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What Percentage of People Buy Machines and Never Use Them

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  • What Percentage of People Buy Machines and Never Use Them

    I go to a lot of estate sales, and see a lot of workshops. I swear, most of them, I do not see parts someone has made, lots of metal stock, or swarf anywhere on the machines or in the nooks and crannies around the shop. I try to keep things clean, but there are chips of steel, aluminum, brass, and various plastics everywhere. I have a bucket of failed experiments, this and that one time setup fixtures, etc. It makes me think many people buy this crap and never use it.
    Last edited by junkaddict; 06-07-2021, 12:57 AM.

  • #2
    Well, if you were talking 'exercise machines' I'd say about 95%. Machine tools I think are mostly used as expected by the purchaser.
    Southwest Utah

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    • #3
      Ok, you're at an estate sale. So you know two things. One, the owner died which likely meant their health wasnt great for a while and those machines have recently seen little or no use. Two - somebody came in and cleaned up in preparation for the sale.

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      • #4
        There are usually clues. "stuff" that was machined, that sort of thing. No machine is cleaned THAT well by the estate sale folks. And if it was, I would be worried.
        2730

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan

        Everything not impossible is compulsory

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        • #5
          Originally posted by junkaddict View Post
          I go to a lot of estate sales, and see a lot of workshops. I swear, most of them, I do not see parts someone has made, lots of metal stock, or swarf anywhere on the machines or in the nooks and crannies around the shop. I try to keep things clean, but there are chips of steel, aluminum, brass, and various plastics everywhere. I have a bucket of failed experiments, this and that one time setup fixtures, etc. It makes me think many people buy this crap and never use it.
          I dont know. I might be two or three years older than you. So I was planning for my retirement.. Where I would not have to buy any raw materials.. At a point I saw my stock pile. Them I was good. Pack it in when you can then lets all sit at home and macine gaggits I say.. JR
          My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

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

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          • #6
            My shop is suffering rust, to be honest I’m starting to sell off the stuff in it, think my days of sweating are over, health didn’t work out well as posted, I do a bit of woodwork, small amounts of metalwork but making hundreds of widgets, no thanks, doesn’t even pay that well, last big job was several thousand stainless brackets for gutters, I didn’t do a good job pricing it so it was profitable but small, guy down the road makes more money converting busted pallets into coffee tables ( they look ghastly to me but beautiful to his customers) home owned machines don’t really get a lot of work, it’s a bloody expensive hobby, I don’t think it pays, you make money, then blow that on the next new machine then you get old or sick, then die, someone else has to clear up the pile of stuff only you and a few others know what it is, in your head it was valuable, the reality it’s going to end up being sold by your surviving family for scrap price or less, I must have 1/2 ton of drill bits and reamers, to me worth a fortune, reality, practically worthless.
            mark

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            • #7
              Originally posted by boslab View Post
              My shop is suffering rust
              I get that. I am, 12 miles from the ocean. It ruins everything I have Big ol metal eater, the great Pacific... I would not have it any other way.

              P.S.. That twelve miles is flat land. I am 127 feet above sea level. Not happy about that. I already did two quakes in cali. JR
              Last edited by JRouche; 06-07-2021, 03:55 AM.
              My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

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

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              • #8
                I read that "rust" to indicate lack of use more than oxidation. Though usually the second follows the first
                Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                • #9
                  Mmmmmmaybe it is a real machine shop for profit
                  and all the parts got shipped to the customers.
                  Or it is a trophy shop, like many on Garage Journal.
                  Not taking anything away from GJ, there are some
                  nice garage/shops there. And the people are nicer.

                  -D
                  DZER

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                  • #10
                    I think Sears said 75% of routers sold were never used. Often given as gifts at xmas and then just sit.

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                    • #11
                      I'm guilty I'm afraid. I bought a plasma cutter about 2.5 years back. It sat idle for the first 6 or 8 months until I got the shop set up for air. And then it cut a half dozen bits of scrap to test it and learn the tricks of plasma cutting. And as it happened I had one piece needing to be cut for a buddy. And that was the last time it was used. I've not had a task suitable to use it for since that time.

                      But I'm ready by cracky!

                      Oh,... um... There's also the set of adjustable reamers I thought would get used a lot. Used one of them one time. My father's 0-6 inch micrometer set which I have not had occasion to use at all yet. I think that's about it....
                      Last edited by BCRider; 06-07-2021, 12:00 PM.
                      Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                      • #12
                        I have a 7 x 12 in the garage, bought second hand from an old guy who had only used it for an hour or so. Since I bought it, I have replaced both chucks with better ones and made a saddle lock for use in conjunction with the vertical milling attachment that came with the lathe. My total usage in the last 12 years probably ammounts to 12 hours, so I am in the hardly use bracket.

                        I do 99% of my machining using the Smart & Brown model A toolmakers lathe at the museum.

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                        • #13
                          Dunno, most of my stuff was used when I got it, and I continue to use it. A clean shop makes me paranoid.
                          The only things I buy "new" are taps and underwear.
                          25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                          • #14
                            I like a clean shop, and got plenty of flack for it when employed. I spent half of my lunch hour, and at least 15 minutes after clocking out cleaning up. As for using ones machines, maybe some poor bastards are like me, who bought a mill in march 2018, tore the head apart to inspect/ replace bearings, then had a ton of family projects come up that have kept me from working on the machine until now. That is going to change soon. No more projects until the mill is finished.
                            “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

                            Lewis Grizzard

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                            • #15
                              After owning a shop in the the 80's doing injection moulds and tools I knew what I was getting into? Just bought simple home shop basics for mods & repairs. I dont buy alot of stuff, thinking i might need it one day, or to replicate a active business. Last thing i want to do is sweat out PO for a PITA job for cheap money. The machines can sit for a long time, then I fire up the radio and get to play. There is something about the smell of oil and machines. Having your work mates drop by for a beer and make something. For most of us here, we need to improve on most things we buy. So it's on our DNA to engineer and build. I still scratch my head on the amount of machines / quality $$$ / Quid spent on a forum called ( HOME SHOP MACHINIST ) !##%^&& ?

                              My guess there are some novice machinist that buy and dont do much machining because they dont have the skills. Buying a scocer ball doesn't make you George Best !

                              Some very talented people here, which give me faith that the machinist trade is still alive and well !
                              Click image for larger version  Name:	20200426_155358.jpg Views:	10 Size:	3.62 MB ID:	1945870 Click image for larger version  Name:	20200414_152723.jpg Views:	10 Size:	3.32 MB ID:	1945871
                              Last edited by Fasturn; 06-07-2021, 03:05 PM.

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