View Full Version : New guy saying hello

383 240z
07-11-2011, 08:15 PM
I've been reading this and a few other boards for awhile now, I'm just going to say I won't be back to one of them.
A little background on me, I went to a public school system that felt that shop classes were less imprtant that football, so all the shop skills I have were learned on my own, from friends and co-workers, and now the internet.
I've got about 20 some years in the auto repair industry, and now I run an off road shop. You may have heard of it 4WD.COM, I run the original store in Columbiana Ohio.

My shop is kinda modest, its a 30x40 pole building no heat or A/C. It was a dirt floor when I moved in, but thanks to a loving wife, I was able to have 6" of fiber and mesh re-enforced 4000psi concrete, in preperation for what I had in store for it. Over the years I had picked up and brought home a really good collection of auto restoration tools, but of course I needed to take it further and start making my own parts. So I enter the machine world. I've been able to teach myself autobody skills, MIG, TIG, painting, and custom body work. I've built frames for race cars and hot rods in my home shop, so I figure lets take the next big step.

I was at a farm equipment auction and had just sold my car hauler and I was holding a small amount of folding cash in my pocket when a 13x40 Enco mill is on the block. I know nothing special but it was mine. I take it home and get it cleaned up and running pretty good, I get it all dialed in and running true. I drop a few paychecks on tooling for it, and then I'm at the same sale a few months later and I see a FILTHY mill for sale I bid and win, I did not pay much over scrap value for it, I drag it home after a LOT of scrubbing I find a pretty tight 1955 Cincinatti Toolmaster. I have been hitting the used tool stores in my area and eBay. Ive put together a fair starter set of tooling for it. That about sums it up.

Like I said at the start, I have NO formal education in this so if I ask a question that sounds VERY basic and something I should all ready know, please be understanding, and please dont get on my case about the fact that I own and am proud of my Chi-Com lathe, it's what I found and was in my price range. Thanks everybody. Keith

07-11-2011, 08:28 PM

Rule #1. There are no stupid questions.
Rule #2. The smarter individuals are the ones who ask questions in order to get a better understanding of how to do something or why something does what it does.
Rule #3. The day you stop learning is the day you start dying.

I too have a modest shop. I continually have fun learning new techniques, working with a new material, or something out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I get apprehensive about it but once comfortable with it, I continue to push forth. Finding a new "old" tool is a lot of fun too.

This is a great bunch of guys who enjoy all things machining. You should feel welcome here.

Have fun!

07-11-2011, 08:53 PM
Welcome to the forum 383!:) With what you have right now, there is almost nothing you can't make. Congrats on your machine purchases. You may need additional tooling for a particular project, but that's the little stuff. I hope you enjoy your time on here, there are a lot of good guys with a lot of smarts. Best Regards.

07-11-2011, 10:28 PM
Don't sweat the country or origin of your equipment... most of us around here don't.

Sure, some american and european tools are really nice, but a lot of it is pretty clapped out. you run the same risks with asian, so really its all the same in the end.

Sounds like you've got a healthy shop already, and having the welding skills behind you makes a great combination. Work safe and have fun!

07-11-2011, 11:58 PM
dont worry about your machines pedigree. if it throws hot chips it will buy you a seat in the front row.

07-12-2011, 01:16 AM
You are very welcome here, ask and you shall receive. Peter

07-12-2011, 01:39 AM
Welcome to the madness.
If you post your approximate location in your profile we can give better suggestions. And post lots of picture. We all like pictures.

07-12-2011, 02:44 AM
Welcome to the forum! And 30x40 is hardly modest! I wish I had that kinda space.

07-12-2011, 06:14 AM
Hey there Keith !! Welcome to the forum. Don't worry about how much experience you have, I've been in this business 40 years and I'd bet you a dollar there is something I can learn from you too. There are a great bunch of guys here who would be more than happy to share ideas with you so don't be shy about sounding off.

scmw (above) posted some sound advice ... take all of it. [:-)

07-12-2011, 09:07 AM
I'm always glad to see someone in my own machining skills group. These guys have walked me through a great deal to date and, since I too have had no formal training or mentor, I am grateful to them for taking the time.

Once in a while one of us will get a little rowdy, but if you just shrug it off or give it back, life will be interesting here. I doubt if you will find a more rounded or knowledgeable group of guys, at least I have not.


Al Messer
07-12-2011, 11:08 AM
[Keith, I went to night school for only part of two years to learn a bit about machining and I have never worked a single day in the trade, so I know where you are coming from. I have learend to make chips by asking questions and reading the BBS and you will find a host of helpful experts here that will be glad to answer questions. Good luck!!


383 240z
07-14-2011, 09:27 PM
thanks for all the nice words guys. I have no problems with people telling me I am about to screw something up. I have a real part I need to make here real soon. I think I have all the tooling I need to make it. My boring head showed up yesterday and my material showed up this afternoon. The UPS guy walked in the shop, I was working on the mill making some parts for the tri-power on my hot rod, and he scared the hell out of me, I was as they say "in the zone" when he called out to me I jumped big time!!!!

I'll post up when I get ready to make the part. Keith

07-14-2011, 10:03 PM
Keith welcome to the board. It appears you and I have 2 things in common, machining and Datsuns. I've had several over the years, but the current project is my 260z tube chassis car. Can't wait to get it to the track, but it's still got a lot of work to get there. Anyways, don't be afraid to ask questions, this seems to be one of the better message boards I've found.

383 240z
07-15-2011, 06:52 AM
From your screen name I think your right. My current is a 1972 240Z. Power comes from a 383 CID small block Chevy TH700R4, The R200 did not have the gear ratios I was after so I installed a Dana 44m from a 1968 Corvette with custom half shafts built to one ton specs. 6 point cage with swing out door bars. Of course switched over to 5 lugs with discs at all 4, 12.5" x 1.25" rotors 4 piston wilwoods on brackets I drew and built. Coil-overs were needed to clear the 17x9's wrapped in 245/35/17 KDWs

The other toys in the stable are my 1941 Chevy Pick-up hot rod, custom frame, 350 trip duece, 5 speed S-10 rear, 46 Ford front suspension with split 'bones 4" drop in the front 8" in the rear. Dropped front axle, After I learn how I will Drill and Fill the axle and drill the bones.

Next in my Wifes 2008 JK Unlimited. Body armor all the way around and under, Rock Krawler 3.5" Mid arm flex kit, Bilstein 5100 shocks, 10K winch. Bushwacker pocket flares covering 35/12.50/15 Mud Tires on 15"x10" Pro-Comp Alloys

My Jeep is a 1990 YJ-7 (YJ with CJ nose and dash) Dana 44's from a Grand Waggy (6 lug 3/4 ton brakes) 4:56 gears locked at both ends. Full body armor 10K winch. 4.7l stroker engine with EFI conversion. AX-15 with NP231 with SYE.

then is my DD. A 1994 GMC 2500 bone stock save for a class 5 frame hitch and brake controller. Keith

07-15-2011, 09:14 AM
Welcome. Since nobody else has said it yet, I will take the time to encourage you to keep your eyes open for books on machining and begin reading as much as possible, or at least look at the pictures. :cool: What you will find is that with manual machining, there are more tips and tricks than any group of professional machinists could learn in multiple careers, and you wont realize you need them until you do. With some things like unique setups and "other" uses for common tools, the possibilites are almost endless. I personally prefer texts from ~WW2 era, as I believe that was about the height of manual machining, plus they usually have a great patina and "cool" factor to them, along with many pictures and diagrams. I highly recommend taking a trip to the public library and checking into their interlibrary loan system, along with keeping your eyes open at yard sales and flea markets. Many people today dont like to read, and only see the basic abilities of their tools. I think if you check out a few good vintage books, then you will find the creative juices flowing and see more and more possibilities for fabbing interesting parts/projects/tools for the various fun sounding toys you own.

07-15-2011, 10:21 AM
Welcome to the forum! And 30x40 is hardly modest! I wish I had that kinda space.

Me too. I keep running into myself in my 20x20 garage!

07-15-2011, 10:40 AM
A very long time age when I was dating, my then girl friend asked if I had seen the new "one and half pound car." I said I hadn't and I didn't have a clue what she was talking about. She expained that had seen this car with the big letters, 24 ounce written the side of the door and assumed that 24 ounces was a pound and a half! After drawing a complete blank as to what she was talking about, one day she pointed out a Datsun 240Z with 240Z markings on the sides of the doors. I guess one could think it was 24 ounces but thankfully we broke up.