Sunday, March 20, 2011

Custom Fabrication

After being turned down by two neighborhood machine shops, I searched the large S.E. District for a metal fab shop.

I found two of the three steel fabrication shops recently closed their business. The third was a large building with four lumbering overhead bridge cranes. There is a sadness about such a cavernous tomb, that must have housed an industrial powerhouse in a different world. I counted six bodies in this dimly lit non-heated block-long building .

The girls at the office welcomed me with smiles and interest as I described my need for four U-shaped metal forms, three inches long, made from ¼ stock.

After much excitement and duplication of words they summoned the plant manager, whom I assumed was the owner, who as he walked in smiled at me, looked at my drawing, and said:

“Yes, we can do this for you. It should cost 40 dollars, however, by the time we process the order, track its process in the shop, receive and answer your phone calls discussing its progress, and schedule you for pick up, it will cost me 240 dollars. Incidentally we can make 20 of these for the same price.”

“Pay 240 dollars now, and we will call you when they are ready,” all virtually said in a minute or less, and he walked back into the shop.

I said thank you and pulled out my Visa card and the girls started to process the order.

I now have 16 extra pieces of metal taking up room in my shop which I have no use for.

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