retiring to machinist

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L98fiero

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Wish you had intimated that you were looking for a welder.
For $4300 CAN you could likely have a lot more than you're getting and it all be name brands.
Industry is very slow right now in at least western Canada so there are some not bad deals available on decent used stuff.
For less than $4300 I have a 250A MIG, 250A TIG and can still get an 80A plasma from Everlast, they are Chinese made as are probably all the rest and Everlast Canada in Burlington has been exceptional for service and any help I've needed. Any professional welders who've used them say there's no significant difference between them and the name brands except price, you're just paying for the name in most cases.
I have no connection to Everlast except being a satisfied customer and it should be noted that Everlast Canada and the US company are related but different, I spoke to the owner of the Canadian company who said he actually goes to China, checks the test reports, does a series of trial welds and then has the machines put in the container for shipping, in 5 years of ownership I've had two switches fail and they were couriered overnight.
 

awake

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Wow, a lot has happened on this thread! I've learned a couple of new things, and have some ideas to throw into the pot. To keep this from being too long, I'll break it up into three posts, one for each topic. First, the Sieg C4 and related topics:

It would seem that the Question is now going from one post to another. It would seem that thoughts are now towards the 7 x14 and I would suggest heading do a Sieg C4 which is small but far better made.
Most hobby Machinists in Canada order from Busy Bee Tooling which are Weiss based machines.
Norman, your post made me take a closer look at the C4 (I've just skimmed over the pictures in the past) - I agree, this is a nice looking machine. It does have the potential to be a combo machine, and of a better design than the typical 3-in-1 (more like the Maximat). Add an ELS to it, and it could be the cat's meow!

Courier, on a related note, I had not ever distinguished between the Weiss and the Sieg machines - thanks for calling that out. Not being in Canada, I hadn't looked through Busy Bee's site before, but did some browsing. I can see that their larger CX lathes seem clearly different than the Siegs. What about their 7 x 12? It looks a lot like the Sieg design - did they go with Sieg for that size, or maybe Weiss patterned this size after the Sieg ... ?

Thanks to both of you for expanding my knowledge!
 

awake

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Now on the topic of the house / workshop:

Greetings, I'd love any opinions from the group about this possibility: building a house to suit:
new development; finally met with my long time bff who is a carpenter contractor and went over in detail the real possibility to build our home instead of buying a home at the same price. I'm researching that possibility with a fine tooth comb.
previously I've been only thinking of building a workshop, and now we are considering building our house also instead of buying. Can you think of any particular specifications for the house part or maybe even considering the workshop as part of the house? that might save money. if we go this route I already have an architect: what details would you give him? 1. write out dream sketch. 2. give it to architect. 3. find a 1+acre plot. 4. architect checks with that township/municipality to see if its feasible to build on that plot
The major disadvantage of a shop connected to the house: Tracking in metal chips, as I know from personal experience (my shop is in my attached garage). I try to practice good discipline - a pair of shop-only shoes, which come off at the door - but I don't always remember, especially when I'm just dashing in to get something to drink or go to the bathroom. I also carry in chips in my hair (what little is left) and clothing, but that would presumably happen even if I had to walk from the shop to the house; at least the chips on my shoes would likely be scraped off by the time I walked over.

The major advantages of a shop connected to the house: 1) Convenience (did I mention running into the house to get a drink or go to the bathroom?) You could always put a fridge in the shop for a cold drink, but unless you put plumbing in, you'll still need to go to the house. 2) Climate control - even though my garage has no HVAC, enough heat radiates from the shared wall of the house (yes, in spite of the wall being insulated - more on that below) that it never gets below about 40°F in the garage, even when it is below freezing outside. Admittedly, in North Carolina, we don't get many sub-freezing days, but still ....

Things to think about with respect to designing the shop area:
  • Power: make sure you have every bit of power available that you could ever need, then double it. Outlets everywhere, on more than one circuit. If Canada uses 110v (?), make sure you have at least one beefy 220 circuit; two would be better. As I see you are investing in a welder, you'll want plenty of amps in at least one 220v circuit.
  • 10-foot ceilings are a must - or more, but at least 10-foot.
  • Access: you already know this - be sure you can easily move tools, stock, and projects in and out.
  • Insulation: I wish the part of the garage not shared with the house were insulated, and if I were to build a separate shop, I would for sure want it very well insulated.
  • HVAC: Even given the benefit of an attached shop, give thought to the climate control; though I have been able to get by without anything in my attached garage, there are days when either heat or AC would make a world of difference.
  • Separation of machine tools from welding, grinding, or sawdust: I sorely wish that were feasible in my garage. Let's just say I have to be extra diligent about cleaning the lathe and mill before every use.
  • Air: I have been using an air hose on a reel for many years, and it is more than sufficient for my needs. But some people really like having compressed air plumbed in.
  • Dust collection: Don't know if you are going to do any wood working, but if so, dust collection is a must, even more so in an attached shop. My dust collector is centrally located to my woodworking area, so I have not plumbed it in ... but if I ever build a shop, that will definitely happen.
No doubt much more to think of, but these are what come to mind from my experience, FWIW.
 
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awake

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Finally, on the topic of the welder:

For less than $4300 I have a 250A MIG, 250A TIG and can still get an 80A plasma from Everlast, they are Chinese made as are probably all the rest and Everlast Canada in Burlington has been exceptional for service and any help I've needed. Any professional welders who've used them say there's no significant difference between them and the name brands except price, you're just paying for the name in most cases.
I have no connection to Everlast except being a satisfied customer and it should be noted that Everlast Canada and the US company are related but different, I spoke to the owner of the Canadian company who said he actually goes to China, checks the test reports, does a series of trial welds and then has the machines put in the container for shipping, in 5 years of ownership I've had two switches fail and they were couriered overnight.
I'm with ajoeiam and L98fiero - $4300 sounds like an awful lot. Of course, if you go with a Miller or Lincoln and get into something with 200+ amp capacity, you could easily get there. On the other hand, I bought an Everlast 200-amp AC/DC TIG-Stick-Plasma machine with lots of bells and whistles for around $1500 (on a Black Friday sale) - so just over 1/3 of what you are spending. There are even cheaper import machines out there, but I have had good experience with the Everlast brand - this is my second, and the only reason I replaced the first was because it was DC only; I wanted AC/DC to TIG weld aluminum. (For $4300, I really like the combination that L97fiero talks about - my machine does everything I need, and most of what I do is TIG, but sometimes I wonder about getting into MIG ... and the plasma cutter in mine maxes out at either 50 or 60 amps.)

Regardless of the brand, if you are going to do much TIG welding, I highly recommend investing in a gas lens set. I went with an inexpensive import kit from Amazon, and it has worked very well. The kit I bought includes some pyrex cups - oh, my, what a revelation to be able to look through the cup!!

I also highly recommend looking into a water cooled torch and water cooler. I have charred my hands for years with an air-cooled torch, and finally decided to buy a water-cooled torch. I found one on a knock-down sale for $60, and took a chance on it - it has turned out to be a decent unit. I also decided to make the water cooler rather than buy one - spent maybe $60 on making it, vs. $300 and up to buy one, and it works astoundingly well. It is amazing, now, to weld and weld and weld, and the highest temp the torch has hit has been 72°F.

Okay, I'm done. Sorry for the multiple lengthy responses - I hope something was helpful in the mix!
 
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goldstar31

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A.wake,

A mumbled thank you for your comments because I cannot recall whether or not I mentioned that I bought the vertical mill attachment:). I'm at the sort of age. The C4 came- a bit roufg and ready for a silly £350 and it was and is any old lathe but in a warmer place than the Myford which is really something-- but in the cold. Grrrrrrrr!
But it was A TENTH of the price of the bare bones Myford! So what the H*** and on a series of whims, more bits were added.
At £350, it is quite a to

NB. Your rather larger next Epistle the World and might I prattle on a bit before printing out the Second Epistle so that I can read it?

The C4 is solid enough and with hardened bed ways, a quite massive saddle compared too the Myford and has a rather rickety power cross feed to but a miserably frigtenly risky lowest speed of 100rpm.
The Myford has pulleys galore and will creep along at a walking pace of 32rpm.
The great trick is the interchangeability of the two machines which is NOT in the book. Adding a cheap subplate on the C4 allows almost all the exotic Myford accessories to be bolted on the C4.
These age old Myford bits are donkey's years old but things like small dividing heads all start with a one hole dovision plate and the ability to conceivable do any division in usually unobtainable prime numbers.
Again, I bought a 60 odd year old Potts vertical and tubular vertical and otherwise slide-- which will or should fit the C4 as well as the Myford. Price of one? Well gentlemen don't discuss tawdry things like money-- do they?

And so to read your next addition which I hope is as good as the first

Cheers

Norman
 

mrbugbums

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dear Joe I am: I've been researching welders for 3 years now and its the consensus among many welders that nothing even comes close to the Everlast welders for price and capability.
a few bad reviews from older models have been addressed and changed fixed with the current models. I'm all ears. Do you know of anything as good as this one?: Everlast Lightning 275MTS. its 275 amps. BOTH 120/240 volts capable. MIG, TIG STICK, with complete TIG functions ac/dc welding, and every fancy feature possible with TIG. The cost is $3300 plus tax, delivery $150. plus buying the TIG package for tips, etc everything one needs to get started. and handles, torches. I just need to buy rolls of MIG wire, sticks, consumables. and gas cylinders locally: argon. I have co2. I could see myself going crazy welding shipping containers to keep them waterproof. my dad was diagnosed with cancer yesterday. he takes care of mom. he is old school tough guy and is choosing to die rather than get surgery and treatments.... and become useless and a burden..he always talked like that. he has emaciated a lot the past 2 years at age 78, so its doubtful he could handle treatment anyway. so I might take my mother on also. I already have mother in law, wife and 25year old daughter...I'm not worried in the slightest. With greater responsibility comes greater grace to do one's duty. God works all things to the good for those who love Him and are called according to His Purposes.
 

mrbugbums

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Andy: thank you for posting. frequently I read posts and it sparks new ideas, expands existing ideas, refines some. and I'm inspired by your post that expands what I'm already planning. workshop will have plumbing and an area with sloped floor, maybe 5x5 for showering, hosing down, cleaning. spraying, butchering carcasses. insulated yes. if metal then spray foamed. power: great advice to double. for sure 50 amps and 6/2 gauge wired. and a few 20 amps. I love the idea about dust collection. Heather does more woodwork, her section will be separate. you are talking about making a build in air compressor for air spraying cleaning? good idea. and also I've seen videos of a guy making a workbench with back wall and the chips, dust etc get sucked down. inside the movable huge cart are a square fan on the left and right causing sucking down and out to the sides. he used furnace filters also to keep everything in the middle. 2 months later he cleaned it out and showed what was collected. cool video. not sure I could find it again. it shows the complete build. but its basic. if you think about it. importance is create devices in the workshop capable of sucking dangerous fumes when weather discourages opening large garage door. and like you said. carefully plan the sections in workshop wisely: what is closest to garage door? what is beside shower station? 10 foot ceiling minimum with tracks on the ceiling. storage areas never enough: that's why I love the idea of buying super cheap shipping containers x 2. one on each side of the workshop walls 40 feet long: cut a door or 2 or three and you have walk in storage areas. shipping containers sell for $2000 to $5300 Canadian and I can weld then I can make certain they are kept in good shape. and research how to keep them from rotting. maybe spray foam or paint. I don't know yet. they say they last only 15 years on the high seas. 16 gauge steel.
first day after engaging real estate agent and looking at 100 sites: very disappointing: its not looking good: just to have over 1 acre with a few trees on a plot not needing to be cleared: they are either forested or they are open farmland. heather wants a few trees. we are too old to grow them or plant small ones. its difficult to find a plot less than $100,000 Canadian that looks beautiful and allows rural building and has a few trees. freaking Canada....40 years ago was better. but if Dad dies, and mom sells....the farm is worth almost a million. but I'm not counting on a penny. I'd take mom with just her shirt on her back. interesting times.....
 

awake

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C'mon down to rural North Carolina, and I'll fix you up - around here, land sometimes goes for as little as $2,000 / acre, though that is in bulk tracts - $100,000 could buy you 30-50 acres of mixed farmland and trees. A single acre is harder to find without getting closer to a town, which means more expensive - but still you could find something for $10,000 or so. Of course, the more rural the setting, where the land is cheap, the more you're on your own for septic system, and likely for water as well (slight pun may or may not be intended). Internet may also be a problem - my daughter lives just outside the limits of a small town, and can get neither cable nor DSL, so her internet is courtesy of the cell phone. And of course, this is the USA, so in town or not, you would most definitely be on your own for health care!
 

SmithDoor

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Most think old lathe is ready scrap yard.
I have scraped more in life to bring back to new. There some out on internet that said advantage of none hardened bedway was better than harden bedway as easier to scrape to bring back to life and would last just long on oiled bedway.

Dave

I have just spoken to a friend who has reached the rupe young age of 80-- I'm 10years older than that:)

He has had his Myford ML7 from new when he stated working life. at 16 and went on as a hobby lathe until he lost his job at 55 and it became his only source of income from there until retirement.
He is still usung it to make parts for classic car gear boxes and jobs for friends too.
Now my friend was not a machinist but a precision instrument tool maker.
As the new Myford firm are predicting restoring machines and giving a life expectancy of 35 years and more======= ca your present purchases compete with such proven quality?


Regards

Norman
 
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In 2010 I left a Plastic welder plugged in on my bench. It melted, started a fire and I lost all of my tools, the Christmas stuff on the second floor storage, and three cars. It took two years to rebuild my garage and replace the tools.
The good part was, the garage was detached, 100 feet from the house.
I don’t work there in the winter because of the heating issue, but I’m just saying...
 

awake

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In 2010 I left a Plastic welder plugged in on my bench. It melted, started a fire and I lost all of my tools, the Christmas stuff on the second floor storage, and three cars. It took two years to rebuild my garage and replace the tools.
The good part was, the garage was detached, 100 feet from the house.
I don’t work there in the winter because of the heating issue, but I’m just saying...
Good point!
 

Tim Wescott

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I can't say I won't burn down my shop someday, but any time I turn on something with a heating element in it, I ask "Are there any flammables around? If I leave the house for a week with this plugged in, will all be safe?"
 

Peter Murphy

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Andy: thank you for posting. frequently I read posts and it sparks new ideas, expands existing ideas, refines some. and I'm inspired by your post that expands what I'm already planning. workshop will have plumbing and an area with sloped floor, maybe 5x5 for showering, hosing down, cleaning. spraying, butchering carcasses. insulated yes. if metal then spray foamed. power: great advice to double. for sure 50 amps and 6/2 gauge wired. and a few 20 amps. I love the idea about dust collection. Heather does more woodwork, her section will be separate. you are talking about making a build in air compressor for air spraying cleaning? good idea. and also I've seen videos of a guy making a workbench with back wall and the chips, dust etc get sucked down. inside the movable huge cart are a square fan on the left and right causing sucking down and out to the sides. he used furnace filters also to keep everything in the middle. 2 months later he cleaned it out and showed what was collected. cool video. not sure I could find it again. it shows the complete build. but its basic. if you think about it. importance is create devices in the workshop capable of sucking dangerous fumes when weather discourages opening large garage door. and like you said. carefully plan the sections in workshop wisely: what is closest to garage door? what is beside shower station? 10 foot ceiling minimum with tracks on the ceiling. storage areas never enough: that's why I love the idea of buying super cheap shipping containers x 2. one on each side of the workshop walls 40 feet long: cut a door or 2 or three and you have walk in storage areas. shipping containers sell for $2000 to $5300 Canadian and I can weld then I can make certain they are kept in good shape. and research how to keep them from rotting. maybe spray foam or paint. I don't know yet. they say they last only 15 years on the high seas. 16 gauge steel.
first day after engaging real estate agent and looking at 100 sites: very disappointing: its not looking good: just to have over 1 acre with a few trees on a plot not needing to be cleared: they are either forested or they are open farmland. heather wants a few trees. we are too old to grow them or plant small ones. its difficult to find a plot less than $100,000 Canadian that looks beautiful and allows rural building and has a few trees. freaking Canada....40 years ago was better. but if Dad dies, and mom sells....the farm is worth almost a million. but I'm not counting on a penny. I'd take mom with just her shirt on her back. interesting times.....
Hi Stephen, Sounds like it is going to be a great shop whether it is in the basement or separate. One thing I know is a as you get older the toilet gets further away lol. Where ever you build the shop try to budget a toilet close by. You both will appreciate not having make a desperate run upstairs etc. If I had the funds I would be installing one in my shop without hesitating. It allows you to make a quick pitstop & keep going on with the job. Once you go back upstairs to the toilet it is easy to get distracted & before you know it an hour or more has passed. Cheers Peter from OZ
 

The_reach

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Good morning (0840 uk) I like you have recently set up my own little machine shop in my dads garage as a project for him and me.
I've only been a machinist 25 yrs unlike some of the sage lads on this forum, this has however afforded me some great contacts after many years doing contract work in various industries that I lean on for keeping an eye open for machines and tools for me. I took a chance and bought a sh KRV2000 turret mill for £1600 and have spend about £450 getting it up to scratch with a couple of little jobs still to do on it. I lucked out and got a lathe from a garage clearance locally for £300 but it is well worn though it will swing 20" and with some work and tlc will be a very capable tool. Where you are atm is cash rich and experience poor (not an insult here) the sh market can be a minefield but thro the college you have your first contacts within the industry, lean on them for help and advice to help you find your one true love.
I've set a workshop up for under £4k. This includes ancillary attachments for the mill, 12" rotary table, dividing head etc. The lathe will need tools and tooling to go with but you'll find its the mill that seems to collect more tools and holders etc. Not to mention workholding equipment, vise etc. Over the years I've made good parts on poor machines using decent work holding kit. Hope this helps,
Best regards, Jimmy
 

clockworkcheval

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For a solid European Continental Machinetool 35 years is negligable. My Gotha Tool and Cuttergrinder has 70-80 years, my Schaublin 102 VM has 60-70 years and the new kid on the block the Aciera F3 has 40-50 years. That said, of the about 100 members of our Horological Society roughly 1/4 only prefers Myford, 1/4 vintage Continental, 1/4 goes for modern German like WABECO and the others get what passes by.
Gotha 1940-1950.jpg
Schaublin 102 VM 1950-1960.jpg
Aciera F3 1970-1980.jpg
 

ShopShoe

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Another "Just Saying...."

When I built my present garage a few years ago, which is also my shop, I was going to get a floor drain put in and some more experienced people talked me out of it.

My climate gets cold in the winter and at that time in-floor heat was not a local thing ("I don't know who I could get to put that in," said the contractor and some others I asked.) Some other car guys I talked to said that they regretted the floor drain as the cold concrete would get slippery with any amount of water and the sloped area would make a slip-and-fall a real danger. I have not regretted not having a floor drain.

I have regretted not pushing the issue of the in-floor heat, because now it is common and it would be the best option for heat.

I have plumbed a succession of shops with compressed air and really like the convenience. I have lots of light and have several places in the ceiling where additional fixtures can be installed if needs change. My wiring is all in conduit and some of the runs are over-sized to allow more circuits to be added by pulling wire. Same goes for some extra junction boxes where things could be added.

I wish I had full climate control, but putting in soffit and gable vents allows air circulation from under the roof area and helps a lot with cooling in summer.

--ShopShoe
 

Larry G.

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"a poured slab concrete with plumbing and then I weld, spray foam, protect and perfect the containers. "
Poured concrete is the perfect opportunity to install PEX tubing for radiant floor heating. There is no greater deterrent to enjoying working in a shop than being uncomfortable, especially cold feet. There is endless information online about the proper method and amount of insulation to be installed BEFORE the concrete is placed. Humidity and temperature control problems in shipping containers has also been mentioned.

Include the manufacturers' and professional associations' recommendations as well as anecdotal advice from anyone with a video camera. :)

Larry in New Jersey
 

Richard Hed

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"a poured slab concrete with plumbing and then I weld, spray foam, protect and perfect the containers. "
Poured concrete is the perfect opportunity to install PEX tubing for radiant floor heating. There is no greater deterrent to enjoying working in a shop than being uncomfortable, especially cold feet. There is endless information online about the proper method and amount of insulation to be installed BEFORE the concrete is placed. Humidity and temperature control problems in shipping containers has also been mentioned.

Include the manufacturers' and professional associations' recommendations as well as anecdotal advice from anyone with a video camera. :)

Larry in New Jersey
You are absolutely right. Not only that, but it is downright DANGEROUS to have cold feet and legs when old coots like you'all, are standing relatively still for a long time. Blood clots and other bad things can happen. For youngsters, this may or may not be true also, it may contribute to arthritis and all those bone 'itises in later years. However, for those peeps who failed to install heating int he concrete when it was poured, and who have a little extra room in their shop, I would recommend the fabled "rocket mass stove" which uses very little fuel. When u look up this on the internet, there are many "rocket stoves" available, but the type to look for are "rocket MASS" stoves. They are simple in design but make sure you build them on a slab as the weight is rather high.
 

mrbugbums

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update. I was forced to resign from nursing all together for reasons I don't want to talk about. I Just had to quit. Got the pension payout.
researching still what machines to get, how to make money via welding, constructions and machining.
the local busy bee selling a knee mill for 4900 because it fell over when shipped. needs a small weld for the drip pan and scratches. comes with no warranty they say it is very precise as they tested it.
also selling a lathe they are....refurbished that used to have a vibration?? the busybee cx701 which is 12 x 28" for $3600 canadian plus taxes.
can anyone tell me reasonably how regrettable getting the only x28 long versus the x36" long for $5350. ?
We can't qualify for a mortgage anymore so i've no idea how long we are stuck here renting. might as well try and fit the smaller 12x28 into this small garage. and the knee mill is 6'4" on a pallet so does not fit into this low ceiling garage anyway. so maybe considering a smaller unit that's shorter.
 

L98fiero

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the knee mill is 6'4" on a pallet so does not fit into this low ceiling garage anyway. so maybe considering a smaller unit that's shorter.
A small table on the mill is better than no mill as a beginning but there are a lot of people making things with a lot smaller machines than that, it really depends on what you plan on making. As for the 6'4" height, take it off the pallet :) , tilt the head and roll it into the garage, I've moved a 9500 pound mill about 40 feet over a really rough, ugly concrete floor with 1" black pipe(schedule 40) rollers and a 6' crowbar. Where there's a will there's a way. Good luck
 
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