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What brings us all here to the Hobby Machine website ?

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mmcmdl

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#1
Wondering what has brought everyone to the site other than the interest in being a hobby machinist . I myself am a machinist by trade , and this is my occupation . It would be interesting to read everyone's reasons for their interest in the trade and what your true occupation is . Possibly some networking could be in the future .

I'm sure we all come from different backgrounds and use different skills to pay our bills , chime on in and let's hear what we call work . :)
 
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Brento

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#2
I went to college for the cad so when i got to learn a little machining in a previous job i start to enjoy it. Since then i thought it would be cool to set up my own little shop. I found this place looking for projects at first and here i am.
 

Flat fender

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#3
I've made my living as a field mechanic in heavy equipment, I lurk here more than anything and find this a very interesting place with interesting people. My dad made his living as a Tool Maker, and ran a gunsmith business from home, that sparked my interest in machining at a young age as he had a small lathe and mill (I still have). I plan on retiring in a couple years and have added a Bridgeport and a Sheldon lathe to my shop, and very much enjoy building and fabricating things.

FF
 

kd4gij

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#4
Well the first 27 years of my working life I was a manufacturing optician. grinding eyeglasses then got laid off . then 10 years worked in a machine shop started as an operator first cnc then rotary transfer machines and screw machine. Worked up to lead. during that time I bought a craftsman 12" lathe and a G0704 mill. that is when I joined this site as well as a few others. and for the last 5 1/2 years have been working in a small job shop as a machinist.
 

jmarkwolf

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#5
I got into hobby machining about 20 years ago when building an experimental aircraft.

I had basic power tool experience growing up with my dads drill press, bandsaw, 12in disc sander, and welders, etc. I inherited most of those tools and still use them almost daily.

I bought myself an RF30 clone mill, to help build the kit helicopter, then a bought mid-size Grizzly lathe. Found an old Bridgeport and sold the RF30, found Hobby Machinist about this time. It's been a great resource.

I'm a newly retired electrical engineer and am struggling with whether or not to refurb my Bridgeport, or buy a refurbed Bridgeport, or buy a new Taiwan made Acer 3VS.
 
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westerner

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#6
I am a lifelong builder and fixer of things. Houses, cars, equipment, etc. Made my living in many of these diciplines. I am currently an equipment repair shop supervisor. Machining is an extension of all this. I enjoy the similarities, AND the differences between them all. Oh, ya, and I need MORE tools too, right?
 

RJSakowski

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#7
Degreed in physics, chemistry, and math. The first five years of my professional carreer, I worked as an analytical chemist for a major battery manufacturer. 22 years after that as owner of a small electronics manufacturing company, Six years as manufacturing engineering manager for a medical device company. Another seven years as co-founder of a biotech company, sold to a Fortune 500 company and worked the final two years for that company as an Engineering Manager. Retired since 2013.

I started working with a lathe in 1963, adding a mill/drill c.a. 1984. Began welding in 1970, O/A and stick. Added MIG c.a. 1990. Attended some blacksmithing workshops in 1978-1980 and have a working blacksmith shop. Added a Tormach 770 in 2011 and a Grizzly 602 lathe in 2013.

I had taken three years of drafting in high school and continued the pencil & paper track until 1997 when I started with Autosketch, followed quickly with AutoCAD. Began working with SolidWorks in 2004 and bought my own seat in 2012. I have just started to scratch the surface with Fusion 360.

I am an active member of HM for three years. I am here to learn new things abut this hobby/profession and hopefully to help others with my knowledge and experience.
 

markba633csi

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#8
You could always find me in the metal shop in high school, but I actually ended up making a living in electronics. Since I retired the machining interest has returned so I'm able to play "off the clock" at last.
Mark
 

dlane

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#9
Hobby machineing, worked on old school production robotics for a while.
 

jwmay

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#10
I’m an electrician at a factory. I’ve always made things for myself since I was a kid. I can’t remember a time when I knew what a lathe was and didn’t want one. I think machining is one of the most valuable skills a person could learn. I’m not really talking about making money with it, although I hear it can pay the bills. I’m specifically referring to a higher level of independence that can be achieved through knowledge.

Forgot to mention, that this forum is less derogatory of people, places , or equipment used. I signed up somewhere else, but discovered my machines are banned from being considered actual machines there.
 
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toploader

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#11
While I'm trying to start my own machine shop business. I still have an appreciation for old school machines. I own machines from the early 1900's up to brand new.

I wanted to join a community that had similar interests as me, without the attitude of "why did you spend all that time restoring that old junk!" Yeah I know they are obsolete machines. However, I enjoy using my horizontal milling machine, line shaft driven gear hobber and lathes. Furthermore, these machines still have value in a production shop. A cnc machine capable of doing the work my horizontal boring mill can do is leaps and bounds above my pay grade.
 

benmychree

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#12
I started out with a vocational machine shop class in high school (three periods), only time I ever made the honor roll! Teacher said one day "they are having a apprentice test at Kaiser Steel, some of you guys should take it to see how you can do", well, I took the test and the rest is history, as they say; I worked there seven years, got laid off when business got slow, almost ran out of unemployment benefits, found a job with a local refrigeration shop that did machine work also and stayed there three years, then went into business for myself doing machine work, developing products for the local wine industry for over 30 years, sold out and retired; dammit! the guy who bought the business did not want all the machinery, so I had to move it home (alligator tears) ---- now I can do what I like to do and enjoy doing without worrying about paying the rent, etc. Some of my best friends reside in my shop behind my house! Also, I still have use of all the machinery that I sold, what could be finer, except to be in Carolina in the morning?
One of my finest projects was designing, making drawings of, and building foundry patterns for a 3" & 5-1/4" X 3-3/4" compound steam launch engine; I sold several finished engines and some kits of castings, then sold the whole project to a guy who still sells kits.
I am happy to say that I never got acquainted with CNC, CAD, or anything other than my two hands, eyes and brain, such as it is!
 

mmcmdl

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#13
Where ever we all came from , once we learn these common terms , life is good ! :grin:


Here a some common machinist terms explained
  • Machine - A mechanical device for the removal of redundant parts of the operator's anatomy. It is fitted with various lethal weapons, known as tools.
  • Machinist - A person suffering from the delusion that they control the above machine. Chiefly employed in exhibiting grossly inflated wage packets to non-engineering friends.
  • Tool Setter - An interesting animal kept by the management and trained to replace broken tools, etc. Is very docile when deprived of sleep.
  • Q.A. Inspector - A survivor of the Spanish Inquisition. His chief function is to weaken the machinist's nerve, thus rendering him easy prey to the machine. This is done by informing him that certain dimensions are oversize and, after adjustment, are then undersize by the same amount.
  • Estimator - An illiterate whose mental processes cannot assimilate the fact that there are only 60 minutes in an hour.
  • Tool-grinder - Someone who can grind a cutting edge on a tool and leave it in exactly the same state as before.
  • Reamer - A device for producing various patterns on a bore surface.
  • Tap - like a reamer but much more brittle
  • Test Gauge - An instrument made of metal which has the peculiar property of momentary expansion or contraction
  • Chargehand - Strict caution to be taken with this individual. From his frequent inquiries as to the number of hours you have worked, it must be assumed he is connected to the Income Tax authorities
  • Laborer - This specimen has no ambition, does nothing all day and stays on overtime to finish it. Always missing when wanted. Very obliging a week before Christmas.
  • Foreman - Very rarely seen except when you pick up a newspaper or fill in your football coupon
  • Wagepacket - delayed action bombshell
  • Bonus - Latin name for carrot
  • Scrap - See Swarf
  • Swarf - Chief product of engineering
  • Component - By-product of the manufacture of the above
  • Finish - An abstract term used by the Q.A. Inspector and something that is never good enough
  • Bolt - A cylindrical piece of metal with a helical screw on the outside that is either under or oversize
  • Nut - Something that never fits the above
  • Location diameter - A size that is never right and is always produced by another department
  • Faulty set-up - An accomplishment always achieved by the opposite shift
  • Model - A standard of excellence produced accidentally
  • Coolant pump - A device so designed as to deluge the machinist with oil or water when he is not looking
 

JimDawson

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#14
I just hang out here to help out where I can. Hopefully I can pass on some tricks & tips to those with less experience, and can learn some new things by seeing what others are doing. Just trying to keep the trade alive.

I'm really just an old millwright, never really considered myself to be a machinist. Started machining in high school about 55 or so years ago. When I walked up to a lathe for the first time I just ''knew'' how to run it. I don't know where that came from, I guess it was something I was born with. Never had any formal machinist training, but I pick things up pretty quick. If you think about it, machining is just solving a series of logic problems, then you just develop your skills over time by doing. I've either owned or had access to machine tools all of my adult life. I bought machine tools to further my product development activities and they allow me build prototypes without having to go to outside vendors. I really don't do it as a hobby, but I do enjoy making chips and solving problems.
 

kvt

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#15
Did a little machine work on engine parts, back in the 70s while working as a mechanic in a small town, Then joined the AF and wound up doing computer security and networking before retiring out of there and going to work as a contractor for the AF. Always trying to make things, and various helping people welding etc. Father in law left me his sherline stuff when he passed. Started making small items, then figured out I wanted to make bigger stuff than would fit on the Sherline. Have been working up to a jet 10x24 and a enco 30 Mill. Stull just a hobby learning things the hard way. Joined to get advice and learn as did not know anyone here in SA that did machine work, and could not even find much in the way of people doing it here. I try to pass on anything I have learned if it helps someone understand something, or that they can learn from my mistakes. Have been told that I was a problem looking for a place to happen at times in various thing. So I know mishaps pretty good. (broke same hand, same bone like 4 times, and same bone in my foot also like 4 times.)
 

wileel

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#16
Spent a little over 22 years in the Air Force as an aircraft mechanic on several airframes, and have always been the kind of guy who loves to tinker. Been working on and helped build a few race cars so I've always loved being able to fabricate my way out of tough spots during projects. The machining bug bit me during the engine swap on my car. Didn't have a bunch of money or resources (AF pay) at the time so had to really get creative a few times like making a supercharger bracket....chain drilling and using a jig saw on 1/2 al plate...building counter bore out of a bolt and scrap of steel chucked up I'm my drill press and so on. I got frustrated trying to make spacers so I bought a little horror freight lathe and after that I was hooked. Now a few years later, I have a new job that pays well but I deploy 4 months on/off, so I have time while I'm home to play. I finally have my first proper machine on order (PM-30MV) and I'm super excited about the possibilities.

I discovered the site and was immediately surprised by the good nature and helpfulness of folks here, this is a great resource of info and I don't feel dumb about asking questions...that a big thing!
 

Tozguy

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#17
I am here because no one else will have me.:tranquility:
Seriously this place was recommended to me by some good folks who do not find the same goodnaturedness anywhere else.
We do not have a monopoly on machining knowledge but have become the best machining therapy group on the net.:eagerness:
 

PHPaul

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#18
To be brutally honest, I'm a dilettante. Somewhat more kindly, a Jack of All Trades, Master of None. I'm here to learn more about my latest interest: metal working and machining.

I grew up on a small farm in circumstances where, for the most part, if you couldn't do it yourself, it didn't get done. Dad was an industrial electrician nights and farmed days. He was a pretty good hand at carpentry, electrical and mechanical and I picked much of that up, largely by being too ignorant to know I couldn't DO that.

I retired from the Navy in 1990 after 22 years as an Electronics Technician, my only formal training. Of course, all that is nearly 30 years out of date now. After retiring from the Navy I bummed around in several jobs, mostly electronic, electrical or mechanically (sometimes all three) related. One job was on the maintenance crew at a cannery. Before my time, the cannery had it's own machine shop and there was a big Hendy lathe and a Bridgeport mill in the shop. The mill was being used as a glorified drill press and the lathe was collecting dust and rust. I took it upon myself to find the tooling for both that had been stashed and forgotten, and taught myself how to do basic operations on both machines. As another poster mentioned, I have some ability to look at a situation and see how to go about it. Perhaps not the BEST way, but a workable way. I also learned a bit about welding through an Adult Ed class, mentoring from a very good welder at work and lots of practice with their machines, stick, MIG and TIG.

I tend to get interested on a hobby or process, dive into it, and then taper off as interest wanes. Last Winter it was Arduino programming and various related projects. This Winter has been back to model building in brass and using my new lathe to make various simple bits that weren't possible before I had the lathe. At some point I think I'd like to combine the two into working models.

I've built all my own outbuildings: barn, garage, toolshed and various animal shelters, along with some simple furniture in my wood shop.

I've also rebuilt several motorcycles and ATV's, a tractor and a number of truck/car engines (before computerized everything).

Pretty much any excuse to buy more tools...:anon:
 

Hukshawn

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#19
I came here because the gear train was wrong in my lathe and it wouldn’t thread properly. I googled my way here. Likely, not to the "other" place. You guys paint a very clear picture of it. I have no interest in that. No one is born with knowledge... although, you’d wonder with the way that some people act...

I loved the community so much here, I stayed to pester as many people as I could! And learned more here in two years than anywhere else for anything else in my whole life.

I left high school without finishing. Couldn’t hack it, couldnt sit still. Spent my time playing music in bands, running lights and sound for the auditorium. Got a job fixing surgical instruments in a small shop. Got canned after 4 months, boss was an old guy, I was 18, he was out of touch with kids and I didn’t know how to take criticism and just shut down every time he gave it.
Had a weird interview at a local factory. Interview was terrible on my part. "Yes, no, yes, no, sometimes, sure, thanks very much...." to my astonishment he called me back for a second interview and gave me a job. He said he liked that I didn’t bullpoop, I said I walked through the door and my mind went blank... I spent 7 years there working my way up to lead operator, wound up getting politically shuffled out the door along with 7 other senior employees by the plant manager in an attempt to take more control over the failing facility. Only to find out it was head office that was causing it to fail (which we tried to express to him...), then to get fired himself. The production manager who hired me, who runs it like his personal candy store since day one, is still there 15 years later. Good for him. He makes them money.

Blah blah blah, more factories, started dabbling in construction, more construction, then less factories, then no factories and all construction. Always enjoyed welding. Was able to fabricate from time to time in the 7 year factory. I bought a lathe in 2016, and here I am. The interest turned into a hobby, which turned into a fixation, now it consumes most of my money. (Don’t tell my wife :dejected:)

Edit: changed prohibited word
 

ddickey

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#20
I got into bike racing in high school and ended up racing for 23 years. I got to see the world. Made a few mistakes and ended up racing way to long. I have two big regrets in life, one is not learning my fathers trade.
Ended up going to a tech school in St, Cloud and earned a few AAS degrees. I&C tech, Power Plant Tech & Mechatronics. I was required to take welding and also machining in school and I loved every minute of it. Fast forward 5 years and I'm working for a large utility up here as an journeyman out plant operator. I really dislike the work and am trying desperately to get into any trade.
Anyway, to keep me sane I bought a lathe first then a mill and a few other machine tools. It's the only thing that give me any sense of accomplishment.
I can't remember how I got here but the members here have really helped me get started and always offer advice, even if the questions seemed silly to me now. I really appreciate that.
 

T. J.

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#21
I'm a veterinarian - my practice is mainly large animal focused. I've always liked metalworking. I learned to weld (stick) when I was about 10. Growing up on a farm, there were always things to fix or build. I had never been around a machine shop until I built my own :). I've learned everything I know about machining from YouTube and this site - and I'm still learning.
 

C-Bag

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#23
It's really interesting and fun to see I'm not the only one who's life has unfolded in unexpected ways :).

I started out was an independent VW engine rebuilder and at one time was the only one in the county that knew how to line bore cases. My strength was my attention to detail and proper measuring and machining. Went through several garages and felt like if I had certificates I wouldn't have to put up with the guff. So went back to school at the local JC and became the special projects mech student for the dept. then transferred to Reedley JC to become an aircraft mech. Got my A&P and all the auto certs and went to find a job and was told I was over qualified. Realized the guff was working for alcoholic managers. Never did work in aircraft because the pay was so lousy.

Worked as a wrench until the late 80's and just got fed up with black box tech that nobody could diagnose or fix and bailed for building and fixing fruit packing machinery. I realized I'd much rather make something that to fix some bad design. Meanwhile something I'd come up with in '86 for mandolin had taken on a life of its own and was growing as I learned and applied more sophisticated manufacturing processes to it. Just at the time it got too stupid at the company I was working for because they decided to nix our benefits and I walked, one of the largest acoustic music dealers in the world wanted to become a dealer of my invention. More dealers followed and because it was now my "job" I could apply everything I'd learned to making it. But I needed to make equipment that took machining and so bought a 9x20 & RF 30 that were adequate to the job and started watching YouTube and Mr.Pete to learn the basics. Not until I bumbled onto an old Atlas 7b that needed a starter cap did I bumble onto this place. And I'm so glad I did. I learn something every single time I log on and don't have to wade through the surly comments I see on the other forums. Looking back I never would have predicted this.
 
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wrmiller

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#24
I jumped head first into combat pistol competitions (USPSA and Steel Challenge) big time in SoCal in the 80s and I wanted to get some small machines to help with building my competition pistols. Started with a Sherline lathe and mill, and worked my way up from there.

Somewhere along the way I tripped over this site and have been kinda hanging out ever since.
 

Ulma Doctor

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#25
i get paid to fix things others carelessly destroy.
it's interesting how a bowling ball can be broken with a broomstick.
i can't explain the physics behind the statement, but, it must be like the bumble bee that shouldn't be able to fly typa thing.
i have been interested in the construction and composition of everyday things since i was very young.
when i got a new toy, i'd play with the toy for a day or 2 and then invariably the toy would be dissected to reveal its working components.
sometimes the toy was returned to function, most times not as i generally had to separate assemblies that were beyond my capabilities to restore function to.
not much has changed since then :grin:
i went to technical school in Wyoming for Diesel Technology
i went to community college and learned 2 process of welding- SMAW, GTAW in all 4 welding positions
i helped build skyscrapers and installed seismic retrofits on buildings.
i went to numerous factory schools for equipment repair of many types- mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical control systems were/are my specialties
i took Richard King's scraping class in 2013, just because scraping spoke to me
i love to restore unloved or destroyed machinery, for the challenge and love of machines :bang head:

the main reason i am here is to seek knowledge of what i don't already know
the secondary reason is to aid my brethren, by educating anyone who will listen to what i have learned
 
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Bob Korves

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#26
I came here looking for hot babes, and I am STILL looking!

(seriously, I am nothing like that and hope I don't get in trouble for the little joke...)
 

firestopper

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#28
My journey began in JR. High school when vocational education was still offered. Although my grandfather was a master machinist (in my eyes) it was at 12-13 years of age that I found the magic of creating. Sure I built many bikes as a kid but not the same as to build something from raw stock.I never failed any grades, but really didn't like school much. I was saved by a few male teachers (WW II vets) who had zero issue straightening me out. By HS, I was enrolled in every vocational course they had to offer a freshman and by the time I graduated at 17 I had a true appreciation for higher math. Six days after graduation, I was in boot camp followed by A school to learn welding/damage control. I had a decent head start over my piers in skill and attitude. Served for 18 months at Sub base P. H. then on a missile sponge for the remainder. Separated about the time I was 21 and struggled to find a job. I went from a second class petty officer ( E5) to landscaping. My father gets that credit as he instilled pride at a young age. I was too proud to collect unemployment or any other type of handout. "Reaganomics" had me enlisting once again. This time around I gave the USAF a try and killed ASVAB enabling me a long list of opportunities. I took a bust down to E-4 and went to another school to learn Aircraft fuel systems including Pneudraulics, schematics and basic electronic troubleshooting. While serving in the AF, I found myself spending time in the weld/machine shop developing/designing specialty tools used in the fuel shop. I had plenty to share and learned even more from these folks. Separated after almost ten years of combined service and hit the private sector working as a fabricator. My time as a civilian employee was frustrating at best. Working with s**t tools, s**t machines and bosses who lacked caring forced me to strike out on my own. My wife had gifted me a Millermatic 200, 4" Makita grinder and a 14" Makita chop saw for Christmas, she knew better than I at the time what I needed to be happy. One job led to another and before I knew it, we had a full-time fab shop. The sad part of this phase of my life was the employees and the type of work we performed (wrought iron gates, fences deck rails etc). This payed the bills (barely) and I found myself in night school after a few years in that rat race. Employees where another negative to the story, so I'll skip that part. What I really missed was being challenged to create and problem solve. I became a fireman and maintained my welding skilled through custom jobs. As the jobs became more complex, I added machines and tooling. I purchased my first lathe back in 2001 mostly out of frustration, having to rely on a shop that didn't share my quality or time table. Most of my machining skills (basic) are from 4 years of H.S. I primarily am a welder/fabricator, so years of practice helps in many areas including what I call practical machining or common sense approach.
I joined this site in 2014 to expand my machining skills and to share in any way I can. I have always had an appetite to learn and been blessed with ambition and good health although my wife will say I'm hyper active;)

Some might think it all started with Mig, 4"grinder and a 14" chop saw, but I like to think it really started with those special men who never gave up on a kid. I'm so grateful I wasn't born 10 years later. I see some parallels with some members on this site whom share and mentor like those special teachers in my life.

A snap shot but it sums it up.

Paco
 
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PHPaul

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#29
@firestopper: "Missile Sponge" he sez....HAAHAHAhahahahahahahahahahahaha! My 22 years in the Navy were spent in the Cryptology field and I have a grand total of 12 days of sea time.

All of that came from one tour as a resident technician at a Mobile Technical Unit (MOTU-10 out of Charleston, SC) supporting a system that was new to the afloat world. The MOTU also had a well-populated submarine contingent supporting both attack and missile boats. The bubbleheads and skimmers were always yanking on each other's chains, mostly in good humor. A good buddy of mine, a Fire Control Tech (SS) said there are two sorts of naval vessels: Submarines and Targets.
 

PHPaul

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#30
it's interesting how a bowling ball can be broken with a broomstick.
When I was a volunteer firefighter, our Chief swore he could pick two firefighters at random, put them in a locked room with two bowling balls and they'd lose one and break the other one. :applause 2:
 
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