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Do you ever wonder about the people who built your machines?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Galaxie View Post
    Sometimes I wonder what they were thinking. On my Delta-Rockwell scroll saw, the factory hole pattern for the motor is rotated by about 10 degrees (in other words, not parallel to the driven pulley). I have no idea how they managed to do that in a production setting.
    Failure of management.

    -D
    DZER

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    • #17
      I, for one, would love to somehow talk to both any previous owners of my machines, as well as those that made them.

      The circa-1905 Stockbridge shaper I recently sold, for example, had a number of curious features that made me strongly think it was either a very early sample, or possibly even a prototype. The guy I got it from said it had been used at a US naval outpost on Kodiak Island, Alaska. If it was, in fact, an early or even prototype piece, how the hell did it end up in Alaska? And the base wasn't established 'til something like 1938- where'd it spend the previous thirty years of it's life?

      My '42 Springfield lathe very probably had a WPB tag. What'd it make for the War? How did it, too, wind up in Alaska?

      The '39 turret lathe almost certainly made a great many thousands of parts for the war. Where was it used, what did it make? That one, though, we kind of know how it got to Alaska; A company called Superior Machine, still in business in Anchorage, was founded in the 50s. Supposedly the founder got a large load of machine tools from the US Military, since there was such a huge surplus after the War. Legend has it he got the lot cheap or even free, and even the shipping was provided by the military.

      There are times I kind of wish some of these machines came with a sort of "log book" like small aircraft. Who owned it, what did they make with it, when and why did they pass it on?

      Doc.
      Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Baz View Post
        . Also engineers seldom service their cars themselves, electronics engineers don't make or service radios, .
        I disagree, I prefer to hire engineers who work on their car. Not all good engineers do, but none of the bad ones do...

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        • #19
          Originally posted by ikdor View Post

          I disagree, I prefer to hire engineers who work on their car. Not all good engineers do, but none of the bad ones do...
          Absolutely true...... in my experience.
          2730

          Keep eye on ball.
          Hashim Khan

          Everything not impossible is compulsory

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          • #20
            Safety first, we received a new 2021 lathe. It is an entry level CNC machine without a full front enclosure just a sliding door. It will not operate if the door is not fully closed.
            The door is 30"+ wide yet the machine is 45" between centers, do the math. What were they thinking?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Bented View Post
              Safety first, we received a new 2021 lathe. It is an entry level CNC machine without a full front enclosure just a sliding door. It will not operate if the door is not fully closed.
              The door is 30"+ wide yet the machine is 45" between centers, do the math. What were they thinking?
              https://youtu.be/V_yHJahgF6E?t=36

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              • #22
                Originally posted by David Powell View Post
                Sometimes, while using my machines my mind wanders to thinking about the folk who built them. Did they have good lives? Were the factories they worked in happy places to work? Did they have a real pride in the machines they built? Was the odd rough bit made while worrying about a loved one fighting a war far away?
                Have any of you any related stories to tell.?
                Regards David Powell.
                Yes Sir. My 46 was and is in top notch condition for its age. I run all my turnings through her. Best lathe I have,

                It has a story long before me though. That's the story you are asking about and I don't have it. Too young.

                I like old lathes, I can actually make "things" with the older one I have.

                So yeah, that's My Story. My old South Bend Lathe ... JR

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                • #23
                  I have a mental picture of the men who made some of my machines, Fair Isle pullover over a shirt and tie with a buff coloured dustcoat and smoking a pipe.

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                  • #24
                    Sometimes I wonder about the guy that's running my lathe now
                    25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                    • #25
                      I figure the folks who made my lathe were typical underpaid folks living in a walkup somewhere, nagged by their wife and mother-in-law, supervised by bean-counters who wanted things done faster, not better, or maybe whipsawed between the bean counters who wanted it done faster, and the engineering folks, who wanted it done better. Watched regularly by time and motion clerks. Possibly doing piecework. Some of them probably stopped off at the tavern on the way home to "take care of all that', before getting home.

                      That's typical of most factory employment through the time most of the machines we have were produced, including the chicom machines.
                      2730

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan

                      Everything not impossible is compulsory

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I'm sure the people who built my machines had an even more interesting life than my machines themselves, especially the builders of my antique Barnes lathe, my war finish Hiebert lathe, and the just barely post war era Atlas shaper.
                        Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
                          Sometimes I wonder about the guy that's running my lathe now
                          I bet he wonders about you too !

                          Ha!

                          The guy that runs mine is kind of a jerk.

                          -D
                          DZER

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                          • #28
                            I think and worry more about the guy that rotates my tires.
                            John b. SW Chicago burbs.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by john b View Post
                              I think and worry more about the guy that rotates my tires.
                              I don't have that kind of trust.

                              -D
                              DZER

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                              • #30
                                Sort of the opposite direction... I leave Easter Eggs for the future. When I do remodeling on our 160 year old farm house I write notes inside of the walls. I include the date, maybe a joke, and a short line or two about myself and how the times are affecting my life. I have put similar notes inside of machines I have worked on ... my lathe and shaper have literal "messages in a bottle" stuck to the insides of their bases.

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