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Proactive Planning is Professional

Highway Traveler

A friend of mine just bought a new Anderson router for his shop. I asked him if he was replacing his old one and he said no. He merely bought this one for redundancy.

Apparently he had a significant breakdown on his new bander recently. He was able to outsource banding temporarily but realized a meltdown on his CNC could have existential impactsl.

This was good planning on his part. It's the kind of thing businesses should do when times are flush.

In other news the Wall Street Journal today reported that Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency and mandated the closure of 102 bridges in his state. He said if the communities resisted he would send in State Patrol to make it happen.

For a cabinet shop to lose a bander in the middle of contracts would be catastrophic. Imagine what it must be like for a community to lose critical transportation?
Imagine being a cabinet shop on the end of a dirt road on the other side of the bridge?

Imagine living across the river from the grade school, or the grocery store or the hospital emergency room?

According to the Federal Highway Administration 54,560 out of 615,002 bridges in America are deemed to be structurally deficient.

4/12/18       #2: Proactive Planning is Professional ...
pat gilbert

If it ain't broke don't fix it.

This is one of the biggest aberrations of the state. Me thinks the DOT wants a bigger budget. They should at least take the covered bridges off the list.

4/12/18       #3: Proactive Planning is Professional ...
Highway Traveler


Not sure what you mean by "if it ain't broke don't fix it". I am reasonably certain that the Federal Highway Administration isn't putting bridges on the dangerous list just to fluff up their budgets.

Just like every cabinet shop owner has a limited budget to work with, so too does our country. He wants to put his money where it will keep him in business and help him thrive in the future. Small (and large) communities similarly need viable transportation corridors to stay in business.

The difference between public & private need is how the investments are funded.
The cabinet shop gets money for a new CNC by fabricating cabinets. The communities get funding for new bridges by increasing taxes. But nobody wants to increase taxes.

We have a shortage of money and a shortage of workers to effect these changes. Maybe what we need is a realignment of priorities?

4/12/18       #4: Proactive Planning is Professional ...
pat gilbert

I'm quite sure that they are padding their budget what government agency doesn't?

David Stockman goes over this point in depth in his last book.

As to buying an extra router, I find it hard to believe he couldn't put his money to better use.

4/12/18       #5: Proactive Planning is Professional ...

"Just like every cabinet shop owner has a limited budget to work with, so too does our country"

Not really

4/12/18       #6: Proactive Planning is Professional ...
Highway Traveler

That clock doesn't mean anything.
It fails to factor in recent tax reform.

By letting the job creators keep more of their income they are going to be incentivized to stimulate the economy. When this happens we will grow ourselves out of this problem.

Never forget. A rising tide floats everybody's boat.

4/13/18       #7: Proactive Planning is Professional ...
james e mcgrew Member

Website: mcgrewwoodwork.com

I for one do not bank on wishful thinking, that said i have always had two banders one smaller but two! i can cut and machine parts on saws and machinery i keep anyway but banding is crucial, in fact we have never sold any tools unless they just were never used to begin with, we have two of everything but the cnc (and I have had two at a time) soon i will add another cnc for a step up in production .

4/13/18       #8: Proactive Planning is Professional ...
David R Sochar Member

Website: https://mcgrewwoodwork.com

Redundancy is important. If one has key equipment that cannot be duplicated easily, then disaster is only a few steps away.

Accuracy of information is also important. The bridge numbers are textbook examples of using numbers "to not lie", and drive fear to help get budget numbers increased.

While on occasion a major bridge does fail, most bridge failures around here are caused by farm equipment that is too large to fit through an iron bridge, or grain trailers trying to navigate back roads. Both instances involve low skill people with little or no training, moving equipment from field to field, where a 'professional equipment driver' takes over and sets the GPS to work the field.

The link mentions that the drive did not know how many pounds 6 tons is, so she drove her truck across the bridge. The truck weighed close to 30 tons.

Farm Trailer Destroys Bridge

4/13/18       #9: Proactive Planning is Professional ...
Pat Gilbert

Damn Dave spoken like a conservative.

4/13/18       #10: Proactive Planning is Professional ...
Highway Traveler

Highways, like everything else, wear out.
The concrete retainer wall in front of my house is showing signs of age. I can see rebar in one location that is clearly starting to rust. Is not unreasonable to think that rebar is failing elsewhere.

That government agencies try to pad their budgets is also not unreasonable. At my cabinet shop I try to pad the budget as much as possible on each and every job. I am quite sure there is still enough fat in my organization that I could lower prices substantially and still get the same profit but it is infinitely easier to make the customer pay for it. That government workers behave like cabinet shop owners doesn't surprise me at all.

Just because government workers are shiftless, lazy, incompetent and unaccountable does not mean the bridges aren't wearing out. To say so is just another misdirection.

We need to use our labor, concrete and rebar to rebuild bridges, not photo-ops.

4/13/18       #11: Proactive Planning is Professional ...
Tim's Friend


An important part of our business model is our ability to react quickly. In fact, I would say our ability to be faster than everyone else at virtually every aspect of our business is our most important and distinguishing attribute. With that in mind, down time is not acceptable.

There are other reasons a 2nd router made good sense as well:

-I was considering an automatic rake and offload table to boost productivity; this setup makes that unneccessary. My operator can now go from router to router.

-Once a year we lose the router for a day for preventative maintenance. We produce $20,000 a day, so even losing 1 day was very costly. Now that's no longer necessary.

-I have passed on many potentially profitable projects that are slightly outside of our normal product line because they would have tied up the router for hours at a time. I now have the ability to look at those projects with a fresh perspective.

-There are those rare occasions where the nature of a router limits your expedite speed. This solves that problem.

-For the reasons listed above, as well as redundancy, I now also have a 2nd bander. We've already began saving changeover time by leaving our primary banding on 1 machine and running specialty bandings, punch list items, etc on the 2nd bander.

And as I told Tim, probably the most important thing of all is that it looks cool as hell having 2 routers running side by side.

4/13/18       #12: Proactive Planning is Professional ...
Highway Traveler

On another thread a very wise cabinetmaker opined about a tooling manufacturer who was able to charge $2400 for what his competition charged $1600. The difference in price was owing to turn around time. The inexpensive guys required six weeks to ship a product. The expensive guys could do it in three days.

We all get offered jobs with emergency turnaround times. The fellow with the extra bander will be able to charge extra dollars because of his response time.

4/13/18       #13: Proactive Planning is Professional ...
Pat Gilbert

Wow Tim has a friend besides me?

"the most important thing of all is that it looks cool as hell having 2 routers running side by side."

That is the keeper.

I'm not sure I agree but you make a cogent argument.

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