After a nice cup of tea, we headed off to his workshop. This was a real eye opening day for me in many ways. The process of laser cutting bases is not as simple as I had imagined and Martin took the time to explain how the computer programs work to ensure that they cut correctly. I had just assumed that it was a straight forward procedure, but the reality is very different and even a relatively simple program, such as one required for cutting square bases needs very careful planning or bits wont get cut as they would fall away from the main sheet before the laser got to them.
I was allowed to operate one of the lasers, and cut several batches of zombies trays, I stood completely fascinated as the complex cutting guide was loaded and the lasers cut the bases out of solid sheets, the whole program took 6 minutes to run and produced two full trays with each run, so a quick bit of maths in my head worked out that you could cut twenty bases an hour and 140 a day going flat out. It does not take a genius to work out that even with three cutters running all day there is a lot of hours required to maintain the stock levels and that's without all the special orders thrown in as well.
Of course being a family run business, Martin is assisted by his father Donald and son Glenn, in the workshop and the whole operation runs like a well oiled machine. I have maintained a working relationship with Martin since the inception of my own business and he was the sole supplier of all the bases for my own products and as some of you know I occasionally help him out at shows.
Further to this Martin has good plans for Warbases and is planning on expanding not only his ranges, but also adding products to his inventory and expanding in other directions, one of the products that I used to make a lot of was flexible roads, these have always been a very good seller and are one of the few products that with my health I am still able to make as no fumes or dust are created in the making of these.
So whilst I am no longer trading directly, and am unable to produce everything that I used too, I now have plans in place for the year ahead. These should help me and my family through the coming months. I am also going to be helping out at a few more shows this year, as this is the easiest way for us too regularly meet up and discuss things.
So whilst things may have looked very bleak at the end of last year, when I had to close the business as it was running I have been able to effectively retain some of it and breathe new life into it. Now as you can appreciate this will have an impact on my family life and the time I generally will have available, as it will mean more weekends away from home.
However this is something that has the full backing of my wife. I have to put the hours into making products for Martin to earn the wages to support my family, who's needs must be placed first. So in order to make a fresh start I have severed all ties and ended all other commitments, in order to focus solely on this and not have any further impact on my health or family life. Something I am sure you can agree is the only option in the circumstances.
Today has not been spent on the brushes at all, as I am shattered from the extremely long day yesterday. I have spent it trying to catch up on all the blog posts and challenge entries I have missed. I may not have commented on them all but will have read them by the end of the day.