Cub landing gear
Yesterday (11/3/2014) 50 gear sets, uncut gear parts, we were delivered to us from a local metals fab company …. That’s a major change for us because we’ve been buying the tubing in 6’ lengths and then putting it in the horizontal band saw and cutting it up ourselves. If you take a good look at one of our gears there are “a dozen parts”, each hand made at a cost of hours and hours sitting at the band saw, lathe or sand blaster. Huge labor costs for us! The other part of the operation, that’s still labor intensive is brazing the parts together. Not welded, but rather brazed by an expert …. Ask around and you’ll find that brazing is a “lost art”, people describe Tom’s brazing as a “lost art” ….
In the face of mushrooming sales and inadequate time to build gears, we had to do something, so started asking our friends what to do? That led us to AMM in Vancouver, WA Jeremy Holst, nephew of longtime friend Russ Holst who’s the proprietor of Coyote Hobby in Oregon City.
It’s taken Jeremy a few weeks to work out the details of cutting the tubing up but Wednesday, he delivered to me a box of gears. All we have to do now is to “put them together”!
When I looked in the box the first thing I noticed was that all the parts were neatly organized and clean! CLEAN … I’ve spent way too many hours at the sand blaster/sander cleaning burs and other guck off tubing! Won’t be any need to clean these parts ….
My next thought was, “what if they aren’t exact? What if Tom says, “Well these won’t work because of this or that?” Tom’s a real stickler for precision! My next trip was to take them to him for his approval? Showed him the box and he said, “Well, they’re nice and clean, no need to deburr them and well organized.” Then he took out his metal ruler and held a piece of tubing up to it. “Right on the money” …… WONDERFUL!
It’s early Saturday morning and yesterday, Tom brazed a gear together. Said, “what a wonderful transition, Jeremy did great work, no more sitting at the bandsaw for hours on end …. I’ll be working up a dozen orders and have them out in a week.”
As Tom and I work on our backlog of orders I’ll be contacting our customers and giving them prospective delivery dates and would encourage those thinking of ordering, “Go ahead and send your orders in because we’ll now be able to get back to a ‘10 to 15 day turnaround between receipt of an order and delivery’”.