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The Case for Working With Your Hands

pressbrake1

Stainless
Joined
Dec 8, 2012
Location
essex england
I am a mechanical engineer that used to make a good living as a self employed machine designer. The downturn in the automotive sector has forced me diversify what I do for money, I now spend more than half my working day building or repairing things in my shop which was originally just a hobby shop. Despite the fact that I make a bit less money now, I am happier and love to go to work each morning. Perhaps because most people I interact with know my background, I feel no less respected by other people than I did when I worked on a computer all day, in fact I think the opposite might be the case.

I have designed some pretty complicated automated machines with hundreds of components but the greatest satisfaction I have found is in repairing things that others have thrown away. I am convinced that someday our culture will swing back towards being less tolerant of waste.

The above could have been written by myself, but as England is nearly over I'll probably never design a multi process machine tool ever again.
Ive run my own shop for 12 years now and definitely dont feel like Im doing any lesser job that requires any less brainpower or knowledge.

I hate the expression work with your hands and this belief was brought home when a customer last month( a tax man!!) said he wished he had been a machinist/fabricator as it seems nice easy work with no brain required at all.
I told him the old saying about a man who works with his hands is a laborer, but a man who uses his hands and BRAIN is a tradesman , he disagreed:confused:
 

gmatov

Diamond
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Location
SW PA
Whitworth said much the same 40 years earlier. He said that a machinist could feel a millionth of an inch, on a finished surface. At the same time, he said that the typical "machinist" would not criticize a man missing the mark by a 1/16, as they could usually do no better.


The abridged version from James Nasmyth, circa 1883:

"The truth is that the eyes and the fingers - the bare fingers - are the two principal inlets to sound practical instruction. They are the chief sources of trustworthy knowledge as to all the materials and operations which the engineer has to deal with. No book knowledge can avail for that purpose."

George
 

rklopp

Diamond
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Location
Redwood City, CA USA
I'd have more respect for Obama if he had ever done anything with his hands.

The closer one gets to the Ivy League, the farther one gets from reality.

Careful - I have degrees from said League. My reality includes lots of hands-on engineering and machining. Nonetheless, folks do not have to be skilled with their hands to be good leaders in business or government. There are plenty of examples throughout history and currently.
 

grade

Plastic
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Location
New York
The article is very impressive and purely based on excellent research work.The author is very confident with his past experiments.This put deep impact on my feelings.
 

JoeE.

Titanium
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Location
Kansas
"Originally Posted by jimfnd
I'd have more respect for Obama if he had ever done anything with his hands.

The closer one gets to the Ivy League, the farther one "



Careful - I have degrees from said League. My reality includes lots of hands-on engineering and machining. Nonetheless, folks do not have to be skilled with their hands to be good leaders in business or government. There are plenty of examples throughout history and currently.

The way I read it, most of them have a problem with Obama not because of his clean, uncalloused hands, but because of the color of the skin on those hands.

That he is educated just reinforces their opinion that he is no good.
 

toolsteel

Titanium
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Location
NW Wisconsin (BFE)
"Originally Posted by jimfnd
I'd have more respect for Obama if he had ever done anything with his hands.

The closer one gets to the Ivy League, the farther one "





The way I read it, most of them have a problem with Obama not because of his clean, uncalloused hands, but because of the color of the skin on those hands.

That he is educated just reinforces their opinion that he is no good.

I have a problem with him because of his poor ideas not the color of his skin. I also have a problem with people who immediately think if you disagree with a black person it is because they are black. Could it be that it is because we think he is wrong??? Would the people who immediately jump to that conclusion not be the ones whos racism is showing???....
There are many educated idiots in the world. Most of them have one or more degrees given to them by other educated idiots.
 

andywire

Cast Iron
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Location
Michigan
The way I read it, most of them have a problem with Obama not because of his clean, uncalloused hands, but because of the color of the skin on those hands.

That he is educated just reinforces their opinion that he is no good.

And than there's the libtards that jump for joy any time they can wash their hands of the white guilt by calling their peers racists. Feel better now that you have proven to yourself and others that you're clearly not one of those narrow minded racists? Of course, those are usually the types that would cringe at the thought of their son/daughter's dating of an African American. But really, when all the AA's got together and decided it was time to "bury the N word", it would have only been right to also bury the race card. It's been played so many times in so many situations that it's value is rather diluted and depreciated.

Either way, most of us who don't approve of Oblama's performance will continue to scorn his policies and lack of leadership ability. Why? Because he really is doing an awful job.

But hey, I didn't even know we had a black president! After all, he's just like everyone else, no difference whatsoever. See how not racist I am?
 

SteveM

Diamond
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Location
Connecticut
My wife tends to look down on tradesmen (not much, maybe a 10 degree angle, but downward nonetheless).

I told her that I would be fine if one of my kids wanted to be something like a carpenter, mechanic, electrician or other tradesman. My electrician lives in a house twice the size of mine, goes on vacations I can't afford, and never has to travel half way across the country or the world to work (he gets to go home EVERY night).

He's good, he works his butt off and gets paid well for it. I would be thankful if my kids emulated that.

And while his job will change (and that requires new learning to stay up on things), it's NEVER going to China or India.

Some people got it into their heads that EVERYONE had to go to college. All that "working with your hands" stuff was for someone else.

I remember the cover story on time or newsweek when I was a kid with a picture of a guy in a graduation gown and cap digging a ditch. That was 40 years ago.

Steve
 
Joined
May 29, 2010
Location
Denmark
Rather a strange thread and I've far from read all the post so maybe this has already been written.

Some like working using only their "brains" while others prefer to feel what they make. Farmers are typical hands on folk and where would the rest of us be if there weren't any farmers? I doubt if many farmers could grow enough food if there weren't machines to ease the work. Then again someone has to design the machines.

There are probably jobs that could be deemed uneccesary but I'd hate to be the one that decided what was useful and what wasn't.

Who would you rather be stranded on a desert island with? Someone intellectual but not practical or someone useful? It's your "dream" so both types can be beautiful :D

Gordon
 

SteveM

Diamond
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Location
Connecticut
There are probably jobs that could be deemed uneccesary but I'd hate to be the one that decided what was useful and what wasn't.

You don't have to. The market decides (actually, you and a bunch of other people decide with your spending). Of course, governments can step in and interfere, and they often do.

Who would you rather be stranded on a desert island with? Someone intellectual but not practical or someone useful? It's your "dream" so both types can be beautiful :D

If you were stranded on Gilligan's Island, would you rather have the Professor or Mr. Howell?

On second thought, maybe Maryanne. :-)

Steve
 

ihbuilder

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 8, 2010
Location
Auburn , PA , USA
Who would you rather be stranded on a desert island with? Someone intellectual but not practical or someone useful? It's your "dream" so both types can be beautiful :D

Gordon

It doesn't matter, they soon would learn to be both ;)


As far as this racial crap . I could never understand it :confused: You must be a very shallow person to only see someone by the color of there skin or ethnic background :nutter:
 

PHDesigns

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jan 4, 2002
Location
Oklahoma, USA
Haven't read this entire thread, but a good article and interesting posts to it. Did get the book and it is a good read. Down side of it is that it's written with PHD wording. I could say in much less and more understandable verbbage what he is saying (I think!). But maybe it is written for those who have gone that route and understand. Maybe I don't need to understand it because I get it already =8^).
 

toolsteel

Titanium
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Location
NW Wisconsin (BFE)
Rather a strange thread and I've far from read all the post so maybe this has already been written.

Some like working using only their "brains" while others prefer to feel what they make. Farmers are typical hands on folk and where would the rest of us be if there weren't any farmers? I doubt if many farmers could grow enough food if there weren't machines to ease the work. Then again someone has to design the machines.

There are probably jobs that could be deemed uneccesary but I'd hate to be the one that decided what was useful and what wasn't.

Who would you rather be stranded on a desert island with? Someone intellectual but not practical or someone useful? It's your "dream" so both types can be beautiful :D

Gordon

AS far as the desert island....does she have to be blonde or brunette? or can she be a red head lol
 








 
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