ABOUT

My name is Gary Barnes. I was born in Sacramento, California in 1946 and have lived here most of my life. My introduction to mechanical objects started at a very early age. By the age of 4 years old I was taking apart old wind up alarm clocks that a jeweler friend of my father would give him.  Soon after that my father came home with a box of 1/8 and 1/4 inch pipe fittings and different lengths of pipe nipples and two pipe wrenches, one 6 inch and one 8 inch.  I spent hours putting the pipes and fittings together in all different shapes.  Later came Lionel Trains ,Erector Sets, then Control Line Model Airplanes, Tether Cars and  Go Karts.  At eleven years old I was given a Craftsman 1/4 inch socket set from my aunt as a birthday present. That was the start of my VERY large collection of tools that I have today along with that first Craftsman socket set and the two pipe wrenches.  Also at the age of eleven I started working for my neighbor that lived across the street from me  Mr. Ogg.  I would cut his lawn and do all of his yard work.  Mr. Ogg owned the "Old Tavern Cleaners and Dye Works" in midtown Sacramento. After I turned 12, Mr. Ogg asked if I wanted to work at the cleaners a half day on Saturdays and I said yes. His daughter Sharon was 18 and I would ride to work with her. By the time I was 14, I was repairing all the equipment in the cleaners as well as getting the boiler ready for the annual state inspection. There was always something that needed to be repaired. All of the equipment was run off of one 20 hp electric motor connected to line shafts and flat belts. My other neighbor a few doors down was Mr. Gregery and he owned the "Piston Ring Shop" an old school auto parts with a machine shop in the back, and that was a 1/2 block from the cleaners. Most of the money that I made on Saturday never made it home, it just changed hands between the two neighbors. Two blocks in the other direction was  the "Reliable Electric Motor Company". Many times on Saturday when I got off work at the cleaners I would walk down to the motor shop and hang around watch this old German man work on every size electric motor I had ever seen. I always had so many questions about electric motors and controls and this man would take the time to explain everything to me. This was when things were repaired ,not thrown away because it stoped working. At sixteen  came the drivers license and my first car a 1950 Chevy convertible from my uncle Willie.  It came with no top, ragged seats, bald tires, and needing a valve job. By then I was working every day after school and a half  day on Saturday.  I made thru high school then on to Sacramento City College for a two year program to become a A and P Aircraft mechanic. I finished that program and got drafted into the Army in June of 1967. You guessed it  Viet Nam. I served with the 174 AHC [Assault Helicopter Company] 409 th. Maintenance Detachment in Duc Pho, Viet Nam.  We did all of the repair on the 30, UH 1C and UH-1D Huey Helicopters that flew missions everyday and came back all shot up. The employment in my adult life started as a packing house butcher for 12 years then selling and servicing processing  equipment. I then started  a custom wood and metal working business that I ran for a number of years. I have always had love for machine tools and machine shops. I am an old school manual machinist. I have worn many different hats in my life time. Now in my retired life I enjoy putting all the skills that I have learned over the years to good use building  different objects. Please feel free to see some of my Mechanical Wonders in the Gallery section under Services.

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