Redundancy is one of the most powerful ways I have found to insure efficiency. It is part of my overall "fail safe" plan. In the beginning I had one angle grinder and was frequently stopping to change from a grinding blade to a cutting blade or a flap disc. As business picked up I added one after another so that now I have one for each type of abrasive disc I commonly use. The same thing happened with the industrial gases. I found I needed a backup oxygen tank and another acetylene tank and so on because I couldn’t afford to run out of something critical when the welding supply shop was closed or I was being pushed for time.
As my projects got bigger and deadlines became more important I took a hard look to define the “critical nodes” in the studio. Critical node as defined by the Department of Defense is “An element, position, or communications entity whose disruption or destruction immediately degrades the ability of a force to command, control, or effectively conduct combat operations.”
Well, I’m not doing combat here but I do expect to have command and control of my operations. I studied the equipment and determined which things I was most dependent upon. I felt I first needed backup capability for the forge, power hammer, bandsaw, MIG welder, torch and drill press. Establishing backups for those tools and others has made the studio, so far, almost immune to work delays due to equipment failure.
I still worry about the solitary tumbler, portable generator and hydraulic forging press but, realistically, financial limitations eventually draw the line.