Monday, September 26, 2016
None are at a photo worthy stage just yet, so I figured that I would throw out what has been completed.
First is a bench that was done as a last minute birthday gift.
Her friend came down to the shop to see if we had any pieces for sale, which we did have a few pieces, just that they were all too big, or too heavy, or just not accommodating to ones space.
So within 24 hours, we had whipped up a bench to match a dining table that we had made a couple of months ago for the birthday recipient.
Next was supposed to be a rack to hold our welding helmets, but my brother-in-law was asking me where he could find something to hang his cameras. Truth be told, our welding helmets would never get hung up. When we're done welding, we rip our helmets off and set em' down where ever we happen to be standing, and that's where they stay until we weld again. So, I figured it would do him more good than us.
This weekend, we took a short drive out to Indiana.
It was a nice day, and we thought it would break up the usual routine.
We hit up Whole Foods and Meijer's and knocked out grocery shopping for the week, had a nice lunch outside and on our way back, Laura wanted to stop at Wal-mart, and luckily for me, there was a Cabela's right next door.
I've only been inside a Cabela's once before, maybe 10 years ago, and I thought my son would get a kick out of the aquarium that they have inside.
The store was packed and Max asked me what was going on, to which I replied "deer season just started".
He couldn't wrap his brain around why people would want to blow Bambi's fucking brains out, and to be completely honest...neither can I.
I fumbled through sugar coating an explanation, and we proceeded to look at all the cool shit the store has.
We made our way upstairs and into the gun section.
This isn't going to be an open forum about gun pro's and cons, I just wanted to put that disclaimer out there before anyone reads any further. I honestly give zero fucks about ones opinion on the subject either for or against. I have my opinion on it and I like to keep it to myself, because I believe it is a very personal preference.
To make a long story short...I ended up buying a pellet gun for me and the boy.
I had grand plans of bonding with my son over gun safety lessons and shooting cans in the yard, until momma picked us up in front of Cabela's, and she asked "what's in the bag?".
Her tone made ME a 6 year old standing along side MY 6 year old, as I shuffled my feet and stuttered out "uh,uh,uh, a PLASTIC pellet, eh,uh...gun".
Let's just say that it was a long ride home.
I pleaded my case by stating that me, my brother and sister spent our summers shooting cans with a bb gun up in Wisconsin. How we learned to respect the gun, and each other all while having the time of our young lives. How responsible gun owners aren't the ones in the headlines, and blah-blah-blah.
It all fell on deaf ears, because when momma puts her foot down...that shit is down.
I....against all my good intentions, have to honor momma's wish's.
The good thing about getting older is that I know when to just shut the fuck up and move along.
We got to the house, and as me and Max were carrying the groceries in, my 6 year old looks me dead in the eye and says "how did you NOT see that coming?"
I just shrugged, and thought to myself "that is precisely WHY I think this boy could handle the responsibility of a pellet gun."
I was putting the pellet gun in a high cabinet when my boy came to console me. He put his little hand on the small of my back and said "maybe when I'm older." then got down to his underwear, grabbed his ninja turtles, and proceeded to orchestrate an epic battle of good vs. evil.
Monday, September 12, 2016
It seems like at least one day out of the week, we hop in the 73' mighty whitey and hunt and gather as much of our materials as we can for the week.
A day dedicated to nothing but loading and unloading materials makes you think that a life spent asking "would you like fries with that?" wouldn't be all that bad.
The up side is that once you have everything you need, you spend the rest of the week guzzling coffee, listening to bad 80's metal, and getting shit done.
The first photo is...well, honestly I don't know what the fuck it is. It's a "thing".
This "thing" is meant to hold foliage around an existing light fixture.
When we were first approached by the wonderful woman who requested it, we weren't so much concerned with what it would do, we were concerned with HOW to do it.
We made a form, bent some 2"X3/16" steel around the form, drilled 55 holes in it and bolted 55 blocks to it. The client...LOVED it...and then requested 12 more. 12 more translates to to cutting over 600 blocks, drilling over 600 holes in the blocks, then drilling over 600 holes in 3/16" thick steel, and then applying over 600 nuts and bolts to attach the over 600 blocks.
It's a lot....we've become masters at having fun doing the most mundane shit a human could do. It's really a self defense mechanism, because I truly believe that it is possible to be bored to literal...death.
They're going to be rad for her event, and she is a very creative client, so I look forward to more interesting projects in the future.
Next up is a solid steel and reclaimed wood kitchen island/work table for our favorite catering client.
It's kinda cut and dry, but one of the cool things about it is that we made an 1/8" thick steel top appear to be a 5/8" thick steel slab.
That being said, it looks a lot beefier than it actually is, and not that it isn't beefy, because we don't have a reputation for making pieces that are easily transportable.
Lastly is a wine display.
There are a lot of people out there doing stuff like us, and not to go tootin' our own horn, but we just happen to do it fuckin' better.
A lot of the "reclaimed" or "industrial" stuff you see in the big box stores is made in Indonesia.
It's made by children, making barley a wage, with the shittiest deforestation materials that can be found, and done so under subhuman working conditions.
The retail mark up on said "shit" is around 300%.
So, that explains to you exactly why that really cool "reclaimed" dining table that you and 250000 other people bought, was only $149.00.
I had to go there because on more than one occasion people have commented on our pricing.
I'm going to set the fucking record straight once and for all, because I've addressed this in the past, and it's just getting old.
We're not expensive..for what we do and what you get. In fact, we're under priced compared to just about any and every custom builder.
Not only are we less expensive, in 99.9% of lead times for completion of a project given by other builders, our lead times are 50% if not more...less.
I don't want to sound like a fucking commercial, but it's gotten to the point where it's offensive when people kick us in the balls over price.
You think we're too expensive? Well we think you have Champagne taste with a 40oz. budget, so go on now...run along.
We spent the first part of our career eating shit because when you first start out in anything, be prepared for that big ol' shit sandwich, cause that's breakfast, lunch and dinner for you for awhile.
There comes a time, when your dues have been paid, and as you grow, your overhead grows, and when your overhead grows, your prices compensate.
It's not about our prices, it's about people...some people, not everyone.
We recently had a person request something with a laughable budget. It was totally fine and NOT insulting, because they were going to ALLOW us to build it with our SCRAP material, and we could do it in our FREE time.
Bitch allow me to explain...
1. there is no "scrap" material in our shop. At some point we use every piece of material in our shop for something.
2. I can't speak for Zack, but I haven't had "free time" since 2009. I can't take a shit without some kid kicking in the bathroom door like a fuckin' cop on a drug bust, demanding grape juice.
3. There is nothing "FREE" especially our time.
Our "FREE TIME" to you, is actually "FUCK YOU PAY ME TIME" for us.
What people don't understand is...our time is what we fucking sell.
Yeah, we make tangible things, and these things have a value, and that value is determined by TIME and material. The material costs what it costs, but our TIME...THAT is where your real cost comes in.
Well I know a lot of you look forward to my tirades., and some people are probably offended by my use of the English language, but I'm very passionate about my work. When I get worked up and start cursing like crazy, it's because I'm not only stating MY convictions, I'm trying to hammer shit into your head as well.
There are 3 reoccurring points that I'm usually trying to embed in your head...
2. Take pride in your craft
3. know your worth
Now go kick ass.