An update on the progress of my “cradle to cradle” sustainable aluminum cornhole board construction:
I talked with the people a The Crucible in Oakland and despite being a member and having experience with the machines I want to use, they won’t let me access the machine shop as part of their “create” program without taking a bunch of machine shop classes there first. Taking the machine shop classes and joining the “crate”program for 90 days would add $930 and 4 months to the cornhole board project. Considering I could buy a brand new drill press and band saw (the only two machine shop tools I need to build the board) for less than $930, and have this thing built in a week, that’s a terrible deal.
So I’m going to send out a “request for quotes” to various machine shops in Oakland and Berkeley to see who will manufacture my parts for the least amount of money.
The shops I’m going to send RFQs to are:
- Gonsel’s Machine Shop in Oakland
- Oakland Machine Works
- Independent Machine Works in Oakland
- Bob McGee’s Machining in Berkeley
- Howlett Machine Works in Berkeley
Estimating the machine setup and manufacturing time for each part, I’m worried that this could get pretty expensive:
- Upper and lower bars: 2 angle cuts (10 minutes each), 11 large straight holes (2 minutes each), 3 small straight holes (2 minutes each), 4 small angled holes (5 minutes each), 4 angled recess holes (5 minutes each): 2*(2*10+11*2+3*2+4*5+4*5)=176 minutes
- Side bars: 2 angle cuts (10 minutes each), 11 large straight holes (2 minutes each), 4 small straight holes (2 minutes each), 4 small angled holes (5 minutes each), 4 angled recess holes (5 minutes each): 2*(2*10+11*2+4*2+4*5+4*5)=180 minutes
- Cross bars: cut to length (5 minutes ), 14 large straight holes (2 minutes each), 4 small straight holes (2 minutes each): 2*(5+14*2+4*2)=82 minutes
- Legs: 1 angle cut (5 minutes), 1 small straight hole (2 minutes), 4 large straight holes (2 minutes each): 2*(5+2+4*2)=30 minutes
- Total manufacturing time: 7.8 hours
Even at California minimum wage ($8/hour), the board would cost $62.4 in labor. At a more realistic $50/hour, manufacturing would be $390.
So as a test of our globalized manufacturing system, I’m also going to upload the RFQ to MFG.com to see how much it would cost to get it manufactured in a Malaysian sweat shop (which would completely go against the entire sustainability ethos of the project).