View Full Version : Blind machinist article

Michael Moore
08-09-2005, 10:48 AM
"Mechanic with a feel for his work"



08-09-2005, 11:07 AM
I'll bet he's part of a really small minority. That guy's just freakin' amazing. Try to imagine spinning parts on the lathe, in the middle of the night, with the lights out. Sorry, but that gives me the screamin' heebie-jeebies.

When someone sees me putting on eye protection before doing even the most simple things in the shop, I often quote an old boss of mine: "Ever see a blind engineer?"

08-09-2005, 11:09 AM
He must be in tune with his other senses.

08-09-2005, 11:28 AM
Dang. I can't imagine it at all.

08-09-2005, 11:51 AM
Amazing! Sure lends credence to the expression "I could do that with my eyes closed".

08-09-2005, 01:43 PM
I just walked over to one of my lathes....


08-09-2005, 02:59 PM
running lights out at night, too cool.

Doc Nickel
08-09-2005, 03:08 PM
There's one better- I read a bit in the newspaper just the other day of a kid, blind since birth, playing video games. Apparently the modern games are so immersive with the audio effects, that, with a great deal of effort and naturally some help from sighted family members, he's learned to play several games well enough that he can usually beat even skilled sighted players.


Paul Alciatore
08-09-2005, 04:51 PM
Makes me think I'm the one with the handicap.

I once watched a one hand mechanic repair my car. I would have taken four or five times as long. Of course, he "cheated" with the stump.

Paul A.

08-09-2005, 04:59 PM
Uh Doc, I believe the name of that song is "Pinball Wizard"...

08-09-2005, 06:22 PM
That is raw determination no two ways about it.They should show that to the folks here applying for disability cause the're"depressed"then show them the door.

John Foster
08-09-2005, 07:06 PM
I had the privilege of teaching blind students machine shop for 20 years. In an adult class of 15 to 20 I usually had at least one and often two blind students. The Iowa Comission for the Blind had the attitude that a blind person could do just abut anything that a sighted person could and encouraged them to do so. One even did watch repair!
As with other students I had good and poor blind ones. When they came into interview I would hand them a tap that I kept for that purpose. If they just held it with out any show of interest it was a pretty good indication of how they were going to do. Those that turned it over, checking it out and asking questions were usually good prospects. They ran every machine in the shop including grinding their own tools and using the band saw and surface grinder.
Those that were successful were employable and placed in industry.
One former student stays in touch and has a wood shop plus a metal lathe. He and I are building a CNC lathe.
It was a challenging experience but at the same time very rewarding. John

08-09-2005, 07:34 PM
John -
It's great that Iowa had that attitude. There are some that might think that callous, since undoubtedly, some "fail". Well hey, my wife would fail a machining course, only because she is what we call "mechanically declined". But the point is, (and good on Iowa, again) that a handicap of any type is seldom reason to categorically rule out an activity.
My only "handicapped" anecdote: When I separated my shoulder years ago, I was driving a Jetta with a 5-speed. After the surgery, my right arm was bound down to my chest, so I couldn't use it. My roommate rode with me somewhere, and watching me drive a stick like that, he commented that it reminded him of one of those "inspiring stories about the handicapped." I told him that it reminded me of the stupid things people do when they're in denial. He wouldn't ride with me after that until I got my arm back. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif