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An update - it's been quite a while!!

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  • An update - it's been quite a while!!

    It's been a couple years since I've posted - time sure got away from me! When the pandemic first hit, I ended up doing actual real for-pay machining work for a medical manufacturing company. They dropped some of their projects and put their resources into tooling up to make components for those ventilator machines, and they were having difficulty finding a shop willing to do some of their one-off parts for fixturing and testing. My buddy who worked there reached out to me, I went through the small amount of red tape necessary to get into their system as a vendor, and then had to get comfortable with their whole RFQ / PO process. It was pretty eye opening and, at first, intimidating. But it was a great experience and gave me confidence to get into doing real job shop work if future opportunities come up.

    When things settled down a little in late 2020, my wife and I renewed our house hunting efforts to be closer to my family down South. To make a very long, convoluted, and stressful story very short, we finally bought a house and moved last summer. Of course, good shop space was a primary concern during the house hunt - we were looking for something that either already had some usable shop space or something where the budget and space would allow for a new shop to be constructed. Well, we found a combination of both. The new house came with... I guess you might call it a small barn, but it's a giant garage that was build to house an RV, so we've been calling it an RV shed. It's two stories and already has great access via the enormous up-and-over door as well as double doors on the side.

    The plan is for most of the downstairs to be the machine shop. I'm working remotely full time now, so the upstairs will be my office space as well as workbenches for my watch-related activities including the watchmakers lathe and mill. There are pictures below, to give you an idea of the place. The stairway is preposterous and quite unsafe if you're wearing a hat and not looking straight up, and if you look close you can see that the floor joists are not all up to the demands of my 2nd floor needs. The entire building also has no power at the moment. I'm currently working with a local sparky to come up with a plan for powering the shop. Sounds like I'll need a zoning variance if I want to run brand new service to it, and I'm not sure yet what the implications of that variance would be - it may end up being more long-term expense and hassle than it saves in the short term. To take off from the meter base at the house is going to require at least replacing the meter base, which also would require new wiring from our panel to the meter base (to bring it up to current code). It's up in the air right now whether that would also require replacing the panel in the house and the service cable from the pole to the meter base... sparky says we need to talk with an inspector regarding the panel and the city regarding the run from the meter base to the pole. Good fun.

    Anyway, that's the reader's digest version of what's going on in my home shop machining world right now. Once the new shop project is truly off the ground, I'll start up a new thread here to keep everyone updated on the project. It's *painful* not having a home shop, but I am really really excited for the new shop!

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    Max
    http://joyofprecision.com/

  • #2
    Were you the guy with all the Frehorth lathes ? ? ?

    -D
    DZER

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    • #3
      Welcome back. I envy your RV shed.
      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

      Location: SF East Bay.

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      • #4
        I generally don't like Gambrel roofs
        but that one looks pretty cool with
        it's proportions.

        -D
        DZER

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Doozer View Post
          Were you the guy with all the Frehorth lathes ? ? ?

          -D
          Hjorth? Yep, I'm afraid that's me. Some people say I have a lathe problem, but I disagree - I can quit anytime I want to, I swear.
          Max
          http://joyofprecision.com/

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          • #6
            When we downsized into our present house and built my shop, it turned out that a second electrical meter on the property was not allowed, period. However, I was able to put in a 200 amp panel, convert the existing 100 amp panel in the (smallish, remember) house to a sub panel, and put a 100 amp sub panel in the shop fed underground from the new 200 amp main panel in the house. That was plenty of power for both the shop and the house (including the level 2 charger for the car).
            "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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            • #7
              That's a very unique well built building, you can go all kinds of directions there and not go wrong very nice...

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              • #8
                Here are pics of some of the parts I made for that company - I'm allowed to show these pics but I'm afraid I can't say anything about what they are for (which is fine because I've no idea what they're for anyway!). All parts except for the bracket-looking-things were various stainless steel alloys.

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                Last edited by mars-red; 02-14-2022, 05:46 PM.
                Max
                http://joyofprecision.com/

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                • #9
                  (continued from previous)
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                  Max
                  http://joyofprecision.com/

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                  • #10
                    Hey!! Good to hear from you again. Love the shop.. Some really nice pieces you made there... JR

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mickeyf View Post
                      When we downsized into our present house and built my shop, it turned out that a second electrical meter on the property was not allowed, period. However, I was able to put in a 200 amp panel, convert the existing 100 amp panel in the (smallish, remember) house to a sub panel, and put a 100 amp sub panel in the shop fed underground from the new 200 amp main panel in the house. That was plenty of power for both the shop and the house (including the level 2 charger for the car).
                      If you have a space in your main panel and local codes allow it, you can put a sub panel in your shop. You just need to install a designated braker in the main panel and connect your underground wiring to it. The sub panel will be located in your shop and I think it needs to have a main braker. That's what I did, but my shop is not in a separate building.
                      Anyway I wonder if you adding electrical wiring in the old house do you have to upgrade the rest of the house to the current code. It may be an expensive project.
                      This site still shows you are in NH, where are you now?

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                      • #12
                        All quality looking work - 3rd from the tops my favorite though, 416? stuff cuts like butter and leaves a great finish, just wondering....

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                          All quality looking work - 3rd from the tops my favorite though, 416? stuff cuts like butter and leaves a great finish, just wondering....
                          Thanks! That one was fun, I had to make up a small form tool to get a very specific radius on the edges of those "ribs". That particular part was made from 17-4 prehard.
                          Max
                          http://joyofprecision.com/

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mars-red View Post

                            Thanks! That one was fun, I had to make up a small form tool to get a very specific radius on the edges of those "ribs". That particular part was made from 17-4 prehard.
                            Oh Wow that puts the difficulty level way beyond normal, I don't know what that part goes to either but they don't want it to fail... iv worked with a fair amount of 17-4 H-900 and it requires some sharp tooling, nice

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mikey553 View Post

                              If you have a space in your main panel and local codes allow it, you can put a sub panel in your shop. You just need to install a designated braker in the main panel and connect your underground wiring to it. The sub panel will be located in your shop and I think it needs to have a main braker. That's what I did, but my shop is not in a separate building.
                              Anyway I wonder if you adding electrical wiring in the old house do you have to upgrade the rest of the house to the current code. It may be an expensive project.
                              This site still shows you are in NH, where are you now?
                              Haha yeah I should update that location - we moved 1300 miles south! What a stressful chore that whole ordeal was. Regarding the subpanel, yes that could be an option except I would still have to have all the wiring around it updated to meet code, which I assume includes the 3 wire run from the panel to the meter base (it has to be 4 wire to meet code now). If I didn't have to also replace the meter base then it could still be a viable option, but if it did also require changing the meter base then it would actually work out cheaper to take directly off the meter base. The base itself is over 3 grand, by far the biggest line item on the estimate.
                              Max
                              http://joyofprecision.com/

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