what I've been up to

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by OLGEORGE, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. OLGEORGE

    OLGEORGE New Member

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    This past Tuesday, I received an email saying that I hadn't posted anything in a while and asking me to tell what I've been up to. I can't imagine why anyone would be interested, but since you asked, here goes. Mostly I've been sitting around the house monkeying with the computer, watching the grass grow, and listening to some of my grandkids' romantic fiascos and troubles related to drugs. There are several reasons for this. One is that, due to family problems, I'm teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and can't afford to do much else. Mostly I'm trying to hold this financial house of cards together until I can get my mortgage paid off, or I die of old age, whichever comes first. (I'll be 80 the first of Sept.) The cure for this is to go back to work. Its hard for a geezer machinist to find work in north central Alabama that pays very well and isn't so far from home that commuting cost eat up most of the wages. I can't go to work now anyway, because on July 27, I had a new right ball joint put in.(Total shoulder joint replacement) and have to have my arm in a sling for six weeks. No driving a car and no lifting until the sling comes off. After that one heals(Three month minimum) The left side needs to be done, so it looks like I'll be tied up until after the first of the year. How this is going to effect my shooting abilities, long term, remains to be seen. When I go to the surgeon for my post-surgery check-up on Sept. 7, I'm going to ask the Doctor(just for giggles) when I'll be able to shoot an elephant rifle. His reaction should be interesting! Now I don't own an elephant rifle and elephants are mighty scarce around here, anyway, but it should get some conversation started. The last time I was at the range(Swan Creek) before surgery, I didn't have any problem with a Ruger #1 in .223, but shooting a FM#1 in 6.5mmx.257 Roberts with a 100 grain bullet HURT! I think there's bound to be some improvement over that. The biggest things I have access to are a .35 Whelen and a .45-70 rolling block. Oh, and a .44 Mag. Ruger Bisley and a 12 ga. pump gun. So that's what's going on. No gun smithing projects until all the surgery and rehab are over. It'll be limited then since I don't have a lathe or milling machine at home. L. O. G.
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator Lifetime Supporter

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    Once you are finished with the tune up and lube, look around for a gunsmith that needs a machinist that knows how to use a lathe and a mill. You might be surprised.
     

  3. OLGEORGE

    OLGEORGE New Member

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    There's one in Huntsville, AL that wants me to work with him when he gets his lathe and mill, but so far that hasn't happened. He is an official Remington warranty station. Remington was slow to pay him and he was buying the repair parts and paying shipping back to the customer out of his own pocket, so he couldn't afford to buy any machines. Now they've started to pay up, so things are looking better. He had a deal with the widow of a gunsmith to buy his entire shop, then some family member got upset and got a lawyer involved, so the deal was on hold until they could get things sorted out. I haven't heard from him since before my surgery, so I don't know where things are now. I won't be able to do much anyway for a while. If this deal falls through, he intends to go back to Plan A and buy machines from Grizzly Industrial.
    They have a pretty good line of Asian made Gunsmith lathes, and the company president is a target shooter, amateur gunsmith and guitar builder, so he knows what special features are needed. Anyway, we'll have to wait and see what happens. I'm hoping it works out. I Regret not buying a lathe and mill before retirement, but I'd have had to move them 500 miles from NW Ohio to Ala. (Wife's home area) L. O. G.
     
  4. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here in NW Ohio, skilled machinists are hard to come by, especially in the last six months when the economy took off. It doesn't sound like you are willing to relocate, just throwing that out there.

    If alabama is anything like Ohio, any little machine shop would be glad to have you on board.
     
  5. OLGEORGE

    OLGEORGE New Member

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    Things are a little different here. The pay scale has never been as high as in Ohio, possibly excepting Engineers and computer related fields. Most of the work has been related to the aerospace industry. Other businesses are moving into the area, such as Remington, Toyota and Carpenter Technologies. Most of the shops that want machinists are looking for CNC operators and programmers. Not that I couldn't learn more about CNC, but as it stands, I have just enough CNC training to know that I don't have enough training. At Ford, I was a Toolmaker(not tool and die. we did little or no die work). The last 14 years before retirement I was assigned to gage work, which was mostly one or two pieces at a time, but to very close tolerances. CNC was no help because by the time it took to figure out a program, the job could easily be done by manual machining, so I didn't make much effort to learn on my own and was working a lot of overtime and didn't have much time to put into it. The company offered little in the way of training, and I never figured on going back to work at my age. Hindsight is always 20/20, they say. As to relocating, this is my wife's home territory, most of our descendants live in the area and I doubt she'll ever want to get very far away. I guess I'll just have to make the best of it. L. O. G.
     
  6. OLGEORGE

    OLGEORGE New Member

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    what I've been up to....update

    Several comments if anyone's interested. Got a call yesterday from a job recruiter asking if I was still interested in a machinist job. Told him about my present and up-coming surgeries. He said call him back when I'm able to go to work. I guess he was serious. He left his name and contact number. Next thing, I sort of expected someone would post a thread wondering what an FM#1 rifle is. Lastly I got on the Alabama forum and I see no recent posts. I know there are shooters in the area. I guess most of them don't know of this forum. One factor may be the scarcity of ranges in the area. I live in Ardmore, Limestone county, and have to drive 25 miles or more to a range. Most area gun shops don't carry much in the way of reloading supplies, either. L. O. G.
     
  7. Daoust_Nat

    Daoust_Nat Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wow, it has been a long time since I have been in Ardmore, AL. I spent 3 years in Athens in the late 60s going to school at what was then Athens College. I still have friends in the area, and should get back.

    I am surprised at the lack of ranges as when I was there we did a fair amount of shooting. A lot of it was in Pulaski, TN on the Elk (I think I remember it as the Elk) River. I guess that is probably no longer an open area.

    With all of the work now in Huntsville I would think there would be a lot of opportunity with small machine shops. I spent 35 years as a buyer in PA, MD & FL and most of the small machine shops I knew always had work for a good machinist. CNC is great, but for small shops dealing in small lots a guy that is versatile enough to work milling, drilling and turning is valuable. Getting rare I understand too. The Vo-techs mostly only turn out computer type people now.

    Good luck!
     
  8. OLGEORGE

    OLGEORGE New Member

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    Things are different here than in the 60s. A lot more built up with a lot of military bases around the country closed and their people moved to Redstone Arsenal. The Huntsville area is growing and business seems to be picking up quite a bit. At the same time , lots of old-line retailers are closing. I guess the on-line businesses are taking over the retail area. I've had a couple of job offers, but can't take any until my surgeries are over. As to ranges, when I was here in '61-'62 we used to shoot at the quarry on top of Burwell Mountain and the small quarry off Pulaski Pike. Both are closed due to development. All of north AL seems like a big housing development. you can't hardly get out of sight of a house anymore. Actually there is a 100 yard range not too far across the line in Tennessee, but it's kind of a hassle to use. You take out a monthly membership, then to use the range you go to the club organizer's place and sign out a key, take it to the range, unlock the gate and range house(a portable garage), put up a flag on the pole and another at the gate, assume the responsibility of range master if you are the first one there, then when finished, put everything away, lock up return the key and sign out. I guess it's really not that bad. What worries me is that over the backstop probably a quarter mile away is I-65. All it would take is for someone to accidentally put a bullet over the bank and into a passing vehicle. By the way, I suppose you know that Athens college is now a state university. You should get back and check the area out. There have been a lot of changes. Especially the rush-hour traffic. L. O. G.
     
  9. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I have been in your shoes and came two hairs from being homeless . By some miracle and throwing pride out the window I saved my home . It was a humbling experience but it may seem impossible but never quit . I,ve taken jobs I'm not proud of but I'm still here .

    You have my prayers and hope things g
     
  10. OLGEORGE

    OLGEORGE New Member

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    Thanks, dango! I'm not giving up, I just can't do much until my surgeries are over. I consider myself fortunate to have good health insurance by way of Ford-UAW retirement and my health otherwise is good for a geezer. I can still do about anything I want to, just at a slower pace. After I get back "on my feet", I'll get serious about finding a way to supplement my income. L. O. G.