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More fun building a up a new shop than using it ???

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  • More fun building a up a new shop than using it ???

    I am really a steam engine enthusiast who fell into being a home shop machinist to build the models I could not afford to buy. I had 32 years in one basement shop, which I used for hobby and business purposes. My wife died, I gave up the house and moved in with a friend whose hobbies include woodwork, dolls houses, needlework, miniatures of all sorts. I am just about at the end of sorting out what I kept and brought with me, and organising what I bought to replace and update some of the old tools I had dragged home . I have a whole slew of projects to finish off, a collection of finished models in working order, and now a workshop ready to meet ( almost!!) every need I might have. However, I do not seem to have quite the enthusiasm for using the shop as I had in actually building it up. Indeed some of the obscure workshop projects which have been lurking for a long time seem more tempting than the models I intend to finish off. Has anyone else felt this way, do some of you JUST build, repair, renovate, buy, tools for their own sake with no real intention or need for them to contribute to complete their projects. Regards David Powell.

  • #2
    It's kind of like being a boy scout. Being ready for any project that comes along.

    Brian
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

    THINK HARDER

    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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    • #3
      I'm guessing you're an older fellow.
      If the spirit moves you, go in that direction. Or, as Joseph Campbell said, follow the bliss.
      Constraints of youth and mid-age no longer press so hard, the nose comes off the grindstone.
      60 is middle aged if you live to 120.

      Might produce mixed feelings...just remember, not a one of us will do everything we intended.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by David Powell View Post
        ... do some of you JUST build, repair, renovate, buy, tools for their own sake with no real intention or need for them to contribute to complete their projects. Regards David Powell.
        Yes. I got started machining because of my desire to have a go-kart when I was a kid. Now I find that the pursuit of the "perfect shop" is more fun than actually using the shop! It's like Brian said... "being ready for any project that comes along". I take a great deal of pride and satisfaction from the fact that I can maintain or fix everything I own. I've even amassed a well equipped electronics shop with an entire wall of common components down to teeny-tiny little sizes so I can rework even modern circuit boards. I'll probably never use them but they sure make me happy knowing I've got them

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        • #5
          I was in tool engineering for a number of years. I've got a small business that required machining, but tools have become for me what I think models are for others - an opportunity for creativity in both design and fabrication. I have a Quorn tool and cutter grinder I'm still filling out with small accessories. I've got a take off on the Bemis Sine Fixture in the works and have my eye on a design for a boring and facing head.

          So the hobby and the business overlap and feed each other.
          .
          "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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          • #6
            Dont feel like the Lone Ranger there Mr Powell. I've been very fortunate in the last three years to now have the working space I always wanted. Bike nut here...always wante dto design and build my own motorcycle frames....light and stiff. Now I find that I have all the tools I need to start, but a tiny nagging fear that I might not be able to actually DO what I want is staring me in the face. So I havent got off TDC. Carm drilled it.

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            • #7
              I have found that as time goes by, priorities change. Sometimes you get burnt out on something, have more or less money or space, more or less family obligations, different interests, etc., etc. Go with the flow. Sometimes after doing something else for a while you will get the urge to go back to something previous. I think it's good to have a change of scenery every so often. It keeps life more interesting.

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              • #8
                It's kind of like being a boy scout. Being ready for any project that comes along.
                I'm very caught up i that. Machines of every size and description, grinding honing welding casting watchmaking, its a long list most bought for next to nothing, some needing reconditioning, and many more need all manner of concocted tooling and accessories. I do appreciate the "art" of fine tools and taught myself how to recondition them which exacerbates the spiral into machining and tool oblivion. End of the day, it is a very enjoyable feeling to be able to take on just about anything within the work envelope and get professional (mostly ) results.

                i've projects to build projects to build projects. Must have 500 by now. haven't a clue where each leads to, the labyrinth is too complex.....even where it began is very fuzzy. something to do with model engines. So many things on the go sometimes what is supposed to be fun feels like pressure. Other than that.....so long as its mostly entertaining its good. Dave, maybe after all time make engines you need a change. I'm feeling like all this time making tooling and reconditioning I need to make fun stuff; engines, clocks, drawing machines, oreys.....fun stuff
                Last edited by Mcgyver; 10-06-2016, 12:56 PM.
                .

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                • #9
                  Well, building up a shop can be a hobby in itself. I'm guilty of this, and have spent a lot of time assembling mine. Lots of things were in tough shape when they arrived, but now all function well, and look good. My needs evolved over the years, from a dry place to work on my car, to the man cave I have now. I have a clean, warm place that I can spend my time doing whatever. As far as keeping up the interest, I recommend going to a couple of model engineering shows. You'll find lots of interesting things, not just model engines.

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                  • #10
                    mudnducs, building frames isn't something so esoteric that a reasonably-handy craftperson can't do it. The ones you design and build may not be cutting edge, but then most of us probably strive to meet "good enough" standards. You can find a lot of information/inspiration for your frame projects on my website

                    http://www.eurospares.com

                    " So many things on the go sometimes what is supposed to be fun feels like pressure. Other than that.....so long as its mostly entertaining its good."

                    It took me a long time to realize that. Beating myself up because I'm not being productive in my hobby didn't help me with wanting to work on the projects.

                    There are so many different interesting things to do and life (or what is left of it) is far to short to do even a small fraction of them. Do (or accumulate) what you want when you want, and take what enjoyment you can at the time. When you are dead the unfinished projects won't be bothering you at all.

                    cheers,
                    Michael

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Michael Moore View Post
                      mudnducs, building frames isn't something so esoteric that a reasonably-handy craftperson can't do it. The ones you design and build may not be cutting edge, but then most of us probably strive to meet "good enough" standards. You can find a lot of information/inspiration for your frame projects on my website

                      http://www.eurospares.com

                      " So many things on the go sometimes what is supposed to be fun feels like pressure. Other than that.....so long as its mostly entertaining its good."

                      It took me a long time to realize that. Beating myself up because I'm not being productive in my hobby didn't help me with wanting to work on the projects.

                      There are so many different interesting things to do and life (or what is left of it) is far to short to do even a small fraction of them. Do (or accumulate) what you want when you want, and take what enjoyment you can at the time. When you are dead the unfinished projects won't be bothering you at all.

                      cheers,
                      Michael


                      Thanks Mike!!

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                      • #12
                        It's a slippery slope.... I originally started many years ago with an interest in precession so bought my first lathe an abused Myford ML7 to make gyroscopes .... then it started and I guess most of it comes from being too much of a perfectionist all the bits that were wrong with the Myford I felt compelled to fix... damaged backgears, damaged bed, spindle issues....... then improved it painted it fitted new belts an inverter, made a milling slide...... the Myford sits alongside many other machines now.... still haven't made any gyroscopes yet ...

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                        • #13
                          David, I know EXACTLY how you feel and I'm suffering from the same thing. Have been for the past two years since my own dream shop reached the point where I was "mostly" done.

                          I spent roughly 3 of the first 5 years in the new house performing renovations to prepare for and finally build up my own dream retirement shops for wood, metal, models, motorcycles and firearms. The other two years was doing things to the house to fix issues or working on other rooms. The shop work included removing unwanted walls, building other walls. Installing plumbing and some major electrical work for water and optimum lighting and power. Then building all the benches and cabinetry. Air lines and dust collection and optimizing the storage and so much more.

                          Building a shop of the level is hard to let go of when we're close to finished. It's a massive and alluring project all its own. And it took so long in my case that it was hard to realize where it was finished and that I could move on to actually using it as a shop. And during that transition I felt exactly like you where I'd rather work on finishing up some area of the shop or even organizing and installing drawer separators than working on an actual project.

                          But that was about two years ago that I reached that point. I fought myself through a 4 to 6 month transition of choosing between shop work and actually making something just like you're going through now. But I came out of that time and now I can truly appreciate working in the very best shop I've ever had or worked in.

                          An unforeseen advantage is that because I spent a LOT of OCD time at the end just organizing the storage of tools and supplies is that it is now surprisingly easy and quick to clean up a cluttered bench top. Everything has it's place close by and it's only a few minutes to get things to where the rest of the junk is actually garbage to be swept away into the trash using the handy bench brush hanging within arm's reach at each work location.

                          It was while showing off the shop and organized drawers that one of them said to me words that I realized I needed to embrace "You need to stop making stuff to make stuff and just start making stuff". I realized he was right and that it was time to shift my focus. It took a while and there were still many hours of working ON the shop instead of IN the shop. But I got there. And DAMN! IT WAS WORTH IT! What a fantastic place to work in now! I can honestly say that it's the best shop I've ever worked in that I've done for myself or that I worked in during my professional career.

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                          • #14
                            I empathize with the OP and all the others who have experienced "the shop IS the project" syndrome.

                            I quickly discovered that designing a shop just isn't possible for me. Shop design is evolutionary. You can't decide how a shop should be laid out until you work on a project in it. Unfortunately, projects differ so the design evolves along different directions as you work.

                            I finally decided to shift my focus to making every tool, no matter how infrequently used, as accessible as possible. That in itself is a Herculean task and, if you collect tools (who here doesn't), even that task becomes evolutionary.

                            It all points to a giant mess as a solution, but my OCD simply won't tolerate that. I comfort myself with the thought that, if this is one of my big problems, I'm pretty damn lucky.
                            Regards, Marv

                            Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
                            http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

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                            • #15
                              At one point in time I was involved with model railroading, HO scale. I found that there were many factions to the hobby and most would be gooe at one or two and tolerate the rest. Some modeled history, some liked operating trains, some were engrossed in the electronics, some liked to build layouts with buildings and scenery, some scale accuracy, and a few others. Point being there is a lot of room under the umbrella of model railroading.

                              I think the same applies here. Members of this forum have a wide variety of interests, skills, desires. As a young man hot rods were all that mattered to me. I lusted after a shop like I have today. However now that I have the shop, old cars are not on the radar. The last thing I want to do is repair cars. I've found that working on old machines fills the need I have to tinker. My machines all work well but all are in need of a painter. I hate to paint and will only do so to preserve. I sill not do it make perty. I really appreciate the beautiful machines some have, I'm just not the one to make them perty.

                              So there is no right or wrong in where you are. Other peoples yardsticks cannot measure you. You have to enjoy by your own rules.

                              lg
                              no neat sig line

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