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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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by JimGlass » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:23 pm

Would give anything to see my granddaughter work in my machine shop. She is 16 now
Tool & Die Maker/Electrician, Retired 2007

So much to learn and so little time.

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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by seal killer » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:32 am


What a great story! One day those girls will say to their husband or son . . . 'You should use a climbing cut in that situation' or something similar. They will be stunned that she knows more than they about the subject.

Great pictures. Great grandpa!

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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:37 pm

Dave_C wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:23 pm
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..."
It's going to get worse.

The 25-and-under crowd knows all about the latest app for the latest iPhone whatever, but knows little about what it takes to produce something like that latest iPhone whatever. They can tell you about how to navigate Fakebook, but most haven't a corner of a clue about what is required to tool up a factory to manufacture a high-value product from raw- and semi-finished material, hire and train employees to run that factory (if qualified ones can be found), make payroll and meet delivery schedules.

American industrial might is a shadow of what it was in the 25 years that followed the close of World War II—our manufacturing sector was already in decline during the Nixon years. Our economy has changed from an industrial one to a service economy and as any economist will tell you, a nation whose economy is service-based is a nation whose wealth will diminish as it is transferred to nations with an industrial economy. A country can export goods, but cannot export services that can be provided with a local workforce—while a computer support desk's services can be exported, the work performed by the janitor who maintains the office in which the support desk tech works cannot—or can do so but with a small return.

I sure hope we never get into another global conflict. As it stands right now, we don't have the infrastructure or people to make the USA the "arsenal of democracy" it was during World War II. Between a lack of practical skills and a pervasive snowflake mentality, today's youngsters will be helpless if the country suddenly finds itself in a conflict and access to the goods produced by communist China et al is cut off.
I'm an old guy. What's your excuse? ☻

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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by tornitore45 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:47 am

The legendary prosperity of the US multiplied by the length of time it had to act has created a large population of inept both in the manual ability and intellectual department.
People in the poorest countries are the most resourceful because the dumb and the lazy will not survive or attract a mate.
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Jerry_H » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:32 pm

Look at your medical and surgical supplies such as dressings, gauze, tape and such. All made in China. If we had an all out war such as WWII the women would have to start tearing up their petie coats again.

Or do they not wear this things anymore?


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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Rwilliams » Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:54 am

Used to be that machine tooling and measurement tools sold real well at our local live steam club meets. Over the past ten years, the vendors have shrunken to one or two at best. More interesting was a conversation with one of the sellers at a recent meet. He had his usual compliment of items for sale. Problem was that his prices were very low compared to years gone by. Seems he was having problems selling very good condition items at all and had lowered his prices and expectations due to the severe lack of interest. Had sold almost nothing the first day of the meet and that second day, realized that by lowering his prices, he might make gas money for the trip back home. He did share with me that it was only the older guys who were even looking at the machine tools he had for sale. The younger guys were only interested in the semi-finished items or the finished items that needed but little effort to get them in working order.

Another friend mentioned that more and more, the young guys are coming to him for machine work or to have machine work redone. He noted that much of the work that needed to be redone was very substandard and showed no basic skills at all.

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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by ALCOSTEAM » Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:08 am

some years back one of our local pawn shops got in a large lot of mainly Starrett stuff. I got to look thru it but the pawn shop had decided to list it all on fleabay. They were delusional they would get close to new price for everything. For years going to live auctions and sales I had found that even new in box Starrett, B&S, etc would bring no more than about 30 percent of new price. Once the pawn shop listed all their Starrett stuff I placed bids of 25 percent of new and got everything I bid on. When I went in to pick up my winnings, their attitude changed and I also got to look thru shelves of other stuff they had not shown me before and pick thru and make offers, of which they refused none.

A small 40 year in business one/two man local shop closed about 2 years ago and he had two or three auction houses come by and discuss having a live auction. All the auctioneers had the same thing to say, machine tooling will sell but cheap. If a lathe or mill, etc is in the least big dirty or something amiss they go cheap, as do about any manual machine that is large or difficult to move. This small shop the owner sold almost everything thru craigslist.

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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:48 am

Take a look at the people we're trying to reach out to.

Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by NP317 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:24 am

My lathe has 4G WiFi connection to my iPhone.
I'm so happy.
I'm an Old Guy

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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Mr Ron » Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:18 pm

A lot of the blame can be put on the advent of the cell phone. People no longer have to search journals, books, libraries for information. Everything is at their finger tips with the cell phone and it will get worse. We went from a manufacturing economy to a service economy and there is no going back. It's only the old timers who know the difference and actually care, but they (I) will soon be gone forever. We rely on the few younger members who have learned the benefits of hard work and learned to appreciate what us old timers have contributed. I am 84 and have taught my son everything I know about machining, woodworking, etc. He now has his son learning what he was taught. Let's hope the chain is not broken.
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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by pete » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:40 pm

I'm old enough that when I went to high school the first year we had to go through metal working, wood working, drafting and electrical. Those weren't optional, but after that you could then chose what was of most interest. So fortunately I got that experience and metal and to a far lesser degree wood working has been of interest to me since then. Without that exposure I probably wouldn't have known enough to form that life long interest. My nephew is a professional machinist in a fairly large shop, and while cnc machinists aren't that tough to find for his company, finding anyone who can properly and efficiently operate large manual HBM's, lathes,mills etc is becoming a real problem. Manual machining is still far from dead but were not training people for it. And because of that lack of exposure in most high schools today few have any real interest in it.

Governments despite a whole lot of evidence to the contrary aren't stupid. At least the military branches aren't. They know more than well a large long running world war much like WW II is today impossible. At best and I hate to say it, but any large scale war lasting more than 6 months would go nuclear very quickly and there's zero doubt of that. My best guess is it's having those nuclear weapons that's so far prevented any major world wide wars since WW II. During the cold war years if those nukes hadn't been available on both sides it's a 100% sure thing we would have had a massive conventional war with the Russians. Unfortunately and given our out of control population levels world wide a nuclear war at some point is most likely inevitable.

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Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:56 pm

One of my best friends is a single mother. Dad is in prison, where he belongs. She has three sons from 14 down. The youngest one has a certain interest in mechanical things. The other two are helpless. Can't operate anything but a tablet. I tried to show one how to put the hose back on a pressure washer, and he just could not do it. Amazing. Couldn't operate the pressure washer, either. "Go up to the next crack in the concrete. Move to the left one foot. Come ALL THE WAY BACK. Move over one foot. Go back up ALL THE WAY." He absolutely could not do it, with me standing next to him telling him every step, and I believe he's 11.

I used to take them out and have them do chores. Loading sticks on the tractor and so on. I worked much faster alone. They stood around poking the ground with sticks. They cried and complained over nothing. I had to tell them I was giving them 10 bucks an hour each, basically so they could learn not to be useless. I had to explain over and over that I was doing them a favor. I don't really try any more. They're nice kids, but I don't want to stand around and watch boys cry because it's hard to pick up sticks. They've never seen real work. I used to work on my grandfather's farms when I was a kid. These boys would probably die if they had to cut tobacco for half an hour.

I had them cleaning up around my pool. There were a few spiders. They kept screaming, "BLACK WIDOW!", and running away like they had never seen a bug before.

A lot of boys these days are super-feminine, and they are not ready for any kind of challenge. It's hard to believe their great-grandfathers left high school to learn to operate tools and weapons so they could kill Japanese.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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