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Gerald D Thu 14 January 2010 22:26

The baton has been passed on
Over the Xmas break I got to thinking about the future and taking stock of the projects that occupy my time. MechMate started as a project to create a business tool for our son and that goal has been achieved. I no longer have a personal goal for MechMate and I think it is time to pass on the baton.

The contents and name of has some value and I would be interested in offers from individuals, groups or companies for taking over the whole website, my .dwg drawings and the PayPal donate account.

I don't have much emotional attachment to MechMate (I see it as a completed project) and I won't be putting any constraints on a potential buyer, nor would I commit myself to a future involvement (or restraint for that matter)

There is no urgency in this, and I might not reply to every question when you expect it. This is just a first statement from my side to test the reaction. Please don't try and drag me into the subject of motives and/or emotions - I really see it simply as a project that has achieved its goal.


oopz Thu 14 January 2010 23:05

I wish you all luck with this decision.. You have done a lot for many. Im not one of those for taking over . This is more a relaxing hobby for me. I still hope to see you here in a continuum :) /oopz

Johannescnc Fri 15 January 2010 00:57

a bit sad but understandable. I am grateful for what you have done. I just hope that the next Admin will have your integrity...

Claudiu Fri 15 January 2010 01:08

I couldn`t believe the title...but it`s a reasonable decision.
You did far more than accomplish your mission. Thank you Gerald.

sailfl Fri 15 January 2010 02:58


You have given much to the MechMate community. I am very grateful for your design, plans, forum and the help that you provided me while building and learning how to use this great piece of equipment.

It looks like it is time for the other son to find it's legs.

The MechMate forum, I hope, will continue to be a useful tool for those of us that have built a MechMate but it will not be the same with out you at the helm.

I am also grateful for the friends that I have found because of my participation on this forum.

Nils #12

KenC Fri 15 January 2010 04:25


Its a sad day for the Mechmate community, but I'm happy for you had achieved your goals.

I couldn't have thank you enough for your generousity, created this community & the effort to nature it tirelessly.

Its noble of you for this charitable act, and I am sure many life were changed for the better because of you.

The Mechmate world would not be the same without your leadership.

I am very glad that I have this opportunity to be a part of this community.

Thank you very much.


riesvantwisk Fri 15 January 2010 04:50

I would hate to see it bought by some commercial guy making it into something else and would rater see it continue the way it is. I wonder if it can be taken over by a small group of people here on the forum.


Johannescnc Fri 15 January 2010 05:02

I agree and like this idea... :cool:

Kobus_Joubert Fri 15 January 2010 05:13

Sad sad sad... I thank you for setting up this magic site for us normal okies to build this machine.

I am glad I got in early, finished my machine and is able to enjoy it. Like so many said .. if Gerald is not in charge the forum will most likely be DIFFERENT.

Thanks again...I HAVE MY MECHMATE...and it WORKS..

bradm Fri 15 January 2010 05:22

Gerald, I kind of think that this forum, the MechMate design and name, and you are inextricably linked. It is your judgment (and foibles, if few and far between) that have made it work. It's hard to replace a charismatic with a committee.

If it's time for an era to end, let's have it end. Stop further new postings to the forum, use the paypal$ to keep the site (monument) up as long as it lasts, and move on.

Since the design is too strong to just die, I'm sure that it will get mirrored (*), and discussions related to it will continue elsewhere, heck, the 'zone does enough talking about MM as it is already.

(*) Assuming you choose to allow that.

Notwithstanding the above, thank-you for the tremendous effort you've put into this. It's clearly a life accomplishment.

swatkins Fri 15 January 2010 07:01

Gerald thanks for all you have done... I have been reading everything I can on your wonderful design and I can see the "labor of love" you have given us. Whatever the outcome, of this new development, I want to thank you for your hard work.

I understand the time and effort involved in running a community like this, over the years I have been involved in many Forums and currently host 4 on my servers... Everyday you deal with hackers, spammers, difficult members, inappropriate content and so on and so on and so on... Gerald frankly I don't see how you manage by yourself!

Once again thank you for all you have done!

Robert M Fri 15 January 2010 07:15

Thanking Gerald is human and showing compassion, being civilized because he, as a human, involved and creator of this great community is….. after all a human with emotions !!
But as HE pointed out, it was business.
It was a business tool with a motive that is no longer, a tool that has achieved its goal as he says !….NO EMOTIONAL attachment. :rolleyes:

So, we should not try to convince him to stay as the captain of this ship, but wishing him all the best we can offer for his prosper future.
WE SHOULD ask his to support the future torch holder ( hoders), once passed, come visit and show a side of him we never had a chance to meet, come and be an active member of this great little community and continue to share & exchange…..that is what I see fit and hope for…and know very well many will miss !
Even if he as shown us, by many statements, past decisions & attitude, that he can have no mercy to those how cannot follow simple rules, that he can be very clear and cold to make certain those rules & policies are respected, assuring this group staying focus on the beast mission, shows no apparent emotions for someone not following some few balize….. he still & remains HUMAN…. He will be touched by all with all the thanks & whistles.

Great, honored and privileged to have opportunity to exchange with this gentlemen, wishing to continue so, but mostly wishing him all the deepest & honest best and health to come.

“Merci infiniment” Gerald to give me, and all others, the opportunity to be part of this selective group.
Please, come visit often and give your feedback, as so many appreciate….
Amicalement, Robert :(

hennie Fri 15 January 2010 07:40

Like all of the posts above I myself say thank you for the chance.Thanks Gerald for all the help and advice that you gave us and may whatever new adventure that you take on give you lot`s of joy.I for one know that I have made a lot of new friends.

MechMate Rules!!

PEU Fri 15 January 2010 07:47

I just wish there is a way to keep the knowledge base that this forum is regardless of the intentions of the owner to be of the domain.

By the way, Im curious of what amount of $$ you think you could gather, PM if you don't want to post in the open.

Thanks for all your efforts!

gixi Fri 15 January 2010 07:51

This is a sad day for me :(. Building this machine represent a boost for my business, the moment when MM start to move was incredible but the feeling to be part of a such big family it's incredible. This is not business... Nobody can buy moments like that...
What can I say...? Gerald your effort to keep this site alive was immense but I presume it's also hard to be split in such many directions.
Anyway, Gerald if you want to visit Bucharest you are welcome to stay at my home. Anytime.
I hope this site will be taken by a person with the same vivid personality like yours and that person will keep the same professional way of this site.
P.S. I hope this is still a joke (is it first of April ?).

blakekoehn Fri 15 January 2010 08:05


I know you have, but please consider earnestly before you sell. This forum is your baby and I believe you will miss it greatly when you are no longer at the the helm.

You have put untold time into this project, I have been lurking here for at least two years myself and have been often amazed at what you have given here for free.

I am a member of a similar forum for sign making. This man asks a fee of $50 a year, He makes his entire living from his website. I believe it is time for you to start to realize some return for your endeavors. I for one would be happy to paypal you $50 a year to be part of this sight. Also your drawings are awesome. I could not believe when I downloaded them... 157 pages :eek: They are worth something, It takes five or six thousand dollars to build a MM, the drawing download would have to be worth $200.00.

I believe you could easily make $10,000 a year from this website. Maybe you are flushed with cash, but an extra 10g a year would put the work of this website in a whole new light seems to me;)

Above all Gerald I wish you the best of luck whichever road you take. Thank you very much for this great place.

Sherman McCoy Fri 15 January 2010 09:10

I agree with Blake. I would have paid $200 for the drawings and another $100 for a step-by-step video on how to build the control box. I've built a couple of computers with an online tutorial, but this is the first time I've ever committed $5000 to a project I found online. I only did it because your site made completion seem not just possible, but probable.

riesvantwisk Fri 15 January 2010 09:15

note to gerald, I would pay 50USD/year to be a member....

sailfl Fri 15 January 2010 09:57

For those that are newer to the forum, you may not realize that Gerald does not need the money. He has a very successful business and started the forum and designed the machine because he wanted to. He now wants to move on.

isladelobos Fri 15 January 2010 09:58


I hope that mechmate, remains.

max.elliott Fri 15 January 2010 12:37

I _just_ joined up and am considering building a MM. Having read my way thru most of the older posts, I have to say "Thank You, Gerald, great job". The entire community here is knowledgeable, friendly and supportive of new MM builders. I hope the site lives on, and would like to thank Gerald for it, and to thank all of you guys for being fellow members. It is truly a community effort and a wonderful site.

Now, I just gotta decide when I'm going to build....

Roadkill_321 Fri 15 January 2010 15:12

I too would like to join in and say a big thank you to Gerald. Without his great generosity and donations of his time to this project I would not have the great machine I have today. Thanks again.


Gerald D Sun 17 January 2010 11:46

Hey guys, this was like reading my own obituary - - - - I don't intend dying just yet! :D. Thanks for the sentiments expressed, but I had hoped to avoid the emotional side and concentrate on business only.

Of course I have received a couple of messages basically asking "how much?" and I really don't know how to put a value on a web site. If I think of it in terms of a completed CNC router table, I think the sale is worth one or two completed MM's with quality components - (not the lumberjack jeff version ;))

Other than the "how much" messages (and some moral support ones) there hasn't really been much on want a potential buyer would want to do with the site. I realised during this past weekend that I would want some assurance that the site would continue to help worldwide builders for at least a year - ie. no drastic immediate changes.

In the long term, I realise that MechMate can earn the highest income if it becomes "Americanised", for the simple reason that Americans spend by far the most on internet business. If I had lived in America, I probably would have commercialised the site long ago. (Earning income from the internet to Africa is just too much schlep).

A thought is that a "MechMate" business based in America could be more than a could also supply hardware (components & kits). And this would be a new reason for not supporting "shopping lists" published on the forum. . . if a buyer wants to go into the component/kit business, he will try not to disclose his sources (and delete some threads)

The above are just some thoughts after a lazy summer weekend spent mostly enjoying too much scenery, food & drink. But I did take one firm decision; and that is to avoid any drastic decisions for a few weeks. :)

riesvantwisk Sun 17 January 2010 12:12


would it be a option for you that you keep own the website and the forum as it is right now?

You could assign 2 or 3 moderators in different forum sections that have the same way of thinking and mentality as you have so to keep the forum clean. You as a person could still manage the PDF/DXF files with changes, new ideas and bug fixing, you could even assign 1 or 2 persons to have 'SVN (but properly not like SVN) repository access' that can change the DXF files aswell, much like how this works in the open source world of software developments.

I understand that you don't have emotional attachments to mechmate, but still I think it has a lot of potential for you as a person, but also business whise, may be you can hook up with a trusted person in the US to create MM kids, this could be a/your new goal.

I cannot speak for the whole community here since I don't have a working MM yet (but sooooooo close :) ) , but I think that the community would hate to see you pull back completely, more important the MM forum, website, designs etc are not as good without you behind it...

Anyways, I support any decision you make and sometimes it's important to move on, wether it's on a personal level or business level.


Gerald D Sun 17 January 2010 12:35

Ries, if I leave everything as it is now, then I earn no money for my retirement. Your suggestion means I have to get deeper committed to a project that I have finished? (This was never an "open source" project).

If I can make it clearer, I want to spend less time on this project and move onto other things. There is no incentive for me to continue to spend time on MechMate.

riesvantwisk Sun 17 January 2010 12:58


my suggestion would mean two options:

1) get deeper into it and Americanise it,a s you called it.. then you will get some revenue out of it. - Allows you to make $$ out of it if you wish.

2) Still be part of the project, keep the MM name + forum as a owner, but assign moderators (your son??) with the same vision as you have to keep the forum clean. - Allows you to keep ownership, move on with other things and ultimately decide (much) later what to do, may be big company XYZ comes along and will be it for much more then two MM's you did in vision. IMHO the website+designs is much more then two MM's, even at this point.

If you go for option 2, then you can step back for a while and may be in 6 or 12 months you have a other bright idea, modification or whatever you like to share.

PS: I did say open source, because this project looks a bit like in the spirit of it.....


PEU Sun 17 January 2010 13:04

I just wish the knowledge base that this forum is is kept intact, at least as read only somewhere in the internet, I know the internet archive keeps the words, but the images if not hosted are lost.

[edit] I just realized that I posted the same 15 posts above... sorry for repeating myself, and about the price USD ~10K sounds attractive enough to give it some tought.


swatkins Sun 17 January 2010 16:50

As I am really a newcomer to the world of Mech Mate I have only the information I have read on this forum to guide me in my thinking.. So please forgive me if I am out of line..

1. Gerald has created an awesome machine and the Forum is one of the keys to it's popularity. After all I would have never started building one if it had not been for the wealth of information available here. It would almost be a crime to let this place die if no one was able to create a business off of the Mech Mate website. ( More on this later)

2. I think "the genie is already out of the bottle" on the Mech Mate. Someone else trying to make money off of the Plans and website is going to be really hard as the Plans are already all over the world. If Gerald, or a potential buyer, were to start charging for them people would start selling copies on EBay at 1/2 the price.. I also think that because the plans are already out its going to be tough to try to protect yourself from anyone that just wants to start their own forum and sell their copies of his plans..

3. I think Gerald should really looking to become a Silent partner with someone who has the ability to manage the Forum as that is where the real value is now... Let that person take the Forum over and come up with ways to start an income stream and then give Gerald a percentage of that money for a set period of time... That would be a fair low risk way to do this. Because the plans and knowledge have already become " Open Source" you are going to have to make money off of the "Value Added Model" much like Red Hat does with Linux software..

Now for the more later part :)

If worse comes to worse and Gerald decides this is just something he wants to close I would make a gift of free hosting for the site for two years.. I run an internet website design and hosting service with dedicated servers in Houston and already host many Forums. One more is not that much more work and I would hate to loose the information...

isladelobos Sun 17 January 2010 17:10

Gerald, for me, you are free. thank you very much for guiding us and giving us hope. I have it clear, build a mechmate.

Yes, mechmate is like a woman, requires much time and learning, you're lucky, always will be the Gerald's project.

You can also open a thread in CncZone for Mechmate.

lumberjack_jeff Sun 17 January 2010 17:34

Originally Posted by Gerald D View Post
I think the sale is worth one or two completed MM's with quality components - (not the lumberjack jeff version ;)

(but you're probably right, you wouldn't want anyone offering you the contents of their couch cushions and trading for a broken dishwasher) ;)

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