Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

This forum is dedicated to the Live Steam Hobbyist Community.

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH, cbrew

shild
Posts: 283
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:58 pm

Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by shild » Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:39 pm

As you might have seen in one of my other threads, they don't think too highly of steam clubbers where I happen to work. :( Regardless, I asked my boss how long he thinks it takes for someone to build one of these live steamers. He said "Maybe about 3 weeks". I then told him it typically takes around 1000-4000 hours to build one depending on their skill level and what loco they choose. If it is possible to pull it off in 3 weeks, it would be a bare bones engine by an insanely fast machinist who knows every speed trick in the book. He then said "What a waste! What a waste of life!". Then immediately, one of the more talented workers used a "Safety Valve Voice" and said several times "Pfzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz---The STEAM CLUB----Pfzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz----THE ST-E-E-E-E-E-E-A-M CLU-U-U-U-U-B Pfzzzzzzzzzzz" He sounded like E.T. while doing it!. People started laughing and I said nothing more of it after that.. :oops: But anyway. Do you think he's right? Are we just wasting our lives away building these live steamers? Do we get anything more than just a Locomotive and better machining skills? I didn't even tell my boss about how a set of drawings might cost $300. or what castings typically cost. Can just imagine what he would say!... Maybe I'll tell him Tomorrow.

User avatar
Greg_Lewis
Posts: 2189
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2003 2:44 pm
Location: Fresno, CA

Re: Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by Greg_Lewis » Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:59 pm

I think they are pulling your chain. Don't feed the trolls.

As to your question: What I get out of it is a tremendous sense of satisfaction. I get a new set of skills working with tools and materials I hadn't worked with before. I get the joy of creating something that works from little more than a few photos and measurements at the museum and some drawings on pieces of paper. I get peace and quiet when I retreat to my shop. I get respect when folks see what I've made and are told that it's not a kit, but built from scratch. I get joy from my grandkids riding and operating my equipment. (Imagine a teenage girl wanting to go to Train Mountain.) I get a good night's sleep when I doze off thinking about how I'm going to solve the next machining problem. I get smart, creative friends who are always willing to share their knowledge and skill and whose friendship has gone far beyond just trains.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of the dull toolbit.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

User avatar
BigDumbDinosaur
Posts: 1295
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Midwestern United States

Re: Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Wed Dec 09, 2020 1:27 am

shild wrote:
Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:39 pm
...they don't think too highly of steam clubbers where I happen to work. :( Regardless, I asked my boss how long he thinks it takes for someone to build one of these live steamers. He said "Maybe about 3 weeks". I then told him it typically takes around 1000-4000 hours to build one...He then said "What a waste! What a waste of life!".
And just what does your boss do with his life when he's not at work or sleeping? Swill beer and watch overpaid thugs play football on TV? Or does he spend endless hours pecking at his phone?
Do you think he's right? Are we just wasting our lives away building these live steamers?
I've been building stuff since my early teen years and at no point have I ever felt it was a waste of time. I have continuously learned stuff and have developed skills that are constantly of value to me. At this point in my life, I can do things that few of my friends and acquaintances can do, thanks to, among other things, a life-long interest in trains and what makes them work.

So tell your boss to use his opinion of the Live Steam hobby as a suppository. :D
——————————————————————————————————
I'm a caterwauling curmudgeon. What's your excuse? ☻

User avatar
SteveR
Posts: 247
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:17 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by SteveR » Wed Dec 09, 2020 1:37 am

Not knowing anything about you, you sound like someone who is interested in mechanical things. And it sounds like you work at a place that doesn't put much value in learning about machines and machining.

That said, building a live steam locomotive is a serious engineering project. It takes time, engineering know-how, equipment, money and project management skills. In return it gives you an opportunity to build and strengthen those valuable skills, make friends with a lot of great people in a rich social circle that extends all over the world and have fun all at the same time. In fact, the same can be said of many hobbies, not just live steaming; and there are as many hobbies and ways to enjoy them as there are people (just keep reading posts on this board! :wink: )

Which goes to your coworker's statement about a waste of a life; He's being presumptuous and arrogant - ignore his nonsense and stop looking for his approval. It's your life, do what makes you happy so that at the end of it you can look back and be content with what you got done.

Good Luck
SteveR
12x36 Enco Lathe, 9x42 Bridgeport, SMAW, O/A, Miller MIG w/gas
Not enough measuring tools...
1.5" Allen Models Consolidation in progress
1" FEF in progress
1" LE Pacific "Project"
3/4" LE Northern Project
"Guaranteed not to rust, bust, collect dust, chip, crack, peel or tarnish."

User avatar
NP317
Posts: 2948
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:57 pm
Location: Northern Oregon

Re: Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by NP317 » Wed Dec 09, 2020 2:02 am

I'm with Greg_Lewis, BDD and SteveR.
Except I don't have any grandkids yet.

I have never been bothered by other peoples' negative opinions of what I enjoy and can accomplish. Their attitudes say more about themselves than about me.
And I have parlayed my steam interests into several excellent and unusual jobs. People cannot argue with that. Smart people, anyway.
So follow your dreams and ignore those with narrow minds.
No dreams no progress.
RussN

User avatar
Dick_Morris
Posts: 2405
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:09 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Re: Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by Dick_Morris » Wed Dec 09, 2020 2:23 am

I've long said that some people get satisfaction from the journey, others from the destination. I get my enjoyment from the building. Running a finished locomotive is coincidental to the real purpose.

User avatar
David Powell
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2003 10:38 pm
Location: Pickering Ontario Canada.

Re: Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by David Powell » Wed Dec 09, 2020 6:27 am

Not just out of one build, but from a lifetime of steam and steam engines I have been blessed with two keen wives, one very keen son, a daughter who is interested but whose main interest is home renovations,a circle of friends. some in person some via internet,a number of jobs and leads for jobs directly or indirectly via the hobby, a home where engine parts on the dinner table are commonplace.
I am never bored, theres always more to do, just wish I had the energy I used to have. I have holidays which include museums and steam shows, some far from home. and I have always received a warm welcome
The hobby has taken me far beyond a local track and my workshop.
regards David Powell.

jcbrock
Posts: 442
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 7:50 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by jcbrock » Wed Dec 09, 2020 6:39 am

SteveR wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 1:37 am
make friends with a lot of great people in a rich social circle that extends all over the world and have fun all at the same time. In fact, the same can be said of many hobbies, not just live steaming
This, the only thing I would change is "make friends" to "make lifelong friends". Some casual, some tight, but they've been there in my life long-term so Steve nailed it for me.

As for the time spent, I recently saw a quote attributed to several, among them John Lennon: "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time". Even if my efforts come to naught, it's been a pleasant time in the shop.
John Brock

User avatar
pat1027
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:45 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by pat1027 » Wed Dec 09, 2020 7:09 am

You build a locomotive because you want the experience of doing it. Does a fisherman catch one fish or a golfer shoot one round and that's it they are done? No, if they enjoy it they do it year after year and look forward to it. Same with locomotives.

Pontiacguy1
Posts: 1205
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:15 am
Location: Tennessee, USA

Re: Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:40 am

And when your locomotive is completed you have something that YOU have built that has ACTUAL VALUE! Sorry, but if your hobby is watching football, consuming large amounts of media, playing golf, snowboarding, vacationing, etc... then you are not creating anything of value with your time. Not saying at all that those things are bad or not worth doing or anything like that, and sometimes you should relax and do those things. BUT:
in this hobby you are actually creating something that has lasting, multi-generational value when you build large scale trains. Most people don't think about it, but I fully expect that the stuff that I build will outlast me by many, many years. I expect that my son or one of my daughters, or some of their sons and daughters, will end up with my equipment some day, and they will have something that they can use and enjoy and which has actual value when they do.

My point is: Hobbies that create things will leave a more lasting imprint on you, on your family, and on others than hobbies where you just consume things or go out and participate in activities.

shild
Posts: 283
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:58 pm

Re: Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by shild » Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:38 am

Pontiacguy1 wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:40 am
And when your locomotive is completed you have something that YOU have built that has ACTUAL VALUE! Sorry, but if your hobby is watching football, consuming large amounts of media, playing golf, snowboarding, vacationing, etc... then you are not creating anything of value with your time. Not saying at all that those things are bad or not worth doing or anything like that, and sometimes you should relax and do those things. BUT:
in this hobby you are actually creating something that has lasting, multi-generational value when you build large scale trains. Most people don't think about it, but I fully expect that the stuff that I build will outlast me by many, many years. I expect that my son or one of my daughters, or some of their sons and daughters, will end up with my equipment some day, and they will have something that they can use and enjoy and which has actual value when they do.

My point is: Hobbies that create things will leave a more lasting imprint on you, on your family, and on others than hobbies where you just consume things or go out and participate in activities.
Ah oh! Pontiacguy, hate to have to tell you this but I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. :( When people die, it's typical for a big dumpster to be delivered to the residence. All the things they possessed get ruthlessly put in that dumpster at a very fast pace. Could be stuff that truly belongs like Christmas and Halloween decorations, could be stuff that might be hard to find like some car parts, Pontiac parts in your case maybe? Could be expensive cameras and lenses you spent huge money on. Could be binoculars, all kinds of books and magazines, all your clothes, shoes, baseball hats, that little cage you put your baseball hat in to wash it, computers, monitors, keyboards, tv's, boomboxes, radio's. With few exceptions it all gets put in the dumpster. Maybe if they see a box of jewelry they'll look through that closer to see if anything really valuable is in it, other than that it all gets put in the dumpster. I don't believe it would be any different with the trains. Seen this all happen first hand a couple of times! Very wasteful!

User avatar
Steamer Al
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 26, 2020 3:17 am
Location: Comox, BC

Re: Do you guys feel you get more than just a Loco out of your builds?

Post by Steamer Al » Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:42 am

Quite frankley, who gives a S@%/ what people think of our hobby? Sure maybe I dont tell everyone and their dog what I get up to at home but I could also care less what they think. As an airline pilot I get stuck in a cockpit with different people every day. By far the most down to earth, reasonable, fun to fly with folks are the ones with hobbies, regardless of what they are. I am proud of what I do and really dont care at all, whatsoever, what people think about it.

Post Reply