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A friend and I have our own lathe and mill. I've looked and asked on different machining websites about this, and just seem to get bland answers. We are looking for something to do, we already make snap caps, but there isn't going to be a demand for those for much longer as it has already started slowing down. I've considered adjustable combs, but neither of us have a steady enough hand for cutting them. The last idea we had was a simple job shop, which we have already been in contact with a few members here on TS.com for a couple of small projects, but are still waiting on anything real definite. I suppose if I put a little more money into advertising, we could probably get a few jobs locally. Really this is going to be mostly a winter/summer job for a little extra money and to pay off tooling for the lathe and mill. I guess I'm really looking more for advice than to have a question answered as I know there are quite a few people on here that have their own machine shops. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Josh.
 

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Just a thought, If you take in guns to be worked on you may need an FFL for repair. Just make sure with the coming climate of gun basher's you are covered.
 

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Josh I have been down the road you are about to take, just in a different arena.
I would suggest you get the Brownell's catalog, go through it and make notes of all the products you and your partner have the ability to make. Don't limit yourself to just shotgunners. If, and I mean only if you have the ability to make good parts go to www.cnczone.com and browse their forums for the forum where people are wanting something made or offering their services to do machine work. Remember that site is dedicated to cnc, but also remember you are offering a service most of them won't. 1-100! I have both had work done from there, and got work from there, so it does work both ways!

I might even have a job for you. What kind of tolerences can you hold? I crashed a digitizing probe and need a part made to repair it. It is made from plastic but needs to be right, and it is real small! How much is it gonna cost!

BTW I added that last one to prep you for what to expect. Do you have cad and or the ability to receive prints and drawings other than by paper?

Mike
 

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Mike, yes we have a CAD program that we can view and make our own prints with. I'll be sure to take a look at the website you suggested. As for the part, it depends on the type of plastic that it needs to be made out of. We can hold pretty tight tolerances (.0005" or less) if it is a good machinable plastic. You can email me or PM me about what material it needs to be made out of. Pat, I may just look into doing that. Thanks, Josh.
 

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Josh, I would send letters to any Mill shops within driving distance, and tell them you are looking to pick up some small jobs. Dropping off a business card is even better. A small brochure with some pics of some of your work helps too. People like to see a face. A lot of the mill shops get smaller jobs or parts that take too much time to set up. You may have to do a few jobs at no profit just to get them, but it gets your in the door!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Really appreciate all the help. We've been looking into other shops in our area to find more work. Seems like whenever I'm just sitting I have things popping up in my mind about what I can make and sell next. I've been in contact with other members about stock cutting jigs and comb hardware, who knows, maybe something in that area will work out. Thanks again for the help, Josh.
 

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Josh, I cannot think of any firearms related jobs but... My other hobby is collecting & restoring antique tractors. Quite frequently I & my fellow collectors need a part that is no longer in production. If you are interested you may want to peruse some of those sites for ideas. One of my favorites is http:www.simple tractors.com
Good luck!
 

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Think about making parts for obsolete equipment. We used to have an old guy with a machine shop that made and fitted parts but he has passed away. He made parts for old cars, guns and machinery. He kept busy helping people restore old guns, cars, fire engines and miscellaneous machinery. Just a thought.
 

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I own a mechanical contracting business and some of the best money we have made was from our machine shop, nothing real fancy, and Axleson lathe, Bridgeport mill, CNC Hydef plasma table, sheet meatal fab equipment, TIG, MIG, Stick welders etc.

But the best money is building parts made out of unobtainium, or no longer available. Some of the money we have made, is almost obscene, but if someone had a $200,000 machine that needs a crucial part, that is no longer available, and you can make the part and keep the machine in operation, you get to name the price.

And it's better when you have a customer with that attitude problem!!!
 
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