View Full Version : A peek behind the scenes - They're not all on Craigslist

Weston Bye
11-27-2010, 02:22 PM
The thread about Craigslist,
prompted me to share this.

I get corespondence from readers. Here is an exchange:

I'm interested in your article on adding an electronic lead screw. However, I'd like to avoid purchasing 3 separate issues just to acquire it. Can I pay you directly, or is there any other way? It's my wish to convert my South Bend 9" model C.

Sincerely, XXXX*

While I own the copyright on the content of the articles, Village Press owns the copyright on the presentation of the articles in the magazine. That means that I cannot sell photocopies of the magazine pages.

I could in theory sell copies of my manuscript and photographs and drawings, but they currently exist only in various electronic formats and it wouldn't be just a simple matter of dashing off photocopies. I suspect that the cost would approach or exceed that of the three magazines.

There has been some talk about gathering all three articles and some bonus content into a book, but no timetable has been established.

I will not offer anything in electronic format as it becomes too easily placed on the internet without my control, and may jeopardize the success of future book sales.

I'm sorry that I can't be more helpful, but I encourage you to buy the magazine issues and pursue the project. Since completing the Electronic Threading on my lathe, I have put it to considerable use, both in threading and in just using the longitudinal power feed while turning. It has lived up to my expectations and I have needed to make no changes or "improvements" to the operation.

I encourage you to apply it to your lathe, and would like to hear about your progress.

Weston Bye
Weston, I just 'purchased' an single article from another publication for $4. I am also a yearly subscriber to Home Power magazine, which sets me back about 10 bucks a year, a subscription I might add, which includes unlimited access to all previous issues and individual articles. I'm most certainly not a cheapskate or looking for a 'free pass', and in reality, it's not at all about the expense. It just collides with my senses to see a publication butcher articles into chunks, and expects me to buy multiple issues just to have access to all the pieces. I do appreciate your time. -XXXX-

I'm sorry, but I have no influence or control over how Village Press conducts its subscription or back issue sales.

I can comment, however, on the "butchering" of articles into multiple issues of the magazine. I wish it were not necessary. However, in the case of the Electronic Threading series, consisting of roughly 9000 words of text, 56 photographs and about 50 drawings, the article content occupied thirty full pages over the three issues of the magazine. Sharing of some of the pages with advertising ammounted to an actual total of 35 pages. Placing the entire article in a single issue would have allowed for some slight editing down in size, but still would have occupied more than half of the magazine space available for articles, displacing several others articles. The magazine appeals to a wide variety of readers and just 2 or 3 articles in an issue might leave some readers feeling neglected.

Even though I present "chopped up" articles, (I submit them this way, George doesn’t do the “chopping”) I try to leave the reader with something usable at the end of each article. In the Electronic Threading series, the first article left the reader with a usable power feed for the longditudinal axis. In the second article I presented enough mechanism, electronics and technique to perform "semi-manual" threading. The third article completed the system for full threading capability.

Concerning the cost of the back issues: the $19.50 that it will set you back for the 3 issues to get the knowledge you will need to implement electronic threading on your South Bend may leave you feeling short changed, particularly in comparison to the example you gave. The series deals with applying the principles to a Sherline lathe and all the mechanical details in the articles apply to that lathe. These will be useless to you. You will have to use your own ingenuity and imagination to adapt to the South Bend. It can be done. I could do it, but to tell you exactly how to do it would require the effort of another article or two.

Indeed, the $19.50 for the vital (mostly electronic) knowledge is a small investment. You will spend more than that in miscellaneous parts for the project, not to mention the hundreds of dollars for motors, drives and power supplies.

If cost is such a major factor you may want to reconsider doing the project at all, and stay with the existing mechanical threading on your lathe.

Weston Bye

Synonyms for frugal anyone?

*XXXX – identity concealed, you can see why.

11-27-2010, 02:51 PM
My hat is off to you Weston.
You are a patient (and diplomatic) man.. :D

BTW, I vaguely remember those articles, but can't recall the time period. When were they published? I assume it was in HSM, rather than MW ...right?

Could it be easily adapted to a Taig, or Unimat?

Weston Bye
11-27-2010, 03:20 PM
The series appeared in the Winter 2009 and Spring and Summer 2010 issues of Digital Machinist. In principle, the system can be adapted to any lathe, but the devil is in the details.

11-27-2010, 03:52 PM

I don't think it is just about the money. Some people just want to feel that they got something that others couldn't get, or had some special accomodation extended to them.

Your post reminded me of the guy who wanted me to modify the software on my hsm site. Why? So he could download some attachments he wanted without having to register as a user, a process that takes about 30 seconds. He said he already was a member of too many sites (btw-my site doesn't do anything with people's information, have advertisers, or send anyone anything in the mail or email, a fact I had made known to him). I politely told him that the software was incapable of doing that, which is true.

Sometimes, people just want to get what they want without giving or doing anything in return. I will leave it to you guys to come up with appropriate synonyms. :D

Frank Ford
11-27-2010, 04:01 PM
Indeed, many folks just don't understand what they are asking for. My site, FRETS.COM contains around two thousand pages of info about working on stringed instruments, and I deliver it for free, only asking for donations if people feel so inclined.

Regardless, I occasionally get requests for more. One guy actually asked me to buy a specific guitar kit, assemble it, photograph and write up the process so he could put one together himself. . .

Dr Stan
11-27-2010, 08:12 PM
When I taught at a vo-tech there was a freeloader who was infamous for trying to get work for free. He wanted me to design & build him a motorcycle sidecar, but the automotive instructor had given me a heads up about his behavior. I offered to do the work, but on the side for pay. Never saw him again. :D

11-27-2010, 08:40 PM
I run into similar at work.Customer wants a machine built from scratch,wants a quote up front and also wants any prints I draw for free.(yes people expect this,some of them plan on it)

11-27-2010, 11:53 PM
I taught photography at a university for 30 years. At least once a semester I’d get a call from somone looking for a student to take photos for them. The caller would usually ask if I could make it a class assignment, or perhaps find someone who could do it as a special project. Some callers apparently thought that we were just moping around looking for things to keep our students busy with when the reality is that we didn’t have time in a semester for all the assignments that needed to be done. Sometimes callers would act as though they were doing us a favor when they were really looking for free work and didn’t want to pay the local professionals to do the job.

Then I’d usually respond with, “What’s your budget for this?” There always would be a pause, and some would say, “I’ll have to check with my boss and get back to you.” They’d hang up and that would be the end of that. Others would say, “Well, I thought someone might do it for practice.”

Then I’d have to explain that the students who needed the practice probably were not ready to do what was needed, and the ones who were at a professional level needed to be paid for their work. These students had invested thousands of dollars in professional equipment and the expenses of a photographic education were quite steep. Besides, I had instructed them on professional business practices, and they needed to adhere to those principles.

Most folks were polite and either agreed to paying for the work or admitted that they were looking for a donation. Charities were commonly in the latter category. But once, after explaining all this, the caller got quite huffy and said rather forcefully, “ WELL, don’t they have to do community service!? When I went to school we had to do community service!” I said I agreed with that idea but that we didn’t have such a requirement and I was sorry I couldn’t help her. She slammed down the phone and all I could do was sit there and wonder about someone who would get upset at being turned down on a request for free professional-quality help. All I could think was that she was already having a bad day or that perhaps she had suffered a severe blow to the head. I'm also reminded of a quote I sometimes use as an email sig line: "Not all lobotomies heal properly."