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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys im thinking about starting a fabrication supply buisness. everyone knows that 4x4 shops are tuff cuz everyone wants to do it themselves, so what if someone focused on supplying the fabrication parts and materials to make it easier for the do-it yourselfer. i figure if i could stockpile trick tabs and braketry, steel tube of all types and sizes, i could even provide CNC plasma cutting services thanks to a buddy in the idustry. possibly do minor machining for bomb proof tie rods and susp. links. what does everyone think of this idea?
 

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I think you got the right idea, with parts and services. If you talk to most strictly fab shops/guys, they love their work and what they do, but they're not getting rich at it. Parts seem to make money, just need the capitol to carry the inventory.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
i was thinking more just the fabrication stuff. there are so many sources for parts, i figgure since i have the best possible lead on getting steal, plus i have a bender that puts most benders to shame. i could stock steel, get custom cut brakets, and as soon as i follow thru with getting rod ends straight from the manufacturer, i could get started. mayby some minor bending, but avoid real labor. ive worked at some real shops, not to mention doing my own thing a while back, thats where you lose your shirt. everyone knows somebody who can get good deal on shocks, tcases or trick carburators, so ill stock the building supplies. im getting kinda syked now.not to mention ive got a 3 tap kegerator to keep in back for the VIP's.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
give me some ideas on what else would be good stock. also i want to take a pole on what people are paying for steel. tell me what you bought and how much you paid. i want to make sure i can get it cheap to you guys.
 

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i'm doing it and shipping parts all over the country. its nothing i can quit the day job for...but helps pay for the toys.

my stuff is CNC laser cut or CNC machined. i can give an AutoCAD dwg to the laser guy and he can burn out some cool stuff in seconds.

with your location (west coast) i think you could make it work. the main thing is keep overhead low. i have minimal inventory (about $30 in boxes, and $200 cost for parts on the shelf) and do it after work and ship the stuff at lunch time. it works out really well.

matt
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i do the same thing with my buddies CNC plasma. except there is a program out there called solid works that kicks ass ove cad. especiall for 3D stuff. it is also way faster to use. my buddy is the son of the largest steel supply place the the area, so i got all the contacts for steel at cost. im trying to get the common tube for close to $1/ft - $1.50/ft. ive got the shop space for cheap, i just need to see what people need, and buy it in bulk for the best pricing. ive got a little starting capitol to work with. still just trying to read the demand and find an edge.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ive got a 1000sqft space for $500/mo. ive been holding onto for a while now, i might start there for now until i need a bigger place. i just play with my own stuff and use it mainly for storage right now.
 

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I would say stocking items like the Odd sizes of DOM (like the 219 wall) that most shops make you order a 20-50' stick of it, it would be nice to only order the 5-6 feet you need and not be stuck with the rest.
Stocking other items like the Del city switches, some pre bent tube sections (like a 20,25,45,90 would make it easyer for people with out benders.
 

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I have all the CAD background and programs (Pro/E) to develop DXF or IGES files for plasma/laser burnt part profiles, but I need a place to send them to in order to get shipped back some plasma/laser cut parts for a reasonable price. all of the places around here don't want to mess with small runs. If this gets going, I'd be VERY interested in mail order custom cut steel. Please keep me posted.



Chad-
 

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Discussion Starter #16
anyone else have any ideas, i just got hooked up with FK bearing to buy straight from manufacturer, and fragola performance systems for trick hose and hose ends. what other key items would be convenient to have close by?
 

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Brian said:
anyone else have any ideas, i just got hooked up with FK bearing to buy straight from manufacturer, and fragola performance systems for trick hose and hose ends. what other key items would be convenient to have close by?
aircraft grade electrical crimp connectors...

basic race car fab stuff, dzus fasteners, steering column ends, that kinda crap.
 

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seems like a lot of sources already for what you are talking about. so you should really be thinking about suppling specialized parts or services to create your own niche. spend a day doing a thorough online search-you might be surprised at how many sources there-you need to do this market research anyway if you intend that this be a serious effort. ask the board for a list of specific parts or services they want and can't find anywhere (or at the right price) and do the math from there. i wouldn't put any $ into it until your own research is complete.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
i agree, so far i havent spent any money out of poket. ive just contacted all the manufactures in order to get materials straight from the source. no middle men. getting tube,with free delivery, straight from the manufacturer. rod ends, hydraulic fittings and hose, laser and stamped brakets, all from manufacturese now, not to mention CNC plasma cutting as well as tube bending. im tired of working on other people rigs, been doing it for to long and no one ever got rich off it. but it doens ttake much time and space to distribute fabrication supplies.
 
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