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  • looking to start a business

    Need some input on starting metal fab shop at home....what to charge and how to bid a job or project

  • #2
    Know what you are doing first. I mean.....know the, get an attorney to do the difficult stuff like registering LLC with the state.....get liability quickbooks and pay someone who knows how to use it or learn it yourself.....Dave


    • #3
      Use the search feature on this site. This has been discussed a lot of times.
      Trailblazer 250g
      22a feeder
      Lincoln ac/dc 225
      Victor O/A
      MM200 black face
      Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
      Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
      Arco roto-phase model M
      Vectrax 7x12 band saw
      Miller spectrum 875
      30a spoolgun w/wc-24
      Syncrowave 250


      • #4
        you said at home, do you live in a commercial zone or residental, best to research this first, it would be a shame to invest into a business just to have a cease and desist order thrown at you, if your zoning laws dont allow it, check with the zba, this lousy economy has made them take another look at the zoning laws about having a business at home, they need your tax money


        • #5
          what,s a pukesniffer


          • #6
            I agree, first thing is to change the name, nothing says dummy more than that.


            • #7
              Originally posted by pukesniffer View Post
              Need some input on starting metal fab shop at home....what to charge and how to bid a job or project
              If you have to ask on a public forum, you're getting in over your head.


              • #8
                Wow thanks for all the great helpful hints !!!!! The screen name is a punker thing. The real sad thing is seeing a grown man or woman that can't use proper grammar


                • #9
                  " I'm 15 years old and my mom gave me a 110v Harbor Freight MIG welder for Christmas. I'm going to start a business making headers for cars, and making stuff for nuclear submarines to sell on ebay. First I need to weld up a hole in my new air compressor that I got from a garage sale. I don't feel like using the search function, much less trying to buy materials and actually make something so that I know what it takes, and I am Waaayyy to good to work as an apprentice to learn the trade, so what should I charge per hour???"

                  This kind of junk cracks me up, no offense to the original poster, though it doesn't look like he'll be back if he can't tolerate this site due to poor grammar.


                  • #10
                    I'm back I'm not 15. I just don't understand why a simple or direct answer to the original posted question can not be given. Just a little honest help would be nice.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pukesniffer View Post
                      Need some input on starting metal fab shop at home
                      Watch the zoning if you live in town just sayin...Bob
                      Bob Wright


                      • #12
                        Got the zoning stuff covered.I live in a commercial zone.


                        • #13
                          "I'm back I'm not 15" Tsk, tsk, such lousy grammar, I don't know if I can read this thread any more.

                          If you will re-read the above posts, you will find that there is some very helpful information there. For example; Use the search feature, this post comes up regularly, if you searched for it you would find hours of reading on the topic. Next, where do you live? simple question but provides a lot of information on how we could help (eg. if you live in a shared apartment with no garage, your choices are limited, vs. living on a 5 acre rural parcel with a 30x60 outbuilding with 3 phase power). Get over the punker thing if you want an easier start. The name is a turn off to customers, as well as a turn off to those you are asking for advice from (I was a big punk back in the 80's, when Social D was new{ I have mommy's little monster on LP** and the Clash were still touring). Tell us what you plan on building, big difference between coffee tables and semi trailers, and also provides a lot of info. Fill out your location in user CP, makes us feel a little more like you are not a spammer, and that you will actually revisit the site after we post.
                          A big chunk of the guys on this site come here often, and have been doing so for a long while. Not to say you are not welcome, but spend some time reading posts and commenting on them, that way they get to know you and feel a little more comfortable with you. Then post some pictures of something you've made so that we know what your skill level is. You have to give in order to get.
                          I wish you the best of luck. I use these forums a lot and have learned a lot from them. Pics are a big key to open doors on them.

                          BTW, the only reason I posted back again was because you came back, and were not whiny.
                          Last edited by walker; 01-14-2012, 01:05 PM.


                          • #14
                            Lol I don't plan on calling my shop " Pukesniffer's **** and Balls " . The punker thing would be hard to hide when I walk in the door... Anyhow I live in northern N.H. I have my own home with a garage 15x20. Looking to fab things that fit inside: custom trailers with tool cribs,trailer hitch extensions,things that people need to make their job easier.


                            • #15
                              (i apoligize in advance for spelling and grammer errors this is going to be alot to say)

                              it all depends on what people are willing to pay for your work..

                              ill give you a small story of my expierence.

                              in 2007 i bought my mustang. the first thing i noticed was the transmission was in need of a rebuild. i had absloutly no knowladge of transmissions other then they are very expensive to have someone rebuild. so after some research i found a video on how to rebuild it. i bought the video pulled my transmission and after watching the video and collecting all the nessassary tools needed to perform the task i hooked the dvd player up in the garage and rebuilt it while i watched the video.

                              once it was rebuilt i took it apart and re assymboled it. i did the same thing four more times till i felt comfertable it was done right and i had a better understanding of what i was doing.

                              then i put it in my car and it worked perfect. then i had a buddy that had the same issue and asked me if i would rebuild his. so i did so for the cost of parts and some shop supplies and some lunch and a case of beer. once his was done i had another friend of mine ask if i could do his... then it was suggested that i should start doing it on the side to make some extra cash and be able to provide a highly needed service to alot of people who could afford my services over high overhead shops.

                              after a while i learned more and more and not only rebuilding them but also upgrading them and improving the factory design. i then came up with a name (FOX BODY RACING) and over time due to my large coustomer base fair pricing and quaility work i had made a name for myself and more and more people wanted work from me.

                              i have built transmissions for people all around the united states and have even shipped one to austraila. sold them on ebay and everything in between. i also taught myself to rebuild others. i can build T5,tremec 3550,3650,T56,T45,TKO 500,600 and 2 automatics (C4 and Powerglide) as well as build differentials and engines.

                              people are more willing to pay more for your work if you are reputible and have good refrences. and i see a busniess more not by what they can do but how they treat their customer if they mess up. nobody is perfect and i have missed something once or twice but i always stand behind my work and fix any problem even if its not my fault i do whatever i can to make my customers happy so they will come back or referr me to a friend.

                              i too plan on starting to do some fab work at my home garage which if you look in my previous posts i posted pics of it. i already have a good start but i am not completely proficent in fabrication but i will do the same thing as with the transmissions, i will start by working on my own projects, friends and family then by word of mouth will start to incorperate outside work till i know what i am doing and i am knowldgable enough to talk to my coustomers confidently about what i am doing.

                              i just do side work cause i am active duty Air Force so whatever i make just funds my hobbies. its not a needed income but i am collecting tools and equipment so when i retire and can start doing it full time i will have minimal overhead with plenty of expierence and hopefully a good coustomer base.

                              best of luck on your business! i know you feel attacked on here but these guys that have been doing this for years are looking at your question as if their trade is something that anyone can pick up a torch and do. they are not just being haters but you need to be tactful in the way you ask questions.

                              i am also bran new to the forum but in no way have any of them attacked me or made me feel unwelcome.

                              what is your expierence level? do you have any pics of things you have fabbed up in the past? what kind of machine are you working with?
                              what kind of supporting equipment do you have? ie (break,sheer,band saw,vices,tubing bender,mig and tig?

                              this is not a cheap profession i dont plan to start until i have suffecent equipment to be able to handel most jobs in house. subbing out work costs money bringing profits down and customer costs up. nobody wins except for the guy that has the machine you needed.

                              headers are no easy feat to just jump into. there are many things to consider before you put them together. it could get very expensive if you start messing up stainless steel elbows and having to junk them. and you cant just pass the cost off to your coustomer.
                              Last edited by Seans363; 01-14-2012, 04:10 PM.