I just wanted to drop a line to say thanks to all the regular contributors of both RCM and SEJW for sharing their collective wisdom so freely. I've been a lurker here for a couple of years and have been the recipient of tons of information. Most of the time I feel like the new guy on the job that just sits at the end of the table in the lunch room and listens while the while the "gray beards" share their pearls of wisdom and tales of horror when things went so badly astray.

In part because of the knowledge I've gained here and also out of necessity, I built my first production machine. Recently, I changed jobs. In the past I've worked for or owned trucking companies and public warehouses. For the past 5 years , I've worked for a plastic recycling company. But none of my past experience has really prepared me for my current job. I am a self employed consultant. I work primarily for a group of 5 companies that manufacture a variety of products. For the past 18 month, I've been doing "government work" for these companies. On nights and week ends, I've done some design, prototype, research and de-bottlenecking for them. Apparently I've been of some value to them because on Sept 27, I started working full time for them (50+ billable hours per week). Last Thursday, I was handed a print for a part I prototyped about 6 months ago and I was asked if I could build, test and ship the production machine with in 7 days. Stupid me, I said yes.

So with a little knowledge, a lot of coffee, a very understanding wife and my American Express card in hand I charged forward.

I learned many things along the way such as , the whole dam world is on back order ( or at least the parts I needed were), metal slivers hurt less than wood slivers, but are much harder to find and remove, that

50cycle motors are much harder to find than 60cycle motors, that 1 amp per .001" of thickness is what you need to get a good weld, and lastly WD 40 is not the aphrodisiac that some of you led me to believe .

I will not just get back to my end of the lunch table and resume listening to the "gray beards", but I wanted you all to know how much help you've been in my "shop education"

Greg Postma

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Greg Postma
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Congrats.... and chuckle, 'cuz you point out some "neat" observations. I may not be able to contribute as much as some of the "grey beards" that are here, but I'm sure there are some things I know that will be of some value to someone one of these days.. but I really enjoy reading the posts (much like you) and gleaning off the information I need to answer my questions... It *is* a great group with some great people - and even tho they sometime wander off the straight and narrow, overall there is a tremendous amount of knowledge/ experience here. Good luck in your new venture - and don't be afraid to ask for help from this group - I've never seen anyone turned down... Ken.

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Ken Sterling

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