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.

Moderators: Harold_V, websterz, GlennW

User avatar
tornitore45
Posts: 1717
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:24 am
Location: USA Texas, Austin

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by tornitore45 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:21 pm

We need Meccano sets.
That is a word you do not see often.
When I emigrated from Italy to the US, among the prizes possessions that got in the crate was a #2,4,7 box of Meccano sets. Not the cheap Erector Set a real British/German made Meccano 1950 style. It started with a #2 set to which supplemental upgrade were added plus individual pieces, a motor and lots of gears, as I got older I would fashion a special piece in dad shop.
My son had little patience for the small screws and opted for Lego.
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

User avatar
tornitore45
Posts: 1717
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:24 am
Location: USA Texas, Austin

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by tornitore45 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:40 pm

redneckalbertan and Russ, I like both your posts, If you end up being proud of your children proves your parental method are on the right track.

Engaging and stimulating children is what parents are supposed to do, rather than park them in front of a surrogate electronic mother/entertainer.

Is a fine line between providing/protecting and spoiling children.
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

Downwindtracker2
Posts: 262
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:34 pm
Location: B.C.

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Downwindtracker2 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:42 pm

One Christmas I got a #5, Clockworks motor and gear/wheel set. It was a huge sacrifice by my poor parents. I ended up making a pretty good living as a millwright. Sadly my place was broken into, and they stole the Meccano set, a collection post war 78s that my aunts and uncles had bought and my grandmother had given me, and the only thing from my dad's father, a double bitted axe. So I was unable to pass them on. I made for my two boys a block set that was a cross between tinker toy and Meccano. Long before they got cars I gave them their own tools. One is a ticketed millwright, the other is also has a Red Seal, but as an electrician. Both have metal lathes.
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

revrnd
Posts: 353
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:38 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by revrnd » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:33 pm

My brother & I had our own Lego collection as kids & so did my nephew. Pretty amazing how its has progressed from the 60s. Last fall I saw a little Lego snowmobile kit so I got the nephew that for gag Christmas gift. He thought it was cool & quickly put it together.

My only exposure to Meccano was when my father was cleaning up my grandparents' house before they moved in the mid 60s. They was a jumbled box of old metal pieces. It had belonged to my uncle. Considering his age it was probably from the late 40s/early 50s. I think my parents pitched it as it looked pretty rough from what I recall.

Inspector
Posts: 619
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:25 am
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Inspector » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:34 pm

I just read a story in the local papers that Langley RCMP have a set of 78's, found in a park washroom, turned in recently, and are looking for the owner. Not yours by any chance?

I had Meccano sets when I was a little kid in the late 50's. The jaws of the wrenches spread and would become useless so my dad bought a little Swedish made, 4" Bahco "crescent" wrench to use. I still have it and it comes in very handy every now and then. :) Good toy and great tool.

Pete

Downwindtracker2
Posts: 262
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:34 pm
Location: B.C.

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Downwindtracker2 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:22 pm

No, they were stolen 30 years ago. There were Fats Waller and Sons of the Pioneers records in collection, plus pop stuff.

Bahco, the other inventor of adjustable wrenches, they made 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

revrnd
Posts: 353
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:38 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by revrnd » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:46 pm

Downwindtracker2 wrote: Bahco, the other inventor of adjustable wrenches, they made quality.
Since the local HD Supply has a minimum cash purchase, I picked up a flat file (which I needed) & it was a Bahco. I was a little concerned about the quality since I had never heard of the brand. Turns out it's a good file. I Googled & learned a bit about the company.

User avatar
refinery mike
Posts: 623
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:54 pm

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by refinery mike » Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:06 pm

I think that when the home machinists first found this web sites they were happy to share decades of knowledge and projects. I for one have never met, in person, another person that has a home machine shop. so i was very happy to find this web site. But after the site has been around a while it will cool off some because we now have only present projects and problems to share. If you want to know how well things are going in the hobby, just see how fast machinist tools disapear at the local flea market. Better get there early.
In the long term I am sure that the hobby is bound to get much smaller in the future. The boomers are the last generation to be hands on. No more "amateur Scientist" in Scientific American. Look at Popular Mechanics, and Popular Science. How much is hands on. We have become a nation of spectators who want entertainment not work. But there will always be some of us who just have to make stuff.

User avatar
JimGlass
Posts: 2274
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 8:33 pm
Location: 40 Miles West of Chicago/near DeKalb
Contact:

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by JimGlass » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:21 am

RB211 wrote: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?
First RB211, I should look you up sometime while I'm wintering in Homosassa Florida. We go to Spring Hill all the time and are fond of a restaurant in Bayport.
I also go target shooting at Chassawitza WMA, Hernando gun club several times during our stay.

RB211, I have made the same observations that you have. I think what you are witnessing here is an example of what is happening to the machine trades overall, lack of interest. I remember this forum when it was in the old format. By the way, this is one of the oldest machining forums on the internet. Little do people know CNCzone.com and even Practical Machinist.com and others are spin offs from this very forum. This dates back to 2000 and 2001.

It is obvious the lack of interest of the machining trades is evident throughout our schools and our economy and eventually becomes evident in places like this. We need to look at the number of new people coming in and the number of people going out, (Gulp, passing away :shock: ).

There was a time when I posted here quite often but now it is a couple of times a year. I was always posting my projects and builds here. At first they were received with great enthusiasm but as time went on I felt there was so little interest I asked myself, "why bother". In the old days when someone posted a build or project people would ask questions or make suggestions but later not so much.

My question is this. Are people indifferent these days or are there fewer people surfing these forums?

Jim
Tool & Die Maker/Electrician, Retired 2007

So much to learn and so little time.

www.outbackmachineshop.com

User avatar
reggie_obe
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 6:16 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by reggie_obe » Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:51 am

refinery mike wrote: If you want to know how well things are going in the hobby, just see how fast machinist tools disapear at the local flea market. Better get there early.
They disappear at flea markets and Estate sales sales only to reappear on Fleabay. If you came upon a group of oddball collets like a 4NS or 5V and didn't have a machine that took them, would you leave them behind and risk that they end up on the "free" pile at the end of the day?
There also seem to be (at least in my neck of the wood) legions of "collectables" dealers who, if the price is right will "collect" anything they can turn around for a profit. Smartphones have made it easy to look the value up of any tool on Fleabay.
Last edited by reggie_obe on Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Carm
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:14 am

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Carm » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:43 am

JimGlass wrote:
There was a time when I posted here quite often but now it is a couple of times a year. I was always posting my projects and builds here. At first they were received with great enthusiasm but as time went on I felt there was so little interest I asked myself, "why bother". In the old days when someone posted a build or project people would ask questions or make suggestions but later not so much.

Jim
Jim, I noticed you have fewer posts as time goes by...I too was an early member here. I have always enjoyed your enthusiasm, ingenuity and caliber of work. Can't answer the "why bother"...only you know what reciprocation is needed for posting.
There could be many reasons for fluctuating volume of postings. Could be illness, family life, work load, or seasonal affects....spring is finally here and I spend LOTS of time outside.

User avatar
JimGlass
Posts: 2274
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 8:33 pm
Location: 40 Miles West of Chicago/near DeKalb
Contact:

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by JimGlass » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:18 am

Thanks Carm, I appreciate hearing your thoughts.

I have been thinking about this thread all morning. In the early days of this forum it was almost one of a kind. I think the "Home Shop Machinist" was out there but that is about it. Today the internet is loaded with different forums of all kinds. There is an RV forum I spend time on, Ruger firearms has their own forum and it is quite active. There are a ton of places where people can spend time which translates to less time to spend here.
Last edited by JimGlass on Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tool & Die Maker/Electrician, Retired 2007

So much to learn and so little time.

www.outbackmachineshop.com

Post Reply