If you love woodworking but haven’t joined the Old Woodworking Machines forum, you’re missing out on great information and amazing camaraderie. A group of friends from OWWMs came from near and far to meet up in person and pay us a visit on Saturday, Mar. 10. Thanks for stopping by, friends, and hope to see you again soon!
Manufacturing overhead, including factory supplies, depreciation on equipment, and replacement parts, can take a toll on a company’s wallet. Then, when they need to add equipment or replace aging systems, they’re faced with the complication of choosing among options to buy used, buy new or lease. When replacing equipment, a manufacturer needs to sell the old equipment in order to free up floor space and capital.
That’s where HGR Industrial Surplus comes into the manufacturing pipeline to assist a business’ growth and investment recovery by providing used equipment for sale or lease and by buying used equipment to help companies turn surplus assets into cash that will help pay for the upgrade or replacement.
Since scrap prices are at an all-time low, most companies can probably can do better by putting the equipment back into service through resale, which also is environmentally responsible. And, someone else will be able to save capital by buying it used or may even use the equipment for parts in the repair of another piece of equipment. Reselling to HGR also saves the seller the time and frustration incurred in finding potential buyers or in spending money to place ads in industry publications or resale websites then monitoring and responding to inquiries.
If a company is looking for a piece of equipment to replace one being taken out of service or to expand its line, it either can buy the used piece of equipment or lease it through HGR. If they choose to buy it, we have a 30-day, money-back guarantee that mitigates risk, and we are a Machinery Dealers National Association member, which means that we abide by their stringent code of ethics.
Should a company choose to lease a piece of equipment, we have a relationship with a finance source that, essentially, will buy it from us and lease it to the company. Once purchased or leased, our Shipping Department can set up transportation. Then, from the date that the item is purchased, a customer has 30 days to pay and 45 days to remove it from our showroom.
SHOPPING HINT: As soon as the item is received, our Buy Department prices and photographs it then posts it online. Some items never make it to the showroom floor because they are purchased as soon as they are listed. So, it’s important to have a relationship with one of our salespeople who can keep a customer in the loop if something comes in, or a customer can check our website or our eBay auction for the most recent arrivals.
And, though we sell used equipment, we sell tons of other stuff, including shop supplies, fans, fixtures, laptop bags and printer ink cartridges. You never know what you will find. We get 300-400 new items each day in many equipment categories, including welding, machining and fabrication, supply chain/distribution, plastics, chemical processing, electrical, furniture and finishes, hardware, motors, robotics, shop equipment and woodworking. There’s something here for everyone. Many makers and hobbyists shop at HGR and upcycle equipment pieces and parts into other useable objects.
I’m actually a veterinary technician at the zoo in Los Angeles. I’ve always been an animal lover, and I’ve worked with animals since I was 16. It’s such an exciting and often dangerous job that it keeps me sharp and motivated. Every day is an adventure. I would honestly do it for free, but luckily it pays enough for me to enjoy my other hobbies.
How and why did you get into welding, art and making?
Speaking of my other hobbies, many of them center around motorsports. I’ve always enjoyed building fast cars, trucks and bikes. Welding is a necessary skill in fabricating many high-performance parts and “one of” custom setups; so, I had to pick up welding both MIG and TIG along the way. Once I immersed myself in the metal fabrication hobby It quickly developed into a real passion and from it my creative side started to blossom.
What types of items do you design and make?
I typically design and create industrial-style items, as well as a few more delicate things. Custom tables are my favorite along with mobile carts and other heavy items. Almost everything I design incorporates a blend of heavy steel and wood. I particularly like building butcher block or farmhouse-style slabs and mounting them on industrial steel frames. I like playing with different wood finishes such as epoxy resins. I feel that wood has a warm, deep beauty that is brought to light if the correct finishing technique is used.
How do you market or sell your creations? Do you attend shows?
I haven’t focused on the marketing or selling aspect too much until recently. This is still mainly a hobby, and I’m constantly learning and improving. I recently started Red Dogs Crafts, and I currently only have an Etsy website as a marketing tool. I do plan on becoming a vendor at a few local flea markets here in Los Angeles to see if I can find a target audience for my style of fabrication. I plan on attending a few shows to get some ideas of what other fabricators are doing out there. I love seeing new ideas and techniques because it motivates me to learn more.
How did you learn to do this?
I’m 100-percent self-taught in everything that I do. I’ve never taken classes, had a mentor or worked in the industry to have someone show me the ropes. I believe I’m a fast learner in anything that I do, and I also know that I learn best when I do things on my own by making mistakes and doing my own research on different techniques. Nowadays, with the Internet and YouTube there isn’t anything that you cannot learn online. Heck, there’s even YouTube videos on how to do cardiac surgery for that first timer doing a valve replacement. LOL. My usual mode of action is to buy the tool first then figure out how it works and then practice until I’m proficient at it or at least achieve the end results that I can be proud of.
What artists, designers or makers do you most admire?
I like Kevin Caron’s work. I think he’s very practical and down to earth with his techniques. He’s also a wealth of knowledge and experience; so, I respect his abilities and his work because he’s constantly learning like the rest of us. He’s also on the WeldingWeb forum where I met HGR for the first time; so, he adds to the knowledge base, as do many other experienced guys.
What inspires you?
I think I’m inspired by the challenge of creating something that I visualize in my mind and having to physically take the steps to make it materialize to as close a rendition of what I see in my mind’s eye. I feel that many people love certain things but always feel that they’re unattainable either because it’s too difficult, it’s too much work or they just can’t figure out how to do it. I love figuring out how to do new stuff. That is what inspires and motivates me.
What do you do when you aren’t working or making art?
Whenever I have free time I spend my time pursuing my other hobbies. Typically, I’m out in the deserts of Southern California riding my dirt bikes or drag racing my cars. I think the feeling of being on two wheels ripping through our beautiful landscape gives me the exhilaration that I’m constantly chasing. I also enjoy spending time outdoors at the beach with my two dogs and my girlfriend. Sometimes, I just love my family time staying home with my girlfriend and the dogs just relaxing.
What advice do you have for makers?
My advice is that you can go as far in this hobby/profession as you choose. It’s all dependent on the effort that you put into it. I would advise anyone starting in the hobby to take classes first. I think this would set you up with a good fundamental foundation which would expose you to the different techniques, tools and options out there which would then allow you to make intelligent choices going forward with the hobby. Being that I’m self-taught, I feel that I’ve gone around in circles a few times and would have wasted less time had I gained the experience a class provides. Also, if you can work in the industry do so, even as a volunteer. It’s invaluable the skill you develop by immersing yourself into the industry.
What is your personal philosophy?
I’ve never been asked this question before so I’ll have to think of one now. I think of life as a journey that is based on choices or decisions. Every decision we make has an effect on the direction that our life takes. If we make good decisions early in life, we are started on a path to success or happiness. I realized the consequences of my decisions in my late 20s and it was at that point that I started in the direction that I’m headed now. My philosophy would probably be something along the lines that life is a constant test of your character. If you make good choices based on good character you’ll be on the path to success and happiness in whatever you pursue.
Anything that I missed? The two red dogs?
Ah, my babies. “ShyAnne” and her daughter “Lil Cheese.” These are my two red dogs. A mom and daughter pair that have been part of my life for the last 15 years. ShyAnne has been by my side through thick and thin and good and bad. It’s amazing how having a strong bond with your dogs can keep you positive through so many difficult times in life. These two are a part of everything I do. Hence, I decided to name the fabrication shop after them as they are a part of everything I build. I’m glad to have my workshop at home because it allows me to spend time with my two dogs while I’m building stuff. I take lots of breaks to play ball with them and build cool dog toys to keep them occupied. In return, they only ask for more of my attention, and treats, which I am always glad to give.
You can own a one-of-a-kind piece of handcrafted furniture by one of Cleveland’s premier contemporary-furniture designers AND help hurricane victims at the same time.
You can reach the auction from a button on our home page at hgrinc.com or go directly to the landing page here to read about the arts organization that will benefit from the auctions. To learn more about 44 Steel’s desk, click here. For info about Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words’ lamp table, click here. For info about 3 Barn Doors, click here.
Help hurricane victims recover, and gain a conversation piece for your home or office.
(Q&A with Jessica Brown, owner, Wood Thingamajigs whose shop can be found on Facebook and at www.woodthingamajigs.com)
How did you get involved in woodworking in the seventh grade?
The students in my school were given the choice between wood and metal shops or cooking and sewing classes. Given that I had already learned to cook and sew from my Mom and Grandmother and having spent countless hours watching my Dad do various carpentry projects around the house, the obvious choice for me was to give the shops a try. From the moment I walked into that wood shop and smelled the delicious wood aromas, I knew I had made the right decision.
What equipment and main tools do you have in your shop?
Delta Table Saw and Planer
Kobalt compound miter saw
Jet band saw, drill press, dust collection system
26” Shop Fox dual drum sander
Various Dewalt, Craftsman, Ryobi, and Porter Cable power and hand tools
Assorted pipe and bar clamps
How and when did your business, Wood Thingamajigs, come into being?
Every year my then boyfriend (now husband) and I exchanged one handmade Christmas present. For Christmas of 2015 my present to him was some wood letter tiles spelling out various important words for us and our family. I spent countless hours in our garage and our attic hand making more than 100 tiles. After Christmas, we posted a picture of my handiwork on Facebook, and one of our friends said I should start a business making them. I decided to give it a try as a business in April 2016.
Why the name?
After thinking about starting the business for a while and asking other people if it sounded like a good idea, I decided to go for it. We were sitting on the couch one afternoon throwing around ideas for a name for the business. In the brainstorming, it was asked “well, what will you make?” Wood stuff, wood items, wood thingamajigs.
What types of items do you make? What is a “pet novelty?”
We make everything from outdoor yard games to furniture. Our pet novelties consist of feeders, furniture-style dog crates, cat trees, and leash holders.
What is the largest or heaviest item that you have made? What is the smallest? What is the most special or unique?
The largest and heaviest item that we have made so far is a custom, solid-cherry 12’ 3” dog crate with four separate compartments. This was co-designed with our customer and made to match her existing dining room furniture. The piece we made is used not only as a dog crate, but as a buffet or sideboard. Our smallest product is a hand turned, exotic wood wine bottle stopper. The most special is definitely the wood letter tiles that started this whole adventure. One of our favorite things to make is a cutting board. We like to integrate different species into the boards into unique designs. We love walnut, but we also use maple, cherry, paduak, and purple heart to name a few.
Who are your customers?
We have a broad customer base consisting of everyone from brides to businesses.
Do you have another fulltime job?
Yes, at this time I do have another fulltime job as a purchasing manager for a local additive manufacturing company.
Why did you join the U.S. Army, for how long, what did you do for them, where were you stationed?
I grew up in a family where nearly everyone served. I knew from a young age that it was something that I wanted to do. Right after high school, I enlisted in the National Guard as Military Police. A few years later, I applied to and was accepted into West Point. After graduating, I served at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. All together I was in the military for 16 years.
I see you are from Massachusetts. How did you end up in Ohio?
When I left active duty, I was married to a man who was from Northeast Ohio.
How did your current husband’s love of woodworking start and is the shared interest one of the things that brought you together? What is each of your roles in the company?
Jason’s love of woodworking also started at a young age working with his father remodeling an old farmhouse. He likes to remember the first time I showed him my limited shop when we first started dating. It is a fond memory for him. Our mutual love of woodworking brings us together. A few years ago I had surgery, and as I was healing and able to move around better we decided to make a project together. It was our first joint endeavor. It is lovingly referred to as “the project” in our family. We have had a few people ask to purchase it over the years but the sentimental value is priceless. When it comes to the business we share responsibilities for our orders. I tend to manage more of the business side of it, as well. We love to sit together and brainstorm the next project or the next step in expanding the company.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Our inspiration is found in a variety of places. Sometimes the grain of a wood catches your eye and says it needs to be an end table. Other times walking through the wood mill we will see a slab that just begs to be made into a bar top. Our inspiration is to be able to live a life where we love what we do and love going to work every day. A place where the work isn’t work. The cliché if you love what you do then it isn’t really work truly applies to our company.
What is your artist’s/maker’s philosophy?
“A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.” Louis Nizer
I met Rebecca Rak and Mike Gemmer when they were shopping at HGR to find equipment for a good cause: The Lodi Family Center, housed at its current location in 6,000 square feet in the former Lodi Elementary School since 2014. Mike’s background is in IT software and teaching. Rebecca’s is in social services.
This Medina County family center offers a safe social place where peoples’ needs can be assessed and met, including adult programming for those over 55, a food pantry, Project Learn, a personal-care shop for nonfood items, parent support services such as cooking and nutrition classes, a toy shop for kids where they can “purchase” items with coins earned for doing their homework and going to counseling sessions, a study hall, a craft room, a playroom with a puppet theater, 10 laptops and one desktop computer, and an auditorium with a screen and projector.
Coming soon to enhance the robotics and tech club is a Makers Space with a science room, lab and arena for robot battle-war challenges, a wood shop and a metalworking shop. Students will earn coins, as they do for the toy store, to buy supplies, such as aluminum and mother boards, to build robots. Also in the future is an Internet café.
To date, Rebecca and Mike have bought shopping carts, Bunn coffee makers, a paper shredder, cabinets, a dolly and a wind tunnel for the science lab from HGR.
According to Executive Director Rebecca Rak, she began the Lodi Family Center to fill a need in the community after working for 12 years for Family First’s resource center. She was trained in crisis intervention, stress management and as a victim advocate for battered women. She then worked as a liaison with county police departments to help bridge people and connect them with agencies, counselors and resources that can help them. She currently works part time as a dispatcher for the Brunswick City Police Department and the rest of her time at the center.
The family center served 1,404 people in 2015 and an average of 40-60 kids per day this summer. In one week this month, 42 families used the food pantry.
Where does the funding come from? Everything is donated with the exception of small grants that supplied the pool table, filing cabinet and television. There were 121 volunteers in 2015 who rotated to serve and support the center’s needs.
For more information, visit The Lodi Family Center’s Facebook page. The center is open Mondays and Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for adults, Monday through Thursday 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. for children up to high-school age and is available on Fridays to church, home schooling and community groups.