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Tool gloat - my turn

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  • Tool gloat - my turn

    A few years ago I worked at a plant that was going through its "Kai-Zen" routine. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. But one nice side effect is that they throw out tons of stuff, especially when they don't know what they've got (common).

    I was lucky. The power-trippers would rather see the landfill get everything rather than the employees for some reason. But I worked night shift so noone was there to hassle me for spending my breaks and lunches dumpster-diving. One night I pulled this radius turning attachment out of the dumpster and promptly transplanted it into my truck.

    Except for one allen wrench, the set is complete and mostly unused!!

    Today (years later )I finally milled .125" off the top of my compound so the attachment can be used, which also allows 1" shank turning tools to reach the tool centerline without hanging off the side of the compound. Why Leblond made the top of the compound sit so high for a 15" lathe I don't know (my toolpost is supposed to fit a 13" lathe too, but it was a little too high to work correctly on my 15"). There is still plenty of meat left on the slot to hold tooling very rigidly. It may seem a little extreme to go carving away on the machine, but it solves a half-dozen tooling problems for me.

    Now I can turn radii. Woohoo!!

  • #2
    Vinito your a genius!!! and must be awarded dumpster diver of the month award with that find well done.
    If I go past a dumpster "we call them skips here in the uk" I cannot help looking and mostly reaching inside for a good rake much to the disgust of my children who hurry on and wait for me round the corner Alistair
    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


    • #3
      A genuine Holdridge- and a relatively big one, at that. MSC still sells that one new, and it costs $1150.
      In the 80's, I used to go to Westec, the machinist trade show in LA, every year, and old Mr. Holdridge himself used to come down and man the booth of one of his big LA distributors. He was a pretty cool old machinist, and justifiably proud of his product. He was pretty old then, doubt he is still with us anymore.
      But of all the radius turning jigs I have ever seen, this is the one I want.
      Never seen one in a dumpster, though.


      • #4
        Very Nice!!
        I am "Alistair" with envy!!
        please visit my webpage:


        • #5
          It's amazing what industry throws out. Glad that fine tool found a good home.
          To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison


          • #6
            Well if its missing the allen wrench you should just put it back where you found it,where did you say that dumpster was?
            I just need one more tool,just one!


            • #7
              If it's OK with the Forum Awards Committee, I'll place an empty tuna can on the "shelf of honor" (right next to my grade school basketball trophy) until next month.

              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by G.A. Ewen:
              It's amazing what industry throws out.</font>

              True, and sometimes sad.
              This same company had a pallet basket chock full of thousands of dollars worth of various tooling (lathe chucks, milling tool holders, non-obsolete carbide insert boring bars and turning tools, collets, clamps, large drill bits, etc., etc.). It was staged just inside the dumpster door until the lead guys sifted through it for things we could use for production, and I was keeping an eye on it. The rule was only stuff we had an immediate need could be saved - no storing for future possibilities. One day I came in and it was gone, but the dumpster was empty. Earlier that day the plant manager pulled our maintenance guy aside to tell him the dump truck was on its way and to empty the basket into the dumpster just before it arrived so nobody had a chance to dig through it. What the hell kind of sense does that possibly make?! Believe me, safety wasn't his concern. If it was, it would have been his first time. I could have kicked him in the head... many times (this is only one example). He was the perfect corporate idiot.

              Don't get me wrong, I feel really lucky to have rescued the radius attachment as well as a few smaller things. I wouldn't even have minded much if somebody else claimed all of the other stuff. But I was amazed that the guy went out of his way to insure that nobody got any of it. My only hope is that the driver recognized some of what was in there and maybe it ended up in a "good home" rather than underground. It would have been a free super-score for an eBay seller.

              At least there were a few survivors, and time has (mostly) healed my heavy heart since that day.

              Keep your eyes open.

              [This message has been edited by vinito (edited 10-23-2004).]


              • #8
                That is a fine tale vinito, congratulations. ( I`m not refering to the Troglodite plant manager, what a nasty weasel! )
                I wasn`t aware that there were so many environmentalists amongst us ; recycling can be a great adventure; I enjoy it