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... its good to have neighbors WITH TOOLS.  I had a neighbor who was a really outstanding shade tree mechanic.  He did autocross. had a Shelby Chevy two door something or other.  He would have the hood up Friday evening, parts (like engines and transmissions type parts) all over the driveway all week end, and back running by Sunday, or so it seemed.  Unfortunately, he was not well, suffering from arthritis something terrible for a good while, and he passed on to the big track in the sky a couple of years ago.

And remember - It's not, in any way, about how many tools you have, although, having the right tools is important.  As Kelly says, the majority of a 250 piece tool set might never get used so maybe you start with something smaller?

What's way more important is how you use the tools you've got, and that you can recognize that some jobs may go better if you have a different, special tool for them.  

Just remember to not be like our friend in West Virginny who decided to retire for the fifth or sixth time and sold off his shop tools, only to become bored.

Never, ever, ever sell or give away your tools.  You will regret it if you do!  

Just buy another storage cabinet.  Or if you run out of space, add on to your garage/shop!  😉

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

@Gordon Nichols, you are 100% correct. I can't recall ever selling a tool or machine that I didn't replace with a better one, and I've been buying tools since I was 13.

My latest tool I just made in my shop.  I wanted to teach myself to bore and flycut heads.  I have a 2" boring head, but it does not have enough reach to cut for a 94mm register, which is actually 101mm.  I decided to build an extension. This is what I came up with:

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Then I started thinking about it more and figured I would just build an extension that held the insert directly, and eliminate the boring bar.  Less means more rigidity, which is always good in machining.

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Not bad for the first time on an old, junk head.  I feel confident that I can now cut my own heads, should the need arise.

Cut for 90.5mm cylinder.

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Cut for 94mm cylinder.

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I am always intrigued with machine tools that can either duplicate themselves or build entirely new machines/tools.

One of my cousins married a guy who's father worked at the Worcester Gear Works, (WGW) another of those places around here with a staff like the UN - Employees who emigrated from all over Europe - that was a feeder business for all the manufacturing that went on in central Massachusetts.

I visited WGW a few times when I was younger.  It was in a 7-story building, maybe 3,000 sq ft per floor, with retail shops and a restaurant at street level, offices on level 1 and five stories of machine shops all cranking out gears or doing specialty machining work.  It was a fascinating place, for me.  Most of that machining has now become automated and most of those machinists are long gone (they would be at least in their 80's, now).  The WGW building still has a restaurant and shops at street level and offices on level 1, but the other five stories are now Condos for the people who live in Worcester but take the train to Boston for their jobs (the train terminal is right next door).

Companies still make gears around here.  In fact, one of my friends bought out his Dad's business years ago and is still doing CNC machining, today.  His is a much smaller shop (maybe 20 employees) and everything they do is taken from CAD right into their computer controlled machining systems.  https://www.lampin.com/

Like me, he's now retired but sold the company to the employees and they're now managing it.  Everybody wins.

Clarification: to put @Stan Galat 's mind to rest, I was not specific enough about my gearhead neighbor.  My "borrowing" typically involved picking his brain, and occasionally borrowing HIM.  If he happened to bring some of his tools along, then that was up to him.  And all of that said, my young son does stop by now and then to use the tools and mostly the garage space (he has neither garage nor carport even) . which is cool.  And, I am always on hand, so its not really loaning  . . .

When sons were living in the house there were two rules about Dad's stuff: Always, under pain of wishing for death, put the tool back exactly where you found it, and never ever take the last beer.  These rules were well known and understood if imperfectly obeyed.

@El Frazoo posted:

Clarification: to put @Stan Galat 's mind to rest, I was not specific enough about my gearhead neighbor.  My "borrowing" typically involved picking his brain, and occasionally borrowing HIM.  If he happened to bring some of his tools along, then that was up to him.  And all of that said, my young son does stop by now and then to use the tools and mostly the garage space (he has neither garage nor carport even) . which is cool.  And, I am always on hand, so its not really loaning  . . .

When sons were living in the house there were two rules about Dad's stuff: Always, under pain of wishing for death, put the tool back exactly where you found it, and never ever take the last beer.  These rules were well known and understood if imperfectly obeyed.

Kelly, those are good rules for family harmony.

Rules - at least - need to be clearly stated, if not always followed...

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