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Messages - sofadoc

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4036
General Discussion / Do you guys work on Labor Day?
« on: September 05, 2010, 10:59:30 PM »
I always have. It's nice and quiet on Labor Day. I can get a lot done without having to answer the phone every few minutes. Some customers call and SAY that they will come in on Labor Day (they NEVER do). Same for July 4th, Memorial day, and New Years day. Great days to get things done!! I'd rather pick my own holidays. I don't like being herded with the rest of the cattle.
The BEST part about days like Labor Day.....even the telemarketers take the day off!!!
I don't want anyone to think that I don't respect our national holidays. But I don't see how buying sheets on sale at J.C. Penney, or taking a case of beer to the lake is showing respect.
Tomorrow is Labor Day, and that's just what I intend to do!!
But, for the rest of you, have a great Labor day (however you celebrate it).

4037
General Discussion / Re: Consew 206RB-2 / puckering
« on: September 05, 2010, 02:17:46 PM »
I've gone way back on the foot pressure and this had made all the difference in the world!  Nearly a perfectly flat seam
I'm a little suprised to hear that adjusting the foot pressure made such a difference. On my Juki LU 1508, I've screwed that adjustment all the way in both directions, and can't tell much difference. Many moons ago, I got into the habit of gently pulling the fabric from behind as I sew. It's become so "second nature" to me, that I do it even when I don't need to.
Glad it worked out for you! 

4038
General Discussion / Re: How to get started?
« on: September 04, 2010, 08:28:59 PM »
After more than 30 years, I can honestly say that I'm not "burnt out". BUT, I can't really say that I still get that warm fuzzy feeling about my work like I used to.
To me, it's a means of income doing something that I enjoy.
I actually envy some of the noobs who post on this forum. They seem so enthusiastic about their first project. They post pictures, and talk about how they can't wait to get started. I wish that I had that feeling just once more.
Back in the day, I used to take pictures of everything that I did. I would drop a 35mm roll of film into a mailer envelope, and wait 7-10 days for the developed pictures to return in the mail to me. Boy, how times have changed!
I'm not saying that you guys will ever suffer "burn out" as badly in the upholstery biz, as you may have in the IT field, but the day may come when you no longer get all giddy inside about a job.

4039
General Discussion / Re: My first experience with upholstery
« on: September 04, 2010, 12:52:35 PM »
Sawduster: After you've been doing this a while, you'll stop being amazed at the things you find inside a piece of furniture.
I once stripped down a sofa that had over 90 buttons, all of them were tied off on the inside using Kotexes (or whatever the plural of Kotex is). BTW they were UNUSED, thankfully.
It used to be mostly loose change. Now it's mostly fingernail clippers, and remote controls.
I used to find a ton of pocket knives. But now, with all of the metal detectors that you have to go through every day, not as many people carry pocket knives any more.

4040
The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Venting Leather or vinyl cushions
« on: September 02, 2010, 10:41:06 PM »
Chuck: Some air will escape around the buttons. Since the cushion is only 2" thick, I don't think that "poofing" will be as big a problem as it would be with a 4" or thicker cushion. Especially if you use some pretty firm foam. I would make the cushion as if it didn't need any vents. If it DOES "poof" when you sit on the finished product, you can always incorporate Gene's idea of ventilators above and below the zipper (you can add the ventilators last, if need be).

4041
The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Venting Leather or vinyl cushions
« on: September 02, 2010, 05:35:22 PM »
You can always use cloth on 3/4 of the bottom panel, but of course, the cushion won't be reversable. Ventilators would be seen on the sides. I always try to use firm foam on leather/vinyl cushions. Less poofing that way.

4042
The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Can't find workers for the life of me
« on: August 30, 2010, 12:11:46 AM »
Also I went to pizza hut tonight with the fam and the waitress, abound 20,  was working her butt off and smiling the whole time. She is a Hard Working American.
I just got back from a Caribbean cruise. Aboard the cruise ship, I saw a young girl from Croatia cleaning tables. She was around 20, smiling and working her butt off. She told me that sends most of her pay home to a family that she may not see again for years.
The difference between the American girl at Pizza Hut and the Croatian girl aboard the ship? If they are both still doing the same job 20 years from now, the Croatian girl will still be smiling.
I saw waitstaff workers from countries such as Indonesia, Czech Republic, Romania. etc. Not one single American. They told me that the few Americans who even apply, usually don't make it beyond the first 7 days. Even though they sign an 8 month contract. The American workers get off at the first port.
If you can't even get an American to clean a table for a modest wage, how are you gonna get one to do quality upholstery work?

4043
General Discussion / Re: Button Machine problems
« on: August 29, 2010, 09:38:28 PM »
Even when I'm only making 5 buttons, I cut through 20-25 layers of fabric. My cutters are as dull as they can possibly be, but with the extra layers of fabric, and about 225 lbs. of pressure (which I just so happen to have available), they will easily cut through at least 15-20 of the layers. For a block, I use any 3/8-1/2 inch scrap piece of plywood, or particle board that's handy.

4044
The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Can't find workers for the life of me
« on: August 29, 2010, 09:26:16 PM »
I once read a story about an NFL coach who told his superstar #1 draft choice: "Until you break the huddle and gain ONE YARD in the NFL, you're NOTHING to me!"
That applies to hiring as well. If I were going to hire Mike, or Gene, or "noname" (or anyone with skins on the wall), I would expect to have to pay top dollar for their services.
But, if John Doe walks in off the street, he's going to have to "Break the huddle and gain one yard" before I'm going to compensate him adequately.
Like I've said before, why would a good upholsterer want to work for me when they can make twice as much in half the time working out of their garage at home?
I recently had someone with "skins on the wall" ask me for a job. I won't hire him, because I fear that he'll work for me just long enough to steal my customers, and then go into business for himself.
It's back to that catch-22 thing. As employers, we ALL want champagne taste at beer prices.
Some of you criticize the philisophy of "If I'm only getting paid $10hr, I'm only going to give $10 worth of effort". BUT be honest, if the shoe were on the other foot???

4045
The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Hello Forum
« on: August 21, 2010, 09:49:15 AM »
Man, you have WAY better luck with hospitals than I do. 
They call me. I rush right out. I wait in some manager's office for 20-30 minutes. Eventually, the person in charge comes casually strolling into the office. Then, they page some maintainence man, who shows up 30 minutes later with a trail of cigarette smoke still fresh behind him. He leads me on an obstacle course down several long corridors until we wind up back close to where we started from. The furniture is in a locked storeroom. He pulls out a wad of keys the size of an NBA basketball, and tries them one by one, to no avail. Luckily, a cleaning lady passes by with ONE KEY ON THE END OF A COAT HANGER, and unlocks the door. The furniture is buried alive under a bunch of old file boxes, and leaky plasma. I give them the estimate. Once it's approved, I can return and repeat the above procedure.
When I deliver the furniture back to the hospital, I give them an invoice. If I have dotted ALL my i's and crossed ALL my t's, I'll get my money in 45-60 days.
I have given my local hospital quotes on big jobs before. They always tell me that they can simply replace the furniture for less than half of my quote.
The only business I get from them is little single jobs, such as an occasional exam table, or therapy equipment.
Poppy> Whatever you're doing, keep doing it!!

4046
General Discussion / Re: Quirk's
« on: August 20, 2010, 11:00:05 PM »
I'm by myself in the shop for about 10-12 hours a day, and it gets pretty boring while I'm working.
Man, ain't it the truth? The 4 walls really close in after a while. My wife works at a busy bank all day. So when she gets home, she doesn't want to see ANYBODY. She doesn't understand why I would actually like to socialize with the neighbors, the neighbors's dog, ANYONE!!
For most of us, this is not a "high traffic" retail business. We may only meet a few customers a week. Most of the contacts are by phone, or e-mail.
I would say that working alone all day is the hardest part of my job.
I don't want to stray too far from the original topic (Quirks), but how do some of you handle the isolation? The radio is a good friend, but it still leaves me talking to myself.
My wife and I are leaving tomorrow with another couple on a cruise to Cozumel, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. Maybe that'll recharge my battery.
I know it'll be tough, but you guys try to keep the forum going without me. See y'all on the 30th. :)

4047
General Discussion / Re: Quirk's
« on: August 20, 2010, 03:53:20 PM »
Sportstalk radio for me. I wear prescription orthotics in thick soled sneakers (I have a scorching case of plantar fasciatis). Those slippers would absolutely KILL me. Got my Diet Pepsi next to the wheel of the machine, and yes, I often knock it off while rotating the wheel. I don't charge any extra for getting soda on the customer's fabric  :D
My desk is right behind me so I can answer the phone without getting up.

Speaking of radio, the station I listen to is always throwing out hypotheticals. Here's one:
You're stranded on a desert island. You only have 2 choices for food & drink. Either cotton candy & Mountain Dew, or hot coffee & Bugles. Which?
Here's another for the ladies:
You can have wild unbridled sex with the man of your dreams for 1 year. BUT, at the end of the year, you gain 25 pounds that you can NEVER lose.
Would ya?

4048
The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Retirement
« on: August 18, 2010, 05:30:08 PM »
And you wonder why  I'm a communist.
Sometimes I think that the only reason we don't live in a communist society, is because we don't call it that.
Our government decides which companies to bail out, and which ones to cull from the herd.
As a kid, I used to ask my grandfather why we couldn't just print more money, then we would all have enough. He tried to explain to me why our money system doesm't work that way. Guess he was wrong.
No joke now, I'm planning to rob banks. That way I will either get the money if successful or go to prison and get free room and board if not.

All in all Win/win.
There's only one thing wrong with that plan. You'll need a big supply of Preparation H.
As for retirement, like a lot of small businesses, I bring home the bacon, my wife's job takes care of insurance, savings, 401K,etc.
As long as she doesn't dump me, I'll be OK.

4049
General Discussion / Re: OK, I Gotta know!
« on: August 14, 2010, 06:10:51 PM »
  Mostly for me whenever I smash my finger or ram my toes into the end table in the middle of the night then I'll use the F*** word.
Isn't it funny, if you stub your toe, or smash your thumb with a hammer, phrases such as "Hecky darn", and "Oh pshaw" just don't help the pain subside NEARLY as well as a good ole' F-Bomb?
I'm just glad that I've never incurred any of those injuries. ;)

4050
The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Found a great deal on Quickbooks
« on: August 14, 2010, 11:19:43 AM »
I also don't consider Kathy's post to be spam. She doesn't stand to profit from the sale of the product that she recommended. She's a regular contributer to this forum, not a one-timer with a bunch of nonsensical gibberish.
But I am taking Gene's opinion under advisement. In the past, I've recommended products, and suppliers that don't advertise on this website.
Maybe I shouldn't be so quick to.
Hopefully, Ken will see this, and give his view. After all , his is the only one that matters. He's paying the bills for this forum (that we all appreciate very much).

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