Engine Builder Shop Solutions: September 2008 - Engine Builder Magazine

Engine Builder Shop Solutions: September 2008

Top 10 Machine Shop Business Tips  

TIP #2 – Get The Job In The Door:  As one shop owner who is also a fly fisherman put it, “You gotta set the hook.”  Most shop owners would agree that once the job hits the floor it turns to cash. The key to getting more jobs to hit the floor is simply to pay attention to your phone selling techniques.

An outfit in Nebraska makes a point to train all its employees on phone etiquette including an emphasis on using customer names.  He says first off, mount a loud external ringer both inside and outside of your shop so everyone knows when a prospect is calling.  The shop owner says it is helpful if your employees cease loud machining operations when the phone rings, particularly the use of air pressure hoses.  Another helpful tip is to have employees answer the phone in a professional manner that includes your company’s name and their own in the greeting. Something like:  “Good morning, Joe’s Machine Shop, this is Frank speaking.”  The final, and most important, tip is to get the caller’s name (and phone number) early in the conversation.  Use the caller’s name often during the call.  During the rest of the conversation you should have one goal in mind:  Get the job in the door. 

One trick that usually works for Frank from Nebraska is to say “Why don’t you come on down to my shop…there’s no charge to look around and I’ll throw in a free cup of coffee.”  Frank says the free “Joe” gets them in the door almost every time.

BOTTOM LINE:  Customers are hard to find, so when a prospect calls your shop, take the time and effort to “get the job in the door.”

Steve Rich 

Sterling Bearing Warehouse

Kansas City, MO 


Pressurizing Camshaft Thrust Oiling On Big Block Chevys

Start by drilling through the lower thrust face in the block to intersect the #1 main feed hole, then partially tap the hole to insert a 6-32 set screw. Drill a 0.028? hole in a brass set screw, for a metering jet. Use a brass screw because it will drill easily. Put in the set screw with Loctite(tm) and install the metering jet.

This works for many other applications where you want to meter the oil. Don’t forget to chamfer the drilled hole.


Chris Muhener

Expressway Machine Shop

Pocatello, ID

Inexpensive Crankshaft Turning Tool

For an inexpensive crank turning tool that will fit just about any crankshaft, take a worn out harmonic balancer puller and weld a 1/2? drive socket to it. Then install the harmonic balancer and attach the tool.


Ken Marlar

Sterling Engine Parts

Minneapolis, MN



Engine Builder Shop Solutions is sponsored by Engine Pro,
a consortium of 14 engine parts specialist WDs operating 33 branch
locations serving engine builders/rebuilders across the U.S.
Solutions published in each issue of Engine Builder Magazine are
awarded a $100 Visa Gift Card. Winners will be chosen by
the staff of Engine Builder Magazine and the Engine Pro Technical

To submit a Shop Solution simply mail your entry
to Engine Builder Magazine, Shop Solutions, 3550 Embassy Parkway,
Akron, OH 44333; or email to Shop [email protected]. Shop
Solutions may also be
emailed to [email protected].You must include
your name, shop name, shop address and shop telephone number. Submitted
Shop Solutions not published will be kept on file and reevaluated for
publication with each month’s new entries. If you include your email
address you will be emailed notification of publication if your Shop
Solution is chosen.


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