Dont buy it until you have a job for it?

Superburban

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if you could get half the parts you need and could repair we would be in better shape...
I agree, I watch those videos, and wonder how they get the parts they use. I imagine if you look, you may find a commentator for a starter, but they seem to have the right one so easy. Heck, I had a heard time finding brushes for the alt in my 97 Dodge van. I take it they figure there is less time and cost in swapping an alt, then taking it to someone to test and fix it.
 

Bi11Hudson

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Aside, not really on any topic
Brushes, especially for small motors, are easy to make. Consider where the name "brush" came from. In the '20s, they were actually copper brushes. The carbon brushes of today are lossy, very high resistance. In the old days, copper was used because it was the same material as the commutator. Brass was avoided because it was harder. It could be used in a pinch, but would cause wear on the comm or slip rings of an alternator. Maybe to make the motor run while you make a copper brush.

Copper brushes are easy to make. I use a fine copper mesh from Hobby Lobby, or maybe it was Michaels. . . A very fine mesh, like window screen but maybe 40 or 50 to the inch. In the "old days" there was a mesh screen in a carburator. And in external filters with glass bowls. That is how fine the mesh needs to be. Cut a strip a little wider than the brush is long. Roll into a cylinder as tight as possible, then with a piece of 1X2 on a hard smooth surface, roll it tighter. Trim with scissors then roll it tighter. Repeat. I roll on a piece of Nr 40 drill rod. Toward the end, remove the center rod and roll it tighter.

Trim to length and remove any loose whiskers with scissors or nail clippers. The finished brush can be unrolled a layer or two to make it a smooth fit in the holder. A spring from a ball point pen makes a good spring. One from a "crack head lighter" can be used if a stronger spring is needed. But requires a piece of brass as a "push plate". The wire can be soldered to the brush or to a push plate. The solder is kept away from the "live" end toward the commutator. The usual method to retain the brush is a steel pin. Larger motors could use a piece of coat hanger wire. Usually steel, the retainers may be any material, they are not an "active" part of the circuit, although they are "live".

The point here is to make unusual parts from unusual materials. I used making a brush because I have done so many times for small motors. Making a replacemant part the whole point is to make the machine "go". How pretty it is usually is a matter of manufactoring with the fewest parts and lowest man hours. Repair has been factored out of the equation. The repairman makes it "go", not being too concerned with appearance.

For what its' worth, I prefer Chrysler alternators for making "stuff". With only 2 wires, they are easy to modify. The newer regulators are a pain, what with a transistor circuit. Now adays I have to wind my own voltage coil to make the relay.
.
 
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C-Bag

Ned Ludd's bro
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if you could get half the parts you need and could repair we would be in better shape...
^THIS! Case in point my neighbor asked me where to get rid of what looked like a brand new Craftsman weed eater. I asked him what was wrong and he said the pull start didn’t work. I took it apart and one of the cheap sheetmetal pawl’s was gone. He went to order it and their website was a stupid mess. Took 6wks to get and was wrong. He told them that and they said that’s all they had and don’t bother sending the wrong part back. So both went into the trash.
 

Janderso

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All of this aside, I am, or was, a master electrician. But an "old school" motor and controls electrician. And have a stash of relays, timers, fittings, brushes, and the like. I know how to modify brushes so a motor will work again. And, worst case, can rewind small motors. But all that comes to naught if the power is off. Unless I can fabricate something to make the power. That's where the machine work and carpentry comes into play. I know a lot about "old school" electric gizmos. Things that haven't been used for a hundred years. They still work, just require a lot of monitoring and upkeep. Despite my chair, that's where I shine. Knowledge of how to build and take care of such machines.
Bill,
I found out the hard way that electricians like you, are not all inclusive when it comes to networking, electronic hardware and communications equipment, electric motor controls and motor wiring to residential and commercial applications.

I'm fortunate to have a friend that just retired because his work truck with plenty of tooling and equipment was stolen.
He says, I'm 71, I'm not going to start over.
Anyway, he does it all.
You would know more than me but I've struggled to find a replacement who understands the full spectrum of your trade. We call one guy for the lighting, 3 phase equipment etc.
We have another guy who runs the camera/video wiring and equipment to our dealer management system and network wiring and hardware needs.
This is probably more common these days.
 

rabler

Where’s that caliper?
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Don't buy it until you have a job for it seems to be the mantra of the modern machinist. In normal times that is the best way to avoid tying up money in tooling you might never use. This thought process presupposes that the things we might buy will be avaliable.

As one of those crazy prepper types I believe a time may come when we might not have near instant access to any tool we can imagine. That is why I am willing to tie up some money in cutters and tooling I might not have a job for right now. No need to talk me out of it. It's pretty much done anyway. Lol! Humor me!

As far as machine tools, I buy things I want, or things I might need when the price is good. I tend to buy metals from the local dealer in 20' sticks even when I only need 6", although with recent prices I've bought some odd pieces online. Having a stock of things is convenient, I dislike waiting, having to order, etc. I've never regretted stocking up on metals, woods, etc. I don't do so out of any sense of oncoming doom, but out of a sense of independence, and impatience. The more I can do for myself the happier I am. If things really go down hill, I have a tractor and 20 acres that could be planted, and 10 acres of trees that will supply plenty of firewood. But that is more from a sense of independence and enjoying country life. I don't need plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc. I do a fair amount of my own veterinary work on our horses, although trimming feet is getting harder as the years start to take their toll.

Being able to make, or repair, or modify things is just part of that. I figure it will keep me entertained, and serve me well regardless of the circumstances.
 
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woodchucker

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Bill,

I'm fortunate to have a friend that just retired because his work truck with plenty of tooling and equipment was stolen.
He says, I'm 71, I'm not going to start over.
Bastards stealing this guys truck. I have heard this story over and over. People are so disappointing, so many think they are entitled to someone elses property.
 

Batmanacw

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As far as machine tools, I buy things I want, or things I might need when the price is good. I tend to buy metals from the local dealer in 20' sticks even when I only need 6", although with recent prices I've bought some odd pieces online. Having a stock of things is convenient, I dislike waiting, having to order, etc. I've never regretted stocking up on metals, woods, etc. I don't do so out of any sense of oncoming doom, but out of a sense of independence, and impatience. The more I can do for myself the happier I am. If things really go down hill, I have a tractor and 20 acres that could be planted, and 10 acres of trees that will supply plenty of firewood. But that is more from a sense of independence and enjoying country life. I don't need plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc. I do a fair amount of my own veterinary work on our horses, although trimming feet is getting harder as the years start to take their toll.

Being able to make, or repair, or modify things is just part of that. I figure it will keep me entertained, and serve me well regardless of the circumstances.

My Sister and her husband have a good size dairy farm. My BIL is pretty good at fixing things but he knows what I can do and he wants to push work my way any chance he gets....and he wants to pay well to help build the shop. I won't argue.

The last job I did for him he threw and extra few hundred at me to go buy surplus steel before prices go up again. He knows as supply chains tighten he will be put in a bind over and over. He can afford to pay for the parts but he keeps hitting walls. I geared my machine shop toward these types of issues.
 

Bi11Hudson

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From a professional perspective, I have considered myself as "the guy that makes the machine go". I have held this concept for many years, long before the "inter-net" existed. Further, I have had the pleasure of making a living my entire life by having "fun". At the bottom line, that's what this site is about, some guy (or gal) who enjoys getting his hands dirty making something. That something may be to make a particular machine go, or to build a hobby device, or just to prove it can be done. That's why in my area of interest I have such a stash of old, busted power tools. When I need an armature to repair a drill, the one from that obsolete jig saw might well fit. It becomes a matter of modifying the drive end to fit and making new bearings, again to fit.

By today's "standards", the division between an electrician, a wireman, and an electronics technician has become so blurred, the simplist way to express the idea is to use the shortest and easiest to say word, electrician. I was fortunate that at the age of 17, when I went through military training for EMA (basic electrical) I scored number 3 out of 50 odd students. That as a grammar school dropout. My choices for duty station were the sailing ship Eagle and a couple of Stateside shore stations. My choice was a 1940s era ship that went to the South Pole. That choice was at the bottom of the list and I chose it to learn more "archaic" electrical systems. Plus the opportunity for "adventure". I found both and to this day am quite satisfied with that choice. Doing (and learning) whatever it took to make the machine(s) go. Electrical, a little machine work, a little diesel engine theory, a little navigation, a little of this, a little of that.

The same concept applies to a "machinist". To the general public, a machinist might be an automotive mechanic, a true machinist, or even a woodworker that has home made metal tools. A machinist today, to the general public, is anyone that can use a screwdriver to open a can of paint. To have a lathe and a mill, one just must be a master of that craft. End of "rant". . .

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homebrewed

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Yeah, so would be most of the people on this board. The key is to find someone that will feed us in exchange.
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I have a small machine shop in the basement and a large garden in back. All set, you say? BUT I wouldn't want to prepare the soil without the small diesel tractor.....always some fly in the ointment. Biodiesel, anyone? :).
 
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