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Planeman40's Workshop

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Workshop by Planeman40 posted 03-19-2018 05:03 PM 1613 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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Planeman40

1237 posts in 2876 days


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Planeman40's Workshop Planeman40's Workshop Planeman40's Workshop
Planeman40's Workshop Planeman40's Workshop Planeman40's Workshop
Planeman40's Workshop Planeman40's Workshop Planeman40's Workshop
Planeman40's Workshop Planeman40's Workshop Planeman40's Workshop
Planeman40's Workshop Planeman40's Workshop  

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My shop is an accumulation of machines and tools that began in 1957 when I was sixteen and using money I made working weekends and summers at a local hobby shop to buy my first machine, a Sears (Atlas) 6” metal lathe. I had read articles in Popular Mechanics, Science and Mechanics, and Popular Science (don’t forget Mechanix Illustrated – yes, with an “X”) about machining and it fascinated me. I was a teen age model builder of model airplanes which honed my building abilities. Then I bought a Sears 15” floor model drill press (that I still have and use) and a World War 2 vintage Walker turner 16” cast iron bandsaw (which I still have and use). Next was a Smith’’s oxy-acetelyne welder. All of this before I got out of college at Georgia Tech. Later after marriage and a new home, I bought a Sears 10” table saw which I soon replaced with a Delta Unisaw.

As a sales rep for a very large printing firm, I called on corporations and advertising agencies which put me in touch with a fellow who repped a filming company that made television commercials. He was a hot rodder who asked me to do some welding from time to time. He gave me a call one day asking if I could could weld up a large 6 ft junk sculpture for an ad for a large bank (the ad was to show someone welding on the sculpture with the bank saying come to them to finance your hobbies). I made the sculpture, everyone was happy, and the swish big ad agency art director took the sculpture and put it in his back yard garden. Sort of the monkey doing a painting that ends up in an art museum kind of thing. After that , I began to get calls from the filming company to do all kinds of special props and gadgets for their films. This included a space ship that had to come in from outer space, land in a farm field, and a water heater had to appear and roll out – this to announce that Virginia Power and Light was introducing a new water heater with “space age” technology (I don’t write ‘em folks, I just build the stuff). This required a 100 sq. ft. table top scene and a 36” vacuum molded flying saucer with movie marquee-type lights circling the rim and a pulsating glow coming from in the saucer. Another project was a close-up view of the inside of a music box playing a bank’s charge card and Christmas music. I machined a large brass cylinder with pins located to play the music exactly as it was written. There were lots of other projects.

I used the money to add to my shop, but I spent a number of long hours late into the night making the deadline. This on top of my regular daytime job.

Then one day a call came from a prominent local architect that is noted for his extravagant hotels with fancy elevators that they needed to have a 60 foot mobile made and couldn’t find anyone to do it to their specifications. They had heard of me and wanted me to take a look at it. I did, and knew how to solve the problem. I got the project and, for once, had an adequate time to build the project. After this, I began to be called in to look at other decorative details in his hotels. The projects were bigger and there was no time crunch, so I slowly moved over to doing these rather than the television ad projects. Also, there were only four or five projects a year and this suited me as I still had my full time job.

All of this came to an end when I ended up with a divorce, The shop was put in storage until I was able to get a new house after a couple of years. I made sure the new house had a basement to accommodate my shop with no water problems, high ceilings, and plenty of room.

I never went back to building for money, I learned that I valued my personal time to build what I wanted to do now that I had all of the machines I could ever want. I am seventy seven now (2018) and even after 60 years of building stuff, I still spend my retired days messing around in my shop.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!


11 comments so far

View moke's profile

moke

1229 posts in 2892 days


#1 posted 03-19-2018 06:16 PM

You have some awesome equipment there Planeman….thanks for the tour and the great story.

-- Mike

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

201 posts in 541 days


#2 posted 03-19-2018 06:31 PM

Agreed, and that is the cutest little table saw I’ve ever seen :)

Very interesting story. Thanks for sharing.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1237 posts in 2876 days


#3 posted 03-19-2018 07:07 PM

Thanks, guys!

That “cute little table saw” is a Jarmac model making saw. I used to do a lot of model making, mostly scale rubber powered model airplanes, a few model ships and cars. These little saws have the power to cut hardwood up to about 1/2” thick, however for a long time the only 4” dia blade one could find was a metal slitting saw used in milling machines. These have no “set” to the teeth as they are used with a coolant/lubricant flowing over them when machining metal. The lack of “set” made even cutting balsa troublesome as the blade would heat up from friction and then distort, jamming the blade in the work. Cutting had to be done in short spurts, allowing the blade to cool before starting again. A real pain in the ass! But back in the 1990s or maybe a little later, I found a 4” dia 48 tooth carbide blade with a 1/16” kerf at Harbor Freight. I bought three of them as I figured they might eventually disappear. This type blade worked wonders! They are hard to find these days sometimes though.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 763 days


#4 posted 03-19-2018 08:13 PM

Thanks for posting photos of your shop, Rufus. You do have some awesome equipment. Thanks for allowing me to see it in person. I’m still not going to use electricity, though … LOL!

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1792 posts in 3128 days


#5 posted 03-20-2018 02:32 AM

Now I’ve got to come see it in person. Thanks for posting photos.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1237 posts in 2876 days


#6 posted 03-20-2018 02:09 PM

Well come on Alex! I have been inviting you. E-mail me at rufus.carswellsr@gmail.com.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View UncleBuck's profile

UncleBuck

249 posts in 196 days


#7 posted 03-20-2018 02:20 PM

great shop great story thanks for sharing

-- Terry Uncle Buck Carvins "woodworking minus patience equals firewood "

View woodchuckerNJ's profile

woodchuckerNJ

1288 posts in 1749 days


#8 posted 03-23-2018 01:37 AM

Nice shop, nice equipment … I like that little shaper up against the wall. The WT band saw looks new. You have some nice toys, and apparently know how to use them, and use them well.

Thanks for the pics and great reading. As to your signature, perfect.

-- Jeff NJ

View Commarato53's profile

Commarato53

32 posts in 1741 days


#9 posted 03-23-2018 12:57 PM

Very nice! Really nice machines as well. Looks like a working shop too, well done!

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1237 posts in 2876 days


#10 posted 03-23-2018 10:36 PM

woodchuckerNJ . . . . That metal shaper up against the wall was waiting on restoration in that old photo. Not very long ago I did the rebuild and the photo is below. That shaper is a 7” Delta (Delta bought out Aamco which was the original maker) made in 1953 which was the ending of the shaper era which has been supplanted by vertical milling machines which are faster and more versatile. For those who are not familiar with metal shapers, they use a tool like a metal lathe uses to plane off a flat surface similar to what wood planes do to wood. I’m old enough to remember seeing ads for these in magazines like Popular Mechanics when I was a young teenager. I wanted one badly then! Finally got it much much later!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View cmccoys's profile

cmccoys

6 posts in 182 days


#11 posted 03-24-2018 01:38 PM

Nice shop, great story!

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