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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rustyh
Posts: 326
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 1:21 pm
Location: Hornby Island, B.C., Canada

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by rustyh » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:29 pm

I try and visit this site every day, even when things are quiet here, because I know there will most often be something of interest.

My 4 children are grown, with kids of their own. No matter how it went over the years the kids just weren't interested in fixing anything. Living in a remote area, "fixing/repairing" was not cool, computers were. One's a gaming programmer, another the maintenance head at a big Victoria hotel (knew nothing of tools when he left), the youngest, now home, is a marine biologist...in Canada it means unemployable...and he now works with an arborist, un-trusting of tools, and the girl is a Home Support person who can fix her own motorcycle, and run just about anything, go figure.

I have been a "fixer/fiddler" type ever since I can remember. I majored in metal work during high school, wanting to be a machinist, but was forced to do the university entrance program by my parents.... those were the days. But that drafting, electrical basics (house wiring), and metal work stayed with me all my life, more than useful, it kept me safe, or at least from doing anything too stupid. So I think for my generation I was quite normal, and that our children were inspired by the influences, like computers, of their generation.

Now most of the grandchildren are well into their teenage years and all are doing just fine but have even weirder (to me) interests. But of course, that makes them a wonderful soap opera and a supreme resource when I've messed up in Minecraft trying to make redstone circuits, especially the youngest, a precocious 11 year old.

I live on a remote island, woodworking is the norm and my shop reflects that. But I am getting a wage from ferries, and my pensions from the government, and finally have enough extra cash to tool up, albeit modestly, before I retire, cause there won't be enough after that. My projects are mostly geared to making shop space and repairs.

I love doing repairs, as the projects are always different. Ship repairs, household, neighbors, friends. Last week an Austrian retiree heard of my little effort and dropped by a large box of lathe tool bits he had from when he was a machinist. He now has unrestricted use of my shop, although I know he'll never use it.

So all this, and this site, are intertwined, may it/we continue....

Torch
Posts: 1543
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:58 am
Location: Muskoka

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Torch » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:20 pm

rustyh wrote:I try and visit this site every day, even when things are quiet here, because I know there will most often be something of interest.

(snip)

I have been a "fixer/fiddler" type ever since I can remember.

(snip)

I live on a remote island,

(snip)

I love doing repairs, as the projects are always different. Ship repairs, household, neighbors, friends.
So all this, and this site, are intertwined, may it/we continue....
Some eerie similarities.

I am grateful for the goldmine of information and advice that is this site. Most of my projects are "simple" repairs; quite mundane in comparison to some of the things featured here, but the skills I have acquired studying the advanced projects continue to prove invaluable to me.

For example, yesterday SWMBO phoned me at work to advise that the furnace fan had quit. When I got home this morning, I found it had eaten a bearing. Daytime temps have started climbing above the freezing mark, but the heating season is far from over, so this is a problem! There is no place to get parts on short notice in this rural community even on a weekday, nevermind a Sunday, and I really wanted a nice warm bed after a long shift.

I wandered out to the garage and dug through a bin of bearings, hoping I might happen to have the right one. I did not. But I did have one that was "just a little too big" (3mm OD, 1/8" ID and 1mm too thick). Thanks to the skills I learned here, I quickly made up a spacer turned to the ID and reamed to the shaft size, chucked up the end cap of the motor, verified it was running true with a DTI, and bored it to a 0.0005" press fit for the bearing, taking the pocket exactly 1 mm deeper in the process. Motor runs as smooth and quiet as a new one. Simple, prosaic, not worthy of a second year apprentice nevermind a post on this board, but oh, so beneficial. To paraphrase a well-known string of commercials:

New bearing: $3
Time to repair motor: 2 hours
Pointing it out to SWMBO next time I buy a new tool: Priceless

(being warm and comfy for my nap was a nice side effect too)

To all those who ask and answer questions around here: Thankyou.

revrnd
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:38 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by revrnd » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:45 pm

My father was a draftsman & tried to be handy around the house. Sometimes he knew his limits, other times not. He had been around tool & die makers and machinists since the early 50s when he started his apprenticeship.

When I then my brother started high school we were steered towards the shop. I towards drafting & auto, while my brother ended up in machine shop & welding. We both went to community college and then into tool & die apprenticeships.

Fast forward to my nephew. Since his 2 cousins were in university, the S-I-L figured that was the path to take. He was in an "International Baccalaureate" program for 2 years. He hated it. Assignments & homework out the ying yang & he was struggling to understand some of the subject matter.

My brother put his foot down on the "delusions" of university. Neither the S-I-L or her sister went to university & I think the S-I-L figured if you don't go to university, you're a failure. I think my brother figured the trades are a better fit for the young lad since "electrics" need to be installed and/or serviced. The relative that has graduated from university (Simon Fraser) is not working in his field of expertise. I'm pretty sure brother is aware of co-workers' kids that have a degree in basket weaving & can't find a job.

The nephew went towards some tech subjects in Grade 11 & really enjoyed it. He's in Grade 12 & is in his 2nd semester. Right now he's in the Ontario Youth Employment Program (OYAP) as an electrician. He spends 2 days a week @ comm' college & 3 days w/ a journeyman. He's doing well in school & is seeing a wide range of work. One day it'll be residential, the next day a manure conveyor @ a dairy farm stopped working (large agricultural area nearby). The company has 1 line truck & a bucket truck, so the 3rd day last week they installed 30 utility poles.

JackF
Posts: 1551
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:56 pm
Location: Caldwell, Idaho

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by JackF » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:13 am

Interesting stories all, keep them coming. I took college prep courses all through high school but didn't go. Ended up in the printing trade and worked 38 years at various positions and retired. Took up the metal working hobby several years after retirement. I don't know how I ever got along in life without it. :roll: :wink: :mrgreen:

Jack.

Torch
Posts: 1543
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:58 am
Location: Muskoka

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Torch » Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:08 pm

I would not say the health of the hobby depends exclusively on it, but it sure would help if someone made safety glasses in children's sizes.

Image

Inspector
Posts: 610
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:25 am
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Inspector » Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:21 pm

Lee Valley have goggles for kids and at different times have also had ear muffs and work gloves too. Someone has to clean up the swarf. :wink:
http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.a ... 2207,42216
Pete

Torch
Posts: 1543
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:58 am
Location: Muskoka

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Torch » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:15 pm

Ironically Lee Valley is just a short drive away. However, the store that the Lee family named after the location of the ancestral family farm is several hours each way. Besides, he doesn't want goggles, he wants glasses, like Poppa.

Oh, and apparently it's Poppa's job to clean up the swarf. Poppa is not allowed to do much else any more. If the kid had the hand strength to securely tighten the chuck keys, I don't think I'd even be permitted to make the tool/material changes these days.

This weekend was a homework project. The assignment was to make an original toy, utilizing at least 2 simple machines and 3 forces. The young lad had some very, ummm, strong ideas about what he wanted to make and how he wanted to make it. Bordering on "grandiose". Refining the catapult's power to get the ball to land in the right place every time was probably the hardest part.

The kicker is that Dad didn't bother to show me the instructions until tonight, when he picked up Mr. Trump Jr. and the aforesaid project. "Please don't spend any significant money on this, just use materials that you happen to have around the house or maybe buy supplies at the dollar store". And "you can help your child with things like sawing a piece of wood, but the child should do most of the work."

Well, technically, he fell within the rules -- the only thing we bought was some plastic epoxy for the acrylic bits, the rest was all scrounged from what was on hand, and he certainly did everything including the cutting and sawing. But I'm not entirely sure that what's going to arrive tomorrow morning fits the teacher's expectations of work done by grade 2 students.

redneckalbertan
Posts: 1275
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:39 am
Location: South Central Alberta

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by redneckalbertan » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:41 pm

I bought a set of glasses and ear muffs made by Remington for taking the kids shooting. They were a little big on them to begin with but they fit ok on the 4 year old now. Have only had them out shooting rim fires, and judging by how they talked and responded to other noises I think they were working alright.

For spark producing tasks they stand out of the way so the glasses are just for the one or two odd ones that might make their way over there.

My Wife found small work gloves at the dollar store for kids, almost the right size for 4 year old hands. They were a big hit! I am not sure why because I hate gloves and usually only wear them when there is a large temperature differential between my hands and what the hold. Normally the kids copy me, so I'm not sure about the gloves... But I'm not arguing!

Torch
Posts: 1543
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:58 am
Location: Muskoka

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by Torch » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:10 am

redneckalbertan wrote:I bought a set of glasses and ear muffs made by Remington for taking the kids shooting.
See! The gun lobby knows how to protect their turf: make it a family affair by providing child-size safety glasses! That's what I'm talkin' about. :lol:

Seriously, thanks. Gun stores we have: I'll try one of them.

spro
Posts: 7534
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:04 pm
Location: mid atlantic

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by spro » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:09 pm

When I saw that young fellow at the lathe it pulled at my heart. I recall similar operations my Dad involved me in. Different Dads and different times for us all but THEY were Great! Those times of being children yet open to learning at least certain things, were things which stay to the end. I would have been boggled with your machine but wasn't there when it was delivered or what all the fuss was about. We became learned by seeing the insides of practical mechanical objects as they were repaired. Dad would have liked a lathe. I bought him the first floor mount drill press and it has gone to the younger now and familiar to some of the his great-great grandchildren. He could only do so much and putting food on the table and keeping things running were the priorities.
If he had a machine tool, one of his kids would surely get wound up in it... while he was away. Can't say I would have turned the switch while a little brother was holding something. One less thing to worry about though.

JackF
Posts: 1551
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:56 pm
Location: Caldwell, Idaho

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by JackF » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:16 pm

I love the shot of the grandson working on the lathe. :D Would love to see more pics like that. :D :D

Jack.

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ronm
Posts: 766
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2003 9:32 am
Location: Colorado

Re: The home shop machinist, health of the hobby

Post by ronm » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:54 am

Probably gives the Safety Nannies a case of the vapors too...all the more reason to like it.

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