Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
    Posts
    1,353
    Rep Power
    21474844

    Default Re: Becoming a gunsmith

    I am retired and considered going to a gunsmith school. Not for a career but more for the fun of it.

    Unfortunately the entry fee is pretty steep.

    I'll probably just buy a nicer boat.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    jersey shore, Pennsylvania
    (Lycoming County)
    Posts
    5,958
    Rep Power
    21474851

    Default Re: Becoming a gunsmith

    Quote Originally Posted by free View Post
    The real solution of course is to forget about the idea that your job should provide any personal satisfaction whatsoever, and treat it purely as a source of income. Use that income to get life satisfaction elsewhere.
    ^^^This^^^

    I realized long ago that anything I actually enjoy doing, doesn't pay shit as a career. I go to work to make money to enjoy the things I like.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania
    (Washington County)
    Posts
    2,844
    Rep Power
    21474851

    Default Re: Becoming a gunsmith

    I'm a big fan of "do something you can tolerate for 40 hours a week to earn a bunch of money then go do whatever you want".

    I have a tolerable day job that affords me the ability to play gunsmith at home in my free time, working on my own projects. That satisfies my need to do work with my hands and create tangible goods that serve a purpose. Check out the book Shop Class As Soulcraft for more on the psychology around that. That book is a tough read but put into words things that I couldn't so I recommend it.

    If you have the space, build yourself a shop at home and teach yourself. There are plenty of how to videos on youtube these days.

    Be patient and watch for deals on older stuff, but just to ballpark:

    -Used knee mill (Bridgeport, etc) with a basic vise and collets and 3 phase converter - $2k-$2500
    -Used TIG welder - $500
    -Used lathe, small single phase - $1200
    -Tooling and inspection/measuring tools - $???

    Other items I find useful:
    -sand blast cabinet
    -arbor press
    -hydraulic press
    -grinders
    -belt sanders
    -die grinders/dremels
    -parkerizing tank
    -air compressor

    You can easily fill a 2 car garage.

    I really don't mess with making stocks or anything too in depth with woodworking, so someone else can speak to that, but once you acquire tools you can slowly learn how to use them and do more and more.

    It can take years to build a home fab shop and learn skills, but the journey will probably give you the satisfaction you're lacking in life.
    Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Douglassville, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
    Posts
    9,018
    Rep Power
    21474855

    Default Re: Becoming a gunsmith

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshIronshaft View Post
    I'm a big fan of "do something you can tolerate for 40 hours a week to earn a bunch of money then go do whatever you want".

    I have a tolerable day job that affords me the ability to play gunsmith at home in my free time, working on my own projects. That satisfies my need to do work with my hands and create tangible goods that serve a purpose. Check out the book Shop Class As Soulcraft for more on the psychology around that. That book is a tough read but put into words things that I couldn't so I recommend it.

    If you have the space, build yourself a shop at home and teach yourself. There are plenty of how to videos on youtube these days.

    Be patient and watch for deals on older stuff, but just to ballpark:

    -Used knee mill (Bridgeport, etc) with a basic vise and collets and 3 phase converter - $2k-$2500
    -Used TIG welder - $500
    -Used lathe, small single phase - $1200
    -Tooling and inspection/measuring tools - $???

    Other items I find useful:
    -sand blast cabinet
    -arbor press
    -hydraulic press
    -grinders
    -belt sanders
    -die grinders/dremels
    -parkerizing tank
    -air compressor

    You can easily fill a 2 car garage.

    I really don't mess with making stocks or anything too in depth with woodworking, so someone else can speak to that, but once you acquire tools you can slowly learn how to use them and do more and more.

    It can take years to build a home fab shop and learn skills, but the journey will probably give you the satisfaction you're lacking in life.
    I have about 50 years of collection most of that stuff you have on the list but don't know how to use a large amount of it.
    If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Where do you fall?

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania
    (Washington County)
    Posts
    2,844
    Rep Power
    21474851

    Default Re: Becoming a gunsmith

    I guess if you want to follow the same path I am on then you have to ask yourself how good are you at self-teaching.

    Just the other day my dad was telling me that when I was young, he noticed I could do anything I was shown. Not much explanation needed, just monkey see, monkey do.

    That characteristic I have is probably one of my most valuable. I know if I can find instructions, especially of the visual nature, I can do anything.

    The characteristic I've had to develop the most: patience. The willingness to do it once and do it right. I've tackled many projects in a half assed manner to get them done with success, or had to re-do them, but now I'm finally learning the patience to do it right the first time. More prep time, more set up time, more small bites instead of large ones.

    That is mainly out of necessity, I have too many things going on and can't afford to do much of anything twice.
    Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Douglassville, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
    Posts
    9,018
    Rep Power
    21474855

    Default Re: Becoming a gunsmith

    I find that I can do it twice myself if I have to for less than I can pay someone else to fuck it up anyway. Then, the next time I can handle it.
    If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Where do you fall?

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