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  • #46
    Artistic and Economical

    Despite never shooting a gun while not in the employ of uncle sam, I enjoy the gunsmith articles because they relate a very engineering-like mindset of balancing artistic form vs function vs labor vs time vs customer service based on experience and judgment, and its always interesting to peer into the mind of someone as they make those decisions. If they were not so well written, and the author were not so smart, they wouldn't be as interesting as they are.

    Also I like the artistic perfection... Not just good enough to slap on a front sight, but make it look real good. Not good enough to get it within tenths, but also make it look perfect. The gunsmiths show there is apparently more to surface finish than polishing brass or applying rustoleum paint. There are occasionally artistic projects in MW but there is no theme column for "art projects". There are many projects in MW that a machinist can appreciate the beauty of, but I think random joe off the street would not appreciate much but the gunsmith articles.

    The final part I like about the gunsmith articles is the rugged individualist sole-proprietor entrepreneur attitude, or goal, or backup plan or whatever, that gunsmithing represents. Realistically there is no way I'll ever run my own CNC factory professionally or on the side, even if I move to China. But it is highly likely that if I really needed to, I could someday become a gunsmith if I wanted to. I'm struggling to think of any other machinist related business I could realistically every hope to start and make a profit off of, other than gunsmith? If there is one, I'd enjoy a column or story about that too. Even if I'll really never run my own shop, its fun to daydream.

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    • #47
      The writer states he always finds something of use in the magazine, but then says it should not include articles on blacksmithing, welding or gunsmithing and that he is letting his HSM subscription lapse because the articles in HSM are beyond his interests.

      You have to wonder just exactly what would please him.

      His complaint against the line boring article is that it took up seven issues. He does not mention that it included seven different aspects of upgrading any Ruger SA revolver. The series, in fact, prompted me to purchase a Single Six to play around with, so there are some that certainly did find it of value.
      Jim H.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by JCHannum
        that he is letting his HSM subscription lapse because the articles in HSM are beyond his interests.

        You have to wonder just exactly what would please him.
        I agree. Machining is ultimately a means to an end, whether it be guns, small engines, tools, restoration, whatever. Take the info from the aforementioned subjects and apply it to your own interests. A publication dedicated strictly to machining without showing the neat things folks are making would be pretty dry fare. I may be wrong, but I doubt too many guys in the hobby go into their shop, chuck up a 2" dia. chunk of metal and machine it into oblivion just to watch the chips curl.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by JCHannum
          You have to wonder just exactly what would please him.
          That was my ultimate thought in my previous postings. I seem to remember a bitter letter that was written by a unsatisfied reader and shared to the other readers by Neil covering the wire EDM someone built. There was mention of the larger capacitors and their ability to be found for sale. I'm not an electrical guru but if I were going to start down that road I would collect all of the articles first and start my plan. I would imagine that in my fact finding mission I might end up finding the same thing. I might choose to stop there or go looking for an equivalent. My choice.

          Sometimes I believe that some readers think they are buying step by step plans for the tools shown. I'm sure that you could agree that our hobby is one that requires a bit of curiosity and a ton of caution. If the print shows a hole, the text should not include all of the cautions that come with a new drill.

          Personally I think that exact perfect step by step plans take all of the fun out of it.

          rock~
          Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by rockrat
            That was my ultimate thought in my previous postings. I seem to remember a bitter letter that was written by a unsatisfied reader and shared to the other readers by Neil covering the wire EDM someone built.
            That's not a good example -- the Wire EDM series by Robert Langlois was a mess He started the series with a picture of a working Wire EDM (which Robert apparently demonstrated at Cabin Fever), and then jumped right into to a 2-year series about building the wire feed mechanism. Then the series died in the middle, with no warning.

            I think the wire feed mechanism was incredibly clever, but I too was disappointed that the article was never finished.
            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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            • #51
              The biggest reason I subscribed to MW was the gunsmith articles and i have to agree with Doc (I think is was Doc), If we start eliminating articles soon we'd have nothing to read. As for Mr. Ackers last article, I thought it was very well done,and well written and I'm looking forward to the next one.

              Welding, foundry work, and forming metal on an anvil were all skills that were tough my first year in machine shop practices. But in those days we were expected to work within .003 using calipers and a 6" rule.

              jim

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              • #52
                Originally posted by lazlo
                That's not a good example
                Fair enough, I had thought that the article was later finished. Now I'll have to go dig around and see how far it actually made it. My summer project might have just changed!

                rock~
                Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

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                • #53
                  I've got "model Engineer" mags back to the 1920's and all through that time it's always the same complaint, why are you running that kind of article and not more of what I like etc.

                  In those days it covered everything in the hobby from boats and planes to trains etc. but eventually the different types of articles where calved off to form new mags. specific to each different segment of the hobby. Eventually you arrive at the modern version of Model Engineer mag. which isn't worth buying. The quality of the articles dropped. I quite getting it after they started reprinting old articles because there wasn't enough new stuff available for the limited focus, the editors just fill it up with fluff instead of decent writing.

                  If you limit the types of articles that are allowed because some one isn't interested or is offended by it then you are constraining the ability of a magazine to grow and survive.

                  Don't let the same thing happen here.
                  The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                  Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                  Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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                  • #54
                    Gee, I wonder if I write my local newspaper and tell them to take one of the colums out because I have no interest in reading it? My point is if you don't like the article that was posted then read something that interest you.

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                    • #55
                      Priorities Change

                      My intrest in gunsmithing brought me here. I came to learn as much as I could. There are lots of good machinists here. Steve Acker possesses both machining skills and teaching skills. I like reading his articles. The article mentioned in this thread didn't turn my crank. If you can match his writing/teaching ability I would implore you to do so for the good of this group. I am now more interested in the machining than the gunsmithing. My shooting bench is twenty feet from the back door of my shop. It has not had a gun setting on it in the last year. If HSM and Precision Shooting arrived the same day I would read HSM first. I really have come to value and appreciate the help avaliable from this group!
                      Byron Boucher
                      Burnet, TX

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                      • #56
                        Wow, quite a response.

                        I also understand where the author of the MW letter was coming from. It would be great if both MW and HSM were each 5/8" thick but as previously mentioned, not too many Shakespeares here. Because of that, it's understandable that some would like to see the magazines more focused ... on their desired topics

                        Paul A. just posted asking for opinion on electronics content in a project. This will immediately scare away a certain percentage of readers.

                        I may have no interest in another QC toolpost, another mill/drill improvement or another way to make your own <fill in the blank>, but in every one of those articles, we can pick up ideas for workholding, tooling, finishing and more that are either new to us, or in some cases, a mental refresher.

                        In my original post I failed to clearly vote so I'll do it here. Let's keep gunsmithing articles and have even more of them ... along with a thicker magazine

                        Den
                        Last edited by nheng; 03-02-2009, 10:26 PM.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by x39
                          ...... I doubt too many guys in the hobby go into their shop, chuck up a 2" dia. chunk of metal and machine it into oblivion just to watch the chips curl.
                          I might bet ya' on that....
                          "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."~ Thomas Jefferson

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