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  • Last week I made some parts for older Ironhead Sportsers in my home shop. Sunday I placed a for sale post in a forum.
    Sold my 1st one today.
    Illigitimi non Carborundum 😎
    9X49 Birmingham Mill, Reid Model 2C Grinder, 13x40 ENCO GH Lathe, 6X18 Craftsman lathe, Sherline CNC mill, Eastwood TIG200 AC/DC and lots of stuff from 30+ years in the trade and 15.5 in refinery unit operations. Now retired. El Paso, TX

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    • Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
      Re machining (engineering change) a Chinese checking fixture for a stamping company in Mexico, from Canada. It will also be the last thing I machine at work for the foreseeable future as my layoff begins when this job is done (probably staying until around 22:00). Could see this coming for the last few weeks, but I'd rather go first and let some other guys stay on a bit longer. I've only worked 30 hours in the last 2 weeks, so I've been losing money not going on EI, but just trying to keep some jobs going out the door. The final nail was the recent firearm reclassification which essentially killed a long running job we had, and were in the middle of re tooling for a design change. Was really looking forward to that job for some challenging 4th axis work.

      On the bright side, I finally get that spring vacation that I've been wanting the past few years for to get some outdoor projects around the house done . I'm also going to really clean up my garage shop so I can actually DO stuff in there. Expect some shop pics soon. The boat launches and golf courses are still closed, so there's nothing else to tempt me away lol.
      Sorry to hear that Dan, tough times in the Canadian manufacturing and oil sectors. I can only hope it goes up from here if the public sentiment to reduce our dependence on China sticks around.

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      • Originally posted by Tom S View Post

        Sorry to hear that Dan, tough times in the Canadian manufacturing and oil sectors. I can only hope it goes up from here if the public sentiment to reduce our dependence on China sticks around.
        Thanks Tom. I see a long term brighter future for Canadian Manufacturing. But I think there's some rough water between here and there. We had quite a bit of work coming in to start this year, a lot of it was coming back to our shores, but if they're not building cars, they don't need parts, and we're not building fixtures for them. We were just the last domino to fall. Was very fortunate we got to stay open in the first place. Being able to work was a nice break from reality believe it or not. This could be short lived, or it could be months until we're back up and running. IF we're back up and running. A lot of unknowns right now.

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        • Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post

          Thanks Tom. I see a long term brighter future for Canadian Manufacturing. But I think there's some rough water between here and there. We had quite a bit of work coming in to start this year, a lot of it was coming back to our shores, but if they're not building cars, they don't need parts, and we're not building fixtures for them. We were just the last domino to fall. Was very fortunate we got to stay open in the first place. Being able to work was a nice break from reality believe it or not. This could be short lived, or it could be months until we're back up and running. IF we're back up and running. A lot of unknowns right now.
          auto is starting to open, that should get it going again. However I fear they'll be in blue funk for some time as demand will be way down (theres going to be lots more work/learn from home, and everybody's broke).

          I too hope the "global decoupling" idea gets some traction. I often wonder what I was thinking with the decision to manufacture in this country, it would sure be nice if there was something positive for manufacturers. Unfortunately though the rational brain doubts as the consumers first trip through the cash resister will squash it quickly enough. We have to stay focused on those things that make economic sense to make here
          Last edited by Mcgyver; 05-08-2020, 08:02 AM.
          .

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          • It’s not all so bad... we’ve only got high taxes, high energy costs, absurd real-estate costs, and a workforce with less and less skills training and higher and higher wage expectations. Plus an exchange rate that can help and hurt at the same time. Great place to be manufacturing.

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            • Originally posted by Tom S View Post
              It’s not all so bad... we’ve only got high taxes, high energy costs, absurd real-estate costs, and a workforce with less and less skills training and higher and higher wage expectations. Plus an exchange rate that can help and hurt at the same time. Great place to be manufacturing.
              ....and I didn't even think of those things!

              layer on a noncompetitive oligopoly banking system with about zero small business support, the gov filling the gap with the BDC ....at double digit rates, Mininistry of this, Ministy of that, Min of you better bend over, Tribunal for this, Commission for that....I guess I'm still here so I haven't put my money where my mouth is and shut it down, but in hindsight it was a big mistake leaving professional services for manufacturing. Way more at risk, a lot less of a monetary reward and bullets coming at you from every direction.
              Last edited by Mcgyver; 05-08-2020, 12:22 PM.
              .

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              • Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

                ....and I didn't even think of those things!

                layer on an noncompetitive oligopoly banking system with about zero small business support, the gov filling the gap with the BDC ....at double digit rates, Min of this, Min of that, Tribunal for this, Commission for that....I guess I'm still here so I haven't put my money where my mouth is and shut it down, but in hindsight it was a big mistake leaving professional services for manufacturing. Way more at risk, a lot less of a monetary reward and bullets coming at you from every direction.
                You forgot the carbon taxes and increasingly tightening regulations that come with reducing greenhouse gasses, and the fact that if you somehow do manage to make some money you stand a chance of being cast as a capitalist pig taking advantage of poor workers...

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                • Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

                  auto is starting to open, that should get it going again. However I fear they'll be in blue funk for some time as demand will be way down (theres going to be lots more work/learn from home, and everybody's broke).

                  I too hope the "global decoupling" idea gets some traction. I often wonder what I was thinking with the decision to manufacture in this country, it would sure be nice if there was something positive for manufacturers. Unfortunately though the rational brain doubts as the consumers first trip through the cash resister will squash it quickly enough. We have to stay focused on those things that make economic sense to make here
                  Some auto will start opening up the next couple weeks, but it will probably be at least a month or more before budgets and timing even begin to get sorted for future programs. As you say, everybody's broke so things might be very different moving forward. Model years might get pushed back, and maybe even cancelled if consumer demand doesn't bounce back. Who knows. I'm trying to remain optimistic about the future and the sentiment I've been getting from a few of our customers has been helping, but realistically I know that the price difference has to come from somewhere. I'd like to think people will realize the importance of keeping manufacturing here, but people and corporations have short memories, and are driven by one thing.....

                  All I can do is focus on what's in front of me, and keep moving forward. Spend some time with the kids, and knock some projects off my list. There are a lot of people who are in a different boat than me so I'm just trying to stay focused on the positives of the situation.

                  Yeah, when you guys put it like that, it's amazing we make anything in this province. I've been planning for self employment for the past few years for when my boss retires, but talk like that makes me start thinking hotdog cart (I'll name it practical meats.....) instead of a vmc lol.
                  Last edited by Dan Dubeau; 05-08-2020, 11:56 AM.

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                  • Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
                    Yeah, when you guys put it like that, it's amazing we make anything in this province. I've been planning for self employment for the past few years for when my boss retires, but talk like that makes me start thinking hotdog cart (I'll name it practical meats.....) instead of a vmc lol.
                    Lol. It's mostly tongue-in-cheek, I love manufacturing, I love Ontario, and it would take monumental effort to convince me to do anything else. However, it does make me sad to see the cities around here that were built on manufacturing - Hamilton, Welland, Port Colbourne, St Catharines, Sarnia, Windsor, London... that have only shells of their former manufacturing power. These places were built around taking some resource, processing it, and adding value - bringing money into the economy. Hamilton was steeltown, with big names like Stelco, Dofasco, Westinghouse, Studebaker, International Harvester, Siemans, Canco, Proctor & Gamble, Firestone, National Steel Car, Otis Elevator, and many more plus all the smaller businesses supplying and maintaining those big companies. How many of those are left? Not many, and if they are still around they're a skeleton compared to years past. I grew up knowing Hamilton as a city full of empty factories, made the conscious decision not to get into tool and die because I was pretty sure there would not be a decent paying job on the other end. And now it really hurts us when we find ourselves in a situation like this. Sure, it would hurt even if we had the manufacturing since many of them would be shut down, but it's going to take much longer to get our economy going again because we're relying on so many distant places for the work we do.

                    I've actually been trying to think for the last few weeks if there is a product that I might get into manufacturing to that people may start looking for a domestic source of. Have not come up with anything yet, but I'm sure if you could there will be a larger market available (and hopefully some government support) for people willing do do that. And don't start a hotdog cart, with the issues the meat packers are running into I don't think it would be wise at this point.

                    Comment


                    • Make and sell hot dogs and hamburgers made from vegetables, like the "Impossible Burger". Healthier and not subject to the dangers from meat processing. Add some really tasty sides like onion rings and you may have a winner.
                      http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                      Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                      USA Maryland 21030

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                      • as an auto mechanic, it's always a good sign when the part I ordered comes in a box that says made in canada. most stuff says china, sad.
                        san jose, ca. usa

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                        • Originally posted by Tom S View Post

                          Lol. It's mostly tongue-in-cheek, I love manufacturing, I love Ontario, and it would take monumental effort to convince me to do anything else. However, it does make me sad to see the cities around here that were built on manufacturing - Hamilton, Welland, Port Colbourne, St Catharines, Sarnia, Windsor, London... that have only shells of their former manufacturing power. These places were built around taking some resource, processing it, and adding value - bringing money into the economy. Hamilton was steeltown, with big names like Stelco, Dofasco, Westinghouse, Studebaker, International Harvester, Siemans, Canco, Proctor & Gamble, Firestone, National Steel Car, Otis Elevator, and many more plus all the smaller businesses supplying and maintaining those big companies. How many of those are left? Not many, and if they are still around they're a skeleton compared to years past. I grew up knowing Hamilton as a city full of empty factories, made the conscious decision not to get into tool and die because I was pretty sure there would not be a decent paying job on the other end. And now it really hurts us when we find ourselves in a situation like this. Sure, it would hurt even if we had the manufacturing since many of them would be shut down, but it's going to take much longer to get our economy going again because we're relying on so many distant places for the work we do.

                          I've actually been trying to think for the last few weeks if there is a product that I might get into manufacturing to that people may start looking for a domestic source of. Have not come up with anything yet, but I'm sure if you could there will be a larger market available (and hopefully some government support) for people willing do do that. And don't start a hotdog cart, with the issues the meat packers are running into I don't think it would be wise at this point.
                          My 3E Greenerd Arbor Press came from GM Transmission Plant located in Windsor,still has 2 GM Inventory Stickers on it.

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                          • Not machining related but yesterday I finished 2 days of panel reviews for $20m in grant proposals to the NSF. Spent the evening watching Tremors (so cheesy) and machining a flywheel and pulley.

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                            • Originally posted by Tom S View Post

                              Lol. It's mostly tongue-in-cheek, I love manufacturing, I love Ontario, and it would take monumental effort to convince me to do anything else. However, it does make me sad to see the cities around here that were built on manufacturing - Hamilton, Welland, Port Colbourne, St Catharines, Sarnia, Windsor, London... that have only shells of their former manufacturing power. These places were built around taking some resource, processing it, and adding value - bringing money into the economy. Hamilton was steeltown, with big names like Stelco, Dofasco, Westinghouse, Studebaker, International Harvester, Siemans, Canco, Proctor & Gamble, Firestone, National Steel Car, Otis Elevator, and many more plus all the smaller businesses supplying and maintaining those big companies. How many of those are left? Not many, and if they are still around they're a skeleton compared to years past. I grew up knowing Hamilton as a city full of empty factories, made the conscious decision not to get into tool and die because I was pretty sure there would not be a decent paying job on the other end. And now it really hurts us when we find ourselves in a situation like this. Sure, it would hurt even if we had the manufacturing since many of them would be shut down, but it's going to take much longer to get our economy going again because we're relying on so many distant places for the work we do.

                              I've actually been trying to think for the last few weeks if there is a product that I might get into manufacturing to that people may start looking for a domestic source of. Have not come up with anything yet, but I'm sure if you could there will be a larger market available (and hopefully some government support) for people willing do do that. And don't start a hotdog cart, with the issues the meat packers are running into I don't think it would be wise at this point.
                              Manufacturing in Ontario is still alive and well. It's just lost some weight since those days. The big plants and companies that used to employ thousands might not be around anymore, but there is still a strong manufacturing sector alive and well in Ontario. How, I don't know, it isn't exactly a friendly industrial environment to thrive in, but maybe machinists are tougher to kill off than bad weeds. The ones who are adaptable and versatile are still doing quite well. It's just an ever changing environment. There were a lot of good paying jobs that disappeared with those factories though

                              All my family worked at GM, and I also worked there as a student through college (Wife and her family too). Thought for sure I'd end up there too, but literally stumbled ass backwards into another path. I still think I'll get another 20 or so years out of this trade, but who knows how different it's going to be by then. I've been working in the automotive sector for 20 years. It's reluctantly changed a lot in that time. Always evolving.

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                              • The most notable achievement today was playing "find that landmark" while watching a Hallmark movie. The movie was shot in Canada but was set somewhere along the New England seaboard. Right at the 1 hour mark was an aerial view of an old steel truss bridge. I've included a shot of the TV screen for reference.

                                My wife and I often see something like this and wonder about where it is and if it's anywhere near the place that they claim in the movie. This one has distinctive spires.

                                Given only this view of the bridge, it took 20 minutes to locate it using Google.

                                Click image for larger version

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                                At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                                Location: SF East Bay.

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