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Unread 11-29-2010, 01:09 AM   #1
brads1307
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1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: owensboro, kentucky
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custom fabrication

Hope this is in the right spot on the forum cuz im new to this site and gettin to lear everything but i have currently got laid off from my job and was sittin around thinkin wat to do, and wat i came up with is i need to do something i love to do and i would love to fab up bumpers and rock sliders or anything else that your jeep needs, now i know yall dont kno me and have no idea how my work is but before i start i was just wondering if this would be a good idea...lmk wat yall think and if yall would be interested, and im sorry if this is in the wrong place in the forum and also for the long post

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Unread 11-29-2010, 05:08 AM   #2
GrouchyTim
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Two things. Post up some pics of your work and don't ever choose to work in a field you love because then your passion becomes work and work sucks. Otherwise they would call it fun and not work. But if you're good at it and don't mind deadlines and people *****ing about needing help all the time it's a good idea. Hope you have fun with it. Good luck.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 07:11 AM   #3
BESRK
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Agreed.. your reputation is everything when it comes to Metal Fabrication... and nothing says more about your work (on the internet) than good clear pictures. It's one thing to fix a broken bracket for a buddy for a few $$.. but it's a whole different ball of wax when someone rolls their $30K rig into your shop to have you do a few grand worth of work... or sends you a Paypal payment for $1000 worth of custom stuff with a tight deadline on it.

Tim is dead on about turning your "love" into work. You have to exercise "strict self-motivation" daily. It's easy (and tempting) to lower your guard and slack up... especially when times are good.


If I had to list highlights..

Good work.. (pictures)
Fair Price
Customer Service
Honesty (bad news is better than no news)
Work Ethic
No Uncontrolled Spending
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Unread 11-29-2010, 09:02 AM   #4
Area.3.Fiftyone
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In my opinion, there are already too many other shops and it's going to be difficult to compete on the internet.

Unless you offer some product that nobody else makes. Then it's just a matter of time before someone steals your idea and starts producing it cheaper.

There is a HUGE financial investment in tooling to get started as well. I've been doing this for nearly 30 years and I still don't have a lot of stuff that I need and I struggle daily using what I have.

It's so much easier and cheaper in the long run to have the right tooling.

Unless you already have a good following in your area and people needing stuff done, I would have to reluctantly say to don't do it.

If you decide to give it a shot, it is a good idea to expand your clientel to other avenues as well. I am fortunate that there is a manufacturing facility and truck shop adjacent to mine and they are always bringing me things to be fixed, welded or fabricated. Thank GOD for temp agencies and low paid workers. They are always breaking things in the plant. Good for me, not so good for the bottom line of the facility.

Most people do it as a side business to get their products and name out there, then move into it full time.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 09:25 AM   #5
reddragon
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Go for it.
I have been doing this full time for over a year and the best part is doing what you love. If you do great work at a reasonable price and back up your products, you will have a ton of returning customers and referrals. A happy customer will make you "their" fabricator and jeepers need fabricators.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 09:30 AM   #6
somdfisher
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I'm in the same boat, and I have been thinking the same thing, but I don't have the room to spread out my work. I have been doing side jobs for a little cash. Luckily I was offered a severance package and can hang out for a bit.

I would say to make a few prototypes and take many pictures of them. If you can install them on a Jeep or any vehicle that it would pertain to, and show fitment and what your product would look like. Don't over work yourself because you will become burnt and won't even want to work on your rig.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 09:39 AM   #7
jatepper
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I personally think it is hard to do. When it comes to things like bumpers and such, there is so much competition out there and it is hard to make your name known. There are so many names out there that can greatly out produce you and probaly sell the item cheaper, but you never know.

If you can establish a name for yourself, sell an item for a competitive price, and maintain good work ethic I'd say go for it. It is a tough world, but you never know.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 10:32 AM   #8
Jim1611
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You've gotten some great advice from people that have tried or are actually doing what you want to do. Everything that's been posted is correct. Some of it may tend to discourage you too.

You're out of work. That's a reason many people start a business. No doubt though money is tight. You may need to buy equipment and being laid off isn't the best time for that. Now if you don't listen to anything else I say please here this. Absolutely don't borrow money to start this venture with. You will be setting yourself up to take a fall if you do.

Now I want to tell you about an experience that I think of often. I opened my own tool and die business in 2000 after getting started part time in 1994. I spoke with lots of people and asked lots of questions in the beginning. I talked mainly with business people and tried to find out what they thought. Two men in paticular tried to talk me out of it, both I greatly respected and both were succesful in what they did. That had a great impact on me, so much so that for a time I gave up the thought of ever being selfemployeed. After about 2 years I still wanted to and decided to press on. All of what they said was true but by the grace of God I was able to start a business and be able to support myself and household. I've never regretted taking the steps I made, might change a few in looking back though. That's the way it is with all we do.

What you'll find are days when you may not feel like working. Here's where the motivation that Besrk spoke about comes into play. You must exercise self control in all you do. Time, money and what you promise. You must ne honest and respect people, even if they don't respect you. You owe it to your customers to try and do better work than any other person out there. Also remember this internet way of doing business can be cruel. You make the right person mad at you and you will get flamed. People will take notice. It works the other way too. If you do the very best they have evenr seen and they will make sure others know, but even good work will fade out of the spotlight in a short time. That's why you have to make it a daily thing.

If you do this keep us here posted. Take pictures too. We all want to see what you're doing. If you need any help just ask.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 01:16 PM   #9
brads1307
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Location: owensboro, kentucky
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hey guys i greatly appreciate the advice, i think im goin to give it a try, my stepdad is a machinest so watever tool he dont have in his garage he can bring home from work...Decision is made i shall go clean out the garage, go get some metal and start my prototypes...i will post pics for you guys as soon as it lets me on here, ive been a member for bout 4 days and it said i have to be memeber for 30 before i can put a pic on here...and hey maybe u guys can help come up with a name for the business
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Unread 11-30-2010, 07:16 AM   #10
jatepper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brads1307 View Post
ive been a member for bout 4 days and it said i have to be memeber for 30 before i can put a pic on here.
If you have a photobucket account, you can upload pics to photobucket and then copy/paste the IMG. link and the pictures will show up on the forum.

Good luck. I'm looking forward to seeing your products!
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1985 Jeep CJ-7
Automatic-258 I6- Detroit lockers front/rear - Superior 1-piece axles, Ramsey Pro 9000 Winch, Quick Disconnects, 33 BFG AT's, 4.10 gears, Howell TBI, DUI HEI Ignition, Ground Pounder Rear Bumper / Tire Carrier Combo, Handen Fab integrated winch plate front bumper w/hoop, ORF weld-in front sport cage.

USMC 1999-2004 Semper Fi!

Hood Hi-Lift Jack Mounts for CJ/YJ/TJ/JK

Torchmate CNC Plasma Table Build / Projects

The Target Man, LLC - AR500 Shooting Targets
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Unread 11-30-2010, 07:48 AM   #11
Area.3.Fiftyone
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Supermotors.net is also another good place to host pics.
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79' CJ7 - 82' CJ8 - 94' YJ - 96' ZJ
Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.......
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Unread 11-30-2010, 08:01 AM   #12
BESRK
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At one of the SCORE seminars I went to, a speaker said something that has stuck in my mind, "50% of all businesses fail within 2 years and 90% of all businesses fail within 5 years.. not due to financial ruin but because the owners couldn't 'stomach' the pressure."
__________________
'80 CJ5 w/AMC360, T176, D44 w/Detroit 4.56, RE 4" YJ lift and 35s..

Ground Pounder Fab


Lower 2

Guardrail

Down Schoolbus

Slickrock Tellico

Save

Crozet

More Crozet
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Unread 11-30-2010, 08:54 AM   #13
dodger889
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Since you are going into this remember a few thing along the way. Until you have a good steady flow of monies coming in and a good size bank account. Then you can have time for the fruits of your labors. The one of the most important thing is starting a business is that you take care of home first ( pay yourself first, "If momma not happy then nobody is happy "). Now for the first little bit is going to be hard for all of the family. This is the biggest mistake that most new businesses people do. Make good product and do something no one else is doing. Plan that the next month or two could be worst month in your business. Like others have already said do not over spend. When buying something for the business ask yourself can I get by without this. Good luck!
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A 89 yj with a 4.0 aw4 sye out of an 92xj. Now the hard part is done time to get it up in the air just a bit. Working on 8.8 with 3.73 and lsd for the rear. and new D30 hp with 3.73 .
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Unread 12-02-2010, 01:11 AM   #14
brads1307
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thanks guys for the advice...im workin on some blueprints for some bumpers, should start on the actual fab this weeekend. ill let yall know wat i come up with
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Unread 12-02-2010, 07:58 AM   #15
mknight759
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jatepper View Post
I personally think it is hard to do. When it comes to things like bumpers and such, there is so much competition out there and it is hard to make your name known. There are so many names out there that can greatly out produce you and probaly sell the item cheaper, but you never know.

If you can establish a name for yourself, sell an item for a competitive price, and maintain good work ethic I'd say go for it. It is a tough world, but you never know.
I'm gonna have to agree there are lots & lots of people doing it already I thought about it also. I have built a few and sold them all to freinds locally its hard to get someone to take a gamble on your stuff & you ship it to them. Shipping charges & material is so high there not much room for era or profit. But you have to start somewere & if you already have all the tools guess it won't cost much to try lets see i sold 4 bumpers for around 400$ profit and it took 6k worth of tools hu gonna take me awhile to pay for my stufff lol
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