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  1. #21
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    if there`s any kind of farming in the area you live it`s worth getting to know the farmers. you`ll get all kinds of stuff to fix- like mentioned above,hardly ever money involved.
    many times i think i`d be better off retiring now and just do that. don`t have to make much if you got plenty to eat.

  2. #22
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    I use mine as a hobby, to support my other hobbies, mainly. I'm scratch-building a car, and there are some parts I need that not only can't be purchased, but they've never existed at all. Not until I make 'em, that is!

    I also make custom stuff for friends & relatives and. Not only do I not make a penny on these things, I usually end up spending money getting another bit of tooling for the lathe so I can make these things for people! Of course, I rationalize that I'll need the tooling for other jobs of my own, later on...

    I've also made stuff just for the joy of creating something cool. Early on I made a scale Napoleon (US Civil War era) cannon. I ended up making a jig to produce the correct, dished 13-spoke wood wheels with iron rims, built ramrods & wad-pullers, etc. etc. It's just a dust collector that I always wanted, and the only ones I ever saw that were remotely affordable were, well, crap. I get a lot of compliments on mine, though...

    Anyway, the joy of my lathe is the pleasure I get in running it. who knows, one day I might even make some money at it

  3. #23
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    Man that was a good read. I can relate to most of it, except the retired part. I have a ways to go yet Lord willing. I've spent the last two years setting up my shop. I just used my heavy ten and Bridgeport to restore a 1962 Clausing. I would like to learn how to build my own rifles. We have made some things for friends. It feels good to be able to help someone out. Thanks to all of you for all that I've been learning on this forum. Oh yea and I always recognize one of dad's tools when I pick it up. I don't have them separated from the other tools but after all these years still remember which ones were his.
    Merry Christmas to all.
    oscer
    oscer

  4. #24
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    I have immensely enjoyed reading this thread. Your enthusiasm, indeed "passion" for turning are palpable and infectious.

    For the last 30 years I've made my living as a foreign language translator. I've consistently made good money doing it with only one thing missing. I have NEVER finished a job and said to myself "damn that was satisfying!"

    This is not to say I don't take pride in my work. I do. But it is "joyless" pride. Nothing compares to working with your hands and mind in synch to create something.

    Happy holiday to all.

    Vern

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  6. #25
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    Not sure I am qualified to answer, but I will.. I don't actually have a lathe ..yet. But I build musical drums, mostly of the segmented variety. And that's where the lathe comes in. I'm tired of having to outsource the shell turning. So when I get a lathe, that's what I'll be doing, turning drumshells and a few drum parts..

  7. #26
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    I was not planning on another reply on this but I could not help myself. (we'll see if I can do the copy and paste ect. correctly.)

    From my previous post:
    But the real pleasure I have ever received from my heavy 10 is when I bought it, it was filthy dirty and so it needed to be taken apart and cleaned and painted. So I went to my tool box that has the old tools that were handed down to me when my dad passed away and I used only those tools. Things went slow because this watery stuff kept getting into my eyes, but I had the time and it felt real good.

    oscer posted:
    "I would like to learn how to build my own rifles. We have made some things for friends. It feels good to be able to help someone out. Thanks to all of you for all that I've been learning on this forum. Oh yea and I always recognize one of dad's tools when I pick it up. I don't have them separated from the other tools but after all these years still remember which ones were his."

    I like what you have to say and it made me read it 2 or 3 times, WHY?
    because my dad's name was Oscer, it just kinda made my eyes bug out, that's all.

    And also Vernon Tuck posted:
    "For the last 30 years I've made my living as a foreign language translator. I've consistently made good money doing it with only one thing missing. I have NEVER finished a job and said to myself "damn that was satisfying!"
    This is not to say I don't take pride in my work. I do. But it is "joyless" pride. Nothing compares to working with your hands and mind in synch to create something"

    I know exactly what you are talking about here because, I "was" a UPS driver for 31 years and I too made good money but never said to myself "wow that was satisfying" when I got done at the end of each day, it was "well all of those boxes are off the truck until tomorrow"

    But when I retired and started making things on the lathe and mill it was such a "feeling" that I had not felt before. As you stated: "Nothing compares to working with your hands and mind in synch to create something"
    I could not say it myself any better.
    Many times I have not even wanted to charge for what I did on the lathe because I was afraid it might take away some of that good feeling.

    Ok I think I'm done, hope it was'nt to boring for some of you to read again.

  8. #27
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    Of all the people who ever lived only a small fraction have used a lathe. Using mine, even though I'm really a beginner, gives me some tiny bit of connection with, and appreciation of, those craftsmen past and present.

    Grinding a tool bit from a blank and then seeing what I hope is right--a long thin blue ribbon of steel curl off--is for me maybe the most satisfying thing; even though for most it's probably so basic as to be ignored.

    With even my very modest amount of skill--but a lathe in better shape--I believe I could do some business; but, the biggest challenge wouldn't be the work but the marketing. And whether that business would be profitable would depend on the overall situation. A spouse with a good job with benefits and a paid up house would be a big step towards profitability...

    Gary

  9. #28
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    I make pool cues and things to make pool cues with mine. Gives me lots of satisfaction when someone ask what kind of cue I am playing with. I have been very lucky and now get to see other people playing with cues I have made in the last few years.

    I also have some old drilling equipment I make parts for. It's nice to spend a few hours making what I need. Instead of driving hoping to find what I need.

    Happy holidays! Larry

  10. #29
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    Gary,

    Having not yet curled a sliver of blue steel I cannot opine on the level of your joy.

    However, I HAVE smooshed red hot steel between a hammer and an anvil. There was a time I would have thought "the big O" was better. Now, I'm not sure.

    If you haven't tried blacksmithing yet... you should.

    V

  11. #30
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    Vern, what's the "Big O"?

    Chris

  12. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDRIVE View Post
    Vern, what's the "Big O"?

    Chris

    well... i`m betting he doesn`t mean Oscar Robertson.

  13. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwananew10K View Post
    well... i`m betting he doesn`t mean Oscar Robertson.
    I'm still clueless.

  14. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDRIVE View Post
    Vern, what's the "Big O"?

    Chris
    No doubt he's referring to the tire company. Hard to imagine a blacksmith (let alone a machinist) watching Oprah.

    Shaggy

  15. #34
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  16. #35
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    Hmm... lets see, I make gear blanks, center holes, taps and dies, shafts, pins, handles, knobs, spindles, borings, windings, tennons, grooves for e-clips, grooves for O-rings, relief for guide pins, heck I even push and pull bearings ... my goodness I could go on forever with the things I do every day on a lathe.

  17. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMachinist View Post
    Well crap, this is a major DUH moment!

    It's also ironic that the emoticon for embarrassed is a colon and small o.

    Chris

  18. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwananew10K View Post
    if there`s any kind of farming in the area you live it`s worth getting to know the farmers. you`ll get all kinds of stuff to fix- like mentioned above,hardly ever money involved.
    many times i think i`d be better off retiring now and just do that. don`t have to make much if you got plenty to eat.
    That's what I do with my lathe (and mill, welders, etc). Started out as a hobby, then I started repairing stuff around the farm, then repairs for neighbours...working on some brackets, etc. for a local construction company right now that is converting their road grader wing from cable lift to hydraulic lift. (Actually, I think it is hydraulic over cable originally, where the weight of the blade holds the blade down and a single acting cylinder lifts it up...going to a double acting cylinder, I believe.)

    Andrew

  19. #38
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    For the most part i use mine for my hobbies. I have made a couple of firearms and cannons and working on small engines. I Love black powder, something about making them fully 100% on your own and then firing them is one of the best things i have ever found to do
    also occasionally make a little money here and there but it is only when i am really board or have time other than that all my stuff is old and slow but i wouldn't want to have it any other way

  20. #39
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    My dad was the Chief Engineer for the Wheatley Co., and I spent most of my career in or around machine shops. But in all those years, I never learned to run a lathe or a mill. Now that I'm retired, I finally bought and restored a little 40s era Atlas lathe to have something to learn on. I enjoyed it so much (both the restoration and the learning) that I bought an Atlas horizontal mill and just finished a nut-and-bolt restoration on it. I'm sure it would be quicker and cheaper to buy an Asian unit, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. But there is something truly satisfying about taking an abandoned "junker", maybe one that was a small part of the Arsenal of Democracy, and bringing it back to life!
    I don't expect to make any money with them, but I hope whoever gets them after I'm gone will enjoy using them as much as I have.

  21. #40
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    Once you have a operational lathe you're only limited by your imagination to the things you can make and repair.
    I bought a pair of cheap shoe stretchers off e-bay, they work by a cone on the end of a screw acting as a wedge the move the 2 halves apart, the cone on mine was made of plastic the screw came out the front end rendering them inoperable, I easily made new cones out of aluminum and made it better then new.


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