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Thread: terrible days for local smiths.

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    terrible days for local smiths.

    Talk about a bad run of events. Had 2 local gunsmiths who had decades -perhaps close to a century of experience and knowledge between them. One used to work for S&W performance. Sadly, the one's shop and lake place burned to the ground this spring along with 5 decades of a collection of parts, guns, and pieces of history, and he opted not to return to business, and the other passed away suddenly last saturday. Our local enthusiast community is quite stunned.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Markopolo's Avatar
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    Well that is a huge bummer...
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy tradbear55's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear about all this bad luck. Not to many good experienced gun smiths out there anymore.
    If it ain't broke don't fix it! I disagree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it to the death! When people fear the government it is tyranny, when government fears the people it is Liberty!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master





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    Wow watch out bad luck comes in threes.
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  5. #5
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    It’s unfortunate that getting a college degree was dictated as mandatory for so long that we’ve really lost a huge work force in skilled labor. There are very few competent, full line, gunsmiths anymore.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Really hard to find a good gunsmith. Lotta parts changers out there. When I lived in NYC used to go to George Beitzinger in Queens. Had years of experience when he worked for Griffin & Howe at Abercrombie & Fitch in the city and then he opened his own shop. Did just about everything from wood work to metal. He's been retired now and think it may have broken his heart when pics were posted when they were taking the lathe out of his shop. Hope he's still around enjoying his well deserved retirement. Frank

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



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    The world is changing. I lot of trades and skills are being lost.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about the fellow's fire and loss and the loss of the other due to death. Life has a way of going on but in this day and age, so many skills and so much knowledge lost to time.

    As a former "shop teacher" and cabinetmaker, there always seemed to e a 20 year cycle in terms of "shop" in schools . . . eventually transforming in to "technology" - the sale of the machinery and the transition in to "computers" . . . I remember it well . . "the future is computers!!!!". Sort of reminded me of Mrs. Robinson and "the future is plastics" . . . for those that remember the movie and Dustin Hoffman.

    Well let the darn computer fix your plugged toilet or build the addition on to your house . . . let it wire your farm shop or better yet . . . let it "make" the part you need to have from scratch with a lathe and milling machine . . . . . sigh . . . I'm getting old . . ..

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    It is not unfortunate for many of those who got a college degree.
    One kid I know thought about becoming a smith and I advised that he forget it if he wanted to eat well.
    Instead he got a degree in accounting, became a CPA who owns his own business and is a millionaire.


    Quote Originally Posted by osteodoc08 View Post
    It’s unfortunate that getting a college degree was dictated as mandatory for so long that we’ve really lost a huge work force in skilled labor. There are very few competent, full line, gunsmiths anymore.
    EDG

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    It is not unfortunate for many of those who got a college degree.
    One kid I know thought about becoming a smith and I advised that he forget it if he wanted to eat well.
    Instead he got a degree in accounting, became a CPA who owns his own business and is a millionaire.
    He now possess a skill that is valuable. Not all college degrees allow for that. There are a multitude of associates and bachelor degrees out there that don’t allow for actual skills for employment, especially if in an over saturated field. The point I was making is that there are quite a few less skilled workers than in years past, in this case gunsmiths, because the mantra is to go to college. Not all college degrees allow for an employable skill.

    I’m glad your friend has done well for himself. It’s good for America.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master flyingmonkey35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedbugbilly View Post
    Sorry to hear about the fellow's fire and loss and the loss of the other due to death. Life has a way of going on but in this day and age, so many skills and so much knowledge lost to time.

    As a former "shop teacher" and cabinetmaker, there always seemed to e a 20 year cycle in terms of "shop" in schools . . . eventually transforming in to "technology" - the sale of the machinery and the transition in to "computers" . . . I remember it well . . "the future is computers!!!!". Sort of reminded me of Mrs. Robinson and "the future is plastics" . . . for those that remember the movie and Dustin Hoffman.

    Well let the darn computer fix your plugged toilet or build the addition on to your house . . . let it wire your farm shop or better yet . . . let it "make" the part you need to have from scratch with a lathe and milling machine . . . . . sigh . . . I'm getting old . . ..
    robots!! I want robots.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Skilled hands on workers have become victims of the modern society.When was the last time you saw a radio and TV shop??. Shoe makers and repairmen. And the list goes on. I'm a baby boomer and we didn't have the money for things a lot of people today take for granted. Was a fireman/machinists mate in the navy. You had a problem and you fixed it. Spent 30 years as a mechanic/operator for a public utility, plenty of hands on working on steam pumps and electric ones, steam lines and such 24/7/365. Did most of the repair work on my cars. Some plumbing and electrical work. Today it seems the younger generation calls in someone to do the work. And we have become a throw away society. if it don't work, trash it and get a new one. Frank

  13. #13
    Boolit Master nvbirdman's Avatar
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    Twenty five years before I was going to be looking at retirement I started studying electronics with the thought of opening a tv repair shop after I retired. When my marriage ended and I would only have to support me after retirement, I gave up on the whole idea. Good thing too, how many people get their tvs repaired these days?

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by osteodoc08 View Post
    He now possess a skill that is valuable. Not all college degrees allow for that. There are a multitude of associates and bachelor degrees out there that don’t allow for actual skills for employment, especially if in an over saturated field. The point I was making is that there are quite a few less skilled workers than in years past, in this case gunsmiths, because the mantra is to go to college. Not all college degrees allow for an employable skill.

    I’m glad your friend has done well for himself. It’s good for America.
    Overall my college education was OK; even learned a little. Unfortunately, very little of what I learned was in my major which was journalism with an emphasis on broadcasting. I had a bunch of professors (think about what that word actually means- it's appropriate) that had never worked in a commercial broadcasting or journalistic environment. I was making pretty good money while in college doing commercial and wedding photography. I had more practical experience than any of my instructors. One professor, the only one tenured in the department, told us that computer set type was a fad that would pass and hot set type (linotype) would prevail. Such clairvoyance!

    Happy 4th, Y'all!
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Another way to lose a smith is when they get so good at what they do they are "discovered" by one of the large companies and get contracted to work solely for them. That is happening in our area with the one gifted smith we all looked to for service. It appears he will not take on any more outside work beyond his new contract. RATS.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    It is not unfortunate for many of those who got a college degree.
    One kid I know thought about becoming a smith and I advised that he forget it if he wanted to eat well.
    Instead he got a degree in accounting, became a CPA who owns his own business and is a millionaire.
    He could be running his own machine shop and be a millionaire too!

  17. #17
    Boolit Man
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    Anothernewb,
    What is the name of the smith who used to work for the S&W PC? I'm wondering if I'd recognize the name.
    Jason

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    There is a lot to be said for a college degree, if it is in the right career path. Engineer, doctor, nurse, business administration, accounting, etc. Just get a liberal arts degree or something like art or music and the going gets tough. Of course, there are a lot of investment and banking companies that hire a sharp person with one of those, and the earning possibilities mount up. In my area, there are a lot of refineries and chemical plants--operators and techs there earn very good money. Welders and skilled craftsmen earn good, also, but there are rain-outs and being in between jobs to consider. Used to be, a mechanic just had OJT and learned from older guys. Today, they have to attend continuous update training and be certified in certain areas to keep up. A friend of mine owns a good sized shop and employs 8-10 mechanics and is looking for more--his waiting room walls are literally papered with certificates of his mechanics. Jobs are out there, degree or not, you just gotta decide what you want to do and then have the gumption and desire to go after it.
    One of my father's favorite statements: "If I say a chicken dips snuff, look under his wing for the snuffbox" How I was raised, who I am.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    They are far and few between here in Central NYS.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawlerbrook View Post
    They are far and few between here in Central NYS.
    Sadly, you are correct that some areas don't have great opportunities. Many places in Tx don't. Many times its a choice between family and friends and opportunities. Hard choice, but one that has to be made. My oldest grandson is a young CPA for a big firm in Denver, Co. Was transferred a year ago--he was in Houston, 1-1/2 to 2 hours from us. 3 years into the job, he is a team leader and on track for becoming a manager. Today's electronics, I visit with him regularly via text and voice. Almost on a daily basis. Be great if he could still be close, but he recognized the opportunity and went for it.
    One of my father's favorite statements: "If I say a chicken dips snuff, look under his wing for the snuffbox" How I was raised, who I am.

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