View Full Version : Where do you live and how long have you been maching

Brett Hurt
02-25-2011, 03:08 PM
I am Brett Hurt live in Bakersfield ca been machining since California employment act trained me to be one in 1980 know iam a hobby machinist and love it

02-25-2011, 04:35 PM
Live in the Northeast and ran my first lathe in 1957 in trade school. :eek:

02-25-2011, 04:44 PM
My name is Scott from Ellwood City PA, I'm 35 years old I went through 6 years of machining in school at age 13 when they had a state of the art maching class, got away from it for a few years. In 2004 I bought my first lathe,mill,and bandsaw just for a hobby, Here it is 2011 I have 5 lathes,4 mills,3 shapers,10 drill press's, radial arm drill,surface grinder,5 horizontal bandsaws,6 power hacksaws, brake and drum lathe,horizontal drilling machine,pipe threader and tons of tooling. This doesn't include about 8 woodworking machines. I love to find old machines drag them home listen to the wife asking where are you going to put that one , do a total rebuild on them and use them. So I would guess I have been machining for about 20 years through a few stepping stone jobs to my current job. People say I have a problem but I LOVE IT.

02-25-2011, 04:49 PM
I am warren & I live in New Hampshire USA. I have been machining since the late 70's when I took shop classes high school. Currently I am involved in portable line boring for construction & industrial equipment. I have a small machine shop here at home to support the portable business building tools & such.

02-25-2011, 05:02 PM
I just moved to Indiana after growing up in NY and traveling around with the Army. I grew up around shops of all kinds but found myself mostly in the automotive ones. Ive known the basics of machine work since a child, but never got into it much until I saw some engine machining while in the Army. I got out after seven years, started buying/seriously using machine tools while in college, earned my bachelor's, and now work for a large OEM as a performance engineer on a special projects team. Lately I find myself enjoying the actual work of machine restoration much more than I do actually cutting metal though.

02-25-2011, 05:16 PM
Brooklyn and about 4 months. Bought the teeny grizzly lathe and miller (not combo) and proceeded to start pissing off my neighbors (so effectively in fact that I can't run the miller in my apartment.)

I've been cruising along on the lathe, with a few projects under my belt in off hours.

I'm planning on moving to a place where I can run these things freely and not worry about noise so much.

Autodidactism FTW!

Pete F
02-25-2011, 05:20 PM
California central coast. I got my mill about 16 months ago, lathe about 4 months ago. I don't know anything, but I'm trying to learn.


02-25-2011, 05:53 PM
Live in Long Beach CA, bought a Mini Lathe back about 6 years ago to make little fittings/bushings/stuff for my racecar and have been upgrading equipment and learning ever since.

Errol Groff
02-25-2011, 06:05 PM
Started my apprenticship at Pratt and Whitney Machine Tool in W. Hartford CT in October of 1965. Now I live in S.E. CT and have been making chips in one form or another every work day since then.

Been teaching machine tool for at a vo-tech high school for the past 23 years.

Deja Vu
02-25-2011, 06:13 PM
I first ran a lathe in the maintenance shop of Evergreen Nursery, Inc. ......when I wasn't sweeping the floor or sorting parts back in the mid '60s. Soon after I was using all the equipment in playing my part of keeping it all going smoothly.

02-25-2011, 06:15 PM
Been machining for 24 years, the first 10 of those for a living. Since then it's been a hobby and occasionally a small part of my work.

02-25-2011, 06:17 PM
Live in the Northeast and ran my first lathe in 1957 in trade school. :eek:

Well then, you got me beat by 16 years. ;) I started at Worcester Boys Trade High, but in my junior year they changed the name to Worcester Vocational Technical High School.

Worcester MA native, but I moved far away (7.5 miles) to Spencer shortly after I got married at 21 in 1980. Still with the same girl, same house, and still playing in machine shops. Mostly, my dad's home shop now though.

Errol, thank you for teaching our future machinists! I still visit with 2 of my teachers every other week, one in his mid-nineties. I value my education VERY highly, and have guys like YOU to thank for it.

02-25-2011, 06:27 PM
Vic, SE Wisconsin.

My first job after the Air Force in 1969 was in R&D.
I had a small machine shop to use for making prototypes.
The boys in the tool room were a BIG help getting me started.

I'm now retired and slowly setting up at home now.
It's fun making most any part I need with my limited machines right now.

Most if the work is making my own reloading tools.

02-25-2011, 06:31 PM
Carl Darnell, bought my first lathe about 1961. For most of my working life I have been a mechanic, welder, industrial electrician, machinist, fabricator and a few other things. I have been in business a few times as a truck and trailer repair shop, small engine shop and a machine shop.

Nothing like learning everything you can to be able to get work and have a job.

02-25-2011, 07:52 PM
Started as an apprentice fitter-turner in Flint, North Wales 1948, got my indentures (ticket) 1953. Got married and we moved to Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada May '54. Joined Barber Machinery in Edmonton AB 1956, Machined for 12 years then went to U of A to get my teaching cert. Taught machine shop until 99. During that time tried to start company building aricraft hanger doors and had some success except operating capital interest of 24% killed that idea. Retired from teaching and moved to Glade BC by Castlegar and have a busy home shop. Just lathe, mill and a Sunnen hone to keep the local Harleys and sleds running. Two brake lathes, one of which I have to use directly when the drums arrive, should be now. Peter

Forrest Addy
02-25-2011, 08:05 PM
Hoo, hah. Dinosaur times. I live in light artilliary range of Puget Sound in Bremerton Washington almost exactly West of the Space Needle Seattle.

I started machining - well, I was a kid, call it making chips - when I was about 12 on my dad's South Bend. That's about 1953. Served a machinist's apprenticeship in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard 1961 - 1965. Worked mostly in the machine hop on the big machine tools but I was detailed many places in the shop, out on the waterfront, engineering, drafting, finally as a machine tool procurement tech. Post retirement a couple of second career jobs, and all this time in my home shop (lathe turret mill, planer, welding equipment, cabinet shop, etc.

Still at it at 69. There's many older and longer in the trade but I doubt if their careers were any more satisfying than mine.

Dr Stan
02-25-2011, 08:08 PM
Started in November of 1973 when I attended the Navy's Machinery Repairman Class "A" school, then located in San Diego. I've either worked as a machinist, tool maker, industrial engineer, or taught machining ever since.

Am located in Western KY and have my own shop that includes a 9" SB, a 14 1/2" SB, a Fray vertical mill, Delta 14" wood & metal band saw, horizontal band saw, early 1900's Cincinnati planner, drill press, MIG and OA welders, plus the usual grinders, compressors, etc.

Steve Steven
02-25-2011, 08:09 PM
Steve, I began working in my dads woodworking shop doing metalwork in 1958, took a machine shop course in college in 1962, got my first home lathe in 1972, been at it ever since. Have a chinese 12X36, Van Norman 12, and lots of other tools.


02-25-2011, 08:25 PM
Will anyone kill me if I suggest this thread should be posted under "networking".

Still having fun but not nearly as skilled as most of you, so I don't contribute too much to this forum out of embarassment, you can say I'm still learning after 25 years....

Tony Ennis
02-25-2011, 08:29 PM
Louisville, KY. Charitably speaking, I've been machining for about 2 months.

Weston Bye
02-25-2011, 08:57 PM
Got bit by the machining bug by reading Live Steam magazine, the original Village Press machining related magazine that spawned HSM, MW and DM. Bought an Atlas 6" lathe new from the factory in about '80 or so. Lived all my life in and around the former Auto Ciity (Flint Michigan), now just the rust belt.

Brett Hurt
02-25-2011, 09:06 PM
This is great stuff I love it so what was your first LATHE ALSO mine WAS A south bend 9in. got it for $500 cash.

02-25-2011, 09:23 PM
Bought a Sheldon 10x24 in 2004. Mostly just a hobby, no high precision stuff. Brass toothpick holders single point threaded the caps and barrel. Made a couple brass hammers with steel handles tapered and knurled. Turn a bit of aluminum down for a microscope stand I make and sell. Goldsmith since 1998 so I've made a couple things to use there. Walker Turner 20 inch drill press with 7 to 1 reduction pull gear planetary gear motor pulley, W.F
Wells 7x12 horizontal bandsaw, Millermatic 175, Baldor 623e and woodworking tools.
Waterloo Wisconsin

02-25-2011, 09:33 PM
Started in my dad's shop at age 12. Had my own business on the side by age 17. Still self employed machinist now at age 54. ugh. ;)

02-25-2011, 09:47 PM
From West By God Virginia, had my stuff for a year or so, and still can't machine.:rolleyes: Got a Jet round column mill for free, almost new, but filthy with carbon black, when our plant closed down. Found an old semi clapped out SB 9" for too high a price some months later. So, I have what most people consider so-so equipment, and I have no mentor to help me figure out how to use them.

BUT...... I am a quick study, and by damn I've turned out some, to me, pretty cool chit. May not meet some of your standards, but it makes me puff my chest out when it all works out.

I love this hobby! :D :D

02-25-2011, 11:13 PM
I started a toolmaker apprenticeship program in 1976.

Four years of training and community college later, I graduated. That was one of the best days of my life. My dad started his apprenticeship in the same factory in 1955. Next younger brother started his in 1975. Couple of other brothers in the same line of work.

I think we have a little cutting oil in our blood.

After 28 years practicing the trade, I retired. Bought a bunch of machinery for a home shop.

Lately I have had a few offers to take on some commercial work. It is pretty tempting, but I hate to turn a fun hobby into a job again.

Time will tell. It does seem a shame to have a lot of under utilized equipment.


02-25-2011, 11:16 PM
I'm guessing my machining started around 2000. I have four mills and one lathe, some at home and some at work. Recently picked up a new Miller Maxstar STH, which I love much more than my Lincoln MIG. I do a lot of non-descript machining jobs for my work which is running an excavating company. Nothing fancy most of the time. But my 8 yr old son is doing a science project on gears(his choice) and we have had some quality time in the shop putting it together. :)

I live in Porter Beach, IN and work out of Merrillville IN.

02-25-2011, 11:37 PM
John from upstate New York Land of Taxes. Just a homeshop hacker machinist. Started when I retired 2 years ago. Somthing I've wanted to do for a long time. Got my first taste in metal shop in high school back in the 60's. Retired and bought a South Bend 9 in. That one gave birth to a second 9 in South Bend. Then a 13 in Sheldon followed me home. From there its been all down hill. Boyer Shults 612 surface grinder, Walker-Turner 15 in drill press ( free ), Burke Powermatic mill, 30 in Brake/shear/roller, 3 grinders and a few other misc items and three classes at the local trade school to get the basics. All of this made possible by a wonderful wife who even goes on trips and helps me load this stuff and drag it home.


02-26-2011, 12:37 AM
I'm Dave from the SF Bay area. First real machine shop classes in 1966, learned CNC on a punch paper tape machine. Started in a machine shop 1968. Then as a tech, I made my own parts for 33 years. When I neared retirement, I figured it was time for my home shop (~1996). Bought a B'P clone and a 12x36 lathe. Retired 2002 and been making fun stuff since.

J. Randall
02-26-2011, 12:48 AM
I am not a machinist, was and auto mechanic in my youth, been collecting tools all my adult life. Was disabled by arthritis at age 39, am 60 now. Started playing with an old worn out 10" Atlas about 15 yrs. ago. Bought an old conehead Porter Cable toolroom lathe about 10 yrs. ago, have since added a RF-45 mill drill. I did take one night class on lathe operation at the local vo-tech school. I think everyone should post their name and general location in their profile, we might find out there was someone with like interests a lot closer than we know.

02-26-2011, 12:52 AM
Amen to the location. Peter

Jim Hubbell
02-26-2011, 01:23 AM
Been messing with machines most of my life. Plant engineer in CA. 24 years then moved to ID. in 1975 and started an HVAC business. Got an old Atlas 10in. lathe and a Jet mill/drill in the mid '90s. Enjoying myself the last 15 or so years. Last year I got a 60 by 40 shop with living area upstairs. Still setting up working areas.
I turned 80 last year and am happy to still be able to do as I like.

02-26-2011, 02:41 AM
Have never done it for a living, but have made parts for people from time to time. I remember reading a mechanics illustrated magazine when I was maybe 7 or 8 yrs old, and there was an ad for a Unimat lathe. One day, I thought to myself-

15 years later I bought a Unimat, that was around '74 or so. In school I had no interest in metalworking at all- the bug only really bit me later. Bugs are still biting-

02-26-2011, 05:25 AM
I am a mechanic by trade, I did take 2 machine shop classes in the 60's when I was in high school. It was very interesting but I was more interested in cars. A few years ago I bought a 3 in 1 Smithy. How long have I been a Machinist????? What time is it? I wonder if this interest follows family lines, I can't count the number of relatives and cousins that are either mechanics or maintenance engineers. Jan van Saane was my gr gr grandfather on my maternal side, he immigrated to America in 1890 and was a koperslager (coppersmith). My name is John and I am in Council Bluffs Iowa. Jan

02-26-2011, 06:06 AM
I am M.Sc. Mech. Eng. - few years in aluminum die casting factory as production engineer. That was over in Prague, in USA I make living in IT - don't ask, long story.

Anyway, machining is a way to keep the mecheng in me alive:D

Northern Virginia

02-26-2011, 12:53 PM
I am Jim Connell, I was born live in Deland FL (20miles west of Daytona Beach) grew up in my Dad’s print shop. Went to Allied School of Technology in Chicago, in 1954, took there Master Machinist Course. In 1957 I went to work for the man that invented the despicable Hypodermic needle, Z. M. Roehr. Worked in that plant through several owners and capacities from machine builder to injection mold builder and designer. Retired in 1996. Now machine work is my hobby. I have a 9” South Bend lathe, Bridgeport and a 18” Springfield Shaper.


Pete F
02-26-2011, 02:35 PM
Retired in 1969.

So you're what, like 112 now? :D


02-26-2011, 03:21 PM
I literally grew up in a small rural upstate NY machine shop, ran by my grandfather and his two brothers, worked there until I went to college. Since then I have worked as an industrial boiler service technician for 35 years, and have had machine tools in my shop for the last 25 years. I run a small shop making obsolete boiler parts for the company I work for, in between service calls.


sid pileski
02-26-2011, 05:43 PM
Jack- That Shop wouldn't happen to be Mack Brothers would it?

BTW, I'm from Skaneateles NY.
Engineer, been machining since I was a kid.


02-26-2011, 06:37 PM
J Randall and Oldbrock - YES, YES and YES. Please everyone put some idea of your location in your profile. Some might want to keep it quiet, but no one on this thread has any excuse not to put up their location.

Me ? Got a small lathe in '75 while living in a top floor flat in London, and tried to adapt a MT3-MT2 adapter. Very hard steel. Very disappointing.

Moved to Reading, to an old flint cottage with a huge shed - I guess 25' x 60'. Never got the lathe out. I was too busy developing imaging software, messing with electronics and model railways and having children. It was the need for a good model railway turntable that drove me into machining. It never did get done, though.

Now back in the London suburbs, I have a single garage workshop and a few small sheds in the garden, and I try to combine machining with some woodworking, and, hmm, looking after older kids.

So, the short answer is: in the shadow of the Rugby stadium, 60 years old and properly (?) machining for five years.

Bob Fisher
02-26-2011, 06:57 PM
I was first exposed to machining at Mich Tech in the 50's. Bought my first lathe in 1960 for $60. A 6 in Craftsman Wes, Played with that for many years as I worked as an engineer at GM. After an early retirement I morphed into a prototype shop manager. Major exposure to machining in 1990. went on to a 9X20 Taiwan Jet lathe( still have it) and a 10in 1944 Logan. Got a round column mill drill ( even that was difficult to get in to the basement) right now the current project is a quarter scale 5 hp Galloway engine. No end in sight. Bob Fisher

02-26-2011, 07:38 PM
My Grandpa was a machinist at Bendix and had a South Bend lathe in his work shop.In high school I took machine shop and welding but spent the bulk of my time in the printing shop.From all the exposure to mechanical things I have always been very mechanical and as soon as I had a building for a shop I started to gather machines.My first was the replacement for Grandpas SB ,a flat way Atlas/Craftsman lathe, recent additions are a cream puff Bridgy(sorry Sir John:D )and a SB Fourteen.
I am definitely not a machinist but I can make chips and dull tooling.My main use of the shop is to repair and make stuff for a collection of Cub Cadet garden tractors.
Other interests are the Cubs and learning to use Dads wood working tools.
My days are spent in retail/industrial sales.
BTW my name really is Mike:)

02-26-2011, 07:39 PM
So you're what, like 112 now? :D

Dang computer keeps transposing stuff, it was '96. But I will be 80 in June

02-26-2011, 08:00 PM
I started using a lathe in 1957 or 58 in high school. Not lucky enough for my step father to own a lathe. Didn't get one of my own till 1974. Guess Forrest is about 1 year older than I am. Just turned 70.

02-26-2011, 10:42 PM
I started with metal/machine shop as a 10th grader in 1957. Ended up teaching machine shop and Drafting for 42 years. I now machine some prototype parts and repair/rebuild street clocks. I have lived all my life in either Bellevue or Kirkland Washington. 9 inch SB lathe, Bridgeport Mill, Clausing Horizontal Mill, 13-30 Enterprise lathe as well as a bunch of welding gear, bandsaws and woodworking toys. The "Stepside" comes from having a 54 Chev and a 72 Chev stepside for 35 years. I will be as old as Forrest in April.


Gary Reif
02-26-2011, 11:40 PM
I guess I started metalworking at an early age, maybe 10 or 12. I helped my grandpa in our farm shop by turning the forge blower when he sharpened plow shares and did other farm repairs. Took a machine shop course at the local college after high school. Went to work at an automotive machine shop for 25 years. Now am working at a manufacturing plant as the maintenance machinist, been their for 13 years.
In my home shop I have a 13" Southbend and a 10x42 Beaver mill, got both machines on sealed bids.
Enjoy repairing and working on antique engines.
Am 58 years young and live in central Kansas USA.

02-27-2011, 04:53 AM
Just turned 59 a few days ago. I am a bit of a tool whore as I have been buying tools since I was 15 and, much to my wife's chagrin, haven't stopped yet . My first job was at a go-kart track after school, been doing things mechanical and electrical ever since. I bought my first lathe, a 6" craftsman, in the early 70's, but I didn't really get the machining bug until about 3 years ago when I bought a new Jet 1340 lathe. I acquired an RF31 mill/drill soon after and have been happily buying tooling and making chips every since. I recently up graded my 4X6 bandsaw to a Turn-Pro gear head 7X12, man what a difference!! I live in the country near Abilene, Texas.

Cheers to all,


Steve Seebold
02-27-2011, 06:16 AM
My name is Steve Seebold. I live in Laguna Niguel, CA. I had a CNC shop until January 2008 when after a major health issue in October 2007 my wife gave me an ultimatum. I had until january 1, 2008 do make a choice. I could have the shop or I could have her.

I started machining in 1962 when I was a junior in high schrool. Went to MR school in the navy in 1966, got married in 1966 too. That one ended in 1982.

In 1963 I saw a picture of a Bridgeport mill in a Modern Machine Shop magazine and something looked strange about it. It had no handles. After reading the article, I learned it was one of the first NC machines. I decided right then that's what I want to learn to do. I got my chance in 1965 and have never looked back.

Now I'm 66 and I've had a couple of part time jobs since my heart surgery, but I want to work more.

In today's economy, I can't buy a job. I get about half way through the interview and they see the scar on my chest and that's the end of the interview.

Last week I ordered a new Tormach PCNC1100 with a bunch of options. I'm going to leave Monday to go to Las Vegas to pick it up. If I pick it up in California I'll have to pay about $1,400.00 in sales tax.

I want to do prototype and short run work. When I say short run, I mean I will take a 25 piece job, but if it's 26 pieces I'll turn it down.

John R
02-27-2011, 10:55 AM
I live on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. As a little kid I visited shipyards with my father and always wandered off to the machine shop to watch and ask questions. At university I took machine shop class as part of mechanical engineering studies. In my day machine shop was required of all ME students.
After an engineering career I built an amatuer shop and started making chips.
Good luck to you all
John R

02-27-2011, 03:45 PM
Hey Guy's, been playing in machining for three years mostly a hobby
making parts for my car and stuff for my machines 13x36 Sheldon lathe
J head Bridgeport and brown and sharp surface grinder.
I am 54 years old and a self employed carpenter,
Wish I was retired so I could play in the shop all the time!!

02-27-2011, 07:15 PM
Richard, north central S.C. Got infected about 4 years ago and have since made a LOT of chips, little else.

02-27-2011, 07:38 PM
In a House and about 20 years:p :D

S.Mississippi,it all started one day when I needed parts made for a wood lathe I was building.Went into a local machine shop,made my own parts.Once they found out I could run a lathe and weld I was hired on the spot.Ever since then it has been a downhill run into metalworking insanity.

There's no hope for me,save yourselves!:D

02-27-2011, 07:38 PM
I'm a 3rd generation Tool & Die Maker, started working (playing?) in my dad's shop when I was 8. Started machining for a living after high school, worked in a lot of different shops, learned a lot of stuff from guys who had been doing it for 20 - 40 years already. I worked for other places for about 30 years while doing my own shop on the side for about 20 years. I finally got enough of a shop together to go on my own about 4 years ago. I now work full time at home making prototypes of new inventions. So far I have done a few garden tools, a plumbing tool, high power density electric motor, McPherson struts for race cars, a medical device, a few rifle and pistol scope mounts, fiber optic iron sights, and a pet product. I can't talk about what I'm working on or show pictures due to non- disclosure agreements with the inventors. I have 4 patents of my own so far. My main hobby is shooting pistol matches, so I build my own custom S&W revolvers for that. I'm a little west of Kansas City.

02-27-2011, 09:32 PM
I,m up in North Eastern Ontario, been fartin around with stuff for a few years, very few metal working hobbiests in my area.

brian Rupnow
02-27-2011, 09:46 PM
I'm in Barrie, Ontario---Canada, about 70 miles straight north of Toronto. I bought my lathe and mill and started hobby machining 3 years ago. When I started my apprenticeship as a detail draftsman in 1965 all the new apprentices spent 3 months in the machine shop, 3 months in the welding shop, and 3 months working with field crews installing machinery. I learned enough in that 3 month shop machine shop rotation to know which end of a lathe held the material and very basic milling work. Then I never machined anything again untill 2008 or so. I was very surprised at how much I remembered after a gap of over 40 years. Of course it helps that I have been designing machinery every day since 1965. You learn pretty damn quickly what lathes, mills, shapers etc. are capable of doing when you design the machinery that they are going to build.----Brian

02-28-2011, 03:13 AM
I,m up in North Eastern Ontario, been fartin around with stuff for a few years, very few metal working hobbiests in my area.

Metal working is a lonely vigil everywhere, not only NE Ontario..

K Liv

Tim Clarke
02-28-2011, 10:31 PM
Well, let's see. Got my first home lathe, 1983. 10" Atlas. I've managed to add a 13" lathe, horiz and vertical mills, shaper, surface grinder, band saw, and die filer since then. like Sir John, I'm out of floor. I had a machine shop class or 2 in high school and community college. Spent some time at an automotive machine shop, and the last 32 years as a diesel mechanic.


02-28-2011, 10:50 PM
I started in 1947 working in a gun shop in Fresno Ca, bought my first lathe 1948. worked in a machine shop for a while making parts for M1 Garands and lt 30 cal MG's for Korea. have continued operating my own shop to this day. Very well equiped shop including EDM and Sunnen hone. still work in the shop every day building 1.6 scale railroad equipment and model engines.
Paul J