1. #1
    erasma's Avatar
    Lives in chester, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 11 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 4.
    Hi,

    I wanted ask what is the best way to start a small hobby cnc shop? I am based in the UK & I am not trying to start a manufacturing business just find away to put my equipment to work to pay for some more equipment and tools. I want to make one off parts or small runs for people to help pay for my machining hobby. what is the best way going about this?

    Equipment I have CNC Plasma Cutter & Haas VMC

    Please delete if I am breaking any forum rules

    thanks
    Mark

  2. There is no easy way in and it's a difficult learning curve, you need to sign up for everything with a machining RFQ section and start quoting for jobs, you'll get it wrong several times and you will take a bath on the occasional job.
    The best way to make money is to make things you can sell, the choice is yours whether you make things already being made and make them better/sell them cheaper or innovate and find niche markets which no commercial business can afford to exploit.
    I began as a hobby machinist with a full time, well paid profession but I now design and manufacture my own products.
    You think that's too expensive? You're not a Model Engineer are you? :D

  3. #3
    erasma's Avatar
    Lives in chester, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 11 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 4.
    Quote Originally Posted by magicniner View Post
    There is no easy way in and it's a difficult learning curve, you need to sign up for everything with a machining RFQ section and start quoting for jobs, you'll get it wrong several times and you will take a bath on the occasional job.
    The best way to make money is to make things you can sell, the choice is yours whether you make things already being made and make them better/sell them cheaper or innovate and find niche markets which no commercial business can afford to exploit.
    I began as a hobby machinist with a full time, well paid profession but I now design and manufacture my own products.
    You so right & that is my fear taking on any project I can't deliver. maybe i should look at some craft markets as a starting point with some products I can make. another idea I had was speaking to some machine shops near me an see if there was some work I can assist them with - preparing stock so they don't need to waste time and rather run parts

  4. Quote Originally Posted by erasma View Post
    another idea I had was speaking to some machine shops near me an see if there was some work I can assist them with - preparing stock so they don't need to waste time and rather run parts
    Machine shops buy stock in at the right size for the job and either cut to length or have their supplier cut to length, I just bought 5m of 2" x 2" Aluminium for a part I've designed and prototyped, my material supplier has an NC band saw, if I want they can cut it square and to length at any size I specify, but this is both for a specific part and for developing others so I didn't order it as a stack of 100mm lengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by erasma View Post
    maybe i should look at some craft markets as a starting point with some products I can make
    A good idea if you innovate, if you go down the "Monkey See, Monkey Make" route you will generally be participating in a race to the bottom on price and quality with the next 5 guys with the same idea.
    There is always a market for a nicely designed and made bottle opener that's a little different.
    You think that's too expensive? You're not a Model Engineer are you? :D

  5. #5
    99% is about being a good salesman. Finding customers, and getting them to hire you to do their work.
    Gerry
    ______________________________________________
    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Ger21 For This Useful Post:


  7. Quote Originally Posted by Ger21 View Post
    99% is about being a good salesman. Finding customers, and getting them to hire you to do their work.
    This is if you want to make other peoples parts, which is OK but not the best way to leverage your time or machinery ;-)
    You think that's too expensive? You're not a Model Engineer are you? :D

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