Perspectives

“spoil the ship for a ha’porth of ta”

Or for us in the States, it translates to:

“don’t spoil the ship for a half penny’s worth of tar… “


So what’s the relevance? Plenty.

Lately, I hear “I don’t need anything fancy, I can just draw that in …. (sounds like what you put on a hamburger/hot dog). Well, if you can, than you’re either missing something or you enjoy living dangerously.

Ask yourself are you willing to spend +30k on a project facing a rigid deadline with other jobs to follow based on a tool that rhymes with ketchup? Can it flatten your twisted parts into machinable components that consistently fit? Can it adapt to dimensional changes? And can you trust those changes to be accurate and still maintain proper tangency?

Words of a wise uncle…

Sometimes simple words of wisdom resonate for a lifetime.

My uncle John carried a well worn cutting from a newspaper around with him in his wallet, he was very pleased with this worn scrap of paper and would occasionally bring it to our attention, it read:

It read:

“If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you’ve ever got”

This would be followed dryly by “but I’m not sure what it means”…. But the reality was that he knew (he was a gifted MIT mathematician).

So what’s the relevance?

Say your company is asked to price a job that you have never done before and therefore are not so sure of, does it really it makes sense that you turn the job away? So, applying the logic of the newspaper cutting in Uncle Johns wallet:

By use of 3D computer models we can:

♦ → break the job down into manageable entities

♦ → flatten complex curved surfaces

♦ → create stronger joinery like never before

For the last 20 years we have been helping small businesses increase their capacities and strengthen their niche markets by taking complex jobs that would have been sent to the B1N file, and making them possible.

As a trained joiner, I understand the work involved.

A stairbuilding colleague and I had just finished an ornate radial stair project when the contractor asked if we could build the dome ceiling above. All of our schedules were already full and to do this this required expediting. After some head scratching and lots of coffee, the project was completed a week later followed by a very simple installation.

So in the words of a dear uncle, we took on things we had never done and we got so much in return, not just money, but the chance to work together, build experience, confidence, new skills, and of course a greater standing in the marketplace and (hopefully) perpetuating more work.

And of course ……. never stop moving forward.

Flat Packed Cantilevered Stairs?

Lately, we’ve been working very closely with BLUBLK Inc. a company specializing in beautiful ornamental metalwork. Often times, these projects require that finished work be shipped ‘flat packed’ for onsite assembly with minimal tools. This particular project was an entire contemporary stair with treads cantilevered off of wood framed walls. These sorts of stairs are usually reserved for masonry walls, but were resolved with the addition of concealed steel stringers and verticals. An added (and very substantial) challenge was that it had to be delivered ‘flat packed’ in kit form for bolting together only (no welding). Hence, this required all part drilling/tapping to be clearly executed in the fabrication stage.

SolidWorks® performed brilliantly for this task and the project was substantially assembled on-site in just over 2 days.

And, we’ve just received a few of the builders photos below courtesy of Cheney Brothers Construction:

  • Upper Cantilevered landing

What do you use for CAM?

Sure programming at the machine is ideal for the last-minute changes, but what about the rest of the project? Do you:

  • manually generate the geometries and then assign the tool paths?
  • import geometries and then manually assign tool paths?
  • set up macros to automatically import geometries, let the CAM software read the geometry and assign tool paths?

Perhaps it’s time to consider utilising your 3D model data more for CNC and optimized cutting lists.

“The time’s they are a changing

What other roles do shop drawings perform in your company? The ones listed below are what we see to be the most typical:

  1. General Arrangement/Approval Drawings
  2. Detailed Construction set
  3. Setting out
    • Part Listing
  4. Parts manufacturing
    • CNC
  5. Outsourcing
  6. Assembly
  7. Project Coordination
  8. Installation