New Short Stories for Machinists
In the latter part of 2008 I brought out two machinist's short stories. Both contain shop stuff I think you'll like.
One (which will probably reduce you to tears) has a
plot of sorts, and a really great shop tip, plus other stuff.
The other story has quite a few shop ideas in it, and is
illustrated with photos, drawings etc., but cannot fairly be said to have a
I don't feel too bad about
putting forward such a story: Huckleberry Finn also has no plot, and
Mark Twain said anyone attempting to find one in it would be shot. ;-)
The two stories are as follows:
in Brass and Steel
a machinist's short
Copyright © November
This is a story (38 pages) about a basement machinist
afoul of a petty
skunk in his day job. A girl he meets by chance, and for whom he does a
small metalworking favor, encourages him to use the knowledge of clockmaking
he has acquired from an old man whose lathe he bought, to make a
limited run of very special skeleton clocks.
this is a fiction story, some of the events in it reflect personal
experiences which spurred me to endeavor to henceforth work only
for myself. I have
been fortunate to be able to do so for most of the past 35 years.
This story contains a really great shop tip.
(Actually, it is a group of tips, most of which revolve
around a discovery one of my guys told me about.) I would hesitate to say that it is life-changing, but if you aspire to do good work
with hand files, this tip will help you a LOT.
It is not a minor idea - it will have a big impact on your results when using files. There are some other shop ideas in the story as well, but I
think you will feel this one tip alone is well worth the price of the whole
story. Plus there is the story itself,
which many people in the workplace today will be able to relate to all too
well. And the way the story ends is rather
This story has made strong men
cry before you, so you would be well
advised to have a box of Kleenex at hand before you get too far into
with this story are two recipes, one of them very nicely suited to the Christmas
CURVES and EQUAL SPACES
a machinist's short story
by Guy Lautard
Copyright © November
This is a short story (36 pages) about a basement
machinist and sculptor who works mostly in sheet steel. He meets a girl who wants to do sculptures
of a somewhat different type, but who does not know how to
translate what she sees in her mind onto paper, so as to get started. The story
contains various shop ideas/projects, along with some interesting information
on how to originate smooth, eye-pleasing curves, which can be turned into
various things including 3-dimensional sculptures in wood, steel or other
materials. You may find this info interesting, possibly instructive, maybe even
useful and/or valuable.
There are a number of other technical ideas in this story.
One item is a graphical
method of dividing a circle quickly into any reasonable odd number of equal
parts with dividers. This is something I originated for myself – I've never
seen it in print anywhere. This method is not accurate enough for gear cutting,
but it would be useful for dividing a circle into 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, or 15 equal
parts for less critical purposes. My method
is faster and easier than doing it by trial and error, or with a
protractor, and it will get you VERY close in one shot.
Included in this story you'll also find
- dimensioned drawings for a very good rolling stock rack for
steel bars etc.
- ideas for an unusual sheet steel vase; it won't
hold water, but it would make a cool and unusual umbrella stand.
- photos and a drawing for a very effective shop-made finger pull knob for the front panel on a Gerstner toolbox, along with
- photos of a couple of other things you might like,
- some info on cutting sheet steel with a cold chisel, and
- some info on how to do nice shaded pencil drawings.
You won't be able to pass yourself off as Michaelangelo after
reading this information, but I think you'll be absolutely
amazed at what you can do if you give the ideas in this part of the
This story also concludes with a couple of recipes you might
like. One is for a very easy-to-make
chicken casserole, and the other is for a simple way to make a pretty good
chocolate cream pie.*
I'm going to make these two stories very easy to get:
Send me US $ 9 cash for whichever story you want, along with
your e-mail address, TO THE ADDRESS SHOWN BELOW.
I will send you the story(s) as a PDF attached to an e-mail,
the day I get your order.
Simple, fast, and easy, see?
(And of course, you can print it/them out if you want to.)
If you want both stories, send US$16 total (save $2), and ask
for both of them.
If you'd also like a more detailed write-up about the Finger
Pull knob, along with fully dimensioned drawings for same, add US$4, and ask
for the Finger Knob Plans also.
If you're ordering any of the above items, you might also want
to order one or both of the following two other how-to items:
1. How to make and use leather buffing wheels up to about 1" diameter, for polishing various things. $3
2. A 5-page write up on how to make really good fake ivory - good enough to fool even an expert
unless he was able to touch it or examine it with a good lens.
All of the above will be sent to you by e-mail.
NOTE: Please do not send US Post Office Domestic
Money Orders. They
are not cashable in Canada. US Postal INTERNATIONAL Money
Orders are fine.
Some customers have suggested the best form in which to send payment is cash, in this
particular case. The amount of money is small, and the risk is also small.
When I send you these stories, I will not send a preliminary
message first to say they are coming. You will simply get
one or more messages from me,
each with an attachment.
If you'd like either (or both) of these stories, or any of the technical items also offered on this page, send
payment, and a note saying exactly what you want, to this address:
6216 Oracle Road
Sechelt, B.C. V0N 3A7
Please be sure to include your
A phone number would also be a good thing to
This offer has nothing to do with anything else on my website.
These two stories and the 3 non-fiction items are available
ONLY from the address given above.
(Other things on my website are
available ONLY from the address given on the How to Order page of my web
You might be a little surprised to find recipes included with my stories, but
I've had to learn to cook for myself in the last 4 or 5 years, and while I can't say I'm
great at it, I'm getting better at it. These recipes stem from those efforts.
In case you wonder if you might like these stories:
One of my guys read each of these stories several times
while I polished them up for final. (I thought he'd sic his spam blocker on me
after two readings, but he didn't.)
Aside from pesterin' me about how to use "eh?" properly
in a sentence ;-) , his input has been very helpful.
these two stories, he says,
"I like the characters. I like how they
interact in scenarios involving tools and machining. And I like
the fact that
what's going on in the story deals with the kinds of things I like to
about. And the illustrations embedded in the "Fair Curves"
story really bring it to life - I like that very much! Your
guys will be glad to know you're writing again, that these
two great new stories are available, and they'll want to add them to
collection. And in these days of exorbitant shipping charges,
them by e-mail is a great idea: no printing, no CD, no
postage, no delivery truck driving on the lawn - and........ INSTANT GRATIFICATION! And I'll bet
they'll learn something from these stories too – I certainly did.
Besides, nobody writes about clockmakers but Lautard; your guys should have
known this was bound to happen eventually!
And, who but you would ever have written a story, complete with
diagrams, about trigonometry of all things? Who else but GBL
could pull that off and make it readable,
fun, and readily understandable? Toss in a couple of unique dinner and
dessert recipes with each story, and what's not to like? Plus they'll
learn how to be a better filer in the bargain – I'll bet the guys will beat a
path to your door. I think these stories would be a bargain at twice the
price, and we didn't have to cut down half the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest
for paper to print them on, or bags to ship 'em in. Pretty good,
And finally, I would like to say a sincere "Thank You" to all
my customers - "my guys," as I often speak of you. Your support, your friendship, and your
interest in my doings, have enriched my life beyond measure.