Turning Archive 2007

Subject:
Using a machinist

john lucas
>Frequently over the years I have needed the services of a machinist. The best way of course is to have the tools yourself which I now do (just have to learn to use them). The next best is to find a friend who is a machinist. However when I started needing work done I didn't have either.

Here's how I handled it. Most machine shops are expensive and it takes take down and set up time to do even the simplest job. Consequently it's really expensive to have a simple part made. What I did was go to several local shops and explain what I needed to get a quote. You need to leave the plans and be willing to wait some times a week or more to get the part. This lets them make the part in between other large customers so they don't have to charge the set up fee. The smaller shops will often do this for you. I took the guy a homemade ornament when I picked it up. The next time I went he turned the part around in 2 days. I've used the same guy multiple times and he will sit and discuss the options for making the parts and last time didn't charge me. I took him a small bowl as thanks.

So I guess what I'm saying is to make friends and use the same guy. Then when you need something simple done like pressing the bearings out of the headstock, they will gladly help you out.

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