30
Jul

MMW August Update

Major news: we will be closing for almost all classes, excepting Intro MIG, Intro TIG, and Advanced TIG, until Jan 3, 2021.

Reason: I can’t keep doing this roller coaster of closed, reopen, closed, reopen.  It wreaks havoc on the schedule, the shop finances, business planning, and my mental health.  So we are going to tread water and switch the business over to limited classes outdoors and fabrication to stay afloat until we can safely reopen again in 2021. I’m optimistic that there will be developments coming this fall and winter that will allow for us to reopen, whether that’s a vaccine or better info on how the virus spreads and how to protect ourselves better.

Refunds/Rescheduling

I have reserved funds for refunding classes, but there’s a lot ($20,605 owed in credit).  And with rent continuing to accrue while we wait in a holding pattern ($6010/mo), I am requesting for refunds if you can donate a portion, say $50, we can ease the transition over to fabrication and attempt to get back into the black again (or light red).  Happy to transfer your class credit to a different class too.  

What are we going to do this summer/fall?  

First, take a week off.  Then fire up the CNC plasma cutter and continue to make Corten planters, custom furniture, and light fixtures.  There will be a website redesign so you can find our projects more easily.  And we’ll continue to offer the limited run of MIG and TIG classes.

Any changes to MIG?

Yes, it’ll be outdoors. It’ll also be faster (4hrs) so we can get it done with no lunch break (mostly so we don’t have folks coming back after removing their masks).  Also so we can get it done 9am-1pm, before it gets too hot.  Bring a snack and water.  Smaller class size too (4-5 people) with your own n95 mask and gloves to wear and keep.

Why TIG?

TIG is the one class where I feel I can offer it with minimal risk since you stay at your own station pretty much the whole time.  You’re not jumping from welder to angle grinder or welder to band saw.  So cross contact is minimal.  And for legal reasons, TIG training is considered essential business since it’s used in the trades for a variety of essential construction, manufacturing, and repair operations.  MIG is to a lesser extent, but it’s more of a gray area, that’s why we’re going outside.

What about private lessons?

No. Afraid not.  I offered private lessons in June/July and while everyone pretty much behaved, keeping 6’ of distance is difficult when students are looking over my shoulder at my welds or when I’m trying to show you how to use whatever tool. It’s not quite worth the risk to me or my family.  It also necessitates a ton of cleaning that sends the cost per hour of lesson into unreasonable territory.  You might disagree with me on this one, what level of risk is there, but to me, you can wait.  At least until more clear guidance is there on appropriate cleaning measures for things like welding helmets, leather gloves, and masks don’t fog safety glasses as much so you’re not constantly touching and adjusting your mask, face, and gloves.

Open Shop?

On hold. If you need open shop access for your income or manufacturing, let’s discuss.  There will be a limited number of stations available for monthly rental and I’m working that one out individually.  If it’s for non-essential work I’m afraid it’s going to have to wait, due both to the closure and so we can focus on the main task of our own manufacturing.  I will be reaching out to those who still have projects in the shop to make room for our own (mostly so we can drive a forklift around inside).  Offering refunds to those who need it for either April monthly charges or punch cards.