Hi Clayton, thank you for visiting my website, now there are three of us who have been there. You, me and my mom.
As to oddball work. if it is photo related it is less because I love photo equipment more than I love my dog. If it is non photo related (like parts for your vintage Octavian motorcycle) the price goes way up because if I were to need to make stuff I was not fascinated with I can draw really great camera plans while my CNC machine is busily making me some really good coin making intricate airplane and spacecraft parts.
If it is work that is truly custom and one time, it is expensive. This is because all the set up and learning curve stuff eveyone tells you about must be applied to that one part. People who are not familiar with machining are usually amazed that it can take two or three days days to make the tooling and to set up an operation that takes 10 minutes to run. Often the run time is free and the set up is all you pay for. So that is why the "one off" part can be a very expensive proposition. On the other hand, some parts that may SEEM custom do not require an oddball set up, custom tooling, or custom fixturing. If I can hold it with standard clamping and workholding stuff I have on hand, and if it does not require that I grind a custom profile cutter, and if you don't need it from some whacko material only found in one particular village in some extremely remote section of the far flung Isles of Langerhans or Teirra Del Fuego or something, and if you do not need it to be accurate within 2.6 millionths of an inch, and if it doesn't have too many compound angles for me to actually have to think about, and if you don't absolutely have to have it last week, and if the coffee is freshly brewed and in my cup, then it isn't too expensive even though it is something we both know I will never make again.
On the other hand, if you and the other Ermanox collectors out there need a shutter release button for that extremely rare camera, I can not make you too great a deal because the only other ermanoxes out there are in museums who have their own machinists on staff for just such an emergency and therefore I will never make another. However, if there is the inkling of a chance that I can ever sell one of those rare doohickey's I will do everything I can to make as much of the pain of set up expense get spread out over as many parts as possible. I mean that. I am willing to eat a lot of the set up expense to try and build a line of goods that people will buy. I really meant that about being customer driven. Another thing. I have done a lot of nondisclosure work for private individuals and also for government agencies that don't have names but only have acronyms nobody ever heard of. If you want to patent your idea, I am your guy. I never ever let out a peep.
So, there is one really long winded answer to a very simple question, sorry about that, my first editor is rolling over in his grave as I write this. I hope it answered some of what you asked me.
Now the short version. Send me an email with all the info you have and I will try to make you happy. What are you making anyway?
Thanks for the inquiry.
Originally Posted by claytume