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legendboy
10-25-2012, 11:38 PM
I don't remember seeing a thread like this here and would love to hear what you guys do for a living! I know what a couple guys do ie. Macona, Max, Erik, Quasi, Flylo :D

As lots probably know I recently quit my job of 10 years to "do my own thing"
The last 7/10 years I have been doing drafting and design work in the hvac industry. Specifically Autocad and Inventor drawings/models for manufacturing. Always having been a mechanically minded person my interest in machining was a natural extention of learning to design and model parts/assemblies. (at least thats when it really took off)

Today I am doing the exact same thing but for a broader range of industries.
The last 2 weeks have been super busy for me, but I get to work in my comfy pants and slippers so its all good ;)

Jaakko Fagerlund
10-25-2012, 11:54 PM
I get my sandwich toppings (or try to :D ) from being a die & mold maker. Our company does mainly die casting molds for aluminum, though every now and then we also do plastic injection molds.

darryl
10-26-2012, 01:06 AM
Electronics tech by trade, currently working as a cabinetmaker. I also repair and maintain all the machinery in the shop, which apparently now includes the fork lift. I design and fabricate machinery to help with specific tasks in the wood shop, as I see fit pretty much. My latest project is a sliding cross-cut table retrofit for our main saw, which I start on in the next few days.

1-800miner
10-26-2012, 01:12 AM
Used to be mining for minerals. Until the EPA smothered everything.
Now it is mostly civil works tunneling.
My shop is a spin off. I build or modify mining equipment.

macona
10-26-2012, 01:17 AM
Currently playing video games, just finished Borderlands 2.

legendboy
10-26-2012, 01:20 AM
Currently playing video games, just finished Borderlands 2.


best job ever

RussZHC
10-26-2012, 01:23 AM
Unskilled labor
Right now, glorified janitor. The "glorified"part means a bit of plumbing, bit of electrical, bit of masonry, bit of HVAC, bit of painting, bit of arborist, bottom line = low cost way to save employer big bucks.
Mechanical interests in general, teach myself "skills" as time permits, started on the machining end three summers ago and welding end this past summer.

legendboy
10-26-2012, 01:23 AM
too busy to play borerlands, but trying to structure my future for lots of blackops2 time

oldtiffie
10-26-2012, 01:27 AM
As I don't have a computer in the shop - just me and my tools (toys).

That being the case - and as I am retired - I guess you could say that as I am alone in my shop and am occupied that I am playing with myself.

dp
10-26-2012, 01:28 AM
Every day is Saturday. I'm a retired (and burned out) IT professional.

legendboy
10-26-2012, 01:32 AM
As I don't have a computer in the shop - just me and my tools (toys).

That being the case - and as I am retired - I guess you could say that as I am alone in my shop and am occupied that I am playing with myself.

can you be more specific with us non retired folk? I would like to set things up the same way you did. sounds pretty not bad

dp
10-26-2012, 01:37 AM
can you be more specific with us non retired folk? I would like to set things up the same way you did. sounds pretty not bad

Careful what you ask for - you might need a sharp stick for your mind's eye :)

oldtiffie
10-26-2012, 01:41 AM
Every day is Saturday. I'm a retired (and burned out) IT professional.

As long as every day ain't a Sunday else half the week will be committed anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1HLhfB8znA

You wish!!

Frank46
10-26-2012, 01:42 AM
Took an early out after doing shiftwork for 30 years. Got to spend more time with the wife and daughters. Converted the two car garage to my man cave. Not so you know it as the wife decided all them large tubs you put junk in should belong in the garage. I have a Jet 13x40 gearhead lathe, grinder, drill press, polishing head to polish artillary shells, one double stack tool box and a sears craftcenter that I converted into a wood topped work station. Frank

legendboy
10-26-2012, 02:06 AM
Every day is Saturday. I'm a retired (and burned out) IT professional.

what burnt you out, oracle?

dp
10-26-2012, 02:06 AM
As long as every day ain't a Sunday else half the week will be committed anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1HLhfB8znA

You wish!!

I had no idea she was pushing 80 - hell, she's older than you and still a good looker! :)

oldtiffie
10-26-2012, 02:19 AM
'coz she takes a break on Sundays!!!!

I'd be 76 in January but I won't be pushing her either as I can't see me doing her any harm or any good - but I could doing myself a lot of harm and no good at all.

dp
10-26-2012, 02:35 AM
what burnt you out, oracle?

If you have ever worked for a high visibility dot com you'd know the symptoms. I've worked for several and while it is one of the more exciting occupations still left to us, it wears you down. The applications like Oracle are fine - it is the non-stop, hundreds of thousands of dollars/hour lost to downtime pressure that gets you. Most frequently it is storage or ad hoc Oracle queries that tank the production systems because ad hoc queries are not disallowed.

When I worked for Boeing we called it lost workstation hours and that was a harsh metric we were soundly discouraged to accrue. In dot com's there's no such thing as a day off except for vacations which they sometimes force on you :) and even then you can get the "call". I've worked through a vacation sitting on the beach in Maui with a lap top, keeping systems up. Harsh! Pays good, tho.

I got a call from my last employer a few days ago and they need me (or somebody, but i designed and built the data center) to come in for few months to get them through the holidays. That is the peak stress time and they're short staffed. Very bad. Very expensive :)

Black Forest
10-26-2012, 02:52 AM
- I guess you could say that as I am alone in my shop and am occupied that I am playing with myself.


I guess Sir John was right about you!!!!!!

As for occupation......horse trainer, rancher, machinery fabricator in Texas now living in the Black Forest of Germany because of a Beautiful blond! Now all the things I used to get paid for I pay to do!

wbleeker
10-26-2012, 03:06 AM
Trade qualified Fitter and Machinist, been in the family business for 32 years making and selling Pies, I am taking over some engineering work and the business of a friend of mine at the moment- something to do in my spare time.
Will

uncle pete
10-26-2012, 03:16 AM
Doctor enforced pill popping couch potato for now. Previously and in the future, a hydraulics and cable drive pilot. Full B.S. major in ultra crude humor. Oh yeah, ex smoker too if that counts.;)

Pete

batt-man
10-26-2012, 03:30 AM
IT / Software support for day job's enterprise customers + part-time battery designer and builder...

Batt...

Tony Ennis
10-26-2012, 07:19 AM
Burned-out programmer, now managing a team of programmers.

Dan Dubeau
10-26-2012, 07:29 AM
CAD, CAM, CMM, CNC. I play with acronyms all day.

jcon
10-26-2012, 07:39 AM
I am a retired Plastic Injection Mold Designer. Retired 16 years now, worked the same company through 4 owners for 39 years. Have a 20 x 35 shop for my toys. I have a 9” Southbend Lathe, Bridgeport, Boyre Schult 9 x 12 surface grinder, Walker Turner Vertical band saw, Central Machine cut off saw. Etc.

Been working on patterns for a small steam engine for years now. I keep getting sidetracked by things like first wife passing, getting remarried, moving building a new shop building.

Seams like most of what I do in the shop is make things for the shop.

Jim

Jim Connell, DeLand FL.
Daytona Beach is near us.

You haven’t begun learn until to learn until you learn how little you know.

justanengineer
10-26-2012, 08:13 AM
I design "alternative fuel" engines at the day job. When times are good I work on all of the research/lab projects nobody can figure out or otherwise wants, and when times are bad I get in on a production project or two. I handle everything from part design to performance analysis so I get into a lil bit of everything from casting design to 3d modeling and even get to work with the techs building the engines out in the shop. Unfortunately, they wont let me get into any foundry work nor machine work, the latter of which I am extremely jealous of bc we have some very fine equipment like the row of HVLHs and the 1000EE.

Tim in D
10-26-2012, 08:25 AM
I'm a self-employed scientific glassblower/ machinist here in Big D little a double l as.

Tim in D

strokersix
10-26-2012, 08:29 AM
Design engineer for agricultural equipment OEM. BS and MS mechanical engineering. Life-long interest in all things mechanical, especially engines. Anxious for retirement so I don't have to sell my mind to the man anymore.

winchman
10-26-2012, 08:30 AM
I was an engineering rep on a Navy base where sub-launched missiles were assembled and tested. I quit that at the age of 46 with the expectation that I'd go back to work if I ever needed to, but fortunately that never happened. Since then I've spent my time playing with model planes, building winch equipment for launching model sailplanes, flying and working on full-size light planes, and most recently welding and machining.

Having a tech college nearby where I can play in the shop as much as I want while doing something useful and interesting has been great.

J Tiers
10-26-2012, 08:37 AM
EE, power electronics and general analog/audio, plus uP programming. Work for a small consulting company, the type where nobody has just one job title.

28 years at a maker of music equipment, designing for Ampeg, Crate, and Audio Centron brands.

No plans to retire, must run in the family... grandfather worked until 80, my father still goes in to work at 85.

Dan Dubeau
10-26-2012, 08:37 AM
I'm a self-employed scientific glassblower/ machinist here in Big D little a double l as.

Tim in D

The wife and I took a weekend glass blowing class a few years ago. One of the most fun ways to "make" something I've ever done. Started off making paper weights, then hollow forms and the next day I made a few cowboy hats. I wish I knew somebody close to home who would let me hang around and play with globs of glass once in a while. I'd imagine your line of work is quite different than what I got to play with though, but I found manipulating molten glass to be both extremely relaxing, and extremely frustrating all at the same time :)

chucketn
10-26-2012, 08:43 AM
REtired x 2. Retired from USAF Avionics Tech 1990, retired IT Minion, 2012. Loveing every minute. I spend my time building fly rods, model steam engines, and tools for both.

Chuck

macona
10-26-2012, 08:56 AM
too busy to play borerlands, but trying to structure my future for lots of blackops2 time

Yeah, got to have Black Ops 2 as well. Im also waiting for Halo 4 and Assassins Creed III.

gizmo2
10-26-2012, 09:01 AM
Currently on profession #5, commercial embroidery/digitizing. It's a good gig. Crazy busy right now, the big boys across town must be turning down work. Also playing/singing in the bars around town on Friday nights so the patrons have something to shout over.

BigMike782
10-26-2012, 09:07 AM
20 yrs in retail sales,13 in a lumberyard/hardware store the last 7 welding supplies and industrial gases.

cuemaker
10-26-2012, 09:11 AM
I run a small location where we cut threaded rod (we manufacture the threaded rod in Houston) and sell fasteners for primarily the energy sector (refineries, chemical plants etc), and of course anybody that wants nuts and bolts. Being small, I and a team do a little bit of everything. Its not unknown for me to spend a week putting 2 1/2" to 3 1/2" heavy hex nuts on studs (very tiring). I avoid that work as best as I can

I also am responsible for all aspects of this business, from sales to cleaning the toliets.

My forum name, and the reason I came here to begin with, is I used to make custom cuesticks, and was building a shop towards that end. But I sold my interest and my half of the machinery when I moved from Cali to Ohio...so I am trying to build up again... But life has a way of interupting...

ZINOM
10-26-2012, 09:12 AM
Tattooer/tattoo machine maker.

John

flylo
10-26-2012, 09:17 AM
30+ years in the lumber buisness until a non related injury forced retirement. Always enjoyed welding & fabbing things, flying, sky & scuba diving, hunting, shooting, mountain biking, motorcycles, being outdoors, & learning new things every day!

browne92
10-26-2012, 09:29 AM
Started in electronics, worked on medical equipment. Moved to computers and programming. Current boss doesn't know what to do with a programmer, so I've been reduced to a data entry clerk. And not real happy about it. So unhappy that I thought about going to school for CNC at age 50, but the local tech school where I took my night classes closed it's machine shop.

Shop time is spent on a couple of not-very-successful business ventures and twisting wrenches on the race car. My happy place.

flylo
10-26-2012, 09:41 AM
This thead was a Great idea!

schoolie
10-26-2012, 09:53 AM
I design "alternative fuel" engines at the day job. When times are good I work on all of the research/lab projects nobody can figure out or otherwise wants, and when times are bad I get in on a production project or two. I handle everything from part design to performance analysis so I get into a lil bit of everything from casting design to 3d modeling and even get to work with the techs building the engines out in the shop. Unfortunately, they wont let me get into any foundry work nor machine work, the latter of which I am extremely jealous of bc we have some very fine equipment like the row of HVLHs and the 1000EE.

Where do you work? Just curious cause it sounds like a nice place, and I'm in the area.

About me: BSME at Purdue in '09, currently working at as an ME in a prototype development group at a commercial vehicle transmission company. Spend most of my time at the rough cross-section level, moving to detail design once we get things nailed down. Only bad part is it's completely hands off, I don't even do the final CAD work. I have to get all my wrenching and tinkering in at home ;)

The home shop currently has an old Atlas 12" that I picked up on craigslist for $50 and restored to decent working condition, a chinese mini mill, and a dinky little craftsman 109 that will be for sale shortly. I've also dabbled in home foundry stuff, but that's been on hold for a while now.

Dave S.
10-26-2012, 10:18 AM
10 years USCG, machinery tech. 15 years in machine shops. 12 years telephone tech. Now retired with 2 lathes, 1 manual mill, 1 small CNC mill, 8" shaper, Horz mill in pieces, surface grinder.
Now doing model marine propulsion systems.

Dave

firbikrhd1
10-26-2012, 10:18 AM
Retired Firefighter 29 years in the Fire Service. Best job in the world!! Became HSM to relieve stress on off duty hours.

Weekend_Scientist
10-26-2012, 10:20 AM
Lab rat.

The scenery changes every so often but the work usually involves keeping experimental equipment running.

Currently I'm working in a nanoscience lab. In the past I've worked in a few rock mechanics labs and a cyclotron.

My degree is in geology. My father is an electrical engineer and a lot of that rubbed off on me. I was soldering circuits together while still in elementary school.

Outside of working hours I build electrical and mechanical things, usually to demonstrate some scientific principle. I recently completed a table top hand cranked generator. When a person spins it they can feel how much extra work is needed to light an incandescent light vs. LED light that produces the same amount of illumination.

Lew Hartswick
10-26-2012, 10:21 AM
Retired 15 yrs ago but from the "beginning" Electronic circuit design spanning
vacuum tubes to medium scale integrated circuits for the military (mostly IR)
field for 20 years. After the "set-back" in '89 did research instrument maintenance and special interfaces for them at PSU and then at UNM Chemistry Depts. Woodworking for about 50 years and got into the metal
working to make fixtures for the woodwork and found it more fun. Been
volunteering at local high school for the last 14 in the metal shop. LOTS of
machinery to use with no cash outlay. :-) and fun seeing a few kids pick up
the tricks. And maintain the machinery.
...Lew...

rkepler
10-26-2012, 10:38 AM
I could say "software engineer" but really I'm a programmer. I started in business accounting but found complexity in equipment & job cost accounting was more fun, then moved to systems stuff in utilities and finally in language design. Did that for 10 years until I was well done. Moved to a bioinformatics outfit, managing a bunch of developers and rapidly found that I was happier coding. Went back to that and finally found myself playing captive consultant for the 800 pound gorrilla in biotech. Did that for 8 years and at the end found myself moving to the outside on that and picked up a contract to write some new mitochondrial DNA assembly and analysis tools for the feds - that extended from a 2 year gig to 7 and I'm about done. Considering a light retirement (might work for some the biotech drug pushers) but am currently talking to the local office for a beltway bandit, stuff looks kind of neat but it's not at all involved with what I've been doing.

In commercial software development you're always supporting revision 1, developing revision 2 and designing revision 3. At home in the shop I'm making an engine, no revisions, just an engine. I like it that way. 7 computers in the office at home, none in the shop.

thaiguzzi
10-26-2012, 10:42 AM
Rubber farmer on my own plantation in NE Thailand for the last 9 years. Ran my own Triumph motorcycle engineering shop in the UK for 15 years before that. Been a long haired/tattooed "outlaw" biker type all my life. Except now i do'nt have any hair. Machine shop and proper motorcycles is what i've always done. Apart from the stuff i wo'nt go into on a worldwide public forum. Just to say i had a lot of blood, sweat, tears and laughs along the way.
Love and Respect,
Mike.

Deus Machina
10-26-2012, 11:10 AM
Engineering student.
For a day job, I frame artwork at the world's largest custom framer, who probably would not be happy with me sharing the name because I'm not afraid of telling you that it pays barely more than stocking the shelves and I'm only there because they deal with my school schedule and I would otherwise need a bachelor's degree to flip burgers in this area.

flylo
10-26-2012, 11:20 AM
Rubber farmer on my own plantation in NE Thailand for the last 9 years. Ran my own Triumph motorcycle engineering shop in the UK for 15 years before that. Been a long haired/tattooed "outlaw" biker type all my life. Except now i do'nt have any hair. Machine shop and proper motorcycles is what i've always done. Apart from the stuff i wo'nt go into on a worldwide public forum. Just to say i had a lot of blood, sweat, tears and laughs along the way.
Love and Respect,
Mike.

I never knew those things grew on trees, I thought they were manufactured! LOL

chipmaker4130
10-26-2012, 11:22 AM
I'm surprised at the number of electronic/programming/engineering types on here. Never would have guessed. I share a very small, very hi-tech office with another person. The work is never dull, and we do it at 550mph.

Frank Ford
10-26-2012, 11:26 AM
Starting my 44th year in self-employment with my biz partner of that duration - we'll keep at it 'til we drop there as Gryphon Stringed Instruments (http://www.gryphonstrings.com). I spend my days mostly working in service to the music community, fixing guitar-like objects, and overseeing a small staff of enthusiastic and talented younger luthiers. Nights and days off see me in the home shop doing machining - mostly tools, fixtures, and a few products for the instrument repair crowd. Got way more projects and ideas than I can complete in what time I have left, that's for sure and certain.

Big news at our place last weekend was our pal Jack Tuttle and his daughter, Molly, who took second place on Prairie Home Companion's Duet Contest. (http://www.jacktuttle.com) Jack's been a part of Gryphon's " "family" for more than three decades now.

Me, I just get older. A few years ago a Stanford student came in to buy his first guitar.
He asked if I was "THE Frank Ford who has always worked here."
I said, "Yes," and he hit me with, "Cool - my Grandpa bought his first guitar from you."
Thanks, kid.

needlenose
10-26-2012, 11:30 AM
Every day is Saturday. I'm a retired (and burned out) IT professional.

LOL. Retired IT means padded room with lots of jello right?

I fled IT after only five years. I learned that in IT you are in one of two perpetual states: Everything's working and management is wondering why they're paying you because you "aren't doing anything", or something isn't working and managment is wondering why they're paying you because you "didn't do your job".

I moved from the cost center to the profit center; Senior software engineer, DOD contracts.

gzig5
10-26-2012, 11:34 AM
Electrical engineer, servo drive design, industrial automation and application for the last twelve years. Before that I traveled the world for ten years helping customers make three piece tin cans, barrels, and drums. My dad was a tool maker and I've always had an interest in mechanical things and machining which has helped my career.

DICKEYBIRD
10-26-2012, 11:59 AM
Warranty manager (Who do I manage? Me ‘cuz I’m the only person left working in the dept.) and general all-day paper shuffler for the local Jaguar-Land Rover dealer. Same company for 28.8333 yrs. (but who’s counting) Started as svc manager/jack of all trades for the company and helped build it up from almost nothing to a decent sized successful business. Moved up all the way to fixed ops. director/ service & parts mgr. until 2004 when they lopped me off at the knees for a fast-talking younger shyster. I’ve hung on through successive management changes and it looks like (knock on wood) I’ll be here until SWMBO makes it to Medicare age and then (hopefully) I can enjoy a few yrs. of retirement.

Previous job was service tech/svc. advisor/shop foreman/svc manager for the local MG/Triumph/Jaguar/Rover/TVR/Maserati/Alfa Romeo/Saab dealer from ’71 through ’83….and ya’ll wonder why I’m so damaged.:D

ikdor
10-26-2012, 12:05 PM
Electrical engineer, started at embedded systems company, moved to electrical systems engineer at Spyker Cars, moved again to concept development engineer at an automotive supplier.
Lot's of fun when it's not quality audit time like this week :-)
I'm not too surprised at the many IT and EE types here. Both enjoy creating stuff and metal working is a lot different from the usual creating.

Not that I spend that much time outside in the shop since I had two kids.....it's easier (and warmer) to design electronics from inside the house.

Igor

RancherBill
10-26-2012, 12:20 PM
Every day is Saturday. I'm a retired (and burned out) IT professional.

+2

I've gone from being the 'go to guy' to being just a 'user'.

mars-red
10-26-2012, 12:30 PM
I'm a senior level software engineer, currently working in an agile environment for a company that makes estimating, bidding, and logistics software for the construction industry. I enjoy the parallels between the manufacturing and software industries. Even though I'm an amateur and only have a small home shop, I like to consider manufacturing processes and how they compare with modern software implementation, design, and process methodologies.

lakeside53
10-26-2012, 12:51 PM
LOL. Retired IT means padded room with lots of jello right?

I fled IT after only five years. I learned that in IT you are in one of two perpetual states: Everything's working and management is wondering why they're paying you because you "aren't doing anything", or something isn't working and managment is wondering why they're paying you because you "didn't do your job".
.



Exactly. It costs a lot to be transparent but once you are the budget gets cut. Then stuff starts to fall apart.

goose
10-26-2012, 01:06 PM
I have worked in many industries/professions; including retail and commercial banking, IT, construction, and as an air traffic controller. I am currently self employed as a freelancer in IT.


I fled IT after only five years. I learned that in IT you are in one of two perpetual states: Everything's working and management is wondering why they're paying you because you "aren't doing anything", or something isn't working and managment is wondering why they're paying you because you "didn't do your job".

It's like being at the firehouse, you're doing nothing 90 percent of the time, then the other 10 percent you're as busy as heck. My strong aversion to having someone standing behind my chair breathing down my neck most likely stems from my years spent in a data center.

camdigger
10-26-2012, 01:18 PM
Displaced farmboy (not enough $ nor land to go around). Worked my way through University on oil and gas rigs. Have worked as a supervisor/manager/engineer in drilling and completions for nearly 25 years. I wored up to my own consulting firm running as amny as 6 guys in the field. Took a psoition overseas when gas well work slowed down a couple years ago. Like many of the guys from my home town, I've done this on 4 continents. All onshore - mostly Canada.

I started welding on the farm at about 12. Got my first job mig welding in a fab shop in highschool. Got my first lathe (a Taig)in '87. Still have it, besides the other two larger ones and the mill drill in my shop back in Canuckland.

Peter.
10-26-2012, 01:24 PM
22 years in concrete cutting and selective demolition. Mostly cutting with diamond drills/blades/wire and operating Brokk-type machines. Pay is good and wonderful variety, but it's hard/dirty work and long hours.

Mike Amick
10-26-2012, 01:33 PM
Locomotive engineer .. fancy name for a train driver. First half of 33 yrs in Pennsylvania with Conrail
running freight trains around the horseshoe curve. Second half with Amtrak (passenger RR) in California
running the big blue surfliners from San Diego into Los Angeles and back. Turned 60 this month (Oct/2012)
so ... trying to enjoy my time off. Actually wish I was still running .. miss it.

garagemark
10-26-2012, 01:39 PM
I manage children (electricians) in a big primary aluminum smelter. I'm responsible for 24 medium voltage/ low voltage substations (13.8kV/480 VAC), Air Circuit Breaker refurbishing/ testing shop, motor rebuild shop, Overhead Crane PM Inspection crew (36 10 ton overhead cranes), thermal imaging services (plant wide mechanical and electrical).... and as of next Thursday, I will inherit the Instrument shop (Inst. boss is retiring).

And I still find time to read this BBS. Please don't tell my boss- he'll just pile another two or three groups on me.:rolleyes:

KiddZimaHater
10-26-2012, 02:12 PM
MACHINIST - 20 years +.
Started in Tool & Die making, then Job Shops, Plastic Injection Mold Making, Stamping Die shop, Production Machining, CNC Programming, Supervising, then quit it all.
Now I have my own little garage shop/Business that keeps me busy fulltime, being my own boss. Love it!

DickDastardly40
10-26-2012, 02:16 PM
I did 26 years in the Royal Navy finishing as a Warrant Officer 2 Artificer, 3 years ago, I'm now the Chief Engineer on a yacht which is currently cruising the far east; in fact I fly back from the UK to join the boat in Phuket tomorrow.

Here's a link to a review of my current boat when new for those that enjoy a nosey, only one pic of the engine room on this site unfortunately:

http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/isa-yacht/9163-review-isa-47-5m-aquamarina.html

Everything on the boat is fair game to need fixing; usually stuff outside of my core skill set such as dual dish satellite internet array and Audio Visual.

Seastar
10-26-2012, 02:59 PM
Retired electronic design engineer.

Spent 50 years designing 2 way radios.
Entrepreneur, founded 2 companies.
Here is the last: www.ritron.com

turbotadd
10-26-2012, 03:17 PM
Machine design/automation engineer / product development for a small 3M spinoff. We've got a B-port and 14" Southbend, so I'm the guy that gets to fix everything for everybody.

j king
10-26-2012, 03:19 PM
Machining for just shy of 30 years.am working as a Sr TEC field service machinist.Fancy title.still just cutting metal but get paid to travel around and see what I missed working 2 decades in the shop.

needlenose
10-26-2012, 03:27 PM
+2

I've gone from being the 'go guy' to being just a 'user'.

Yep, I hear the money is great when your the go-to guy. But on the other hand, the sentences are so much lighter when your merely using...

madwilliamflint
10-26-2012, 03:38 PM
Programmer for 25 years (pro. Add 10 as a hobbiest.)

Financial industry for the last...oh, 15 or so.

It's a sucker of souls. Trying to find something radically different. But the golden handcuffs of a quarter century of experience are tough to break.

ftownroe
10-26-2012, 04:20 PM
Pharmacist for 36 years, reached mandatory Federal 30 year retirement back in 2008. Received my machinist training during my MN Army Guard stint back in 1977-
1979. For the last 20 years as a pharmacist I was also the go-to guy for fixing any equipment that broke down around the clinic ( mechanical, not electronic except computers.) My job as a pharmacist enabled me to accumulate most of my big toys that keep me sane today. Since retiring, my mornings are spent in the shop and afternoons doing honey-dos and relaxing (when honey-dos permit).

john11668
10-26-2012, 04:50 PM
I was a production engineer
Aircraft, then general, then Cranes !
The demise of the British Engineering industry in late 70s and early Eighties, drove me out into the heating trade as self employed.
Never regretted that but still a frustrated machine shop guy thirty years later.
So now I have a selection of machine tools which I use to make more bits for my workshop!
When I finish that project ( not anytime soon) I will retire and make models

Mike Burch
10-26-2012, 05:06 PM
Qualified as an electronics tech back in '63, but spent my working life as an operatic tenor, with a ten-year break as a classical music broadcaster. Am also licensed as a radio ham, pilot and offshore yachtmaster. Built a 40' ketch in England and sailed it home to New Zealand in the 80s.
Now happily retired with two workshops (wood and metal), and enjoying playing with a 2-ton digger and 1/2-ton tractor to try and persuade a couple of acres of old lava flow to resemble a garden.

loose nut
10-26-2012, 05:16 PM
I never knew those things grew on trees, I thought they were manufactured! LOL

Artificial rubber is grown on artificial trees.

loose nut
10-26-2012, 05:23 PM
Last 31 years in an oil refinery, trained in-house as a welder. As the other guys have been retiring I have had to pick up some other trades to compensate, now I'm a

Bolilermaker/fitter/welder/tinsmith/painter/carpenter/millwright

when I don't have anything else to do I also do general maintenance/fix it work around the plant shop. 1 year & 5 days to go.

J. R. Williams
10-26-2012, 05:41 PM
Retired for the past 25 years.

customcutter
10-26-2012, 06:50 PM
33 years in the phosphate mining industry. Started as a lab tech and worked my way up to Plant Asst Supt. At 53 (2 years before possibly retiring) kicked to the curb.

Self employed in the lawn care/landscpaing business, for the last 6+ years. God is good.

Ken

John Stevenson
10-26-2012, 06:53 PM
Probably best thing to describe what i do is repair engineer, basically repair anything that wants repairing.
Time served as a machinist with REME, Royal Electrical and mechanical Engineers as a civilian, did 19 years working on heavy trucks and aircraft refuelling rigs, with a couple of 'holidays' when it got boring.
One was working for Raglan on the raglan lathe, made the aprons and screwcutting gearboxes for about a year then went back on the spanners.

Started a shop to look after racing bikes and then spun off into a part time business. Went full time in 1994 when got made redundant from my last paid job making piano machinery.

Enjoy my work tremendously, should retire in January but as a retirement present to myself I bought myself a new works Donald so that should be good for another 10 years. ;)

Fill in with CNC conversions and do some design / contract work for Sieg in China and ARC in the UK.

Enjoy this forum, find it the best of the few I go on and feel at home on here.

browne92
10-26-2012, 07:01 PM
Enjoy this forum, find it the best of the few I go on and feel at home on here.

And well you should. Where else would "you suck" be taken as a compliment? :p

John Stevenson
10-26-2012, 07:13 PM
And well you should. Where else would "you suck" be taken as a compliment? :p

Don't forget Clumsy bastard !! :D

boaterri
10-26-2012, 07:14 PM
I am a freelance television engineer. Spend most of my time on golf courses with the crew of CBS Golf covering the PGA events.
When not working, I play in the shop (both wood and metal) or on my boat. My woodworking skills are a lot better than metal but I am hopefully learning.

Rick

farrviewsouth
10-26-2012, 08:00 PM
40years teaching Agricultural Science in high school, FFA advisor and farming "on the side" Just learning my way around machine tools in farm shop. Should have bought lathe, milling machine years ago, sure makes repairs easier. Then again sure does expand the project list :)

sasquatch
10-26-2012, 08:28 PM
Been part time retired since 92 after the first heart attack. But still always busy.
Before worked at about 6 different trades, started out in garages, then worked in Tune-Up shops, (when you could still do decent tuneups,) Drove truck for awhile, spent 12 years on my own as a Taxidermist, then went framing houses, then carpentry trim jobs and upscale renovations, spent 24 years living off grid in the bush.
Had a lot of fun at it all, and lots of good memories.

duckman
10-26-2012, 08:31 PM
Trade school for machine shop, USN for more training , worked at a mold building co. , they closed , went to work for a machinery rebuilding co. , left there for a start up repair co. , left there to start my own co. economy collapsed closed up , worked fro a sheet metal co. . they closed , went to work for a gun co. they were shut down by Remington Arms , so I was involuntarily retired , some of my old customers found me and wanted me to repair there machines for them so at 70 years old I'm working again boy does it feel good, SS does not go far these days, and I get more than the average person.

Stepside
10-26-2012, 08:51 PM
29 years of summers and weekends repairing small dozers and back hoes as well as one of the delivery drivers for an equipment rental firm. 42 years as an Industrial Arts/Tech ed teacher. Now I do machine work for some select customers as well as rebuild street clocks. I still work with teachers helping them with CAD and CAM projects. With my woodshop, machine shop and small greenhouse I keep busy enough that I don't have to sink so low as to play Golf.

mike4
10-26-2012, 08:52 PM
Electronics tech initially , then mechanical repair of any equipment that people want repaired , maintenance of cash handling equipment, Satellite equipment installation, and making parts as required.
self employed for thirty years , still get to do heavy equipment maintenance when it involves thinking .

Modify older gear to make it last , cranes, dozers and heavy trucks.
Michael

Tamper84
10-26-2012, 09:39 PM
Maintance welder at an aluminum smelter. Been welding for 8 years. 5 1/2 at the smelter and the rest at a strip coal mind outfit. I miss those days.

Oh and now I'm back in school takin machinist classes. We will see where this will go lol.

HSS
10-26-2012, 09:46 PM
After high school, ended up in Viet Nam as a helicopter mechanic, got bored with that and volunteered to be a door gunner instead. Really enjoyed that until I had only one week left in country and the CO ordered me off of flight status. Left VN and left the army to use the GI bill to learn another trade. Went to Refrigeration school in 72-73. Went to work for a refrigeration company in Ft. Smith in 73-74, moved back to Pine Bluff in 74 to work for another HVACR company until 79 when I went in business with the guy I was hired by. He retired in 2002 and I bought him out. I have now bought out 3 different partners and own the whole show. Just me, my son, a trainee, and an office manager and we are currently servicing 20 supermarkets and many restaurants in a 75 mile radius of the office. I have two shops, the office shop is 50'X75' with a 20' roof, and my home shop is 32'X60' with a 16' roof. My home shop is where the machines are located. A Smithy Granite 12X24, an Atlas horizontal mill, a 13" SouthBend lathe, a J-9 Gorton mill and a Racine power hacksaw. The Gorton sits beneath an I-beam that runs the length of the shop and I use a chain hoist to remove the vice from the mill table. Got into machining to relax.
Didn't mean to be so longwinded.

Jim Hubbell
10-26-2012, 10:19 PM
Went from low man on the maintenance crew to chief operating eng. in an ice cream plant. 24 years at that . Went from all hand filling to auto. fillers. Was let go and moved to Id. and started an HVACR Co. My son came on board and we did well. Retired out of that and now have a "home shop". 40x60 with living area above. At 82 still playing with my tools. I mentor the local robotics class and make needed parts for them. Life is good.

kayaker
10-26-2012, 10:31 PM
Was released from high school in the early(ish) '70's. Started out as a sheet metal worker and finished out as a chartered accountant and CFO. Now retired and trying to put into practice some of what I learned in Grade 9 machine shop (along with a little guitar repair). . .

And loving it!

danlb
10-26-2012, 10:31 PM
Add one more retired IT guy. I suspect there are so many of us here because it satisfies the creative urges that are often stymied when working in IT. Only in IT can you spend a year working on a project only to have it canceled several years in a row and not be fired. It's nice to see a project come to completion once in a while.

If anyone cares... I started work before I graduated high school and grew up in The Phone Company when it was still AT&T. I seem to have a knack for all things mechanical and logical. I backed into a job administering and writing programs for internal support systems.

I spent 30 years doing technical stuff in one capacity or another. I think I did every aspect of IT at one point or another. I was even the postmaster for one of the Bell Telephone companies for a while.

A few months back I got tired of the long hours and long commute, so I called it quits. I've been enjoying retirement. :)

Dan

YukonHam
10-26-2012, 11:13 PM
Holy Cow - 10 pages in, and not another lawyer - maybe we're just not that creative, or bad with math! :)

Prosecutor for close to 25 years, long standing interest in electronics, computers, ham radio, and more recently, home shop machining.

KIMFAB
10-26-2012, 11:23 PM
After a 7 year stint in the Navy as an electronics tech I started working for Northwestern Bell telephone.
Worked my way up to PBX engineer while doing machine work on the side for extra cash and to satisfy my mechanical interests.

When Bell got broken up I moved to the desert and took over 5 central offices and a microwave site for a small telco.
Started up and ran my own ISP business till the telco bought me out.

I've since retired and do custom machine and fabrication work and some production stuff to help pay for my habit.
It's nice to be able to look at a job and say Nah it's not interesting enough or it doesn't pay enough.

More details http://www.kimfab.com/

legendboy
10-26-2012, 11:42 PM
After a 7 year stint in the Navy as an electronics tech I started working for Northwestern Bell telephone.
Worked my way up to PBX engineer while doing machine work on the side for extra cash and to satisfy my mechanical interests.

When Bell got broken up I moved to the desert and took over 5 central offices and a microwave site for a small telco.
Started up and ran my own ISP business till the telco bought me out.

I've since retired and do custom machine and fabrication work and some production stuff to help pay for my habit.
It's nice to be able to look at a job and say Nah it's not interesting enough or it doesn't pay enough.

More details http://www.kimfab.com/


great site! PhD in robotics

pure awesome

Orrin
10-26-2012, 11:47 PM
Big news at our place last weekend was our pal Jack Tuttle and his daughter, Molly, who took second place on Prairie Home Companion's Duet Contest. Jack's been a part of Gryphon's " "family" for more than three decades now.
Frank, I listened to that show and was hoping Jack and Molly would win the contest; for sure, they sounded great, better than all the rest.

If you don't mind, how would you like to tell them someone out there in radioland thought they deserved first prize.

Orrin

lugnut
10-26-2012, 11:56 PM
I take the garbage cans out to the street every Monday night, the garbage trucks come Tuesday so I take it out on Monday so I don't have to get up before 9am on Tuesday :)

BMW Rider
10-27-2012, 12:34 AM
Full time firefighter, Captain. Been at it 23 years and still love coming to work. I'm on one of the busiest engines in the city in the rougher part of town, it's always interesting.

J Tiers
10-27-2012, 01:12 AM
Only in IT can you spend a year working on a project only to have it canceled several years in a row and not be fired.

Dan

Not entirely..... In the biz I was in before, you could design a great product, and have marketing kill it with doggy companion products. Designed our first class-D bass amp, which players liked a lot....but the marketing folks sold it with speakers than were so inefficient it was positively "quiet"..... naturally it didn't sell well in an industry where louder is better...., and sales told us to "shoot it in the head" to put it out of its misery.... The technology (but not marketing) was utterly discredited with them as a result.....

Now in consulting, clients run out of money, go bankrupt, or get a new CEO who chops the development budget.... it's hard to get anything actually completed.

wtrueman
10-27-2012, 02:00 AM
Hi all: From the west coast of Van Isle, taught, I hope, for 36.5 years. Retired; 18 days later: Silent heart attack. Then and now: prepared for my retirement by buying what I thought I would need. So: now have what I need, 2 metal lathes: Hercus about 1966 and South Bend about 1918 (big), all the welders, shop 30 by 40 by 20.5 tall, 3 phase, wood stove, etc, etc,. I have most of what I need but still sub in the school shop and BESIDES, still like to work with the kids, Wayne. Evan: tell the folks how much stuff you have!!

dogdoctor
10-27-2012, 02:44 AM
ageing vet surgeon budding(sprouting) bronze caster/ sculptor.......with ;


a vise so obscene and unsavoury
holds the vicar of Balham in slavery
with maniacal howls he rogers young owls
which he keeps in an underground aviary


I have no idea where that subterranian thought came from
I blame the drink

ftl
10-27-2012, 02:49 AM
IT guy by training (M.Sc Computer Science), mainly did mainframe operating system work until they went out of fashion in the 90's when I did some embedded programming for some robitics systems. Then I did a few years in management to bring my retirement a bit closer. I quit full time corporate slavery in 1999. I still do a very small amount of IT consulting and some professional photography. Building and fixing stuff have always been hobbies along with electronics where microcontrollers keep me interested. Real metalwork started about 4 years ago wth a lathe and mill. I mainly lurk around here.

Mtw fdu
10-27-2012, 03:14 AM
Experienced welder/fitter and turner/maintenence for a winery. I also operate a boiler during the vintage season.

I have got my own shop at home where I do my own fab work for other people who cannot afford the qualified people to do it. I am about a 1/3 of the price for labor. Keeps me busy most of the year.

Mtw fdu.

Timleech
10-27-2012, 05:50 AM
Did a degree in Electrical Engineering, I'd struggled a bit with the maths and never found a job that I really wanted which used the degree. Ended up working at what was then my main spare time interest, canal boats. After various diversions, I have run a small dry dock on the English canals for the last 30 years. Had a small lathe for a long time, decided to develop a bit more of a workshop partly because being dependent on others for machining work, especially when it's for a boat sitting on dry dock, could be very frustrating. Also partly because I like that sort of work.
As my body has got older I've moved away from heavy work on the dry dock and taken more old engine work when it's been available, I do quite a bit for two small companies running barges around the Mersey, which often involves machining work.

Tim

John Stevenson
10-27-2012, 06:20 AM
Brilliant thread and just an observation but has anyone else noticed that most of the posters are all low number of post counts ?

If that gets them posting, asking and answering questions then it's no bad thing.

plunger
10-27-2012, 07:07 AM
After school I did an apprenticeship and qualified as a toolmaker.Was working as a qualified toolmaker for six months when I read an article in a magazine that said plumbers make more money than doctors and lawyers.I thought that is fantastic so I started doing an apprenticeship as a plumber.I thought it would mean I could fish and surf more and work less and still make more money than a toolmaker.Well I havent worked harder in my life . I also make less money so I learned you cant believe what you read in magazines. I was a lousy toolmaker but enjoy tinkering and have a very well equipped workshop with nice tools and many ,many half completed projects on the go.I have also learned you dont have to be good at something to have fun.This site has been very helpfull to me.

farrviewsouth
10-27-2012, 07:08 AM
John
I think like many low posters, it just goes to show how valuable you and this board is to us who are learning, interested in this area. Not much to share at this point but very impressed and appreciative

JanvanSaane
10-27-2012, 07:46 AM
I am a mechanic on a fleet of delivery trucks. I don't post much but I read the threads several times a week. There is truly a wealth of knowledge among the members of this forum. Thanks, Jan

Mtw fdu
10-27-2012, 08:11 AM
I must agree with farrviewsouth. The amount of experience on this site is amazing and at the same time very appreciated from me. I have learnt so much from sitting back. Some of my original questions have already been asked from other members helping other members. I have also offered my suggestions to some other questions as well. I have been a bit busy myself being unable to post because of this.

Thank you to all who have answered my questions and I look forward to posting more frequently when time permits me to do so.

Mtw fdu.

chriskat
10-27-2012, 08:59 AM
Got an asssociates degree in "Electronics Engineering Technology" in 83 and worked at K&L Microwave tuning cavity microwave filters for about 18 months. On to Dresser Wayne (Wayne Pump Company may be more familiar) as a factory repair trainer and working on the trouble shooting hotline. Spent fifteen years there ending up in sales/customer service and getting a Bachelors in Accounting along the way.

Dresser moved the factory from Salisbury and I didn't want to go. Back to K&L as European Sales Manager. Am now the Director of Sales and Marketing for K&L.

I'll echo that there is a lot of experience/knowledge here that is very helpful. Not only on machining but most subjects. Thanks to all of the regular posters.

DR
10-27-2012, 09:10 AM
Degree in ME + post grad studies. Drafted into army, brief stint in army until they decided I was too much trouble because of anti-Viet Nam war protesting.

Bummed around for a year or so with girl friend in San Francisco and figuring out I didn't want a job as an ME. Decided I wanted to work with computers (pre-PC era). IBM, Sperry Rand (Univac) and a few others jobs. Landed dream job as a mathematician at Boeing programming numerical algorithms (read a tech article on Monte Carlo integration and thought that too cool to believe even though higher math was my least favorite school subject).
Lasted a few years at Boeing until company was having major job cuts and it quit being a fun place to work. Got married and had first child while still at Boeing.

Quit Boeing in the middle of a recession (but was too young, mid twenties, to even know what a recession was). Started a business doing high end woodworking. That was only moderately successful. Had second child. Wife helped in business. After some years in this business I realized income was not going to support kid's college education. Came to know I loved self employment and could never work for a paycheck again.

Had always had a few metal working machines, lathe and mill. Thought starting a machining business would be a good idea money-wise. Began that while still woodworking. Machining jobs began to pick up. Difference between woodworking and machining? Woodworking customers want to know how much? Machining customers want to know when? A guy came out of the blue wanting to buy the woodworking business, great timing, sold that.

It became obvious running manual machines still wasn't going to make me enough money to support the family long term. I took what at the time was a big monetary gamble and bought a CNC lathe. Over the years 4 more CNC's. Main area of work was new product development. After 25 years machining took early retirement at wife's urging five years ago. Sold most of my machines.

That five years of retirement went by awfully fast. Other than some work I did for long time customers I can't account for it. We did get two grand children in that span, that occupied a lot of our time.

Recently took on a fairly large (for me) consulting/machining job in wind energy generation for a regional power company. It feels good to be working.

I may have been lucky having such good parents. What they taught could be summarized in a quote from the Pogo comic strip "we're surrounded by insurmountable opportunity".

A piece of advice for anyone going into self employment, don't try to be a business partner with your wife. Best thing that happened in our marriage is when mine quit working with me and pursued her own career.

Spin Doctor
10-27-2012, 09:39 AM
Served a 4 year apprenticeship in Machine Repair (a lot of the required machining training was doing a certain amount of Tool Maker related projects, same department). Later they folded the Repair and Tool Makers together. Did that for 30+ years. Retired due to family health issues. Re-married and went back into the work force. Currently work for a company that manufactures and rebuilds centrifuges*

*When I first saw the posting that they were hiring my first thought was lab type units. These are a little bit bigger. Up to 30 inches inside diameter running at about 2500 RPM down to 10 inches at around 4800 rpm.

Abaker
10-27-2012, 09:53 AM
IT related here. I don't work on the systems, I work with the data they produce. Currently working with Electronic Medical Record systems to report out clinical information. Used to give feedback to MDs on clinical performance - kind of a report card for docs.

Don't quite know exactly what bit me, but about 3-4 years ago just developed a massive interest in machine tools. I've always liked making things, but somehow metal always seemed like something I had to take as-is. The idea that I could cut cut metal to shapes I could use was a revelation. The hobby also appeals to my frugal side, not that it's inexpensive. You can get these really outstanding, if obsolete, machines for scrap prices. Nothing like a bargain to open the wallet. Not to mention I get to save a small part of our history from the Chinese smelter.

Dr Stan
10-27-2012, 10:00 AM
Started out as general labor at Cleveland Steel pushing a broom & shoveling chips out of Acme chuckers and similar machines. Noticed the tool grinders who sharpened the broaches were the highest paid in the plant. Looked around for a tool & die apprenticeship, but decided on becoming a Machinery Repairman in the US Navy.

Did a 4 year stint which included one deployment each on the USS Coral Sea CVA-43 and the USS Samuel Gompers AD-37. Got out and worked for a variety of shops improving on my tool making skills as I went along. Was offered a teaching position at a vo-tech in Oklahoma which began my teaching career. Also taught at three universities before returning to private industry.

Am currently working as a manufacturing engineer at UniFirst, the uniform supplier, and thoroughly enjoy the work. Plan to stay for 10 years until retirement while I continue to finish my shop AKA man cave. :)

wrenchbender
10-27-2012, 10:24 AM
I am a certified heavy truck mechanic, i currently drive one of the big petes. that i used to fig. I got tired of not making ends meet on the low wages they are paying here in mb.

fjk
10-27-2012, 10:38 AM
About 35 years ago, right out of college, I stumbled across some people trying to make a world wide computer network... I've been doing computer networking R&D ever since --- commercial software and hardware development, standards writing, now more academicish networking/computer science R&D. The place I work has been described as "A Halfway House for Computer Science PhDs" and I'm one of the counselors :-)

I started setting up a home machine shop about a year ago, started making some things, then some Real Life happened (as in "Real life is what happens while you're making other plans"). This autumn/winter I should be dusting off the machines, re-oiling the ways, and getting back at it.

I post very little since I'm learning (and have not been doing much for the last 3/4/5 months, so can't even post questions about stuff). I do read a lot of what gets posted though.

Frank

bborr01
10-27-2012, 10:58 AM
I grew up around the tool and die trade. My dad was a toolmaker from '53 to '87. He was always working on something around the house and my brothers and I liked to work with him. When we were young we found out that we could stay up past our bedtime if we were keeping dad company while he was working on something. When I was about 12 one of my dads buddies asked me if I wanted to learn how to weld, so I did.

In my teenage years I liked working on cars. Maybe not so much liked but didn't have the money to hire things done so if I wanted a car I had to be able to repair things myself. Took every shop class our school had to offer. At 16 or 17 the shop teacher had me attend the Plymouth troubleshooting contest. Sure didn't win it but it was fun. By then I was getting tired of laying under rusty cars fighting to get rusty bolts loose. Decided I didn't want to be a mechanic, even if I did have offers of jobs in that field.

The day after I turned 18 I hired into GM. Worked production for a couple of years and it was mind numbing boring. Not for me. A couple of years later I got an apprenticeship in toolmaking. Worked with my dad and a couple of hundred other toolmakers and diemakers as well as many other tradesmen in a professional environment. I just loved it and still do.

I started my apprenticeship in '78 and retired from the trade in '06. Missed making chips and started buying my own machines. Well, the word got out and next thing you know people are bringing me Harley parts and vintage John Deere parts for repair. Had fun doing that kind of work.

Then a couple of years ago I met a guy from a largish job shop that needed some additional help. Their shop was pretty much maxed out and they were looking for someone to help out when things got really busy. That someone ended up being me. My first job with them pretty much paid for all of my machinery, which there is plenty of. Now operating as a LLC and enjoying it. Ask in 5 years if it is still fun. Time will tell.

Brian

BMW Rider
10-27-2012, 11:40 AM
John
I think like many low posters, it just goes to show how valuable you and this board is to us who are learning, interested in this area. Not much to share at this point but very impressed and appreciative

+1

Not much to add but I'm reading and learning from those who do.

becksmachine
10-27-2012, 12:02 PM
Started working with my Dad building farm machinery and saw mills here on the farm.

Don't know exactly when I started, but had my first "lost time" accident when I was 18 months old. I liked to turn the blower handle on the old 3 legged forge, and one day the box wasn't there to stand on and I tipped the whole thing over on myself. Two weeks in the hospital and Mom said I had all the nurses catering to my every whim, wish I could remember some of that!! :)

Worked for Valley Manufacturing, General Machinery, Carlson Machine and Ingersoll Rand, all here in Spokane, and Coronado Machine and CEMCO in Albuquerque.

Self-Employed in my own shop since 1986, I have done everything from welding bar stools to making parts for the shuttle program.

What a ride, wouldn't trade for anything! ;)

Dave

davidh
10-27-2012, 01:00 PM
I did 26 years in the Royal Navy finishing as a Warrant Officer 2 Artificer, 3 years ago, I'm now the Chief Engineer on a yacht which is currently cruising the far east; in fact I fly back from the UK to join the boat in Phuket tomorrow.

Here's a link to a review of my current boat when new for those that enjoy a nosey, only one pic of the engine room on this site unfortunately:

http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/isa-yacht/9163-review-isa-47-5m-aquamarina.html

Everything on the boat is fair game to need fixing; usually stuff outside of my core skill set such as dual dish satellite internet array and Audio Visual.

holy craap. . . . . . !

H380
10-27-2012, 03:34 PM
Another Electronics Tech / IT / Telecom Central Office / Data Center minion. I started building out long haul Northern Telecom microwave radios for MCI. We then moved to fiber. Started with Fuji 405mbs systems to OC-192 32 color DWDM transmission systems to the IP based Mega Router network today.

MCI was a great company until Worldcom bought us. I'm sure you remember the Author Anderson-Worldcom-Enron fiasco. If you work in the corporate world in the US I am sure you know about Sarbanes-Oxley. I lived the hell that created it. FBI/IRS interviews and all. May Bernard J Ebbers burn in hell. Then we turned back in to MCI.

Not to be outdone Verizon bought MCI. Then the real hell began. Basically Verizon corporate turned us union over night. No card check. No vote. No nothing. I worked over 300 days a year on the road for over 20 years. In a bargain session with the IBEW/CWA in California. Verizon gave our department to the Union as a bargaining chip. Just like that. We had 2 months to sign on with the union or take a package to leave. I bailed in 2010 and should have 10 years earlier.

Now I have a job I really like with MTT. We take surplus aircraft turbines and make some really cool toys. Some are even useful.

http://www.marineturbine.com/motorcycles.asp

http://i786.photobucket.com/albums/yy145/H380/097ac85e.jpg

flylo
10-27-2012, 03:37 PM
I want one, Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze?

RetiredFAE
10-27-2012, 06:52 PM
A bit over 30 years as a Federal Agent, split almost evenly between two agencies, also owned a gunshop the same length of time, where I was the gunsmith (learned the trade as a child, started in it at age 7) when I was home, had another gunsmith as an employee to do the day to day work, left the custom jobs for me to relax on.

Retired from both 7 years ago and have never looked back.

Wife found our current retirement home based on the internet pictures stating it had a fully finished shop building of 2,700 square feet, with 400 Amp service, HVAC and a swamp cooler, plus full bath and kitchenette. Took one look at the place and bought it the same day, spent the last 7 years filling up that shop.

Now I just live in the shop when she's on the war path, don't even have to have her slip food under the door thanks to the kitchenette! Of course, she's rarely on the warpath, so I have no excuse for time NOT spent out in the shop............other than I like to shoot trap and skeet and sporting clays a bit more than she and most other folks consider normal............

Steve Steven
10-27-2012, 08:12 PM
Retired engineer here. I graduated from college with mechanical engineer degree, joined the Navy Civil Engineer Corps ("SEABEES") 3 year active, 21 total as a reservist. Met and married my wife on first assignment in Norfolk, Va. Took first job as piping engineer for Proctor & Gamble, then went to Norfolk Shipbuilding & DryDock as Nuclear Piping engineer, then Norfolk Naval Shipyard as General Engineer, on to several Civil Service jobs as general engineer retiring (second retirement, 1st was from Navy Reserve) in 2007, got bored went back to work as a Contractor working on Army ships. My old boss from Navy asked for me to come work for him as a Structural Engineer, so I did that for a few more years, retiring for the last time (I Hope) last may at 70 years old. Still do some occasional consulting work on Navy and Coast Guard ships with a guy I have been working with off and on for the last 10 years.

Have a small shop, 12in Chinese lathe (my fourth lathe, first three were Atlas ones) and a 1937 Van Norman #12, lots of scrap metal, take an occasional for-pay job to keep things interesting.

Steve

lane
10-27-2012, 09:52 PM
Well after 2 years of trade school ,machine shop spent 4 years in a oil field job shop.then into a tool and die job shop that also built specialized machinery . Their i found my calling. then a short stint in another very close tolerance tool and die shop . Every thing was .0002 are less. then spent 22 years in a job shop that specialized in design and building specialized machinery for any and who ever wanted to automate a process. Became shop foreman then later Assembly foreman then technical supervisor. Did some machine design and proto type work .Lots of dies and jigs and fixtures. Plus i did all the assembly and repair of the machine tools and the machinery we built.12 years ago after getting layed of went back to just general job shop machinist in 3 different shops for about 12 years now at a nother one doing close tolerance machine work and a lot of grinding again.Hopping to retire in about 2 years after 46 years of this work plus 30 + years of home Shop Machinist and again building every thing under the sun.Also did my share of machinery repair on machine tools.So yes i guess if I am not a machinist by now I will never be.

kf2qd
10-27-2012, 11:04 PM
I currently work as a Broadcast Engineer. Meaning that if it is something that requires any possible sort of technical skill they call our department. Toilets to tranmitters. These days Television is mostly computers. Computers recieve the programming, modify the programming for broadcast and then finally broadcast it (which may take half a dozen computers more...) And on my weekends i spend my time in Matamoros Mexico doing some mission work and learning Spanish. At 54 years old that is a challenge.
Before that I made automated welding machines do their stuff from designing the control systems, programming the PLCs and even wiring and installing them. And then handled the customer service calls. Before that I built and installed CNC Oxy-Fuel/Plasma cutting machines and engineered refits to others. Worked in IT for several hospitals. Controls for ceramic production machinery,(who really uses 30 DOZEN plates per hour???) Taught machine tool machine tool practice while in college getting a degree in Computer Science and Electrical Technology (1990). Worked in Foundry doing general machine work, welding and pattern making. Machine shop work building book binding machines and ceramic production machinery. Graduated High School in 1976.

Have a MiniLathe and MiniMill (have gotten to hate the lathe,just too small, but still like the mill) and recently got a Hardinge UM Horizontal Universal Mill. Sweet machine. Still need a few parts. Looking for a bigger-better lathe that I can afford. Also have some woodworking tools. Can build anything in the house, but prefer working in metal.

mike4
10-27-2012, 11:11 PM
Like many people I did a trade in a different field ,electronics , however over the course of my working career I have been tought how to operate lathes ,milling machines and shapers , surface grinders .
How to tear down any engine and rebuild it to running , gearboxes and associated support equipment .

I dont mind what is said about how some of us work , because all that counts is in my case I have many customers of over twenty years standing as repeat clients for many diverse pieces of equipment .

The machining part of it like Tim grew out of not being able to wait for someone else to fit it in .

Michael

Duffy
10-27-2012, 11:32 PM
I graduated as a chemical engineer, and since the Canadian air force paid my way, they commissioned me as an armament officer. ( I actually started as a part-time airman in high school, so I related fairly well to my "troops.") When they said I had to wear a green uniform AND go to Prince Edward Island, I quit! Then I worked as a chemical engineer in water treatment, mostly fixing malfunctioning plants and carrying out pilot studies for new ones. I then got a masters degree in environmental engineering, (before it was popular.) That resulted in a nine-year stint as a public health engineer, most of the time in the backwoods of British Columbia. A couple of years in Kenya as a water engineer, some hungry time as an associate engineer to a small consulting firm, and finally I moved to Ottawa as an environmental engineer in the federal department of public works, (that is really just a great big real estate operation.) I retired from there in 1996. Then I consulted to them on an occasional basis until last year.
I wanted a metal lathe since I took "shop" in grade 10. I finally got one in 1999. (Some things take a while!)
I am a fairly competent self-taught woodworker, (HAD to be-my wife and I have lived in seventeen different dwellings and ALL of them needed work.)
Now I have a shop, about 35 x30 plus additional storage, but it is in the basement and I cant get a REAL mill down the stairs.
I have a Logan 820, a Standard Modern 10" Utilathe, an Atlas shaper, a King R-30 mill/drill, a Floor model drill press, a 4X6 band saw, a Lincoln 225 AC welder, (but I cant weld!) Oh yes, and a couple of grinders and other small stuff. I almost forgot, I also have a Pratt & Whitney 7 X 16 model C but I dont use it. Out in the shed, i have a home-built furnace, but all I have cast so far is aluminum and zinc ingots.
The INTENTION was to build a couple of model steam engines, but other stuff got in the way, and six sets of castings sit, partially started, on a shelf.
For woodworking, I have a Craftex 10" cabinet saw, a 14" bandsaw, a 6 X 80 belt sander, a 12 1/2" planer a 6" jointer and a 12" chop saw plus the usual assortment of routers and hand tools.
Sorry that I ran on so long.

Welding Rod
10-28-2012, 01:07 AM
I build things.

Andrew_D
10-28-2012, 07:46 AM
Currently farming, doing a bit of repair on the side. Working alongside my parents as the wife and I transition into the farm...

Andrew

macona
10-28-2012, 08:28 AM
After high school I worked for a couple years as a small engine and tractor mechanic. The boss was an ex-jarhead and I was more stubborn for him so we eventually went our separate ways.

After that I worked for a surplus store called Wacky Willy's. They sold just about everything. Lasted a couple years there but the bookkeeper had it in for me and she had the owners ear. Years later I found I was not the only one who had issues with her.

Next I worked at an asian grocery store, Uwajimaya, in Beaverton for about 3 years. Started as a cashier and ended up doing part time maintenance. That lasted until I pissed off one too many customers. Some people just have no sense of humor...

Then I worked for Amtech Lighting. Started on a retrofit crew and eventually moved to service. That had me traveling all around the state changing light bulbs. After about three years of that I moved to:

Airgas Norpas, welder repair tech. Worked on welders, plasma cutter, cutting machines, etc. The guy who had hired me said he was always busy, never had been fully caught up in all the years he had been working (He worked out of a different location than I.) In two weeks I had everything caught up and all his backlog done. That lasted about 3 years until the recession hit and one person from each branch got to leave, and that was me.

By that time I had accumulated some tools, had my 10EE, the Supermax CNC, welding equipment, etc. After Airgas I did some contract work for Laika Entertainment on the movie Coraline making some odds and ends out of my home shop. That lasted up until I got involved with the nightmare called:

TechShop Portland. It was good and bad. Financially it is going to hurt me for some time. But I have a lot of friends still around from that time so it evens out some. It was fun even though I spent a good 70+ hrs a week down there. That folded as described here: http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/39555-Techshop-Portland-Going-Under

I was unemployed for about 10 months after that, the economy sucked but I eventually got on with Laika Entertainment on ParaNorman. Probably the most fun job I have had. Waiting for the next one to get moving, crossing my fingers they will be calling me back.

I have been out of work all of this year. Putting in apps other places every week but it is kind of nuts. I have had 3 interviews all year.

ParaNorman comes out on DVD and BD here in a couple weeks. Go buy it!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtiT5PlKD3k

topct
10-28-2012, 08:34 AM
I am also retired.

In the past I have been employed by Kenworth trucks, Boeing, Napa auto parts, Continental Can, Kaiser aluminum, a couple of motorcycle shops and finally a motorcycle salvage business.

I have managed to gather some metal working tools over the years, and to keep busy I have begun breeding small Honda motorcycle engines. It's easy and you only need one to start with.

flylo
10-28-2012, 09:45 AM
Please expand (with pics if pooible) breeding small Honda engines, sounds like fun!

KIMFAB
10-28-2012, 12:04 PM
Please, this is a semi family oriented forum.
I don't think Honda breeding or oldtiffies aforementioned bathroom activities are appropriate. :D

topct
10-28-2012, 12:53 PM
Please expand (with pics if pooible) breeding small Honda engines, sounds like fun!

I don't have any pictures of anything taking place, but it seems that the engine in the bike gave birth to the engine on the bench, then that one caused the one that's in pieces. I took it apart thinking that would render it sterile. I was wrong. I left it apart to close the complete one and now there is word that it is expecting twins.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v78/topct/IMG_0333.jpg

Guido
10-28-2012, 01:05 PM
Marriage counselor in Dallas, while consulting with two gay Aggies who wanted to become married, asked if either of the two had a menstrual cycle.

First guy responds that he had a Honda 'cycle.

Sorry.--G

Black Forest
10-28-2012, 01:26 PM
Holy Cow - 10 pages in, and not another lawyer - maybe we're just not that creative, or bad with math! :)

Prosecutor for close to 25 years, long standing interest in electronics, computers, ham radio, and more recently, home shop machining.

Wow, That takes balls to admit you are a lawyer! There are probably a few on here but they are embarrassed to admit to the fact!!!!!!!

jeremy13
10-28-2012, 02:29 PM
What can I say my dad bought the local propane company from his uncle the year after I was borne. Worked there no spring break for me. Learned to weld when I was strong enough to squeeze the stinger lead to insert another rod. Graduated HS, joined the US Army and became part of the 82nd Airborne as a Forward Observer. Left the military to help in the family biz when my dad came down with cancer. When I was 10 I developed a fascination with machining going with my dad to the local machinist to get parts made. Had a local friend start his own explosive biz and fit right in with this. So Propane is my real job and explosives are my fun job. What can I say I like making big things into small things. Machining and explosives both do that. :D

loose nut
10-28-2012, 03:16 PM
Wow, That takes balls to admit you are a lawyer! There are probably a few on here but they are embarrassed to admit to the fact!!!!!!!

We had one once before but he turned out to be a real a-hole and after several people told him so he left.

loose nut
10-28-2012, 03:17 PM
Please, this is a semi family oriented forum.
I don't think Honda breeding or oldtiffies aforementioned bathroom activities are appropriate. :D


Not in the bathroom, out in the shop. Tiffies a wild man. Still not judging.:D

atty
10-28-2012, 04:23 PM
Wow, That takes balls to admit you are a lawyer! There are probably a few on here but they are embarrassed to admit to the fact!!!!!!!

I've admitted it several times on here, but somehow I've avoided being run off. Divorces and Appeals for 25 years in Florida. Now working fiber optic in the Northeast. Fiber is quieter. Somehow managed to get in Broadcast Engineering and Ham Radio along the way.

Black Forest
10-28-2012, 05:06 PM
I've admitted it several times on here, but somehow I've avoided being run off. Divorces and Appeals for 25 years in Florida. Now working fiber optic in the Northeast. Fiber is quieter. Somehow managed to get in Broadcast Engineering and Ham Radio along the way.

Ok Atty, but we will keep a closer eye on you!

fishfrnzy
10-28-2012, 06:43 PM
Been selling metals for metals distribution companies for about 25 years. Recently, started working more for myself. My customers use a wide variety of materails so over the years have had to learn a great deal about different alloys, metals, specifications and where to find them in order to be valuable resource to them. I have had the great pleasure to see all types of machines of every size in action and been exposed to many different maufacturing processes. My work is a little like "How Its Made TV show" but live. I've always been facinated with how things are made so it has been a great fit for me. Spent a lot fo time calling on machine shops and welding shops. There was always sometining mesmerizing about wtching a lathe produce chips and I felt I had to give it a try. It didn't hurt that I always enjoyed making and fixing things so it provided the perfect excuse to aquire a few machines. As money and space permit, I add a few things to the shop. The wife doesn't complain too much about the machines but the chips in the house, oh boy!

haroldmulder
10-28-2012, 07:47 PM
Was a Navigator in the RCAF for 27years flying Hercs and Buffalo's. Retired and moved over to the Reserves and am now the Ops officer of our only J Model Herc Sqn for the last 4 years. Something neat about being the only Navigator in a large squadron of Pilots and Loadmasters. Spent many years woodworking and building up the selection of tools. A garage is no place to park a vehicle or at least I haven't been able to for the last 15 plus years. Now trying my hand at metal working and welding. Just about finished restoring a 1916 Hardinge Cataract Quick Change Lathe. Looking for a nice compact milling machine. Enjoy reading most of the articles and picking up good tidbits of information.

Harold Mulder

Fasttrack
10-29-2012, 01:57 AM
Did a number of misc jobs including working for a company that made luxury portable restrooms (trailers decked out with A/C, running water, etc - portable but looks just like your bathroom at home).

Worked as a student machinist for a couple of different labs and ended up working on contract making parts for a particle accelerator. Also did a lot of agriculture related machining and fabrication. Worked for my BIL as a farmhand/welder/machinist for about a year.

Now I'm a Ph.D. student studying theoretical particle physics. I'm also starting my own LLC and in a business relationship with a pyrotechnics company to design and develop firing system hardware/software.

Frank46
10-29-2012, 02:26 AM
Spent 25 and a half year working in a fuel oil storage factiliy (tank farm) We did transfer from barges, tankesr,and from other storage facilities. Then due to downsizing spent almost 3 years working at a Natural Gas Facility. At this plant we took the gas and liquified to to 240 below zero and pumped it into out storage tank. When extra gas was needed during peak operating times we vaporized the liquid gas through a series of heaters and then sent out into the streets. After almost 30 years of going 24/7 I was fast approaching the burnt out part. So took and early out to spend with the wife and our two daughters. Best decision I ever made. Frank

MrSleepy
10-29-2012, 09:41 AM
Self employed electronics and pcb designer since 1995.

Started as a chemical factory apprentice with 2 years in the general workshop then switched to the Instrument Dept for last two..left after 2 further years to study Electronics and Robotics at Loughborough. Paid my way by working part-time for a welding set producer. Worked for 6 years repairing magic eye tracers and sub-arc equipment before making the jump in 1995.

Stuart Br
10-29-2012, 10:00 AM
Started as a general engineering apprentice in the Aerospace industry. Moved into Electronics in 1984. Started in IT in 1987 as a field engineer, which was more Electronics than IT in those days. Still in IT today as a storage networking specialist, working on performance monitoring and management. I have a theory that IT bods are lured back into machining as nothing in IT is long lasting. Few projects have a life span of greater than 5 years these days. So they desire to produce something more permanent. That's some of what it's about for me. I just wish I had more time for the 'shop.

davidh
10-29-2012, 10:16 AM
i suppose i should add to this. . . im a semi retired, self employed tool repairman, engaged in sales and service of toold to the areas truck and industrial mfg services with a shop / store right here on the farm. i did it for 25 plus years after a burnout as a mfg supt. in a welding / fab shop for 15 years or so.

prior to that i was mechanical draftsman, tv service shop owner, bodyshop owner, and general fixer of most broken mechanical things.

i still make custom battery cables for antique autos and new industrial equipment. whatever it takes to make a couple bucks to feed the family and pay the bills. its been a good ride and im not nearly done yet. . . . .

besides playing in my machine shop, im pouring aluminum and brass things and restoring a couple old hudsons. next endevor is going to be chrome plating. maybe this winter. . . . . .

very interesting how many it folks are on this site. . .

Dunc
10-29-2012, 11:52 AM
Plain old retired dentist. Dabble with computers, woodworking, machining, welding & whatever. Acquiring an interest in cnc but have not taken the path - yet.

browne92
10-29-2012, 03:01 PM
Is it just my old brain going out, or is there a piece of this thread missing? The part where flylo told oldtiffie not to be shy about telling us his occupation.

Black Forest
10-29-2012, 03:12 PM
Is it just my old brain going out, or is there a piece of this thread missing? The part where flylo told oldtiffie not to be shy about telling us his occupation.

There were a bunch of posts deleted in this thread. Mine and Sir John's posts were deleted calling out Oldstiffie. So we better just let it alone.

George Bulliss
10-29-2012, 03:19 PM
This has been an enjoyable thread and it would be a shame if it were derailed. Not trying to be heavy handed, just trying to keep an interesting thread interesting.

flylo
10-29-2012, 03:40 PM
George, Please join in & tell us about yourself.

fjk
10-29-2012, 05:23 PM
Plain old retired dentist. Dabble with computers, woodworking, machining, welding & whatever. Acquiring an interest in cnc but have not taken the path - yet.

you left dentistry too soon...
I just had a crown put in two days ago
he had a swoopy camera not much bigger than a popsicle stick
that he put over the stub of my old tooth.
Then a CNC machine in the back room started working on the blank
and an hour later, a perfectly fitting crown popped out
http://www.sirona.com
look through their site for "cerec mc xl" for their milling machine.

flylo
10-29-2012, 05:29 PM
I have a tiny dental camera with a color monitor that's awesome. it will focus from touching an object to the end of the shop 72' & I'm sure more. I use it to see inside A/C engines.

George Bulliss
10-29-2012, 05:29 PM
George, Please join in & tell us about yourself.

Okay, not quite as interesting as many in this thread but here goes. Besides reading this board, I earn my keep these days by editing The Home Shop Machinist, Machinist’s Workshop, and Digital Machinist magazines. This Thursday will mark five years with the magazines.

I spent my late teens and early twenties doing whatever I could to get by (mainly carpentry) in both northwest Montana and Jackson Hole, WY. Had a bit of college mixed in during these years but changed direction too many times to earn a degree.

Finally, in my mid-twenties and with my future wife in tow, I returned to MI where I worked a little in construction and took courses at the local college, earning an associate degree and a commercial pilot’s certificate, multi-engine land with instrument. Also got my instructor’s certificate and spent the next two years going broke working as a flight instructor.

During this time I also drove a truck, running checks from the banks to the airport. I caught flights at night after loading and picked up about 150 hours of Beech Baron time while flying the empty legs. I just needed a few more hours to round out my Part 135 requirements and get hired as a pilot flying checks, but I hated it.

Went back to work in construction to pay off bills and about the time I was looking around for something else, fell and shattered both my heels. After six months in a wheelchair, I was as broke as a guy could be and didn’t have the desire or ability to go back to construction.

A brother-in-law in Rochester, NY got me into an apprenticeship program for mold making by telling his company that I had “experience.” My experience was the two years of vocational machine shop I took in high school, but it was enough. Fortunately it was a great company to get a start at and they allowed me to go as far as I could.

Moved back to Michigan after earning my papers and continued to work as a mold maker for a few small shops, doing CAD/CAM, CNC mill, EDM, and grinding work. I enjoyed the work and was making a comfortable living, but I began to have doubts about my feet holding out until retirement and started taking night courses to try and pull together a degree.

On a whim, I sent in a resume in response to a three-line ad in the local paper and managed to land this job, My CAD work was a big plus and apparently the few things I wrote for the interview process were “good enough” to be an editor.

I'm enjoying the magazine work but do miss the machining. I'm slowly building up my home shop and hope to be able to pull in some side jobs in the future.

flylo
10-29-2012, 05:34 PM
I wonder how many pilots we have? Maybe a poll sometime. This is a great thread!

ormachine
10-29-2012, 05:52 PM
Automotive Machinist for 15 + years. 2 different shops. Going to Community College for Machinist training part time as work permits.

Ron

Stu
10-29-2012, 05:58 PM
Right out of High School I was a Sail makers apprentice at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Didn't get to make any sails, but anything thing else requiring fabric or sewing we did. After 4 years I got an apprenticeship in the commercial sheet metal trade, Local 19 Philadelphia. I spent the next 37 years in architectural sheet metal, for two different companies, doing everything from lowly roof flashing with muck up to my elbows to several very nice historic copper restorations. In those years I also found time to build an earth sheltered passive solar house. I retired at 58 with a big list of things I wanted to do around the house and in the shop, the list is only a little smaller now only because there is always something new to make or fix, and I love every minute of it.

Stu

Z-man
10-30-2012, 02:23 AM
OK - first time reply.
Been lurking for a LONG time (vintage of reading Thrud and Cofer messages).
But as far as occupations: retired, and glad of it.
Spent 35 years working at power plants (funny, same duration as my Dad, a machinist).
Was an operator for 15 years (10 as an SRO), engineering group supervisor for 5 years, maintenance scheduler for a few years (got crossthreaded with the big guys), and finished up as the last 10 or so as a fuel handling boss/refueling floor boss/ISFSI boss for the last 10 years or so.
Only been retired for a year, but damn, life it good.
Always got a lot out of what's been put up on this forum - a ton of excellent info.
Z-man.

flylo
10-30-2012, 05:36 AM
Welcome Z-man! Glad you posted.

TheAndroid
10-30-2012, 01:15 PM
Have always tinkered with stuff. Even when I was a kid, I'd take stuff apart just to see how it worked. Fortunately, my Dad was studying to be a gunsmith (Illinois State Policeman) and had most of the tools to fix what I broke!
I had an Uncle who lived in Indiana but stayed with us during the week. He was a Systems Analyst for the CTA. One night, he got a call that the trains had quit moving. Apparently, some problem with the positioning sensors and tracking software. The trains were all being held at red lights. I went with him down to the CTA operations center (which looked like Mission Control at NASA!). All these lights on this huge board were just sitting there. My Uncle walked up to this huge TV looking thing and started typing. Within about five minutes, the lights started moving. I was completely hooked on computers from that point on.
Built my own computer at 15 from a kit (COSMAC Elf). Learned 1802 machine code from it. Learned BASIC by going to the mall and hanging out at Radio Shack. Went to school and got a BS-CIS. Been working ever since. All up, I'm 41 years into this love affair.
Along the way my Dad became a professional machinist. When he passed, I got his tools. I literally would spend hours looking at this treasure trove wondering what this did, or what that was for. Finally, started learning the hard way. Bought many India and Taiwanese products knowing that their quality wasn't the greatest. At the beginning, neither was I. I'm still not: But I'm learning. I only reluctantly use my Dad's tools and only if I have to. In my head I hear a choir signing (Ahhh-AHHHH) when I pull one of his tools out of the Kennedy.

Bruce Griffing
11-03-2012, 06:44 PM
I was on vacation when this thread got going, so I am a little late. I am now retired, but I am trained as a physicist - BS from Miami (Ohio) and PhD from Purdue. I worked in R&D for many years at GE's corporate labs. I did all kinds of electronic materials, devices and systems work. After leaving GE, I was an engineering VP at two different companies in the semiconductor industry (one at a time). I have traveled a lot for my jobs - to the point of hating airports. Despite that, I just returned from two weeks vacation in Australia. What a great place!!

lazlo
11-03-2012, 07:16 PM
I just returned from two weeks vacation in Australia. What a great place!!

Bruce, the Koala's didn't get you? :)

I'm a computer architect, with Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I'm currently designing GPU's for NVidia.

I was the Compute Systems Architect for the new Titan supercomputer that's being built at Oak Ridge National Labs, which will soon be the world's most powerful computer. Titan will soon be capable of running Linpack at 20 Petaflops peak: that's 20 quadrillion double-precision floating point operations per second. Titan uses 18,688 Kepler GK110 GPU's (graphics processing units), each of which has 7.5 billion transistors.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2013228/titan-supercomputer-hits-20-petaflops-of-processing-power.html

Before that, I was a chip architect at Intel: I designed Intel's virtualization (VT - Vanderpool Technology) hardware that rolled out on Prescott, and memory system enhancements for Nehalem (Core i7) and Larrabee (now Knight's Crossing).

Before that I was a research engineer, building neat stuff for the Army Research Labs. I was in Riyadh for Desert Storm I. Fun times, but it didn't pay much :)

shawnspeed
11-03-2012, 07:50 PM
I also have done many things since graduating H.S.....Apprenticed as a sheet metal /prototype fabricator /mock-up technitan, that segwayed into an Engineering position, and I ultimately ended up being a clay sculptor for one of the big 3....and yes...we machine clay. I also have had a side machine shop/ fab shop for the last 20 years as well..(as most metro-Detroiters do...)I am now getting back into building bikes, (dirt track) and drag cars/rods.

loose nut
11-03-2012, 11:24 PM
Titan uses 18,688 Kepler GK110 GPU's (graphics processing units), each of which has 7.5 billion transistors.



In other words when it gets turned on the lights are going to dim.

38_Cal
11-04-2012, 12:00 AM
From high school I went into the Navy for four years, ending up as a PN2. Worked and went to school for general ed stuff for a couple of years, then Lassen College in Susanville, CA, for three years of Gunsmith training. Worked for a machinist for a year after I graduated, running equipment and helping to rebuilt Rolls Royce Merlin engines for the air racers. Hired on in a gun shop in Oakland, CA, worked there for about eight years as a gunsmith, then was hired by Brownells in Montezuma, IA. Was there for twenty years in the tech department, doing "advanced" customer service, designing tools and accessories and writing product instructions. Got "downsized" five years ago with the next generation taking over. I had an 11x24 Rockwell lathe, and picked up a 10x54" Enco mill that I built my shop around in half of the garage. Now have a 13x40" Enco lathe to match. I've been doing antique single shot rifle work, mostly on Martini rifles...as much as the arthritis in my hands lets me... Six months ago I reached that awkward age (62), and put in for my socialist insecurity and my 101(k)...it used to be a 401(k) before the economy tanked. Two days later I got a call from the local Ace Hardware store where I had applied over a year earlier...was I still looking for work? Interviewed the next day, started the day after that, working about 20-24 hours a week. I'm now a key employee there, as well as a mover and a shaker. Yep, I make keys, carry out stuff and help load folks trucks and mix paint. Job is moderately challenging, and I get to interact with some interesting folks.

David

lazlo
11-04-2012, 08:26 AM
In other words when it gets turned on the lights are going to dim.

Titan consumes 9 Megawatts in operation -- about $10 million/year in electricity :) If you do the math, 20,000,000,000,000,000 floating point operations per second at 9 MW is a factor of 10 more power efficient than any computer ever made.

Titan also has 700 TBytes of Dram, to put things in perspective...

loose nut
11-04-2012, 08:38 AM
So the lights might actually go out.

lazlo
11-04-2012, 08:59 AM
So the lights might actually go out.

Most of the SuperComputers in the top 100 have their own power substations. :)

Look at the "Power" column on the right. That's the power consumption of the SuperComputer in KW.

http://www.top500.org/list/2012/06/100
http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u15/rtgeorge_album/SupercomputingTop5.jpg

By the way, we also built the Tiahne system for the Chinese last year. I was waiting for someone to give me crap about that :)

Black Forest
11-04-2012, 09:41 AM
Lazlo, Crap! There you got it.

I could use on of those Titans to render my videos out to h.264. Pretty fast I think. As in done before I push the encode button.

wierdscience
11-04-2012, 10:50 AM
Been a Machinist/Welder/Millwright/Purchasing Agent/Sales/Janitor going on 24??? Years trying to decide if I want to keep doing that.:D

MarkBall2
11-04-2012, 12:42 PM
Nurse, now. Haven't always been one though.

I teach Medical Assistants how to anticipate what the doctor wants to have done in the doctor's office. Makes no difference which or what type of office, I'm the guy that teaches the MA's how to do their job. I'm also the Program Director for our Nursing Assistant program, licensed by the State of Arizona. Been a RN for 23 years now & sort of fell into this job. I like the idea of sharing my experience & knowledge with the younger people that want to make health care a career.

Before this, I was in the Air Force for 5, built race cars, race car engines (both circle burners & straight line engines) construction, mechanic & a lot of other stuff. I grew up on the farm where we didn't spend money we didn't need to. We made or rebuilt what was needed. I've taught myself to be a machinist in the past 3 years & realize I have a lot to learn.

We never know how dumb we are until we get a little education behind us.

Celticsun33
11-04-2012, 02:09 PM
Journeyman machinist in a pipe mill. Before that I did plumbing, basement water proofing, auto mechanic, and a tow motor operator. I love what I do though I may not always love who I do it for.

outback
11-04-2012, 10:45 PM
I started out as a Tool & Die Maker then graduated into building in house automated assembly equipment. My co-worker was an alcoholic electrician. He was very difficult to work with. I went back to the junior college to learn electronics and discovered I should have been an electrician all along instead of
a Tool Maker. I'm one class short of an AAS degree in electronics. The electrician is not so happy about it.

I started my garage shop in 1999. I retired from the day job at age 56 and began working for myself (full-time) in 2007. Now I make special tooling, lots of prototypes and a couple of times a year I build a PLC controlled machine. The place I retired from is my best customer.

I build some of my own CNC controlled machines. My shop now has two CNC mills, one mill is a Bridgeport, JET manual mill, JET manual lathe, 8" Orac CNC lathe and I have a Hansvedt wire EDM.

So many guys have hobbies that cost. My hobby pays.

When I have spare time I fly RC helicopters. Got a Honda 600 Shadow to.
Jim

Orrin
11-04-2012, 11:12 PM
I remember doing this exercise about a dozen, or more, years ago. Well, here we go, again.

Was raised on farms in eastern South Dakota, the first one of which didn't have electricity or indoor plumbing. After WWII copper shortages eased a bit and the REA installed distribution lines in the neighborhood.

Went through the first eight grades in one room schools. I wish every kid in the USA could have the exact same education. I wouldn't trade that or the rural upbringing for anything.

As Viet Nam was heating up the draft board got really interested in me, so I outran them to the US Navy recruiter's office. I spent over seven years in the nuke submarine service, the last three years as Machinst Mate First Class (SS), something else I wouldn't trade for anything.

After discharge I became an experiment operator and reactor plant operator at the world's largest (at that time) test reactor, the Advanced Test Reactor. After a couple years of that I bettered myself by becoming a reactor operator at the Experimental Breeder Reactor II. EBR II was cooled by liquid sodium, circulated by a pump that had no moving parts. Both these reactor jobs were gee-whiz experiences I wouldn't trade for anything. (Sound familiar?)

I got disgusted with nuke politics and wanted to apply my navy time toward retirement, so I signed on as a hydroelectric power plant operator with the US Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Peck, Montana. At one time, Fort Peck was the world's largest earthen dam. It can still lay claim to being the largest hydraulic fill dam.

Fort Peck was a stepping stone to a better location with higher pay. I spent the next twenty years as a hydro plant operator at the 930 megaWatt Lower Granite Dam and retired in 1996.

Now, I have my own home shop and a few other assorted toys. You can see some of them at:

http://users.moscow.com/oiseming/lc_ant_p/menu.htm

Even though I have larger and heavier duty lathes, my latest pride and joy is a 9" South Bend lathe in like-new condition. It came out of the chemical engineering department of a university and appeared to have been unused for many decades.

Life is good. I wouldn't want to trade places with anybody.

Orrin

Harvey Melvin Richards
11-05-2012, 10:09 AM
Orrin, I went to the U of I in the late 70's and early 80's. I made numerous trips down to the Lower Granite Dam. There is some really beautiful country in your area, I need to get back up there some day.

gvasale
11-05-2012, 04:29 PM
Can't believe how many have had careers, where I've just had a job, running a press brake for almost 20 years, and I keep saying it is the most thankless job in all the metalworking trades. You can have the worst tooling & machinery on the planet & you're still expected to work miracles. I did sell stereo gear & home electronics early on, but you can't make a living doing that.

Bruce Griffing
11-05-2012, 08:06 PM
Can't believe how many have had careers, where I've just had a job, running a press brake for almost 20 years, and I keep saying it is the most thankless job in all the metalworking trades. You can have the worst tooling & machinery on the planet & you're still expected to work miracles. I did sell stereo gear & home electronics early on, but you can't make a living doing that.

Its never too late to start your career!

gvasale
11-05-2012, 08:35 PM
Pushing 64. What do you think my chances are?

darryl
11-05-2012, 10:13 PM
I'm pushing 62 and I'm thinking I need to get an actual income stream going somehow. I have a job, but that's just a wage, and it could end suddenly. I have no control over that- but then again if I had my own business I'd be more or less at the mercy of the marketplace anyway.

What are the chances, when you're approaching retirement age? You should still be pretty smart, possibly more saavy with wisdom- if you chose something which takes into account your state of health and bodily strength- chances are probably at least as good for you as anyone really.

Think about what retirement is going to mean for you- will you get tired of laying around and end up going back to work in some capacity? Might be good to explore your passion and get something going with that- probably good for me to take my own advice too-

Bruce Griffing
11-05-2012, 10:14 PM
Pushing 64. What do you think my chances are?

Good. You can always learn new things. Maybe it will be a part time job you do in retirement. People with practical experience in fab and machine shops often make terrific designers. They know how parts are made and design them well for that reason. So one specific suggestion is to learn CAD (if you have not already done so). Take a Solidworks course at your local community college. This specific suggestion may be off the mark in your case, but the general idea still applies, IMHO.

aribert
11-07-2012, 10:17 AM
I'm mainly a browser on this (and several other machining related boards) both for the on topic and for the technical related off topic discussions that I can learn from. Growing up semi-rural near Houston, my father was a masonry contractor (later small time general contractor) and the neightbor acreoss the street was a R&D machinist at TI - I clearly remember him trying to describe what would become the 5 inch floppy discs readers - how this "record like device smaller than a 45 would hold x bits of data. Between these two men there rarely was a time that I did not have access to any tool or instruction on how to do something mechanical.

I started "working" with tools at an early age - I was 3 and my parents were renovating their first house. Apparently I walked off with lots of hand tools - many which were found as wood was taken off of the wood pile in the late fall. One day my father opened a door and the lower hinge was unscrewed and the door was swinging in the breeze. My mother claimed no knowledge of this and since I was an only child at the time it must have been me.

After getting my BSME, I moved to Michigan to work in the auto industry. I have been a topstack (convertible top) engineer for the better part of 2 decades at tier 1 suppliers. I always made sure to be out in the shop for the first prototype build at any of my employers. Always offering to help. After a while I was such a common sight in the protoshop that no one questioned why I was there almost every day at lunch. I became the king of G-jobs. At one of my employers I even had my own 3 x 6 x 2 ft storage cabinet in the protoshop so I could keep my "work in process" along with PPE and personal consumables.

I am much more of a (hack) fabricator than a machinist. No formal training. Personal machines include a 5913 Clausing lathe, step belt J-head B'port, torches, AC buzz box, 110 MIG, 30T press, 14 in metal band saw, misc other stuff along with wood working tools.

Last 6 years have worked at either engineering services or at OEMs and have not had shop access - and I am a hurting puppy to not have TIG access - the up side is that I have learned to do a bit of aluminum gas welding so I was able to make my own 2 bbl carb adapter for my 61 Falcon: http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/aribert/Falcon/FabricatedDGVcarbadapter-machined.jpg Assembled, here it looks a whole lot more grungy after several years in service: http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/aribert/Falcon/Firstweldedcarbadapter.jpg

Smokedaddy
11-07-2012, 11:37 AM
Started my apprenticeship in 1967 as a welder/fitter in Local 469, Phoenix Az. Taught school for several years at various Community Colleges including the Local I belong to. Traveled throughout the states and overseas, either welding and/or managing different projects, from powerhouses, refineries, semiconductor facilities to pharmaceutical projects. Got involved with Autocad in 1984 v 2.0 and started my own drafting/consulting business. Ended up managing a few different CAD departments over the years for different contractors, specializing in Biopharmaceutical and Semiconductor design and piping fabrication. Finally became disenchanted with that aspect of the industry and retired in 2001. I came back out of retirement to do QC/QA work in the Semiconductor area and even did some QC work in the CAD arena again. The last few years I have been back with Autocad, Navisworks Manage, TSI CAD-Mech and Bluebeam CAD Revu. Currently I decided to choose a simpler less stressful lifestyle and am welding (diametric, orbital, TIG and stick) and fabricating high-purity piping/tubing for a fabrication shop local to me which I enjoy very much. I put together this simple little video (only to practice making one) you might or might not enjoy. Even thou work has slowed down a touch, I am still working regardless of me stating differently in the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFR518RDXlA

Wishing I had the machining abilities of some that visit here.

-SD:

chorne27983
11-07-2012, 04:51 PM
Hello all! I am a machinist by trade. I worked in a small shop that mainly manufactured sprockets and conveyor systems for saw mills as a machinist. After a year or so of that I decided to participate in an apprenticeship at Norfolk Naval Shipyard where I quickly learned just how little I knew about the trade. After completing the program I eventually took what I thought was going to be a better deal. I have since bounced around a little over the last 10 years or so looking for that company where it feels like family. I think I may have found it finally. Unfortunately, I have arrived at what seems to be the end of this companies life cycle. The old man that runs it seems to be in decent health and is a great person to work for. However, he is making the transition out and will eventually bow out completely and leave his son in charge. His son doesn't quite understand that to get and retain skilled workers that you need to cultivate them from within the company instead of throwing them in the fire and hoping for the best. We have a young group of guys(20-30 yrs old) that are just starting out in the metal working trades for the most part. The older guys are in their twilight years and will be retirement age shortly.

R. Dan
11-07-2012, 05:34 PM
Hi everybody.

I am not quite 59 years old and I work as a senior designer for a company that manufactures hydraulic equipment (cylinders, valves, pumps, etc.). I have been doing this for 18 years.

Grew up on a farm; after HS, I worked around the local packing houses for a few years, then got on with a construction outfit. We built jump form silos up to 120' and I also ended up doing a lot of millwright work. Moved from there to another company that built slip form grain elevators and continued in the millwright trade. Got tired of living out of a suitcase so I went to work in a structural steel shop and became a welder and a fitter; ended up working there for ten years. From there, I served a 4 year apprenticeship w/ Local #3 of the SMWIA. The sheet metal shop I worked out of was a heavy gauge shop, so there was no hanging duct for me! We did a lot of millwright work on local grain elevators and did a lot of work building and repairing rotational molds. A few years after I turned out as a journeyman I trashed one of my legs pretty bad, so I went back to school for mechanical engineering and I've been a CAD jockey ever since. I run AutoCAD and Inventor.

Rustybolt
11-07-2012, 07:52 PM
Sewage farm attendant. 30 years this Saturday.

Bob D.
11-08-2012, 12:55 AM
Always tinkered with mechanical devices since I was a little kid. I remember dropping my parent's Big Ben alarm clock and took it apart to find one gear that had popped loose and was able to get it running again. I was about 7 at the time.

Started from college with a double major BS Physics and Math and teaching certification. After a few years of teaching high school I realized my heart wasn't in it and went back at night to get an AAS in Electrical Engineering Technology. Landed a job as Instrument Maker/Repairer in the state university. Pretty cool job, never knew what I was going to work on till I got there most days. As time passed, more and more computers ran the instruments and I had to learn a fair bit of hardware/software but didn't really care for that. Before I left after 26 years I was running a subnet of about 100 PC's. Retired in 2006 and never looked back.
I have friends at several universities around the country and occasionally get calls to build prototypes. Not much cash in that, but at least it keeps my brain in gear.

mattinker
11-08-2012, 06:57 AM
I build sets, props and machinery for the stage, television and the Cinema, I work with a wide variety of materials and use my lathes (Emco Compact 8 and 1944 Colchester Master) milling machine (H.Ernault SOAMUR ZHVI) and shaper (Elliot 10M) for some of my work! I'm a Britt, I've done lots of things along the way and I've lived in and around Paris (France!) for nearly thirty years!

rythmnbls
11-08-2012, 07:05 AM
After finishing school in '78 I landed an apprenticeship as an electrical fitter in a motor rewind shop, this place would repair anything with a coil in it, motors, welders, generators and more. They had a very well equipped machine shop which is where my addiction started :) 5 years after becoming a tradesman / journeyman I got a job as an R&D tech at a local computer company building prototype boards. Been in the computer industry ever since. Most of my time these days is spent building and installing virtual cloud environments.

For recreation I make chips and occasionally manage to make a useful part which keeps me active and away from the telly.

Steve.

Kenlew
03-21-2014, 12:35 AM
My first machining experience was working in a machine shop while sitting out a year between colleges (to "find" myself). I was basically a button pusher as others did most of the set ups, but i did have a good foreman who taught me some of the basics and showed me how to do simple set ups. Went back to college and graduated with a B.S. Agricultural Mechanization, but never worked in Agriculture. Spent 20 years in manufacturing doing purchasing & materials management. Always worked in metalworking industries (Ingersoll-Rand, Clark Forklifts, screw machine house) before starting an accounting/tax business with my wife. She does the traditional "historical" reporting function, while I take that information to forecast cash flow and forward looking planning. I have been restoring old machinist chests as a hobby and have a small business selling them on the side http://www.woodenmachinistchest.com . I am now starting another small related business that requires me to make parts, so I am trying to buy a small Hardinge lathe. That's how I ended up here. Other interests are woodworking, restoring vintage woodworking machines, https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pXCi3XkH-k4/UGTDR48POMI/AAAAAAAABcY/7lsMOpfXDCE/s144/IMG_1486.JPG and skeet shooting.

Gsharper13
03-21-2014, 03:13 AM
25 Year machinist-
2 years aerospace work
5 years tool and die making in a stamping plant for the automotive industry
10 years machine builder
economy tanked
8 years chief flunkie. Running parts, running night shift, and fixing everything that breaks. Trying to make parts and train Machinist from the high school drop outs they give me.

epanzella
03-21-2014, 10:10 AM
Retired contractor. Now it's just gunsmithing, RC Planes, hunting with my sons, fishing with my friends, and playing with my 6 grandkids. Life is good.

Randolph
03-21-2014, 10:49 AM
Great thread! I will be 75 years old this coming July and am still trying to decide what I will be when I grow up. I've been in shops for practically my whole life beginning in my father's shop. My earliest memory is of the reflection of the welding arc in the leaves of a maple tree which stood near his shop. I have worked as a school teacher (teaching shop), ran a fabrication shop with my brother, worked as a nuclear weldor (when I could still see!), machine shop supervisor for a major metals manufacturer, and most recently as an author of shop books. I learned that sitting on my duff and writing about working is easier than actually working but not by much. Life is good! And by the way, George --- I also worked, briefly and part time, as a commercial pilot for a flying service out of Greenville, SC.

Cuttings
03-21-2014, 11:35 AM
The only real work I do no is for "Honey do Construction" as I am now retired.
Formerly 30 years as a heavy duty mechanic, then about 15 years in my marine repair business

Weston Bye
03-21-2014, 12:07 PM
I have reached the stage where I am in decline and am only masquerading as a manufacturing engineer. My days are numbered, around 550 or so, until I’m eligible for Medicare. I have been relegated to the Sisyphean task of watching over and repairing only the oldest, most worn out, production lines.
I still get some vague satisfaction from easily answering the elementary technical question that elude the comprehension of the engineers that work around me. Occasionally I amuse myself by answering a question about some ancient product or process in a quavering voice with the words “I don’t remember.” Beyond that, I am no am longer allowed to participate in new product development or building special tooling or fixtures. Well, not until it’s too late – then they come to me looking for solutions, but many times I have to tell them “You have created a perfect design – it cannot be improved.” This treatment is reserved for people who should know better. I gladly help those who are genuinely trying to do their job, and indeed, as the oldest and longest serving engineer on the payroll, I serve as The Vast Repository of Arcane and Historical Knowledge.
Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die. It’s kind of like that when it comes to retirement; I would gladly be retired but am not ready to jump ship, and the only alternative is being thrown overboard.
I look forward to when I can put more time toward my second job, (see my signature line below) and doing more fiction writing. Some of you have read a portion of one of my stories. Sir John was good enough to host it on his website:

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/I%20Electron.html
I am progressing on that and a couple of others.


Before I arrived at my current state, I worked, mostly self-employed, building machine tool control systems - control panels, wiring valves, motors and limit switches on machine tools, designing and building the hydraulic and pneumatic systems for the machines and designing various electronic devices and automated fixtures. No formal education beyond a Navy Avionice school, learned machining by being in machine shops and by reading old issues of Live Steam and HSM.

Richard King
03-21-2014, 12:58 PM
My Trade is Journeyman Machine Tool Rebuider which encompasses many trades: Scraping, machine alignment, mechanic, welding, machinist, rigging, hydraulics, basic electrical (enough to get into trouble and blow a few meters,ha ha) I also love to teach and consult in machine building and rebuilding. :-)

PStechPaul
03-21-2014, 02:44 PM
My first summer jobs were as a technical writer and QC inspector at a company where my father worked, and then I worked as a draftsman. I was getting only about $1.50/hr in 1970 and I was constantly answering questions for and helping a more senior draftsman who was earning considerably more. I thought it was unfair and I asked for a modest raise, but the HR person refused, stating the he had a family to support, while I lived at home with my parents. After a little consideration and fuming, I left. I worked for a short time selling newspapers and getting more money, and then I got another job as a draftsman at a job shop for a while until the contract ended. Then I spent a couple of years in the early 70s off and on living and working at Koinonia, an intentional community (http://peschoen.com/koinonia.htm), as well as running a small business repairing TVs and stereos for college students (mostly Goucher girls). Then I moved to Yellow Springs, OH for the summer of '73 and stayed at the home of a friend while I worked at a local electronics repair shop.

I moved back to MD and soon got a job at Edgerly Instrument Labs (EIL (http://www.railroadsignals.us/amis/eil/index.htm)) as an electronics instrument technician, modifying analog and digital meters and calibrating them. By 1977 I had shown them that I could also do design work (I was an EE major at JHU from 1966-1970), so I became their design engineer where I built an array of test sets, which involved power and signal electronics, as well as considerable sheet metal design work. My career there lasted about 15 years, and I got a patent on one of my designs in 1980, but in 1988 my work was rewarded by the new GM accepting an offer from our competitor (Multi-Amp/AVO/Megger (http://megger.com/us/index.php)) in Dallas who purchased the division, and I was out of a job (although I was offered a job in Texas).

So, I founded my own company, and soon became an S Corp, P S Technology, Inc., (http://www.pstech-inc.com)in 1989. From that time to the present I have done a lot of work repairing and calibrating old EIL and Multi-Amp equipment, and designing and building other equipment for other companies such as Phenix Technologies (http://phenixtech.com/) and ETI (http://www.etiinc.com), where I still do a lot of work as a consulting engineer. And I also have been manufacturing my own special niche product, the Ortmaster (http://ortmaster.com). I am now on the verge of retirement and I will be on Medicare and SS starting in April. But I plan to continue working as I have been, which usually involves only 10-20 hours a week, and I also have been pursuing various electronic and mechanical projects such as EVs.

brian Rupnow
03-21-2014, 05:17 PM
I am a semi-retired design engineer. I design prototype machinery for industry and assorted automation for industry. I meet with company owners and engineers to help develop new machinery and to do "conceptual design" of what-ever they may be considering. I do mechanical design of the projects, including detailed engineering drawings, working mainly from my home office. I send out bid packages to various machine shops and work with a couple of different Controls Technology groups who do the required PLC work/quotes. I design the pneumatics or hydraulics as required, and do internet searches for information related to the projects. I do project management as the jobs are assembled and tested. I do not build machinery for customers. I have had my own business working from home for 14 years. I also offer 3D solid modelling courses.---My main interest for most of my life has been building hot-rods and drag racing, but with advancing age and arthritis I started machining as a hobby about 5 years ago.---Brian Rupnow

smalltime
03-21-2014, 05:34 PM
Just turned 52 on Monday. I've been turning cranks my whole life.

I started in my dad's shop when I was 12, then on to motorcycle shops, job shops, automotive tool manufacturing, and finally a stamping die shop where I served my apprenticeship, got my card in '88 in Toledo Oh.

Moved to K.C.Mo. in '90 and began building Minster dies for Milbank MFG. 19 years later, moved on to my current digs, a small electronics MFG house here in Kansas.

http://www.legacytechnologies.com/index.php

Lead tool and die maker, I get to design and build all of our tooling, fixturing and some specialty machinery.

I love my job.

Toolguy
03-21-2014, 06:03 PM
Hi smalltime-

It looks like we're neighbors. Come by and visit sometime if you like. If you are interested, PM me and I'll give you my address.
If not, that's OK too.

loose nut
03-21-2014, 06:48 PM
I would gladly be retired but am not ready to jump ship

Jump already. For to many years I got up a 5:30 to go to work, where I did what other told me to do. I retired early at 57. Now I get up when I want and do what I want. Best job ever

gundog
03-21-2014, 07:50 PM
I started working in high school as a mechanic and eventually went to work at a forklift business and made journeyman equipment mechanic just in time to get laid off in the early eighties.

Went to work for the local utility company and became a journeyman lineman did that for 20 + years until my back gave out. I moved inside to power control and I am still doing that now as a NERC certified Transmission Operator.

I had friends who were machinist so I sorta picked up a little and bought some manual machines a SB 10 K and a mill drill. I have been an avid fisherman for years and so my 2 hobies crossed and I started making boat parts for fisherman. My new business I started in 2006 is about to become my full time job in the next year or so. I love working in my business and look forward to retiring from the electric utility.

I now have a couple CNC machines and an assortment of wood working tools I use in plastic and aluminum maching for the business. I love being in the shop with the dog close by and music on the radio when I can hear it.

Life is good but really busy trying to keep up with a business and a full time job. I work rotating 12 hour shifts at the utility so it gives me a lot of days off to run the business but does not give me much time for fishing anymore.

spinningwheels
03-21-2014, 08:49 PM
I make a living photographing little snotty school childeren, In my spare time me and a mate run a show team with drifting, burnouts, gasturbine powerd lawnmower, 100+ mph mobillity scooter, and more .
I hope that I can make a living with our shows soon,

Robo
03-23-2014, 10:44 AM
I'm a little late to this thread but here goes. I've worked many jobs in my life ran a bowling proshop, licensed mobile electronics installer, interior painter, carpentry work, golf course maintenance and for the last 17 years worked at a fairly large municipality. I've done many things for the City worked on their golf courses (now gone), cleaned sewers/ran vac trucks/underground camera truck, maintained water plant (heavy repair of pumps, dams, valves, motors etc. some operations), repaired water mains up to 72" in diameter, ran heavy equipment and now I'm the supervisor/Operator in charge of all the underground (including water distribution, waste and stormwater collection). Most of the infrastructure is failing miserably all 1500 miles of it so it makes for an interesting work day :)

I grew up around 3 skilled tradesmen: machinist, welder and millrite. Of course as a young man I didn't need to know any of that stuff. I did learn many things from my father and grandfathers but nothing in its entirety just enough to get by. I've always had an attraction to fixing things, making things and working with my hands. I started out in college as an engineer but decided it was to much work (regret not going down that road daily). I graduated with a BS degree and in a roundabout way I do what I was educated for (keep the dirty water separate from the clean water).

I've done way more woodworking than metalworking but seem to be most attracted to the metalworking at this point. Enjoy engines/classic cars and have a 68 camaro with a big block in it. My shop is undersized but is multipurposed in that I enjoy woodworking, metalworking, building engines, building golf clubs and just about anything else you can think of. I'm still a ways away from retirement but due to the recent untimely passing of my mother (I was her caregiver as she had dementia) has freed up some time to hopefully spend a bit more time in the shop. Being in the shop and having your mind completely engrossed in a project is a great way to relax. I enjoy this forum as most here seem to be down to earth and very knowledgeable I always thought everyone here was a retired machinist or toolmaker....boy was I wrong. Sorry for the book. Enjoy :)

Norm W
03-23-2014, 12:22 PM
I have the feeling that I've walked in to the middle of this movie. I started out to be a tool and die maker. Got stupid and went to college and became a music teacher. Started teaching at about half what I would have been making. As a kid I worked in a yacht club doing engine and hull repairs, that included moving 13 ton boats without the use of a travel lift. My boss was an old millwright. I've always worked two jobs. I've driven tractor trailer for 40 years as part of some jobs. Worked in a mattress factory repairing everything from sewing machines to forklifts. Retired from teaching when former students started showing up with their grandchildren. I'm still doing machine work, usually making parts that are no longer available. I'm also out four nights a week with rehearsals or gigs. Hope to keep doing this for a while.

Bob Fisher
03-23-2014, 12:48 PM
Retired engineer from GM for 35 yrs. Retired in 92, had 4 part time positions since, currently 12 yrs at this place. Design and build test equipment, do some prototyping. Lots of tools to play with, TIG, MIG, sandblaster among things I don't have at home. 4 mi from home, can usually work when I please and it pays well. Life is good! Bob.

malbenbut
03-23-2014, 01:05 PM
I've been an inventor for the last 73 years-still working towards my first one.

MBB

outback
03-23-2014, 01:25 PM
Started out as a Tool & Die Maker. After 15 years of that I got intobuilding and designing automated assembly machines.
Went back to junior college in my mid 40's and earned an AAS degree in electronics. At 48 I setup a hobby machine shop
in my garage. Built some EDM machines. Continued going to the junior college (tuition reimbursement from empoyer)
learned CNC machining then a class in Solidworks CAD. Then started building my own CNC milling machines in my hobby shop.

Retired from the day job at 56. Been working for myself in my garage machine shop for the last 7 years building prototypes, special tools and small automated systems. Build a large number of personal projects.

Never dreamed work could be so much fun.
Jim

Wayne Sippola
03-23-2014, 08:43 PM
Grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan where I spent a lot of time in the shop with my dad. Joined the military to become a pilot and am now approaching 29 years of service. Flew Buffalo's (CC115) in Search and Rescue for 5 yrs, C130 Hercules for 10 years including 3 with the USCG, 4 years instructing on the Harvard 2 (Texan2), then back to Hercs for the last 5 years. Although I do stay current as the standards evaluator for the Herc, I mostly fly a desk.

Some of my earliest memories were taking things apart (and wanting more tools). There was a 50's IH truck behind the shop that I removed everything I could - wish I hadn't done that now! Made a con rod for my go-cart engine when I was about 12. First lathe in '89 while in pilot training and have been adding tools ever since. Starting to think about a part time reserve position to ease into retirement and give me more time in the shop.

Tommo
03-23-2014, 09:39 PM
After spending about 13 years at sea, more than a handful of them in square rig, I went and sailed "commercial," supply and research vessels, et al. and found that when I finally quit going to sea I'd been rendered useless for any other occupation, so I worked as a rigger and then a brief stint in a sail loft, then eventually started my own rigging loft. I only got into machinery because I like making things and I own motorcycles, which seem to need things made for them all the time.

alanganes
03-23-2014, 09:43 PM
I'm an electronics engineer by training, but have worked in lots different venues. Done construction, serviced appliances, restaurant equipment, done a bit of refrigeration and HVAC work. Did my longest stint at a company that did thin film vacuum coating for optical filters designing, building and maintaining the vacuum coating systems we used. Great place to work until it was bought by a huge company and the transition did not go so well. Jumped ship from there and currently work on cyclotron particle accelerators for cancer treatment.

Have had a lathe and mill for 20+ years now, mostly just because I wanted a lathe since I was a kid. I do some occasional paying work with them from time to time, but the shop is mostly just a fun diversion.

Really enjoy these sorts of threads!

gary hart
03-23-2014, 11:17 PM
I year farm hand, 5 years paper mill in shipping, 5 years shagging milk (home delivery)
27 years firefighter, 19 years retired. Just like making things.

becksmachine
03-24-2014, 01:19 AM
I'm still a ways away from retirement but due to the recent untimely passing of my mother (I was her caregiver as she had dementia) has freed up some time to hopefully spend a bit more time in the shop. Sorry for the book. Enjoy :)

No apologies needed.

You sir, are to be commended!! :)

And time spent in your shop will be all the better because of your time spent with your mother.

Dave

sawlog
03-24-2014, 08:27 AM
I m not as diverse as a lot of the board members. Went to work in a small shop out of High school, we made parts fro the local mills. Got a chance to work in a large plant to make truck transmission parts, been here 36 years and just trying to make it to 62 so I can retire. that is not quite 4 years from now.

Have a couple Cnincom machines in my small shop but it keeps me someting to polish up my skills that gest rusty by doing as much repetive work day to day, the only thing that helps is I get all the projects that no one else wnat to do so that helps.

frankie
03-24-2014, 10:02 AM
I worked as a machinist/ mold maker from 1972 until retirement in 2012. Now I don't "do" anything and I never start that until well after lunch.

frankie

vpt
03-24-2014, 11:30 AM
I've been an inventor for the last 73 years-still working towards my first one.

MBB



haha, I have heard before someone mention that everything to be invented has already been invented and now there is only improvements to be made?

Toolguy
03-24-2014, 01:09 PM
Yes - that's what they were saying around 1900 too. It must be true!:rolleyes:

horne458
03-24-2014, 03:32 PM
Started in institutional kitchens, trained in traditional French cooking, went from there to being self-employed as a gunsmith for about 15 years, then to vocational ministry. Last 14 years employed by the State of Missouri Department of Corrections as a prison chaplain. Yes, they let me out on weekends. Retirement will come fairly soon, then more time in the gunshop :)

PStechPaul
03-24-2014, 04:28 PM
Interesting combination of skills, minister and gunsmith. Reminded me of this: :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJfJPxLntZU

Baz
06-20-2014, 05:41 PM
Once I was a real electronics engneer designing stuff and there is some space junk of mine still circling the earth but now not much design is done in this country so I just answer emails all day. But I do have a TV on my desk with hundreds of channels and a few 150 MBit modems in case I get bored - I mean as an essential part of my work. Interesting looking round the office to see what channels people watch, especially during sporting events.

Frank K
06-20-2014, 08:06 PM
Trained as an electrical engineer then for the last 20 years of my career was Plant Engineer for the agency that occasionally delivers your mail. Retired now and just make "stuff" for my own enjoyment.

Lew Hartswick
06-20-2014, 08:26 PM
I wonder how many pilots we have? Maybe a poll sometime. This is a great thread!
I'm a Former Sailplane Pilot. Havent flown in quite a few years now so the "former".
Half owner in a Grob (even forgot the model).
..lew...

Weston Bye
06-20-2014, 08:59 PM
The Naval Air Station where I was stationed had a flying club. Cessna 150s, a 172 and a T-34. The 150s rented for $8 an hour and the Navy supplied all the fuel. Instructors got $5 an hour. Just got my license before my enlistment was up. That's when reality struck. I had a wife and a couple of kids, so I put flying on the back burner. By the time I started looking at flying again, I couldn't buy the fuel for $8 an hour much less afford the plane rental.

I did enjoy occupying the right seat in the company King Air whenever we flew on business.

flylo
06-20-2014, 09:44 PM
I sold the 1938 Taylorcraft to a guy in Brazil, next is V-tail Bonanza cruises 175 on 10 GPH in pure comfort. Do Weston bring your checkbook & fly her home.:cool:

macona
06-20-2014, 11:02 PM
I have one week to go at Davis Tool where I am a tech. After that I am working at http://www.38zeroes.com as an Engineer.

Charles P
06-21-2014, 03:13 AM
I did a degree in Metallurgy & Microstructural Engineering and graduated just as the British government was closing down the domestic engineering industry in the 1980's. Went into sales and marketing and have ended up as CEO of a marketing consultancy.
I've always played with/rebuilt old cars and built up a shop to support that hobby (CVA lathe, Maho mill, welding etc). I reckon that the only time I truly escape work is when I'm doing something to do with old cars and engineering.
As a sideline I set up Homeworkshop.org.uk some years ago with John Stevenson (which his son now runs) and am glad to have done something vaguely useful for this hobby - it gives me enormous fun.

C

Mike Amick
12-24-2015, 08:05 PM
Bump ... I think an occasional recurrence of this thread is good with new people coming aboard. I love seeing people's
back grounds.

I actually save this thread on my desktop so that I know what to not argue with whom.

Its like ... Hey Tiers .. are you sure you wired that right ?

A.K. Boomer
12-24-2015, 08:16 PM
True just don't let him start talking about his chevy S-10

does not take any abacus to figure out that someones hitting the high potency eggnog pretty much all year round... :p

Mark K
12-24-2015, 08:33 PM
Jeez, maybe I posted on this thread years ago. Not gonna do that search, though. Looking again, I see it started right after my divorce (free!!) and I was scarce around here for a while. This is likely my first post.

For real money, I was a physicist/engineer, fighter pilot and airline pilot. For little to no money, I was a machinist, gunsmith, teacher, sheriff's deputy and museum exhibits director.

For now, I specialize in doing whatever I want, which sometimes fails to qualify as a reportable activity.

darryl
12-24-2015, 08:38 PM
Well I'll just have to dring the rum I juat gaut straighnt cuz I ondn't hava ayn egg gon. rheeces to erevone!

flylo
12-24-2015, 09:07 PM
I guess I have to change mine (according to some) to Equipment, Machinery, Military Truck, Aircraft, Motorcycle, SnoCat, Farm Equipment, Surplus, New Junk, Old Junk Dealer! "We buy junk & sell Antiques" All in good fun but really George please change my user name to Fred Sanford. I liked his outlook on life:cool:

Wayne Sippola
12-24-2015, 09:10 PM
Retired a year and a half ago after 29 years in the RCAF. Mostly as a fixed wing Search and Rescue pilot on the Herc. I've been a part timer in the reserves since then holding down the operations desk at a SAR squadron, which usually gives me plenty of time in the shop.

Left Handed Spud Wrench
12-24-2015, 09:29 PM
Plastic Expert, Grind-Bastard, Disagreeable Unemployable All-Around Asshole and sometimes I even go to work where I do stuff.

train_backshop
12-24-2015, 09:31 PM
Hi all.
Let me introduce myself. I served my apprenticeship in an electric motor shop/machine shop. I finished my apprenticeship I a large job machine shop. I completed my training in 1983. This was an old school shop with shapers planers engine lathes mills. After a time I became interested in the repair and maintenance of the machines and went back to school. I received my degree in electronics in 1992. I am presently employed for a major paper converting machine manufacturer. I am the lead control electrician. I install vfd drives servos and all the related components. I live I kaukauna wisconsin with my wife of 20 years on 4 acres of wooded land. And I am also a bee keeper. I have a small shop that I repair model railroad locomotives . To all I enjoy reading what you have to say. Happy holidays.

Brian Jacobs

sent from my shop paradise

Puckdropper
12-25-2015, 05:47 AM
Hi all.
Let me introduce myself. I served my apprenticeship in an electric motor shop/machine shop. I finished my apprenticeship I a large job machine shop. I completed my training in 1983. This was an old school shop with shapers planers engine lathes mills. After a time I became interested in the repair and maintenance of the machines and went back to school. I received my degree in electronics in 1992. I am presently employed for a major paper converting machine manufacturer. I am the lead control electrician. I install vfd drives servos and all the related components. I live I kaukauna wisconsin with my wife of 20 years on 4 acres of wooded land. And I am also a bee keeper. I have a small shop that I repair model railroad locomotives . To all I enjoy reading what you have to say. Happy holidays.

Brian Jacobs

sent from my shop paradise

What kind of work do you get in to with your model railroad repair? I do some myself, and most of them are fairly routine... change couplers, fix and adjust pickups, fix Athearn burnt out bulbs*, clean wheels (this helps a lot!). Once in a great while will I get into a repower/regear project, those can be fun and a pain at the same time.

*In life, there are two things certain: Death and Taxes. In model railroading there are also two things certain: Athearn micro bulbs WILL burn out, and knock off knuckle couplers with plastic centering springs WILL fail.

Are you installing any Tortoise switch machines? I've come up with an idea that makes putting the throw wire in a lot easier and would like someone unfamiliar with the design to test it out and give me some feedback. It worked perfectly for me, but I designed the thing.

Iraiam
12-25-2015, 06:18 AM
I work on industrial machinery, I currently work as an industrial automation controls technician, I work on all the computers and gizmos used on automated machinery, for the last 7 years I have been in the food production industry. Prior to that I was a field service technician in the printing industry for 20+ years.

RB211
12-25-2015, 07:17 AM
Airline Captain for a regional that flies under the names of "American Eagle" and "United Express"

train_backshop
12-25-2015, 11:30 AM
What kind of work do you get in to with your model railroad repair? I do some myself, and most of them are fairly routine... change couplers, fix and adjust pickups, fix Athearn burnt out bulbs*, clean wheels (this helps a lot!). Once in a great while will I get into a repower/regear project, those can be fun and a pain at the same time.

*In life, there are two things certain: Death and Taxes. In model railroading there are also two things certain: Athearn micro bulbs WILL burn out, and knock off knuckle couplers with plastic centering springs WILL fail.

Are you installing any Tortoise switch machines? I've come up with an idea that makes putting the throw wire in a lot easier and would like someone unfamiliar with the design to test it out and give me some feedback. It worked perfectly for me, but I designed the thing.
I do mostly repowering of brass locomotives. I also do custom painting. When I install sound decoders I install led lights. When I install the led's I put a larger resistances so they will last indefinitely.

sent from my shop paradise

LLG
12-25-2015, 11:35 AM
35 years in High Tech Engineering, factory equipment and automation, now days growing my own business and learning to use my machines as it relates to Gunsmithing.

train_backshop
12-25-2015, 11:38 AM
What kind of work do you get in to with your model railroad repair? I do some myself, and most of them are fairly routine... change couplers, fix and adjust pickups, fix Athearn burnt out bulbs*, clean wheels (this helps a lot!). Once in a great while will I get into a repower/regear project, those can be fun and a pain at the same time.

*In life, there are two things certain: Death and Taxes. In model railroading there are also two things certain: Athearn micro bulbs WILL burn out, and knock off knuckle couplers with plastic centering springs WILL fail.

Are you installing any Tortoise switch machines? I've come up with an idea that makes putting the throw wire in a lot easier and would like someone unfamiliar with the design to test it out and give me some feedback. It worked perfectly for me, but I designed the thing.
I would like to check out your jig. I use two sided foam tape. When I get it where I want it I just stick it on. I test it then screw it in place.

sent from my shop paradise

Puckdropper
12-25-2015, 12:35 PM
I would like to check out your jig. I use two sided foam tape. When I get it where I want it I just stick it on. I test it then screw it in place.

sent from my shop paradise

That's not a bad idea. I'm going to have to remember that next time I do a tortoise.

All my little thing does is make dropping the throw wire much easier. I did one cut the traditional way and it took about 10 minutes and a helper to get the wire back into the hole. With the new thing, it took less than 30 seconds.

Hm... might be easier to send you instructions on how to build it than to actually ship one through the mail.

theGallery
12-25-2015, 02:04 PM
Retired Assistant Superintendent of School for a very large county school district in the Atlanta area.

train_backshop
12-25-2015, 05:59 PM
How do I contact you privately I have a machining questions that pertain model railroad

sent from my shop paradise

nc5a
12-25-2015, 11:58 PM
Instrument & Controls Tech in a power plant for a bit over 32 years, custom woodworker for 9 years (part time), manufacturer of one product for 11 years (part time), inventor since I was born.

vtcnc
12-26-2015, 07:39 AM
Production Manager for a commercial kitchen equipment manufacturer. Can openers, scales, food slicers, tongs.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

fencline
12-26-2015, 09:06 AM
I am a one man show as an excavating contractor who repairs equipment (and whatever else needs repaired) Started a custom hay business 37 years ago then had a fence construction business when my son took over the hay operations. Got tired of babysitting employees and eased into excavating and machinery repair about12 years ago. At 60 years young the shop work suits me well at this point....

Puckdropper
12-26-2015, 09:18 AM
How do I contact you privately I have a machining questions that pertain model railroad

sent from my shop paradise

Click my name, then select Private message.

My apologies, I was in a hurry when I typed the last message... Anyway, here's the basic idea:
Take a piece of 1/4" Delrin (or other suitable rod), center drill (through the length) for a 3/32" hole. Drill and tap perpendicular through the rod for a 6-32 screw. On the tortoise, remove the old mount screw and tap for a 6-32 screw. Here's the clever bit: Attach the Delrin rod to the tortoise using a 6-32 set screw, making sure the head of the set screw leaves the hole clear. Install a 6-32 screw on the outside.

Now all you have to do is drill for the throw rod and install the tortoise like normal. When it comes time to install the throw rod, just drop the throw wire in the switch throw bar, thread it through the green plastic bar and into the device on the throw arm. If you put a 90 degree bend in the wire before you drop it in the switch, then the wire won't drop through. I don't mind the look, but you might. Tighten the 6-32 screw finger tight and you're done.

Scottike
12-26-2015, 10:48 AM
I Started out as a carpenter ( the family trade) then moved into the oil patch for about 12 yrs doing seismic survey.
Got tired of West Texas in the summer, North Dakota in the winter, and living out of motels, came back home to the Northwest.
Worked doing service station fuel plumbing, moved into tank removals and soils cleanup, got involved in the development of a remediation
system that worked well, but never got off the ground.
Then went into the local commercial dive harvest industry diving for geoduck, sea urchin, sea cucumbers. Did that for about 10 -15 yrs.
and then started my own part time thing doing boat repair, dive system installs, boat setup/conversions for diving as well as working as a hand on the boats.
That's where I started getting interested in machining. Bought a lathe (Rockwell 10 x 36) and with some mentoring from a machinist friend and this site
I was soon making chips.
After a bout of cancer it was time for a change, I'm currently a machinist for a small shipyard in the area and loving it.

Black Forest
12-26-2015, 12:31 PM
My list of hats I wear here at the farm.

Horse Trainer
Clinician
Riding Instructor(but with no students)
Plumber
Carpenter
Electrician
Mechanic
Weldor
Fabricator
Chief executive officer in charge of waste management (Stall cleaner)
Lawn care specialist
Dog trainer
Shepherd
Heavy Equipment Operator
Tractor driver
Hay driver
Fence Contractor
Machinist(farmer level)
Computer specialist
IT specialist
Sanitation Engineer (Dish washing expert)
Investment consultant
Banker
Praktikant mit Daniel Düsentrieb (student apprentice)

And anything else my wife and daughter don't want to do!