I've been working with my hands since childhood. Dad's projects always needed more than 2 hands, as the oldest son, I was the designated helper.
I learned a lot working with him. The value of good tools, especially since we rarely had them. Being frugal with material, and thinking through the project. Dad was a city employee, and we didn't have much money to work with.
We moved out in the county when I was 14. Some of the projects we did before the move: removing a floor furnace and putting in central heat. Cleaning several dump truck loads of concrete block, then building a cellar in the back yard with a patio top. Building a storage / shop building. Tiling the bathroom. Reroofing the house. Moving a smoke damaged duplex to some property and starting a remodel. Tearing down multiple houses to salvage the wood and fixtures and then pulling tons of nails from this lumber.
I've worked as a farm hand, go-fer, aircraft cleaner and fueler, electrician, industrial engineering helper, broadcast engineer, mobile radio specialist and IT professional.
In college I got a chance to take Machine Tool Lab. I got a compliment from a machinist on my projects. He said I had a talent for it.
Fast forward 25 years, and I'm now able to afford a few tools and have a small space to work. It's time to work on this skill and keep it under budget.
Welcome to Budget Machining.