We recently had a customer come to our company and notice our little construction project in the shop. It looked a lot nicer than it did a few weeks ago on my last blog entry as we have poured the concrete and it looks like wea re expecting a really big machine. The customer asked us if we did everything ourselves to prepare for the machine, and proudly answering “yes”. He then asked why? The answer “ because its fun”
We have the concrete poured with a small addition, four handprints. The Handprints, three generations of Memmelaar’s, are now embedded in the concrete at Royal Master. This is really kind of cool for a lot of reasons. Running Royal Master has always been the same family lineage since 1950. Growing up, it was a part of daily conversation, what projects there was, tradeshows that were upcoming, My father going on the road and visiting customers, was normal conversation for our dinner table. My mother held it all together in those years as my father grew the business, making it what it is today.
As we wound down the Machining center that we are replacing, the K&T as it was known as, became a all consuming part of my household life, and my father’s also. In an attempt to stockpile enough parts to get us through two months of downtime, we would run 7 days per week for 5 months. As the pallet train was unreliable, Rich Fletcher and myself would set up a long running job usually about 2.5 hour run for the weekend, and off we would go. I would usually go back every 3 hours on the weekend to change parts, sometimes even on the way to “date night” with my wife to get out one last part.
During the day on Saturday and Sunday, my two daughters would take turns going back to the shop with me. The big machine fascinated them, and making it run was the part they loved the most. Both daughters would help change the parts, and my youngest loved to press the button sequence to make it run another cycle, my oldest loved the fact that the 2” insert end mill looked like a disco ball, and we had to wait for it sometimes to engage the part so she could say over and over, “cool”
The day we took the machine apart, I came home and told both girls that the machine was taken apart. My oldest cried for hours saying that she loved the “K&T”. The next day I brought home a mounting bolt from it and she carried the 1.5” x 4” bolt to school for a week, and it now proudly sits with her basket ball trophy on her desk in her room.
Those handprints in the concrete represent not only the generations of Royal Master Grinders, and possibly the future of the company, but memories that my father and I will share for many years to come with his grand-daughters, and my children.
This is Royal Master Grinders and its supporting cast:
John Memmelaar Sr Rodney Allen John Memmelaar Jr Olivia Memmelaar
Ellen Memmelaar Linda Allen Janet Memmelaar Ava Memmelaar