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Shop Wizard Creates Profitable New Career
It's difficult to put a value on the mechanical skills needed to create the kind of "made it myself" farm inventions that fill the pages of FARM SHOW. Guys that are good at working with their hands just seem to take it for granted and often forget that not everyone can do what they can do.
  Dave Madar of Brown City, Mich., was featured on the cover of FARM SHOW several years ago (Vol. 21, No. 5) when he built his own skid steer loader. Recently, he sent us the following story of how he learned to put his skills to use doing custom work for others. Here's his story:

"In 1996, my firewood and scrap metal business were not going well due to circumstances beyond my control (warm weather and low prices). The bank with which I had dealt for over 20 years decided not to renew my home mortgage, and foreclosed on us. Anyone who has ever had to move over 20 years worth of accumulation knows it was a huge undertaking. On top of that, we were broke and losing our heated pole barn, where I did most of my mechanical work.
  "I found a piece of farmland complete with septic, well and electric for rent. We set up a cheap mobile home for an emergency place to live.
  "Out of desperation, I took a part time job at $7.50 an hour. It wasn't much but it bought groceries and paid the light bill. But I knew there had to be a better way.
  "I possessed pretty good welding and fabricating skills but did not want to be just another welder at a factory. I've always enjoyed creating things from scratch but did not like the long hours and low monetary returns for factory work. I decided to go into business on my own.
  "I started a welding business armed with my trusty 1974 Ford 4-WD, an antique torch set, a 1960 Hobart gas welder, a disc grinder, and $75 in cash. Instead of building my own equipment and doing my own repairs, I started doing it for others.
  "Things worked out so well that in less than four years, I've purchased five welders (3 brand new), a commercial bandsaw, three trucks, chopsaws, grinders, a drill press and other tools too numerous to mention. I also bought a cabin in Northern Michigan, paid off a $9,000 debt, and met the needs of my family. Everything has been paid for in cash and I've taken on no new debt.
  "I get many checks for $200 to $300 for a few hours work up to $700 a day or $2,500 a week. Once I made $30,000 for 6 months of part time work.
  "I believe there are many FARM SHOW readers who could get into this kind of work. You just have to have a desire to work on your own and know how to run a torch, welder, and other tools. If I can do it, anyone with good mechanical skills can do the same.
  "I would be willing to help others get started like I did and am considering selling a video with information and examples of how I did it and how I operate now. Anyone interested should write to me at the address below and I'll get back to them."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David Madar, King David's Fabricating & Welding, 4584 Bentley Rd., Brown City, Mich. 48416.

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #3