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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    3,217

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardrock40 View Post
    I thought about body work a few years back and picked up a an old fender at a local body shop.

    Thinking that would be so easy with the 200DX. Still it warped no matter what I did so I scrapped it and moved on. Nobody has ever asked me to do one anyway.
    .
    This indicates that you need to do some "Skillbuilding".....
    Thin sheetmetal is an area where the Dynasty 200DX EXCELS .....
    this does not come overnight... it takes lots of practice and hard work..
    Last edited by H80N; 07-18-2013 at 10:30 AM.
    .

    *******************************************
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    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    570

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    Quote Originally Posted by H80N View Post
    This indicates that you need to do some "Skillbuilding".....
    Thin sheetmetal is an area where the Dynasty 200DX EXCELS .....
    this does not come overnight... it takes lots of practice and hard work..
    Exactly, I just got back from the scrap yard with a nice piece of stainless sheet. Its so nice I don't want to destroy it.

    But, I have to. So I'll cut it up. I'm thinking the butt joints will be most important. I know I can do these welds but not at a professional level. I'd like to just run a cutoff wheel in it but that may not be the best way to practice or is it?

    That would give you a gap where a crack doesn't unless you grind it. A great fit buckles when it has no room to shrink too and filling a crack pulls from everywhere else. This is where I need more understanding.

    How much heat and time on it will work without the warp? If you have a counter top with a crack, hows that not going to warp? Weld expands then shrinks. You can't just beat on it, you'll make low places on each side.

    Afterwards, grinding and polishing is where I want some know how also.

    Aluminum is pretty easy to finish and make shine, except for the swirl streaks. I just never needed to take it further.

    Getting the right wheels for the grinder I'm thinking will be key.

    I'll take all the advice I can get and I'll research it more here and online before I start. I'm not sure about backside purge on a butt joint. I would think there are more times when you can't get to it to do so than not.

    Thanks for the appearance and customer care tip, I am a true believer in that.
    A comment on my last job, I loaded the trailer with 3 machines, extra bottles, tools hoods and things I knew I would not need. Made it look organized and serious. He was impressed.

    I took a shower, put on clean cloths also just for that visit. Took me a couple hours getting prepared just to meet this guy.

    In the end he doubled my bill. Yea I didn't charge what I should have but I made a good impression that I hope will pay off. Got to start somewhere.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardrock40 View Post
    I have tried to cover everything that might come my way but some focus in a certain area just might have its benefits.

    My goal was to be the small / mobile shop that would take the little jobs, big shops don't want to deal with. I have had a few folks say they are glad I'm doing it and bring things from time to time. But it is not enough.

    I feel like I am missing something, some niche I'd be good at or get good at and it just hasn't come to mind yet.

    Any Ideas?


    My opinion only so take it or don't, based on observing living in the paying welding world over the years.

    If you really believe there is a spot where a person can make a living because the work is too small for the local real business', I've never seen such a thing.

    We work almost always on site, but every welding shop I've seen in 30 years has a cat who just handles walk in work.
    There a lot of very wealthy shop owners who've made their living off small jobs. Over and over small = large.

    I see this a lot on the interwebs, never seen it in person.

    What I HAVE seen, many times, is where local business' won't deal with a problem customer. Anybody can pick up those accounts, but if they were worth it everbody would be going for them.

    Bottom line (specially in this economy where welding business' are dropping like flies and have been since '08) there are no jobs out there, that provide any reasonable profit, that existing business' are not going after.

    People will post examples trying to refute that statement. Ask them how many years they've been in business and what they net per year.
    And ask them what their real 40 hr/wk job is : )
    Lot's of phoney "welding Co's" on forums.

    J
    Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    570

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    Sounds pretty realistic JTM. I am real bad putting at my ideas out there where it doesn't confuse and then I find myself contradicting a lot of things.

    I couldn't make a living doing small jobs and I have been in shops where a guy hangs out there all day just taking care of such things also.

    I have a regular job and limited time. I'm just easing in right now but need a little more than I am finding. Well I been easing in for a few years. LOL

    This thread was to get some ideas on something to focus on, get good at and have a specialty. It may not be a good idea but I have to keep moving forward and talking to you guys about it helps see it for what it is.

    I'd like to be able to quit my job and jump in with both feet but I wouldn't last no time.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    las vegas
    Posts
    227

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    Its true small jobs that shops wont do are problem customers. Not because they dont pay well. All my work is people who want to wait for quality I take longer but we spend the time
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  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
    Posts
    1,725

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    JtMc, I pretty much agree, I hate to even let the bad ones go so I just add A$$ Hole tax to their projects to cover for my pain and suffering.

    I look at it this way ( When they walk out of my shop and their money is in my pocket, I'm a winner. )

    There are the shops that wont take off the road work in, Butt there are alot more that will.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    313

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    The biggest mistake I see made is believing that price will get you in the door and quality will keep you there after you raise your price.

    Two issues there. First, clients that shop only price suck, always have, always will. Second you are making price your reputation and it will make the good clients think something is wrong with you for being cheap.

    Everyone hates to change suppliers. That is not only true of you but it is true of your clients. You basically have to drive people away. So all you have to do is what you say you will in a timely manner and they will stick with you through thick and thin.

    The biggest thing people are looking for is dependability. Provide that and you will survive, thrive even.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    570

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    "The biggest thing people are looking for is dependability. Provide that and you will survive, thrive even" Likes.....

    Well maybe I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. Helping those who do call and hope they see the real person in me.

    Guess I'm getting a little anxious thinking things suppose to move faster than they are.
    I researched the stainless deal and there is a lot more money involved in getting setup with the correct tools than I thought. So I am back to working on skills with what I have.

    I have pipe. That goes a long way. I get a little better every time I grind bevels and that will be this weeks primary focus. It makes you get better at several things.

    Thanks for all the discussion about a niche. I've learned a few things here, Thanks

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,860

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    Diversify. That's what I do & always have done. Not just in the welding world either. Although welding is my main focus I can wrench, I manage my investments & have a 2 family rental. When welding is slow I take care of the other stuff. When welding is busy The other stuff sits. I try to always look at the big picture, who cares if I don't make money in one month but the other 11 are great.

    Now I'm getting into business practices so back to the original question.

    You mentioned artsy stuff at one time so do that in your spare time when you have nothing else going on. This is practice you can sell.

    Shopping cart repair?

    Body work should go to body/resto shops not welding shops.

    Retail stores fixing garment racks & carts? Sometimes these are chrome plated so carry some chrome spray paint but tell them ahead of time it won't be a perfect match.

    Look at what's around in your area & just imagine what might break & need welded.

    All of the above are usually good part time work but not sure about full time employ. However enough little can make big.

    I can be having a really crap week & then I'll get a nice job towards the end that makes it a good week. Be prepared to go to work when the phone rings if you are slow.
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  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    570

    Default

    Racks and carts, who would have thought of it, well it never crossed my mind.

    Put those on the list.
    Thanks

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