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Too_Many_Tools
09-06-2010, 01:20 PM
Ever spend a dollar to save a dime?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100905/ap_on_bi_ge/us_cheapskate_economy

In my experience those of us with HSM shops tend to be good for getting our money's worth.

We are the natural recyclers who reuse tools, machines and materials.

And who among us doesn't know about Harbor Freight and its inexpensive offerings.

Do you have any good suggestions to actually save a dollar by spending a dime in the HSM shop?

I would love to hear them.

And I would like to hear about those times where you thought you were saving a dollar and ended up spending much, much more.

TMT

Liger Zero
09-06-2010, 01:35 PM
Company I worked at prior to my business venture... Control-knob/switch broke off on the machine.

I was able to go home, turn a shaft and make a knob to fit over it, then go back to work and with some deft "glue-ology" rig a repair that kept the machine running until the replacement arrived.

I spent about two bucks in material and maybe a half hour of time.

Downtime would have cost me in time off from my job... roughly $100.

danlb
09-06-2010, 01:37 PM
That's easy....

I can fire up the pickup and drive down to the hardware store to get a new screw or nut. 10 mile round trip in a 12 MPG pickup .... you do the math.

OR....

I can fire up the bandsaw to trim 1 inch of allthread from my stockpile and add a nut. I might or might not want to tack the nut in place. That can be a braze, weld, stake or peen.

So let's compare the two.

A) Do it yourself: I've found that I can be finished in less time than the round trip drive. It will fit. It will be of known quality (or lacking).
B) Drive to the store: $2.00 in gas, 2 hours wandering through the aisles, $49 for that neat new tool that I wandered by.

It's much cheaper to stockpile the materials and do it at home.

Dan

gary350
09-06-2010, 02:42 PM
That thing is actually a pretty good idea. I use a tube of tooth paste every month. Tooth paste is not cheap. When I get down to the point where I can no longer squeeze out any more paste I cut the tube open. Then I swish the tooth brush inside the tube. I can brush about 15 more times before I throw the tube away. This gives me 180 more tooth brushes per year. Thats a pretty good savings at least the cost of 1 whole tube of tooth paste.

MrDan
09-06-2010, 02:55 PM
Spending a dollar to save a dime? I think pretty much describes my whole home shop machinist adventure so far.

New shop built, countless hours on craigslist, I don't know how many trips to people to inspect, trailering home heavy iron, hours and hours moving stuff into the shop, my first name basis with ENCO/McMaster Carr/MSC/hours and hours on here reading and learning, practice in the shop every time I get a chance.

All so I can thread a piece of rod rather than by a $.49 bolt............makes sense to me. I'm making money hand over fist! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/images/smilies/biggrin.gif

Mcgyver
09-06-2010, 02:58 PM
Spend a dime to save a dollar re the (non commercial) home shop? buy a big assed padlock, install and flush the key

Frank Ford
09-06-2010, 03:26 PM
My absolute favorite false money saving device is the change machine found in so many supermarkets these days. I often see what appear to be the kind of folks who can scarcely spare a dime actually spending close to ten percent to have a machine count their coins and pay out in bills.

I wonder how many of these people would be willing to pay a dollar for a ninety cent item at the checkout counter.

The ads are simply amazing, too. "Turn your change into cash," they say, as if coins aren't even money.

When I first saw these machines I predicted that people wouldn't be dumb enough to use 'em - silly me - wrong again, overestimating the intelligence of the public. . .

blwn31
09-06-2010, 03:33 PM
Ditto Frank!

Keith

Lew Hartswick
09-06-2010, 04:57 PM
I haven't seen one of those machines but maybe I should look into
it I have collected a pound of pennys or so. I quit carring a lot of change, it wears holes in my pocket. :-)
...lew...

smalltime
09-06-2010, 08:44 PM
My foreman is great for being "thrifty".

We have a small (6x12) surface grinder, and the VP wanted us to get a coolant system for it. (remember, the VP told us to buy one)

So the foreman goes down to the hardware store and buys a large sized plastic storage bin w/lid, a second smaller one, and a small submersible pump.
(I don't want to call it a aquarium pump, but.......)

Gets the stuff and dinks with it for at least 14 hours all told. It ends up looking like something my 10 year old would build. Hooks the thing up and puts on a lock line style output to the grinding wheel, first time he uses the thing, the lock line goes to the grinding wheel gods.

Get another lock line.

I get on this thing for the first time, grind for about thirty minutes, then no coolant. I bitch and they try to get this thing to pump, no go.
We tear the thing apart, all of the internals of "the pump" are torn up from grinder stuff going thru them, when they were designed for fish poop.

After another go at "fixing" this contraption, they finally ordered a real coolant system,and everyone's happy.

Well almost everyone.

Moral of the story:
It always costs more to do it twice.

Too_Many_Tools
09-06-2010, 08:53 PM
It just occurred to me that I can use my hydraulic press to get the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube.

Now I just need to figure out how to convince the wife that the hydraulic press needs to sit in the bathroom. ;<)
TMT

wbleeker
09-06-2010, 09:00 PM
Classic example, I bought a coolant tank and pump with a magnetic cleaning setup on it the other day on E Bay for 60 bucks AUD, it was located near Melbourne an eight hour drive from here, the seller was kind enough to offer to drop it off at a freight depot for me, the item is roughly 2'x2'x2' and they charged me 232 AUD to bring it to a depot half an hour away! Still a good buy but I could have done a lot better on the freight i think.
Will

wbleeker
09-06-2010, 09:04 PM
Too Many Tools, now you need to convince your wife that you need a bigger and better one to sit in the bathroom!
Will

Too_Many_Tools
09-06-2010, 09:26 PM
Too Many Tools, now you need to convince your wife that you need a bigger and better one to sit in the bathroom!
Will

I don't think I can get a bigger press in there with the Bridgeport already there..then again the shower is sitting there empty.........;<)

TMT

Bill736
09-07-2010, 01:03 AM
Looking back, I've spent way too much time and money trying to store materials I bought "cheaply" at auctions and yard sales. Lumber and assorted materials, machines, and boxes of junk take up a lot of space, and storing them successfully means keeping them out of the weather. Maintaining my outbuildings, storage trailers, and tarp covered piles has been more expensive than the value of the stuff I'm storing. Perhaps, however, having my collection of deteriorating junk ( or, ahem, raw materials ) has given me some satisfaction over the years that I would not have otherwise experienced. Even as a kid, I always did love junkyards.

J Tiers
09-07-2010, 08:39 AM
if you are concerned about the cost of having a shop, just get rid of it, and spend your time drinking and playing cards like all the other folks who hire plumbers to fix leaking faucets.....

It is, frankly, very very silly to carefully perform "cost accounting" and consider the "problem" of spending a buck to save a dime....... As far as I know, that is not the point.

now, I HAVE made items that simply were not available at any price. Or not available at a reasonable price. or that I needed right then, and couldn't get until much later. And no doubt, it might have been in some way cheaper to do something else.

But...... What do people do in their shops? Many of you build small "model" engines. People crow about the exquisite "workmanship" of the builder, and so forth.

Those things have absolutely ZERO utility, they are, in a word, USELESS. Yet you spend your time making them, which is , when calculated on the basis of "cost accounting", an irrational, unbusinesslike dead loss.

Others build still other tools, like Evan's CNC.... or the often-repeated "build a toolpost grinder" projects in the magazines. On a cost accounting basis, that's silly, you can buy an even better one if you need one. Making it is an outsized effort to duplicate what can be bought. While not of totally ZERO utility, it is mis-spent effort, and you have to question how you account in money terms for your time in making an inferior product.

if you are out to cost account a non-business shop, you'd have to sell everything and play cards, because it does not pay, it is a loss.

But it does not have to pay in money terms...............

davidh
09-07-2010, 08:59 AM
if you are concerned about the cost of having a shop, just get rid of it, and spend your time drinking and playing cards like all the other folks who hire plumbers to fix leaking faucets.....

if you are out to cost account a non-business shop, you'd have to sell everything and play cards, because it does not pay, it is a loss.

But it does not have to pay in money terms...............


your such a realist :):)

RKW
09-07-2010, 12:20 PM
A couple of years ago I brought about 10 pounds of pennies into a local grocery store to use one of the machines. After finally getting it to accept everything I was given the total and the percentage they would take. I noticed there is an option to donate everything to a particular charity in which they take nothing out, so I just gave it all away.


My absolute favorite false money saving device is the change machine found in so many supermarkets these days. I often see what appear to be the kind of folks who can scarcely spare a dime actually spending close to ten percent to have a machine count their coins and pay out in bills.

I wonder how many of these people would be willing to pay a dollar for a ninety cent item at the checkout counter.

The ads are simply amazing, too. "Turn your change into cash," they say, as if coins aren't even money.

When I first saw these machines I predicted that people wouldn't be dumb enough to use 'em - silly me - wrong again, overestimating the intelligence of the public. . .

Too_Many_Tools
09-07-2010, 12:30 PM
A couple of years ago I brought about 10 pounds of pennies into a local grocery store to use one of the machines. After finally getting it to accept everything I was given the total and the percentage they would take. I noticed there is an option to donate everything to a particular charity in which they take nothing out, so I just gave it all away.

The charity option allowed them to take the tax deduction.

TMT

RKW
09-07-2010, 12:36 PM
Just doing my part of getting the rich richer ... ;-)


The charity option allowed them to take the tax deduction.

TMT

photomankc
09-07-2010, 01:36 PM
if you are out to cost account a non-business shop, you'd have to sell everything and play cards, because it does not pay, it is a loss.

But it does not have to pay in money terms...............

I always try to keep my hobbies in this perspective. I never understood the need of so many to 'factor your time into the cost'. If this were something I was making for another then yes, absolutely. But the reality is that the only cost when working to make things for me in time is time away from some other non-paying endeavor. All of the hobbies are really accounted against me sitting in front of the tube for more of my life. I love the fact that I can't tell you the current crop of sit-coms or family dramas anymore.

The stuff I build for myself really falls into the category of stuff I just do not want to lay out the cash for all-at-once. I'd rather learn a little more and try to make something useful rather than just plunk down the cash. For some things I'd rather just lay the cash down and move on though depends on what my priority for the time is.

You want a real looser hobby? Try electronics. There is NOTHING you can make for cheaper than something you can already buy and by the time you have the equipment to make much of anything useful you have spent thousands. In that case it all really comes down to making it exactly to your preference and with exactly the features and bells you want added. It parallel's this hobby well but at least in metal-work you reach a place where with the sunk cost it seems you can build some things cheaper. In electronics, unless you buy in massive quantity every base component costs you more than commercial.

It cost me about $1200 to make a little microcontroller-based IPOD Touch charger by the time you figure the test equipment, start-up material, and parts and boards. However, my little charger is great, does just what I want it to do and has features I found nowhere else. Same thing with a home thermostat except it now shares the start-up and test equipment cost.

Building the enclosures for those has now cost me somewhere near $3000 because that is what first prompted my to learn what a milling machine was. And guess what.... I still have not built those stupid enclosures!!!! :o

#$%@, why did you make me even tally it up in my head??? :eek:

Mcgyver
09-07-2010, 01:57 PM
The charity option allowed them to take the tax deduction.

TMT

Can you explan how this scenario would possibly benefit the company; how its not tax neutral to them?

vpt
09-07-2010, 02:36 PM
I've spent over $600 just to make a $75 QCTP.

Liger Zero
09-07-2010, 04:31 PM
Sometimes it all boils down to this...

We do it because we ENJOY it.

You can't put a dollar figure on that. :)

Too_Many_Tools
09-07-2010, 05:58 PM
Can you explan how this scenario would possibly benefit the company; how its not tax neutral to them?


He gave them ALL the pennies.

They give them to a charity.

And take the deduction.

TMT

MrDan
09-07-2010, 06:17 PM
All of the hobbies are really accounted against me sitting in front of the tube for more of my life. I love the fact that I can't tell you the current crop of sit-coms or family dramas anymore.


That hit it on the head for me. I'm quite pleased that I do not and have not had the slightest clue who any actress or actor in if they haven't been on since the A-Team.

The time I'm in the shop is time I'm not in front of the tube. It's also something I can do with the kids running around (6, 4, almost 2). No I don't let them watch the welding arc, but I live on a farm and momma is in the house and I'm in the shop. The whirling dervishes my children are basically run from one to the other and get sunshine, with bugs, birds, and adventures in between. Momma is happy, I'm happy, the kids are happy. Well, momma is happy, the rest is redundant.

Mcgyver
09-07-2010, 07:13 PM
He gave them ALL the pennies.

They give them to a charity.

And take the deduction.

TMT

thats not how it works - I thought you ran a business?

beanbag
09-07-2010, 07:28 PM
My absolute favorite false money saving device is the change machine found in so many supermarkets these days. I often see what appear to be the kind of folks who can scarcely spare a dime actually spending close to ten percent to have a machine count their coins and pay out in bills.

I wonder how many of these people would be willing to pay a dollar for a ninety cent item at the checkout counter.

The ads are simply amazing, too. "Turn your change into cash," they say, as if coins aren't even money.

When I first saw these machines I predicted that people wouldn't be dumb enough to use 'em - silly me - wrong again, overestimating the intelligence of the public. . .

I first pick out all the quarters and dimes.