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The importance of redundancy in a small fabrication shop

On a recent Monday morning, I walked into the shop to get started for the day, only to discover that one of my main machines in the shop wasn't functional.  The Y axis servo motor on my CNC plasma table wasn't working.  Upon inspection, I discovered a blinking red alarm light.  This indicates a catastrophic hardware failure within the motor, and needs to be sent to the MFG for repair.  The machine will be down for 1-2 weeks.  So what now?  One of the main ways my shop makes money is now not available to me, so do I panic?  Get mad?  Complain?  I could do all 3 but those wont help me.  Fortunately I have built up alot of...

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Father & Daughter & Making Scrappy, the Junkyard Dog

Growing up, I wasn't the type to join my Dad in the garage too much, although I observed him all my life fixing, creating and restoring things while teaching himself how to do it. As an adult, I've grown into a crafty person. Teaching preschool and being a nanny has really drawn that out of me. A few weeks ago, Dad and I decided to spend the weekend making a desk together. I stepped out of my comfort zone by using power tools, a blow torch, and a sad attempt at welding.    Friday night we arrived at his shop late at night, so it was straight to bed so we could get to work in the morning. While we...

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