there's many banks looking to fund a 5 axis to a guy that's unemployed and has zero dollars revenue or even PO's in their start up right now.

The type of work and equipment you're talking about sounds like a quantum leap from where you're standing now. I highly suggest you get a job and start putzing around in your garage and acquiring tooling and equipment. I spent a couple years buying metrology tools, cutting tools, and workholding from ebay, facebook marketplace, and craigslist and stashed them away long before I ever cut chips for hire. You can tool up for pennies on the dollar of what MSC cost. Even if it ain't the lastest and greatest there's been plenty of times the bank account was low or MSC next day wasn't fast enough that I was very greatful to have my cache of stuff.
 
I guess I am slightly lucky as the MTB financing is almost at a close.

I don't even have a brigdeport, so yeah, it is a big leap.
Guess it's like a racing car driver that just needs the equipment. I can get around a track. Not as fast as many here, but fast enough for some stopwatches to take notice.
 
Well, I wish you the best of luck. The people in the world that become very wealthy all have big brass balls when it comes to risk tolerance. Realistically though, unless you have a pile of savings to live off of and possibly even pump into the business for a while, odds are you'll be auctioning off that fancy new machine before you've made a year's worth of payments on it.
 
Well, I wish you the best of luck. The people in the world that become very wealthy all have big brass balls when it comes to risk tolerance. Realistically though, unless you have a pile of savings to live off of and possibly even pump into the business for a while, odds are you'll be auctioning off that fancy new machine before you've made a year's worth of payments on it.
Thank you. I hope to prove you wrong about 1yr mark, as I'm sure you hope as well.
I'm a good guy. Looking to help others and save for family is ultimate goal.
In fact, helping others without expectation would be the only reason I continue company past financial retirement level.
 
Thanks for not taking my comment about post your location poorly. It kind of came off as mean I suppose. I mentioned it because I have seen several posters in the last month asking about wages and machine values with no mention where in the world they are located.
The poster from Guinea Bissau always has his location posted and still people tell him to go to the local good hardware store and buy this or that to fix the problem. Only found out by, watching a tv quiz show the other day, that they speak Portugese there and not some African language. I had wondered how he communicated to the students in his shop.
Bill D
 
There is a current thread that has gone to five pages about should they buy a shop that is for sale near them.. Shop makes 4 million in business and 600,000 a year profit. But no location given and no mention of what currencies ?
The Iran Rial is officially 41,994 to the dollar. black market rate: 1 USD = 112,000 IRR
Bill D
 
Something to consider is that you are going to need a couple months rent and utilities to cover the time it takes to get paid the first time. Also deposits I assume. Just a heads up, around here commercial account deposits are many times higher than residential. My nat gas deposit was 4X what it was for my house, electric and water were similar. The nat gas deposit was also out to 3 years vs 1 on a residential. I bring it up because I got surprised.

I'm in a niche where I get to dictate the terms without much worry of driving them off to some other shop, there aren't many options for what I'm doing in my area. Anyway, you're likely going to have to eat 30,60,90 days til you get paid the first time, also going to have to cover material etc. Once you get over the first big hurdle then you can hopefully keep the pipeline full and it won't hurt as much.

If you can specialize and are willing to be strict, I'd consider a few options that are not the norm for the metalworking industry as to payment, materials and such. This is what I do, if it's brand new customer, it's COD and they provide material and or give me a deposit. If the job goes well and we are both happy, then I'll consider net 30 after that, but it depends on how I read them and if I believe they'll pay. I have a handful of repeat customers that I trust and would give them net 30 but they bring a check at pickup every time. I'm app 50/50 on net 30 vs COD.

I only have 2 customers that I buy the material for, everyone else brings it to me. Alot of my customers are OEM's and are buying a ton of material and I sold the idea to them as they can get it cheaper than I can, and I don't have to carry the cost myself. I figure if they aren't willing to do that or give me a deposit, then they are probably going to be difficult and their job may not be worth the aggravation. The 2 shops I provide the material for pay a higher rate and have a multiplier figured on their stuff that accounts for me dealing with the material side of it.

Something else I have been thinking about is have you done the math to figure up how many hours you are going to have to work to cover just rent and the machine payment? Idk what shop rate you can charge in Houston area, but my gut tells me you are going to have to work a full week just to cover rent at almost $3k/mo by the time you cover your costs (even excluding a wage for yourself).

I hope you have an idea as to how important it is to have a cash buffer. If you get behind even a little it gets very hard to catch up and you get desperate and desperate people make terrible decisions which usually compound the problem because you can't see all the options that are available.

A little story telling on myself, early on I didn't have enough business to keep the pipe full so there were a couple times where I was going to be in a pickle if I didn't get some work in. Well, I got the work, but it was from one of the shops where I buy the material. I had already established the norm with these guys, so I didn't want to give them any ideas that I was not stable so I really didn't want to ask them to buy material. What saved my bacon was my relationship with my vendor, I called him and told him what was going on and asked it he could cover me on this order for the time it took for me to get paid on it. He was willing to do that and it allowed me to get back on track. If I recall I only did this twice. I think it was only an option because I had been working with this guy for many years at my previous job and he knew me etc. In scheme of things it was small potatoes, but if you are broke, coming up with a few hundred bucks is no small feat.
 
What would y'alls advice be on machine quality and price?

Im currently looking into NEW Okuma M560-5AX, priced out at around $350k MSRP.
After discount and tool up probably around $375k
Plan is 25-30% down so financing around $275k, about $6000/mo payments. Total overhead to be about $10000 month.

Would anyone ever consider used machine to start a business with Aerospace customers?
Is 10k a month just a crazy unreasonable number to overcome?

Thanks all.

PS, mentioned earlier in thread but there would be immediate Overflow work to help aerospace company whose 5axis is backlogged 2 years on work.

Im open to a private message and getting into more details/questions if anyone else is.
 
Last edited:
Mentor learning is so important. I just witnessed a shop fail because the owner insisted to do many things with an old fashioned/Hack way.

I made gauges for the part size so the table saw could be set to near perfect in seconds, he insisted measuring each time with a yo yo.
I suggested we clean the widows with a soap solution rag to take off incoming film and the Windex clean them when the project was done, he insisted cleaning with Windex only so we had the clean the windows multiple times to use a whole bottle of Windex on ever produce. I suggested that we don’t use the power scissors making floors because we would run into a staples and ruin the blade, so the power scissors went into the scrap. I said we should hand wire brush the paint brushes at the end of every day, He sail I only want to do that when they are really bad, so we continually would throw brushes away.
Hiring kids under 18 and letting them run a table saw. Letting my grandson run a compressor that was giving an electric shock and he almost got electrocuted.
So many dumb processes we had way too much time and wasted money in each product the business went near bust and lucky it sold.
My talent is surface grinding and I can usually run a SG job in half the time of a low experience grinder hand. A mill or lathe hand can do the same.
Mentor learned talent make all the difference to be successful.

Even YouTube fails to give good talents..
 
Last edited:
What would y'alls advice be on machine quality and price?

Im currently looking into NEW Okuma M560-5AX, priced out at around $350k MSRP.
After discount and tool up probably around $375k
Plan is 25-30% down so financing around $275k, about $6000/mo payments. Total overhead to be about $10000 month.

Would anyone ever consider used machine to start a business with Aerospace customers?
Is 10k a month just a crazy unreasonable number to overcome?

Thanks all.

PS, mentioned earlier in thread but there would be immediate Overflow work to help aerospace company whose 5axis is backlogged 2 years on work.

Im open to a private message and getting into more details/questions if anyone else is.
Do you already have all the ancillary equipment to compliment the machine tool?
I would have thought 5 axis aerospace parts are going to need measuring, mic's gauge blocks, dial indicators etc. Generally 5 axis stuff can't be efficiently measured with standard metrology hand tools so a CMM will be needed, plus the software, plus the temperature controlled clean room to put it in, plus an experienced guy to use it etc, etc. The list goes on...
 
Do you already have all the ancillary equipment to compliment the machine tool?
I would have thought 5 axis aerospace parts are going to need measuring, mic's gauge blocks, dial indicators etc. Generally 5 axis stuff can't be efficiently measured with standard metrology hand tools so a CMM will be needed, plus the software, plus the temperature controlled clean room to put it in, plus an experienced guy to use it etc, etc. The list goes on...
Valid questions and needs for sure.
No, I do not. That will most likely be next machine purchase.

I have the general machinist tools and inspection equipment.
I will have to get creative with the probing routines in the machine. (only for reference)

The shop I will doing subcontract work has all of those things.
They are AS90001 and for my start-up period they will have to be responsible for the FINAL inspection.

A lot of the parts I have seen are prismatic. Hopefully they will start me with those.
 
Valid questions and needs for sure.
No, I do not. That will most likely be next machine purchase.

I have the general machinist tools and inspection equipment.
I will have to get creative with the probing routines in the machine. (only for reference)

The shop I will doing subcontract work has all of those things.
They are AS90001 and for my start-up period they will have to be responsible for the FINAL inspection.

A lot of the parts I have seen are prismatic. Hopefully they will start me with those.
Do you have a 'special' relationship with the owners of this shop, or are they just going to milk a startup that's desperate for work to fund the new 5ax mill that they no longer need to buy themselves?
 
Do you have a 'special' relationship with the owners of this shop, or are they just going to milk a startup that's desperate for work to fund the new 5ax mill that they no longer need to buy themselves?
It is not a spectacular relationship.
But it is above average.

They are years behind, their top 5x guy is leaving company soon. I was offered a job, probably higher pay than starting business tbh. (At first)

My general opinion is that it will be mutually beneficial.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ox
Is 10k a month just a crazy unreasonable number to overcome?
If you don't make 10k a month it would be. If you do not have buffer $ on hand to carry you through the first few months of chaos from getting set up and operational; it would be very bad.

So from what I understand; right now there is no business. You are going to rent a shop space and finance a machine and then buy; air compressor, air dryer, tool holders, cam software, accounting software and inspection equipment.

Then, before the first payment is due, you will need to; hire an electrician to wire everything up and get it inspected; Have a tech come out to level the machine, set it up and check it all out.

While also quoting and winning the work for the machine, establishing an account with a vendor for material and tooling, waiting a week for both of those to arrive. Design fixtures for the jobs, make the fixtures, program the job and begin production.

There is no way in hell that I could see one man making all of this happen in less than 60 - possibly even 90 days, at least I know that I couldn't. There are just way too many variables.

If it were moving one shop to another; a situation where you already had processes in place for a functional business, and you were very familiar with all of the software, machine control, ect... then it would be different.

I am not trying to freak you out but whew... there are a lot of theoretical things here that must come together all at the same time to make this work.

From what you've written so far, it appears that you know how to make things happen in an operational machine shop.
Do you have a plan in place to cover all of the little details of setting up this operation though?

$10k per month is $333 per day. It's easy to lose a day when everything is new. Post processor issues; becoming familiar with a new machine and spending hours reading the manual to work through annoying alarms; 'oops, I ordered the wrong retention knobs'; 'why won't this stupid cam software do what I'm telling it to do.' - the list is endless and 30 days can fly by in a blur.
 
If you don't make 10k a month it would be. If you do not have buffer $ on hand to carry you through the first few months of chaos from getting set up and operational; it would be very bad.
Makes sense. I asked that because aside from the Oil Gas parts for customer needing mill and lathe, I wasn't able to make very educated financial projections. Just the 'ol shoprate$x hr/mo x guess at profit margin calculations.
So from what I understand; right now there is no business. You are going to rent a shop space and finance a machine and then buy; air compressor, air dryer, tool holders, cam software, accounting software and inspection equipment.
Yes sir. That's correct. Worst of all those things in my opinion is I plan on building from a CAD/CAM software Im not familiar with. Moving from SolidCAM to NX
Then, before the first payment is due, you will need to; hire an electrician to wire everything up and get it inspected; Have a tech come out to level the machine, set it up and check it all out.
Maintenance tech is a friend of mine for wiring. I didn't think about inspection of that. Is the leveling, set up, and check the responsibility of the MTB during install?? I hope so. I didn't think in terms other than "machine would be ready" after delivery.
There is no way in hell that I could see one man making all of this happen in less than 60 - possibly even 90 days, at least I know that I couldn't.
I am not trying to freak you out but whew... there are a lot of theoretical things here that must come together all at the same time to make this work.
It is quite a bit. More more weight than I am realizing I imagine.
Do you have a plan in place to cover all of the little details of setting up this operation though?
Not totally 100% yet. Still in last phase on recon. Need the green light from customer and then move to execution. Plan for details is much needed. Thanks for sharing some of the many considerations.
It is appreciated.
 
Last edited:








 
Back
Top