Unexpectedly, our glass dining room table broke in our condo in Florida. Because we’re not full-time residents and are new to the area, we’re not that familiar with local businesses, especially any involved in glass. During a board game with 6 eager players around the table, it literally snapped in half – so each of us immediately grabbed our electronic devices and water containers to mitigate further damage. Once that task was completed, we carefully grabbed both ends of the table to remove it from the marble base.
To take a step back, a few weeks ago, I found a local glass company who was able to manufacture glass tops for our office desk and nightstands. We’ll call this company Excellent Glass (and had been in business for over 25 years). Once we provided our measurements, this provider did a good job to ensure the glass tops comfortably fit this furniture.
I brought that up to illustrate that we had someone in mind to replace the ruined glass dining room table. The table has a light green tint to it except for the middle rectangular piece – which displays the aluminum discs which are attached to the marble base. (In other words, we wanted the same situation of having a transparent piece to show off the pretty marble.) One other issue, the aluminum discs were glued to the table via an UV process which means once the discs were removed from the glass, glue remnants would appear. So, before the glass could be replaced, we were told by Excellent Glass that we’d have to find a machine shop to slightly file the imperfections.
Next step, finding a machine shop. While the quote was being computed, my wife and I asked the owner there if he knew of a local machine shop. He shook his head in the direction we were not anticipating – my wife and I displayed a puzzled look on our faces as we were surprised, they didn’t know of any local machine shops. Their response was to look it up on the internet – of course we’re aware of Mr. Google but were looking for a better response.
As we drove away, we talked about our disappointment with their response. Replacing the glass table was going to cost around $800 with an additional $100 delivery fee. Two things, for a glass business to not know where we could go to polish these discs was a surprise. Have they never had a job which required the polishing of these aluminum disks? Hard to fathom that as in some instances, a glass table and aluminum disks are part of the entire glass table package. Two, this wasn’t a $75 order, could they not have done a little more service for their customer?
On the way home, we stopped by Ace (our helpful hardware store) and asked the assistant store manager if he knew of any local machine shops. He had a puzzled look on his face and at that point, I realized they were not as helpful as we would have liked.
My wife was quite sad this occurred but was determined to get this fixed. She started doing internet searches and making cold calls. After a few tries, she was able to find a local tool and die maker who could polish each of the 4 aluminum pieces for a total of $80. To expedite things, my wife said that we’d provide a $20 tip if the metal craftsman could get it done the same day. He agreed. One more thing, we did mention to our glass provider the name of a local machine shop, hopefully when another customer has that same need, they'll have a better response that our experience.
I’m hopeful the job turns out well and we certainly have a story to tell about how this fluke thing happened to our table. The other story I’ll tell, especially as I walk by my new table is how is it possible for this local glass company to not know a single metal shop provider in the area?