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Spectric

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Hi all

Yes it is nice to have a decent workshop all neat and tidy etc etc but remember that the most important aspect is not what goes into the workshop but what comes out. I used to have a large workshop and spent more time in building it, kitting it out and changing things than using it as I moved house.
 

Ttrees

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What do you regret?
Did you not get your money back when moving house when I presume you upgraded the leccy?
I haven't shot myself in the foot by upgrading the rented house supply with 16a in the shed and went VFD route.
Did you make a load of runs for dust collection?, most folks end up upgrading their DC at some point even if they never move.
Do you not think you learned lots and its that whole thing of the journey for me anyways that counts, you don't agree?
Presumably you got a bigger house and need to fill it now...
Maybe take a leaf from Bill Carter's mantelpiece if you have too many planes ;)

I haven't invested a penny other than some cement and bulbs for the shed, total cost about a tenner.
I've spent a lot of "shop" time doing up machinery and designing mobile bases that's ready to be plonked anywhere for this reason.
I don't think I have anything I'd want to give up, maybe an extra tablesaw was acquired for a song.
My shop furniture is just welded up benches, that can be choppy changed, nothing fancy.
All the woodwork like making a nice bench is for the craft of doing,
and having a welcoming main feature that I want to spend time at.
I value made things as just nicetys and its what you learned that counts not what you make.
What guarantees anyone that they will have a place to put all that furniture
if they make loads of it, if they move?

I suppose I might have wildly differing priorities than yourself?
The most regrets I ever see is a load of sub par Chinese machinery.
What's your biggest regret?
Tom
 

Spectric

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Hi Tom

Yes sub par Chinese machinery is swamping the planet, have watched it's invasion ever since the seventies! You don't get the money back on the upgraded supply because too many people they don't need or want it, just something they don't understand and even if you were lucky to find the right buyer it only becomes a positive buying point for them. I was into metalwork and specialised fabrication at that time of my life, but it would have made a fantastic woodworking shop for my later years but I put quality of life first and escaped the overcrowded south for the peace and tranquility of Cumbria, no regrets there.

The biggest thing I see is the UK sliding down the u bend, what happened to Great Britain, engineering that changed the world and now we are just relying on service industries and hospitality. Our greatness can now only be seen in history books and by visiting the wonders we built in the past.
 

pcb1962

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but remember that the most important aspect is not what goes into the workshop but what comes out.
If your hobby is building fine furniture then yes.
My hobby is building tools and machinery, so very little ever comes out of either my fabrication/machine shop or my woodwork shop.
Each to his own.
 

shed9

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Whilst I appreciate the spirit of the post in concentrating on making things as opposed to investing more resource to be in a position to make those things in the first place, I'm not sure it's all lost investment. I've enjoyed the process of making the environment I make things in and I probably spent longer than I should have. I'm also in the same camp as pcb1962 in the building of tools and machinery, so little has left the shop comparative to the work that goes on in it.

I'd also add that the argument of inferior Chinese machinery is fairly moot of late. High value manufacturing can happen anywhere these days, location doesn't dictate quality anymore and in reality it didn't always in the past either. Cost and peoples willingness to meet that cost has usually been the driver and often with no respect to how that cost has been derived, i.e. wages, conditions, etc. I still hear people complain with the age old trope of 'they don't make em like they used to' and then go on to brag about the cheap meat they bagged at their local Tesco's with no clue to the link in those two statements.
The gold old days of Great British engineering wasn't as rosy as perception would suggest either, we had immense capacity to make just as much rubbish as any other point on earth.

Nostalgia alas is not what it used to be.
 

lurker

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Hi Tom

Yes sub par Chinese machinery is swamping the planet, have watched it's invasion ever since the seventies! You don't get the money back on the upgraded supply because too many people they don't need or want it, just something they don't understand and even if you were lucky to find the right buyer it only becomes a positive buying point for them. I was into metalwork and specialised fabrication at that time of my life, but it would have made a fantastic woodworking shop for my later years but I put quality of life first and escaped the overcrowded south for the peace and tranquility of Cumbria, no regrets there.

The biggest thing I see is the UK sliding down the u bend, what happened to Great Britain, engineering that changed the world and now we are just relying on service industries and hospitality. Our greatness can now only be seen in history books and by visiting the wonders we built in the past.
We appear to be good at making sandwiches but not much else.
 

Spectric

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Hi all

I am not laying the blame for cheap inferior machinery at the asians, the blame lays with modern culture in the Uk because although the asian engineering sector can produce really high quality goods with corresponding cost they will produce what is being asked for, so cutting quality keeps cost down. The issue for many seems to be cheap asian at one end and expensive at the other with little in the middle. The outlets in the UK are shifting the goods and not really listening to the customers whose feedback and ideas could improve the product because their turnover is good. We are living in a throw away world where product life cycles are very short, it is possible to make something that could last say 15 years but that is not good for the OEM, they want more frequent sales although it would help the enviroment if it lasted longer. Good examples are woodworking machines from over sixty years ago that are still going strong, built to last as the customer then wanted quality. In one company I worked for they taught us a new way of design called "perceived quality" , the concept was simple. Reduce cost and quality on everything so long as the customer still perceives they are buying a quality product!
 

AJB Temple

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Our manufacturing failed when accountants became more important than engineers.
This line is used frequently, but the reality is that market demand and marketplace competition rules. It is possible to make superb machines that last forever, but they need to meet a price to sell. Hence, the real challenge of engineering is to design and deliver a product that can be sold and still make money. Back in the day engineers needed to be trained to look at what they do more widely perhaps.
 

Blackswanwood

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When Lexus launched their first cars in the US Jaguar quickly bought one and had it shipped to the UK where their engineering team took it apart to see what they were up against. The then MD walked into the workshop where this was happening and saw the team laughing at a stripped down seat as having taken off all the upholstery they had found the metalwork had not been polished. He realised then what a job he had on his hands as no one would ever see it, it added cost to the manufacturing process and no value to the user.

Lexus went on to be a success ... Jaguar spent many years in the wilderness.

You need good accountants and good engineers to have a successful manufacturing business.
 

Cabinetman

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I have this discussion quite often with my American intended, the words "it’s good enough" are used on my side – for a situation like the Lexus underframe that won’t ever be seen . And she says good enough isn’t good enough, an American expression, believe it or not. we shall just have to beg to differ, personally I say it’s all down to common sense. Ian
 

Blackswanwood

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I have this discussion quite often with my American intended, the words "it’s good enough" are used on my side – for a situation like the Lexus underframe that won’t ever be seen . And she says good enough isn’t good enough, an American expression, believe it or not. we shall just have to beg to differ, personally I say it’s all down to common sense. Ian
My wife says the same about me Ian 😉😂
 

DBT85

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With regard to the point of buying quality, you can still buy it. But it costs far more that most are willing to pay. If you want a high quality washing machine you spend £600 minimum on a Miele that's built to last in Germany and uses things like cast iron for counterweights rather than concrete, but often they are not as "pretty" as an LG or Samsung or other brands. Most want to have one for £300. You don't get to have both.

A lot of tat does flow out of the far east becase someone pays them to make something down to that price. There's also a lot of great stuff coming out of those places. Most of the things you buy will have come from there or will have parts that came from there. It's sadly up to people more than ever to share a great product and let people know which ones are good and which ones are bad. From a woodworking perspective, Dennis at Hooked on Wood on youtube is doing a great series all about China Tools. Things ordered from banggood or similar that are of use to people like us. Not that I think things were much different on "Previously on the Britih Empire" despite what hindsight might suggest.

I can go buy an old Startrite or Wadkin tablesaw, maybe for £500 if I'm lucky. It'll need love, but it will work great and often be better than a new £500 tool today. How much did that cost when it was made 25+ years ago though? A Sedgwick that looks similar ish runs for £3300 today. Well above and beyond what most will pay.

On the subject of the workshop. I'm not worried about what comes out of it. Mine is nearly finished and I will be moved in by the end of October. My wife and I are in a situation that means I'll probably die in this house in 40 or more years time, so I have the benefit of knowing I'll never have to abandon it. What matters to me is the time I spend in there doing whatever it might be that I need or want to do. That might be making built ins or a cabinet or it might be repairing things from the house. But I now have a heated large space isolated from the house in which to work at any time of day without worry of waking up the kid or making a mess and noise indoors.

I suppose the moral is, enjoy it while you've got it. Where you derive that enjoyent is entirely up to you. If all you want to do is make 'shop projects then have at it.
 

DBT85

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I love it when people ask me "What do you make with all your tools?", and I answer "More tools".
Exactly!

I imagine a lot of what I do in the next year will be 'shop stuff as I've moving into an area more than twice the size I have right now, and Workshop 1.0 has basically no storage. I have a handtool bench and a mft assembly bench and my tools largly sit ontop of one or the other. It's infuriating! Building cabinets/workbench for one wall, storage under the hand tool bench, maybe Fishers flip cart for my bobbin sander and disk/belt combo, Jeans rafter storage bins etc etc the list goes on and on.

My only option to own a 20" bandsaw might be to Wandel one together. If they are good enough for the likes of him or Marius Hornberger then it'll do for me. Plus I have a little Record 250 to help make it.
 
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