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How often do you find things you made and have no idea?

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  • #16
    I have both tools laying around that I built that i have no idea what for, then I come across parts iv built and had to ask myself "how in the hell did you build this"?

    I bet if I got all the specialty tools and parts out I might be able to decipher some of the tools aiding in building some of the parts...

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    • #17
      The problem I have sometimes is that I forget what I have already made to do a job and make a second one. I now dig through the containers of odd items I have made before I go ahead and make one. Sometime you find something that you made, don't know what it was for, but with a slight modification it will work for the present job. If you can do this it saves time and material.
      Larry - west coast of Canada

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      • #18
        Ever find something you made and you say to yourself "wow --- I really had my act together back then - don't think I could pull this off nowadays" probably belongs in the "you know your getting old when" thread...

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        • #19
          I wonder if this is what its like having kids.
          25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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          • #20
            Allot of similarities esp. if you pitch them under your workbench for decades at a time when you know you've really screwed up....

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            • #21
              Originally posted by plunger View Post
              Im starting to feel better about myself. A forum full of oldtimer sufferers.
              I'm not sure that's a good thing to be all celebratory over....

              Originally posted by Bob Engelhardt View Post

              That's great if you remember that you kept notes and pictures & where they are.
              I'm getting better about that too. It's the early ones like this mystery counterbore. I'm either stamping what the things are directly into the metal or I'm putting them in little organizer boxes with other topical widgets. Like all the little handgun smithing things in one case. That's helping a lot. And it started when I found something like this counterbore a bunch of years back and was similarly ".... uh...…" about it.

              Originally posted by OaklandGB View Post
              I wish I had the talent and skill to make something like that. Still working on basic skills, so your post gives me hope. Thanks!!
              Happy to oblige. And you'll get there soon enough. Just don't be afraid to try new things. You learn by stretching your present skills just like we grew up by stretching out our bones and skin.

              Break the big looking issues down into small steps and they become easier to figure out. For example, the turning you see is easy enough, right? The cutting lips were then filed into place by hand and eye. The first cutaway being positioned to avoid the setscrew that holds the slip in pilot pin. The only thing that may not be visible is that the cutting end has a slight taper in diameter to be slightly smaller by about .01 at the shoulder before the upper shaft so it would not rub the sides in the cut.

              I've done a few cutters like this now. Some quickie ones with hand and eye filed in gullets and others that used the mill for 3 or 4 teeth and then the front clearance being filed by eye using blue Dyekem and a magnifier. It's surprising how well you can sneak up on that sort of thing if you can see it. My 4X magnifier hood is a very handy new tool! ! ! !

              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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              • #22
                I just want to add after reading the page 2 comments that it makes me happy that I've managed to start a thread topic we can all agree on... But at the same time a little scary that this is such a common shop malady among us.....

                Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                • #23
                  Thank God, I thought it was only me. Some of the objects are projects from machining magazines and I keep copies of all of the articles that I used and go there for reference. Others are home made tools the plans for which only existed in my mind a long time ago. I have finally begun to photograph these projects for reference and also take a carbide scribe and engrave a brief description of the item's purpose on the surface.
                  Fred Townroe

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                  • #24
                    When I was in my mid 60's I noticed this problem so started putting a tag on stuff with notes. You guessed it, have the darn thing in front of me,, its dated 2012 and even with what I must have thought were good notes I have no idea what its for. Need a new plan, maybe a photo of it being used and the end result or something. Really scary because some of the tooling took a real longtime to make!!

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                    • #25
                      I’m 66 and still have a really good memory of everything I’ve ever made. I still get calls from customers about stuff I made for them 25 or 30 years ago and they are always amazed at the level of detail I still remember. This makes the thought of losing my memory due to age or illness REALLY scary!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by garyhlucas View Post
                        I’m 66 and still have a really good memory of everything I’ve ever made. I still get calls from customers about stuff I made for them 25 or 30 years ago and they are always amazed at the level of detail I still remember. This makes the thought of losing my memory due to age or illness REALLY scary!
                        The thing about losing your memory is...

                        Dang it, I forgot what it was.
                        Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                        • #27
                          Time and Entropy are forces of Nature, and when a man is lucky the old girl allows man to take a long walk between. Eventually, one will take man out.

                          Eventually fortune will take man to the place he signs paychecks n the front. I'll offer no opinion since I still wonder time to time if that is good fortune or bad luck. I do recall a young fellow who walked a few miles inside a plant one day because he asked the man at the toolbox for a new thing that wasn't busted for the "Rat-A-Tatt". The walk was called tuition back then by the company and education by the mechanics. Today it's probably illegal, immoral and a violation of Human Rights. That young man sure learned he wanted a new flat chisel at least 14" long for the .401 Parker hammer though, and I never heard of him saying Rat-A-Tatt again.

                          My first wife was a Master Organist who spent 18 months in Germany learning to upgrade pipe organs. She and Bekins traveled job to job here more or less in unison, her with 2 Halliburtons and Bekins with the 4 foot square 6 foot high luggage. She had thousands of music pieces in her head, but rarely could be more than 100 feet from one of 3 music cases she routinely carried, her toolboxes. The pages rarely came out of the cases. She also had absolutely no relationship to time outside musical time. Most musicians time key from the masthead of the daily paper.

                          People lock into trades and occupations, the lucky ones doing what they love truly don't work much cause they're enjoying the time. I owned a pair of #2 B&S horizontals 20 years back, and there were still many old Krauts in the area who stopped by time to time to stand in front of one and run thru a job they'd done thousands of times in the 40s. They'd stand for hours at the machine hands almost touching the cranks and levers with the machine off and run the job in their mind. Some days they'd leave elated, others disappointed. They either overcame the glitchin the job, or they hadn't. I was blessed to come to know a couple well enough they would teach me rather than reach up and idle the machine in their mind as they came to attention with folded hands in the manner of their training. I was more blessed by being able to hire 2 to do difficult jobs.

                          Machinists function differently from truck drivers or bakers, and think differently as well. Time eventually takes all of them out. The trick for a smart man is to learn all he can while the teachers are still around and teaching. The skill ain't in a book, and the craft sure ain't within the walls of a trade school or college. In 2020 we have a communication & teaching system beyond any dream of 1970, and millions of people who are sure it rivals the repository of knowledge back in ancient Alexandra. It doesn't because it's 1 way communication without any ability of the instructor to say STOP to minimize an about to arrive disaster.

                          Saving old tooling and parts, is a tossup. Kind of like advertising, you never know what you'll need in 5 or more years. A machinist will save tools because when the machine they worked on is retired to become a paperclip the tools can be reused on another machine with a bit of thinking and a little work.
                          Remembering what something was is just a function of discipline.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by PS4steam View Post
                            When I was in my mid 60's I noticed this problem so started putting a tag on stuff with notes. You guessed it, have the darn thing in front of me,, its dated 2012 and even with what I must have thought were good notes I have no idea what its for. Need a new plan, maybe a photo of it being used and the end result or something. Really scary because some of the tooling took a real longtime to make!!
                            Notes and all? Now that's taking it to a whole new level!.... But I have to say that I've found such items and how it was to be used is fairly foggy. So I'm not far behind you....

                            Originally posted by garyhlucas View Post
                            I’m 66 and still have a really good memory of everything I’ve ever made. I still get calls from customers about stuff I made for them 25 or 30 years ago and they are always amazed at the level of detail I still remember. This makes the thought of losing my memory due to age or illness REALLY scary!
                            The stuff from way back? Oh sure! And some of the little cutters and widgets I've made I know right away even without notes. But it's those ones like the counterbore that started this thread that make me realize that things done in a rush and in passing as part of a bigger whole can sometimes get forgotten due to them being just a slight side tracking.

                            Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                            • #29
                              For many years I ran an Estate Sale/Business Liquidation company. It always bothered me to go into a persons shop and come across jigs and fixtures. By looking at them you could till at lot of time and effort went into making them but for most of them I had no idea what the were used for.

                              That being said put labels on these type of things so not only you can remember what they are used for but those that follow you can possible use therm.

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                              • #30
                                The latest thing that been driving me nuts is how I countersunk a 1" dia flat spot under the 7/8" round scale standoff on the side of the knee. I know how I drilled and tapped the screw holes. I made a jig that sat on top of the knee way and a 1 1/4" sq. bar with drill guide bushings.
                                I must have made a counter sink tool, darned if I could find it. I know I didn't drill a pilot hole in an end mill.

                                JL...................



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