The way all craftsman should work

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by molonlabexx, May 6, 2014.

  1. molonlabexx

    molonlabexx New Member

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    As I dig deeper and deeper into my dream job, or at least passion, I can't help but share my thoughts on craftsmanship. I have worked a lot of construction jobs and food industry jobs and have learned a lot. Good enough for city work? NO. Back in the old days, things that were made at the benches of woodsmen and black smiths was stellar quality. If the grain of the wood was off, or the stain color, they wouldn't send it out. A lot of old companies used maker marks. And they were PROUD to brand their mark on their product, because they built it with quality and passion. Today we see very little of this, and we really need to bring it back to our lives. Be proud of what you made. If there is a mistake or you feel even a little uneasy about it, start over. Even if someone can't see it, it's a shame that you still send it out.

    Take pride in your work and be humble. Be honored to put your marker's mark on the item.

    Just my 2 cents on this. Tired of getting poor quality tools and other goods from "traditional" companies.
     
  2. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

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    Live your life this way and you will prosper!
     

  3. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    Well said. Someone I know has a few of the long barreled AK variants that he likes to shoot at long ranges. He was having some problems with one of them scattering shots all over the place, and discovered his scope base had worked loose from the receiver cover. (Old school mount.) The quick release base was simply riveted to a boxed sheet metal extension that was welded to the stamped receiver cover.

    He took it to someone else who said they could fix it for him. Their solution was to MIG weld the tops of the rivets to the top of the mount to tighten it up. The owner went along his merry way with his freshly "repaired" scope mount. However the next time he went to the range, the scope flopped around again like a fish out of water after his first shot.

    Then he brought it to me after this butchery. :(

    I had to mill off the blobs of weld metal covering the holes before I could separate the parts. You can still see a bit of it in the second picture. Drilling out the remainder of the ALUMINUM rivets was fairly easy. Yes, they tried welding aluminum rivets to steel. :rolleyes:

    Under side of mount:

    [​IMG]

    Sitting on top of a machinists square:

    [​IMG]

    After milling to get it flat and level again:

    [​IMG]

    I also made a 3/16" thick retaining plate that I drilled and tapped for screws and slid it inside the boxed section of the receiver cover. I re-drilled and countersunk the mount to accept a couple of Torx screws and sandwiched the parts together. Add a couple of drops of Loc-Tite and torque down the screws. Done.

    Some might call it overkill, but a wise man once taught me that if it's worth doing - it's worth doing well. The owner was pickled tink with it, and I'm pretty sure it won't be an issue for him any more.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  4. molonlabexx

    molonlabexx New Member

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    Great job and glad you went the extra mile!!!
     
  5. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Member

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    See a lot of that sort of attitude these days as in "It'll be right just a bit of a tap and a hit with the welder and jobs right" instead of doing the thing right from the start.
    When I 1st started my apprenticeship as a mechanic I was taught to do the job once and do it right, measure twice cut once and if your not sure ask somebody who does.

    There's nothing worse than having to do the same job twice as people won't stand for it and once a customer walks it's near impossible to get them back through the door again.
     
  6. molonlabexx

    molonlabexx New Member

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    Don't ever take half measures..
     
  7. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "There is never time to do it right but always time to do it over." The contractors motto when they are pushing for 110%.
     
  8. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    I'm not a gunsmith, but I can weld, and have done so for a job. I'm pretty sure that a MIG welder has no place at a gunsmith's shop. A TIG welder? MAYBE. Trying to weld aluminum rivets to steel? Seriously?
     
  9. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    well in over 35 years as a mechanic, i have had my fair share of repairing other "so-called" mechanics screw-ups over the years.

    some of you may have seen some bubbafied guns over the years, but you really need to see some of the bubba fixes people will do to vehicles! some i have seen just left me shaking my head, and some downright scared the crap out me, realizing it was driving on public roads.

    i have put customers off, because it was going to take longer to do the job right, rather than rush through the job just to get it done and back to the customer. if i do the job correctly, their being upset because it took longer, pales in comparison to how upset they would be if the job wasn't fixed properly the first time.

    i also explain why it took longer, so they understand what i have to deal with. sometimes i too am at the mercy of my vendors and shippers as much as any other business. sometimes it's because i have other jobs that took longer and i wasn't able to put in the quality time to repair theirs the way it needs to be done.

    one thing i have learned over the years, is that someone who is really good at their profession is usually busy with work and sometimes backed up with work. someone who isn't or just doesn't care to do the job right, isn't. customers need to understand that those who are good and have lots of jobs, need to factor that in when they take their business to someone who does good work.
     
  10. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    His first problem was he didn't take it to a gunsmith, he took it to one of his friends. The sad thing is I knew the guy knows how to weld. He just didn't bother to check to see what the rivets were made of first. Regardless, it wasn't the best laid plan of action.

    And I'm not a gunsmith either but have used both oxy/acetylene and TIG in several "smithing" projects of my own and wouldn't want to be without them. Can't say that I've ever used a MIG gun on a firearm though....

    Heck, even Larry Potterfield fires up a TIG welder now and then. :D
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XD4EnMk5tg[/ame]
     
  11. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    Dude! You have GOT to be my brother from another mother. You're scaring me now! :eek:

    Next you'll telling me you worked flat rate, and didn't get to flag time for fixing everybody else's screw ups... ;)
     
  12. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    There have been a number of jobs I will not touch because of someone else's screw ups.

    But there are also a number I have taken losses on in fixing screw ups.

    I have to evaluate the job and the owner. I have fixed some screw ups pro bono.
     
  13. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    lot of the shops i have worked in i worked salaried or by the hour. lots of the jobs i have done, you can't flag them by book time, simply because there isn't any book to guage the amount of time to repair them.
     
  14. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    OK, I stand corrected.
     
  15. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Craftsmen are getting fewer and far between. I doubt I could call myself one yet but strive to earn the title someday. I certainly Dont Have a Norm Abrams Woodshop but it churns out some pretty nice finish products without a dedicated mortising machine or 12 different saws and lathes.

    When I make something I dont just wanna make it work. It needs to be as good or better then the next guy not just good enough. I spent the last week rebuilding a custom AV cabinet that was made by a craftsman and I think it came out beautiful. I could have bought a new one and modified it to work but the one I modified started out with good bones it just needed a facelift and a couple revisions. That cabinet that was on its way to being burned is going to fit perfectly where my customer needs it and 90% of the cabinet is recycled materials, some from a library that also provided the oak for my Kitchen (see attached before and after pics). The other is a picture of my woodshop before I poured the floor, its about 25' X 30', not as big as I would like but it does the job.

    I made all the kitchen cabinets out of smashed 75 year milled old growth Oak I scavenged from a College Library gut, 3 truckloads. I Remilled every piece on a small planer or with my belt sander if it was wider than the planer. Two months just to reclaim the wood then another few months building the cabinets. I think I have about $800 total invested in the Copper backsplash, new hardware and stacks of sandpaper but my kitchen is 100% Oak, fronts, sides, backs and shelves and you couldnt find a pin-knot in the entire kitchen if you looked for a week. It was a nightmare job but I loved doing it. I had never built any cabinetry that was much bigger than a sink base before that but I took my time and got advice from folks that were craftsmen. I think it turned out OK and I live the patina of the old oak. We didnt want a new kitchen for our 190 year old house just a nice one. I DIYed the paterning and installation of the Granite Counters and saved another $1500 cash in hand pricing from a local stone cutter but that was scary, those suckers weigh more than you think (I cant imagine that weight on plywood or composite lumber without it warping the crap out of the cabinets over time).

    I work as an Electronics Tech for a living but love crafting wood more than anything else!
     

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    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  16. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

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    That video reminds me of my Father.

    ---

    I remember TVs with replaceable tubes; integrated circuits changed that. I remember shoe repair shops; plastic and rubber molded shoes changed that. I remember automobiles with spark plugs that needed to be gapped; Computerized fuel injection changed that. I had a K&E drafting set that was machined so well, that its compass arms disappeared when they were closed and it appeared to be one piece of metal. The post on the inking nib was in the shape of a pentagon, and fit into a pentagon shaped hole! CAD changed that. I remember secretarial pools full of people who could spell & type at 100 wpm, no mistakes, no corrections; Word processing changed that. (I can't spell or type. WP is what allowed to write at all, let alone well. I'm writing this on an iPad and will be 'posting' it electronically, no ink, no fountain pen, no paper, no envelope, no postage & no mailing.)

    Heck! My Glock is half molded plastic. It works just fine. I'm sure there's skill in operating the molding machine and whatever 'machining' is required of the plastic, but I'm also sure it's less that what's required of machining steel.

    Craftsmen come from an age before mass production. They're from a time when it wasn't cheaper to replace items than have them fixed, if you even could have them fixed.

    In a capitalist economy, more profit is had by providing a product or service faster, 'better' & cheaper, than by making something for the ages. And even more profit is had if something is designed not to last in the first place.

    Fine furniture has a lot of handwork in it and few, if any, nails or screws, but it's unaffordable for many. Ikea is particle board crap, but provides many with utility that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

    We've had the separation of profit from value, or at least from quality. If money can be made from the manipulation of money, why bother with the 'extra' step of making something to make money at all? At least if money is the thing you care about.

    I'm afraid craftsmanship has become a luxury, and will remain so, as long as the measure of wealth or resources for most is an abstract number in a ledger instead of the the appreciation of skill used to produce an item that works well and lasts. Thus why bother to be a craftsman?

    This is not a knock on capitalism. It's capitalism that's most successful in providing food, clothing and shelter, etc., for the masses. It's just not necessary to provide quality to do that, for the masses.
     
  17. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

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    Never again..........

    As I look back at all the jobs I did as a machinist, welder, mechanic. I went over and beyound the pay they gave me. In every instance that I made improvements to the process, or modified the product to work better, someone else higher up the chain took the credit............When you work for greedy thieves, life sucks............Hind sight is 20 20..............One employer told me, I've stepped on too many toes to go back to eating hambugers, I don't care who I have to screw over to keep the ribeyes on the plate. He hired a salesman only to get his known customers, then he tells me he gonna fire him.............Retirement is good, or is it, when the gubment takes over as your thieving Employer...................
     
  18. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    I agree with most of that. Although the part about the Glocks; not that. I'd bet that they require some finishing out of the molding machine, and skilled labor is usually the only way to get that done. Plus, you're overlooking the fact that the molds have to be created. Unless they've found a way to automate that, only VERY highly skilled Tool & Die makers can do things like that.

    Also, I've noticed that even people that CAN afford to spend money on craftsmanship don't want to. And, they want it NOW, not in 2 weeks to 6 months. I pride myself for not being completely in that category. Sometimes I have to be simply for cost reasons. But sometimes not. 2 years ago, I found a knife maker a couple miles away. I had him make a kitchen knife. He does the entire thing, including the heat treating. Extremely skilled guy, very nice knives, and I waited 6-8 weeks, I think it was. (His backlog currently is 6 months. I'm trying to get him to make me a flipper knife, which he currently doesn't do, at least for sale.) Anyway, that kitchen knife cost me $165, and worth EVERY PENNY. As he doesn't usually make kitchen knives, he told me all the ones he makes in the future will cost more. When I ordered it, I chose everything from the shape of the blade, to the materials, to the finish. Ultra custom. He didn't want any type of down payment. When I asked why, he said he would sell it either way. Huh. That means something right there.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  19. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

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    You hit the nail on the head, My first job when I clocked in...............Old fatso, motor mouth, I'm the Greatest machinist of all times was one of them. Me thinks he was using his wife as a tool to get " ahead " with the Boss................Is it true that the ones that whine the most get the most attention................I'll jump on this thread to another..........Never Again..................:eek::mad::mad::mad:
     
  20. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

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    I said they required some machining, just not as much as steel. The other thing with plastic is that most of machining skill has been 'transferred' to the mold, once, vs, steel where each individual item requires its own extensive machining.