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Do you still get that "Wow, I did it!" feeling ???

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  • Do you still get that "Wow, I did it!" feeling ???

    A few months ago the back gears on my Rockwell 11x36 stopped working. Then the whole thing stopped working. I let it go during the cold unheated winter, but since the weather is warmer I tackled the job a few weeks ago. I carefully took it apart bit by bit until I found the problem. Then I cleaned the parts, lubed them, and reassembled them. It works.

    I am still basking in the warm self-congratulatory glow of "Wow, I actually fixed it". For half of my career I pushed small amounts of chemicals around in delicate glassware, and the second half I pushed electrons around computers... So the act of taking big heavy bits of metal and making big solid things that you can touch, feel, and hear is pretty amazing to me...

    Do you guys still have that sense of awe and wonder when you make something or repair something and it works?

  • #2
    Dan this contraption took a few years to complete but was very happy with end result,worked better than expected. Click image for larger version

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    • #3
      Depends what it is but, yes.

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      • #4
        Yes, absolutely. Sometimes when I make a difficult/neat part I don't want to put it into service, I'd almost rather put it on a shelf so I can keep looking at and admiring it! Thank goodness for modern digital cameras.

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        • #5
          Yep. Usually its when I put a few hours into fixing something that broke, using thousands of dollars in tools and equipment, some horded scrap I've been hanging onto for 10 years and moved a million times, and years of hard earned trade knowledge to save a $10 item that I've long got my monies worth from.

          Don't tell me you guys have never done that....

          Edit: To be a bit more serious, yes I get that feeling all the time. I still look at the things I design and build and smile. It's a pretty rewarding trade. Not many people can do the things we do. Machinists, Engineers, Toolmakers etc, are totally taken for granted in society these days.
          Last edited by Dan Dubeau; 04-26-2022, 04:30 PM.

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          • #6
            many years ago, I bought 1/2 ton pickup that ran really poorly for $300 because I had a hunch about it. I hadn't dealt with engine timing since I was a kid, but I found out how to reset it's base timing and adjust the distributor and it was like a brand new truck! The difference in power and performance was more than I ever expected. Worth every penny just for the learning experience.

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            • #7
              Yeah, sometimes I get the "damn I'm good" feeling when the model engine starts on the first pull or the part size comes out dead nuts. And then I spend the rest of the day waiting for the comeuppance to bite me in the a** for being so smug. Usually I do get bit somehow or other, so the "wow, I did it" feeling is fleeting.

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              • #8
                I been so good for so long that I rarely surprise myself.

                --D
                DZER

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
                  Yep. Usually its when I put a few hours into fixing something that broke, using thousands of dollars in tools and equipment, some horded scrap I've been hanging onto for 10 years and moved a million times, and years of hard earned trade knowledge to save a $10 item that I've long got my monies worth from.
                  Don't tell me you guys have never done that.
                  Absolutley...why would you buy something for $10 when you could make it for $100, or $1000...or whatever...
                  When I first bought my lathe and made the first part, I marveld in the $4000 tie-rod it made for the lawn tractor...then the second part only cost $2000 (because I made two parts with a $4000 lathe). I stopped counting long ago...but the parts coming off it now are probably <$5 but yes, still get a thrill when a finished part comes off.

                  Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
                  Not many people can do the things we do. Machinists, Engineers, Toolmakers etc, are totally taken for granted in society these days.
                  I was the sole hands on member of a "skunkworks" type of department that did custom modifications to standard products to meet customer requirements. Several sales guys, project leaders, etc. but I was the only guy hand fabricating all the solutions in the shop. I retired in October, and I heard this week that the shop has been dismantled and the area turned into normal production.

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                  • #10
                    I get that feeling occasionally when I have a good invention, or make a really good piece of production tooling, or a difficult part. The latest one is an improvement for revolvers that makes the double action trigger pull get lighter instead of heavier as you cycle the action. Many individuals, gunsmiths, and gun companies have been trying to figure this out since 1852. The last improvement, which is still the current state of the art, was in 1909. I have filed US and international patents for this. I can't give any more details due to the no selling on the forum rules. This is 18th patent I own or am named on.
                    Kansas City area

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                    • #11
                      Yes.
                      I also get that "Damn! I screwed up again!" feeling regularly. Maybe I should build a roller coaster?
                      "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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                      • #12
                        My sensation is usually "Damn I'm glad that's done! I never expected that much trouble."
                        Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dan_the_Chemist View Post
                          Do you guys still have that sense of awe and wonder when you make something or repair something and it works?
                          For me, all the time. Heck, seems like every time I try to get something done correctly. See this hobby of mine does not link up with my profession so its all new to me. So yeah, its all magic for me JR

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                          • #14
                            Just finished cleaning up my shop after a long drawn out project put all the hand tools back in their place looked around and there it was wow what a feeling it is all as if it was like the first time I set foot in it for the first time nice clean and orderly then I spotted a old machine stuck in a corner that needed work decided to pull it out and work on it well there goes the nice clean shop but i will be looking toward doing it again and that feeling

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                            • #15
                              That WOW, I did it feeling is of the prime motivating things in my life. I can still remember being on my first civilian job. Just a week or two after being hired, I was all alone in a TV station on a Saturday (that's another story). Just me and the mice. And, with no notice, almost everything stopped working correctly. I was supposed to be there just to air the programs according to the log, but only one black and white video recorder worked. All the color equipment produced pictures that looked like an old TV with both the horizontal and vertical knobs turned all the way to one end or the other. Totally unviewable. And the phone did ring but I had no time for that.

                              I tried calling my boss for help. No luck. His boss who was a former engineer. Again, no luck. I tried every number I had but no luck. It was up to me. I looked around and saw a rack full of tube equipment that I knew produced the synchronizing signals for the whole station. That was common to all the non-functioning equipment so I started to make sure all the tubes were fully seated in their sockets. About 3/4s of the way into that process, everything returned to normal. I can't tell you how good I felt. Then, finally my boss returned my call. Yea, good timing. He did come in to be sure, but nothing further could be done on the weekend so he left after a few checks. I felt great. I had solved it as best as possible for the moment. Great feeling! And I think his opinion on his new hire went up a notch or three.

                              That rack of tube equipment was on it's way to the dumpster anyway, but the schedule was moved up. The new, solid state replacement was already at the station and the tube equipment was gone the next weekend. I wasn't the only one who volunteered to help carry it to that dumpster. The crash sound it made at the bottom was music to my ears.

                              That has been my working life. One problem after another. Some I can't even describe how I came upon the solution, but I did. Once was while on my lunch break while standing in line to get a sandwich. Actually more than once while taking a break from the problem. The mind has mysterious workings.

                              Do I still get that feeling? You bet I do. When I can repair something or make something I feel great. It keeps me going now that I am retired. I took on a neighbor's air compressor a while ago. He had made a mess of the wiring and I had to figure it out. With some help from others on this BB, I did get it running and he says it is still going great. I fixed some cosmetic and safety issues too. I smiled on the inside when he told me that. It is like that whenever I finish a project. And even at milestones along the way.
                              Paul A.
                              SE Texas

                              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                              You will find that it has discrete steps.

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