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From Live Steamer to workshop enthuiast.

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  • From Live Steamer to workshop enthuiast.

    I have had workshops for nearly 60 years. The tools and the machines had one major purpose, to enable me to make or repair working model steam engines.
    However, I have begun to find that I am becomjng enthuiastic about the tools the machines and the workshop in general.
    Indeed, after owning and using a very worn Atlas horizontal mill for a year. i went out , bought a better one and, instead of simply vaguely cleaning it and putting it to use I find myself sanding off the horrible paint job and repainting before reassembling, something I have never done before to any machine I have owned.
    Can this new enthuiasm lead me down the path to becoming a machine tool reconditioner? Is this a curable obsession.? Do others chase the impossible dream of a shop full of perfect machines?
    Regards to all David Powell.

  • #2
    Originally posted by David Powell View Post
    Is this a curable obsession.?
    All your base are belong to us.

    Resistance is futile.

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    • #3
      impossible dream
      Key word being "impossible". Perceiving my own mortality, I am transitioning from becoming a perfectionist to a good-enoughtionist.
      "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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      • #4
        Personally, I would spend lots of time to recondition or modify, or add to, my own machines, but I wouldn't get involved in others machines. Do it for myself, enjoy the benefits of using the improved machine. You couldn't pay me enough ( or what it's worth) to fix up a machine that isn't mine. Don't get me wrong- I would help somebody fix theirs, but I'm persuing a hobby, not getting into rebuilding machinery. That's a job, and the fun would be gone in no time.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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        • #5
          Your headed down the slippery slope, ask me how I know.
          I find great satisfaction in tearing a machine to bits and bringing it back to life.
          3 Engine Lathes , 2 Shapers , 13 Jointers, 7 Drill Presses , 3 Wood Lathes , 4 Table Saws , 2 Milling Machines , 6 Bandsaws , and a bunch more waiting.
          Sold all but the ones I kept and still use.
          Beaver County Alberta Canada

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          • #6
            "Is this a curable obsession."

            A very smart man (headed Hughes Satellite and why we watch TV from space) and who I worked for, once asked me:

            "Is your perfectionism the master of you, or are you the master of your perfectionism?"

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            • #7
              Live steam is what got me into machining. I still don't have any large scale trains myself. I think this may be a rather common pathway!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by David Powell View Post
                Can this new enthuiasm lead me down the path to becoming a machine tool reconditioner? Is this a curable obsession.? Do others chase the impossible dream of a shop full of perfect machines?
                Regards to all David Powell.
                Exercise extreme caution or you'll end up like me.

                Except for the little European machines in the basement, I care little about the paint. A big effort on paint always turned out for naught, If you are using them, chips and coolant will 'restore the patina' in no time. However I have put a lot of effort into all the machines being as close to mechanically perfect as I can get them. That's a process not ever entirely complete. The goal was/is a broad complement of best of breed machines in really good shape so I can readily get the desired result, without fighting for it, for anything I wanted to make. All good except based on production so far, I'm much more of reconditioner/tool maker than model engineer which as not the desired result..

                end of the day, so long as you';re enjoying your days its all good.
                Last edited by Mcgyver; 09-22-2020, 06:42 AM.
                in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

                  Exercise extreme caution or you'll end up like me.

                  Except for the little European machines in the basement, I care little about the paint. A big effort on paint always turned out for naught, If you are using them, chips and coolant will 'restore the patina' in no time. However I have put a lot of effort into all the machines being as close to mechanically perfect as I can get them. That's a process not ever entirely complete. The goal was/is a broad complement of best of breed machines in really good shape so I can readily get the desired result, without fighting for it, for anything I wanted to make. All good except based on production so far, I'm much more of reconditioner/tool maker than model engineer which as not the desired result..

                  end of the day, so long as you';re enjoying your days its all good.
                  As I was adjusting the gibs on one of my mills I was thinking, "Why even bother with this archaic technology? The world has moved to linear ways. Why scrape? Just replace the linear ways..."

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                  • #10
                    this is one of the best diseases, making machines better than they were, or making your own.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RB211 View Post

                      As I was adjusting the gibs on one of my mills I was thinking, "Why even bother with this archaic technology? The world has moved to linear ways. Why scrape? Just replace the linear ways..."
                      Many reasons......see how many you can list.
                      in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by David Powell View Post
                        Is this a curable obsession.?
                        No. The best you can hope for is a temporary remission caused by lack of funds or lack of time.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RB211 View Post

                          As I was adjusting the gibs on one of my mills I was thinking, "Why even bother with this archaic technology? The world has moved to linear ways. Why scrape? Just replace the linear ways..."
                          Mazak and Okuma use iron box ways, not linear rails.
                          They must know a reason for it. LOL

                          --Doozer
                          DZER

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Doozer View Post

                            Mazak and Okuma use iron box ways, not linear rails.
                            They must know a reason for it. LOL

                            --Doozer
                            Dont forget Mori Seiki and many others.
                            Beaver County Alberta Canada

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                            • #15
                              "Mummy mummy, what happens to machine tools when they're all worn out, broken and knackered?"
                              "Well darling, someone comes along and sells them to your father..."

                              Ian
                              All of the gear, no idea...

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