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When looking at pictures of "fixtures" or "gadgets"...

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  • When looking at pictures of "fixtures" or "gadgets"...

    I have decided that I am going to start my own forum for people to talk about machinist's welding projects.

    I see people post stuff on here, and frankly, my crap is em-bare-ass-ing!

    But it works.

    But, it's hellish looking, so I don't post pictures of it.

    Then you look at some of the stuff Dave granted, Dave's posts take a little gettin used to...but my god is there a lot of stuff to look at....and like most of us, he can do GOOD work, but it seem that he usually just gets things working. Why go further?

    Then someone posts a picture of a finger plate or something that they have treated with a dowel and lapping compound (what's the name of this?) and I'm like, yup...piece of angle iron, welded onto a plate, 1/4" bolt, welded upside down, fender washer, two pieces of steel with two bolts sandwiched to create a clamping bar and a nut...and I've got the same thing, in 1/10th the time.

    So, while I'd love to have the patience to do work that is immaculate, I more often find myself just throwing things together and making them work. I can machine a part to print, not an issue...used to do it all the time, but now that I own my own business, I find that dicking around making a part "pretty" is a waste of time, because I don't have someone else paying me to do it. There are no government jobs when you are self employed.

    So where does the desire to make everything perfect come from? Is that what happens when you take on machining as a hobby? Or when you have time between projects at work and can't look bored?

  • #2
    Originally posted by snowman
    So where does the desire to make everything perfect come from?
    -Pride in ones' skills.

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


    • #3
      Some people have a natural ability + the sense of achievement, ambition or
      whatever, to make everything they do appear perfect, others no matter how hard they tried will seldom get that perfect look about what they do regardless of how well something they build may work.


      • #4
        Make It work to get the job done, Then make it Pretty If time permits.
        or just "GIT ER DONE" it's a fixture, tool, or some thing, but it's just a thing.


        • #5

          I pressed in the cam bearings, the timken races into the 96incher today.. IT IS PERFECT. Clean, right. I got a big plastic bag around it right now. First assembly, not pressed into the cases yet.

          My tooling, like my wore out mill, like my wore out lathe, jigs are made from junk to get a job done, then sometimes cut apart rewelded into something else.

          Just like my sheetmetal work? I care little for the trip down the nostalgia road, I want the end result with as little crap as possible. THE end result.. unless your hobby is "machinining" then the nostalgia road is for you. *(ohh my, this is a machining site??)

          That beautiful two hole jig to bore harley cylinders at the auto machine shop down the road? I took a cutting torch and burned it in two.. it is now a one holer, and he has bored a few cylinders on it. I need a waterjet to make some "right".

          Wanna know something funny??? I used the english wheel frame to press in them timken races. That acme screw applied enough pressure to do it easily. I was thinking of going to harbor fright to buy another press. I adapted and overcame.

          P_SSST... the dowel, machine turning is called dasmacene.. easy to do in some metals, like mirror stainless? roll up a piece of sandpaper like a cigar, stick it into the drill press and go to town after laying on the cross pattern hatch.
          Last edited by Dawai; 05-15-2008, 06:57 PM.
          Excuse me, I farted.


          • #6
            I guess I fall in the middle of the crowd.
            If it's something I need to do in order to use something else, I'll happily toss something together using whatever I have on hand to make sure I get it working. But, if it's to make a replacement for one of those quick fixes, I'll normally take my time and, if not make it pretty, I'll at least make it look professional.



            • #7
              Originally posted by Doc Nickel
              -Pride in ones' skills.

              This could be me, just ask the people I work with and for. They say jokingly (at least I think they are joking) that I am an*l about appearance of finished work.

              I take A LOT of PRIDE in what my finished work looks like. I often find that "make it look nice" and "make it work" are easily achieved at the same time.When my finished work is picked up by the end user I don't even want fingerprints on it when they first see it.

              To me appearance counts for a lot. If a device appears to be made with a degree of skill, craftsmanship, and care, or appears to be pieces and parts cobbled together, though they may both work equally well.....

              What is the IMMEDIATE perception if which will work better?

              Until he retired I worked with a gentleman who could give a crap about what finished product looked like. I couldn't stand it.
              Last edited by ERBenoit; 05-15-2008, 07:24 PM.
              Paying Attention Is Not That Expensive.


              • #8
                snowman said, "So where does the desire to make everything perfect come from?"

                From the misgiven idea that they can do things perfectly. The fact is nothing a human can do is perfect. Close yes, perfect no.

                I take pride in what I do and I try to get it as close to the middle of the tolerance spec as I can when doing one offs. When doing a production run I get them in spec and ship them. I like things to look good and the customer likes it to.

                If I am making a one time fixture to do a part I am not going to build it like a watch, I am going to build it to do the job and thats all and probably throw it away at a later date. If the fixture is a keeper I take more pains but it's still a fixture, not the finished product.

                A good machinist knows when to put time into fit and finish and when to just get the job done. If he don't he will never be a top notch machinist.

                A perfectionist will always be chasing an unatainable goal.

                A sloopy machinist will always be on the bottom looking up.
                It's only ink and paper


                • #9
                  I would love to be able to finish a project with the obvious perfection I see alot here and elsewhere. I dont have the skill, I do make the part or fixture to work well within its design, just doesnt ever turn out pretty and professional.

                  Maybe some day. I used to blame it on time, not having it but thats just an excuse, even though I still feel that way.

                  Some things I do make for appearance, when it does matter. Like some trailing arms I made, they were a part that might be looked at and I wanted it to look production.

                  But fixtures and tooling that I use solely for myself here that no one will see. I make those for utility only, looks dont matter, function first. And once the function is there I stop. JR
                  My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group



                  • #10
                    J: Most them fixtures and jigs hit the scrappie truck anyways.

                    One time perhaps use... I do have this harley jig thou I might bondo and paint metalflake.. Just like I did the bridgeport after JOHN S: made fun of it.
                    Excuse me, I farted.


                    • #11
                      So where does the desire to make everything perfect come from?
                      It isn't a desire, it's OCD.
                      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Evan
                        It isn't a desire, it's OCD.

                        At least someone is honest with themselves!


                        • #13
                          My tools don't have to be pretty, and most are not. But, they do have to be presentable. If I have a customer in my shop to discuss work, some of my tools may...and probably will be...seen, and his confidence in my abilities goes up when the tools I use look decent. When I was in gunsmithing school, jobs were given a basic point value, and that was multiplied by 0, 1, 2, or 3, with 3 being for both function and an appearance that could be proudly sold. I guess that pride of workmanship has stuck with me for the past thirty years.

                          Montezuma, IA
                          David Kaiser
                          “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
                          ― Robert A. Heinlein


                          • #14
                            I think it all comes down to the situation at hand.....if I'm relatively sure that a jig, fixture or machine add-on is going to work as I hope it will, then I will go to greater lengths to use nicer stock/scrap for it's construction and put more effort into it's fit and finish.

                            If however, I am not too sure if my thinking is fuzzy and a particular jig might not work out as planned, then chopping up some angle iron and welding it up will get me on to "step two" sooner.

                            As was stated earlier, if it proves to be useful, it may get re-made with more time and consideration for it's appearance the second time 'round.

                            On a side note, I'm a big fan of using found objects to suit a need when I'm able, or to alter "junque" to fill the bill....I use an old outbord motor cylinder head as a welding jig for some stuff.....lots of tapped holes and flat surfaces.



                            • #15
                              I'm split on this, if I'm making a quick fixture for a one-off it's whatever comes to hand. But if it's a tool, fixture or attachment that'll get regular use I want it as nice as I can get it. If I can't afford to buy it I'll treat myself and make it as pro as I can.