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Sort of OT- Origins of our interest in machining?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Dave C View Post

    My dad built and raced midgets too. V8 60 powered. Reading your post, I swear I could smell the Alcohol they ran on.
    I think the politically correct term is little people. And considering what your dad was doing to them, I'm not surprised they drank.
    Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by RichR View Post

      I think the politically correct term is little people. And considering what your dad was doing to them, I'm not surprised they drank.
      Dave,
      That really got me laughing!

      My high school class president was under 3 feet tall. He could reach a standard light switch only by jumping. Really bright guy too. He runs a very large commercial greenhouse operation. One time he fired his biggest customer, accounting for 60% of his sales. Replaced them with lots of smaller customers that paid on time. Then called all his employees together and told them he was doubling their pay and providing health insurance for everyone. On the flip side he said he expected 30% of them would be leaving. Over the next two years he reduced his workforce by 40% while doubling the size of the operation! Happy well paid employees turned out to be cheaper.

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      • #33
        Oh, and as to my start in machining? Pick almost any post so far and you'll have most of it. Maybe that is why this forum is relatable.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by garyhlucas View Post

          Dave,
          That really got me laughing!

          My high school class president was under 3 feet tall. He could reach a standard light switch only by jumping. Really bright guy too. He runs a very large commercial greenhouse operation. One time he fired his biggest customer, accounting for 60% of his sales. Replaced them with lots of smaller customers that paid on time. Then called all his employees together and told them he was doubling their pay and providing health insurance for everyone. On the flip side he said he expected 30% of them would be leaving. Over the next two years he reduced his workforce by 40% while doubling the size of the operation! Happy well paid employees turned out to be cheaper.
          Would that be Kube-Pak?

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          • #35
            You guys must be too young to know about midget race cars. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midget_car_racing
            “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

            Lewis Grizzard

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            • #36
              Well that's rough. I guess it comes from taking everything apart that was thrown away.

              I always wanted to be the trash man. People used to throw away fixable stuff back in the day (70s). And it was free if you could get to it before the trash truck.

              That was my start. Turning junk into more junk JR
              My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

              https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Dave C View Post
                You guys must be too young to know about midget race cars. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midget_car_racing
                Its been called a few things. I know it as Corona Raceway. And Midge cars was its bread and butter. Spent many cold nights there. JR
                My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                • #38
                  Dad's car was black but other than the color, looked a lot like this one. https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...dget-race-car/ I was about 10 years old when he stopped racing and sold the car.
                  Sorry BCRider for steering this thread off track. Can we get back to your original topic now?
                  Last edited by Dave C; 11-10-2019, 03:33 PM.
                  “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

                  Lewis Grizzard

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                  • #39
                    Some interesting reading here. I see there are some other musicians here. I got a drum set at 12 that was given to me by a guy up the street from my moms place who was a studio musician. I played in a bunch of bands, and really thought I was going to be a rock star. Oh how naive I was. This is how I got into fixing things. My father left my mother, sisters, and I with nothing when I was 9. My mom worked and went to night school, and then nursing school for a few years, and we really had nothing, barely even food, during that time. I took things apart as a kid, and repaired things out of necessity as I got into adolescence. I remember when I was 12 a friend of mine had a flat tire on his bike. He was going to take it home so that his dad could take him to the bike shop to get it fixed. I said "who the hell takes a tire to a bike shop to fix it" I showed him how to fix it, his dad got mad, and hated me from that day forward. I will never understand that kind of thinking.

                    Same friend, we were both at another friends house, and his dad had a Honda Trail 50 leaning against the garage that did not run. His dad said it was junk, no one could get it running, and we could have it. We pushed it a mile to my house, I found a manual for it at a place that sold used books downtown, cleaned the carb, sanded and adjusted the points, put air in the tires, and it started. My friend and I rode that thing around for a year or so. Then the friend who's dad gave it to us, his dad saw me riding it one day, and showed up to take it back.

                    At 16, when I got my drivers licence, my neighbor owned a pool cleaning company and hired me. I showed mechanical aptitude, and was quickly pulled from cleaning pools, to working with him installing and repairing pool equipment. My first car, and life long yard and estate sale addiction started one morning shortly after when I went to a party at a friends house. I passed out on the couch after a night of heavy drinking. His cousin, who was an odd bird indeed, woke me up at 6am with the Pennysaver in his hand asking if I wanted to go to yard sales. I was like, "there is nothing but crap at yard sales". He said, in this long, drawn out, weird way of talking he did, awwwww, naaaaawww maaaan, that **** is primo". About the third place we hit, if I remember right, had a 65 Dodge Dart for sale. The back seat was out, and it had shelves built back there. It ran, but had a rod knock. I asked the price, dude said he wanted it gone, 50 bucks. I drove it home.... TACK, TACK, TACK, TACK TACK. I got a manual at Chief Auto Parts, dropped the trans, pan, cover, crank, changed the broken oil pump, found a machine shop in the yellow pages to turn the crank, put it back together, and bam, I had a car.

                    I finished high school, and at the behest of my mother, went to college, because she wanted me to get a degree, any degree. I think it was to break the long poor white trash lineage that is our family. I quickly realized after college that I was not built for a desk job. MY brother in law worked for the studios, and said if I learned to weld, he'd get me a job. I went back to community college, took the 2 year welding program, and got certified in the end in structural steel, bridge, and pipe. I took a semester of machine shop also. My brother in law welched on the getting me into the studios. My sister worked at a Jeep Eagle dealer, and got me a job working as a lot porter. I worked up to helping one of the mechanics as a trainee and then to mechanic. Then one of my sisters x boyfriends got me a job as a tech where he worked at a Porsche dealer.

                    I hate relying on anyone to fix things. They're not going to do it right anyways, so I do it myself. Plumbing, electrical, electronics(I have lots of books and YouTube time into this), doesn't matter, I'll fix it myself. Even when I try and find someone to do something, I end up becoming disgusted with the whole process, and acquire the tools and knowledge to fix it myself.

                    I have a little experience in the past, but machine tools and machining are recent to me for the most part. I started with an Atlas 12" lathe that I drug home from an estate sale about 2 years ago. I've seen plenty of lathes at estate and yard sales over the years, but never thought to drag one home. After cleaning up and using the lathe a few times, I don't know what I was thinking not having one. I then drug home a bigger lathe, and ditched the Atlas. Now I'm cleaning up a knee mill I drug home, and collecting tooling. I'm 50 now, but still love learning new things. Recent to this forum, but love reading the posts here.
                    Last edited by junkaddict; 11-14-2019, 03:11 PM.

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                    • #40
                      JA I fix everything myself also and I used to draw the line at having car tires mounted and balanced, used to of course till the last set - I mounted and balanced myself, so guess i don't get to use that one exception anymore...

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                        JA I fix everything myself also and I used to draw the line at having car tires mounted and balanced, used to of course till the last set - I mounted and balanced myself, so guess i don't get to use that one exception anymore...
                        I did change my own tires when I had access to a tire machine, but I don't anymore. I did pay someone to move a machine for me, so I guess that is my line in the sand.

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                        • #42
                          I spent my entire professional life designing, manufacturing and selling RF electronic devices and had little or no interest in things mechanical.
                          20 years ago, when I sorta retired I inherited a Craftsman lathe and a wooden tool box full of micrometers and other precision measuring tools from my wife's step father who was a professional engineer at Allison all his life
                          That started the whole thing and it has evolved into a fairly complete machine shop circa the 1980's. No digital control or automatic machines, just three lathes, a mill, a planer, two drill presses, a horizontal and verticle bandsaw, welders and plasma cutters, forges as well as a whole bunch of lesser tools, machine and otherwise.
                          I still have an electronic shop, work bench, where I design and build radio devices for my amature radio hobby.
                          Seastar
                          I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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                          • #43
                            This thread has been a real trip down memory lane. I hadn't heard or thought of a "Handy Andy" tool kit for close to 50 Christmases - one of the best gifts I ever got.

                            Like many, my Dad gets the credit for my interest in tools and machining - he ran his own electronic repair place for years, but could do just about anything that involved tools. He had a tiny little machining centre in his shop - a cute little 3 or 4" screw cutting lathe, drill press and grinding outfit, all on a small table on wheels. First lathe I ever touched (my job was to clean and lubricate it regularly). Also like many, I used (and abused) his tool collection all through my youth, building and fixing all sorts of thing (or trying to). After university I always had a fair collection of hand and electronics tools, along with basic power tools for carpentry, but never had money, opportunity or time to get back to machining.

                            After my Dad retired, he really started pursuing machining and acquired an astonishing amount of tools, including a several lathes, a couple milling machines, numerous drill presses - all of which he converted to DC drive - no real effort for an electronic wizard. He even followed this board for a few years.

                            Shortly before I retired, I got a bigger shop just as he was downsizing, so he put a huge amount of this stuff (including machine tools) in a trailer and shipped it to me. The cute little lathe was long gone, but there were two decent lathes in the collection (a Logan and a Southbend) , a Benchmaster vertical mill, several different drill press and grinding stations on wheels, and probably 1000 lbs of tooling and bits. I also got a number of engines and 'do-dads' he had created over the years.

                            While he was dead before that year was out, I have only to go out to my shop and look around, or just pick up a well-used wrench with his engraved initials all but worn off, and it's as if I saw him yesterday, and can still hear his voice.

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                            • #44
                              YukonHam, that brought a tear to my eye thinking about my time with my own Dad in his shop.

                              I recall that he never hovered over me at all. Always seemed busy with something else. But he was always there when I had a question about how best to make a part or to use a new function of the machines. I realize these many years late that he was letting me learn on my own rather than try to actively teach me. It occured to me some years back that he realized that the best lessons were self learned.... something it took me another 30+ years to realize for myself.
                              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                              • #45
                                I know the exact moment the seed was planted for my interest in machining. I was 15 and we needed a part made for a latch on a stall door. I went to the local machine shop and asked the man if he could make the part. When he mounted up a piece of round stock in the lathe and drilled a hole with the material spinning and the drill at a standstill it absolutely captured my fantasy. Strangest thing I ever saw but when he reduced the diameter of the stock I was addicted. As a kid I was always building things out of wood or metal. Always curious how any machine worked. I took my mothers brand new sewing machine apart to try to figure out how the threads could get hooked together. She was not happy with me. I took the TV apart when I was 5 I think to see where the picture came from!!!!! My fathers brand new powered lawnmower got repurposed as a go-cart. Although he was impressed with my ingenuity and mechanical skills he in no uncertain terms made it very clear I was not to take any of his tools apart without asking!
                                Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                                How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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