The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Topics include, Machine Tools & Tooling, Precision Measuring, Materials and their Properties, Electrical discussions related to machine tools, setups, fixtures and jigs and other general discussion related to amateur machining.

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WJH
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The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by WJH » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:48 pm

Back when I had to leave my shop in 2009, there just seemed to be more activity on this forum, there were more web pages being actively updated, and HF had no shortage of large machine tools for sale.
Today I am happy to be in the hobby again, having my workshop going, and enjoying making metal chips. However I cannot not notice how much quieter this forum seems to be, along with another forum I frequent. I also noticed that HF no longer sells larger machine tools. People who have dedicated web pages to home shop machining have flat lined. I remembered Steve Bedair had a very active page, among others.
So do you all suppose that the hobby itself is in a decline in terms of active participants? Or has the content been spread out among many more forums? Where have all the interesting build logs gone?

JackF
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by JackF » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:14 pm

RB, I haven't noticed much decline on this board but that may be because I have been busy this past 1+ year getting one house for sale in Wa. and having the new one built in Id. Because of this I have spent little time in the shop. I have however been keeping abreast of the post here and even had some occasions to reply to some. If there is a decline of interest in this hobby however I would look at the tendency for young people to enjoy doing things on their computer rather than with their hands.

The new house and shop are just days away from completion and I soon will be back to making chips and hopefully participating more with this board.

Jack.

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larry_g
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by larry_g » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:15 pm

I believe it is healthy but changing. Some of the change is coming by way of CNC work. I belong to a hobby club and three of the members have Tormach machines. Those guys are moving on to forums that circle around the computer and electronics side of the hobby. So the manual machinists and the CNC guys have done a bit of a split and I would guess that if you looked at the combined numbers of the old and new you would find the numbers are fine.

lg
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BadDog
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by BadDog » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:49 pm

Same thing seems to be happening to our local club. Not that I have had a chance to go to any of the meetings in the last 2 years or so, but it seems that 3 out of 4 meeting topics is CNC related. I work with computers all day every day. The things that can be made with CNC are interesting and quite amazing, more power to 'em, but I have zero interest in adding anything else computer related to my life.
Russ
Master Floor Sweeper

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tornitore45
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by tornitore45 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:34 am

more power to 'em, but I have zero interest in adding anything else computer related to my life.
Amen to that!
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

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Frank Ford
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Frank Ford » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:26 am

RB211 wrote: People who have dedicated web pages to home shop machining have flat lined.
Well, I, for one have not. Came close in 2011 and 2012, but the Kaiser's cardiac and stroke units managed to paste me back together.

OK, I know you meant that the pages have stagnated. Mine did as well, but mostly because of my "new" busy schedule. At 71, I'm still working full time (+) and, thanks to the above mentioned medicos, I have an exercise regimen that eats away just about two hours daily. As I type this, I'm on my recumbent "cycle to nowhere" for my morning 3/4 hour "spin." Tough to get the arthritic joints moving but the docs all say it's the thing to do. Later today, it's to the gym for treadmill, weights, etc. What fun.

So, while time was short before, it's silly now. AND, I, too, still want to have some home shop time!

As to the forums, well, there are some busy ones out there - I'd mention the ones I read, but there seems to be a bit of animosity among some the forum leaders, so I won't get into that conflict.
Cheers,

Frank Ford

Carm
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Carm » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:44 am

Best wishes to you Frank.

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NP317
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by NP317 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:54 am

I've been involved with this forum for a short time, but can state that my involvement in this hobby is increasing.

Retirement provides me more opportunity to actually work on my projects, sometimes... I have simply chosen not to document my latest locomotive build here. The time I'd take to do that goes into build time. I DO have several 100s of photos documenting this latest locomotive build. Just not posted.

My latest time consumer involves building a new shop at our soon-to-be home. So this year is The Build and Move, taking many months to do. Happily, I DID get two shop sessions over the past two days to machine more parts. Otherwise nothing in the past 3 weeks!

I wonder how many other builders are spending the "rare" time in the shop, and not on their computers?
~RN

Downwindtracker2
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Downwindtracker2 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:19 am

I have no background of forum activity to quage against, but I have been getting the Busy Bee flyers for 30 years. Busy Bee is Canadian Grizzly, so it's target market is the same, hobby machinists and woodworkers. Here's some trends in the flyers, the first pages have much more woodworking machinery and fewer pages of metal lathes to drool over. I've wanted a 13x40 for a least that long. I could never afford one. Prices have climbed, remember for the lunch box set, wages have flat lined since the late '70s, the briefcase boys have done better. That price increase is offset by the imports improving quality.
A man of foolish pursuits, '91 BusyBee DF1224g lathe,'01 Advance RF-45 mill/drill,'68 Delta Toolmaker surface grinder,Miller250 mig,'83 8" Baldor grinder, plus sawdustmakers

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SteveHGraham
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by SteveHGraham » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:26 am

I think things are going great. I wish there was some machining programming on TV, though.

Without getting political, I have to say that I love the power electronic dissemination of information has given people. The Internet has helped millions of people tool up to do things they would never have been able to do thirty years ago. Bad news for governments. Good news for human beings.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

Inspector
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Inspector » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:45 am

Face Plant and other social media have also taken time, therefore posters, with their special interest pages and groups.

Pete

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Dave_C
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Dave_C » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:23 pm

Just my perspective but it seems most of us are, well let's say "Over 50"! There are some younger people learning the craft but still it seems to be dominated by "Older" persons.

When I posted comments about the horse and tractor it was a dead give away of our age when most of us knew someone in our family who actually plowed with horses.

Then there was an article on MSN I think that said "The millennial (age group) was the least skilled group to come along in the last 100 years. I think that group is the 20 somethings?

So that might have something to do with it.

Dave C.
I learn something new every day! Problem is I forget two.

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