Ok, so Im sure someone has a comment?
Good Hand Tools are the priority.
Good Large Shop Equipment is the priority.
Other (Please explain)
Ok, so I have a rather long list of hand tools Im buying new. I have some of these already but they are cheap old DIY type ones that Im replacing.
My plan was (and kinda still is) to buy good industrial quality tools which are fairly expensive, mainly DeWalt, and some Bosche, and my remaining total list of Hand and Shop tools comes to just shy of €20,000 (Approx $25,000). I've already bought a few thousand € worth of good DeWalt hand tools and only have a couple items to show for it! , they're usually a few hundred € upwards each. I have had no problems with these and great after sales service and parts supply.
But now Im wondering, would I be better off buying slightly cheaper hand tools, lets say a new 18V cordless drill from the Argos catalogue (I never heard of the make before) for €160 than a DeWalt 18V for €400. The DeWalt rpm range is only about 100rpm higher.
If I saved that much on each hand tool then I could put the money towards better large shop tools, and maybe even cut my total cost down a bit.
These tools are for starting my business, so please look on this from that professional perspective. They are not for DIY/Hobby use.
1) When you have a budget should it give priority to the large shop tools or the small hand tools until you can afford to upgrade?
Of course its easier to upgrade small hand tools one by one over time...
2) Thoughts, comments and perspectives please?
Ok, so Im sure someone has a comment?
I would buy cheaper hand tool (the one i know i wont use as much as other)and would put more money in large tools,as you say hand tools are easier to replace.But i would buy a good quality cordless drill.
I've been reviewing my list and Im trying to figure out what'll be used less than what else....its not as easy as it sounds! On the drill front my one concern with the 'cheaper' ( Using that word loosely...€160 ) one is that I dont think I'd be able to get more btys for it because I never saw it being sold in a normal shop, only the catalogue shop.
I was getting a DeWalt SDS drill for nearly €1000 and a Bosche cordless SDS for €600, so I suppose I can ditch the DeWalt temporarily and get by without it.....one down!
Have you check Makita? Where i am there cheaper than Dewalt.
mmm...I buy my grinders from makita, they're good at that type of tool. But I think DeWalt, Hitachi and Bosche are better at drills and saws.
Sorry,i meen Hitachi.
But my saw is a makita and work great.
Hitachi is the same price as DeWalt here unfortunately!
Diamaid. Can you tell us what your business is(itake it your starting up)? Might help feedback.
The dewalt cordless is excellent ergononmic, light(very important if using all day) and robust but expensive. I use a 24V ALDI cordless at home paid about £20, powerfull but heavier not as robust and less comfortable to use than the Dewalt but ideal for the limited use at home. Just make sure you buy at least a spare battery. Sometimes it better to have a cheper tool than no tool at all.
I hope am not telling you to suck eggs but I was in a similar position to you about 7 years ago. I build kitchen/bedroom/office cabinets plus made to measure solid timber doors at work. When I started managing this business I had no knowledge of making solid timber doors and the previous manger was in the same posistion. It was obvious that very little reasearch had been done.
This was my process in determining how the business should go. I was looking at it mainly from a machinists point of view and not the owners.
1/ Establish if their is a a niche for the product and determine production costs.(This had already been done. Its easy to buy a few 1,000 doors from China for pennies but where can you buy them made to size? Plus because their made to size we can charge more and make fewer doors for a bigger profit margin.)
2/ Learn about the business talk to reps, read trade mags,books and the web . Visit trade shows machine exhibtions etc(I found this to be the biggest education).
3/ Make sure your business is flexible so you can change with market trends.
4/ Make a plan. For me this first involved learning the current process and making note of bottlenecks and inefficient work practices. I also streamlined the product range(Sometimes you can give the customer too much choice - MAJOR HEADACHE).
5/ Make sure you have good record system for both current and past customers. Nothing looks more unprofessionable if you cant remember what you sold them.
6/ Decide on prority purchases(I wouldn't buy everything at once because as you learn you can often regret rash machine purchases)
7/ Excellent second hand shop tools can be bought at Auction. To give a few examples of my purchases, a double arbour spindle moulder £300 an almost brand new SCM double end tennor with tooling £10,000 should cost well over £100,000 etc. Most of my machines are second hand and most of the bigger machines are almost new, due to manufacturing going overseas. Its always an education going to these auction seeing what other people were doing and seeing were it went wrong in some cases. Just keep your cool and stick with what your prepared to pay. Eventually the machine you want will come up somewhere for the right price.
8/ Can someone make it cheaper for you? When the business really started to grow we where losing 30% of the material due to waste. Mainly because the timber we where buying in wasn't the best grade and we where buying US timber from UK suppliers in small quanties. By going to trade shows I met a supplier based in the US who could supply intially in part container loads. Who not only selected the timber to my specs but cut to dimension the stock in are standard sizes. He also glued up all the centre panelling and drawers and sanded them.
9/ Cautionary tale dont put your eggs in one basket. Bernsteins a huge producer of quality kitchen doors had an exclusive contract with B&Q(DIY chain). Aledgedly B&Q kept on forcing them to reduce their product price making their margins tighter till they found a Chinese manufacture who could produce them even cheaper, leaving Bernstein to fold.
We sometimes have a tiny display at the NEC. But you wouldn't believe the intrest generated. The presentation is crammed and not as polished as most(My hands are tied) but it just shows how much the product sells it self compared to some of the more spacious arty displays(worth a visit just for the carrier bags of booze I manage to take home. Which they store in the fridge for perspective clients)
Hope it helps
bigz, thank for the detailed reply, theres no sucking eggs, Im only starting out and your advice is much appreciated ,
Presently Im employed in a job I dont like in a completely unrelated industry, I wanted to be a carpenter growing up but somewhere along the way I was sidetracked into what Im doing now. Same old story you hear often, but Im not willing to just put up with my lot, and I want to do something I enjoy. Possibly less glamorous, but who cares about that c#*p eh! Luckily I have a wife who is very kind and supports me, albeit reluctantly, in my wanting to be self employed. Early next year we're moving house and I'll get my workshop set up. I have been and still am buying the tools to spread the cost out over a bit of time. A lot of them are simply in storage at the moment.
Im going to build custom carved and designed gates, fences, and railings out of wood, metal, and a combination of both. Picture this kind of thing except on gates: http://www.woodltd.com/door-catalog.htm
Im also intending to offer carved and plasma cut signage since it is a related area and I will have appropriate equipment. This is why Im learning cnc and building my first router. To be followed in the next two years by a large 8'x8' cnc router and also a large cnc plasma cutter. Im also taking a night course in welding at the moment.
Initially the set-up will be part time outside my current job until I get things running. Then I will take the plunge into full time. Im not willing to just jump in head first ( Even though I would like to! ) because of my family responsibilities, so I have accepted that my startup and breaking onto the market will be gradual. Because of this it will also initially just be me working by myself and paying the bills, but I hope to then expand and grow the business and the employee numbers.
Attached is my shopping list as it stands in order of priority. It doesn't look like much but it took a lot of back and forward research to find what was appropriate for me. Some things are further up the list because I need them for projects Im working on at the moment. It doesn't include literally everything, and some things Im reviewing at the moment, such as the bandsaw, and the Woova dust extractor. I might go with different makes/models of these. The items in red I decided I wont buy until I have the workshop because they are a bit big to store. I removed the suppliers column fo rthe upload, but I have identified the cheapest supplier for each tool. I wanted initially to get quotes for the entire list from a few places to try and save €€€, but Im not going to have the entire €20k all at once nxt year like I initially thought.
Had a quick look at the list. Seriously though even for the metal work tools go to an auction. I have seen small industrial lathes going for £40(I know its not on the list). Saving 10,000 euros here will get you in profit quicker and increase your expansion faster.
Looks a fantastic product. But have you investigated the market for demand. Some people may compare you too a cheaper offering being ignorant to the quality of your product at a higher price.
As for sanding we using BOSCH palm sanders approx £55. Square pads are better for corners. Plus an asortmant of sponge sanding pads. I must warn you than sanding and finishing is going to be a huge chore and is a major obstacle to automate.
Using the planer will soon fill up a 45L extraction unit. I would buy a larger extraction unit that can handle large chips and fine dust(0.5 microns)(this is the really toxic stuff, some timbers especially exotic stuff are carcagenic). You can always make a drop box that will seperate the larger chips leaving the fine dust for the extractor. But 45L is really meant for hobbyists.
Last edited by bigz1; 12-13-2006 at 08:55 PM.
Since you'll be starting out part time, I'd buy only the tools you know you'll need up front, and then buy tools as you need them. And if it's a tool you know you'll rarely use, it's OK to buy a cheaper tool. Although I'd normally say buy the best you can afford, $25K is a LOT of money!!
Do you really need a $1000 SDS, or would a $250 hammer drill work for a while? (and I'd buy the corded rather than cordless if you're only going to get one.)
When it comes to cordless drills, you definately get what you pay for. Especially in regards to battery life.
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(Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)