RogerN -- making money from metalworking at home

Roger, if you need to make $200 per month to cover the 30x50' shop, it should be very easy to do by reselling industrial equipment and doing
minimal repairs thereto.
As to making money from being a one man job shop, consider me among the skeptics. I do not think that it is a viable business model for supporting one's family, especially if you already are busy at work.
It is easy to be under illusion that you are making money, if you do not account for all costs.
i
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A great deal depends on the nature of the business. I operated a one man shop for 16 years, serving the defense and aero-space industries, along with a respectable amount of work for the pharmaceutical industry. The shop was my sole source of income for the entire duration of the run. I closed the doors only because I chose to (my hobby of refining precious metals have become a business, although inadvertently).
Running my shop, my income was far better than it would have been had I been an employee, but I was also well disciplined. One can not own a shop and work four hours daily and expect to survive. One must also be very quality conscious, which may be a big call, considering the majority of individuals in this country are now oriented to making a buck instead of performing at a satisfactory level. On that note, I attribute my success to that very thing. For me, it was more important to turn out quality than it was to make money. YMMV.
By the way, my humble machine shop was in a one car garage. Think about that, then consider the obstacles I had to overcome to get approved for defense work. It CAN be done.
Harold
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I have no intention of quitting my day job and would probably turn away work if I had trouble keeping up.
On the other hand, I'm underemployed and don't see any jobs available in the area to better utilize my abilities. Trying to think of the "perfect" job for me that I would be capable, interested, and enjoy doing, I had the idea of designing, building, operating, and maintaining highly automated equipment. Perhaps imagine something like an automatic bandsaw and robot to load and unload a machine. I'd be doing setup, feeding a bar into the machine occasionally, and mostly inspecting parts, measuring, changing inserts, and fixing it when it didn't work correctly. The same ideas could work with an injection molder or whatever process is desired. I wonder if anyone's doing home shop aluminum extrusions? :-) I guess the bottom line would be that if I was a one man shop, I'd want to try to use automation to be as productive as possible.
The job I did that paid for most of my shop was fairly productive, I had a home brew CNC table on one mill cutting parts while I was manually making other parts on another mill. I'd change the part, hit start, then go to the manual mill and work until the CNC needed the part changed again.
RogerN
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