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bonehead last won the day on January 20

bonehead had the most liked content!

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About bonehead

  • Rank
  • Birthday 04/12/1948

Profile Information

  • Name
    Mike Welch
  • Company
    Welch Sign Co.
  • Job Title
    Janitor & CEO
  • Location
    Kansas City MO
  • Gender

Previous Fields

  • Company Type
    Full Service Shop

Quick Company Info

  • Contact Number
  • Address
    Merriam KS
  • Equipment
    Hammer, duct tape, hot glue, thumbtacks
  1. 5 degrees here today YUCK

    Travis asked about warming up the hydraulics. I bought a 12 volt electric car seat warmer and wrapped it in a plastic trash bag; zip-tied it around the hydraulic pump and reservoir. Got an SJO cord wired straight onto to the truck battery, runs up to the warmer. Plug it in before we move the trucks outside and unplug it at the end of the day. Looks silly as hell, but it seems to help quite a bit.
  2. 5 degrees here today YUCK

    Travis asked about warming up the hydraulics. I bought a 12 volt electric car seat warmer and wrapped it in a plastic trash bag; zip-tied it around the hydraulic pump and reservoir. Got an SJO cord wired straight onto to the truck battery, runs up to the warmer. Plug it in before we move the trucks outside and unplug it at the end of the day. Looks silly as hell, but it seems to help quite a bit.
  3. 5 degrees here today YUCK

    You guys in the warm climates don't know what you're missing.
  4. 5 degrees here today YUCK

    Brian. I feel your pain - but you get no sympathy from Kansas City. I'm wearing so many layers I can hardly move around. Cool thing, though - I bought a 12 volt heat blanket that I put around the hydraulic cylinder on the ladder truck. Keeps the fluid warm. And, sometimes I wrap it around me.
  5. Funny story

    Just recalling a story from not-too-long-ago: Our shop used to be pretty competetive, and we would (passively) try to keep up on what our competition was doing. On one occasion, one of my install crews returned from a job and reported that they had seen XYZ sign company installing a channel letter sign. My guys said they watched XYZ for almost an hour, and that during that hour they (XYZ) only got two small channel letters installed on a masonry wall. I didn't want to be mean about it, but I had to ask: during that same hour, which crew got the most work done? After a little introspective head scratching, I got no reply to my question but everybody got back to work. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas from Kansas City.
  6. Neon Issues - Need Help

    This looks like something I used to do for fun. I was trying to make a clear argon/mercury tube 'sparkle and zap' just like this - I took a tiny pinch of some very fine aluminum filings and dropped them in the tube before pumping. While pumping it looked absolutely crazy. After pumping, it looked just like this. Burned really hot for a while, eventually sputtered and burned completely out. Based on that little experiment, I would speculate - just like the others above - some sort of contamination. But my guess would be something with a metallic content - possibly some very fine airborne metal particles? Good luck with it, and best regards. Mike
  7. Completion report

    I was just going through some of my old paperwork. I'm getting ready to retire, and disposing of a lot of old stuff. I happened to find this old letter; I used to install a lot of Allstate signs, and we usually sent a detailed report after the job was complete. Here's the text, you might enjoy this: Dear Turner. Regarding this service call, we actually did get to the location the very next day after the order. Prompt and professional service - that's the way we roll. There was one minor incident; actually so piddley that I didn't think of it till just now. So anyways, this office building is located on a very steep hill. The parking lot, also on a steep hill, is behind the building. In order to keep out of the closer parking spots, we parked on the outer row of parking spaces, about a hundred feet from the building. Our service crew gathered the tools and were walking up to the office when they heard the ladder truck moving. It seems the truck had popped out of gear, (the emergency brake has never worked) and was rolling down the hill towards the agent's office, picking up speed as it went. A car was just entering the parking lot, driven by a dumb-ass old lady who wasn't paying the least bit of attention to what was coming. We had hoped that the car would stop the truck before it hit the building, but it was one of those ugly-assed 'Smart" cars. So much for 'Smart'; it couldn't even stop a runaway ladder truck. I"ll never buy one of those, they crunch up like an aluminum beer can.. Anyway, the truck proceeded toward the building with the smart car crumpled into the front grill like a big shiny bug. When it went through the rear brick wall of the building, the look on the agent's face was, like, WTF? Kind of funny, actually. I get the impression that he was somewhat slow-witted, as he made absolutely no effort to get out of the way. Not our fault. Anyhow the truck went all the way through the building, with the Smart car, the old lady, the agent, bricks, and a bunch of office furniture coming out the other side. This is where it gets interesting. This building was apparently not built to code, because it sits right smack up against North Oak street . I mean, it's not six feet away from the street!!. The actual street level is about eight feet below the building grade, and they put a retaining wall there to hold the building up. On top of that, they had the lack of foresight to put a bus stop right exactly there, under the weak-assed retaining wall. So, as the truck exited the other side of the building, the retaining wall collapsed into the street, and the bus stop. Naturally, there had to be a bunch of retards standing there waiting for a bus. Too bad, that's what you get for using public transportation. So, some weenie makes a big deal out if it, and calls the fire department, who immediately show up and proceed to stand around and wonder what to do. We tried to help the poor dimwits, by driving our truck out of the way. It's a wonder it would still run, but it did. The people under the truck were squealing like a truck load of pigs, but as I said earlier, that's not really our concern. We didn't put 'em under the truck, and after all we were trying to help the fire department by getting out of the way. Anyhow, the service call wound up being not necessary after all. The sign is now in a landfill, and it may be some time before they're ready for a new sign. As a matter of fact, if they don't find a new agent, they may not even need a sign at this location. However, I do have to bill you for a service call - but I'll make sure it doesn't exceed our minimum charge. By the way, please make note of our new billing address. We had to move rather abruptly, and we found a really nice little shop in Canada . If you have any work around that area, please send it our way. As always, we will give it our trademark prompt and professional attention. PS, please don't give out our new address, at least for the next six years. Something to do with a statute of limitations, I believe. See ya, Mike Welch
  8. Would you increase the price?

    As Mad Scientist pointed out, the leftover piece will be less than 48". I think it depends on your original pricing. Did you charge for the whole sheet that you had to buy, or did you figure on selling the remaining plastic on another job? Were you profitable on the sale at the first price, or were you marginal? It's funny, you and I would give away something at no charge - it's just being nice, and human, and sociable, and so on. But if the bank called and wanted their payment, do you think they would accept 8% less, and just say 'Well, that's okay'? I have yet to see the electric company give me one single kilowatt at no charge. At the grocery store last week, my bill was $15.03. I had a ten and a five and some ones, and I asked the checker if she would let me go for the 3 cents. "I'm sorry, but I can't come up short in my register". So at the end of the day, who has all the money? The banks, the utilities, the big corporations. Who has to watch their pennies to make sure the bills can be paid at the end of the month? You and me - the guys who would happily give away something at absolutely no extra charge. And sometimes at no charge at all.
  9. Burn Out

    It was presented to me this way: If you keep on doin' what you've been doin', you'll keep on gettin' what you been gettin'. I don't mean that in a smart-alec way, either. Both posts above are pretty much on the mark. If you keep on torturing yourself for the sake of your employees, what's in the future for you? I hope you get this noodled out. Good luck.
  10. I can't help noticing that in the 'member profile' area of this website, there is a place for 'gender', but there are only two choices. I wonder if that description should be expanded into several more check boxes - or maybe instead of gender, how about 'Identifies with' (write in sexual identity here). Isn't it odd that some of the girls want to go to the men's room and some of the men want to go to the girl's room and the Government wants this to be okay with everybody - BUT, if you get caught peeing out behind a bush somewhere, you will be arrested and charged with all kinds of perversions, and probably get yourself on the sex offender list?
  11. Ouch!

    Who put that walkway there? I wonder which would be worse, having to pay for the damage and probably getting fired, or the embarrassment of having your worst moment immortalized in the newspaper.
  12. Depending on how you look at it, our society has advanced to either a hilarious joke or a pathetic drama. I said 'advanced' but I'm not sure that's the right word. My idea for this issue would be three restrooms in all public places; one for women, one for men, and one for "Other". I also think the cost of this extra outhouse would and should be financed by those who think it's appropriate.
  13. Basic channel letter installation

    I wouldn't apply a standard formula for installations of any kind. Each location has different factors which affect the installation cost. Like the others have mentioned, your prices are extremely low. Maybe if it's right next door and it can be done by one man and a stepladder, no electrical hookup, and permits are a walk-through - but that's rarely the case. You might ask the account manager what they have for an allowance, or an average install cost. They'll probably quote it low, but that might give you some idea of what they're expecting to pay. Also, assuming that you are new in the business, you might want to check out the forwarding company on this website. See how they pay their bills and how they are to work with. At your rates, one or two bad accounts could be a real financial setback.
  14. Excellent video Eric. Now I 'get it'. Thanks!!
  15. Internet sign search I recently got a call from someone looking for a digital message center. I've gotten away from that type work, so I tried looking on the internet for somebody to refer this customer to. What a mess!. I typed in "Sign companies in Kansas City". One of the first sites that popped up was the "YP Yellow Pages". I got literally hundreds of listings - a few sign companies, but also listings for tires, electricians, used car dealers, lawn care, you name it. Continued search. I found various websites wanting to help me locate what I needed, but when I opened the website I got advertisements for everything except what I was looking for. I got other websites wanting to sell me a website called "Sign companies in Kansas City". I finally found one that was fairly good "DexKnows.com". But, I got not only sign companies, but T-shirt shops, printers, business card printers, bumper stickers, coffee mugs and so on. I tried to refine the search, but the message came up "Cannot find a business named "Sign Companies in Kansas City". If I wasn't a sign guy, I wouldn't have a clue who to call. At least with the old yellow pages, there seemed to be a fairly sensible arrangement to the categories, and a guy could find something pretty close to what was needed. Now, everybody sells everything. I think you might have just as good a chance if you just started calling random numbers. So, there's my rant for the day, it's time for my nap. Tomorrow I'll find something else to gripe about. Best wishes for all of you .