Mr. Fix-it

I’ve often talked about how many hats you have to wear  if you run a small business. In the corporate world, everything is specialized, but not in our world.

The corporate guy responsible for shipping can go to sleep at night secure in the knowledge that he will never be asked to service the printer. We may find ourselves needing to service the copier before we can ship because we need the labels printed first. And oh, by the way, the lock on the restroom door is broken and the connector on the compressor manifold is leaking.

The most frustrating aspect of this is in trying to fix things that were never intended to be fixed. There are so many products that have been designed to be replaced instead of repaired. I was literally stunned the first time I tried to remove a broken switch from a cordless drill/driver. The switch was hardwired into the unit and it was obvious that it was not intended to be replaced.

I ran into the same thing with random orbit sanders, which I’ve saved to cannibalize for parts. Not a bad idea except that it seemed it was the same part in every one that had crapped out. Occasionally, I was able to keep a sander working but mostly I’ve ended up with a big box of broken sanders.



  • Mike Fonner says:

    I agree completely! I generally buy new equipment because I hate having to constantly repair or replace parts on old equipment that I have a difficult time trying to find parts for. Most of the equipment in our shop is industrial stuff and is made to run all day everyday, so we seldom have down time with it. We have also switched to air tools rather than dealing with cheap disposable electric tools. We have been in business for 33 years and have learned that the tool business is like many others in that they can only survive if they plan on having us come back to replace tools.

  • Gary Schmidt says:

    If the cash flow allows, I like to take those opportunities to do an upgrade too, like Mike. One problem is, in our area its a major deal to buy anything industrial off the shelf on the spur-of-the-moment , which of course when these needs arise. David I agree with you on the point that nothing seems to be fixable these days. And worse yet, when I complain about it I sound like an old codger. OLD CODGERS UNITE!

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