Episode 5

5 - Optimism Override Slider

Poplar Plywood, Quoting with Quotient, Airtable, Like Butter's 4-Day Week, and Fusion 360 Drawings.

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DISCUSSED:

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Please note: Show notes contains affiliate links.

  • Sales target from last week, fudging the numbers
  • PDXCNC RFQ Form
  • Quoting "parts of a day"
  • Poplar Parts are... interesting
  • Friday's off at LB? Do tell
  • LB - 4-day work week since 2016-17
  • Jem and Jay try Quotient - the results are in. 👀
  • Fusion 360 Drawings Experience
  • Conventions vs getting it done
  • Controlling Formatting and Conventions 👎
  • Screen capture to replace client drawings

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Show Info

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HOSTS

Jem Freeman

Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia

Like Butter

More Links


Justin Brouillette

Portland, Oregon, USA

PDX CNC

Nack

More Links

Transcript
Jem:

Check check one, two,

Justin:

holy moly.

Justin:

That's loud

Jem:

I watched a YouTube tutorial on making video lights out of cake tins.

Justin:

the Cake tins?

Jem:

Now that the option to get moody then.

Jem:

Oh yeah.

Jem:

Look at that.

Justin:

pretty great.

Jem:

Hmm.

Justin:

I got one of these stream deck things, but I haven't

Justin:

hooked up any lights to it.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Cool.

Justin:

One of my key ones is that it's got your time.

Justin:

So I don't have to do the math anymore cause I always get it messed up.

Jem:

I've added Portland to my world clock.

Justin:

Yeah

Jem:

what's the stream day like.

Jem:

Do you use it for fusion?

Justin:

you can.

Justin:

It's basically just like a shortcut machine.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

I've seen them.

Justin:

very simple setup right now for this image.

Justin:

You can like change the pages to like, this is some of the like air boxes in

Justin:

the shop that I have on smart remotes.

Justin:

And then the heater in my office, the mist control for the mill.

Jem:

Really?

Justin:

turns on the Prusa lights that are on a little thing.

Jem:

You've got the mill hooked up to it.

Justin:

Oh God, no.

Justin:

It's just the mist collector is on a

Jem:

Oh, the mist collector.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Justin:

thing.

Jem:

Mistaway or whatever.

Justin:

That was primarily so that you walk away and leave it on,

Jem:

yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jem:

What are you drinking?

Justin:

Oh, I've been trying to drink less like sugary stuff.

Justin:

So I've been trying this ginger ale, but it's got that like Stevia stuff in it.

Jem:

Oh

Justin:

It's that's okay.

Justin:

It's got some, a little bit of flavor.

Justin:

I've already had enough coffee and it's like one o'clock.

Justin:

So I can't drink that anymore.

Jem:

How's your week.

Justin:

It's been all right.

Justin:

All right.

Justin:

We're still battling the Kaeser breaker seems to be under

Justin:

size now it's been tripping.

Justin:

So we think we can change that.

Justin:

And it's been working mostly, but it really stumped the electrician for a bit.

Justin:

It was like, why is it tripping?

Justin:

Other than that, our forklifts been out of commission because I accidentally

Justin:

changed the battery with the wrong style of battery 12 volt battery.

Justin:

And if reversed and tried to start it.

Justin:

And so I don't know what I did to it at this point.

Jem:

you just changing the battery yourself?

Justin:

it's just the

Jem:

Not, not the traction battery, just

Justin:

Yeah, just

Jem:

things,

Justin:

one that, yeah, it was D so we bought the thing you used

Justin:

last summer and it's a 1997.

Justin:

I've done a little bit of engine work on cars and stuff, and I have no

Justin:

interest in doing most of it, but I was like, oh, I can change a battery.

Justin:

And then I bought the wrong one where the poles are on

Justin:

the opposite side on accident.

Jem:

Gotcha.

Justin:

think about it.

Justin:

And then blew some fuses.

Justin:

And now I don't know.

Justin:

And it's fairly expensive to have technicians come.

Justin:

So I've been trying to toy with it myself, but,

Jem:

I assumed you meant like the traction pack in an electric forklift.

Jem:

And I thought that was rather ambitious.

Jem:

That'd be it.

Justin:

no, no.

Justin:

It's a gas LP

Jem:

Yeah.

Justin:

old one.

Justin:

So it was working great until this happened.

Jem:

Classic.

Justin:

How about you?

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

I don't know what I've been doing.

Jem:

I get to the end of the day and I have to like, look at my timecard to be

Jem:

able to tell Laura what I do that day.

Jem:

It's all a blur.

Justin:

You keep your on time.

Jem:

Yeah.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Track track every minute.

Jem:

Pretty much.

Justin:

just straight into projects or

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Into zero projects.

Justin:

like that.

Jem:

Nah, zero

Justin:

Is there a projects.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

What have I been doing this week?

Jem:

I've been detailing that job.

Jem:

I told you about last week, but American Oak tables that

Jem:

we're going to turn on the CNC.

Justin:

Oh yeah

Jem:

getting closer.

Jem:

I haven't prepped the stock for that yet, so we're not ready to set up that

Jem:

janky thing again, but that'll be fun.

Justin:

yeah.

Jem:

Bunch of quotes.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Got a solid two hours on the pencil sharpener yesterday morning

Jem:

and got the first automated double-sided part off the machine.

Jem:

So that was a win.

Justin:

That's a big one.

Justin:

I was watching you.

Justin:

You were posting some good stories on that.

Justin:

And I was like, is he going to do it?

Justin:

And then I don't remember if I either missed it or you didn't show actually

Jem:

I wasn't too conscientious on the stories yesterday.

Jem:

I just

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

dropped in bits and pieces, but yeah, I guess it's a big deal.

Jem:

Like that was always the intention to be able to machine both ends of apart

Jem:

and have it spit it out automatically.

Jem:

it was a good win to get to that.

Jem:

And I only crashed it the hardest I've ever crashed it once.

Jem:

So, you know,

Justin:

Do you anything or what's crashing typically.

Jem:

that was both tools into both chucks simultaneous.

Justin:

broke the tool then.

Jem:

Just a rapid yeah.

Jem:

Snap, the end, clean off one of the thread mills.

Jem:

Cause I think they just braised on like, it's a thing.

Jem:

That's a carbide shank.

Jem:

They don't bend only the carbide.

Justin:

How do you know?

Jem:

Well, naturally I don't have a surface plate that contests um,

Jem:

snap, the one tool clean off and broke the tip on the other one.

Jem:

And, I've done it so many times.

Jem:

Now that recovery process is quite quick.

Justin:

Yeah,

Jem:

Poor little is get beaten back into true.

Jem:

As close as possible.

Justin:

I think you had a story, the pan over something, it said like pencil

Justin:

sharpener, alignment, fixer tool, or something on like a piece of wood

Jem:

The beating stick.

Jem:

Yeah.

Justin:

or we call it, I know.

Justin:

What did they call that?

Justin:

Percussive maintenance.

Jem:

I've got a whole drawer in my tool.

Jem:

Trolley just called percussion.

Jem:

Yes.

Jem:

I got that back online pretty quickly and got that part done.

Jem:

I've been doing the threaded peg that's the first double ended bake.

Jem:

But now that that's working, then I can get the KittaParts dowels into

Jem:

production because we're still doing them one at a time and flipping

Jem:

them manually between operations.

Jem:

That'd be good.

Jem:

What else is happening?

Jem:

I dunno, I got in trouble last week.

Jem:

I think I mentioned we were uh, trying to close out the end of

Jem:

April and hit our sales target.

Jem:

And I had one job clear on the Friday when , I was kinda, I was watching

Jem:

the inbox and the web chat like this.

Jem:

We've got a chat function on our website and stuff, and I was

Jem:

staying engaged because I was.

Jem:

How to sale running.

Jem:

And I was trying to close out the month in a strong position.

Justin:

instant responses,

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

emails that our customer would pay the deposit on a little joinery job.

Jem:

And I was like, I jumped straight into Xero and I approved the invoice, which

Jem:

then puts, puts it into the monthly sales

Justin:

Accrual?.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

That, yes, we made it.

Jem:

And then Monday morning I was chatting to Sarah and she was like, ah it's.

Jem:

So what you did with that invoice, I was like, that's not how I do it.

Jem:

And like, I've changed the date on that.

Jem:

So it's going to fall into my, to have missed our sales target by like two grand.

Jem:

Oh man.

Jem:

That's a buzzkill.

Jem:

I mean, not really barely written for the same there.

Jem:

Just keeping the pressure on.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

you get a lot of benefit out of the chat thing from customers?

Justin:

Do they get a lot of benefit out of it?

Jem:

I find it's useful at times.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Just for answering quick questions.

Jem:

It can be more efficient than email, I suppose at times, but that I reckon

Jem:

and more often than not, I'm just sort of saying, Hey, Hey there,

Jem:

can you just fill out the form?

Jem:

Or like just redirecting them to part of the website or to the quoting form.

Jem:

Speaking of quoting full until I looked at yours the other day.

Jem:

It's nice.

Justin:

Oh, just our website.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

With the templates

Jem:

and the guides and stuff.

Jem:

It's cool.

Justin:

My intention with all of that.

Justin:

Like when I first started was it was basically just me for quite a while,

Justin:

you know, eight months or nine months.

Justin:

And I was like, and I've always done all the quotes, basically with

Justin:

a little bit of help off and on.

Justin:

So it's always like, how can I do the least amount of work each time?

Justin:

And it was like, well, I can keep optimizing this aspect to like, that's

Justin:

how I started making videos and posts was, how can I make it easier on myself

Justin:

and maybe provide a little bit of educational stuff, I guess, to people.

Justin:

But yeah, I love those Airtable Forms.

Justin:

There's a couple of things I wish I could do.

Justin:

Like more like if, then kind of like filtering as they're

Justin:

filling stuff out, but

Jem:

Yeah,

Justin:

you can kind of trick your way into that with the way they do the

Justin:

conditional stuff in the first place.

Jem:

They've added more if then stuff recently.

Jem:

Haven't they have you played with that,

Justin:

yeah.

Justin:

I don't know if I've played with it too extensively on the forms but other places.

Justin:

Yeah, but there are, we use those for so many things.

Justin:

Like even like internal processes, like I have some that are for creating tasks.

Justin:

I just opened up a page and it's got a task form and it

Justin:

goes into projects and stuff.

Justin:

I've literally always taken all of our inquiries through that one version of

Justin:

that Airtable form on our website and which is nice, cause it's always in

Justin:

the same base, you know, somewhere.

Justin:

And I think it's a good qualifier for people

Justin:

to show that they're kind of interested, you know, and real

Justin:

work rather than just throwing you files and they're not prepared or

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

That's why we've been using it too as the qualification step.

Jem:

And we keep refining the questions on it to try and improve our pre qualification.

Jem:

So I like just yesterday, Sarah and I were talking about taking off the dropdown

Jem:

option for like, What can we do for you?

Jem:

One of the options was helped develop a new product.

Jem:

And we, we deleted that yesterday because as much as I find that work rewarding,

Jem:

I had a sort of ephiphany the other week because I've only got so many hours

Jem:

in my week and that high-level R and D work typically, always falls to me

Justin:

Yep.

Jem:

and say, I've got, you know, eight hours a week where

Jem:

I can do that sort of work.

Jem:

I would much rather be doing that.

Jem:

High-level R and D on our business, rather than on someone else's product.

Jem:

Because at the end of the day, I can only charge so much per hour for doing

Jem:

that R and D work for someone else versus developing a new product, but could go

Jem:

on to sell really well or whatever it is.

Jem:

So that, that kind of tipped me over the line.

Jem:

Cause like a month ago I was like, yeah, this is great doing this product

Jem:

development for other people, you know, we've got a lot of experience now.

Jem:

This is something we could potentially specialize in.

Jem:

And then yeah,

Justin:

Yeah,

Jem:

realization that it's a finite resource.

Justin:

I know it's interesting as I've had this kind of trending things since

Justin:

about October, towards the exact same realization where we were, I don't know.

Justin:

I just always in the cyclical process of never feeling like we have enough

Justin:

job shop work, and I was always chasing kind of making that work.

Justin:

And I was like, well, it had this taste of, I told this before.

Justin:

I think here to you is, wanting to make more products.

Justin:

So we, we really like went hard at that throughout pursuing the

Justin:

inverse right now of that, where I was like, I started turning on

Justin:

a little bit more of our options.

Justin:

Acceptance of smaller jobs.

Justin:

Whereas we had kind of raised them up so that we could focus on our own products.

Justin:

And

Justin:

it's just been slower, a lot slower process than I would

Justin:

have liked for a lot of reasons.

Justin:

But you've part of that thought was I remember a couple of weeks

Justin:

ago you were saying how valuable those R and D projects were.

Justin:

And I do the same whiplash of like how much I appreciate it.

Justin:

And then I'm like, I don't have enough time for that.

Jem:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jem:

I can only support maybe two or three clients at a time per in that space.

Jem:

And any more than that, it's too much.

Justin:

Definitely.

Jem:

For the business to sort of be scalable, then that has to

Jem:

be a really limited part of it.

Jem:

I don't think we'll stop doing that sort of work.

Jem:

I just think what we want to sort of promote the fact that we do it

Jem:

and the people that, we'll still do it for the people that find us and

Jem:

need that and where the relationships are good match and things like that.

Jem:

But,

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

I think that's the reason why I've left it on because we get

Justin:

the inquiries through the form of like, you want design services.

Justin:

And they only have an idea, not drawings and those are tough

Justin:

to, to make work usually.

Jem:

It's hard to put enough budget on them.

Justin:

Yeah, that's exactly the thing.

Justin:

There's usually not enough budget.

Justin:

I think there's just kind of a scenario where if you already know.

Justin:

What you need help with?

Justin:

You probably already have help in some way, or I don't know what it is, it's

Justin:

one of the things I still take them.

Justin:

Cause sometimes you do get the perfect job and I'd rather say,

Justin:

Hey, sorry, we can't help right now.

Justin:

You know,

Jem:

yeah.

Jem:

Yeah, for sure.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

I find myself just not putting enough hours in the quote.

Jem:

Just being, you know, classically too optimistic about how long it's gonna take

Jem:

me to detail a new thing for somebody or, or solve something for someone.

Jem:

It's such a unknown area.

Jem:

And you discover all sorts of things along the way.

Jem:

Like, if I think about some of the products that I've sunk a lot, a lot of R

Jem:

and D time into internally, and like how much time I've put into them to get to a

Jem:

certain point, like imagining what I would have charged at develop that to a client.

Jem:

Yeah.

Justin:

Well, think the more I learned, the more we learned culturally here

Justin:

about when we would, let's say lose on those, other projects, we would then

Justin:

inflate that's the wrong word, but we would increase our quotes appropriately

Justin:

for the future ones trying to cover those.

Justin:

we didn't make it.

Justin:

And I think from the other side is the potential client I've been there

Justin:

enough where it's like, oh, these prices are absurd, but really, they

Justin:

probably aren't or either they don't want the project, you know, and

Justin:

they're giving you the F-you quote or it's just it's more than you expect,

Jem:

It's a chronic problem for me, if underquoting basically has been forever.

Jem:

And I've always tried different strategies to get myself around it

Jem:

to override my optimism like back when I had that crazy grasshopper a

Jem:

patch, I had a slider that was called like optimism override or something.

Jem:

It was just like a multiplier that would apply contingency.

Jem:

And so I've always tried to find ways to kind of shape myself around

Jem:

it and just like in force there will be enough time in quotes.

Jem:

And so I'm running into that problem again, since we've rebuilt

Jem:

everything in Airtable is that there's not that function at the moment.

Jem:

And.

Justin:

Design in a factor.

Justin:

Yeah,

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

And whilst I'm getting more confident at like increasing our GP, cause the way

Jem:

we quote it at the moment, we kind of do all the raw costs and then decide what

Jem:

the gross profit percentage needs to be for that sort of work and then apply

Jem:

that I'm getting more confident going.

Jem:

Cool.

Jem:

Yeah, no, I'll put another 10% at the end,

Justin:

yeah.

Jem:

but I'm still terrible at like putting enough hours into the job.

Justin:

Yup.

Justin:

Yup.

Jem:

so I was trying to think the other day how it can sort of add

Jem:

something into this happening behind the scenes that I'm not thinking about

Jem:

that it's like kind of overriding my under estimates, but I don't know.

Justin:

this makes me think, and I'm the same way.

Justin:

I never feel like I hit the perfect price for us and them.

Justin:

That's I think maybe that's just, unless you're a salesperson by heart,

Justin:

I had my first couple of years of like, especially not having done any of this

Justin:

before I had this, it was like maybe the first year I was talking to my

Justin:

friend, Seth, and he is not involved with this business, just really smart guy.

Justin:

And he was, he was saying, I don't know, maybe just make it simpler on yourself.

Justin:

Cause that's complaining about, it's so hard to choose how many hours, like

Justin:

either don't get the job or get it.

Justin:

And he's like, maybe make it simpler on yourself and just say, how much

Justin:

of a day is this going to take me?

Jem:

I like

Justin:

Like, is it a half day?

Justin:

Is it a full day?

Justin:

If it's six hours, it's probably going to be eight hours.

Justin:

If you work eight hour days.

Justin:

And that really helped me to like stop thinking about it and minute amounts.

Justin:

The client's probably not going to not choose the job unless

Justin:

they're on a shoe-string budget.

Justin:

And then that's probably not a good fit in the first place

Justin:

unless you really want that job.

Justin:

I always think about that whenever I'm really struggling.

Justin:

I'm like, I don't know.

Justin:

It's it's at least a half a day easily.

Jem:

Yeah, that's a great point.

Jem:

I, I used to do that and I'm out of the habit now I'm back in the mode

Jem:

of like, Manouchehr of like three minutes and 27 seconds for that part

Jem:

of that job and blah, blah, blah, blah.

Jem:

But I, yeah, that's a great point.

Jem:

I need to get back into that head space of just looking at the titles

Jem:

for different parts of the job and imagining, like stepping out onto

Jem:

the floor at 8:00 AM and going cool.

Jem:

When will I be done?

Jem:

Will I be done by morning tea, lunchtime end of the day?

Jem:

That's a great technique.

Justin:

You can't do it until you've had enough experience failing though, right?

Jem:

No, but yeah, I've had plenty of plenty of experience failing.

Justin:

five.

Justin:

Yeah, same.

Justin:

Sometimes I'll just the last thought on that.

Justin:

Sometimes I'll walk out and go like, Ricky, I'm quoting this job.

Justin:

This past, when we did, like how long do you think that took, would it take you an

Justin:

hour or would it be like half a day full, you know, how long would it take you in?

Justin:

usually even just getting those like big round numbers is surprisingly helpful.

Justin:

cause sometimes I'm not, we stopped keeping track of time and even the

Justin:

perceptive ideas of how long some of those processes take or off in my head.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yup.

Jem:

It's a, it's a thing.

Justin:

We went from, from app talk to now, we're just like

Justin:

a sales and quoting podcast.

Jem:

Sales and marketing with Justin in Jem

Justin:

salesforce sponsored.

Jem:

I was going to say your what?

Justin:

We check the box at the same time

Jem:

Oh, did it uncheck itself?

Justin:

you checked.

Justin:

And as soon as you did, I checked it and I unchecked it.

Jem:

Yeah, I was going to say the machine noise last week.

Jem:

It was very uninformed.

Jem:

Um, You're not stuffing production for this.

Jem:

I have

Justin:

It's given convenient, honestly, with our power being out.

Justin:

It's been convenient to not have things been running.

Justin:

Like Ricky's got some computer work.

Justin:

But yeah, you're right.

Justin:

It wasn't as bad as I thought.

Justin:

So I think we could totally run it if we needed to.

Jem:

I reckon it was fine and kind of nice to hear a little bit of life,

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

It's not just a dead silent shop

Jem:

the wine of a router in the background with.

Justin:

only

Justin:

you and I would appreciate that.

Justin:

when I walk into the shop and I hear that, like the riders

Justin:

whining, I'm like, ah, money.

Justin:

That's good.

Jem:

I think your tools rubbing in the background there, Justin

Jem:

might want to duck out and adjust that fade,

Justin:

yeah, it's going a little high

Jem:

Hey how'd you go with the Poplar?

Justin:

I cut it last night before I left.

Justin:

I posted a little real and Instagram, but it's, it's exactly what you described.

Justin:

Every other layer on one direction is rough as hell and little bit

Justin:

rougher on the top and bottom than I expected, but it wasn't too bad.

Justin:

Like, I think it's all serviceable.

Justin:

I think I probably had hopes that it would be closer to like a Baltic core,

Justin:

but it's, it feels more like balsa.

Justin:

Have you ever cut that before?

Jem:

Oh yeah.

Jem:

It's really.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

So I guess the question I have since I haven't done anything with it, since I

Justin:

cut it was does it stand up pretty well?

Justin:

Like those edges?

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Does it just, I just remember having to sand the long way and to get past the,

Jem:

the tear out, that's the only thing.

Justin:

Oh yeah.

Justin:

You said like a millimeter or something, right?

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Like half a mill or something.

Jem:

We have an edge sander.

Jem:

If you have an edge, then

Justin:

just go on.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

you just go on sweet.

Jem:

Yeah, no, I, I remember it finishing quite nicely, just very soft,

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

but you can burn through it.

Jem:

Like it's easy enough to sand it off.

Jem:

It's just like, you can go too far, very quickly.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

That is the problem with those things is they're so good

Justin:

at tearing through material.

Jem:

yup.

Jem:

Quite aggressive.

Jem:

Yeah, we've been using more and more Hoop Pine and enjoying it.

Jem:

So that's the Australian grown stuff, but we're replacing Birch with I

Jem:

think Baltic, but Baltic Birch is more of an American expression.

Jem:

We don't, we just call it, Birch over here.

Jem:

But I think it's, I think we're talking about the same stuff

Jem:

probably comes out of Russia.

Justin:

Yep.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Justin:

I don't know why that distinction there.

Justin:

Must've at some point been another Birch.

Jem:

maybe, well, we've used finish Burt from Costco in a bit in the past.

Jem:

That's lovely stuff.

Jem:

Like the best Birch plywood I've ever seen or used by far

Jem:

just really beautiful stuff.

Jem:

But our local supplier stopped importing it a couple of years ago, unfortunately.

Jem:

But during, I think it was 2017 when we were using a bit of that product.

Jem:

And our important maxi ply was still bringing it in lower.

Jem:

And I got a chance to visit the Costcos in mill in Finland.

Justin:

Oh, wow.

Jem:

And that was really cool.

Jem:

I'd never been in a, a timber processing plant that big, seeing them take those

Jem:

logs and just like unroll them in a second all the processes around it.

Jem:

But they had this coal, they kind of had two plants running.

Jem:

They had a plywood plant and a chipboard plant.

Justin:

Hm.

Jem:

And pretty much all the off-cuts from the plywood processing got

Jem:

chipped and turned into chipboards.

Jem:

So it was kind of these two plants sort of interwoven into each other and all

Jem:

the waste, all the waste from one then created another product in the other

Jem:

and brilliant, really nice set up.

Jem:

It was pretty funny because Laura and I rocked up there.

Jem:

It was just, yeah, just the two of us.

Jem:

The fins are hilarious.

Jem:

They say wonderfully sort of formal and quiet that we wrapped up in this boardroom

Jem:

and they had this whole like PowerPoint presentation ready for us as if we are

Jem:

some big international company visiting.

Jem:

And they had four staff and morning tea prepared and like four people

Jem:

spent two hours with us, giving us this, PowerPoint presentation

Jem:

about the company and then this tour around the thing, it was quite funny.

Jem:

But really, really sweet and cool.

Jem:

Cool to say.

Jem:

if we were ever in a position to stop importing our own plywood, I'd love to

Jem:

go back to them and get their stuff.

Justin:

I haven't heard about that.

Justin:

Have you used apple ply before or heard of it like made basically

Justin:

in our backyard, like 50 miles south, maybe a hundred miles.

Justin:

I had thought for the longest time that it was like all American made, it was like

Justin:

the red, white, and blue, like plywood.

Justin:

And then I found out as prices.

Justin:

And this is before the big event of the Russian invasion, but

Justin:

that was always my backup plan.

Justin:

If.

Justin:

We had two in prices on Baltic Birch, basically imported stuff was gone.

Justin:

And then I found out it's the same core.

Justin:

They just import the core parts and then assemble it here rather

Justin:

than the whole sheet and assembly getting imported at once.

Justin:

They glue it locally.

Jem:

all living clued locally, but veneers come in and then the depressing.

Justin:

it's a lot, it, I mean, it's a, it's an amazing product.

Justin:

You were talking about the best you've seen I today.

Justin:

I've never seen a better, assembly of plywood than apple fly, but

Justin:

it's also usually like almost double or triple the price, usually

Justin:

double and now it's just so wacky.

Justin:

I don't even know, that really threw me for a loop.

Justin:

Cause I was like, oh, we'll just use apple plights.

Justin:

It's made down the road.

Jem:

Also these Birch, oh, it's soy glue

Jem:

formaldehyde free soy adhesive.

Justin:

Yep.

Justin:

That's a really cool product.

Jem:

That's what the popular plywood we can get here is as well.

Jem:

That's soy adhesive.

Justin:

as this stuff we've been using,

Jem:

Nah, I notice you've got a net zero MDF policy on your website as well.

Justin:

Do you also do that?

Justin:

Oh, wow.

Justin:

Person I've ever heard to that.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah, we turned off MDF maybe two, two years ago or something just in an

Jem:

interview staff meeting or that how much work are we actually doing in it?

Jem:

Not that much.

Jem:

What would happen if we turned it off?

Jem:

Yeah, let's do it.

Justin:

Was there another reason other than, well, what were the reasons for it?

Justin:

I guess?

Jem:

Just health.

Jem:

It's just gross Nuna.

Justin:

same.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

We still use it for our sacrificial shape.

Justin:

Same.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

I don't know of a replacement for that.

Jem:

on a, I've tried to do research.

Jem:

I would like to try the, HDPE version of that.

Justin:

Whoa.

Jem:

We do like a really thick sheet of HDPE and you

Jem:

perforate it thousand thousands

Justin:

Oh, we're back to the whole sheets.

Jem:

And then, you know, you deck it beautifully flat, and then you're just,

Jem:

just, just, just skimming into it.

Jem:

But, you know, 0.05 or

Justin:

Interesting.

Jem:

but it's quite a commitment

Justin:

Yeah,

Jem:

trial that system.

Jem:

So we've never gone down that thought.

Jem:

It was still running India for sacrificial.

Justin:

that, that popular applies.

Justin:

So, light core, or maybe it's maybe it's porous enough.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

So my story about MDF, to see other people just are like, oh, okay, that's fine.

Justin:

Or they're like, what are you talking about?

Justin:

This is the only thing I get, you know, have stuff made out of.

Justin:

My story of it was nobody ever told me about what it was in school and we'd

Justin:

make a lot of models Dust collection was basically non-existent in this tiny room.

Justin:

I used a router in, so we'd make Topo models of a site for

Justin:

school and architecture school.

Justin:

And I'd just be in

Jem:

What models

Justin:

topographic like

Justin:

PO

Jem:

typographic Topo.

Justin:

yeah.

Justin:

I just be in there watching this ancient machine run.

Justin:

Cause it could start on fire easily every once in a while and just breathe in it.

Justin:

And I had a sore throat slash cough for a solid year.

Justin:

Like it just did not go away and, and it took me a while to

Justin:

figure out what that was about.

Justin:

Especially after that, I kind of learned more and more that I mean, from my

Justin:

understanding, like the dust is so fine, it goes straight through filters.

Justin:

you can't remove it really from the air once it's in the air.

Justin:

It's just never been worth it.

Justin:

To me and people really appreciate that.

Justin:

I think the work here other people want to do it.

Justin:

That's great, but it's just never been a thing we've done

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Cool.

Jem:

So you've, haven't done it from the start.

Justin:

well, blind prototype for somebody out of it.

Justin:

And that was about it.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

Let me give you the first couple of jobs.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah, it's interesting.

Jem:

Isn't it?

Jem:

I have broken my own rule once in the last two years for a job that called for

Jem:

black velcomat, I think is the product.

Justin:

like outdoor stuff.

Justin:

Outdoor

Jem:

goes out until it's just, you know, that fully stained product.

Jem:

Think that European name is about Chromat or something we call it falls color here,

Jem:

but it's basically a full color and yeah.

Jem:

If anyone were doing this job cutting this big world map.

Jem:

It was supposed to be in paper rock, which is like an HBL solid

Jem:

high pressure laminate product.

Justin:

Yep.

Jem:

But then the spec changed and yeah, it just happened in that instance.

Jem:

Broke my own rule.

Jem:

Cause I was like, this is actually the best product for

Jem:

this job called or run it.

Jem:

That makes sense.

Justin:

That is the downside is that you run into this problem all the time

Justin:

of, especially if you want to make a 3d, a large 3d thing and you need

Justin:

contiguous, non, like layered material.

Justin:

There's not a lot of options foams

Jem:

is foams.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

I've never really played with fine

Justin:

I'm on the Velcro mat website and they say Velcro mat is not MDF.

Justin:

It is an evolution of the MDF.

Jem:

Yes.

Jem:

Yes.

Jem:

Good luck with that marketing.

Jem:

Have you done much with high density foams

Justin:

no, honestly, I've gotten some samples, every job we've gotten close

Justin:

to doing for somebody it falls through.

Justin:

I think for budget reasons, it's pretty expensive.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

And that's often jobs where you're doing like three-day surfacing

Jem:

with lots of machine time, right?

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah,

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

We have an RFQ for like a mold.

Justin:

It was like our full CNC bed of 3d surfacing and their budget wasn't

Justin:

even enough to cover the foam.

Jem:

yeah.

Justin:

I was.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

how are you quoting them?

Jem:

Three-day surfacing jobs.

Jem:

Do you run timing in cam or do you just look at the surface area and apply.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

minimum.

Justin:

I do a roughing setup, do some type of adaptive clearing

Justin:

depending on the material.

Justin:

And then I'll do something like a parallel pass on it, just because that's,

Justin:

I think that's one of the closest ways you can get a time estimate in fusion

Justin:

and it may not be the best operation, it doesn't have a lot of pickups,

Justin:

where the machine needs to move.

Justin:

that works somewhat.

Justin:

I did for a while, when we were getting more of those increase, I

Justin:

wanted to try to figure out like a square foot price, so that, so that

Justin:

instead of needing to calculate it, they're all pretty close to the same.

Justin:

I mean, if you get really deep you may need to have some type of other factors.

Justin:

It's just a couple inches of, you know, change over the surface.

Justin:

there's no reason you shouldn't be able to do a square foot,

Justin:

estimation pretty quickly

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

It's great point.

Jem:

Think about that.

Jem:

If we get more inquiries for that.

Justin:

that's exactly what I was like.

Justin:

Well, someday I'll get into that because we just don't get them that often.

Justin:

I'm curious about your, you said last week that you take

Justin:

Fridays off, but like butter.

Justin:

And I immediately wrote that down to talk about, I think I heard some story

Justin:

like a news story that was like, it was either New Zealand or Australian company

Justin:

that had chosen to do that years ago.

Justin:

And it was like an American is like, what do you mean?

Justin:

Like you can take a day off.

Justin:

What do you mean.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

So we have been doing a four day work week since 2016, I think 2017, maybe.

Jem:

And look that that statement has a lot of disclaimers around it.

Jem:

Because until I had children, I was working at six or seven days a week.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

as a company we've been doing a four day work week since around then and it

Jem:

kind of happened by accident cause we was around the time where I was like, I

Jem:

need someone to help me with the admin.

Jem:

I'm doing everything.

Jem:

I'm on the tools I'm doing.

Jem:

This is unsustainable working, you know, six or seven days a week.

Jem:

Cool.

Jem:

Let's get a business manager.

Jem:

And that was a 2016 was when we hired Sarah and Sarah came in from

Jem:

a completely different industry.

Jem:

And we were like, yes, you're fantastic.

Jem:

But we want you for the job.

Jem:

Oh, we can't afford you for five days a week.

Jem:

And she was like, oh, well, why don't I I'll just work four days.

Jem:

And I was like, okay, cool.

Jem:

We can afford you for four days.

Jem:

Let's do that.

Jem:

then, yeah, very quickly because everyone in production was working five days and

Jem:

she was doing four days and very quickly, it was like, oh, this isn't natural.

Jem:

This is kind of tricky to make this work.

Jem:

Cause you know, Sarah is not here on Fridays.

Jem:

It's like, why don't we look at doing a four day week?

Jem:

And most people were into it.

Jem:

And you know, there was a transition period where like some

Jem:

people were still doing five.

Jem:

Anyway, basically it just evolved over a number of years to the point

Jem:

where the website said, yep, we're closed on Fridays, Fridays became

Jem:

close to the public at least.

Jem:

And and then yeah, it became more and more formal at the time.

Jem:

And now it's definitely a thing.

Jem:

And it's interesting.

Jem:

It comes up in conversation because it's coming to question a little

Jem:

bit, like, cause when I started receiving business coaching, they

Jem:

were like, what are you doing?

Jem:

Like how can you squander

Justin:

20% of your revenue or a

Jem:

that much of your potential production time?

Jem:

And like you've got machines sitting there three days a week doing nothing.

Jem:

And I was like, all right, I'll just try and prove you wrong.

Jem:

But yeah, it does come up and like.

Jem:

Even just lightly, running our numbers.

Jem:

We're like, yes, we need more production hours in the week.

Jem:

How do we achieve that?

Jem:

And so few people have been doing full-time hours in four days or

Jem:

full-time hours in four and a half days coming in Friday morning.

Jem:

So there's, you know, there's all sorts of little things happening around that.

Jem:

It's not a strict,

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

Full day, only week, but during, during the pandemic, like the heat of the

Jem:

pandemic, was the last winter, I think, or maybe the winter before, like, Hey guys,

Jem:

we need to up our production now is, is anyone interested in going full-time and

Jem:

doing like five days in four, because that's a model that a lot of businesses

Jem:

use when they're doing a four day week.

Jem:

And most of the team are like, yeah, cool.

Jem:

We'll give it a go.

Jem:

And we did a six week trial of doing five and four and pretty

Jem:

much everyone by the end of the six weeks was just like, thanks.

Justin:

Interesting.

Jem:

go to work in the dark, get home in the dark.

Jem:

Like it's not that extra day of income is not worth it to me for that sacrifice.

Jem:

So we, most people went back to the four days at that point.

Justin:

I would assume, but things were different.

Justin:

This, this eight hours a day that's considered full normally for you?

Jem:

yeah.

Jem:

7.6.

Jem:

Yep.

Justin:

7.6.

Justin:

why is it 7.6?

Jem:

Cause a 38 hour week is considered a full-time for manufacturing in Australia.

Justin:

Oh.

Jem:

And yeah, I mean, I'm quite attached to the idea.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

Back.

Jem:

I like the idea that our staff have a weekday to go off and do stuff,

Jem:

you know, go to the doctor, go to the bank, do all that life stuff.

Justin:

Yup.

Jem:

I know also just this you, other interests, having, having people

Jem:

who are engaged and interested in other stuff beyond their job, I

Jem:

think is a really beneficial thing by them as individuals, but also

Jem:

for the culture of the company and

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

I think, I think that's basically how the original argument of this article

Justin:

that I read some time ago, probably about that same timeframe that you're

Justin:

talking about the productivity loss wasn't dramatic or at all potentially.

Justin:

And that people were much.

Justin:

About it.

Justin:

I've never heard my knowledge, somebody here, I'm sure there are, but just from

Justin:

hearsay, I haven't heard of anybody in the states doing like a full day off.

Justin:

It ends up being four, 10 hour days And then you take like a Friday off,

Justin:

which my shop neighbor does that.

Justin:

I could see that too.

Justin:

I kind of incidentally work like 10 to 12 hours a day kind of accidentally.

Justin:

And

Jem:

that's

Justin:

see that.

Justin:

So I don't know.

Justin:

I know it's different when you own something versus when you

Justin:

are getting paid to be there.

Justin:

So

Jem:

That's right.

Jem:

I do the same thing.

Jem:

I do roughly a sort of 38 to 40 hour week when everything's on

Jem:

the control being in four days.

Jem:

And that's, I find that quite uncomfortable, but yeah,

Justin:

It's different.

Jem:

it's different.

Jem:

Yeah.

Justin:

Well, you.

Jem:

What are your hours?

Justin:

it changes all the time.

Justin:

Kinda changes by the staff.

Justin:

We have like I mentioned, we're pretty slim at the moment.

Justin:

So I have been getting up earlier and earlier.

Justin:

Maybe you've been influencing me.

Justin:

I was going to show you my let's see here, kind of this, this happened

Justin:

without dramatic failure of the podcast.

Justin:

Can you see that?

Jem:

Oh, Jaylon put Chloe

Jem:

and they felt diary.

Justin:

I made a , little attempt at your default.

Justin:

Derek's I like this idea and I felt dramatically unable

Justin:

to have my own schedule.

Justin:

It's a couple of days.

Justin:

This worked really well.

Justin:

Some days I wasn't even remotely close to it, but it's been nice.

Justin:

I really liked, I look forward to a couple of the blocks,

Justin:

some of them I hate, you know?

Justin:

But like, it gives me a little more freedom mentally to like, work oh, I can

Justin:

just work on like this prototype part now.

Justin:

And I'll, I know when I'm going to work on quotes, which is like a totally

Justin:

new thought to me instead of it's like always burning in the back of my mind.

Jem:

I know that was the big thing for me too.

Jem:

Instead of full day feeling like, oh crap, I need to be doing that.

Jem:

Just going now.

Jem:

I'll do it at that time slot.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

That's great.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

I'm still kind of trying to figure out the owner one.

Justin:

I think you mentioned that was

Justin:

kind of, it's a tough, I've just kind of been using it as like clean up of

Justin:

all the things I need to worry about.

Justin:

So I called it owner.

Justin:

3s, which is that lean term, like sweep standardize.

Justin:

I can remember the fruit third one.

Justin:

that's been somewhat successful.

Justin:

And I guess to answer your question about the timeframe, it's been mostly,

Justin:

I'd say completely successful in that I let people choose their own

Justin:

schedule as long as it's regular.

Justin:

So it's not been a problem.

Justin:

The only problem is when we have deliveries and nobody's here

Justin:

because for a while, most of us just didn't want to work early.

Justin:

But we, at times we've had a guy that would come in at seven and

Justin:

he'd be here wanting to work.

Justin:

And what's nice about that is then you almost get like a second shift.

Justin:

Cause like Ricky likes to come in at like 10 and he works till like six 30.

Justin:

So it kind of works out and that you get, if we were that busy, it would work out

Justin:

to get more hours out of your equipment.

Justin:

Right.

Justin:

And your staff.

Jem:

Yeah.

Justin:

But when you're not busy, it doesn't, it's, it's just a convenience.

Justin:

as being a small company, I don't have a ton of benefits to offer still.

Justin:

So that's one thing I think people can appreciate at least is I mentioned

Justin:

before, we're just, I'm just really flexible about, if new leave, as long

Justin:

as you're covered what you need to get accomplished, somebody else then.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

Whatever works.

Jem:

that's cool.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

I think that's where I see if it becomes a problem in future that

Jem:

we're still just doing four days.

Jem:

Then I see people still doing a four day contract, but split them over

Jem:

the week so that we're getting, so the machines are running every day.

Jem:

If we need that capacity, then that's the easiest way to get it in my mind.

Justin:

For sure.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Well, the thing we found challenging in the past around that.

Jem:

We used to have quite a much more split week.

Jem:

So it would have people who are only in, on certain days or

Jem:

only did three days or two days.

Jem:

And the communication breakdown was really challenging of just like not having

Jem:

everyone in on the same day on the same schedule is so much easier to communicate

Jem:

effectively versus like, oh, did you like, have you been told this about

Jem:

this job or not knowing who knows what?

Jem:

But now that we've got a much better sort of internal ERP effectively

Jem:

with Airtable, I think that would be less of a challenge these days, but.

Justin:

It's still hard though.

Justin:

we had an employee that worked only a couple of days a week and they were

Justin:

always somewhat challenged by how long it had been since they'd worked

Justin:

basically, they bashed those two days.

Justin:

We would always have a lot of stuff for them to work on when they got there.

Justin:

So there was never a catch-up period.

Justin:

It was just always like, yeah.

Jem:

Jump in.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

It doesn't work.

Justin:

Great.

Justin:

It regularities nice.

Jem:

There's a pile.

Jem:

That's the sander and a pile of pots.

Jem:

Good.

Justin:

yeah.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

Oh, it was more like design a six fixtures real quick, you

Justin:

know like get a made by tomorrow.

Jem:

yeah, yeah.

Jem:

That's tricky.

Jem:

One about guys, Josh has gone back to study this semester and he's

Jem:

in that detailing role in fusion.

Jem:

And so he's just here two days a week at the moment and he drops in and it's just,

Jem:

yeah, there's a pile of jobs to detail.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

But he's doing really well.

Jem:

He's learning a lot and smashing through it, so it's cool.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

You have Jim and Jay try quotient and the results are in, and I'm

Justin:

curious to hear what the results.

Jem:

Well, when I wrote that the results were in and it was

Jem:

off the table, we'd scrapped it.

Justin:

Interesting.

Jem:

had a few days of excitement.

Jem:

It was like, Ooh, this is good.

Jem:

This is good.

Jem:

And then we tried some of the connections and we're like, we can't

Jem:

feed the daughter into it that we want to get into it out of Airtable.

Jem:

So we quote an Airtable and then we want all of that data to

Jem:

automatically feed into a quote

Justin:

oh

Jem:

the input web hooks as they're cold and not particularly advanced

Jem:

the outputs look really strong.

Jem:

So getting stuff out of it into zero or other platforms should be fine.

Jem:

Anyway.

Jem:

So we basically canned it.

Jem:

And then JD did another sort of 48 hours of research into

Jem:

other options in that space.

Jem:

Cause we're trying to avoid building our own basically doubling out.

Jem:

And then giant.

Jem:

And I had a sit down yesterday and ran through all the options

Jem:

that they'd researched and basically swung full circle back.

Jem:

Quotient and

Justin:

Interesting.

Jem:

cool.

Jem:

Okay.

Jem:

Let's give it another go.

Jem:

Let's do a full trial, like connecting it to all the bits

Jem:

that it needs to be connected to.

Jem:

And it's not going to be as automatic as we'd hoped,

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

We both of us keep coming back to your comment of like

Jem:

how much customers love it.

Jem:

And we can see from what we've fiddled with it, it would be such

Jem:

a nice client facing interface.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

So even if it's not automatic, I think it'll still be a great improvement.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

I mean, if there's manual entry, I know exactly what you're talking about.

Justin:

I still enter in every, customer's info at the beginning, and then I

Justin:

have it templatized to a point where.

Justin:

I can just basically, because most of our jobs are very similar in

Justin:

terms of like, they need labor, they need some type of material.

Justin:

I usually have to update the material to the right thing.

Justin:

And a lot of them are already in there and I have to maybe update the price.

Justin:

That's all crazy lately.

Justin:

And then you enter in the amount of hours and maybe whatever

Justin:

custom detail about that job.

Justin:

And maybe yours is similar enough that unless you've got the perfect system,

Justin:

I think maybe like you're Airtable.

Justin:

I'm always going to be making something custom on every quote.

Justin:

Like they're never, they're never the same.

Justin:

Sometimes we get repeat jobs and I can just copy the old quote

Justin:

and update a couple things.

Justin:

That's nice.

Jem:

Yeah,

Justin:

I think you could pretty easily automate creating the

Justin:

customer and the little bit

Justin:

of like company info.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

We'll automate the lead entry, but yeah, it looks like it's going to be manual

Jem:

entry for builder the job details itself.

Jem:

But the bit that we should be able to templatize, I think is all that, the

Jem:

generic information about the process and, you know, these are the steps in our

Jem:

deposit process, or these are the pros and cons of raw finish versus sealed finish.

Jem:

And like, just turn that template stuff on and off in the bottom of a.

Justin:

Yup.

Jem:

Cause that's the main thing we're lacking at the moment is all that,

Jem:

just that richness of information.

Jem:

So instead of them just getting this black and white quote PDF out of zero, they get

Jem:

like this rich text thing with pictures and lots of info and it looks like it

Jem:

will be able to do that for us then

Justin:

Yeah.

Jem:

we'll, we'll keep going and see.

Justin:

I have a friend Joe, that we used to share a shop and he does like find.

Justin:

he had started out kind of on his own selling stuff on Etsy, which

Justin:

is, I don't know if you have of that

Justin:

to some degree.

Justin:

And he just you know, managing that kind of stuff.

Justin:

Wasn't really his like, desire, right?

Justin:

Like not many people want to build an ERP.

Jem:

I do.

Justin:

Yeah, you're right.

Justin:

A few of us.

Justin:

And I showed him quotient and he loves it and he finds that as far as I

Justin:

remember he was saying that he thinks it helps him more easily sell clients,

Justin:

things that they want potentially, that he would otherwise have to have

Justin:

some really verbose conversation about.

Justin:

Cause he'll put an options.

Justin:

Like I built a lot of vanities for bathrooms and he'll put in an

Justin:

option like this docking drawer thing that he gets that you can put

Justin:

in a little outlet in the drawer.

Justin:

But if he just says that, it sounds like he's trying to like add stuff on.

Justin:

To this thing, you know, it's like hard to show, but if it has a photo that you

Justin:

can pop up and it describes it, they check the box, it's in their project now it's

Jem:

nice.

Jem:

Yeah, we'll check it out.

Jem:

Tell me about the drawings infusion.

Jem:

You're way ahead of me in this field.

Jem:

I think I do very hacky one.

Justin:

Oh gosh.

Justin:

Someday I'll have, we'll have to have a.

Justin:

Compliments to fusion episode, but this is not one of my

Justin:

compliments to fusion comments.

Justin:

I know they've done some work to improve them, but I find them

Justin:

mostly very frustrating still.

Justin:

And there've been some new stuff that I like.

Justin:

I really like ever since we started doing products, the revision table

Justin:

thing kind of came out perfectly last month, where now you can track

Justin:

those things, especially when you're sending out court requests and other

Justin:

companies have them make stuff for you.

Justin:

It's really nice to be able to like say this exact thing changed and you can

Justin:

call it out and put it in the table.

Justin:

Some of that was broken.

Justin:

I guess I got it fixed, but I just find, I do a lot of fiddling

Justin:

to make it do the same thing.

Justin:

Like the templates are there, but they're not.

Justin:

You can't save most of the things you really want to save.

Justin:

In my opinion, like I want the drawings to always have a title.

Justin:

It don't have titles and you've gotta like custom make those every time.

Justin:

I, you know, it's basically just been me using them here and a

Justin:

couple other people have over time, maybe you have a similar feeling.

Justin:

I have a background where I was graded on how well I made drawings, right?

Justin:

Like in school.

Justin:

And then in the few years I worked, like I had people that were, that sat me down

Justin:

and said, this is how you do drawings.

Justin:

So it was like a heart to heart talk and very serious to these people.

Justin:

Like you only put your dimensions in this space so that they never

Justin:

get cut off by the printer.

Justin:

You know, it was like all this stuff.

Justin:

It's painful to me in a certain sense, because I can't put that

Justin:

kind of nice detail into it.

Justin:

And it was very important to me at one time.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Okay.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

That's my take on it.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

I think I've always been a bit rebellious with that stuff.

Jem:

yes, I was trying to enduring conventions conventions, but I think

Jem:

I rejected them pretty early on.

Jem:

And the first sort of industry job I had, it was all about speed

Jem:

and getting line drawings and renders out as fast as possible.

Jem:

And it became more important to ensure that things were communicated.

Jem:

Clearly.

Jem:

Convention was less important.

Jem:

It was more about the key dimensions there.

Jem:

Yes or no.

Jem:

Great, cool.

Jem:

It's being communicated and I guess flowing that into my own business of.

Jem:

It became much more sort of a practical thing.

Jem:

A lot of the drawings I did were just for internal use for like coal,

Jem:

we need to make the steel frame.

Jem:

Here's the dimensions highlight, make sure you hit this dimension.

Jem:

And then I think I've continued that like we do do some formal shop

Jem:

drawings that go out for approval.

Jem:

But during, during the pandemic, when video communications became more common,

Jem:

I got into the habit of doing screen captures for clients and I pretty

Jem:

much scrapped drawings completely.

Jem:

And I would just turn on a screen recording program like this and

Jem:

just talk, walk and talk a client through fusion, like pick the

Jem:

project apart and go, yeah, cool.

Jem:

This is what I've done here.

Jem:

This is that detail.

Jem:

And that's why I decided to do this.

Jem:

Cause this looks funny and just, you can communicate so much so quickly.

Jem:

That's very hard to communicate or very time consuming to

Jem:

do that in a tech drawing.

Jem:

There's problems with that in terms of mock-ups and communication

Jem:

of changes and things like that.

Jem:

Obviously I'm trying to get more disciplined and make sure that they at

Jem:

least have a PDF thing that I can mock up that goes with that screen capture.

Jem:

But I find 90% of my communication with the client for approval is

Jem:

happening in screencaps or those days.

Jem:

And I find it super powerful.

Justin:

Interesting.

Justin:

Yeah, this is pretty like, I've not heard of anybody else doing that, but

Justin:

I totally know what you mean in terms of I'll do that internally a lot.

Justin:

I'll make a video to show.

Justin:

Usually it's like, oh, I figured out how something works through talking

Justin:

to somebody at Autodesk about fusion.

Justin:

And I'm like, look, guys, you can do this now instead of, you know, it's this other

Justin:

thing, and that is easily the best way instead of like doing it each person.

Justin:

Right.

Justin:

I can totally see it's, you know, most clients I would venture to guess our

Justin:

clients don't end up having a background that they could read you know, like a

Justin:

traditional drawing of some sort very well anyway, so it's not necessarily helpful.

Justin:

A lot of times when we do any work for them where we need some kind of drawing

Justin:

or presentation of representation of the product I use renderings.

Justin:

And I sometimes just send them like the fusion public links so they can just

Justin:

spin the model around and they love

Jem:

I use that all the time.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

I'll send the screen capture and that fusion public link

Jem:

so they can pick it apart.

Jem:

I find that's a fantastic combination for most people.

Jem:

And the thing is I don't like architectural drawings.

Jem:

I have a real distaste for receiving like a drawing package.

Jem:

I open the email and I'm just like, that's a quote inquiry.

Jem:

I pretty much just like glance at the drawing package.

Jem:

And I'm just like, oh, I'll deal with this later.

Jem:

I just feel immediately overwhelmed and like rich, which bit of

Jem:

the thing you actually want?

Jem:

Like just give me one page and highlight the key information.

Justin:

even with my background, I hate that.

Justin:

cause it's usually I know from being in the architectural field that it's

Justin:

intentionally left, vague most of the time

Jem:

exactly.

Justin:

intentional so that they're not liable for anything.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

That's it.

Jem:

Check, check, measure all dimensions on

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

Make up your own, you know, make your own drawings for us.

Justin:

And it's like, wait, what.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

And I understand why that industry operates that way, but yes, as someone

Jem:

who has to then quote the joinery for a thing it's incredibly infuriating

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

Sometimes though, it's the best, because I'll get this beautiful rhino

Justin:

file from an architectural designer.

Justin:

And like, nobody sends me things like this.

Justin:

Like this is, this is straight to my form heart,

Jem:

Oh, yeah.

Jem:

It's lovely when that happens.

Justin:

What are you up to the rest of the week or today?

Jem:

Let me check my Airtable list.

Jem:

I think more of the same today, a little bit of detailing, lots

Jem:

of general admin to get through marketing meeting in the afternoon.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Bits and bobs put some bulbs.

Jem:

It's one of those days where I'll get to the end of that and

Jem:

I'll think what have I achieved?

Jem:

I don't know.

Jem:

But.

Jem:

And I got in at 5:30 AM, so I must've got something done.

Jem:

Right.

Justin:

that's the worst.

Justin:

Sometimes I think we've maybe chatted about that before, but some of those

Justin:

days where I'm just like, like last couple days, I've just been making

Justin:

drawings and exploiting DXF for like laser cutting bending projects.

Justin:

And I get to the end of the day, I'm like, that was, what did I do?

Justin:

You know, like it's not anything I can see nobody's working on a new thing.

Justin:

And I, sometimes I just have to like go sometimes I just pick up a broom

Justin:

and like I got to sweep something

Jem:

It feels good to do that.

Jem:

Hey.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

My equivalent to that is like jumping on the forklift and just

Jem:

moving some packs of material around to clear the workshop flow.

Justin:

yes.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

Our shop was bigger.

Justin:

I'd probably be spinning around on it if it worked more that's I

Justin:

guess that's my new, my trend line is if it worked, I'd be using it.

Justin:

I do have to say though, from bitching about my air compressor installation,

Justin:

that thing is such dry air now.

Justin:

we don't have any moisture on our airlines anymore and it is, it also

Justin:

runs for like 45 seconds at a time.

Justin:

And then it's off.

Justin:

Like he used to be like minutes.

Justin:

It's crazy different.

Jem:

Awesome.

Jem:

Did you not have a dryer previously?

Justin:

No, we lived by putting a lot of those water separators all over the

Justin:

place, which was kind of stupid.

Justin:

And I should have done something better a long time ago, but it's

Justin:

over

Jem:

the, the surface taper of your spindle, is it arrest free?

Justin:

Yeah, surprisingly.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

I mean, I have, like, we had a couple machine, like whole system separators

Justin:

in the back by the old compressor.

Justin:

And then at each machine there was at least one to three filters,

Justin:

like legitimately there's like two or three on one machine.

Jem:

cool.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

When we installed the dryer, I never ever found moisture in

Jem:

one of those filters ever again.

Jem:

It's

Justin:

so wild.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

Yeah.

Justin:

It sounds like a little like refrigerator, like, like a dorm fridge,

Jem:

Yeah,

Justin:

never any

Jem:

I guess we'd better wrap it up and keep this thing in check,

Justin:

for sure.

Justin:

I'm gonna attempt to fix a forklift,

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Good luck with that.

Justin:

I dunno either that, or I'm going to call somebody and pay a lot of money.

Justin:

Cause I did a stupid thing, but

Jem:

Yes.

Jem:

I guess if I was Saunders, I'd ask, you know, where, where is your time valuable?

Justin:

I've been thinking about that too, it is to my knowledge, other than

Justin:

our lawyer, it is the most costly thing.

Justin:

We can hire out some, somebody to repair or for, to work on our forklift.

Justin:

And that blows my mind.

Justin:

I'm like kind of pissed about it, especially cause I was the

Justin:

one to make the mistake about it.

Jem:

Yeah, it's frustrating.

Justin:

No, I, I have the same thought, but I also don't have like

Justin:

a ton of paying work right now.

Justin:

So I

Jem:

Got to get it done.

Justin:

spend more time than I need to.

Justin:

Okay.

Jem:

Cool.

Justin:

Good week.

Jem:

Yeah.

Jem:

Thanks man.

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Parts Department
Parts Department
Justin Brouillette (Portland CNC) and Jem Freeman (Like Butter) discuss CNC machines, their product design and manufacturing businesses, and every kind of tool that they fancy.

About your hosts

Profile picture for Jem Freeman

Jem Freeman

Co-founder and director of Like Butter, a CNC focussed timber design and manufacturing business in their purpose-built solar-powered workshop. Castlemaine, VIC, Australia.
Profile picture for Justin Brouillette

Justin Brouillette

Founder of Portland CNC & Nack