Results 1 to 36 of 36

Thread: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hell
    Posts
    52,923

    Default Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    So I'm visiting Allan this weekend doing a little work on his schooner and he takes me by an old machine shop to have some holes tapped on an old manual bilge pump. This is the shop where he had the work done. We were there about 25 minutes and at shop rates Allan paid the guy $5.00 for drilling and tapping four holes. Allan tried to pay more but the guy absolutely refused to take his money.

    So this shop is owned and run by two brothers, who inherited it from their father. Most of the machine tools belt driven from the drive shafts you see in the ceiling and were originally run by a steam engine at the rear of the building.

    Probably the most amazing thing about this shop is that besides being a job shop, much of the machinery is set up and still perform production maintenance work on a daily basis serving the oild drilling equipment in the area surrounding Sarnia, Ontario.










    Last edited by Paul Pless; 03-20-2009 at 09:17 PM.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    10,342

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Sounds like Canada, eh?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hell
    Posts
    52,923

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop





    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    13,450

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Wow.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Gowen, MI
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Wow.
    Somehow that says it all, but still isn't quite enough.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Hamden CT USA
    Posts
    5,537

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Great to see just what an old time machine shop looked like.

    And even better to know it still exists. This country was full of shops just like that at one time.

    I worked in one back in1945 located in the Yorkville section of upper Manhattan NYC. The 3rd ave L was still around then and passed right by the place. We made microscopes and other hospital related scientific stuff. I just was just a teenager but they let me turn out some simple stuff. Ah the smell and sound of all that leather belts. Brings back some forgotten memories.

    Thanks for posting Paul.

    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    20,343

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Amazingly tidy for a machine shop. I take some of my metal projects to a place similar. Right in downtown Portland - on the Industrial East Side. Acme Welding. Been there for a few generations. The front entry still has rings set into the curbs for tying your oxen or horses. It, however, is incredibly filthy around the edges. There's probably crud in the corners from the first day of business. They do topnotch work fast, though. And they know a ton about trailers. They've even progressed far enough into the 20th century that they know summat about that electricity stuff.


    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats" -- H.L. Mencken

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Dooral Dooral, Eastern Oz
    Posts
    37,689

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Excellent stuff Paul.

    A mate of mine was mentioning that the lathe he was turning up the new eccentric for the water pump on my putt putt motor is 50 years old - but that gear makes it look brand new...
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Whidbey Island
    Posts
    13,081

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Thanks Paul

    Thats really cool.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Arlington, WA
    Posts
    1,103

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    There was a short time in my life that I earned wages in a line shaft driven shop very much like that one. History is cool but I can honestly say I have no fond memories of those days. These days I carry a laptop to work and the machine tools are computer controlled. My hats is off to anyone that can make a living in that shop.
    Gary
    "The hand feeds the mind."
    Weston Farmer

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    N 43 54.2'; W 070 24.6'
    Posts
    2,937

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    OMG.

    That is my idea of heaven...
    Bill R

    There was supposed to be an earth shattering KABOOM!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Swiftly tilting planet
    Posts
    7,900

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    I just LOVE places like that. Reminds me that true wealth is generated by people who are happy in their work; I am willing to bet that the people who work there sleep very well at night.

    Whenever possible, I prefer to do business with firms that have the owner's name above the door. I am willing to bet there are some serious mustaches cultivated there, too. Men like that--like us-- understand that you can't lie to the lathe about concentricity; you can't trick the drill press into believing something is perpendicular when it's not. If something's not right, it's also out of true; it's a lie. I really believe that finds its way into a person's heart, and it shows.

    It's a kind of love.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Warkworth, Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    794

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    What a fantastic machine shop, and all beautifully maintained too. So nice to see well built machinery, and beautiful machinery at that. With proper maintenance, that machinery will outlive all of us. Most definitely a real credit to the guys who run the place, congratulations to them.
    Daniel

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Vancouver,BC
    Posts
    3,658

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    I second that WOW!

    And the people who run these shops. True mechanics. Not just part exchangers.
    basil

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northwestern Missouri
    Posts
    4,008

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    That is cool Paul..
    I would be heaven with a shop like that, and still don't know ditty about machineries in there..
    save a nose, pick a banjo

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    St. Augustine, FL
    Posts
    5,766

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Well this is a great way to start the day!

    Thanks Paul!

    - M

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
    6,150

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Wonderful photos and reading here!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Moby Nick

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle. WA
    Posts
    20,021

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Thanks Paul.

    The guy who sold us our boat, Gordon Sullivan, has a shop much like the one in your photos, except his is driven by steam. I'm told he's donating it lock stock and barrel as a living museum.

    Thank you very much, Paul, and how great that you were able to visit Allan and help with the boat. Very cool, great thread.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    St. Paul, MN Mississippi River Milepost 840.2
    Posts
    5,481

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Thanks Paul, this is a really fun thread.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Cornwall, VT USA
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    If we had more of these shops around making things, maybe we would be in a LOT less trouble than we are now.
    Thanks for sharing.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    victoria, australia. (1 address now)
    Posts
    25,539

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    I did my apprenticeship in the printing trade in a shop that still had most of it's machines driven by a belt and pulley system. Electric of course, but the desil motor was always ready, and rusting out the back was the original steam power. You had to be really aware where you were, not wear loose clothing and mind your head around the belts.
    Thanks for the beautiful pics, they must really enjoy what thewy do, you can see the pride intheir work by the tidyness of the shop.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    12,032

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Wouldn't OSHA have a field day if that shop were in the US!

    Of course, maybe they wouldn't - if all the employees said they didn't want OSHA to come in. I worked in an automotive R&D shop that had a dynomometer. OSHA rules say that the entire car has to be surrounded by a fence (chain strung along posts) to keep people a min. of 6 feet away. Ever try to adjust a distributor from 6 ft. away from the car? I'm tall - but not that tall!

    Anyway - we learned that if 100% of the employees tell OSHA "No - we don't want you", then OSHA can't come in (but if even one person says yes, they can). You shoulda seen the look on the OSHA guy's face! "But I'm here to protect you!". Thanks, but....

    Anyway - I ramble. Thank you so much for these pics!

    Garret

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Bright's Grove, ON, Canada
    Posts
    8,104

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Wouldn't OSHA have a field day if that shop were in the US!

    Of course, maybe they wouldn't - if all the employees said they didn't want OSHA to come in. I worked in an automotive R&D shop that had a dynomometer. OSHA rules say that the entire car has to be surrounded by a fence (chain strung along posts) to keep people a min. of 6 feet away. Ever try to adjust a distributor from 6 ft. away from the car? I'm tall - but not that tall!

    Anyway - we learned that if 100% of the employees tell OSHA "No - we don't want you", then OSHA can't come in (but if even one person says yes, they can). You shoulda seen the look on the OSHA guy's face! "But I'm here to protect you!". Thanks, but....

    Anyway - I ramble. Thank you so much for these pics!

    Garret
    The shop is owned by two older gents (brothers) and have no employees (other than the owners), an are grandfathered under the safety rules. The shop probably could not be sold as a working machine shop.
    Allan of the Grove - S/V Laura Ellen, 1937 Gaff Schooner
    http://aylard.ca http://bluenosejr.com
    "never send a ferret to do a weasel's job.."

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Goose River, Maine
    Posts
    5,697

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    I worked in such a shop in Colorado Springs, run as a one man shop by a 70 YO man. No plumbing, the seat in the outhouse was stainless steel...or so it seemed in the dead of January. It took the coal stove 6 hours to bring all that iron to a temperature comfortable to handle on a Monday.

    That old guy knew a lot of stuff, but talking to his employees wasn't one of them. RIP, ol guy.
    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    N 43 54.2'; W 070 24.6'
    Posts
    2,937

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Anyway - we learned that if 100% of the employees tell OSHA "No - we don't want you", then OSHA can't come in
    Don't believe that to be the case anymore. If you have employees, if OSHA wants to come in, they have the right. (or so we were instructed in our OSHA 30 hour course last semester)

    Regardless, that shop above is still amazing, whether it meets compliance standards or not.
    Bill R

    There was supposed to be an earth shattering KABOOM!

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,159

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Thanks for posting the pictures, Paul.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    6,415

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    I remember when I had a sales teritory in Philly and I called on EVERY shop in the phone book... and one looked just like that one... they had one huge motor driving the overhead line shafts...

    Never called on them again...
    NC milling machine? whuts that?

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    2,689

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Quote Originally Posted by goodbasil View Post
    I second that WOW!
    And I third it.
    .

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    2 states: NJ and confusion
    Posts
    21,541

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    My dad had assembled quite a machine shop in our basement. A band saw from pre WWI, a floor standing lathe and a drill press older than that. Plus some other items.

    The drill press was very similar to, but larger than, the one in the shop on the Olympia at Independence Seaport in Philadelphia.

    It saddened me deeply when I found I couldn't even give these machines away when I moved. There was a museum that would take them, but I'd have to pay to get them there, and that was out of the question.

    I have some pix somewhere. If I can find them, I'll post them.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    indiana
    Posts
    286

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Old machine shops and old hardware stores - doesn't get much better.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    7,503

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Thanks for this one Paul! It takes me back to a shop run by an old German machinest I use to visit when I was a kid. The one thing I miss most today is the quiet. Just the soft slapping of the belts and the swish of the line shafts!
    Jay

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Port of Lorain,Ohio
    Posts
    8,714

    Talking Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Allan's been holding out on us Paul.
    Thanks for the photos.
    Wow!

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northern NSW Australia
    Posts
    38,775

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Thanks Paul , great photos ...I have to admit I DO like guards around my belts .
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hell
    Posts
    52,923

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    I have to admit I DO like guards around my belts .
    This drill press is the only machine in the entire shop with a safety guard surrounding the belt drive (the guard kinda looked out of place). I have to admit, living in the litigious society of the United States, that I was pretty well astounded that this shop is open to the public and that customers are pretty much welcome to wander around.

    There was also one sign cautioning safety. It was greasy and yellowed and read, "Be careful where you put your fingers, they won't grow back."

    Last edited by Paul Pless; 03-24-2009 at 08:08 AM.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine, USA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    That is the COOLEST machine shop I have ever seen!

    Thanks for posting.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    12,032

    Default Re: Time travel to an old school machine shop job shop

    There are those who say that guards give a person a false sense of security & that not having them makes a person more careful all the time.

    I've noticed a # of them seem to be missing a finger or 2....

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •