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Old 11-10-2011, 08:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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any TM's in a private garage making $$

i'm about to drop the hammer and pick up a 2x4 TM and wondering if anyone is able to recoup the cost of the machine at all i'm not trying to make my money back in a month or 2 but with in a year or so. I've downloaded the CNC plasma pricing spread thats floating around for a good start to how to charge people, any other idea's or thought's?
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In a little over 6 months I had recouped the cost of a 2x2 plus made quite a bit for my pocket too! I originally bought the 2x2 because I never wanted to buy or order brackets and tabs again. Here I am a little over 2 years later and now own and run a 5x10 x machine full time and loving it! Let me be the first to tell you a torchmate is a addiction you start seeing what is possible and next thing you know you have jobs that are getting bigger and bigger.
I would also recommend buying the biggest machine you can afford and have room for, I am pretty sure no one here ever wishes there torchmate was smaller!
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have been wanting to buy one for my own personal use, but I am having the same issue. I would like to get enough outside work to pay for it. I am nervious on finding enough outside work.
Where have you found your outside work?
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have have a part time gig running a fab shop out of my home garage(it sucks way to small) and also have a online store so that should help out alot but I'm also in the heart of the off road industry. So finding customers should be easy if my prices are right. There's a good billing spread sheet available in this forum I downloaded to help quote jobs accordingly as well.
http://download943.mediafire.com/7bd...Work+Sheet.xls this pretty much sealed the deal cause it's idiot proof. Also make an idea for a tab say 2x3" out of 3/16 sheet. 4x8' runs about 200$ how many if those tabs can you get outta that? Roughly 500 so you sell for a 1$ and 150% profit to buy another sheet and pocket the rest provided you can sell them quickly
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My machine was bought and paid for out of my small private garage within the first 6 months just doing side work for friends, my day job subcontracted out some specialty tools and equipment for our work boat, and also made and sold some artsy fartsy stuff too. Mine is only a 2x2 and my machine is only a 40 amp but that keeps me from taking on more than I should at home. Wish it was a 2x4 but that wasn't avail when I bought mine. I was on a waiting list for 4 months for my 2x2 before it ever shipped.

When it comes to building my own parts though and doing side work in the shop... its awesome! The single most useful tool in the shop. That paired with an air over hydro Pro-tools 105 and a license of Bendtech pro... Makes building a complete rig from start to finish in evenings and weekends a breeze. Even in only two months time.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I started out cutting parts for friends and the word just kind of got out about the machine. Then I had a friend who is a welder for a shop that builds nut hulling equipment and low and behold the owner calls me one day and asks if I could cut there parts for them, being he saw the quality of the stuff I had cut on my buddys rig.
So that brought on the need for a bigger machine needed something to do full sheets. It just so happened that torchmate had the x machine on sale at the time!
Fast forward 6 months later and I cut 10 to 12 sheets a month for that company alone. Also another lady in town owns a feed store and wanted some welcome sings and other artsy stuff and that has really got my stuff out there. So it really just kind of goes by word of mouth around here.
I have made all sorts of stuff from 1" plate parts for a pipeline company to signs for businesses to production parts, which also turns out some bada** parts to fuel my 4x4 addiction.
If a guy can afford a machine and has half an imagination the sky is the limit with one of these machines!

Just a FYI my machine is a 5x10X,powermax 85 cutter
And soon to be installed plate marker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigyellowiron:13596569
I have been wanting to buy one for my own personal use, but I am having the same issue. I would like to get enough outside work to pay for it. I am nervious on finding enough outside work.
Where have you found your outside work?
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Gotta agree on the biggest table you can afford/fit... especially if you plan on doing production runs of parts.

I think it's like anything else.. you have to pay your dues. You might start off cutting cheaper than you'd like (and not as often as you'd like), but as word gets around (and your cutting gets dialed in), people will begin to look you up.

Might dabble in fleabay with various items. Eventually, you'll zero in on some regular sellers and can make some $$$. Also use eBay as a way to offer "custom CNC plasma cutting" to a large audience. I've done a few long-distance cutting jobs (from eBay) that paid hundreds of dollars.. maximizing USPS Flat Rate Shipping.

Also, don't be afraid to visit some small shops that don't have CNC cutting capability. They might welcome a vendor who can provide quick turnaround (and fair pricing) on one-off parts. Just another way to get your foot in the door.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Awesome feedback guys keep it coming! Hoping to have mine ordered by the new year!!!
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Bought the 2x2, paid for it, THC and the 4ft gantry upgrade with side work, sooner or later I am actually going to put some effort into it and see what it can lead to, right now its just odds and ends, and of course connections to people who need parts.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The only reason mine hasn't paid for itself is that I haven't put any real effort into selling things. I just haven't had time. I've still made quite a bit with it.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I haven't made as much as I would like. I have been doing artsy fartsy stuff.... and help out neighbors and stuff. I just need to charge more I think. I don't mind helping people, but it is a side business I hope to create savings with.

Wish I could get the word out there for people that need parts..... Just don't know where or how to do that. I do have my name out there to a degree, but I need to get it out more. I have a local welding supply store that said they would give out business cards, and a local fab shop that has a TM that is broken down, and he hasn't had time to fix it. He said he may send some stuff my way.... haven't seen anything yet though.

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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for you guys having success with word or mouth, where do you live in relation to a big city or your town in general. my town culver IN has 1200 people and there is no industry i plan to hit up all the farmers in the area and just start cold calling again.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I live near little rock which is large-ish. I've pretty much just sold a few things to people that I know, and then some people that they know asked about things and it went from there.

I do think I've about tapped out that market though and I'll have to make an effort to sell much else.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm in San Diego and the market is pretty flooded with off road and machine guys but there's always business. If all goes good I'll be picking up a mustang club that races so that should bring my a ton Of business
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I live in Newport News, Virginia.. probably about 1-2 million population within a 30 mile radius or so... Large Military Community.

While local "word of mouth" is great, selling on the internet is the ticket. Put something on eBay, Pirate (or any of the forums), and dozens (if not hundreds) see your stuff. Instead of selling to a small local market, you sell nation wide. Practice quality products at a fair price, combined with good customer service, and the word of mouth will spread on a "J Curve".

Keep in mind though.. fawk up and the word of mouth will spread equally fast..
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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my machine has spit out a few parts for other people after getting its belly pumped full of the green stuff.... its mind blowing how quickly your info starts to spread if you can create an quality part in a short time span.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I live 40 minutes from BESRK and have a resource of a similar size crowd. I don't really market myself too much either and have more work than I need for weekend stuff. Granted my stuff isn't just raw parts normally. Lately I get a lot of work where someone shows me a production part and says they want something similar but instead of a this feature, they want a this, that, and the other feature. There is also another TM owner located between BESRK and I, and he also works in a similar fashion. Lots of little side projects for unique things that people want. People will pay a LOT more for something that is exactly what they want over something that is production and anyone else can buy it. Basically, mix in the artsy stuff with the fab parts and you will sell it easily and a lot of it.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:10 PM   #18 (permalink)
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There is also another TM owner located between BESRK and I, and he also works in a similar fashion. Lots of little side projects for unique things that people want.
Who ME!? Yep... what Eddie and Alex said.

It is all about marketing yourself. The machine will pay itself off.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I just got off the phone with a friend of a friend of a coworker who saw something I made and they want several to give as Christmas gifts. It'll be $200ish total and probably 80% profit.

After the first couple of things, everything else has sold itself.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Bought the 2x2, paid for it, THC and the 4ft gantry upgrade with side work, sooner or later I am actually going to put some effort into it and see what it can lead to, right now its just odds and ends, and of course connections to people who need parts.
Sent you a PM.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:50 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kyky777 View Post
In a little over 6 months I had recouped the cost of a 2x2 plus made quite a bit for my pocket too! I originally bought the 2x2 because I never wanted to buy or order brackets and tabs again. Here I am a little over 2 years later and now own and run a 5x10 x machine full time and loving it! Let me be the first to tell you a torchmate is a addiction you start seeing what is possible and next thing you know you have jobs that are getting bigger and bigger.
I would also recommend buying the biggest machine you can afford and have room for, I am pretty sure no one here ever wishes there torchmate was smaller!

You've got a 5x10 in your garage? What plasma do you have running on it and what did you do for electrical service?
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:56 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyky777 View Post
In a little over 6 months I had recouped the cost of a 2x2 plus made quite a bit for my pocket too! I originally bought the 2x2 because I never wanted to buy or order brackets and tabs again. Here I am a little over 2 years later and now own and run a 5x10 x machine full time and loving it! Let me be the first to tell you a torchmate is a addiction you start seeing what is possible and next thing you know you have jobs that are getting bigger and bigger.
I would also recommend buying the biggest machine you can afford and have room for, I am pretty sure no one here ever wishes there torchmate was smaller!

You've got a 5x10 in your garage? What plasma do you have running on it and what did you do for electrical service?
I had the 2x2 in my garage running a powermax 1100 set up on 3 phase 220. Since the upgrade I set up the 5x10 in a buddys shop running a powermax 85 on 3 phase 220. So yes I started out in my garage and upgraded the shop space with the machine upgrade,it worked out great for both of us I make whatever stuff I want and make his life a lot easier when it comes to parts for projects,kick him a few bucks for power and such plus he can get stuff cut for next to nothing!
I also live in a small town there is 3k people, but now I have branched out over 3 counties which has a total of about 50k people. I don't advertise much anymore people see my products at different businesses around and ask about them.
I may have gotten lucky but everything has just fallen into place.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:22 AM   #23 (permalink)
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My 2x2 has been in my home shop over a year now. It has paid for itself. Every time I run this machine, it makes me $$
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:32 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I have a 4x8 running out of my home garage. Space is tight, but it has it's benefits. No overhead (aside from electricity) and if I want to go to work I'm there in 1 second.

I have been seriously considering renting an industrial bay. I have my items on Craigslist and Ebay and that alone keeps me busy. Word of mouth is good. I charge very reasonable rates and I usually draw up stuff for free assuming it takes less then 20 minutes.

Funny story...I was working in my garage one day and some guy saw my big Marine Corps flag on the wall as he was driving by. He got out of his Jeep and said "Hey, your the guy on Craigslist". One of my Craigslist pics has the flag in the background. He ended up buying something too.

So yeah, Craigslist works. I also do some small production jobs here and there. I have a guy who I think may soon be a very large customer ($200-300 week in cutting) I just put an ad on Craigslist for "custom CNC cutting". Give it a shot...you just never know.
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:41 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Coming up with the money for the investment is my issue LOL
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