What positive and negative experiences do you have, and how did you get each?
I have 5 experiences:
A bicycle mechanic about 60 years old did an excellent job on jerry rigging my very custom specifications that were way outside the box of standard bikes. I did not have to guide him.
A machinist, about 60, told me if I dig a ditch for him, he will use his lathe to make my aluminum tube fit my objective lens and my eyepiece barrel. He did an escellent job with no directions from me. Taught me as I watched. The fit was easy to insert but zero play, and stayed in place.
A machinist fresh out of school, 22 years old, negotiated 60 dollars per hour based on estimated time to completion. I asked for triangles 2" wide and 2.2" tall. I calculate he wasted half the metal I gave him, 2 square feet of 4, and then gave me equilateral triangles 1.875" on each side. He told me he was willing to take a lower pay rate, whatever I'd give him for his work.
A welder who looked about 25-30 claimed to be super successful with several clients and had pictures of good work. I asked him to cut up some reciprocating diamond blades and butt weld the pieces to some metal sheet of same thickness so they would be twice as long. He wanted $65 per hour. I agreed and asked how many hours it would take him. He did not know. I asked if he would agree to estimate 1 hour for this job and charge a flat $65 even if he gets it done sooner. He agreed. Of the 7.5 inch blade, only 6 inch long pieces came back, and half of them did not meet at 180 degrees or even did not meet dead on. I paid and remembered not to use him again.
A metal seller, about 30 years old, had an inventory of aluminum tube. I gave him 2 tubes and asked him to find me two that those would fit nicely inside of and cut off 6" of each, and that outer diameter does not matter. He got out his calipers and measured the diameters of my tubes and then set out measuring the inner diameters of his tubes. He came back with two tubes and said he found ones that are the right size. I paid and left. I got home, and tried to insert my tubes. One was 1/16" oversize, which was fine as I'll shim it. The other is 1/32" under size. I'm not going to drive across town to get a refund. Now I have an excuse to make my own wooden parts and clamps. I might use the extra tube for a different part.
The less I've learned is only hire older shop people, that or be very careful with my directions and inspection of the work of the younger ones. They don't make them like they used to.
What have your experiences been?
Any scope builders ever ordered 10 focusers and got shipped all the factory rejects, or is that just legend? Has not happened to me.
Edited by stargazer193857, 10 June 2021 - 11:27 PM.