Home Shop Machinists Podcast – Episode 11 – Shop of the Future

In this episode Max and Justin decide to prognosticate about what the home machining shop of the future looks like.  50 or 100 years down the road is it going to be full of modified CNC machines, or will the electronics on those machines render them scrap and only the old school manual machines still be in use?  We talk about

  • Max’s sea foam green stamping fixture
  • Max is working on a new TV stand for the house
  • Justin finished his tailstock tap and die holder
  • A new mill drill for Justin’s shop.  Did he make the Rong choice?
  • The Dodge Omni and Shelby GLHS
  • Do all VW owners hate Honda owners?
  • Max’s hatred for all things Digifant
  • Laser bandsaws
  • Motivated millennials: will they keep CNC machines going?
  • Are we living in an golden era for home shop machining?
  • Will the cheap tooling end?

All that and much much more!

You can listen to it directly here:

or you can download it directly.

Subscribe in iTunes (and please rate us!): https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/home-shop-machinists-podcast/id1180854521

Max’s website: The Joy of Precision and also his Youtube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdMt_havo3BxZJscvRCOGcw Max’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joyofprecision/

Justin’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/thecogwheel  Justin’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecogwheel/

14 thoughts on “Home Shop Machinists Podcast – Episode 11 – Shop of the Future

  1. Counting these comments it look like you have about 4 listeners.
    Thanks for putting these out, as someone looking to get in to the hobby this has been a great resource.


  2. I have to disagree to some aspects you talked about. It’s easy to project that certain technologies that are now used in industry like lasers will become so ubiquitous and evolve in a fashion that they could be used in the home shop.
    But the problem will be the required energy. It won’t matter that a multi-kilowatt laser might get as cheap and small as a fridge if your house won’t be able to supply it with energy. Even now from time to time I check my local craigslist-equivalent for the search terms “380V” and “400V” because 3-phase machines can sometimes be had cheap because many homeshops don’t have 3-phase (actually the houses have 3-phase, but there is normally no 3-phase wiring). And thats only a phase requirement, not an energy requirement. But the energy requirement an industrial laser now has to cut a 1cm sheet of steel will be roughly the same in 100 years time (damn you laws of thermo-dynamics). And if you look to the technology that brings energy to your house that has evolved at a far slower pace than any machine tools or cars. Even worse it’s feasible that energy supply standards to residential buildings will even be lower in the future than today because the efficency of your appliances, lights and heating will dramatically increase in the near future.
    The standard power line that a new building in my residential area is supplied with is 3-phases + N at 220V. The line protection fuses are rated at 64A. That standard must have been established in the 60’s or something because nobody today (except maybe homeshop machinists) needs so much power in their house any more. So it just makes sense that as buildings become more energy efficient, this supply standard will drop sometime in the future.
    So sadly I think all energy-heavy technologies won’t make the transition to the homeshop.


    1. One more thought just ocurred to me: maybe the homeshop machinist of the future is not a homeshop machinist at all. Maybe those kinds of people in the future will gather at rented spaces that do have the requirements for the machinery and will operate them together, Just like hackerspaces today, only with industrial equipment.


  3. Another great podcast!

    My VW history:
    1976 Audi Fox (my father owned and I drove) (The same platform as the Dasher)
    1979 Rabbit (my father owned and I drove)
    1981 Dasher Diesel (my father owned and I drove)
    1970 Karmann Ghia (the first VW I owned)
    1984 Scirocco
    1991 Jetta Wolfsburg
    More Children
    Alas…other than the 1 year (1993) VW imported the non-camper Eurovan (T4)….they chose to not offer a mini-van. (No, the later re-badged Mopars do not count). Used Vanagons (T2) were as rare as hen’s teeth in my neck of the woods and this was before the internet so it was not so easy to find vehicles outside a 100 mile radius….remember newsprint “Traders”?!.
    1991 Toyota Previa Minivan. The best minivan ever offered in the US. It was still running strong at 25 years old and with 350,000 miles. All five of my children learned to drive with it. Unfortunately, the second to youngest was t-boned in it last year (thankfully, no injuries) and it was time to let it go.
    However, after raising 5 children, the year is approaching where we can return to a VW. My wife and I have always looked at them and said….”someday”.
    Round Column Mills
    I believe that these are highly under rated. With the exception of the round column, there is nothing new on the market that can come close in terms of capabilities for the dollar. I have always wondered why someone has not tried to duplicate the venerable Emco FB round column mill design (Prazi mills are the same) in which the head is gibbed to a column mounted z-axis “key” thus eliminating the z-axis alignment issues. On the Rong Fu, I believe that the existing column mounted rack on the z-axis rotates about the column with the head like a drill press. Is that correct? What if the head was aligned with the table, and then the rack (key) was fixed to the column and a gib system was added in the head for the rack (key) to take up the slack. That last part might be the most difficult and the reason that I have not seen someone do this. I don’t know if there is a place in the head casting where gib screws could be added. Also, the column rack might need to be ground on the sides along its length to improve its accuracy.
    In addition, some folks have filled the round column with epoxy-granite which is reported to further improve rigidity.
    Finally, those round-column machines don’t require a proprietary computer board to operate and don’t have any built-in digital gobbledygook like all of the variable speed dovetail columned mills. This segues into your discussion of home machine shops of the future.

    Your discussion about the future machine shop reminds me of one concern that I have for people in the future who are buying the used import hobby machine tools made now. Who is going to make the electronic controls used on today’s variable speed machine tools? These control boards do more than just control speed…they are also integrated with the power on/start/stop/reverse switches and tachometers. One approach would be to replace the 110V dc motors that are married to the proprietary computer with a 3-phase motor and generic variable frequency drive. That is fine for a lathe, but I don’t see how one of these mills, like the X2 or BF-20 (Grizzly G0704) with the little proprietary brushless motor so tightly integrated into the design, can be modified to accept a generic 3 phase motor. This is why the older machine design is still desirable. Any Atlas, South Bend, Rockwell, etc machine tool can be kept running virtually forever. I don’t think that will be the case with some of these integrated designs.
    And the same concern would apply to the future restoration of cars made since the late 90’s. Do you really think that some aftermarket company is going to offer the on-board computer components for 25+ year-old vehicles? The model/engine/production year permutations are unfathomable.
    Finally, I have a question for Justin just out of curiosity. One of the main reasons that it seems that Max has a home machine shop is his interest in horology. Other than making things FOR the machine shop, which seems to be the REAL raison d’etre of all home machine shops…:-)…..why do you have a home machine shop? Some folks like model engineering, some make scientific instruments, others watch and/or clockmaking. What would you like to make with them?



  4. I was glad to find not one, but TWO new podcasts, both of which were long enough to actually make a round trip commute each!
    I quite enjoyed the discussion of the shop of the future! FYI, my material of the future is cubic boron nitride. Great stuff! The problem with diamond tooling is that its Carbon, which is inconveniently soluble in iron (or steel). This significantly limits what you can diamond turn. CBN, however, is almost as hard and not soluble. I’ve cut hardened steel with it, where the chips came off orange, and burned as they piled up! Super fine, tiny threads, BTW.
    I’m wondering if it would be insane to buy a 6 Watt diode laser and create my very own laser saw. Hmmmmm.


  5. WeldingRod, Make the saw, please make the saw. Put the whole build online errors and all. I’d build one after you get it going but I need to see your mistakes so I understand why not to do it that way. I am too stubborn to believe ” do not do it this or that way because this will happen with out seeing the oops’s”.
    In my little mind I can see it creating a beautiful smoking kerf.
    Be “the creator” of this project please and start it last year, I’m really greedy.
    I can’t wait to see and hear this little marvel working in my basement. I think my heart rate just doubled, Awesome idea !!!!


  6. Please keep doing the Podcasts and if you guys have any extra time, do more of them, lots more of them.
    One of the few things I can stomach while driving.

    You guys are really doing a public service and I suspect you guys have a lot more listeners than you would believe.

    Great job and thank you. Misterfxt


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