Start-Up Guide #3: The Sink Cutout System
Our tried-and-true system for sinks is a simple "walk before you run" approach. By breaking up equipment purchases you can expand faster and avoid wasting resources. Here's what you'll need.
You’ll want to use the correct diamond tooling and avoid the “old school” dry grinding with carbide stones. Wet cutting and polishing will speed up production, and it's safer for your workers.
Let's say you currently have about 4 jobs a week, and each job requires you to cut 4 sinks. With your current system, each cutout takes you 90 minutes. With the equipment listed above, you can expect to cut out 8 hours of labor per week. That's 400 hours in your first year, totaling $8,000 of savings in labor cost.
Once you're making more than one sink a day, you're ready for a stone router. A router will speed up the grinding operation required after roughing in the sink cut. If you're going to invest in a router, choose one that will last a decade. You’ll not only be using this for sinks, but also for occasional edge milling.
At 4 jobs per week (16 sinks), you will save an additional 15 mins per sink in Phase 2 with a stone router. That extra 200 hours saved each year means boosted production without additional hires.
Tip Router machines are dual purpose. They will also act as your primary edge mailing machine in this phase.
At one point in your growth you'll be able to invest in automated or semi-automated equipment. You may even want to go digital and invest in a full CNC Work Center. This is when you reach peak productivity, and you got there the right way, based on your growth.
Once you're working 7 or more jobs a week (about 30 sinks), you're ready to invest in large equipment. Otherwise your previous systems may become overloaded. With this level of volume, a sink workstation will pay for itself within weeks.
Where Do I Start?
No matter your volume, we recommend to start at Phase 1. The knowledge you'll get using hand tools is invaluable. It will also save you a lot of time and money if you choose to grow to Phases 3. Plus, the tools you buy in Phases 1 and 2 will still be useful, no matter how large your shop grows.