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#28860 - 01/29/24 12:35 PM 2024 Work Force.
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
The other day the weather forecast was calling for 100% chance of snow during the night and 100% chance for the next day. The Dept. of Highways had pretreated the main roads. School had already been cancelled. It hadn't really started to snow yet, but you could feel it coming.

I was here at work that evening, two young boys were here. They are 10 or 12 years old or so? Mabye a little bit older? They both knew that school had been cancelled. We were talking, I asked: Are you boys going to be out shoveling sidewalks in the morning? They both answered at the same time. The one boy said: No. The other one said: Not me.

I was thinking about it as they left, when I was their age, I'd have been out shoveling sidewalks and all.

Later that evening, I was chatting with my cousin Evelyn. I introduced Evelyn once before, her granddad was my uncle. Her branch of the family lives 100 miles or so west of here.

Anyway, I told her about the 2 boys, and told her at today's prices, they could have probably made $50, $75 or maybe 100 bucks. Just shoveling.

We talked about the odd jobs that we had when we were kids. Evelyn said she cleaned houses, and would babysit, gather eggs and pick berries. Just so she could have a little bit of money.

Evelyn told me that last summer she tried to find someone to weedeat around her house. Said she'd asked several local boys, none of them were interested. And the bad thing is, Evelyn offered to pay $20 per hour, and she was going to furnish the mower, gas and all.

It makes me wonder what these boys expect to earn when they are adults.

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#28861 - 01/29/24 07:43 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
I have an eleven year old grandson. He has a skate sharpening business. His father financed the machine and the son makes monthly payments. Grandson also is a score keeper for a garage league. He gets $100 for three games.

A person that doesn't work isn't hungry. This includes children. Why work when they have everything they want?

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#28862 - 01/30/24 02:58 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
That sounds like a great deal for the young man, all the way around. Where you live, knowing how to properly sharpen skates would be a good skill to know.

Probably the most important lesson that he'll learn is how to manage his money.

I know you're proud of the boy and you have good reason.

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#28863 - 01/30/24 03:42 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1199
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
I'm thinking the father doesn't really need the money paid back, only to teach the kid lessons in money managing. Dad ought to start an IRA account for the kid on the sly with the paid back money. If the kid can keep it up from eleven to retirement, that ought to give the kid a nice nest egg! Jussayin'.
_________________________
"You're never too old to learn something stupid."

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#28864 - 01/31/24 11:20 AM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
The father doesn't need the money paid back. But it will get paid back!

The money earned is invested for school.

I am proud of my grandson. But I am more proud of my daughter for marrying a guy that is a good father!

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#28865 - 02/01/24 01:04 AM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Hmmm, you didn't give us much room to comment, but I'll go at it.

Seems to me that you are a very lucky father and granddad. Very fortunate to have a, (how would you say it?) good, responsible, leader and all to teach the young man.

Hard to explain.

But at the end of the day, it's ok to be dirty and smell like a goat. You've earned your money and finished the job. Nobody can say a bad thing about a working man.

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#28904 - 03/04/24 11:20 AM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
The families are up for a holiday. I asked Dad about the skate business. He says that son is making the payments but doesn't clear much more. The son went to dad with a new proposition. Each skate sharpening requires a new disc. The discs cost $1.75. Son wanted to give dad $1.25. Dad asked son, "ok but what's in it for me?" No answer! The young guy hadn't thought about that part of the negociation.

What Dad wants son to figure out is to ask to lower his payment. Make it a fixed one (such as $15.00 per month) as opposed to a % one where Dad gets a cut of every pair of skates sharpened. It is an interest free loan, after all!

We'll see what happens. Dad doesn't want to seem like the government giving interest free loans!

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#28905 - 03/04/24 06:02 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10236
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
I'm actually at a loss to think it costs $1.75 for materials per sharpening. Somebody need to teach the kid "surcharge". smile
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#28906 - 03/04/24 09:41 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
I misunderstood.

Grandson charges $5 to sharpen a pair of skates. He has to give his father one dollar per pair he sharpens. (That is where the $15 month idea comes in.)

The sharpening disc is good for 60 pairs. About $1.75 per pair. However, he has to buy the disc and pay for it prior to sharpening. He is still on his first disc.

The machine costs $1400. It's going to take some time to make money or a lot more skates to be sharpened.

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#28907 - 03/04/24 10:29 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: musher]
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1199
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
$15 a month is a year long commitment. What's going to happen when sharpening ice skates goes down the same summer road as trapping?
_________________________
"You're never too old to learn something stupid."

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#28908 - 03/05/24 11:07 AM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: FLSH ETR]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
Originally Posted By: FLSH ETR
$15 a month is a year long commitment. What's going to happen when sharpening ice skates goes down the same summer road as trapping?


This is Quebec. Hockey never really stops!

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#28910 - 03/06/24 01:59 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
I've never been on ice skates, looks like it'd be a fun skill to know.

I've been reading about skates, sharpening, skating and all.

I think hockey skate blades are "hollow ground", some of them anyway. So each skate blade would have 2 edges, inside and outside. I think to help you turn, stop or slow down and all.

If the numbers above are correct. Let's keep it all simple math, so we can do it in our head.

Grandson's initial investment was $1,400. After he uses up the first grindstone on the machine, he will have taken in $300, at $5 per pair. At 60 pair of skates.

Give or take, he's going to need to invest another $600 in grindstones. Just say $2,000 total investment. At $5 per pair of skates, he'll need to sharpen 400 pair, to actually see a profit.

My opinion, before I buy any kind of tool or machine, I'm going to check the price of parts and accessories. You might buy the machine cheap, and then the parts you need will eat you up.

But for Grandson, he should check, maybe he can find sharpening wheels in a 3-pack. Or by the dozen cheaper?

I found a place online the other day, they charged $6 per pair to sharpen skates, if they were dropped off. $8 if you waited to have them sharpened. That article was dated, 2018.

Grandson might be able to invest some of his "score keeping" money toward his loan, and get that paid off. Then the young man can keep his $5 per sharpening. Good experience.

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#28911 - 03/06/24 02:22 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
Good ideas. Remember that the loan is interest free!

At $15 a month it will take him forever to pay off.

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#28912 - 03/06/24 07:19 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: musher]
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10236
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: musher
I misunderstood.

Grandson charges $5 to sharpen a pair of skates. He has to give his father one dollar per pair he sharpens. (That is where the $15 month idea comes in.)

The sharpening disc is good for 60 pairs. About $1.75 per pair. However, he has to buy the disc and pay for it prior to sharpening. He is still on his first disc.

The machine costs $1400. It's going to take some time to make money or a lot more skates to be sharpened.


Something still isn't adding up. A quick google search turned up a "Howe" skate sharpening wheel for $33. Others for under $20. Even with the $33 model, 60 pairs of skates equals 55 cents a unit. Where does the $1.75 come in?
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#28913 - 03/06/24 09:47 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
Dad is gone back home. I'll try to find out. Grandson is still here. I'll ask him - if he knows!

But we are talking Canuck bucks. $33 is a lot more in our dollars. Add in customs or whatever. Perhaps "Howe" doesn't fit his machine or is not a reputable brand?

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#28914 - 03/07/24 11:19 AM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2390
Loc: Qc.
I didn't get much out of my grandson. He talked about numbers (fractions) and specific discs for his machine. I'm guessing Dad got the whole package when he purchased the sharpener.

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#28915 - 03/09/24 12:44 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
I'm just curious, but I've watched 4 or 5 "skate sharpening" videos, I just like to know how things work. If I'm not mistaken, some skate blades are only 1/10th of an inch wide. So, if you're cutting a groove down the middle, that doesn't leave much room for error.

In the one video, the man running the machine took a black marker and inked the surface of the blade. Just to see that it had all been sharpened, ink ground off.

One thing that I thought was interesting, they asked a skilled hockey player to try 4 different pairs of skate blades, and pick his favorite. They were all the same brand, but different styles. He said that 2 styles made him feel sluggish and worked his legs twice as hard, for his style of skating. He did pick one that in his opinion was best for what he needed.

One thing for sure, before anyone would just go out and buy a pair of skates, you'd better ask the pros.

But skating does look like it would be a fun and interesting skill to know.

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#28949 - 04/03/24 01:33 PM Re: 2024 Work Force. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Here at work one of my salesmen stops by every Monday, to see if I need anything and take my order. He owns an auto parts store, they sell to the public and also sells wholesale to garages and smaller stores.

I buy stuff like motor oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, jumper cables and batteries. He and I were talking last Monday, he said I've got three delivery guys, all 3 of them called in sick today. I said It sounds like all 3 of them are going to be looking for a new job. He just said, they'd better have a good excuse!

You know for a small business, when 3 of your employees call in sick, that will really put you in a bind. If you've got a mechanic that's charging $50 or $100 per hour, and he's waiting on a starter or fan belt or a set of wheel bearings, that's not good.

Anyway, I talked to him again Monday of this week, I asked how things went with the delivery guys, he said, We've got a new man starting today.

The 3 delivery guys didn't work hard and most of it was seat time. He told me that they'd drive around all day, in someone else's vehicle, with someone else's gas. Those 3 young guys left their boss and his business in a big time bind.

There is a big difference working for a bigger company, with 25 employees or so. Three or four folks can take the day off and nobody will miss you. When you're working for an outfit with only 6 or 8 people and half the crew doesn't show up for work, that's not good.

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