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That random phone call

dkmc

Diamond
Happens a couple times a year.

Caller: "Can you do this job for me"? (Simple turn on an OD and cutoff)
Me: "Sound fairly simple, what material?
C: 316 SS.......tubing.
M: "Oh, well not mild steel solid bar then"...
C: No but it should be no problem.
M Hum..... "What tolerance on the OD"?
C: "Well I'd like it as close as you can get it"
M:.....Thinking......OK, so what if close as I can get it is +/- .020
M "Do you have a drawing"?
C: "No, it's very simple, no drawing needed".
M: Yellow Flag. Always fun when they say 'it's simple'. No drawing needed sets up an invite to a pissin contest and a
he said -he said situation. I do not work without drawings and
just words.

Next day I email and ask "Do you need the ends deburred"? Because maybe not. Maybe it
gets welded? No deburr time lowers handling and overall cost.

Silence no reply in email or phone.
As usual, no surprise. Maybe I'm asking too many questions or being 'too nosy'?? Glad I don't need this type of work or customer.
 
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I don't answer the phone anymore, unless it's someone I know. If they're serious, they'll leave a message. No message? I couldn't care less.

I also tell the local walk-ins that we have a $2,000 minimum and we can't get to their work for 3 months. That's usually not far from the truth, anyway. Walk-ins have probably accounted for 0.005% of our income over the years, but 75% of the pain in the ass factor, so I don't waste my time with them anymore.
 
Well - at least you don't have several hours invested.

I got a call from a local plastic facility that has been bought out by the Chinese. They run some big stuff, and they blew out the front end cap on a large (12" shaft?) hydraulic cyl. This thing must'a had a dozen 1" (25mm?) bolts holding it in, and it broke them and blew out. I cannot imagine how this happened - on what I would ass_u_me is the return stroke. (?) (unless it's double acting)

When they went to put it back together, it just wouldn't fit in the bore nicely, and so they wanted it skimmed enough to make it round aggin.

They were sent to me as nobody else in the area had a lathe large enough to chuck this part.

So, it's an emergency, and so I shut off other work so that I could tunnel vission on this hot job (machine down!).

I have it all chucked up and I have my dial indicator up there, and I'm just having a hard time envisioning what I need to doo to tweak this in. After some time, I finally pulled it back out and flipped it around the other way.

WHOA! Now I see it!

I called the fella back and told him that it's really out - in a mannor that likely isn't going to yield a useable unit, but how 'bout you come put your eyes on this?

So he comes over and says that I should continue to work some magic on this. I told him that it would take some time, and that he should leave me, and I would call when I have something...

In the end I have 5 hours into something that I doubt is going to work, but .. maybe. I am sure that they are willing to keep dumping floor dry after this to keep it going 'till a new cover can be shipped in. But it was too far out to even hold pressure at all.

So I charge the guy $150/hr for [daytime] emergency work. These guys are not my customer, and I don't really want repair work, but I was about helping out a local employer, so I wasn't trying to rip them off, and I thought that my rate seemed fair. I am sure that the jobs that I shut down would have made $150 together.

9 months later I am still yet to git paid, and this guy acts as if I don't exist.
I doo git the fact that it sucks to put $750 into a band-aid that turns out to not work, but that's why I asked him to come over at the 1.5-2hr mark...
Maybe he thinks that I am a hack - that I couldn't git it to work?
IDK...

I am relatively sure that I will eventually git my $, and I'm not working on fetching it too hard, and quite honestly - I thought about just writing it off and not chasing it at year end, but I decided that I shouldn't hold the whole company in contempt when this is just the actions of the local maintenance man, so I went ahead and walked in the front door, and there is a heartbeat there, just taking time...

As I understand it tho, their normal pay to other shops seems to be 5-6 months, so I wouldn't have let them in the door knowing that anyhow.

The Maint man was going to pay me ca$h that day, but he was expecting a much smaller bill, and so I pay-palled him an invoice that he could pay with his C/C, but no reply.


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

I am Ox and I approve this here post!
 
I don't answer the phone anymore, unless it's someone I know. If they're serious, they'll leave a message. No message? I couldn't care less.

I also tell the local walk-ins that we have a $2,000 minimum and we can't get to their work for 3 months. That's usually not far from the truth, anyway. Walk-ins have probably accounted for 0.005% of our income over the years, but 75% of the pain in the ass factor, so I don't waste my time with them anymore.
I don't answer the phone either, they left a message, I called back
 
Well - at least you don't have several hours invested.

I got a call from a local plastic facility that has been bought out by the Chinese. They run some big stuff, and they blew out the front end cap on a large (12" shaft?) hydraulic cyl. This thing must'a had a dozen 1" (25mm?) bolts holding it in, and it broke them and blew out. I cannot imagine how this happened - on what I would ass_u_me is the return stroke. (?) (unless it's double acting)

When they went to put it back together, it just wouldn't fit in the bore nicely, and so they wanted it skimmed enough to make it round aggin.

They were sent to me as nobody else in the area had a lathe large enough to chuck this part.

So, it's an emergency, and so I shut off other work so that I could tunnel vission on this hot job (machine down!).

I have it all chucked up and I have my dial indicator up there, and I'm just having a hard time envisioning what I need to doo to tweak this in. After some time, I finally pulled it back out and flipped it around the other way.

WHOA! Now I see it!

I called the fella back and told him that it's really out - in a mannor that likely isn't going to yield a useable unit, but how 'bout you come put your eyes on this?

So he comes over and says that I should continue to work some magic on this. I told him that it would take some time, and that he should leave me, and I would call when I have something...

In the end I have 5 hours into something that I doubt is going to work, but .. maybe. I am sure that they are willing to keep dumping floor dry after this to keep it going 'till a new cover can be shipped in. But it was too far out to even hold pressure at all.

So I charge the guy $150/hr for [daytime] emergency work. These guys are not my customer, and I don't really want repair work, but I was about helping out a local employer, so I wasn't trying to rip them off, and I thought that my rate seemed fair. I am sure that the jobs that I shut down would have made $150 together.

9 months later I am still yet to git paid, and this guy acts as if I don't exist.
I doo git the fact that it sucks to put $750 into a band-aid that turns out to not work, but that's why I asked him to come over at the 1.5-2hr mark...
Maybe he thinks that I am a hack - that I couldn't git it to work?
IDK...

I am relatively sure that I will eventually git my $, and I'm not working on fetching it too hard, and quite honestly - I thought about just writing it off and not chasing it at year end, but I decided that I shouldn't hold the whole company in contempt when this is just the actions of the local maintenance man, so I went ahead and walked in the front door, and there is a heartbeat there, just taking time...

As I understand it tho, their normal pay to other shops seems to be 5-6 months, so I wouldn't have let them in the door knowing that anyhow.

The Maint man was going to pay me ca$h that day, but he was expecting a much smaller bill, and so I pay-palled him an invoice that he could pay with his C/C, but no reply.


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

I am Ox and I approve this here post!

I stopped production and welded something for a customer (former and years ago) to get them going again, 20 minute job. I said 'now I'm yer buddy' and without missing a beat, he says 'yea for the next 15 minutes'. They had already been paying an A-hole upcharge on all invoices for years, so no big deal.
:D
 
Had a guy stop by my house one day and ask me if I was me...Yep last I looked. Then said so and so told him I was a machinist....Yep last I checked. He asked me about drilling out two broke studs in an intake. I told him bring it to me all I got here is a drill press I'll see if I can do it. I done it and his check bounced. What I get for trusting people I guess. 6months later I still didn't get my money when this same guy walked into the shop I worked at to ask about having something made. Guess who was the only machinist there. Guess who took one look at me and said never mind and walked out. Karma upside the noggin.
 
Sooo...like most of the 1-post n00bs around here then? Two pages of thoughtful questions and responses and the person never even comes back to read them.

Annoying! Or worse yet is the askhole that argues with the good responses.

It would sure be nice to have a way to suspend responses to incomplete questions until all the facts are in. Beats me how someone who is making something doesn't understand you gotta supply all the info for a meaningful response, is asked for more details, then balks like it's all a secret.

And about walk-in work. Yeah, I don't miss it!
 
A simple situation...........Ive done your job.....you get the part back in exchange for cash money...COD...........must have done this a thousand times..............of course the important principal here is you have a Workmans Lien ,until you hand the item back .............then you have nothing.
 
A simple situation...........Ive done your job.....you get the part back in exchange for cash money...COD...........must have done this a thousand times..............of course the important principal here is you have a Workmans Lien ,until you hand the item back .............then you have nothing.

Agreed. Stand your ground!

The known COD deadbeats would cry how bad they needed something to my idiot ex partner and he'd let them walk because he felt sorry for them. On of the reasons he is an ex.
 
No money involved, in house government work or out of stock machine parts for other trades or maybe a production worker. Happened enough times that I sometimes had to make lame excuses for the government jobs. Guy would come to the shop and says he needed something made/fixed. Simple job to him, but he's a non machining guy. Once I look at what he wants, that simple job to him turns into an all nighter or more for me. Some had no clue what's involved in making a part that some other factory spent weeks or more making fixtures and special tooling for production runs.
Retired and not missing the BS.
 
On behalf of all welders out there, always deburr the fucking parts!
I don't know who where ever decided that it was ok to not deburr shit because " oh it just gets welded" but I see it all the fucking time from a few shops & muhhchinists, guess what, a welder has to handle the fucking things or deburr the shit for you, oh and it's $100 per bandaid.
 
On behalf of all welders out there, always deburr the fucking parts!
I don't know who where ever decided that it was ok to not deburr shit because " oh it just gets welded" but I see it all the fucking time from a few shops & muhhchinists, guess what, a welder has to handle the fucking things or deburr the shit for you, oh and it's $100 per bandaid.
Thats as bad as the ones that bring their dirty coolant dripping parts to put on the CMM. Makes me want to slap em with a piece of 1081 bar stock.
 
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Coolant/oil covered parts still full of burrs and knife edges everywhere that have to be completely washed before they can be welded are definitely a favorite. Must be the same muhhchinists who brag about their 40 year old Nicholson files that are still good as new, yeah, you never fucking used it.



Oh and as to calls, the last one cost me about $400 in material and the PO never came, complete silence since and oh well, kinda knew that would happen when they got bought out by the same company that screwed up a previous good customer around 2009. thankfully manged to use up most of it on personal projects. I generally never answer and definitely don't take repair work from randoms.
 
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... Beats me how someone who is making something doesn't understand you gotta supply all the info for a meaningful response, is asked for more details, then balks like it's all a secret.
You're assuming they know from the get go that their description isn't complete. To a non-machinist, questions regarding material, tolerances and finishing are often totally out of their wheelhouse. To them it's a chunk of metal that someone worked on and you as the machinist should be able to figure everything out as soon as you look at it.

When you ask about tolerances, the material and surface finish you're speaking a language they don't understand and have no interest in learning.
 
You're assuming they know from the get go that their description isn't complete. To a non-machinist, questions regarding material, tolerances and finishing are often totally out of their wheelhouse.

I was really speaking more to the posters that are machinists. Many is the time I've heard crickets or worse the refusal to provide more info.

Remember, this site is not intended for non-machinists.
 
On behalf of all welders out there, always deburr the fucking parts!
I don't know who where ever decided that it was ok to not deburr shit because " oh it just gets welded" but I see it all the fucking time from a few shops & muhhchinists, guess what, a welder has to handle the fucking things or deburr the shit for you, oh and it's $100 per bandaid.

On behalf of *everyone* out there! One of my pet peeves not even counting the fact that I weld. I've seen some pretty serious injuries due to lack of deburring. Including a guy that got all 4 finger extensor tendons in his dominant hand cut through.
 








 
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