Pricing a very large order

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Joe Jones
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by Joe Jones »

cutnweld wrote: Tue Jul 26, 2022 9:12 am I can hardly believe the 250 hour thing. 1000 plates at 250 hours means 4 per hour, or 1 plate every 15 minutes. I run my table slow to try and save my gearboxes till I can find time to upgrade, but even at my 400 ipm I could cut an awful lot faster than that, and 12 mm plate is easily doable with plasma. Go for it Jack!
I knew that someone would challenge the 250 hour estimate. :lol:

I had a welder/fabricator help me to make a custom hydraulic loading apparatus for the rear of a F450 many years ago. It cost a lot of money. He told me how many hours he thought it would take, and LIKE YOU, I thought, "I have welded and fabricated! It can't POSSIBLY take that long!"

Then he gave me a lesson in reality.

"Joe ... You want to use your F450 as a dedicated motorcycle towing truck. A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE. You want to create something from scratch. You want it to be designed for one-man operation, which means it will be operated by a REMOTE. You want it to fold up onto itself for driving down the road. You want it to LOOK like it belongs on the truck, and it wasn't hacked together. You want it to ride smoothly, and not clang around over bumps.
You don't want it to fall off while you drive down the road, or while it is supporting a load. You want it to work the first time, every time, and for a long time. This deck will be used to load and unload THOUSANDS of motorcycles and other larger and heavier vehicles during the life of the truck, or the business.

You came to me, because you either cannot do it yourself, or you need my shop tools, my welding skills and my EXPERIENCE to fabricate the heavy steel plate, remotely operated, folding hydraulic deck extension deck, and work out the math to create and build this thing.

We have been talking about this for one hour now. I looked at your sketches. As we go through the "WHAT IF" scenarios right here, we have developed several changes that must be made MADE to your original design idea thus far.

I am your friend, but I am also a BUSINESS. I CHARGE FOR MY TIME. Just as your attorney might be your friend, but he is also an attorney, which is why he charges you to read a document, or compose a letter, or speak with you on the phone.

There is an old expression which is quite applicable: "NEVER ask a person to do for FREE, what that person does FOR A LIVING." If you do, you are saying that the person's knowledge and experience have no value. You are talking to ME, because you came to a metal fabrication shop run by a welder/fabricator with a LOT of knowledge and experience. You came to a SPECIALIST in the field. You know what I can do, and you KNOW it will work!

I have enjoyed the conversation, and I WILL build you a great loading deck for your truck if you agree to my price. However, I have already invested one hour of MY TIME into this project. I call that my "THINKING TIME." If you don't want me to THINK about this, but just grab some metal and start welding, I can do that too. But you will end up with some contraption that will never work, or look good on your truck.

It won't take me long at all, to cut up plate and weld it together with two long hinges, and hydraulic rams to lift and lower it, and create three nesting, removeable ramps that are long enough and strong enough to be RELIABLE, yet light enough for YOU to deploy and retract as you do your tows, ONCE THE DESIGN IS FINALIZED.

You are not just paying for the loading deck. You are paying for MY THINKING TIME. You did not bring me prefabricated steel parts with assembly instructions. I have to MAKE the parts before I weld them together, and I have to DESIGN the parts before I make them. My shop rate is $75.00 per hour, but that is for EVERY HOUR of my time that I invest into your project.

You know that I cannot "just make it." I have to check the laws, to see if this thing you want to create is even LEGAL on your truck. I have to research design restrictions, weight limitations, material requirements, etc. I have to speak with your insurance company, to check on the liability of adding such a thing yo your truck, with the intent to use it for a commercial business. That all takes TIME. You are building an apparatus for A BUSINESS TOW TRUCK. That drags in the D.O.T., the C.H.P., the D.M.V., and other government agencies who will ALL make sure they have a hand in this project, if you EVER plan to use it on the road, or drive it through a scale house as a COMMERCIAL vehicle."


You guys are laughing at the 250 hour estimate, but I dare say, I will bet he has five hours into the project ALREADY, talking with the customer in (n) conversations, thinking through the LOGISTICS of a small one-man shop bringing in TEN TONS of steel plates, and then ... how will he move the plates from the delivery vehicle to the floor, and then onto the table? How will he manhandle them?

He says he has no room for an ironworker, yet he WILL need room to bring in large and heave steel plates. He will also need room for at least ONE pallet to stack the steel squares onto, and you CANNOT put TEN TONS of steel onto ONE PALLET. So now he needs a way to move them around (a forklift or a pallet jack?) AND he needs the room to store the ... TEN pallets? (at 2,000 lb each) of tiles, unless he has a large heavy hauler trailer or truck to stack these plates directly onto as he makes them. And if that is the case, can that truck or trailer be PARKED there during the entire one-man job, or will it be used for other tasks in the interim? Then he has to add the time of either picking up the materials and/or dropping them off at the customer. How far away is the customer at $9.00 per gallon of fuel, and $1.00 per loaded mile wear and tear on the truck, and $40.00 per hour to DRIVE the truck? How much time will be required to drive there and back? Does he shut down his shop while he is delivering these tiles, or does he pay a driver to deliver these, or does he pay someone else to run the shop in his absence? And is it his good friend, "Bubba" who will do it for a case of beer, or is he hiring a driver and maybe even renting the truck he will need?

You guys picture steel plate ON a plasma table, with the compressor fired up and everything READY TO GO, and then you mock me ... "It won't take 15 minutes PER PLATE to make these!" They can be cut in a couple of minutes EACH!

Well, I agree!

If he can walk into his shop, and the plate is already on the table, and
If the design file is already drawn, and
If there is someone there to swap out the skeleton and material for the next set of tiles, and
If someone else is going to de-dross each tile and stack it onto a pallet, and
If someone else is going to tie down ten tons of steel plates for transport, and
If someone else is going to deliver and pick up the 1,000 tiles, and
If the consumables NEVER need to be changed, and
If the power stay ON during the entire process, and
If he never stops for lunch, or a bathroom break ... then you are right! It will not require 15 minutes PER PLATE.

But if you look at THE BIG PICTURE, and you include EVERYTHING involved in turning the customer's plate into 1,000 tiles, my 15 minute per plate estimate is SPOT ON.

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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by SegoMan DeSigns »

Joe your doing 4 manual alignments per plate for punching x 1000 = 4,000 alignments. A 5x10 sheet only requires 1 alignment / 50 pcs. a 6x12 is 1 alignment for 72 pcs if you had both the shear and punch in house then you might yield some savings on the project. (keep in mind the customer probably has contacted the same company for pricing) Your handling and transportation of the material is going to cost you big time. Call your nearest supplier in KY and get a cost for the shearing of a job this size, be sure to post that $ amount up. I see $4-5 / plate That's $5,000 off the top at $75/ hr that is 66+ hrs of shop time you could be getting paid for.

SeanP has done 32 plates / 2 hrs with his 45xp. I have noticed the thicker the plate the less dross it produces. They may or may not care if you remove the dross as they are powder coating the unit after welding operations (the unknown variables of the equation) What if the job specifies a radius on the corner (yet another unknown variable) The last time I checked iron workers & shears plugged into the same power grid as the plasma table does and are ran by the same humans that requires food, sleep ect.

I take it the P C oven is done? I see multi-colors letters in your posts.. When is the Iron worker due in?
Why didn't your buddy use an iron worker for all of those holes on the shelving?? Did he get the same response from you that you posted here??

Why did a person of your production / fabricating skills sub out such a small job as you listed above?

This is the cuts my Track Hoe creates (top pce 1/2" middle 5/8" bottom 1") Post up some pics of what your garden spade produces..

IMG_20200624_183119027~2.jpg

This is the cut quality after it was dialed in (top 1", bottom 3/4" - The entire sheet of 3/4 was done on $10 in consumables):

IMG_20201103_121310372_HDR.jpg

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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by weldguy »

Joe brings up some good points here that may very well help to OP to make the best decision for himself. The OP is fairly new to this, it's a fairly large job and in my experience high volume parts with a low volume setup is a nightmare waiting to happen and often there is very little money in it even if it did go smoothly. If it were me I would run away from this job and let a larger shop deal with it. Much better money in 1 off stuff like custom signage or niche type products.
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by Joe Jones »

Quoting a knowledgeable person from another thread ... :roll:
rdj357 wrote: Tue Jul 26, 2022 10:16 am The discussion is not whether or not something can be done but that just because you are familiar with a tool does not mean it's the correct one for the job. This is another prime example of Maslow's Hammer aka the law of the instrument. You should absolutely enjoy and experiment with the tools in your shop and with new ones as you get them. Have fun! But just because you ordered a hammer, everything didn't suddenly become a nail.

What is the Law of the Instrument?
According to the law of the instrument, when we acquire a new skill, we tend to see opportunities to use it everywhere. This bias is also known as “the law of the hammer”, “the golden hammer”, or “Maslow’s hammer”, in reference to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s famous quote: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail”.

https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/law-of-the-instrument
Golly ... I can't help but wonder if this sage wisdom can be applied to a newbie in a one-man shop attempting to cut TEN TONS of steel tiles with a cnc plasma table. :lol:

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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by SegoMan DeSigns »

Joe until you post up a quote from your metal processor showing the cost to shear those 31.25 sheets (square with +/- 1/16" tolerance) and the delivery fee of the same 1,000 pieces to your location your numbers are nothing but farts in the wind. ( a slight unpleasant odor that quickly dissipates) Add to that the cost of an iron worker you keep ranting about and how it is to be amortized by this job. Then give us an estimated time frame for those 4,000 alignments and punches.

The rest of your talking points are moot as you have to unload, stack and palatalize like the rest of us.. We all have a very limited idea of what jack has in his shop or available for local services, yet your planning the job for him with your divine knowledge of all things metal.

Still waiting on those Garden Ho photo's buddy.. I showed you how little dross my Cat generates.. What brand of powder are you using in your new oven??

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My 2x2 TM has generated 15-20 tons of scrap over it's 7 year life span and like good ol' Boom Boom Bunny is still Going and Going :-D :-D
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by Joe Jones »

Here is some more information to help you make the CORRECT decision.

http://www.metalsupermarkets.com/what-i ... r-machine/
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by SegoMan DeSigns »

Joe,

We all know having an iron worker in the shop would be yet another great tool to have, however your not proving how it would pay out on this job. Your approach to this job requires shearing, you stated "I will not attempt to GUESS at what the yard would charge to shear the material in ONE or BOTH directions. it could be a price per cut, or an hourly rate for the shear, or who knows!?" Will the customer accept a square that has a factory rounded edge on one side and a sharp sheer on the other ones?

A simple quote from the local yard posted up here would make your case, but you deflect. You missed your calling in life, you should have be a politician. They all have the greatest ideas known to mankind with no facts to back up their claims. So long as it is someone else's money paying for it then we shall go full speed ahead.

Proof of your claims is all we ask, others who do this work has posted real time numbers why can't you??
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by Joe Jones »

I will be interested to learn how he decided to tackle this job, along with PHOTOS!

Joe



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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by SegoMan DeSigns »

The ball is in your court Joe. Show us an estimate your $5k in shearing / delivery. I would make more money with my table than you would with your system.

Why should he show photo's you don't know how too :HaHa :HaHa

Edit,

I just ran a Sheetcam job report. 1.85 hrs total time with 85amps @ 45 ipm / 5x10 sheet / you clean behind the gantry flip & stack a layer on the pallet next to the table. / clean with wire wheel / do another layer

2-1/2 - 3 hrs top / sheet x 20 sheets = 60 hrs

$200 - $250 max in consumables

I just completed the job for a little over what you paid to sheer - Who can afford that shiny new Iron Worker now :?: :?: :?:
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by cutnweld »

Flipping 12x12 squares of 1/2" off the table isnt really what a fellow would call hard, not in my book.
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by Joe Jones »

cutnweld wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 3:06 pm Flipping 12x12 squares of 1/2" off the table isnt really what a fellow would call hard, not in my book.
How does the material get ONTO the table?

Joe


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Last edited by Joe Jones on Tue Aug 02, 2022 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by SegoMan DeSigns »

Joe Jones wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 4:09 pm
cutnweld wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 3:06 pm Flipping 12x12 squares of 1/2" off the table isnt really what a fellow would call hard, not in my book.
How does the material get ONTO the able?

Joe


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Even your wittle yota F L should handle that job..

Joe does not want to admit defeat on this... :HaHa :HaHa :HaHa

The bank called and said you did not provide adequate proof that your iron worker would pay out so the loan was rejected.. :cry: :cry: :cry:
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by cutnweld »

Hey, all I mean is whether a fellow is picking pieces off a table or picking them up to an iron worker, at the end of the day steel weighs the same per cubit foot, no matter what machine processed it. I like big jobs vs small ones, simply because as Joe has stated there is setup time with every job. A little job sometimes barely covers your cost. I did a run of 900 pieces recently, paid far better than any one off jobs where i have to design, back and forth with customer etc, load steel, cut and paint. I wold love to process 10 tons of steel. As I stated earlier, do not in any condition undercut yourself, and all will be well.
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by SegoMan DeSigns »

cutnweld wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 4:31 pm Hey, all I mean is whether a fellow is picking pieces off a table or picking them up to an iron worker, at the end of the day steel weighs the same per cubit foot, no matter what machine processed it. I like big jobs vs small ones, simply because as Joe has stated there is setup time with every job. A little job sometimes barely covers your cost. I did a run of 900 pieces recently, paid far better than any one off jobs where i have to design, back and forth with customer etc, load steel, cut and paint. I wold love to process 10 tons of steel. As I stated earlier, do not in any condition undercut yourself, and all will be well.
I agree,

If you don't want to pump iron stay out of the metal business, the same holds true for a plasma table why buy / build one if your not going to use it. The trick to the trade is to use them all efficiently, 20 alignments of 5x10 sheets is a lot quicker than 4,000 alignments and punches.
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by Joe Jones »

No word on the outcome. :roll:

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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by Joe Jones »

cutnweld wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 4:31 pm Hey, all I mean is whether a fellow is picking pieces off a table or picking them up to an iron worker, at the end of the day steel weighs the same per cubit foot, no matter what machine processed it.
True. But one option is standing in a hot shop, loading full sheets of 12mm material onto the table, and bending over the rail of a plasma table from both sides to pick up the 20 lb. hot plates that are as far as at arm's reach to the center of the table, and removing the skeletons, and wire brushing each plate to remove dross, and picking up the 4,000 holes off of the floor beneath the table ... while the other option is being seated in front of an ironworker in an air conditioned shop, sipping Dr. Pepper while you grab sheared square tiles from the stack on the pallet to your left, punch four 22mm holes through the plates with a foot pedal while listening to your favorite music on the shop stereo, and then stacking them onto the pallet to the right, occasionally getting up to us a pallet jack to move the empty pallet aside to roll another one to the machine, and rolling away the pallet of punched tiles to the completed jobs area. The plugs from the ironworker fall into buckets for easy removal to a waste bin or wherever. You have to contort yourself into a twisted pretzel to argue that the physical demand is the same.

At the end of the first process, the OP is tired, sore and hungry, and his shop is exactly the same as when he started the job.

At the end of the second process, the OP is tired, sore and hungry, but he has a brand new ironworker in his shop for future jobs, and it has already paid for itself with just ONE job.

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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by adbuch »

cutnweld wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 4:31 pm Hey, all I mean is whether a fellow is picking pieces off a table or picking them up to an iron worker, at the end of the day steel weighs the same per cubit foot, no matter what machine processed it. I like big jobs vs small ones, simply because as Joe has stated there is setup time with every job. A little job sometimes barely covers your cost. I did a run of 900 pieces recently, paid far better than any one off jobs where i have to design, back and forth with customer etc, load steel, cut and paint. I wold love to process 10 tons of steel. As I stated earlier, do not in any condition undercut yourself, and all will be well.
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by SegoMan DeSigns »

Joe Jones wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 11:24 pm No word on the outcome. :roll:

Joe
Who can blame the OP for not wanting to post on the thread that you hi jacked with your tow-hoe / weather / motor cycle rides and how I'm too lazy to build my own truck bed rant :?: Are you craving attention or just looking for another gold star by your name with all of your (even though I have never done a job like this , I am smarter than those that do) self contradicting posts?

The rest of what you post only shows your lack of experience in a fab shop production environment and general plasma table usage. I have completed the job for what your sheer bill is (or should I double/triple that amount like you do with your job numbers?), the rest is profit on top of the income that the shop generated. You are seriously stressing over a skeleton that will be approx 1/8" thick :HaHa :HaHa

We are STILL waiting on those numbers that proves your right.. Post It Up or Shut It Up !
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by cutnweld »

Hate to say it but this forum is spinning its wheels. Why not do the job with the plasma then buy the machine of machines with the money?
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by cstroke »

It's still a good forum but a little of that goes a long way..
If you want to see some BS go to facebook and follow some threads there.
No one wants to do anything to help their fellow man without getting paid to do so and everyone is an authority on everything. I'm surprised they act like they do especially when it has their name next to it...
I don't feel the need to criticize people to make myself feel more important..
I'm only replying to the last post on the "spinning it's wheels" not anything else in this thread..(Not criticizing anything you said cutnweld)
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by Joe Jones »

cutnweld wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:30 pm Why not do the job with the plasma then buy the machine of machines with the money?
Why not buy the ironworker to DO the job, and let it pay for itself UP FRONT?

Joe


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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by SegoMan DeSigns »

Joe,

If I could collect and sell the methane your B S Posts produce, I would be stinking rich (pun intended)..

You have posted no figures to back up your claims. You sound like a broken record making the same unsubstantiated claims over & over & over .. I guess what they say about arguing with an idiot is true (They drag you down to their level and win with experience..)

Dude you may know the software side of the plasma business and I thank you for helping the forum members on it but you're seriously lacking in the job cost, bidding & production departments.
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by SegoMan DeSigns »

wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:02 pm It's still a good forum but a little of that goes a long way..
If you want to see some BS go to facebook and follow some threads there.
No one wants to do anything to help their fellow man without getting paid to do so and everyone is an authority on everything. I'm surprised they act like they do especially when it has their name next to it...
I don't feel the need to criticize people to make myself feel more important..
I'm only replying to the last post on the "spinning it's wheels" not anything else in this thread..(Not criticizing anything you said cutnweld)
cstroke,

I see in your sigline that you have the equipment to do this job either way. would you post some insight into the sheer / punch cost breakdowns as it is beyond Joe's capability.

Thanks,
Steve
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Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by cstroke »

I will look at this order and try to take a guess at how I'd do it..
More than likely I'd do a small sample size of it each way and see which way I'd want to proceed. Call it investing in yourself so you don't take a beating.
I haven't read the entire thread so I'm not sure why it's turning nasty.. The way the world is right now maybe we can keep it from going there here.
Take things with a grain of salt and move along if something ruffles your feathers...
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cstroke
3 Star Elite Contributing Member
3 Star Elite Contributing Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 7:45 pm

Re: Pricing a very large order

Post by cstroke »

Ok, I tried to read the entire thread but I won't wade through the nastiness...
My scanner isn't working for some reason, I was going to scan my processing report and spread sheet for this job.
Here's how I would price it and do it after looking at it.
First...
I would cut a part and give it to the guy who wants me to bid it, make sure it meets his specs and he's happy. Not just a verbal yep looks good, follow up with an email..
If everything is good.
Time to unload trucks 2Hrs
it's 28 sheets of 1/2" plate, you'll want a fork lift..
Time to load each plate to table .15/sheet x 28 sheets 4hrs
Time to unload each sheet from table. .15x 28 sheets=4hrs
Cutting per sheet is 1.5hrs x 28 sheets = 41 hrs
Clean up... I'm cleaning up the batch as the first is cutting, this is 1/2" plate and mine is just a chipping hammer sliding across, maybe a reamer from bottom part of plate, these work incredibly well. I'm already getting paid to do this so there is nothing on my sheet for it.
I would price consumables in this job, normally they are part of a job unless it uses an excessive amt.. every 2 sheets I'd price them in..
13 changes @$ 50. $650. ( probably high)
Skidding of these parts, I'd ask to customer to supply skids, in the US they are $12 ea now..
I'm quite a bit lower than you guys, but also it's the area I live in. We have a ton of Amish laser cutting shops not far away..
I'm closer to the $5k mark for the job, and I'm not eating catfood yet.
Also I'm a one man show.
Personally I'd be cutting with the plasma as opposed to the iron worker.. I'm handling the material either way but my machine cuts fairly decent so the clean up is a snap.
If the holes weren't satisfactory then I'd cut the perimeter of the plates and then jig up something on the iron worker.
The time would probably still be faster on the table, plus I can wander around the shop or do some layout on other stuff as the machine is cutting.
I love the big jobs for that reason, I can multi task and make up money or double dip while the machine is pulling it's weight.
6’x12’ Dynatorch powermax 85
12’ Wysong brake
5’x 5/16’ wysong rolls
3.8’x10’ shear
65 Ton ironworker
Boss laser 3655 150 watt CO2.
SFX 100watt Mopa
Quicncy 7.5hp
Square wave tig, Multimatics, Miller bobcat efi.
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