Found Bandsaw Cutting Problem - Maybe?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Ken Scharabok, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    When I replaced a blade I notice one of the guides was turned a bit sideways. I knew the guide bars went in and out, but didn't notice they also rotate side to side a bit. When I loosened the nut, guide went back into alignment on its own. I suspect that is what has been causing the blade to cut at an angle on thicker stock.

    By the way, I need to cut the points off of 16 handled hot cuts. They are tool steel. They would dull be bandsaw blade quickly and the chop-saw wouldn't make much of a dent. I heated them to orange hot in the propane forge and cut them that way with the chop-saw. Went through about 1-1 1/2" thick tool steel in about twenty seconds with minimal wear to blade. Not recommended for the faint hearted though.

    Reason for cutting off the tips is I make them into anvil hot-cut hardys. What is left of the head (and handle) I weld on a slug of thick flat stock to turn it into a flatter. Thus, I get two sellable tools out of one without much resale value.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the up-date Ken! Do you sell anvil tools on Ebay or on the barter board (gotta admit I haven't looked) I need Christmas prezzie ideas for my family to buy me and hardy tools would be perfect! I intend to make my own eventually but it would be beter to start with a few premade ones so I can personalize the ones I make to suit me!
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Yes. I am eBay seller scharabo. Have about 230 auctions going currently, about 30 bid-type and the rest in my eBay store: Poor Boy Blacksmith Tools. I can customize almost all of my hardy tools to fit the buyer's anvil.

    For someone who has a kid somewhat interested, I currently have on a starter package of a small anvil and a fairly complete tool kit to go with it.

    Ken Scharaobk
     
  4. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    Ken,

    How do you manage 230 ebay auctions? How long does it take to post those auctions and how do you keep track of what goes where to who?
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Will just hit highlights. If you want more details on a particular step, let me know.

    I usually only list enough bidding type auctions to direct people to the items in my store. Store listings run for 30-days and automatically relist. Thus, I just need to watch the quantity sold as eBay won't notify you when you sold to the last one. These are buy-it-now auctions on which you can list a quantity of the same item as a very low per month listing fee.

    I have been trying various methods of listing for the auction ones. Had been bulk listing on Thursday evenings (you can tell eBay when you want the listings to start) so with a 10-day auction they all closed Sunday evenings. I thought that might encourage buying of more items by a single bidder for consolidated shipping savings. Lately I have just been group listing the better sellers, letting others just run. The latter is a bit more convenient to me as I don't get 10-20 auctions all closing at the same time.

    (And I will hold purchases while the buyer does more bidding for consolidated shipping.)

    Except for my best sellers, I may only list an item once in a bid auction and then relist it in my store.

    eBay notifies you of sales. A bid of trouble keeping them sorted by buyer when they purchase more than one item, but not bad. I then put their purchase together with a suitable box and send them an invoice back through eBay based on weight. (eBay makes it fairly easy to compute shipping charges as they have a function for it on the site map page now.)

    I probably get 90% of my money through PayPal within a day or so of the auction closing. I then complete the packaging, use PayPal to print out a label and tape it to the box.

    I mostly ship out through the Post Office, but do use UPS for larger or heavier items. With the Post Office I just put a note on the mailbox asking the driver to pull in for package pick up and level the packages (in one of the white postal carry boxes) where they can see it. Usually, if nice weather, on top of a 5-gallon bucket by the driveway or on the back of my pickup with the topper lift-up door providing rain protection. For UPS I just drop off the packages at their local point in town. I don't do enough volume to justify arranging on-site pick up by them.

    On listing auctions, the time it takes varies. Say 5-10 minutes to get the initial listing to my liking. Relisting or changing from a bidding auction to store listing just takes a couple of minutes.

    How much inventory I carry varies by item. On some I will make them up in batches. On others I don't make them up until they actually sell.

    A special service I offer is customizing or custom orders. For example, anvils can have hardy holes from 1/2" to 1 3/8" (some larger than that). I can put that size shaft on almost all of the hardy tools I make up. I can also adjust the size of the tool within some limitations. I am currently working with one buyer who wants a scroll form, certain size hot cut hardy and rivet head backer block for a certain size rivet.

    I don't have any magic formula for pricing. A bit of what the market will bear. My minimum price is stock cost plus $20 hour shop time to make it up. If it won't sell for that, I drop it out of the line generally. I have dropped maybe 4-5 items in the past year due to this criteria. Here when I run out, I just don't relist.

    I do have to work within eBay rules. For example, you cannot have listings with buyer's choice. On my hardys I cannot say, "Buyer can choose between the following shank sizes..." However I can say, "I will customize this item to the buyer's hardy hole size."

    Another example: You could not list t-shirts with the the buyer's choice of size. However, if they are custom made by you, you can say the color can be A, B, C, D or E. Does make it a bit more difficult in that you then have to contact the buyer to ask what color they want. However, to me, that hassle is worth it to save on listing costs for regular bid or buy-it-now auctions. Monthly listing fees for store listings are so low, it doesn't make much of a different there.

    Another example: You have the capability to make up metal cutting bandsaw blades. You can have a buy-it-now listing titled something like: Customized 1/2" Wide Bi-metal Bandsaw Blade. Then in the description say you will provide the blade to fit the buyers needs as far as length and tpi. Or you can list various combinations as store listings since they only run $.03 a month with one image. Say you list for buy-it-now in the bidding auction area (not store) for a dozen (one per bid) 64 1/2", 14 TPI, Bi-metal Bandsaw Blade. In that listing you include a statement in bold: "Please see my store listings for other width, sizes and teeth per inch blades." After a while you would know what is your best selling combination and that would be the one to list to drive sales to your store.

    One point here still using bandsaw blades as an example: While bandsaw may be technically correct, some folks use band saw. Also, if they search on blades, listing which just say blade will not come up. Thid title might be something like (64 1/2", 14 TPI, Bi-Metal Bandsaw Band Saw Blade Blades). Also here you would not need to even make up the blades until you get purchases, keeping your inventory basically down to blade rolls.

    There is a fine line between a custom service and buyer's choice and eBay has called me on a couple. On others they may just not have noticed it (my wording doesn't come up in their search routines) but they would cancel the listing if someone brought it to their attention. As long as you don't use terms such as Buyer may choose, buyer may select, buyer's choice, purchaser may... you seem to be OK.

    Another example here. I have sold surplus protein-type bars. eBay has the rule they cannot be past their best-if-use-by dates when delivered. Many of the ones I had were (since that is why they ended up in wholesale surplus sales i the first place). I just didn't mention the dates in the listing. If a buyer contacted me, I told them what they were. I would also indicate some bars were a bit bent or crushed from handling so buyer should take that into consideration when bidding. Normally these sold for about half former retail price when shipping is included. (One buyer in Turkey paid more than retail just for the bars, and more than the auction cost for shipping, as they loved the particular bars and couldn't find them in Turkey.)

    I also buy some items for resale without my doing extra work to them. Here my criteria is I have to be reasonably certain I can resell it for at least double my money in a fairly short period of time. Those which sell for more than 2X more than make up for the ones that don't. I have sold some duds at a loss, but that is fairly rare. Here I generally put the opening bid at my cost plus what I expect selling expenses to be (I use 10-15% as a general rule).

    And I have also purchased off of eBay for resale. I have bought two large lots of collectible wrenches and then reoffered them by manufacturer or type. Logic is a collector might not want to have to buy a large lot for just a couple of wrenches in it, so I'll provide that service for them.

    Fortunately I'm not married so my living room and kitchen sort of acts as my package storage and shipping center. Most of the inventory is out in the shop, but I do keep some items in the trailer in case a question comes up on them.

    I do have to charge state sales taxes on sales with TN. Here I just submit them to the state quarterly. By having this tax number, I can also buy at wholesale without being charged state sales tax there as long as the purchase is for use or resale. (I don't sell a lot within TN. Last payment was $14 for three months of sales.)

    Do this: Go to eBay and in the upper right corner click on Advanced Search. Choose auctions by seller. Put in scharabo as the seller and ask for a listings per page count of 500. Go down the list and look at various listings. If you have a question as to why I did an auction a certain way, contact me at scharabo@aol.com with the auction number and question(s).

    My average sales on eBay are about $1,600 a month. I don't have a good handle on what of that gross is net, but should after I do my taxes next time. I suspect it is about 50%, not considering labor. It's nice pocket money, but not really an income.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  6. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    Ken,

    Thanks for the detailed reply. I have bought and sold on ebay, maybe 25 times. It took me forever to write up an auction. I wondered if there was a software that gave a template to fill out or somw other easy way. Can you cut and paste an old auction to make a new one and change the minor details?

    We have a collection of things we are saving for a yard sale but maybe ebay would work out better for alot of it. Your reply has been a great help
     
  7. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Well, eBay itself will remember your last settings, so if you are using a somewhat standardized procedure it cuts down on the time greatly. There are a variety of listing assistance programs and software. eBay offers some of them themselves. On the Site Map page go to the Seller Tools (or something like that section). I just use their standard listing form as I pretty well have it down pat - even if it takes a tad longer. You just want to get your basic information in the form so all you have to crank in is the variables.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  8. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    P.S. You do not need to created a brand new listing from scratch each time. Just go to one of your current or closed auctions and use the relist feature. Then just change what you need to. I do very few auctions from scratch.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  9. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Just updating thread I found a new problem.

    When I lifted the top recently I found the blade had come off one of the guides, actually cutting into the metal on the saw. Further research found it is missing a very small screw, which caused the upper guide (not two side ones) to move to the side. Couldn't find screw so I put it back using small washers on each side of the guide to keep it in the center.

    Sometime in the future I may need to upgrade to a more heavy-duty model.

    Ken Scharabok