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[4]

Selling the initial investment.....

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starr256

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#1
With all hobbies, aspiring hobbyists have had the conversation with a significant other where the tension gets above normal with the question "You want to spend how much? And what are you going to make with this dohicky?". I was wondering what novel answers have been proffered to the later question, since we all know that the honest answer to the first to be "A lot."
 

RandyM

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#2
The problem with that question is it stacked against you. I have found that the only and best answer is to buy it and then show them how useful it is to repair or make things for them. It is no different than any other tool in your shop. Anything you say at this point is only going to be met with skepticism. Also, you'll find that once you have the machine you'll find things to use it for you had no way of knowing until it is sitting in your shop. Best of luck on your quest. :encourage:
 

fradish

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#3
I'm lucky that my wife and I are supportive of each other's hobbies, but someone once gave me a hard time
about how I could justify the equipment I have bought. Like I have to make an economic case for why I have machines
that I like to use for my hobby. This same guy thinks nothing of spending money playing golf, which, unless you're
winning tournaments, isn't providing any return on investment... :)
 

David S

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#4
I have been very lucky that my wife liked boats i.e. cabin cruisers as much as I did so over the first years of our life we spent all summer on our small cruiser. As we aged we discussed motor homes. Wow she was all for it, so we are now on our 3rd Class A and she loves every second of it, as do I. So-o-o-o when I contemplate buying a hobby tool she actually encourages me if I am hesitant, and of course I encourage her hobbies.

I guess what I am saying is that we (I) have invested so much in her and collectively our outdoor summer enjoyment that it pales in comparison to any tools or equipment I could buy for my hobby.

As they say "a Happy Wife is a Happy Life". In our case so true.

David
 

derf

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#5
It's easier to beg for forgiveness than to get permission. Beside honing your machining skills, you must also work on your "wordsmith" skills. For example: never refer to this pastime as a "hobby", that sounds expensive and frivolous. Always refer to this as an "occupation"....it sounds more important and meaningful. Besides that, it will keep you occupied and out of her hair. At some time you will have to justify some expense, so when she asks "Why do you need that?" You just say, "Because I don't have one....";)
 

ttabbal

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#8
That can be a tough one. It helps me that my kids are old enough to learn and so she gets to see them excited about making things with me on the lathe. So when a mill came up locally it was a bit easier to sell her on it.

Our sister in law recently got a classic Mustang, though I don't know the exact vintage. She was skeptical until her husband mentioned that it could be used to make parts for her car that are difficult to find. Then she was all for it. :)
 

dtsh

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#10
I keep books on all my expenses and hobbies are no exception; it's the best way for me to keep tabs on my spending and to remember what was spent on an item in the past. I budget a monthly allowance for hobbies, same as we do for food, mortgage, utilities, etc. All hobby expenses wait until funds are available in my "hobby account" and that gets divided up among all my hobbies. A big purchase for one hobby robs the others and as a result I'm sometimes squeezed for resources, but it does help cut down on frivilous expenses and encourages me to make purchases which are useful for multiple hobbies. Since the money in my hobby account is intended as disposable income, I don't need to justify expenses to anyone but myself.

Sometimes purchases of tooling comes from other accounts, such as the homestead account or automotive accounts, when the purchase of tooling allows a repair for less than it would cost when the job is contracted out. Frequently automotive tools, woodworking tools, etc fall in this category. If it's cheaper to let someone else do it, I let them, but it rarely is.

It's worked well for my household and as a bonus, I can query my accounts for data and trends going back years. I'm sure it sounds like a complex mess, but once it's an established habit, it takes litterally only minutes every month to keep the books current.
 

tcarrington

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#11
be sure to fix a curtain rod or maybe her car. Make a doo-hickey to hold something she really likes. Perhaps a small item in the shadow box would work. drill a tiny hole in something that she wants on a chain. you can also apply this to one of the kids or her best friend. I am not saying lie, but if you fix the faucet, regardless of whether the mill or lathe or any other power tool was involved, point out you saved a plumber visit. Make sure the gate that goes where ever works, all the time.
 

bhigdog

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#12
We both have always been frugal and hard working. We built our house ourselves and almost everything is still a DIY type of deal. So now when we are older and all the money we saved by our labors has been invested wisely that conversation never arises. When I bought my 14" shaper she was happy to help get it on the trailer. When she needed (wanted) a new stable for her horses I helped her design it.
Like it was said above mutual support is the key................Bob
 

FanMan

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#13
When I bought my mill my wife asked me what I was going to make with it. I answered, "Anything I want to."
 

PHPaul

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#14
The wife and I have a system that avoids (most) problems in that vein.

We have "our" money which is my retirement, my SS and her SS. That is strictly budgeted and pays all the usual bills, insurance, utilities, groceries etc. plus funding some savings, emergency cash and the IRA.

She has "her" money which comes from the room and board that her brother pays us, selling eggs and other "pin money" sources.

I have "my" money which comes from the odd jobs I pick up working with my tractor, repairing small engines and yard equipment and small welding/fabrication jobs.

Anything I buy with "my" money doesn't require permission or explanations. "Because I wanted it" is entirely adequate. That's why there was a several month lag between deciding I wanted a mill and actually getting it: I had to save up enough odd-job money to cover it.

Major purchases that will require loan payments are thoroughly discussed and approved in advance like any partnership.
 

RJSakowski

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#17
When I was growing up, my Dad fished and hunted and my Mom grew a garden. Back then, my Dad was making $2.50 an hour as a cabinet maker and my Mom was a stay-at-home mom raising four kids. The fish, game, and produce ensured that we always had food on the table.

2018: My wife has a quarter acre garden, working most days through the summer. Although she provide produce for our table and donates over a thousand pounds of produce to local food pantries, there is no way that she can justify all the expenses entailed from an economic stance. I like to go fishing and provide enough fish for at least a meal each week throughout the year with some excess going to neighbors. But no way can I justify the hobby from an economic standpoint.

I had a fairly large collection of tools and machines purchased when I had my own business and when a company that I was partner in was sold, I bought myself my Tormach and a seat of SolidWorks. A few years later, when I retired, I bought a G0602 lathe. If I looked at the investments that I have made in my shop, I would find it hard to justify them on an economic basis.

The point of all of these is that while it isn't justifiable economically, there is a sense of accomplishment, of satisfaction, and of general well being that is priceless.
 
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rwm

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#18
I got married relatively late in life by today's standards. My hobby was already going when I met my wife. She was very impressed and wanted to support it. So far the amount of money I have spent on this hobby is probably less than one semi expensive sports car. Plenty of people have blown cash on that!
Robert
 

Redmech

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#19
If she ever asks how often will you use that?

The correct response is every time I need it, not once every 5 years.
 

PHPaul

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#20
The point of all of these is that while it isn't justifiable economically, there is a sense of accomplishment, of satisfaction, and of general well being that is priceless.
No, it's not.

But, as others have pointed out, there IS (or at least can be...) some payback. My lathe cost less than a decent set of golf clubs. The only thing I can make with golf clubs is divots.

I 'm only partly joking when I tell folks, it keeps me out of the bars and off the streets...
 

Cadillac

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#21
First thing is we both work and make decent money. I have mine she has hers and we have a joint account. I was deep into my hobbying way before I got married. Ive always fixed all my own stuff,made most of my stuff if capable. Tools make you capable to do a professional job. I make her anything she asks for. I fix everything her and my son break except for them dam little plastic toys. Garbage! Would have to reengineer the whole thing.
The more tools and tooling I buy the less stuff we buy because I usually make it. Gotta impress her with your new stuff!:cool:
 

RJSakowski

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#22
No, it's not.

But, as others have pointed out, there IS (or at least can be...) some payback. My lathe cost less than a decent set of golf clubs. The only thing I can make with golf clubs is divots.

I 'm only partly joking when I tell folks, it keeps me out of the bars and off the streets...
No doubt if one plans to make a business of it, purchasing tools and machinery can be very profitable. I know of number of instances where large machinery expenditures have had an ROI of less than a a year. When I had my business, I could and did justify the expenditures based on ROI.

The issue is there are many hobby machinists who never intend or never will sell the product of their machines. I am retired and have no interest in rejoining the work force. I will take on jobs for friends and neighbors but not for pay. My typical comment was " if I charged you what it was worth, you couldn't afford it; pay it forward to someone else".

Over the years, I have made many custom items which, along with repair jobs, would have made a significant dent in my investment cost. If had to justify the costs based on payback, I couldn't. I am fortunate in that I am not budget constrained nor does my wife question my purchases but a question I ask myself for each and every one is what is the cost benefit ratio. Were it not for the enjoyment factor, I would probably forget the shop and watch TV from my recliner.

I realize that every situation is different and for someone on a tight household budget and who has the drive to derive some income from the use of their machines, I say go for it. It can be an excellent way to supplement a fixed income. There have been countless examples of thriving businesses that have started out in a garage or basement.
 

firestopper

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#23
Our shops provide us with hours of learning and the ability to repair virtually anything worth fixing. Over the years I have proven this to my wife of 30 years. Keep it practical use them often (machines),and take care of your investment. In the end, our shops give us purpose, balanced with other wonderful things life has to offer.

Paco
 

jdedmon91

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#24
My shop was from day one a retirement project. That’s why I purchased the machines and big ticket tooling along. So now I hit buy stuff for enhancements and projects. Also to make some YouTube videos. Since my channel isn’t as large as the big guys it’s just another hobby.

I never been a woodworker so machining things is a hobby to me. One day after I get some of the backlog projects whittled down. I may try my hand at a model steam engine.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Charles Spencer

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#25
I 'm only partly joking when I tell folks, it keeps me out of the bars and off the streets...
Ha! I always say it keeps me off the street corners.

Before I retired I bought various woodworking machines and tools for work on the house. They easily paid for themselves and my wife knew it. Right after I retired I saw a Craigslist ad for a nicely restored South Bend 9C at a reasonable price. I bought it. Then I started seeing machines in various states of repair on Craigslist for short money. I bought and restored some and sold them. Some I parted out. Some I kept for me. The profits from selling machines and parts bought most of my tooling. On occasion I would take some of those profits and take the wife out to dinner or we'd go some place for the weekend. I always made sure to let her know where the money came from. One restored lathe paid our state taxes last year. So she may say "That looks like a filthy piece of junk", but she doesn't mind because I keep busy and happy and she got a little something out of it too. Unfortunately, now I have most of the machines I've wanted and I've run out of space to work on or store any more machines.
 

Janderso

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#26
For me, the "initial investment", was easy. She asked what a lathe was. I told her it makes metal stuff round. She said, go ahead you never spend any money on yourself. The Bridgeport, saws, and stuff was another story.
The way I look at it, if i look back at the hundreds of thousands of dollars we spent on cars and trucks over the past 3 decades, a $15,000 shop investment is not a big deal.
A funny thing has happened. I use to read every waking moment I could. I haven't picked up a book other than machinists related reading since I bought the lathe, mill, TIG, press, drill press, ........ I also feel more rested and have more energy.
I really believe rekindling my interest in machinery/tooling has helped my unknown to me depression.
I am happy.
We are going to Mexico for two weeks beginning next week. All i regret is the time away from the shop. I'll get over it, when I get back I will have my Jet vertical saw and a "Certiflat" welding table to put together. :)
Great thread and I enjoy reading about the relationships between our wives/husbands.
 

MrWhoopee

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#27
I have mine she has hers and we have a joint account.
This is the key. No arguing, pleading or guilt. However, I DO NOT recommend trying to convert an existing arrangement, it will end badly. When starting out fresh, keep 'em separated.
 

MrWhoopee

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#28
A funny thing has happened. I use to read every waking moment I could. I haven't picked up a book other than machinists related reading since I bought the lathe, mill, TIG, press, drill press, ........ I also feel more rested and have more energy.
I really believe rekindling my interest in machinery/tooling has helped my unknown to me depression.
I am happy.
We are going to Mexico for two weeks beginning next week. All i regret is the time away from the shop. I'll get over it, when I get back I will have my Jet vertical saw and a "Certiflat" welding table to put together. :)
Sounds a lot like me. Be careful though, you may find your elevated mood is attached to the acquisition of tooling more than its use. NEW TOYS!
 

Mitch Alsup

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#29
While my wife is generally supportive of my endeavors::

I have maintained my own slush fund since we got together (30-odd years ago).
Within that fund, I get to do what I want and don't need even the hint of permission.
With luck, this fund is going to last another 18 years (or so) by the time I will be 85-ish and probably not so needy of machine tools.
 

Janderso

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#30
Mr. Whoopee, I have considered what you said about the New Toy High. I also really enjoy heading out to the shop with a project. That project could be making a bracket for the VFD or rewiring the old saw. I just love working with my hands and equipment, creating, repairing or fabricating. I find it very fulfilling. I get the same feeling today I felt when I was back in shop class in the early 70's. One exception though, I am not pre-occupied by the girls.
A Shop Fund, I have been putting money away for 30 years for retirement. I have a Roth a 401K and some investments. My wife inherited some money, we have rental property and I have some inheritance.
I am truly blessed to be able to put $20,000 aside for my shop fund. If I really enjoy it, I may sell one of the more pricey machines and go with a more modern mill for example with servos and a DRO package. We will see how it goes.
 
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