View Full Version : ot career change?

12-28-2009, 08:10 AM
hope every one had a good holiday.my work will be laying off again this week
i was l/o last year at this time for 4months.i am a welder/man. machinist
mostly weld.didnt really recover financially from the last one so this one is going to bite.

i have tried the shop in the garage thing but never really got it off the ground
and am thinking about selling everything to help pay down some debt...
but i am having a hard time letting go of the dream/nitemare of working at my own place.

at 53 i dont want to go through this again so if i sell the equipment i would
get a little breathing room for a couple months or keep it and try harder to
make a go of it. what do you guys think?

i cant even think of any other careers to look at other than remodelling
houses or driving truck(did that for 22yrs ) any ideas? i am grateful for any
advice you can give and i know it comes down to my decision but sometimes
it helps to hear another opinion thanks for the help


12-28-2009, 08:47 AM
Keep your equipment, unless your planing to sell it to me for pennys on the doller :)

What do you plan to do after retirement? Sit around and watch TV all day?
Might as well shoot yourself now if thats your plan.

You might find your own hobby shop more fun if you get a job further away from your hobby (skill set wise). You don't HAVE to make your shop your job.

If you like welding, ever thought of maybe trying to get some specalised tickets? Its never too late to learn a new skill, And maybe with a pipeline welding cert or somesuch you could find a new more stable job.

Sometimes there are tickets that can make you more valuable that are not directly related to the job at hand, Like First aid certification.

12-28-2009, 09:06 AM
Black Moons.

I don't know if you meant your post the way it seemed to me.

I thought that at best it was a more than "a bit rough" as shoprat covered all the bases in regard to your suggestions and came to his own decisions on what I would imagine to have been a pretty painful period both past and present as well as some pretty poor outlooks/prospects. It must be really gut-wrenching for him.

I suggest that you consider being in shoprat's position and having to write that post and then if you got your own reply.

I just really do hope that is all works out well for shoprat and that we continue to have him on the forum.

12-28-2009, 09:16 AM
Can you afford to work as a 'temporary' in a local factory that might hire you later full time as a Machinist?
That way you might have the time to make the home thing happen.
Most factory work here has picked up quite substantially.
Tom M.

12-28-2009, 09:17 AM
So tiffie, you think he should just sell his equipment for those pennies on the dollar and sit back and feel sorry for himself?

12-28-2009, 09:28 AM
Shoprat, it takes quite a while to build up a business even in good times and when in a recession/depression it's near impossible. I would keep the tools and machines and find what ever work I could. Even in another city if that's what it takes.

I have a friend that owns a mobile diesel machine shop service. He had hard times twice and sold his stuff and ended up buying some of it back from the ones he sold to and finding replacements for for other stuff. After he did that the second time I told him he was not doing himself any good selling his tools and he finally agreed and has never sold them through thick and thin and he has had some thin times lately.

I spent my working years assembling my shop and I have no intention of getting rid of anything.

Keep your shop and look for work anywhere you can find it, out of state if needed.

12-28-2009, 10:06 AM
thanks for the response
i am not sitting around feeling sorry for myself,i am just trying to figure out
what direction to head and was thinking out loud,no offense taken.i am not a
certified welder(never needed it where i work)but i do know that it would help
and my machining skills are only on man.machines.

i understand the hobby to work problem and working in the same thing,so yes
it is hard to weld all day and get excited to weld in the garage after work.

i cant really pick up and move as easy as that as i still have to make my mortgage and other bills all while surviving wherever i am working,so you would have to be making some big money or your just doing time.

as far as another career i really have no idea but i think about it alot
i drove truck for 22yrs and then got into welding 6yrs ago,last year when they layed off i tried getting back into it but was told since i have been out of it for more than 6 months their ins wouldnt let them put me on! it didnt
bother me that much because i was tired of it anyways.

but for those 4-5 months i couldnt find any welding jobs either,it got right down to the wire when they called me back. anyways thanks to all for all the times i have posted(usually the same kind of thread)and the advice.

i really enjoy reading about you guys that have your own 1 man shops and
are making it that would be the ideal for me but i havent found my niche yet i guess.but if i am on the list this will be lay off no.2 in as many years and
i wont be around for the third if i can help it.thanks again and iam open for
suggestions/tips or ideas also flameing (i can take it!!) shoprat

12-28-2009, 10:26 AM
Shoprat, the trucking industry needs drivers and the pay seems to be good. Consider driving again even if it means your on the road a lot.

I didn't mean to sell your home and move looking for a job, I meant keep your home and work out of town. It's not the best way but it will work.

Since you have trucking experience that would be a good place to go for a stop gap job.

12-28-2009, 10:47 AM
Definitely keep your tools. I would do whatever it took to make myself either more marketable or more indispensable like pursuing welding certificates or taking a class on CNC programming/operation.

CNC might seem to be a strange and alien thing if you've never done it, but it really isn't. I find it quite orderly and easy to understand, especially since I went into it already familiar with manual machines. You're just programming the motion of the machine with codes that control the spindle, tool/table, coolant, etc. Then the rest is just coordinates based on the measurements you want and the origin you set. It looks like a bunch of gobbledygook on paper when you don't know anything about it, but once you do, it's easy as pie.

With regards to the small business approach, the hardest thing to obtain is a good reputation. Word of mouth takes time, but is very rewarding. I worked a second job for 6 years before I felt comfortable relying on my business as my only source of income. A website that shows off your work helps a lot and is pretty cheap. I also gladhanded every brass musician I came across in my path up to semi-obscurity. I'm not sure how to go about promoting machining and welding services, but my dad advertises his computer services in his church bulletin, so that could be a start. Good luck!

tyrone shewlaces
12-28-2009, 11:03 AM
I'm in a somewhat similar situation. Only at my work place I've been slowly bleeding to financial death over the past year with 20-hour work weeks. At first I didn't mind much and thought I could get some side jobs to do here at the house to help a little.

The problem with that for me is that I'm not a salesman, and if you want income of your own you really do have to be a salesman FIRST to have work to do in the first place. If you like sales and don't mind doing it, and do at least one day's worth every week, you might do OK bringing in some work of your own. It may even grow into something great. If you don't see yourself doing that, or try it for a while and find that you can't stand it, then whether or not you sell your machines off I'd recommend you look deep inside and see if there is something else you can get into for a better living. That's just my opinion and what I need to do for myself. For all the hoopla about "economic recovery and jobs returning to the USA" that's being parroted on the media, I sincerely believe those days are now long gone. This govt. of ours has eroded and pissed away our manufacturing base completely and I don't see how it will ever be any good in the future. Not optimistic at all and sorry for that, but I think it's just honest reality.

If you do want to do your own machining/fabricating, the only thing I think could work is to do maintenance work. That can still be lucrative enough to make a decent living, though it would likely take a chunk of time to develop a client list and a little luck.

Personally I've thought seriously about selling all my machines off to help "make the rent" except for a small lathe and mill so I can still hobby with it. The hard part for me is that I've been putting the tooling together for a couple decades and hate the idea of chucking all that time searching and buying stuff only to try do it all over again. I have a pretty nice setup now and it's just hard to let the thing go. I think for me it's probably a matter of time before I go ahead and do it, and I get closer and closer as time goes by. But I'm not quite there yet.

This being able to build things ain't what it's cracked up to be, or at least what it used to be. I need a new line of work and haven't thought of the new one yet.

Good luck with your own quest. Hopefully you'll have some kind of lucky break soon and just "keep on truckin'".

12-28-2009, 11:41 AM
Keep the tools no matter what. They are only worth pennies on the dollar if unloaded in the middle of a recession. They will be bought again at retail if you ever need them. JMO.

12-28-2009, 11:59 AM
The solution to the problem is to find what segment of the economy is growing, if any.
It is truly hard to make a buck when nobody is spending money. This country and I suspect many other countries have been living on credit for too long and now that there is a credit crunch the economy has ground to a halt. Most people are up to their neck in debt, and have lost their jobs and have no savings to weather this economic downturn.
Try posting an ad on Craigs list or Kiji(sp) for small machining jobs.
I have been pondering a similar problem. I did machine work for about 3 years and had aquired some tooling in a small shop and was trying to find small jobs to offset cost of tooling. The jobs were few and far between. Hurricane Katrina wiped out all that out and I have assembled another shop to do gunsmithing for myself and hoped to get a few paying jobs. The paying jobs have been few and my tolerance for heat and cold dissapeared, leaving few days when I have the desire to work in the shop.
The problem is, does anybody with money want the machines and tooling?
If you can go back to trucking try it for a while to keep the ability to pay bills and hold on to what you have.
Try to cut your expenses as much as possible.

12-28-2009, 12:48 PM
tiffie: Yea I may be a little harsh but thats just because I really think he should not sell his tools just because of a slump, even if it just becomes his own hobby shop insted of a job. even if he goes back to driving a truck, having those tools and a workshop can save him bucks just doing his own truck repairs, Likey more then he could get by selling them.

Maybe im crazy but my tools bring me great pleasure, and why would you want to sell something that gives you even a little pleasure. Theres not much else that will last as long as properly maintained tools that are not abused or overworked.

12-28-2009, 12:56 PM
Machine tools are assets. They potentially allow you to make money, or just have some fun.

Selling off assets is something a business does for one of two reasons:

1. They are "non-core," not needed for what the business really does (for instance a printing company may sell its lathe and mill and hire a job shop for small repairs instead of doing it in house, and use the money towards another printing press)

2. They are running out of cash and need to do anything to keep going

Selling equipment might be your best way to raise cash. However, I would try to avoid doing it until I have a plan. For instance, if you decide you don't want to run a home shop as a business, you might be fine with smaller, cheaper machines. Sell the big ones, when things get better, buy small ones, be happy. Or, you might use the cash to pay for training or something to help you generate a better income. Machinery can always be replaced, even if it's a pain.

What you don't want to do is sell the machines and then be right back where you are in three months. But I don't think selling them now is the end of the road for you. At one point I ended up selling my only car to save money (a year earlier I owned not just a car but a small plane) but I looked at it only as a period of change--eventually I'd come back and have a nicer, faster plane :) I'm not there yet, but I'm doing better than I was a year ago, and still growing, so I try to keep the faith when it gets dark or cold.

If you do want to give the money-making in the shop another chance, bear in mind that you will need to really crank up the hustle right now. There are a lot of guys trying to make money, so you need to work harder to make it yourself. Sales is hard for many people, myself included. But it is the way you make money. There are some good books out there if you want recommendations. It is mostly a people game and many of us get into technical fields because we like machines more than people!

12-28-2009, 12:57 PM
The solution to the problem is to find what segment of the economy is growing, if any.
Debt collector ?

Reposessing cars ?

Become a sherriff's deputy, so you can evict people who can't pay their mortgage, or jail people who can't pay child support, or (coming soon) jail people who can't afford to buy private health insurance ?

Providing counseling to laid-off workers who are contemplating going postal ?

Hey, I hear the porn business is booming ! ! ! There you go.

Seriously, the economy is in the toilet, especially in shoprat's part of the country. Manufacturing jobs continue to go overseas. The root causes of the problems have not been addressed. There is no plan to make things better, unless you believe giving handouts to Wall Street bankers is going to make things better.

None of us can predict the future, but we could be looking at a "lost decade" of non-growth or even a long term depression.

Shoprat, I'm sorry to hear about your problems. All I can say is don't blame yourself for what is happening to our economy. It's not your fault.

I'd suggest that with your welding/machining background, consider a maintenance position. "Maintenance" covers a lot of ground, could be building maintenance, factory maintenance, vehicle maintenance, etc. Maintenance is not a glamorous, high paying job, but even in a recession, stuff still breaks down and needs to be fixed.

Also consider working in an auto parts store, if you can even survive on those low wages. Your general technical background would come in handy and auto parts actually do well in a recession because people fix their old cars instead of buying new ones.

I got laid off from a sweet engineering job years back and had to take a dirty plant maintenance job just to survive, so I know all about getting laid off and struggling and changing careers. Eventually I started my own home shop business, not much money, but I'm independent and that counts for a lot.

12-28-2009, 01:10 PM
just a couple of ideas- if you are getting laid off, there may be some help from the local job service. There are programs for getting more training, learning new skills, they may even have a skills assessment to help you find a new job in a different field.

Also, if you do want to drive truck and can stand to be away from home for a bit, I think that they are still looking for drivers in ND, in the oil patch. Last time I was through, there was a LOT of heavy traffic, all oil related, on the road.

I'm kinda in the same boat as you at the moment, although in my case it's self-inflicted. I'm moving back to ND, will have to find a job for at least a year or so, then I want to start my own business.

If you could learn a bit about CNC that would be a good thing. I have had to train a few people to run the CNC's at the last job I had, and it was always easier to train someone w/a manual machine background that retrain someone who thought they knew CNC.

The biggest thing is to keep your eyes open and stay in touch with your friends- you never know where a job might be.

12-28-2009, 01:27 PM
thanks for the help/ideas and encouragement.i will hold onto the tools as i have sold things before and bought em again later! the original plan was to just stay small and any money made was to supplement with the hope of
eventually working part time and doing work out of my shop for a more flexible
schedule.but i didnt want to have them both in the same industry.

and like its been pointed out you have to be able to sell first..thats the hard part for me as well as alot of others,but something i will work on.

i once worked with a guy who told me i would never be succesful in business
as long as i was still working for some one else(not hungry enough)and i kinda agree although i argued the point with him!

hopefully the economy will turn around soon for every one.i like the repair
and restoration side of machining and welding and thought that might be
a good place to focus on,figured people might start fixing instead of throwing it out to save a little $. but iam not sure the repair and fix-it shops of old
will ever come back. ill keep on plugging away and i hope the best for every
one else.thanks again


12-28-2009, 01:33 PM
Shoprat, it takes quite a while to build up a business even in good times and when in a recession/depression it's near impossible.

The good news, is during the good times its hard to quit a good paying job and strike out on your own. Once you are unemployed and no one will "give" you a job, other than start a business, what are you going to do all day, watch Oprah? There are two possible outcomes:

1) You are now the boss of a successful small shop. Please remember us little people when you're the big shot...

2) Your shop fails; but its not all bad, because eventually the economy will turn around and your resume full of small business experience will look a heck of a lot more interesting than the resume of the dude whom watched Oprah all day. If nothing else, you'll learn how you face adversity... And at the very least, you'll meet alot of possible future employers, or at least you'll meet alot more than if you watch Oprah all day.

As for the guy whom suggested you need a good salesman, it would be hilarious if your employer laid off both you and a salesman at the same time... And you can give the salesman the same advice, "OK mr former salesdude, what do you want to do tomorrow, watch Oprah, or make a commission?". Laid off accountant, laid off IT dudes, they're all pretty cheap if they have nothing better to do all day, and they need to puff their resume with "contract" experience and an excellent reference from a small business owner (that small business owner being you).

As for the guy whom semi-humorously (?) suggested auto-repo work, maybe you would make a good repo man, maybe not, but I am certain a repo man needs your machining and welding skills once in awhile... Have you seen the price of a new pick gun? Bet you could fix a broken one for cheaper than a new one. Repo guys usually have a buddy whom is a mechanic, so you're probably out of luck, but that mechanic probably needs a guy with a lathe and mill and real welding skills for some jobs.

If one company only hires you for one days work once a year, that's not so good. But if three hundred clients all have your card and each hires you for a days work once a year, not bad, not bad at all...

And if your former employer requires your services in the future as a contractor, this can work out pretty well. At your lay off meeting you might want to suggest instead of outright firing they might want to contract you for eight hours a month, or perhaps more when the economy improves... Then you'll probably be the first guy called back, assuming they don't go out of business in the meantime.

12-28-2009, 02:03 PM
Keep your machines if you can. Just imagine how bad off the people are who have nothing. No one is buying anything anyways. At least not in the Seattle area.
I have not worked 40 hrs. since 2008, laid off full time since last summer. I am a formally trained machinist both manual and cnc also some TIG welding. I feel your pain. Good luck.

12-28-2009, 02:19 PM
The thing that most of us tend to forget is the fact that in today's industry, they call a guy a Machinist, and his job description is: The guy who refills the coolant mist tank when it's low, sweeps off the swarf, and sits beside a CNC machine, reading a book, until it's time to load more blanks.

Real Machinists are sadly getting as hard to find as real Mechanics

Yeah, before anybody says anything, most of today's "mechanics" (AKA "Technicians") are production line "parts changers"

Real mechanics have gone the way of the Dodo...

So have real machinists

12-28-2009, 03:23 PM
.................................................. ...........................
i have tried the shop in the garage thing but never really got it off the ground
and am thinking about selling everything to help pay down some debt...
but i am having a hard time letting go of the dream/nitemare of working at my own place.

at 53 i dont want to go through this again so if i sell the equipment i would
get a little breathing room for a couple months or keep it and try harder to
make a go of it. what do you guys think?


So tiffie, you think he should just sell his equipment for those pennies on the dollar and sit back and feel sorry for himself?

Nope - not at all - and he hasn't, isn't and it seems is not going to sit on his ar$e and just feel sorry for himself either.

He seems to just need a bit of time and ready cash to at least pay off some debt (and) to steady himself for what may lie ahead.

He has faced his demons and is ready to deal with what-ever comes.

Its the not knowing that's hard.

Shoprat has my sympathy and best wishes as I am sure he will make a go of it if he gets a chance - and a bit of encouragement.

12-28-2009, 03:58 PM
Well i been struggling for a few years own business. I have to say in my dumb ass opinion DONT SELL ANYTHING First you wiont get much for it second once its gone OH well No i cant help you I just sold my Lathe and Mill ...get it.. You should rise above go out hunt down small shops large shops still open seek out ads for repair work all over Never surrender. Give it all you got GIDDEUP. Dont let nothing stand in youre way. Seek oout all the local businesses in youre yellow pages. Just do it. You may be surprised. I have had a **** time for a while but i am still in business (havent had to resort to the Lowly electric motor repair yet aka a fellow HSMer name withheld so he doesnt get pissed of LOL Sorry John (youre actueally one of my Mentors LOL) Anyhow dont feel sorry for yourself (a very common human trait) just get out there buddy and seell yourself. Good Luck times are definately interesting Mike

12-28-2009, 11:10 PM
Selling isn't necessarily about hawking vacuum cleaners and life insurance door-to-door, it's about finding people who have a problem you can solve.

I forget whether you're in snow country, so this may not apply, but if you can fix a snowblower, then it's easy to figure out where your prospects might be. Go someplace they sell them and talk to their prospects - you might strike up a conversation with someone who doesn't really want to buy a new one but would rather pay you to fix theirs. Money's tight - no kidding.

Be discreet - this won't win you any friends at the Depot.

12-28-2009, 11:32 PM
If you have the ability or desire to relocate, I strongly suggest moving to Texas.
Texas has avoided the dregs of the recession far better than almost every other state in the union.
Houston is a Machinist's/Welder's dream. Lots of opportunities there.
The Oil/Gas, Marine, and Military Service fields are very strong in our state. Dallas, Austin, ansd San Antonio need welders and machinists urgently.
AND ... The cost of living is very low here.
A nice, 3 bedroom, 1700 sq.ft. home runs in the $60,000 range.
Just a suggestion.

12-29-2009, 12:30 AM

I'll keep it short and skip the details but... a year out of work, desperation, money gone. I sold off my shop equipment, and I mean ALL of it. Didn't even have a mic left.

Now employed, badly miss the equipment. over a year later and still climbing out of the hole. Have replaced all the hand tools, some $40k + in hand tools, boxes, etc. Still not even able to contemplate a lathe or mill and regret it. Keep what you have until you have absolutely no choice but to sell, if it ever gets that bad. Do what you must to make enough to survive on, beit McDonalds or whatever. In this economy it's either relocate to where your skillset is needed or dig in and survive where you are untill better comes along. Don't sell of the dreams of your own business.

12-29-2009, 12:47 AM
Tools will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no tools.


12-29-2009, 04:43 AM
There is always a lot of 'work' around, but often it's not in the cash economy.

By going back to a barter system, you could trade your services for services that you need. This kind of idea is formalised in LETS (Local Exchange Trading Schemes).


I've never been involved with one, but I've heard good reports about well run schemes on programes like Radio 4's 'The Business Program'.

12-29-2009, 06:25 AM
I am in the unenviable position of having a shop, but no machines except a drill press. Found myself unemployed for a period of time last year.

I did manage to find an assembly job for a company that brings in a few bucks- you have to avoid the work at home scams, found this guy on craigslist who had a product he needed assembled.

Some companies will contract similar things out, especially in times like these. It is much better to contract out than to hire, if you can find good people to do it.

I was working on the point of selling work (I am a certified tool and die maker), found a small home shop nearby who was interested in doing some machining for me, when I did manage to find another job.

I am still doing the assembly, hoping it will take off (up to now it was basically in the prototype stage). I can't just go out and quote stuff willy nilly now because I will be in competition with my employer.

Print some business cards up (mine are done at home) with some of the services you can offer, then start seeing some of the local factories, and even small businesses. You will be surprised at what people need done!

I still may post an ad on CL to try to get work out of the local area so as to avoid competition with my employer. Hope this helps- don't sell your machines!

12-29-2009, 06:42 AM
Don't be afraid to go up against a CNC shop. Some of us old timers can get around CNC with set ups, I built a small router jig to do one of my jobs in here out of stuff I had on hand, got good results, and perhaps better than a CNC shop could do it!

You would be surprised how well you can compete with manual machines when you are going up against someone who is paying interest on thousands of dollars in machinery!

Your Old Dog
12-29-2009, 08:14 AM
I haven't read the entire thread.

I sold all my tools when I was about 10 years younger then what you are now. It was the mistake of a lifetime and took forever to get it back. A few guys mentioned you'd get pennys on the dollar and they are right, that's what happened to me. For all the more good it will do for the big picture financially I would advise you to keep your gear. Look for your answer elsewhere like the trucking thing if need be. Good luck ShopRat and remember you sure aren't alone.

12-29-2009, 04:27 PM
Selling isn't necessarily about hawking vacuum cleaners and life insurance door-to-door, it's about finding people who have a problem you can solve.

This is a great point.

Selling machining services limits you to people who know they need a machinist. As others have pointed out, that number is limited right now.

As a small manual shop, your advantage is that you can do a one-off job for someone more economically than the big guys. The downside is that you're going to need to find a lot of customers to build up a good book of business.

You can get business cards very cheap from Vistaprint. They look better than the print-at-home kind, which matters. If you want to get fancy, make up a 3-fold brochure on an 8.5x11 page which shows pictures of work you've done, types of work you do, your machinery, and some pricing information. Go to every garage, repair shop, gun shop, anybody that does anything that involves metal parts, and talk to them. Make sure to go in the morning or afternoon or whenever it's not busy. Take some samples with you.

What can you do for them?

- Help them say "yes" to a customer who has something they can't get parts for
- Help them finish a job faster if parts aren't in stock
- Make a custom part to solve a specific problem for a customer

I'd also carry some measuring tools like a mic and caliper in the car, so in case they say "Well actually, could you look at this...," you'll be ready and look sharp doing it (a little bit of theater, maybe, but it rarely hurts).

Go to the places you're not sure of first. That way if your pitch stinks, you won't lose out on a good prospect. Avoid talking about anything negatively--if people ask why you're doing this, say that it's because you love working for yourself and are always looking to grow your business, not that you lost your job and need to make money somehow. Put a positive spin on everything and people will respond better.

You won't get too much nastiness since you're not actually asking anybody to buy anything. If they give you any positive interest, make sure to set some kind of follow-up, like saying, "So should I come by early next week when that job comes in to take a look at it," or, "would it be useful if I gave you a call next month to see if there's anything I can do for you?" A lot of people will say, "no, I'll call you," and you'll say, "great, have a great new year," and come back in three months.

Get business cards from every place and keep a record. Before you leave, ask everyone if they know anyone else you should talk to. If you want to get fancy, you can keep an email list that you do a little mailing to once in a while, or you can send a pamphlet by mail.

At the start, offer to do one job free (within reason) if the person will let you use them as a reference. Most people will not check references but they will care if you have them. Think of those first couple jobs as a sales expense, not free work!

12-29-2009, 06:20 PM
i like the repair
and restoration side of machining and welding and thought that might be
a good place to focus on,figured people might start fixing instead of throwing it out to save a little $. but iam not sure the repair and fix-it shops of old
will ever come back. ill keep on plugging away and i hope the best for every
one else.thanks again


I'm not sure how it is up in MN, but around here the machine shops that focus on repair are doing quite well. In fact, I discussed this with the shop that I purchased my K&T 2D from. The owner said that several local machine shops that specialized in CNC equipment and producing large runs of specific parts for the various local industries were going under since the industries were slowing or stopping their production. This shop, OTOH, had all manual machines and refused to take any large runs. Instead, they focused on reapair. Sure, it is tough for them to - alot of their repairs were on earth moving equipment from the housing industry - but they are hanging in there and even buying new equipment!

Instead of focusing on repairing homeowner - type goods (lawnmowers, etc) focus on industry. Agriculture is also a good bet. It is easier to "get your foot in the door" with farmers. If you're honest and can work with them (in terms of what they want and cost), you'll pick up a following and have a seemingly endless supply of augers, gearboxes, and hydraulic cylinders to repair ... don't ask me how I know this ;)

Liger Zero
12-30-2009, 03:12 PM
Can you afford to work as a 'temporary' in a local factory that might hire you later full time as a Machinist?

Tom M.

:D Yeeeeah like that ever really happens.

OMG do NOT get involved in the Temp Mafia. :eek:

It's like a Reverse Union where the employer gets to screw you with an endmill and there is NOTHING you can do if you ever want to work again.

Seriously, take a frigging RETAIL JOB before contemplating temp-work.

12-30-2009, 05:16 PM
well its official,thursday is the last day.layed off about 1/2 the shop.
just wanted to say thanks for all the good ideas and the encouragement.
i will hang on to my machines as long as possible and try to find some work for them. thanks again,i'll survive shoprat

tyrone shewlaces
12-30-2009, 06:05 PM
Well bummer. At least you weren't surprised by it. I've heard of a ton of people suddently finding out they were out of work at the last minute. Always thought that was extremely cowardly of a company to do that to people.

Good luck for the future. If a good change happens, then you can look back as doing you a favor. Hope that's how it turns out for you.

One thing I have been doing this past year is selling other "big ticket" items that I've been hoarding even though I haven't touched them in several years. Maybe you have stuff like that too? So far my shop has stayed out of the crosshairs. I actually felt pretty good getting rid of some of the clutter and getting a bit of money in exchange for it. Helped pay the bills a few times.