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Thompson Tooling


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#1 Nineteenhundred

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 06:51 PM

Does anyone know on what types of machines the original Thompsons were made? I wonder what all the operations were. It must have been very complicated in comparison with todays automated machines. Also why do the old ones seem to be so much better in quality and finish and detail when we have much better machines? How did they do it?
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#2 'zoo

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 07:06 PM

"People used to take pride in ther work" would be a cynical suggestion... dry.gif
Jeremy
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#3 Zamm

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 07:07 PM

Nineteenhundred,
Who says our machines are better now?
They may be CAD operated and such, but I’ve seen plenty of devices
from the 1920's still running fine and doing the job well. As previous members have said, with computerized
machinery, it can only duplicate what info it has been loaded with, including the mistakes.
Then enter pride and craftsmanship in your work. That is something lacking in a lot of fields these days.
Example: Long Island Railroad. I know a "master" welder. He is in charge of training young welders
in the "art" of creating a perfect weld. Most want to learn and strive to do a good job, but some just don't care.
All that is important is the paycheck. And heaven forbid if he tries to fail them! Nope, the Union will have none of that!
So, they make crappy welds, the welds break, the trains break down and they fix them with crappy welds again!
All I can say is, there are true artistsans out there, PK and Damon come to mind, it's just getting to be fewer and fewer.
There's and old adage that goes something like, "it's not the tools, it's who's using them that counts".
Best, Zamm

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#4 21 smoker

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 08:20 PM

I remember a good freind of mine ,who was a welding instructor,telling me of his frustration upon resigning after 18 years of trying to teach 19 and 20 yearolds....`English`!!...in a welding class....he just couldn`t take it anymore... dry.gif
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#5 Dave Janowski

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 08:21 PM

If I were to guess that factory was probably FULL of Brown and Sharpe Universal milling machies, South Bend lathes intricate fixtures, and TONS of skilled labor that could still: read a micrometer, knew how to polish and fit metal and had the typical EARLY american manufacturing mind meaning build it two times tougher and prettier than it needs to be and it will last forever!

I STILL use a cast aluminum drill that was built about 1925-1930 and it works like a dream, old tools are very good if the opertor knows how to work them!

A CNC machine is only as good as the tooling placed in it!

Hope this helps

Dave
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#6 Zamm

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 08:40 PM

QUOTE
If I were to guess that factory was probably FULL of Brown and Sharpe Universal milling machies, South Bend lathes intricate fixtures, and TONS of skilled labor that could still: read a micrometer, knew how to polish and fit metal and had the typical EARLY american manufacturing mind meaning build it two times tougher and prettier than it needs to be and it will last forever!


Amen!
Z
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#7 Dave Janowski

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 08:44 PM

you go bro!
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#8 amafrank

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 11:36 PM

Having looked at the originals and also being a machinist I believe the tools used to make them were primarily Horizontal and vertical mills for the receiver and lower. Looks like a few of the trigger assembly parts were broached or made on a shaper. Barrel was obviously turned on a lathe and probably had the rifling cut rather than broached or button rifled. I don't think they were button rifleing back then and the germans developed hammer forged rifling during WWII. The others are right on when they say that CNC doesn't make better quality parts. CNC makes more parts cheaper and very consistant but there has to be an interest in maintaining the quality of the parts or they end up as typical mass produced crap. I would guess the finish work on the earlier guns was all done by hand and its hard to do that with a machine. Fingers have much better feel and eyes work better than sensors for these jobs. Another thing that has changed is the method of machining. Back then there were many machines that each did one job. The parts were jigged up on each and an operation accomplished then the part moved to the next machine. Jigs would frequently be on turntables, lifting rams or whatever was required to get the task done. Now all these jobs are done by one machine much quicker but some operations are not done the same way or doable at all. I frequently find this problem when I am trying to copy or repair a part on an old MG or cannon. How the hell did they make this part???? No one uses shapers anymore but they were big in the old days as were horizontal mills....
Its hard to replace know how with computers. I would be willing to bet that Auto Ordnance would have traded a great deal to have a nice Mazak machining center though.....
Frank

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#9 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 11:43 PM

Helmer said it all below:
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#10 Zamm

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 11:35 PM

Well Phil,
We gotta start bailing soon or it's gonna be over our head! ohmy.gif

I'm not sure where to start, but rewards for jobs done well, such as
with teachers, would be nice... as it stands now, here in the city,
you just pump 'em through, weather they can do the work or not.
If you work your ass off as an educator, or you just go through the motions,
seems like it does not matter to the administration. sad.gif
Agggh! What a mess to clean.
Z
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