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"I gotta get rid of a buncha this [email protected] . . ."

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  • "I gotta get rid of a buncha this [email protected] . . ."

    This came to mind while reading JSFAB's current thread on self-employment. It wasn't quite on topic, but it is a wierd phenomenon:

    Does it seem almost uniformly true of men in skilled tech trades, the self-employed more than any, that they finish a day of working on mechanical projects for other people and come home . . . to work on their own mechanical projects? Garages and basements and sheds crammed full of their own mechanical projects, waiting for attention under a thickening layer of cobwebs. Everybody I know in the trades is this way, and the on-going conversation is, "I've decided I'm gonna get rid of a whole bunch of (old projects)," but we know we won't, and know that our heirs will curse us and question our sanity when they have to haul away the decades of accumulated mechanical crap. Not only do we rarely get rid of anything sizeable, but then we drag home some new treasure (piece of junk that needs lots of work). Why is this? Accountants don't come home and do hours of bookkeeping to ammuse themselves, veternarians don't come home and disect stray dogs for fun, secretaries don't call each other in the evening and take dictation.

    Surely you guys aren't such lunatics . . . .

  • #2
    I think you just summed up my whole life in one mouthfull.
    Sometimes there's no second chances.


    • #3
      The reason I don't have motorcycles, snowmobiles, race cars or old tractor collection,,, I got enough stuff to work on as it is.


      • #4
        Yep, it's true. If I didn't have any 'projects' collecting around here, I'd have more room in the shop to work on paying jobs.
        Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
        HTP MIG200
        PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
        ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
        DialarcHF, Radiator-1
        Hypertherm PowerMax 380
        Purox oxy/ace
        Jackson EQC
        -F350 CrewCab 4x4
        -LoadNGo utility bed
        -Bobcat 250NT
        -Smith oxy/propane
        -Jackson EQC


        • #5
          that's interesting....I think I got involved in welding and machining because I worked on motorcycles and cars and mechanical stuff. I couldn't just be normal and go buy a factory made bike or boat trailer I gotta build my own. I'm building a trailer right now, but rather than go buy the axle I turn my own spindles and use old car hubs. and I do this after working in a machine shop all day.
          Bobcat225g plus
          8VS suitcase feeder
          Syncrowave SD180
          Miller CP250-TS S-52A Feeder
          Lincoln SP100 mig
          14x40 engine lathe
          bridgeport mill
          torch, plasma cutter, grinders, drills, and all that stuff


          • #6
            Originally posted by Desertrider33 View Post
            Yep, it's true. If I didn't have any 'projects' collecting around here, I'd have more room in the shop to work on paying jobs.
            What???? What do you mean my projects aren't 'paying'? Surely someday, someone crazier that I will come by and offer big bucks for all I have. Right?.... Right?

            BTW, My wife simply calls it hoarding.
            Con Fuse!
            Miller Dynasty 350
            Millermatic 350P
            -Spoolmatic 30A

            Hypertherm PowerMax 1000G3
            Miller Multimatic 200 - awesome portable MIG (and stick and TIG)
            Miller Maxstar 200DX - portable TIG and stick


            • #7
              Now look at what everyone has gone and started!!
              So what's next??? Are we gonna have get togethers and sit around the fire and sing Cumbaya? I'm ready
              I have a 36x 45 building full of nothing but parts for all the projects that sit all over 2 pieces of property.
              NOW in my is nice to have all this "junk". When times get a bit tough I go to my pile and decide what piece of treasure I wish to market and BINGO....extra money !!! I've been doing that all my life and my wife married me that way. She knows I gotta be like that even when I am talking about getting rid of it all.

              Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
              MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
              Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
              Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

              Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
              Miller 30-A Spoolgun
              Miller WC-115-A
              Miller Spectrum 300
              Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
              Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400


              • #8
                i know the fix

                put it all in a 40 ft trailer as i did, some day i will be rich when all these old jeep and international scouts become a treasure


                • #9
                  I call it all "raw material", every time I use some of it to fix or build something for my wife I make sure I let her know that it came out of the raw material pile. She rarely bugs me about it anymore...............
                  Miller 251
                  Miller Trailblazer 280nt
                  Miller Maxstar 200dx
                  Lincoln Squarewave 185
                  Acme 20kva spotwelder
                  Hobart buzzbox
                  Thermal Dynamics plasma cutter


                  • #10
                    men like dirty, old, rusty, heavy crappy stuff made from iron, what can you say, its in our gene pool


                    • #11
                      Anyone who works in any mechanical/technical trade and is any good at it was born with the inclination, its in our blood and its just what we do. No matter where my life takes me i always have to have a "project" on my mind or i get crazy and depressed. I just came back from the Englishtown swap meet with a cart full of deals and old tools that i will NEED for my PROJECTS
                      Dynasty 200 DX
                      Millermatic 175
                      Spectrum 375
                      All kinds of Smith OA gear


                      • #12
                        Well, there is one way in which having piles of mechanical junk can save some time and effort. Any welder I know has his racks and stacks of metal, including lots of leftover scrap from jobs he's done (and the scrap pieces I save are getting smaller and smaller as metal prices get to ridiculous levels!). But many welders also have to be part-time mechanics on a lot of jobs, as well as working on their own previously described projects. Therefore most of us accumulate coffee cans and cookie tins and other containers full of old fasteners we have tediously removed from the occasional projects we junk out. Nuts, bolts, and washers of every size and description, snap-rings, zerks, roll-pins, dowel pins, rubber grommets, and on and on it goes.
                        Girlfriends . . do . . not . . understand this at all!

                        But man oh man, has this hoarding come in handy, saved my fanny on many a weekend job when the industrial supply houses are closed!! "Hardware" stores have become a joke, utterly changed in the fifty years I've been using them, more likely to have toys and greeting cards and Halloween masks than, for example, ordinary bolts with any thread besides National Coarse. My pal with the auto machine shop was high-fiving me the other day because between our two junk collections we were able to build a special fixture and finish a job on the weekend.

                        So the junque sometimes turns out to contain gold nuggets after all!


                        • #13

                          There is no letting go for people like us - From my 1900's cabbage head boiler stack to my old motorcycles and all the "raw" material in between - I see so many "finished" products that I don't see it as the junk that those who are not possessed with the metal madness do. I feel blessed and obligated in this sour economy to have so many unique project opportunities. Now if I could just figure out where to start....


                          • #14
                            Because when you have skill and machinery to fabricate the stuff you want why the heck would you buy it!! When you KNOW you can just get some material and weld a bit here and machine a bit there.

                            My system is one G job at a time. Granted I have collected stuff to build other project but they are just stacked waiting to be worked on. Not a hodge podge of half finished projects. One project at a time till it's done and then you can move on to the next one. If I didn't do this I'd get nothing finished and be drowning in parts.

                            But the other thing is I didn't get into this "profession" to settle on something I was interested in. I did it because I basically had no other choice. My Dad wasn't going to pay my way through college. And I darn sure hated school and the BS that went on there. Trade school and shop class was the only place I "Fit in" It was also the only class I was made to feel welcome. Unlike these other classes where theses flunkies in there driving dads BMW would look down their nose at you like you were the scum of the earth.

                            Funny thing is I found out about 1% of those guys actually made something of them selves. The rest just couldn't get their act together and are either making a few bucks more then minimum wage as a warehouse worker. or some other dead end entry level job.
                            It's like twenty years flew by and they were standing still with near zero experience pick up along the way. One guy I worked with a Former Marine an Air dale Air craft electrician. This guy after the corps bounced around from job to job trade to trade and has nothing to show for it. No steady career no retirement nothing. Thirty five years old and he acts like his right out of high school

                            Where I have job skills and work ethic that make me employable anywhere in the world so long as I do my part. I may not be making what I want too, nor working where I want to, But I'd still have a job. and that is what matters. College is great but experience is KEY

                            Oh and as for what to do with it when I'm dead and gone.
                            My brothers where complaining when they helped me move my machines to my new place. and One said " Kerry don't leave any of the S**T to me in your will I don't want any of it and I d*mn sure ain't moving it."

                            I told him HOLD AND ESTATE SALE i won't care I'm dead anyway!!!
                            Last edited by kcstott; 04-18-2010, 11:06 PM.
                            Miller Syncrowave 200 W/Radiator 1A & water cooled torch
                            Millermatic 252 on the wish list
                            Bridgeport Mill W/ 2 axis CNC control
                            South bend lathe 10LX40
                            K.O. Lee surface grinder 6X18
                            Over 20 years as a Machinist Toolmaker
                            A TWO CAR garage full of tools and a fridge full of beer
                            Auto shades are for rookies


                            • #15
                              I don't save everything and the stuff I do has a place. Normally I sort and process the things I am going to save, dumped about 20 gallons of old bolts the other day, just poured them over and looked for any real gems but I am not a compulsive saver. I am willing to keep it if it has a reasonable chance of being used. I have an old house basement with shelves for the stuff I don't want in the shop, I do a lot of stripping to keep the place workable. Some more is going to scrap shortly.
                              I have a dumpster too,, ha People also seem to give me a lot of stuff they figure I can use for some reason.
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by Sberry; 04-18-2010, 11:02 PM.