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J Tiers
04-16-2011, 11:44 AM
On a related subject to the JS thread on plans......

I see often where someone is looking to have some work done by another person, or wants to buy a part, and says " I'd do that but my skills/experience are not up to it yet".

Well, that may be true.... everyone can get better skills, even if they are very skilled. And people who are starting may not have skills and experience.

The real question is: "and just how do you plan to OBTAIN those skills?"

Myself, I had used hand tools since I was a kid, and when I started doing machine work I had no idea that some stuff was "too hard for someone just starting out", so I went ahead and did things if I needed to.

The result is that I got better at doing the work. I could learn a ton more, of course. Anyone can, and I am basically an amateur at machine work, with no formal training whatsoever.

But it seems that the best way to GET the skills and experience is to simply DO whatever comes up as needing to be done, as and when it comes up.

I think that is a universal rule.... even in electrical engineering, which I DO have formal training and a "degree" in, there are things which I know little about, or in some cases "used to" know little about. But when the need came up to do them, I just went ahead and learned what I needed, and got it done.

The same works for machining..... if you need to make a bearing fit very close, or a morse taper, tool arbor, etc, DO IT. Maybe you screw up a piece or two, and when you are done, you will know how to get it done.

And once you do one new thing and get it done, you will feel more confident about starting another thing that you have never done before.

John Stevenson
04-16-2011, 12:55 PM
OK, I'll answer Jerry on this and it make make you feel better.

Local scrapyard to us used to be the scrap contractor for Black and Decker, they used to get all their scrap and returned drill in which had been hit with a hammer to stop anyone mending them.
But not all smashed in the same place.

Drills could be bought for 5 for 1, about $3.00 in those days, so for 2 you had a chance of getting two or even three working drills.

I went and picked up 2 worth and found a lathe in the scrap, no markings or name and in retrospect it would have been a 2 1/2" [ 5" swing lathe ] about 12" between centres, probably one of the may made between the wars.
Three jaw chuck [ very worn ] , no opposite jaws, tailstock chuck or centres and nothing else.

So off home clutching this complete workshop :rolleyes: Stripped the drills down and found enough for 3 drills but the comms were worn on two. No problem I an now an enginner with a fully equipped workshop [ read lean-to at the side of the old man's garage ]
So chuck up the first armature and ignore the wobble from the worn chuck, after all anything is better than this plowed field on the comm.

No tailstock support, no centres remember, and offer up a small cut.






BANG





Tool digs in, bends the armature, rips the comm strips off and left brown stains on my underpants but not in that order.

This apparently is called "Lack of experience". Fortunately after starting out with so vivid an experience things can only get better :D although the odd bit still flies over the left shoulder.

Ryobiguy
04-16-2011, 01:47 PM
although the odd bit still flies over the left shoulder.

Makes me wonder if I'll have good machining luck if I throw a pinch of HSS grindings over my shoulder. :)

The OP makes me think of when I was a kid starting out in printing. Once a job is roughly set-up, you just have to hit the start button and "GO FOR IT" and risk tons (both figurative and literal) of material going into the scrap bin. You have to "man-up" a bit in order to try things, in order to get things done.
Each time you do a certain job, you learn something new. But if you scrap the job, then you learn something that you're guaranteed to remember! So I'd say there is actually some value to trying something challenging and scrapping it, as long as you analyze what failed and apply that knowledge to the future.

You can only accomplish something if you try.

-Matt

Black_Moons
04-16-2011, 04:39 PM
I love trying stuff I have been told not to do :)

Sure, Often it results in failure, Or less quality results, or just takes a longer time. Sometimes however I get it to work.

And just about every time I learn what the downsides are of doing it that way. And sometimes I learn some upsides that might be worth it in some cases.

Overall, I learn *something* that can be applyed to future cases.

J Tiers
04-16-2011, 07:22 PM
So chuck up the first armature and ignore the wobble from the worn chuck, after all anything is better than this plowed field on the comm.

No tailstock support, no centres remember, and offer up a small cut.




Ummmmmmmmmmm

There ARE limits....... it is recommended to see how it SHOULD be done..........

it isn't about being told NOT to do something that way, or having NO CLUE HOW......... but being scared of screwing up and thinking that your experience level isn't enough to do what you are looking at needing done....... EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW WHAT SHOULD BE DONE AND GENERALLY HOW......

but I see that your experience level seems to have improved since your early workshop trials.

spope14
04-16-2011, 09:17 PM
The same works for machining..... if you need to make a bearing fit very close, or a morse taper, tool arbor, etc, DO IT. Maybe you screw up a piece or two, and when you are done, you will know how to get it done.

And once you do one new thing and get it done, you will feel more confident about starting another thing that you have never done before.

I have a saying in the school shop. "I have good news and bad news. Bad news is the part is no good, good news is there is more metal".

I am working on a stirling engine right now in the school shop so the students can see what can be done. I have made my mistakes and admit it to them. They get it and do better by the day.

Toolguy
04-16-2011, 09:41 PM
No one is so good they can go through life without a few mistakes. Sometimes knowing what NOT to do is just as important (or more so) as knowing what TO do. Experience is what you get right after you need it.

John Stevenson
04-17-2011, 05:19 AM
A clever and humble person can learn from others mistakes.

You don't have time to make them all yourself :rolleyes:

justanengineer
04-17-2011, 09:20 AM
My learning experiences are a combination of the right/wrong way.

1. I want something, and am usually too cheap/think I can build it better.
2. Attempt to machine it using the basics I learned growing up around shops and the little bit of formal training I have had in school/at work on these matters.
3. Become stumped as to how, or screw it up royally using my own method.
4. Ask one of the machinists at work, or call a relative in the trade.
5. Piss/moan over my stupidity for not realizing how to do it.
6. Get the job done.

Personally Im never scared to try something if I see no harm to the machine, but when in doubt, I ask. I dont need my hand held, just a place to start. I too often wonder why there are so many individuals with machine tools buying things rather than making them...wish I could afford to.

vpt
04-17-2011, 10:14 AM
I don't want to type out my whole life story so I'll try a short version.

By 7th grade I was bored in school and couldn't concentrate. My grades dropped off because I really didn't care any more. I dropped out of school and started taking tech classes at the local MSTC. It was weird at first because it was all older gentlemen in all the classes taking them to get jobs or were sent there by their work. The classes I took taught me the basics of pretty much everything I was interested in. One of the biggest things I learned was the safety of everything I was wanting to do. By the time I was 16 and was able to drive to other colleges around the area I had taken about 8 different courses in welding, wood working, small engine, automotive, machining, and windows 95 (lol).

At 17 I was able to save up enough money to get my first welder. I started doing odds and ends welding for friends working with minimal hand tools like a hack saw, hammer, and a bench grinder. Then I Started making easy parts to sell to others and it has been all uphill from there. Found my girl, rented a house with a small 1 stall garage, worked outside in the driveway rain or shine for about 2 years. Then I was able to use the other half of the garage so I had a stall to work on vehicles inside out of the rain, snow, and cold. Few years later we had our first kid, a year after that we moved into the house we are in now. After a couple years we were able to build the 24x36 shop out back. I have been in the shop now for about 6 years and have built up quite an array of tooling and machines with no end in sight.

After all that has happened so far and all that I have learned I would have it no other way. The schooling was great and I would recommend it to anyone starting out! Mainly for the safety they teach you about tools and machines, secondly it really helps with the basics of starting out. Then from there the best lessons are the ones learned the hard way. There are little tricks to pretty much every tool or machine you will work with and those little tricks would take years to be taught and I feel are best learned on your own.