What are your thoughts on accumulating tooling
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 46
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    382
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6
    Likes (Received)
    147

    Default What are your thoughts on accumulating tooling

    As a hobbyist, I've carefully considered the warning that "the tooling can cost as much or more as the machine". The lathe and shaper are fairly economical as high speed steel is very affordable but the horizontal mill is another story. I think i've done a good job outfitting the shop by continuously trolling craigslist and jumping on machinery as it comes up. However on those few occasions that i've bought up "large-ish" lots of tooling i fear that I've bought stuff i'll not likely ever use. Which brings me to my question (or maybe just an observation), There seem to be two schools of thought on accumulating tooling:

    1. You never know what you'll need so when bargains present themselves, jump on them and build up an inventory of stuff so when you need it, you have it.

    2. Only buy what you need when you need it. This basically means buy new stuff. The upside is you won't need to store a bunch of stuff you may never need, and the stuff you get will be new rather than the inevitable occasional worn out or damaged stuff that you get when you buy up old lots.

    Given my affinity for old things, i've kind of been a proponent of approach #1 but it seems every time i bring in a box of old stuff i find myself cornering the market in evapo-rust and degreaser and when i'm all done cleaning away the decades of grime, i'm left scratching my head where to store the stuff and then, when i solve the storage problem, i promptly forget what i have.

    So, what are the thoughts of the cognoscenti?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Dassel,MN,USA
    Posts
    89
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    12
    Likes (Received)
    46

    Default

    I went option one for thirty years. Back in the good old days when stuff went for a song at auctions. About ten years ago, I quit buying much this way and only buy what is needed.

    The shop just got too full of stuff. Plus I got pretty much everything I might need. I've starting tossing stuff that has never been used.

  3. Likes itsmeBernie, Limy Sami liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    45
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    38
    Likes (Received)
    24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marka12161 View Post
    As a hobbyist, I've carefully considered the warning that "the tooling can cost as much or more as the machine". The lathe and shaper are fairly economical as high speed steel is very affordable but the horizontal mill is another story. I think i've done a good job outfitting the shop by continuously trolling craigslist and jumping on machinery as it comes up. However on those few occasions that i've bought up "large-ish" lots of tooling i fear that I've bought stuff i'll not likely ever use. Which brings me to my question (or maybe just an observation), There seem to be two schools of thought on accumulating tooling:

    1. You never know what you'll need so when bargains present themselves, jump on them and build up an inventory of stuff so when you need it, you have it.

    2. Only buy what you need when you need it. This basically means buy new stuff. The upside is you won't need to store a bunch of stuff you may never need, and the stuff you get will be new rather than the inevitable occasional worn out or damaged stuff that you get when you buy up old lots.

    Given my affinity for old things, i've kind of been a proponent of approach #1 but it seems every time i bring in a box of old stuff i find myself cornering the market in evapo-rust and degreaser and when i'm all done cleaning away the decades of grime, i'm left scratching my head where to store the stuff and then, when i solve the storage problem, i promptly forget what i have.

    So, what are the thoughts of the cognoscenti?
    I tend to side more with #1. In my opinion you can never have enough. If i come across ads for used or new tooling that is reasonably priced I'll buy it up & pick out what I can use. Sometimes selling off the rest to offset some of the costs. If I'm selling a lathe or mill to upgrade to something better I try to include some tooling with it to sweeten the deal. If it's priced cheap buy it! Im constantly reassured about this every time I browse "the bay" & I see the ridiculous prices some sellers are asking for a single name brand endmill or milling cutter. Again this is just my opinion. I too am a hobbyist but If I was doing this everyday for a living my thoughts might be different.

    Martin

  5. Likes Derek Smalls, Limy Sami liked this post
  6. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canandaigua, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,781
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    133
    Likes (Received)
    1196

    Default

    I go with option #1- he who dies with the most tools, wins. That said, eventually you get older as does the stuff, and eventually it takes up a lot of space. Physically you won't want to deal with it. At some point it makes sense to cut back to what you really need and use.

  7. Likes Pathogen liked this post
  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    southern il
    Posts
    848
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    140
    Likes (Received)
    291

    Default

    I used to think this stuff would always have some value AND might likely increase in value as time and CNC took over......for those repair and one off jobs............but that doesn't seem to be happening, at least not here. I've accumulated quite a bit, but while it may still bring what I paid, money isn't worth what it used to.
    I have more than I can possibly use. A good deal of it bought for what it weighed, so hard to go wrong, aside from it being very heavy, hard to move, taking up a lot of space.................
    Yeah, you could say I subscribed to the belief: "He who dies with the most tools wins" now, I don't know. Right now, scrap is down pretty bad.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
    Posts
    868
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    626
    Likes (Received)
    299

    Default

    I don't spend my own money on tools, but as a biomedical prototype centre we both accumulate a lot of scientific and hospital stuff, and we do very general prototyping involving many different operations, both CNC and manual (I'm actually an engineer so do the odd job on manual machines in a hobby-like manner!). As far as manual mill and lathe tooling goes, I'm so stunned by how good carbide is and if you're careful with it, a quite small collection of cutting tools and end mills will do so much and last forever. When you add CNC the need for specialized tools goes down even more since so much can be done again, with good quality cutters and less reaming, boring and radius turning gear etc. So I feel having a large collection of high speed steel tooling of varying but generally elderly vintage would not satisfy me.

    Incidentally, hoarders are everywhere, including technicians in hospitals with hidden mechanical floors where you can accumulate crap. We just had a major "hey this could be useful" guy retire last week and I could see it precipitating an actual dumpster having to be acquired.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    18,332
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    13858
    Likes (Received)
    13842

    Default

    He who dies with the most tools wins, …...anything else and I mean anything is sheer unadulterated heresy, ……….and you know what happens to heretics.

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    7,344
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    418
    Likes (Received)
    3350

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    He who dies with the most tools wins, …...anything else and I mean anything is sheer unadulterated heresy, ……….and you know what happens to heretics.
    Sorry Limy, but he who dies with the most tools...Is still dead!

    He who has the most fun with his tools while he is alive wins!

  12. Likes fusker, Chuck Evans liked this post
  13. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    18,332
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    13858
    Likes (Received)
    13842

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    Sorry Limy, but he who dies with the most tools...Is still dead!
    But he's gone out in style

  14. Likes Joe Michaels, lienjohn, chippinchunks liked this post
  15. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,038
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    14
    Likes (Received)
    348

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    Sorry Limy, but he who dies with the most tools...Is still dead!

    He who has the most fun with his tools while he is alive wins!
    I have to go along with gbent. When I was building the shop I did look at, and consider hundreds of machines, and literally tons of tooling. When it came down to what I could afford, what I could use, and what I had room for, it was a different story.

    I spent over 20 years working in machine shops and doing design work. In those years I got a good idea of what tools and tooling would be necessary for my own shop. When those tools and tooling became available I certainly did give them a look. However I didn't buy something "just to have it". Everything had to be something I could use, in good condition, of a size I could handle and transport, and at prices I was willing to pay.

    Several of my machines came from my former employer when they shut down the Machine Design department and supporting machine shops. I already knew the condition and history of the machines, and most were being sold to employees at scrap prices or less just to get them out of the buildings.

    Other machines and tooling came from local shops either upgrading to CNC, changing locations, or downsizing. The owners already knew me and the machines I was looking for. Once again they were asking prices I couldn't refuse, and in some cases offering free transportation.

    As time has gone on I've purchased fewer and fewer machines. The last purchase of any sizeable machine was in 2016. I still buy tooling, but more on an "as needed" basis". When consumables wear out they get replaced. If I need a particular tool for a job I purchase it.

    I do find from time to time I could use some additional tools to complete a job or project. In those cases I'm not adverse to adding them, providing they they fit the initial criteria of condition, cost, size, and price. Just last week I found I needed a larger rotary table to complete a job. I went to the local used machinery dealer and found exactly what I wanted, at an extremely reasonable price. It's now sitting in the shop awaiting cleaning and lubrication before going to work.

  16. Likes Limy Sami liked this post
  17. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canandaigua, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,781
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    133
    Likes (Received)
    1196

    Default

    Help me! I just saw this thing on Amazon, have no idea why I need it, but can't control myself!
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XXZYB1Y..._t5_B01CI3Z2IQ

  18. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,038
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    14
    Likes (Received)
    348

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad Hoffman View Post
    Help me! I just saw this thing on Amazon, have no idea why I need it, but can't control myself!
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XXZYB1Y..._t5_B01CI3Z2IQ
    As the title implies it's a protractor, a fairly fancy one, but none the less just a protractor. There are currently over a dozen vendors on eBay listing the same item for prices from $21.00 to $115.00. I purchased one on eBay last year for about $20.00. I had no intention of using it as a protractor, but rather wanted the scale for a tool sharpener.

    In my case the vendor was listed as being in California, however it turned out to be a front for a Chinese company. When the original tool arrived it was severely damaged. I went through 3 weeks of communication with the vendor. Their first claim was "that's to be expected when shipping such long distances". After several spirited emails, amid threats to open a case against them they finally replaced the item.

  19. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Shandaken, NY, USA
    Posts
    4,213
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1092
    Likes (Received)
    6605

    Default

    I go with a judicious interpretation of Option 1. If the tooling is in good condition or new, and is part of an auction lot or included in some package deal, I get it. If the tooling is something I might need more of (end mills, taps, dies, hold down hardware being the most likely) I jump on it as well. As the tooling gets less likely to be used, or is beaten up, I pull back from accumulating it, even if it is for free. Space is limited in my shop, but as I well know, you can never have enough tooling.

    As for that protractor: as soon as I saw it and the price asked for it, it screamed: "Cheap, Chinese, Junk !!!". I found a nice Starrett vernier bevel protractor on ebay a few years back, complete, in the wooden box for a surprisingly low price. Not sure why it went for a low price, but I did get it and found it to be in fine condition and use it on various jobs. I think I paid somewhere in the 40-50 dollar range for the Starrett bevel protractor and it has been a handy addition to my machinist chest ever since.

    At this point of my life, I do not pass up an opportunity to get more precision measuring tools if they are in good condition and priced right. As such, having a few extras on hand, I give them as gifts to young people I am mentoring or working with. Giving a young person starting out in the profession an older "Machinery's Handbook" or a good 1" mike or 6" machinist's rule is something I take a great deal of pleasure in doing. It also clears space for accumulating more similar items. O remember the kindness extended to me by the old timers when I was a young kid learning the machinist trade and then as a young engineer, and now it is my turn to pass that kindness along. If I see copies of Machinery's Handbook at yard sales or similar, or machinist tools and the price is reasonable, I scoop them up. My wife knows that I will likely be giving those items to some deserving younger person, and she is as enthusiastic about my being able to pass what I can teach along with the tools, and knows that traditions mean a lot to me. If we get in the habit of helping out younger people, or people first coming into the machinist trade, whether as a means of livelihood or as a home shop hobby, or in some related profession such as mechanical engineering, we can satisfy our addiction for machinist tools and the like and do some good at the same time. When we were little, we were likely taught to share our toys and be polite. No reason for that lesson to end with our childhood. The result is often not only a group of local machinists or hobbyists who appreciate what you've done for them, but if they come on something they can't use or have a question about, or have in excess, you may well be getting more tooling as a result. What goes around, comes around. If we follow this sort of plan, a number of us wind up the better for it, aside from up to our eyeballs in tooling and machinery and stock for future jobs. Then, we all wind up with plenty of toys and we all win at day's end.

  20. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    871
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    344
    Likes (Received)
    305

    Default

    Like usual Joe, thanks for a great post!

    (A simple hit to the like button wasn't enough)

    Lucky7

  21. Likes paul39, Joe Michaels liked this post
  22. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    47
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    28
    Likes (Received)
    5

    Default

    Option 1 for me.

  23. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Victoria, Texas, USA
    Posts
    3,841
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1896
    Likes (Received)
    922

    Default

    I've spent my kids inheritance on tools and machinery. I'm past the stage of running out of room, starting to filter into the house! After I'm gone, my kids get the job to sell my stuff off how they want to regain their inheritance back. Yeah, I know, it's not right.

  24. Likes Limy Sami, chippinchunks liked this post
  25. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Texas
    Posts
    1,954
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1246
    Likes (Received)
    821

    Default

    Dad taught me at a young age to invest in tools and skills. I don't always buy tools because they are "needed," but because in some way I feel a bit of stewardship for the job they do.

    You have to keep the bills paid, and you don't want to be a hoarder, but IMO it's OK to have tools that you never use, so long as you know how to use it and you are ready when the time arises. If not, I'd rather find another soul that is likewise interested and pass the tool/skill onto them rather than scrap it and have it disappear. I'm in this game to make money, but also to learn. Even obsolete tools and skills can teach you something useful and you never know when a new application will arise.

  26. Likes Limy Sami liked this post
  27. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    25,575
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    8032

    Default Split the difference?

    A compromise?

    Invest mostly in tool HOLDING (and work holding) - including adaptors - far more than in rat-holing cutting-tools.

    My needs are - or WERE:

    - D1-3 goods (work) and backplates (dirt-easy)

    - 40-taper (dead-easy in general)

    - #9 B&S (MUCH harder. Worth LOTS of scouting, but "I got mine" by now),

    - MT 2 thru MT 5, mostly 2, then 5, 4, 3, 1. Also well covered, and dirt-common.

    - #12 jarno, but not much of it. Covered.

    - PHS blades for the Kasto. (VERY well covered!)

    - Cazenueve HBX-360 proprietary spindle backplates (still "to do").

    - A sizable array of drill chucks, plus lathe chucks, 4" to 10", and "many, many" collet systems. (I could stock a shop...)

    - good vises and mill holding and clamping gear. Vises are WELL covered. Mill clamping one can hasty-rig until there is "plenty".

    Once a body has all manner of choices for both tool mount-up and stock workholding, more than one face/shell mill holder, more than one arbor & spacer size.. buying the odd new or used drill, milling-cutter, or such is open to more options, can be more economic.

    ..and much less often a show-stopper or "emergency".. There's where the "real payback" usually comes.

  28. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Mifflintown, PA 17059
    Posts
    1,687
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    20
    Likes (Received)
    178

    Default

    Buying too much tooling is wrong and should be stopped! Your keeping me from getting it!
    All my lathes have at least 4 chucks and a pile of Aloris/Dorian tool holders, I hafta have a few more Probably easier to ask what I don't have in the Starrett catalog being I have 4 large Oak tool boxes with the lower additions full but I need more
    So stop buying all that good stuff

  29. Likes cutting oil Mac liked this post
  30. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    18,332
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    13858
    Likes (Received)
    13842

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    A compromise?
    Compromise? ………...4xing compromise …………..we'll have none of that seditious talk round here


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •