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Most difficult or challenging project

Started by 65Buick, March 09, 2018, 10:07:18 pm

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65Buick

What is everyone's most challenging project you have ever done? And what did you do to overcome the challenge and finish with success?

Ian

MinUph

The one that I remember was a chair I did three times over the years. It was a fiberglass chair with upholstery all inside. Kind of like an large egg shape. It was all glued together and done in vinyl. The customer told me no one would do it. I took it on and the first time was a real challenge. Second and third was about 5% easier. I just took my time was careful with the patterning and used plenty of contact cement to glue the vinyl to the fiberglass. It was a cool chair. I wish I had pics of it. Didn't take pictures back then.
Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website

sofadoc

Nothing really comes to mind. But then I've never taken on work that was out of my comfort zone.

I have a few regular customers that like to play fast and loose with that word "challenge".
What they call a challenge, I call a money loser. I've never been afraid to just say no.

Sure, some jobs are more tedious and time consuming than others. But I wouldn't say more challenging.
If it's something that I just simply don't know how to do, I pass on it. I don't need the educational experience (I already know how to lose money).
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban

kodydog

Most difficult for me was learning the trade. Luckily for me I was young and full of ambition.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html

Grebo

OOh I think one of my first in spain, this guy drove his mini moke into the shop & ask me to make a top cover for it.
At this point I had no idea how to make canvas bimini's or anything with a curve in it. It turned out ok & he was happy with it but boy would I love to do that again.



65Buick

I had to look up what a 'mini moke' is. That looks like a heckuva project.

Mojo

Believe it or not an RV awning. There is one assembly that requires certain tapers to it. The tapers have to be exact so when it is rolled inside the cover the seams wont gather and break the assembly. It also has to work in conjunction with the limit stops of the motor and look nice and symmetrical when deployed.

My first two blew the end seams out. The third was a charm. We ended up mastering them and now make them on a regular basis and we are the only aftermarket company that makes them. If you get things wrong and break the awning assembly, your out $ 6,000. Most companies wont attempt them or if they do, they screw the first one up, damage the assembly and end up costing themselves a ton of money and never do another one.

It would seem that RV awnings would be simple but they are not. So many are motorized now days and some assemblies require perfect fits for the awnings to work perfectly. If you are slightly off, the assembly wont close properly. Our customers who own $ 1 million dollar buses are also OCD and demand perfection. We did a 20 ft awning two weeks ago that ended up 3/8's inch short. We had to remake the awning as well as pay for the technicians labor to have it re-installed. Major bucks. Thankfully this only happens once every few years. I think we have only had a couple of these issues in over a decade. I can remember 6 years ago of making a mistake. Not only did it cost us technicians labor charges and the loss of 10 yards of fabric but also we had to pay the resort fees for the customer because they got delayed on their trip for 2 days. :)

Right after my costly mistake the wife put a quality control check system in place. Whoever sews an awning has to be measured and checked by someone else in the shop. No exceptions. That system has saved us thousands of dollars as mistakes can be found before shipment. Our tolerances for all awnings are 1/4 inch or less. Anything over has to be re-sewn.

1/4 inch doesn't seem like much but you should see some of the panels we sew. They are huge. Our main sewing/cutting table is 12 x 24 ft.

Mojo

65Buick

Mojo:

I believe it. That is one close measurement. Glad you worked out a good QC system.
I don't think many people who do not do a craft or trade of some kind (even hobby) really understand how precise these things have to be to work. I think you could say the same thing about many physical products, versus services and virtual products.

And while I don't really need a cutting table as big as yours, I definitely envy it. My current setup is two 6 foot folding tables pushed together. It's ok but it drives me nuts because the tables fold in the middle for an even smaller store. But it creates a ridge when you set it up, so when I lay the ruler down, it see saws.

kodydog

Lol, my table made out of 2 X 4's and plywood does the same see saw thing. Fortunately I have a yard stick that is slightly bowed that works fine when patterning over the hump. :)
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html

MinUph

The business I purchased 3 years ago had a cutting table that was all warped. It completely drove me up the wall when I had to cut on it. That was the first thing to go when I took the shop. It is just so much more productive when tools are good. A cutting table is a big tool.
Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website

Rich

Quote from sofadoc:

If it's something that I just simply don't know how to do, I pass on it. I don't need the educational experience (I already know how to lose money).

I love it!
Rich
Everything's getting so expensive these days, doesn't anything ever stay at the same price? Well the price for reupholstery hasn't changed much in years!