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Is it worth the work?

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  • Is it worth the work?

    Jerry Tiers comment on the eBay lathe presented the question as whether it was worth the time taken to build.

    There are occasionally posts here, and frequently posts on the PM forum disparaging the HSM for making something that can be purchased, or is crudely made from bits and pieces of hardware and plumbing. I have this photo in my collection to remind me of the value of some of these endeavors.



    Would anybody care to guess as to the identity of this very crude but interesting engine?
    Last edited by JCHannum; 02-10-2008, 10:13 AM.
    Jim H.

  • #2
    Ford's Quadricycle?
    Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

    Comment


    • #3
      I didn't think it was steam powered.



      http://www.hfmgv.org/exhibits/showroom/1896/specs.html

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      • #4
        Originally posted by IOWOLF
        I didn't think it was steam powered.



        http://www.hfmgv.org/exhibits/showroom/1896/specs.html
        It's not,notice the two wires coming down from the heads to a set of crude breaker points.
        I just need one more tool,just one!

        Comment


        • #5
          To me it's all about enjoyment or happiness, the most primal force in mankind. Whatever makes you happy that causes no one else grief. A good reason to make anything is because you'd like to do it. No other explanation needed.
          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
          Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

          It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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          • #6
            I have respect for someone who builds something out of a need with the materials they have on hand.To me it shows creativity and problem solving.It really doesn't bother me that a device might be very crude,especially if it gets the job done.Ford did what it took to build his prototype,in his spare time,while he was working a job,with the material he could find IIRC,can't fault him for that one bit.

            I think we have all seen things built with excellent fit and finish by teams of people with unlimited finance that ended up not working or at least not working very well.I once saw a beautiful piece of machine work a person built that was nothing but a waste of time,it turned out to be a perpetual motion machine.Gorgeous work,but a flawed idea.

            When I build something for myself I build it just as good as it needs be to function as advertised since it's going to be used and not looked at,when I build for a customer I build it to the maximum limit the constraints will allow since quality work is quality advertising.I've also cobbled stuff together for people out of junk they had since it was all they had to use,in that situation all that matters is that it works.
            I just need one more tool,just one!

            Comment


            • #7
              "Would anybody care to guess as to the identity of this very crude but interesting engine?[/QUOTE]

              I would say this a copy/model of Henry Ford's very first automobile engine and working gear.

              Am I correct?

              Planeman

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              • #8
                "Is it worth the work?"

                I agree - that's often an inappropriate question to ask. People choose to spend their time in different ways. I do lots of things in my shop that aren't "worth it" by many standards, but it's what I enjoy doing.

                You won't catch me wasting my time watching any sports event, whether on the tube or in person. It's not worth it. . .
                Cheers,

                Frank Ford
                HomeShopTech

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Your Old Dog
                  To me it's all about enjoyment or happiness, the most primal force in mankind. Whatever makes you happy that causes no one else grief. A good reason to make anything is because you'd like to do it. No other explanation needed.
                  And never a truer word was spoken. Yet why do we spend so much time, particularly on this board, questioning what makes others happy?

                  Go figure.

                  Nice quadricycle photo.

                  Best,

                  BW
                  ---------------------------------------------------

                  http://www.cnccookbook.com/index.htm
                  Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:
                  http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCGWizard.html

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                  • #10
                    Unca' Hanks' Quadracycle, ---------duplicate, damn good duplicate.

                    G

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JCHannum
                      There are occasionally posts here, and frequently posts on the PM forum disparaging the HSM for making something that can be purchased.
                      The reason is money - I got drilled into my head, if you can buy something you need instead of making it, 99% of the time it makes more economic sense. One of my Engineering professsors once told us a story about going into a shop as a consultant, to which the owner proudly displayed a magnificent toggle clamp he made. My professor commented "That sure is nice, what did it cost you to make?" The owner replied "Oh, about 90 bucks".. My professor told him "THAT'S WHY YOU'RE NOT MAKING A PROFIT - you're making 90 dollar clamps that can be replaced by a 7 dollar DeStaco!"

                      Most of can't justify buying alot of the things we see in the catalogs, so we make copies of them, or we complain about the price. Shops don't care as much if something like a Harig grinding fixture costs 4 grand - IF IT WILL MAKE THEM MONEY.


                      HTRN
                      EGO partum , proinde EGO sum

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                      • #12
                        The question was somewhat arbitrary........

                        But the basic machine might not have justified the extras, the "grafted-on" parts, etc.

                        I'd have wanted to fix the donor machine... looks like a lot better unit.

                        But the RESULT is a cool item.

                        Basically, NOTHING YOU DO IS WORTH ANYTHING 10 years after you are dead. get used to it.

                        So "worth it" is your choice....
                        1601

                        Keep eye on ball.
                        Hashim Khan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Spin Doctor got it right on the first try. It is a reproduction of the quadracycle that is in the Henry Ford Museum. The picture I was looking for is one of Ford's first engine. It was built of pipe fittings and he built it in the kitchen of his home. Maybe someone will Google or Tiffiepedia it for us.

                          I started a separate post because it is not about that lathe, but about the concept of what an individual can accomplish on his own, with little more than his hands and his mind and the simplest of tools and materials.

                          I do believe Ford's legacy has lived for a little more than ten years after his death, and will probably continue for another few years.
                          Jim H.

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                          • #14
                            Most of my personal projects and tools are done using scrap from paying jobs, or materials scrounged from broken tools/parts that would otherwise be hauled to the dump with fuel and dump fees.

                            So material costs are pretty much non-existant, and in many cases 'make' money.

                            Then considering that they are made using time that I would otherwise spend sitting around wishing I had something to do....

                            So, in my case I have to say it's worthwhile all around.

                            Very much worthwhile!

                            Ken

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                            • #15
                              The only time it's not worth the effort is when you're not learning something.

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