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We have it EASY---

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  • loose nut
    replied
    Yes we have it much easier and I wouldn't have it any other way. People look back at the "good old days" but don't see the "bad old days" that went with it.

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  • darryl
    replied
    We had a treadle sewing machine back in the day. Mom used it like that for years, and it was a pretty big deal when Dad came up with an electric motor for it. The women in our house used wash boards before Dad came up with a wringer washing machine. That was a pretty big deal too. There was one house we lived in that didn't have a working shower stall. When that got fixed, you could actually get naked by yourself and wash your bod. Other than that, it was a tub in the middle of the room, and the hot water came from a pot on the oil stove.

    One of my chores was to pump oil from a tank outside and bring it in to fill the tanks. Our neighbor had the same setup, except his feed was through a copper line. We couldn't afford the copper line. I smelled like oil all the time.

    One Christmas we awoke to find the house cold- below freezing. I had forgotten to fill the tanks the night before. There was a bit of a delay before we opened presents that year- pajamas from aunt and uncle, shirts and blue jeans, socks, underwear- and there were some homemade toys.

    There was a need to have a workshop- Dad was a carpenter and did odd jobs between working on construction crews when the work was there. I had a hand in constructing the shop- my first job was puddling cement. The cheapest way to build it then was cement blocks, so that's what we used. It had a dirt floor. The first job we did inside it was to build the rafters for the roof. All the power tool work was done in the driveway since there wasn't the money to put in a feed. It did have a wood stove, and our water tank for the house went in right beside the stove. There were times when we had to go out to the shop to get warmed up. The two oil stoves just weren't capable of keeping the house warm- there were years when the pipes would freeze. One year it got down to -27F, and stayed that way for a few weeks. The temperature inside the house stayed below freezing for many of those days.

    We had electricity in the house. I made good use of it as I taught myself electronics. I don't think I ever really thought about the prospect of not having electricity in those days, or ever considered life without it, but I do think about that a lot now. How far back would I be able to go- could I make do satisfactorily without it now? I don't know.

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  • oil mac
    replied
    Yes David I heartily concur with you, Life is generally much easier, Except for the rat race mentality of today, I remember my old uncle turning small components for his clock repairs using the most primitive home made set of Hand turns one could possibly have seen, Even in my own seventy five year time span , when I began to take an interest in mechanical/ blacksmithing things, workplaces, were not in many instances bang up to date or very comfortable
    The same could be said of the home handyman or amateur mechanic, over in Britain even in the 1950s, through to the sixties a lot of old guys still treadled away with a round bed Drummond lathe, frequently with a hand cranked drilling machine & treadle driven tool grinder their only machine tools + in as you say in a rural setting lit by the light of an oil lamp, or in the cities a gas lamp in many occasions
    Many years back I visited a model maker in possibly the worst housing area in Glasgow, on a cold dark wet night, The guy was a superb home craftsman & his workshop was along one wall of his bedroom, consisting of a small lathe, homemade drilling machine of 1/4" capacity , a little Adept 3" stroke hand shaper, & a small home made tool grinder AS a matter of interest his wife was sitting up in bed wearing her dressing gown (thankfully) & reading a horror comic!

    MY point is, these guys were content Although they were living under more trying conditions, money was tight, work hours long & not a lot of extra cash for luxuries, would they like to be in our time frame? I wonder, Would we if we were forced back to those days, be content also? I doubt it, Everyone would like to be young again, without the some of the nasty managers & foremen I recall from the past
    I think I feel a great feeling of admiration as to how the old guys could make do & mend both at their trade & in their home workshops

    wind back the time to approx. twenty years ago, the era of bashing the city to bits in the name of[progress was still continuing lets call it modernisation, a friend of mine was in a tool dealers buying a machine for his employers when a man walked in carrying two little glass cases each with a superb little machine tool in each, He wanted to know what they were , He was just in time to see the end of a house clearance & a whole lot of them were lying smashed up in a dumpster, about to be lifted onto a lorry Health & safety precluded him saving the ones in the rubbish.
    I guess we were seeing how the modern person had no thoughts or feelings for the craftsmanship of that long gone home craftsman Folks nowadays, don't give a rats a**e for yesterdays craftsmanship
    Me brought up in a works environment in my early days, where a lot of the plant was belt driven colours my thoughts I still would not dispatch my belt driven old Colchester lathe for a fortune , as I was taught elementary turning on one by the light of a dismal low wattage bulb long ago, Only today, I was sitting in the doctors waiting room & speaking to another medical victim, She was mentioning Christmas time, & recounting her grandson saying when asked "What did you get this year?" His answer "Nothing much, Only a stupid I Player" Does that not sum up todays lack of values? How about giving the kid something which would develop manual dexterity

    I will go back to lurking behind the woodwork

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  • madwilliamflint
    replied
    I would love to figure out some other way to do things, run machines, heat the house and the water.

    It's quite why I got in to machining in the first place. "I want to make my own stuff instead of buy it." Granted, I do much more woodworking than metalwork. But that's mostly because the material is so much cheaper.

    If I could figure out a reasonable way to store energy, kinetic or otherwise, for use in powering machines there'd be all KINDS of whackiness I'd be doing.

    I'm no luddite. I just think it's fun to be able to go as far back down the chain as possible in as many areas as possible.

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  • Boucher
    replied
    I am 73 and grew up in town but visited my grandparents in the country. There is nothing that will instill an appreciation for indoor plumbing like a visit to the out house on a frosty morning. My generation has experienced the best quality of life for the least effort input. My grandfather was somewhat of a blacksmith repairing horse drawn farming equipment. I have a few of his old tools kept for sentimental reasons. We do in fact have it EASY

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  • ahidley
    replied
    It doesnt matter, Everybody still expects the home shop guy to make it for FREE..............

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  • David Powell
    started a topic We have it EASY---

    We have it EASY---

    I expect most home shop machinists have all their machines individually driven electrically, their shops lighted with electricity, the shops heated, some air conditioned in summer, brazing and soldering done with propane or natural gas, welding by electricity. When I was young i saw some shops belonging to older fellows, where the lathes were treadle driven, lighting was by oil lamp, the shops were unheated, brazing and soldering was done with paraffin( kerosene) blow lamps. Yet the products of these home shops generally equalled those we see today. We should all be thankful for the luxury which surrounds our activities nowadays.But I wonder whether " having it easy" has made some of us complacent and perhaps a little lazy? Looking forward to a healthy discussion. regards David Powell.
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