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San Juan Car Company/Grandt Line

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  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Duluth, MN
  • 325 posts
San Juan Car Company/Grandt Line
Posted by OT Dean on Saturday, July 20, 2019 12:43 AM

Has anyone ordered Grandt Line products since they entered the San Juan Car Company fold?  I needed something they said was in stock (a package of #86039 HO turnbuckles in brass for anti-sag rods on O scale enginehouse doors*) by mail, as they're apparently not set up for internet ordering.  I printed their order form, filled it out, including my Debit Card information. and mailed it about six(?) weeks ago.  I heard nothing, but wasn't worried because, having been in the hobby for 65 years, I figured it was one of our beloved "Basement Operators," who perform a labor of love.  However, I heard nothing after a couple of weeks and I'd recently had several items lost in the mail, so I emailed Doug.  He'd been on vacation or otherwise away from home and replied that he had the order on his desk, telling me he'd get it out in a couple of weeks.  I'm not in any hurry, as the stall doors are maybe a month away yet, but I wonder if he's okay.  Does anyone have any info?

Deano

*Prototype anti-sag rods are generally 3/4" diameter for paired rods (per door) or 1" to 1-1/4" for just one rod per door.  In O scale, the sizes of things are quite noticeable: 3/4" in O is .015", 1" is .020", and 1-1/4" is .025".  HO turnbuckles should look better on my doors. D.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, July 20, 2019 7:46 AM

6 weeks plus a couple more?  That's terrible.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, July 20, 2019 11:29 AM

Well not unusual for smaller firms, many of which consist of one guy sitting in a chair.  Those of us who are veteran modelers remember when Mr Howell Day (who ran the old Red Ball line) would basically take the entire summer off.  MR would even remind readers that anything mailed to Howell Day would not be attended to for a long long time until fall.  This, even though Howell Day ads appeared in the summer issues of MR soliciting business! 

I seem to recall Champ Decals of fond memory would be slow to ship in the summer as well.  

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
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  • From: Duluth, MN
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Posted by OT Dean on Monday, July 22, 2019 12:27 AM

dknelson

Well not unusual for smaller firms, many of which consist of one guy sitting in a chair.  Those of us who are veteran modelers remember when Mr Howell Day (who ran the old Red Ball line) would basically take the entire summer off.  MR would even remind readers that anything mailed to Howell Day would not be attended to for a long long time until fall.  This, even though Howell Day ads appeared in the summer issues of MR soliciting business! 

I seem to recall Champ Decals of fond memory would be slow to ship in the summer as well.  

Dave Nelson

 

As I said, I figured he might be a one-man operation (though some wives also help out), but in his reply of 6/20 he did say the order was on his desk and "It will be about a week before we will get it shipped."  I'm a tad worried about his health.  A lot of the guys who do this for the love of the hobby are getting on (I'm closing in on 80 in a few months myself) and we in O scale have lost some old and well-liked owners in the last few years.  Anybody know Doug Junda?

Deano

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Posted by mlehman on Monday, July 22, 2019 3:10 AM

Give 'em a call or drop 'em a line or just be patient a little longer. I suspect that they're just overwhelmed with ingesting the several lines they're recently bought, as they also acquired others besides Grandt. These are growing pains for them, not old age pains.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, July 22, 2019 6:31 AM

BigDaddy
6 weeks plus a couple more?  That's terrible.

Having said that, I just saw a post on another forum from  Spring Mills Depot.  It's 2 guys, who have other jobs, struggling with the Chinese factory dilemma.

I guess I should have been more charitable, because when some of these places close up shop, like NWSL or Rail Graphics, they are gone for good.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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  • From: Coatsville, PA
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Posted by gshin on Monday, July 22, 2019 9:36 AM

I sent San Juan an order via their email address on April 30th of this year.  Haven't ever heard anything back from them.  I've just written them off and looked elseware for my parts.

Greg

Greg Shindledecker Modeling the =WM= Thomas Sub in the mid-70s
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Posted by mlehman on Monday, July 22, 2019 12:50 PM

Just to note that they make it clear on their website that things are a little up in the air right now:

"We apologize for the inevitable lull in service while we get things up and running but rest assured, it will be business as usual in no time!"

The stuff they sell (or will be selling) are unique product lines with pretty sizable back catalogs. While patience is on the agenda, much of what SJCC offers is either hard to or impossible to find elsewhere. The alternative would be that this stuff simply becomes unobtanium. I can be patient with that, because the alternative, as with getting old personally, ain't pretty.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by Graham Line on Monday, July 22, 2019 3:53 PM

San Juan tried to swallow up several very different product lines in a short time period.  I would not be surprised to learn that people are ordering products they don't even know they own.

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Posted by ctyclsscs on Monday, July 22, 2019 6:11 PM

I don't presume to know anything about this situation, but I think there has to be a huge learning curve when you buy anything like these companies. It would be easy to say "Just start molding parts and filling orders." But just think about it. You have to move equipment, molds, and all kinds of other stuff. Then you have to learn how to mold the parts since every mold can be different. You may have to order different types of plastics.

Another thing that can complicate it is if some of the items use different materials, like wire, machined parts, etc. Then you may need to find new suppliers or open accounts with the previous company's suppliers and find out what to purchase.

And, then you may need to produce new packaging, get it printed, buy a ton of different sized bags, print instructions, labels, etc. You'll probably need a new website too or add to your existing one. That's all before you sell one piece.

That's no excuse for not responding to customers who sent money, but buying even a small company can be a lot more work than we might think at first.

Jim

  • Member since
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  • From: Duluth, MN
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Posted by OT Dean on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 1:32 AM

BigDaddy

 

 
BigDaddy
6 weeks plus a couple more?  That's terrible.

 

Having said that, I just saw a post on another forum from  Spring Mills Depot.  It's 2 guys, who have other jobs, struggling with the Chinese factory dilemma.

I guess I should have been more charitable, because when some of these places close up shop, like NWSL or Rail Graphics, they are gone for good.

 

Yes, I'm still sad about NWSL, particularly because us O-scalers have trouble finding wheelsets, which can be pricey and they had such a good variety.  I noticed the trend of model railroaders wanting to buy everything ready-to-go quite a while ago, which means a lot of things we do-it-yourselfers need disappear for lack of sales: Supply and Demand--no demand and the supply dries up.  In my case, I'm always happy when an established supplier picks up and revives a closed business.  I mentioned Scale City Designs a while back.  They not only picked up old established lines that had faltered, they improved them!  Now that you've cleared up the situation for me, I won't worry, as the Grandt Line products have always been superb (Cliff Grandt was a contemporary and good friend of the late John Allen, with the same skills).

Thanks, BD.

Deano

  • Member since
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  • From: Morristown, NJ
  • 454 posts
Posted by nealknows on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 4:17 PM

San Juan Car Co. bought Rail Graphics, so I gave them a call today (5:00PM EST) since there's a 2 hour time difference. The voice message with the name of 'Doug J" stated he's in California thru Thursday and back Friday. I could have left a message; instead I will call them Friday to see if they can make my decals and the cost.

Neal

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