View Full Version : Lurker posts....Part 2

05-04-2006, 08:53 PM
I am going to stir the pot a little. I think one of the reasons we have less posts by lurkers is because we don't always answer the question they ask. I am as guilty as the next guy but it can realy turn some people off. There was a post this week of just that but i can't remember it right now. So i will give an example.

Let's suppose i put a post with the following title:

"Newbie looking at buying a welder"

How many posts do you think will actually be about the question and how many do you think will be "Free Advice". Think about that a second. The first 3 to 5 posts will be about how he/she should take classes. It depends what you want to do? How big is your house or Garage, etc.

I am not disagreeing that any of those questions/statements. they are good advice but it is not the answer the individual asked for. To me the title says i want to learn how to weld but i know nothing. Asking somone more questions about something they already know nothing about is not helping them. In my opinion a better answer would be like this.

Well i have a miller 235 arc at home. I like it because i can use it for Ac/Dc welding or just DC welding. I use it mostly for building trailers, fixing heavier metals etc. At work i have an L-tec Mig. I love that machine. I can weld anything from 22 gauge (car pannels) to 1/2 plate. in a single pass. Unfortunately it needs MAJOR power to run. 30 amps on 600v. I don't have that at home!!! What are you thinking of welding? What do you use? Have any pictures?

This is just my opinion and i am not putting anyone down. I have done it as well, i am just glad that my first posts were answered and i was helped. I was lucky to Have people like thrud, SGW, Micheal snow, and some others reply to my questions, and looking back they were basic. I always got an answer.

Rob :)

P.S. John S is correct about posting pictures of anything and everything we machine. I realy enjoy that!

05-04-2006, 09:52 PM
Have to agree with you, I can see why the majority will not post. I just won't word it as nice as you can!

05-04-2006, 10:18 PM
You don't have to be a newbie to get advise rather than an answer. Ask a question on a punch press and you get lectured on how dangerous they are. Ask about a tool post grinder and you get the background on precision bearings. It appears that most here, including myself, feel it's necessary to caution individuals on function and operation. I think it's more of the father care and direction these guy want to share.

I scare everybody with deadly paint and razor sharp sheet metal. :D Grinding fresh welds, pouring molten metal, revving engines to 10,000rpm, walking I-beams, sheering steel and running 10-ton power hammers are the norm around here. Sheet metal tools can destroy body parts in an instant--Just like any machine. It doesn't seem to mater how experienced you may be, the advise flows freely. I'm not saying it's bad, it's just that it gets a little old and monotonous. I already know that if I stick a pencil in my eye it's going to hurt. ;)

Straight answers sure would be nice but there's always a difference of opinion that scares a lot of folks away from answering. There's also more than one way to get from point A to point B. It might even be that no one knows the answer. :eek: :D

05-04-2006, 10:56 PM
It is well to keep in mind that there are indeed lurkers here, and they may have interest in a question asked by someone else. It is not inappropriate to add cautionary or other information when answering a question, as many others looking may not be as knowledgeable as the person who asked the question in the first place.

The purpose of a forum such as this is not merely to answer the question of a single individual, but to share and exchange knowledge with others. The "lecture" is not necessarily directed to the original asker, but the additional information is supplied to inform others as well.

A thread on any given topic can take on a life of its own, and much information on the subject can be gained beyond what was originally asked.

John's intent was not directed at these types of threads, but toward those who show their work with claims of accuracy to the fifth decimal point and that less is to be ashamed of. He suggested we be more willing to show our projects and methods, and encourage others to share theirs.

"We need fresh blood, we need some of these >4,000 lurkers to start posting and showing what they are doing so we can all learn something afresh or even jog our memories of a past process or part.
They don't have to be pristine, polished until they glow in fact what's the point on a working article, you will be to scared to used the damn thing. Buls~#t's fine on models and display articles and for the egostrokers but can we get back to the "Here's what I have just chopped up with the powersaw, welded it to an old gate hinge and it now lets me part off with no problems " kind of topic ?

Bottom line is we are frightening a lot of untapped talent away."

I do agree with him on this point.

05-04-2006, 10:56 PM
QUOTE: You don't have to be a newbie to get advise rather than an answer. Ask a question on a punch press and you get lectured on how dangerous they are. Ask about a tool post grinder and you get the background on precision bearings.


If I remember correctly you asked if anybody had any experience with punch presses and what we could tell you about them. I think the information that was given was useful to someone who did not apear to have any experience with them. I am sorry if I offended you or didn't give you any useful info. I have been around them a good bit in my working career and figured emphasizing caution with some of their more common faults might save you a finger or two. I know that I would want that kind of info if the tables were reversed.

As for lurkers, some folks get what info they want and just leave. Not everyone wants to get into a long dialog, just a little info.

Jim (KB4IVH)

05-04-2006, 11:14 PM
So being relatively new to this type of forumn (about 2 weeks) what exactly is a "lurker"

05-04-2006, 11:24 PM
A lurker visits the site and reads, but does not post.

05-05-2006, 02:05 AM
See Lurker posts III

05-05-2006, 04:07 AM
As a newer member who lurked a long time I was here to find information and could usually find it by going to earlier posts , the search function does not require you to join as some forums do. I did learn alot from reading back posts. I know the older members get tired of the same simple question and refer some to previous posts, rather than answer it agian. Mostly i have learned what not to do.
As an example of what i think is wrong here ,I have done a lot welding in my life , nothing exotic mostly steel and some aluminium. I can judge the quality of weld and have seen some not pretty welds but good funtional welds that would do the job and hold and yet some felt like criticize them as not up to standard. I think some of our so called experts are running some of the potential new guys away.
I will continue to read alot here as enjoy reading posts from David Cofer ,Doc (what he trying to do next) Forrest and many (I know i have omitted many other posters) they are a true wealth of information and I thank all of you for the info you have shared.

05-05-2006, 08:52 AM
The term "lurker" itself is unfortunate. It is reminiscent of 'peeping tom" or
of some devious intent.

05-05-2006, 09:45 AM
I mostly lurk. I have thrown in my $.02 worth a couple times but find, as someone already said, that the others with more experience usually have already answered better than I could. As has already been said or inferred, some don't post for fear of having their comments squashed.

I can't see that I've been doing anything worth reporting or posting pictures of that hasn't already been done (and probably better), often ad nauseum.

I am working (slowly) on a steam locomotive so I spend more time on a couple of those sites than on here and that tends to be where I post or respond to posts slightly more than here.

My rant (FWIW): I have picked up some info here that has been useful, but so often I find information here that seems more geared to professional shops; tools I don't own, CNC, etc. that I find much more advanced than what I deem appropriate for "HOME shop" machining. Granted some of you have the bucks for buying that stuff just to play but I wonder how many of you are really doing this just for fun and how many of these "home" shops are businesses. Maybe there should be another catagory for home professional shops? Just a thought. Obviously I don't have to read a thread that says CNC or whatever that I'm not interested in, and I usually don't. But sometimes thread titles are misleading because topics drift. :0

The knowledge of some of you guys is downright intimidating. That, coupled with the fact that a few folks have had some less than cordial answers to their questions from some of you, and I can understand why some run away. I'm thicker skinned I guess. I can either take things as a joke which often I've learned to recognize that they are, or I can ignore them. Newer lurkers may not be so patient or discerning.

05-05-2006, 05:49 PM

If I remember correctly you asked if anybody had any experience with punch presses and what we could tell you about them. I think the information that was given was useful to someone who did not apear to have any experience with them. Jim (KB4IVH)

Yeah, you're right Jim but I think I was looking for specs too (tonnage, motor hp, speed, etc.). No worry, I got the same answer at every bbs I asked so I wasn't trying to single out anyone. Like most old machines, sometimes you have to wing it. When I get my "roundtoit" for that machine, I'll probably be back looking for more info. ;) I'm still looking for info on a 1920 Niagara slitter too. :D

05-05-2006, 10:41 PM
Hi Ken,

I feel a little inadequate when it comes to quoting specs for a lot of this stuff. It was nearly 30 years ago that I worked in the tool and die shop that had those punch presses. They had at least 4 of them and I just can't remember what the details were. I know they had at least a 5hp 3 ph motor but that was about it. That plant had some real big ones that we used to spot in and test dies we built. There was one 250 ton Bliss that had a bolster plate that was 6'x20'. It was 2 stories high and had a flywheel about 10' in diameter, driven by a 30hp motor. There was a 12"wide canvas belt that went around the flywheel and the motor pully. You had to jog the on button until you got it turning or it would throw the belt. It was so loud just idling that you could hear it a block away. I was very glad to have done my time and learned the stuff I needed and said goodbye to the press department. I much prefer mills, lathes, and surface grinders.

Jim (KB4IVH)

05-06-2006, 01:13 AM
Jim, I worked in a big farm equipment mfg plant some years ago. They had a big ol' punch press about 20 ft high with a big ol' flywheel on it. That thing shook the whole plant. It was about an 1/8th of a mile to the assembly end and it even shook the tool trays way down there.
There where about a dozen guys running around town with missing fingers from that ugly ol' beast.
I loved it when it broke down for a spell.

05-06-2006, 02:42 AM
I don't think that anybody can have too few safety warnings on the dangers of older machines. We all have a different "starting point" in the history of machines and operating conditions of machine shops. The level of acceptable risk has changed greatly during my lifetime. Some machines are much less forgiving than others of the same era, and those may be best left to the museums.

I also think that without the internet and BBS most of this "soft" info on the use and dangers of old machinery would be lost. That is one reason I like this site over some of the others, there is a feeling of "experiance", not just the "I gots" of the "latest and greatest".

That is just my feeling, your milage may vary...

05-06-2006, 07:07 PM

Sounds like our old Bliss. THat thing sounded like a giant wave breaking when they cycled it. Our plant was 110 thousand sqft (one city block long by about 100' wide) and, like you said, it rattled everyone's benches all the way up front in the grind shop. I was never so glad as when I escaped from that department and back to the milling department.


You are sure right about that. That is what is so neat about this forum. Someone on this list is bound to remember whatever machine you are interested in and have some "hints and kinks" to minimize your frustration. The safety thing is a number one thing in my book. After 35 years in the trade I have all my fingers, toes, eyes, and that is the way I plan on keeping it. Some of the grungy, dark, and dangerous shops I worked in kept me on edge every minute.

Jim (KB4IVH)