Opinions Wanted Flying the Nest! Would appreciate your ideas and guidance.

A

AKalpin

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I'm venturing out on my own and utilizing this fantastic resource of experienced framers! I have a handful of random questions for you, all opinions are welcome. Looking for ideas as well as guidance.

1.) Thoughts on shop lighting? (LED? Fluorescent? Track? Regressed?)
2.) Saw and chopper? Or will a saw cut it? (pun intended)
3.) Please share how/where you store your finished pieces until your clients pick them up? I have a few "brilliant" ideas, but I'd like to hear yours.
4.) Rent the new Wizard 9000 or purchase outright? (This will be my major indulgence. I must have it.)

Thank you!
 

Ylva

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Get yourself to Vegas in January. Hope Rob Markoff is teaching a class on lighting.

I have both a saw and a chopper. Or at least I think I saw my chopper recently, but it's kinda buried under everything and all. My saw sees daily use.

However, it depends on your space. A saw produces a lot of dust (mine is in designated area and dust/vacuum collection) and is noisy.

I am not a high volume shop. My finished customer pieces are on a separate wall, for everyone to enjoy. My customers love it, both new and returning. The returning ones know to look right away of course. The new customers love to see what is being done. By hanging the finished pieces, that wall is always different, with new things to see. It also shows my new customers what I can do (besides the many shop samples)

I have a Valiani CMC and bought it right away. Must have.

POS is another must have.
 

FramerCat

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I would probably need to know a lot more about your style, intended clientele, location, and most importantly budget before I tell you what I think you need but I’ll give it a try.

1) Lighting- Not a huge concern to me in my style of business. Each of my shops has different kinds of lighting. I can’t advise you on this.
2) I have both a saw and choppers. They are each better at certain things like the saw is better for most wood mouldings and metal. The chopper is better for fillets, liners and poly and will not work on metal at all. You could easily go with either, both or neither.
3) Sometimes I hang customer art like Ylva suggested, especially if it is particularly large. We also store it under our front counters.
4) I leased my 8000 so it became mine at the end of the lease. The lease keeps your money in the bank so that you have it for unforeseen expenses (and there will be some), but if you have a considerable war chest buying it outright will save money in the long term.

There are a lot of things that people will tell you are must haves but honestly nothing in this industry is a must have. It will all depend on your business model.

Ed
 
A

AKalpin

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Get yourself to Vegas in January. Hope Rob Markoff is teaching a class on lighting.

I have both a saw and a chopper. Or at least I think I saw my chopper recently, but it's kinda buried under everything and all. My saw sees daily use.

However, it depends on your space. A saw produces a lot of dust (mine is in designated area and dust/vacuum collection) and is noisy.

I am not a high volume shop. My finished customer pieces are on a separate wall, for everyone to enjoy. My customers love it, both new and returning. The returning ones know to look right away of course. The new customers love to see what is being done. By hanging the finished pieces, that wall is always different, with new things to see. It also shows my new customers what I can do (besides the many shop samples)

I have a Valiani CMC and bought it right away. Must have.

POS is another must have.

Thank you, Ylva!

I am not a high volume shop (yet) but I intend to have much more wall space than in my previous shop. I can't believe I didn't think to hang my finished work on those walls, as I already like to put a few pieces in the window (making sure they arent gifts, first), and I often display pieces where they can see them when they come in. They love it. I will certainly make a wall just for them!
 

Shayla

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Hopefully, those pieces you put in the window are going to be picked up
within a few days. Otherwise, I'd be wary of potential fading to customers'
art. Wishing you success in your new venture. :thumbsup:
 
A

AKalpin

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Hopefully, those pieces you put in the window are going to be picked up
within a few days. Otherwise, I'd be wary of potential fading to customers'
art. Wishing you success in your new venture. :thumbsup:

Thank you, Shayla. My mentor pointed this out to me as well, previously. I appreciate your input!
 

wpfay

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I would also explain to my customer that I intended to hang their art for public display and get their approval. A "lady" ripped me a new one when I had her art hanging in the workshop "for everyone to see". Everyone being me and my wife at the time. Ya never know, so it's best to ask.
A good double miter saw and a fillet chopper, or go the chop or chop and join route.
A good used Wiz8000 with compliance to the mother ship (Wizard International that is) might be a good start. If you are set on a new machine look art all of them. Lease/purchase arrangements are available.
Lighting: Agreed, Rob's course at WCAF 2015 is the way to go. He will provide you with more than enough information to make intelligent decision about your lighting needs.
 

Prospero

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Leasing works for some folks. It allows you to get a lot of expensive kit without laying out working capital. But if you have any type of maintenance arrangement with the leasing company it can lead to tears if they cease trading. The finance company who underwrite the deal will still want their payments and you could find yourself paying out the remainder of the term for a non-earning machine. Check the agreement carefully for such pitfalls. Finance companies never go bust. :p

If I had to have either chopper or saw I'd have a chopper. Metal aside, it will cut anything - but some things quicker and some things better. There are very few mouldings that won't physically go into a chopper. Morsos max out about just over 4" wide. Saws will score on speed when cutting wide mouldings. And they deal with undercuts and rock-hard coatings better than a chopper.
 
A

AKalpin

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I would also explain to my customer that I intended to hang their art for public display and get their approval. A "lady" ripped me a new one when I had her art hanging in the workshop "for everyone to see". Everyone being me and my wife at the time. Ya never know, so it's best to ask.
A good double miter saw and a fillet chopper, or go the chop or chop and join route.
A good used Wiz8000 with compliance to the mother ship (Wizard International that is) might be a good start. If you are set on a new machine look art all of them. Lease/purchase arrangements are available.
Lighting: Agreed, Rob's course at WCAF 2015 is the way to go. He will provide you with more than enough information to make intelligent decision about your lighting needs.

Thank you! I have absolutely considered privacy. When I call and let them know their piece is finished, I'll rave about how beautiful it turned out and would it be okay to display until they picked it up. This is on a case by case basis, depending on my feel for and rapport with each customer. I have also asked permission to post extraordinary pieces on FB or our website (not including artists...I understand the sensitivity, there). I'm considering adding signature line at the bottom of WO, along the lines of "I have no problem with you displaying my finished piece to the world until its back in my loving arms!" (yes, I'm exaggerating).

Wizard: Yes, 8000 are great, but the 9000 is...well...it will be my one and only big splurge. I will look into leasing. Thank you!

WCAF: I will be there. I've attended countless conferences as an Environmental Engineer and was never interested in any of them. B O R I N G. Last year was my first WCAF, and I couldn't get enough. I could easily spend two weeks attending classes.
 

GreyDrakkon

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If I had to have either chopper or saw I'd have a chopper. Metal aside, it will cut anything - but some things quicker and some things better. There are very few mouldings that won't physically go into a chopper. Morsos max out about just over 4" wide. Saws will score on speed when cutting wide mouldings. And they deal with undercuts and rock-hard coatings better than a chopper.

Funny, I was going to say if you had to choose between the two, to pick the saw. I have both, but found that the chopper tends to tear out the backs of very soft woods. Hardwoods look great when chopped with it, and I like cutting liners since it doesn't embed the fibers with sawdust, but I use them so rarely that the entire thing is routinely covered with dust.

I guess what you can take away from that is to try out both and see if you prefer one over the other, and to go with that then pick up the other at a later time if it is convenient or you feel that you're lacking versatility.

Definitely look into getting a dust collector if you get a saw. We haven't had one for years, and now that I've bought the shop that's something I'm looking to change.
 

Joe B

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I have both a chopper and a saw. I use the chopper 99.9% of the time, the only time I use the saw is when I am cutting mouldings that are to large for the chopper. I do not want dust in my shop so the saw is in another building completely. I do not have the problem of chipping moulding because I keep my blades super sharp, if they don't cut clean they come off and replaced with sharp blades. I wouldn't be without my chopper because the mitres are a perfect 45 degrees every time where the saw has to be adjusted and even after adjustment is not as square as the chopper.

As far as a CMC goes - look at a Valiani before you go to a Wizard. Valiani has a lease program that is at least as good as the Wizard and in my opinion Valiani has a much better machine - I'm sure that statement is going to get some comments. I purchased my Valiani straight out and have had zero problems, I have not lost a second of production time because of CMC issue.

Anyway, lots of luck with your business and the selections you make. Joe B
 
A

AKalpin

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Besides displaying completed pieces, I'd still like to know how everyone else stores theirs. I'm considering building a series of horizontal shelving, in rows alphabetically by last name (A-K, etc) to prevent dings, scratches, etc. Currently, we keep them in a bin, separated by random pieces of foamcore and I feel there has to be a better way to protect them.
 
A

AKalpin

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View attachment 20624 Here's an idea for your finished work. We built this in one corner and it houses all of our finished work, large and small.

Thank you! I'm building vertical storage very similar to store matboard and glass. I worry about edges/corners if they're upright? Or am I just being an overprotective nerd.
 

JenniferW

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Having used both Wizard and Valiani machines, I highly recommend the Valiani. I bought mine outright but they do have a rental program. It was the best purchase ever. I love it!

Jennifer
 

GreyDrakkon

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I have a similar setup to Beveled, except that it's under a table. That way we have an extra surface to work off of. We also have each slot numbered, so when we enter each completed item into the computer we mark off which slot their piece is in. When someone comes in, we ask their last name, look it up and delete it off the computer at the same time and then hand over the completed item. Having a vertical setup would have benefits as well, although I'd prefer that it not be open to the public, it's efficient, not pretty.
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

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AKalpin said:
I'm venturing out on my own and utilizing this fantastic resource of experienced framers! I have a handful of random questions for you, all opinions are welcome. Looking for ideas as well as guidance.[/b]

AK,

Ed is correct, in that knowing more information would be helpful when sharing advice on these questions. However I will assume that because you are examining a saw and a CMC, that you are planning a sizable store front business?

1.) Thoughts on shop lighting? (LED? Fluorescent? Track? Regressed?) -- A mixture of lighting source is nice for the retail and workshop areas of your business. Brightness is more important in the fitting area while the design area can incorporate a mix. Rob Markoff's lighting class is useful.

2.) Saw and chopper? Or will a saw cut it? (pun intended) -- Both have advantages. If you are a framer focusing on Package Pricing specials, being able to cut your own and a variety of mouldings is important. As has been posted, a "dirty room" and a dust collector are priorities. Do a SEARCH on dust collecting systems on this forum to learn more.

3.) Please share how/where you store your finished pieces until your clients pick them up? I have a few "brilliant" ideas, but I'd like to hear yours. -- Many new shops start off displaying their customers work and after some time abandon the idea. It has more negatives than positives, several which have been identified in the posts above. Blank spaces...why is my piece not hanging with the others?... Potential damage... just a few.

By storing work and unwrapping the finished project, you also get more of the "first reaction" experience as well.

4.) Rent the new Wizard 9000 or purchase outright? -- Although this might be Wizards best CMC, I like many would opt for a Valiani CMC. Keep in mind that when some use the word "lease", they mean rent. A true lease can be a good option. I would also look around at a used Valiani machine. I have seen several for sale on the Grumble, Craig's List and the PPFA Framers Corner. The flat economic conditions make this a perfect time to buy a used CMC.


AKalpin said:
Thank you! I'm building vertical storage very similar to store matboard and glass. I worry about edges/corners if they're upright? Or am I just being an overprotective nerd.

We also use a three tiered storage unit for customers work similar to that pictured. We line each slot with foam board strips to provide a clean cushion and protect the wrapped pieces as they are added or removed from these storage bins.

John
 

GUMBY GCF

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1.) Thoughts on shop lighting? (LED? Fluorescent? Track? Regressed?)
1st choice long term LEDS
2nd chioce recessed flourescent and recessed spots on seperate switches.

2.) Saw and chopper? Or will a saw cut it? (pun intended)
I have a pistorious saw with dust collector and chopper saw gets used 95% of the time
3.) Please share how/where you store your finished pieces until your clients pick them up? I have a few "brilliant" ideas, but I'd like to hear yours.
I used corner protectors and placed vertically under assembly table.
4.) Rent the new Wizard 9000 or purchase outright? (This will be my major indulgence. I must have it.)
How to handle the Wizard 9000!~ We rented our 5000 Wizard when we got that. But that was because they were relatively new at the time. We then bought our 8500 Wizard out right because we knew that the product was solid and the Wizard support was very dependable if needed. Then the 9000 Wizard came out We traded in the 8500 Wizard and bought the 9000 Wizard out right. So as you can see we rented our first one then purchased the second outright. If you have the funds and at least 2 years worth of rent and utilities along with 2 years worth of money to pay your living expenses buying it makes sense. If not a lease or renting would be better. I just cut 200 mats in less than 2 hours on my Wizard 9000 would not trade it for anything.... Well maybe a good wife!~
 

alacrity8

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1.) Thoughts on shop lighting? (LED? Fluorescent? Track? Regressed?)
2.) Saw and chopper? Or will a saw cut it? (pun intended)
3.) Please share how/where you store your finished pieces until your clients pick them up? I have a few "brilliant" ideas, but I'd like to hear yours.
4.) Rent the new Wizard 9000 or purchase outright? (This will be my major indulgence. I must have it.)

Thank you!

I don't have much to say on lighting. We've been open a few years, and I still need to look into upgrading that.
I use a Pistorius Saw for wood, Table saw with a Jig for Metal, and Fillet Chopper for what it's for. The Table Saw gets a lot of use for special projects.
I have a 3 tiered finished goods rack that I am in the process of expanding. Make sure that whatever you do for storage, that you have room for large items.
I'm not sure what everyone's fascination is with CMCs. I know that they can make some very interesting designs, and can make multi openings quicker, but for the average job, what's the point. Personally I use a C&H mat cutter, and I used to do a bit of free hand cutting for the special project, but I've yet to have any one ask. I have 2 sources for CMC subcontracted work should I ever need it.
I notice that you don't mention storage of materials, mats, glass, moulding, and other. Do you have those figured out?
 

Beveled

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Having a vertical setup would have benefits as well, although I'd prefer that it not be open to the public, it's efficient, not pretty.

Ours is in our workshop. We also have three work benches, 4 x 8, that house our glass, matboards, foam and mounting boards and customer's art (unframed) underneath.
 

Bob Carter

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I know you didn't ask, but, two things that are every bit as essential-maybe more-is a first rate POS system and a first rate business system. Contact a CPA for structure and find biz mentor (outside this trade LOL)

The best equipment really only makes your work easier and better

The other makes your business better

just my opinion
 
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