What are the best small towns for machining that also have a low cost of living?
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  1. #1
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    Default What are the best small towns for machining that also have a low cost of living?

    Currently looking for work in Austin, TX. The median home cost here is $426,000., and rent reflects that. Shops just dont want to pay a livable wage here, so I have decided to move on. Id really like to find a smaller town, tired of the bigger cities and the people that fill them.

    Would be nice to get a list going here of small towns that have a robust industry and a low cost of living.

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    Texas wages have always sucked, reason I went self employed, and worked for a slave driver.... Not sure where you will find good wages as a machinist today, pretty sure it would only be in the cnc world. Where I am now in Nv they start haulpak drivers at 20+ an hour, other required trades get even better $$, but the swingshift hours are a bit.. . My little shop is starting to get some work, not trying to conquer the world, just stay busy and cover the bills.

    My Tx shop, now rented, is minutes from Lockhart, what I miss the most is BBQ

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  4. #3
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    I don't know of any small towns in Texas with machine shops in them. Maybe a shop or two in the smaller towns tied to the farming community and that's it. There are many shops here in Texas that have a niche in industry and some are busy and most are not right now.

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    Mayberry....oops, too many people moved there and ruined it.....

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    Ha, small world. Blacks and Kruez market are some of my favorites. I actually did my own thing too for about four years. Financed a new Haas vf-2 and leased time on an ST-25. Had a small shop going off of hwy 71 but the onwer had to sell mid lease, and I moved into his shop. Long story short I was boxed in and working unworkable hours trying to pack production sub work from Applied Materials along with all my other jobs into two machines. Ended up having a TIA and an epiphany at 34, sold my machines and traveled until covid. Now looking for work....

    God I hope it wasnt actually the BBQ.....

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    tia - a mini stroke? That sucks. I feel like my heath and family is taking a back seat while I work my ass off.

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    "Lowest cost of living".....flint Mi or maybe Watts Kalifornia...should find stuff
    "really cheap" there.

    Also your life.

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    An,t nothing like that here in Montana...Phil

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    DD is right,slightly.....anywhere there is work ,people will move in......other catch is living in some landscape looks like a "High Plains Drifter "scenario....40 below and endless 50 mph wind ,except 6 weeks in summer when its 120deg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    DD is right,slightly.....anywhere there is work ,people will move in......other catch is living in some landscape looks like a "High Plains Drifter "scenario....40 below and endless 50 mph wind ,except 6 weeks in summer when its 120deg.
    It keeps the rif-raff out. If I wanted neighbors I'd move to Brooklyn.

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  17. #11
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    How's San Angelo ? WD Greene still there ?

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    Fellow Texan!

    I am in Beaumont, TX. It is not exactly a small town, but there are a bunch of small towns around here. I can guarantee that you can get a nice house for 1/3rd of the price you listed and we do not have as much traffic as the larger cities. As for machining work, Beaumont is a port city and we have a number of shops here that are devoted to that as well as oil, chemical, and other industries. I am retired so I do not know the present availability of jobs.

    Beaumont is one apex of a tri-city area called the Golden Triangle with Port Arthur and Orange being the other two. So there is a lot of low cost living around here.

    Houston is about one to two hours west of here, depending on which side of Houston you are talking about. Houston housing is somewhat expensive, but there are a number of small towns between where the cost of living is even less than in Beaumont. You could live in one of them or even in the surrounding country side and work in town: many people do. And there is a lot of industry scattered around the country side too. So you could even never go into a city or town except for shopping.

    One caution about Houston: the traffic is among the worst I have seen. And I have worked in several major cities. I would not take a job in the middle of Houston, only on the outlining areas and then find a house even further out so I would be traveling opposite to the daily commute. I once or twice considered working for NASA and some other jobs in Houston or the surrounding area and I would have kept my home here in Beaumont and lived in a trailer near the job during the week while coming home on weekends. But none of them ever worked out.

    Since you are already in Texas, you could check with a local state or county job office to find any openings. Or to just inquire on the general availability of openings in this area.

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    $426000 sounds like city center prices, or outlying areas with some acreage. That price is generally upper middle class in a pretty decent suburb, though they can range from let's say $280k to $700-800k depending on year built etc. Lower middle class to mid of middle class like $200k to $250k.

    Now I'm in the Houston area, not Austin, but Austin isn't really that industrial. More of a college town, artsy hangout. Houston through Beaumont/Port Arthur is pretty industrial. Shipyards, refineries, chemical plants, power plants, all the oil field outfits, on and on.

    With Texas as a border state, there's a higher percentage of immigrant labor, so some jobs wages are driven down. Other jobs with stricter controls will usually have higher rates. Typically power plants, refineries, or chemical plants that can't employ illegal immigrants do to security or insurance maintain higher wage jobs. Not all maintain a machine shop, but some do. Might have flexible duties like a millwright, maintance etc.

    Shipyards are probably a bad choice, wage wise, do to the labor force there. But there's wide range of periphery businesses in heavy industrial areas.

    I'd never live in the city direct. But there are lots of quiet, safe neighborhoods within driving distance.

    Edit: In thinking of it a little more. Corpus Christi might not be a terrible choice. Smallish for a city, and sort of isolated. Specialists generally need to come from out of town on certain jobs. But the port area is pretty large with a decent amount and variety of industrial action.

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    The termite has condemned Walla Walla!

    "I have an address in Walla Walla, Washington you can ship it to for recycling as an IV drip nutrition supplement for a badass biker dude with a SERIOUS drug ass-iction to "just one more lick" of it."

    Perfect termite! you are a stalker, you have manipulated an ex employee of mine, spilled both mine, and my wifes name on this forum, and you are not done yet are you, to cause me both personal, and financial damage.

    And attempting to get others to come to my home to, beat, assault, and possibly kill me, by finally releasing my home address.

    Yes, I really like you termite, and I am becoming more impressed with you all the time......

    the terrible termite...

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    I have a friend that grew up in Houston. After Katrina, he moved out because he claimed the area turned to crap after riff raff from New Orleans moved there?

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    I think if you want a small town and good wages machining you better jump in a shipping container with some used manual machines and head to the third world with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebuilder View Post
    I think if you want a small town and good wages machining you better jump in a shipping container with some used manual machines and head to the third world with them.
    That's not too far off the mark. Go where your skills are still APPRECIATED?

    I never seem to hear or see the term, but "seems to me" ...there is a "second world" in between "first world" and "third word", and it is more like turning back the clock to simpler times right HERE that it is any sort of pathos or hardship.

    A mate of mine retired to Belize, for example. Heavy in power expertise, Cable & Wireless, became a right useful person in improving the Belize power grid before retiring a second time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    ...My Tx shop, now rented, is minutes from Lockhart, what I miss the most is BBQ
    My brother, who just moved to Lockhart, says it's the BBQ capital of the world. He's looking for a small shop to rent.

    OP--if you move away from the city, rent will be cheaper, but you might have to commute to get better pay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    My brother, who just moved to Lockhart, says it's the BBQ capital of the world. He's looking for a small shop to rent.

    OP--if you move away from the city, rent will be cheaper, but you might have to commute to get better pay.
    "C'mon, man!"

    You can duplicate the BBQ inside a small kitchen on a rainy day or ass-deep in snow!

    Seriously! Pay more attention to being able to "cook a dozen COUNTRIES" whether yah speak their language of not, and yah can live BETTER anywhere, and more cheaply as well!

    Commute... I've had staff, PA & Executive Secretary level - who had larger, newer, finer homes than the 2IC (Ich) of the whole Rodeo, but.. a 70 mile each way commute, and back when fuel was dear. Tires were never free. Time is time.

    My more modest home was minutes off a cheap tollway, free route parallel home as rush-hour traffic was LONG over with by the time I left the office.

    Even so, the 15 to 20 minute commmute came to be begrudged as time wasted after going overseas and use of London's grubby but effective underground, or Hong Kong's clean and efficient Mass Transit Rail replaced....

    .. the "company driver" or reserved carpark slot and prestige private cars we once held dear - in either of London or HKG.

    And, honestly? Only as the badges of rank and privilege!

    Expenditures of that sort - time wasted as well as money - run for YEARS with few ways to avoid them, good times or bad.

    Look hard at the whole costs, overall - or don't be surprised to be surprised at the hole they tear in a budget!

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    ""C'mon, man!"

    You can duplicate the BBQ inside a small kitchen on a rainy day or ass-deep in snow!"


    Oh yes be like the termite, explore the world, be a Hong Kong Banker, a jewelry store clerk, and move to the .88 an stock boy...


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