Between Austin and SA yea. Working in SA right now.
To augment what Ox said, equipment is definitely expensive now: if you buy new or refurbished.
I truly believe more people earlier on were capable of repairing, maintaining, and making due with equipment in used condition. They just seem to have a higher fortitude than my peers...
I think it’s partially growing overhead costs for the manufacturers themselves, partially an economy built on convenience, and a big part a lack of people who have The confidence to or the knowledge buy something and be able to repair it (hint: no one wants dirty hands anymore). A lathe the same size and configuration as mine from Kingston I think is like $12k new... There’s no way in hell I could get that in my place on my salary, even this endeavor is a stretch.
I think it’s more of the same as it used to be Ox, just a cultural shift.
30 years ago I bought a 10 yr old VMC for ??? $25G it seems like? (maybe 28G?)
That was a 2.5 axis control, really slow toy changer, open bed config that never needed the coolant "changed" IYKWIM.
No RIGID tap.
Those were 1993 dollars.
You can easilly pick up a 10 yr old machine that has all those other features today for 25G of today's $, and have 2wiced the machine!
My math says that if you git 2wiced the machine for half the money (last 30 yrs inflation?) then that is like only paying 25% for the same.
You can search e-bay for screamin' deals when you are slow.
I doubt that you could find a clapped out Bridgeport with DRO that you had to give $5K for in 2020 currency, let alone 1990 currency.
A decent engine lathe still fetched real money in 1990, but by 2000 folks were starting to use CNC for tooling as well, and the price of engine lathes has come down too.
No - trust me - it's a WHOLE lot cheaper to git into the trade now than before.
... and with that - the competition is more and more...
You guys can go the hot dog cart route, but if I had to doo it over, I would find the highest entry level business to git into, other than farming - as that wasn't too profitable in 1985. Or maybe just stick it out in farming?
If there is a demand for the work and a high cost of entry, then the rewards should be higher, even if it is not until you sell at retirement.
* Also note that _ that 1983 VMC was WAY more reliable than anything built since too!
I have seen used toys at the dealers that had come out of Harley Davidson, and one interesting thing that HD does is they put a plaque on every machine with the purchase price on it. Ass_u_ming - so that the opperator understands what they have a-hold of and understand the ramifications of damaging it?
The $ of a 1970's manual machine tool would blow you away!
I just did an inflation calc from 1993, and that $28K from 1993 would buy you a >$50K machine now.
Can you git a new stripper Haas 30" machine for that?
The Haas site won't let me doo anything w/o accepting their cookies, and while I doo occassionally like a cookie or two, I don't need them to send me any.
Think Snow Eh!