Blind master machinist - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Goes to show you how much the human body and brain has in reserve to call on senses we rarely use or need.These guys working on touch and estimation of size and weight and the brain is able to decifier the information and come up with the right result.Think when we are young we are taught things such as pain dont do that it will really hurt and that goes in your brain for future refrence of pain thresh hold.Bit like when the old ladies grandson is trapped under a car and she lifts it up to free him so its possible but we are taught its not

  2. #22
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    Unbelievable.
    Dumbstruck.
    I must keep reminding myself not to complain any more.

    Rich.

  3. #23
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    In older Starrett catalogs, there was a micrometer graduated in Braille shown. Starrett said something to the effect that they offered that Braille micrometer as a "service" to those who needed it. I know in the USA "Lighthouse" was an organization dedicated to helping blind people to adapt and live independently. The Lighthouse had some industries which employed blind people, and brush making was one of the industries. Possibly, the Braille micrometers were used in the brush making plants to mike materials for the brushes.

    In high school, we had an older fellow who was one of our wood patternmaking teachers. He told us he had once taught a night course in woodworking. In one class, he had a group of blind adult men as his students. This patternmaker was "old school", and he told us he had his doubts about blind students in a woodworking shop class. He said the students laid the work out using knives to score lines on the wood where cuts or finished edges were to be located. The class started off using hand tools, and when this teacher saw how the blind students had things worked out, he soon had them running a table saw, jointer, disc sander and band saw aside from the hand tools. He said these guys amazed him, and not the slightest injury resulted. He also said the blind students worked more accurately than sighted students he had taught. One night, the blind students asked this teacher if he wanted to go bowling with them and have a few beers. He was curious, so went with them. I forget how he said the blind men lined up with the alleys, but he said they were respectable bowlers. At the bar, he was even more amazed when these guys took various bills out of their wallets to pay for the drinks, and could differentiate between a $1.00, $5.00, and $10.00 bill. Whether they had the bills pre-arranged in their wallets, or whether they could actually tell by the texture of the bill is something our teacher never found out. He said he was amazed by this group, and of course, used it as an example when he came down on us for sloppy workmanship in his patternmaking class.

    We had this teacher back in 1965 or thereabouts, so this is already more than 50 years ago. He had been a teacher at Brooklyn Technical HS for some years prior, so the group of blind students may well have been taught 60 or more years back. In those days, we had basic woodworking machines from the 20's- minimal guards if at all, no emergency shutdown devices. The blind students likely worked with similar machines.
    In the recent years, a lot of devices have been developed for helping people with disabilities to live independently and adapt to jobs or regain careers they might have lost due to an accident or illness. Back when our teacher taught those blind students, very little in the way of adaptive devices was out there for the blind. Not even elevator control panels nor floors in buildings were marked in Braille, let alone having machinery or tools adapted with audible signals or tactile markings. The machinist in this thread clearly comes from that old school of adapting himself to pursue the work he loves to do. Truly an amazing man and an amazing story.

  4. #24
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    In the little ironfoundry I started my apprenticeship in , a couple of decades before I came along one of the iron dressers was blind, Apparently they used to put a pile of light castings to the side of his workbench, and he would chip away at them happily until he had the castings as smooth as silk, after chipping of the fins he was adept enough to use a flexible shaft grindstone, and by the time he was finished his castings had the mould joint lines removed and the casting finish to perfection.

    On a nice summer day they would rig up a couple of tressles out in the yard with a heavy board on top of it and let him loose on a larger casting, He used to be led into the foundry at tea break time and sat down with the rest of the men, When the pouring of molten metal was on going one of the guys would lead him out of the foundry before any metal was poured & he would potter about in the dressin/fettling shop.


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