Visitors arrive in their alien spaceship making #8 and #9, be all fine. We share the names of our work areas and some major modern conveniences we added to The Workshop work space. Filming our first video and rebuilding some American Made Machines, we are a pair of proud makers.


  • Friends stop by, RARE for our rural location.
  • Workshop updates infrastructure.
  • Rebuilding a pair of vintage Levin & Son Lathes from the ground up.
  • Some additional vintage (1 very rare USA made) machines we will be rebuilding.
  • Thinking about the product we will be making on our newly rebuilt machines.

Two Friends in a Fancy Cadi Stop By


Two friends, a couple about our age that once lived in Palm Springs, California had made arrangements and then stopped by on their way from their new home, a ranch on 5 acres hidden in the lower desert behind a communications hill.  They have goats so about every few months, they purchase animal feed for them at a local feed store that happens to be very near to where we live.

These pair of friends date back to around the year 2002 and we will call these two friends Timo and Vale.  Their move from the busy small city of Palm Springs comes as a GOOD surprise to the two of us and it comes on the heels of why we moved from the bigger city life into the rural live located in the high desert of California ourselves.

Timo and Vale are into karaoke, but Timo is really into playing music.  He wanted a music studio and Vale wanted to take daily desert scenic pictures of the Coachella Valley Desert Area (aka Colorado Desert) where they are located.  She is capturing many pictures at and around their ranch and we have seen many of these photos which are well done as she has a passion for this and it comes through in her photo work.

Interesting take here and one that has Lance and Patrick thinking of making a visit to their great new ranch is because Vale loves to COOK (great food we hear from Timo) and we have seen a picture of Vales great looking bread.  Lance also likes to cook which he does all week long as we do not have much in the way of eating out up here in the Mojave Desert and like Timo and Vale we enjoy eating at home.  For us, it is healthier and it saves us a lot of money, money we utilize to buy better cooking ingredients and new tools for the shop.

So in closing about visitors #8 and #9, they have this new location that allows them the space, and the peace and quiet to focus and enjoy a great rural desert life just like us best friends Patrick and Lance are enjoying.  They make happy food and happy music both equally good for the mind and soul.

The Active Atom Visitor Counter

These visitors make guests #8 and #9 to ever visit our home and business here in Yucca Valley.  This visit allowed us to share our home and precision machining operations and we also discussed our first upcoming YouTube video series being filmed now and that should be out in the coming 2 weeks.

Updates to The Workshop

At Active Atom we have 7 work areas.  This is just how it works around here when you have a home turned into a precision machining and finishing operation.

We are starting the filming of our first video series which will be presented on our Youtube channel at  We are sharing the rebuilding of a miniature power mill, a few micromachines and instrument lathes we have around here that needed some love and care.

The area we are filming in is a 300 square foot area named the precision workshop. The Precision Workshop is where we do micromachining, mechanical repairs, inspections, general servicing and ultrasonic cleaning. This area is a climate controlled sealed area that is basically a dust free room.

Active Atom has other areas that are named as follows:

  • The Precision Workshop
  • The General & CNC Machine Workshop
  • The Finishing Shop
  • The Repair Shop
  • The Office Area
  • The Drawing Room (Lance’s room)
  • The Electronics Prototyping and Repair Area (Patrick’s room)

We recently had to bring in 7 regulated airlines and add 6 updated LED lighting fixtures to the ceiling of the Precision Workshop.  We even added a couple of electric 110 socket plugs above a work area for drop-down ease of use and convenience.


Finally, we also connected our custom laboratory sink to the water supply and sewage and added a 220 industrial water heater for the ultrasonic cleaning station that also resides in the precisionworkshop area.

These upgrades were much needed after working in this room for years. This will make our lives easier and we can do better machinery rebuilds, make better precision machined parts for our new product and be a better organized pair of desert dwellers.

Rebuilding a Vintage Levin & Son Lathe


Speaking of rebuilding a couple of our machines, we are current focused on two Levin Instrument Lathes.

There are 2 Levin Instrument Lathes, one from the 1940’s era and one from the 1980’s era.  These are both bed lathes and are classified as Instrument Lathes as opposed to being from our watchmakers lathes.  This mostly has to do with their turning diameter or swing and bed length sizes being larger as a common watchmaker lathe, as instrument lathes require these larger turning specifications from time to time.

Then following these miniature lathe machines, are a couple of micro-miniature lathes, a mini bench drill, a tapping machine and a Barker horizontal and vertical mill, a rare machine made in Cleveland Ohio that offers both a vertical and a horizontal set of machining heads and an arbor, just like a larger horse powered and table travel sized Cincinnati dual power mill would have.

The Filming of our Rebuilding of Vintage Machines

The machines we are rebuilding are from the past, meaning these particular machines we are sharing first were manufactured in Los Angeles California, by a company still in business and still located in Los Angeles County in the City of Santa Fe Springs.  The Louis Levin & Son Lathe Company specializes in precision machinery for miniature and micro-miniature machining applications.

Louis Levin & Son, Inc. was established in the city of Los Angeles in 1942 making sapphire jewel bearings and machines to accomplish these tasks for the US Navy.  Learn the entire story about Louis and Samuel Levin and the Levin & Son Lathe Company

Louis and Samuel Levin owned a watch repair shop in Los Angeles and the year was 1920.  They then created the Watchmaker Industry Horological Association of California in 1934. 

Patrick along with having many of the Levin machines, attachments, tooling and etc., from Levin & Son Lathe Company, also has a copy of the great book produced by Louis and Samuel titled "Practical Benchwork for Horologists", first published 1938, our copy is a reprint dated 1988.  This book is highly recommended for watchmakers.


Lance had a childhood idle, it was Howard Hughes.  HRH sent his lieutenant Thomas Thurlow, operator of his around the world flight navigational instruments and an expert of those times to visit the Levin founders as they were becoming known as the experts in the watch, timing device and mechanical mechanism industries, something these two desert dwellers strive to replicate.

Active Atom Precision machining and Levin & Son are located 115.3 miles from one another

These two desert dwellers are first of all very proud to have such precision mini and micro machining machines and tools to start with.
We both in addition are very thankful to be working with these, and then to have the ability to correctly rebuild the machines, the very machines that will be producing the components of the products we are actually going to be offering in very limited production runs to our YouTube viewers through our online store at Active Atom says a lot about what keeps us going all day and up all night about.

Active Atom Design Studio


We have designed some products and we have brought many dead engineered software, firmware, electro-mechanical and electronic projects back to life through the year’s, mostly for others.

Yes as watchmakers, and watch part and timing device machinists, we have as well brought so many vintage wrist watches and gauges back to life again.  Many of these mechanical devices once thought to be lost or beyond repair, and never to hear a ticktock or sweep again.  To have a sweeping hands begin to move once again after many people thought these were to be more sleeping rather then sweeping, are again being worn with great pride and handed down for the future generations to actually use to tell time and not just look nice on the wrist of both the high-end or modest income earner.

We know the materials we are likely to be making the product from.  We will upon finishing the rebuilding  a couple of instrument lathes and other micromachines and such, going to begin making a very small yet important precision machined product.

Designing the Product while Rebuilding the Machinery

The product while being small and precision machined in aerospace grade materials to help in the assurance of lasting beyond the lifetime of its purchaser, will be offered in a very limited edition, serial numbered and thus available at our online store only.

The first product we are going to make does not even have a name yet.  The product is just now being drawn up and it will surly take on a life of its own and a name will be born out of these efforts.

We are Proud Makers

Please rest assured that these two best friends are capable of making good, reliable and warranted products that are sure to last the true tests of time.

The small precision machined and hand finished product will be of great use and it will also be great for showing and sharing by us, the many talents from our decades of making precision items requiring skills learned throughout the years.  From design to machining to finishing, this first product of our own making will be dressed to impress the buyer and this product will be classified as a high end luxury product.

Lance while sitting down and drafting up a sketch at his drawing table, a small glass top angle controlled simple drafting table will produce the first product.  Then after many back and fourths with Patrick, will turn that sketch of a product over to Patrick for the engineering, CAD blueprint, material requirements and feasibility study through our CAD software system.

Once the drawing is turned into a CAD blueprint, we will begin machining the base product on our current precision metalworking machines and newly rebuilt vintage micromachines.  After machining, we will test the repeatability, reliability and the overall look and feel of the product so that we can then begin making more of them.

We will then make the first 5 products after the final prototype has been approved, to be named as samples.  We will share these sample products with a few people to see if they like them.

After the reviews and feedback of our product are completed, we will seek out the demand from our viewers to see how many we might be able to make for others.

This entire process from the rebuilding of the machines to the designing of the product and the production of the product will be shared on YouTube and Instagram.

An Engineers Understanding of Making Things Shared


Patrick likes to often share that while making things in general takes thought, machining things in particular takes concentration.  Precision Machining in general require patience to achieve very high quality work in the micromachining and micro finishing world, and takes the laser beam focus and attention to detail of a neurosurgeon.