Patrick and Lance are moving into the big leagues like city folks, bye-bye septic. We have really been making great progress with the machinery and tool rebuilding. What is with the modern use of words, they were not broken, so why fix them. We once again share an amazing watchmaker video from a far away land and lastly we open up about what being on YouTube means and how committed we both are to making great videos each week.


  • Around the shop service and repair happenings.
  • Machine and tool rebuilding progress.
  • Old and new terminology for words meaning.
  • Share a video from a far away land, it must be shared.
  • Our ethics are more then just words on paper.

Machine Shop Service and Repair


The Town of Yucca Valley recently had sewage lines installed meaning that in the next year nearly all of the Yucca Valley residents and businesses will no longer be on septic tanks, septic is something we knew nothing about when we moved in up here years ago.

This big move by the town has really moved these two hermits into the BIG leagues.


We also blew a main water line likely because the big earth moving equipment boy Caterpillar makes some assume machinery that was up here in August and September jarred our connections loose, we cut in a fix pipe to allow us more time to just replace the entire length of waterline because we know eventually we will need to dig up the main waterline from the meter into the business and replace it, lucky like all issues that arise around this shop we also live in we know how to lay a new waterline and do all the work ourselves, we will film it as well when we actually start on it.

The Machine Shop Area needed some Maintenance


Our Made in the USA, Quincy Air Compressor we have had for about 3 years plus was finally in need of an oil change we did it, that was the first oil change since we bought it, it was the break in oil that came in the air compressor, but we know, before you say anything about break in oil, it was not in use, it cycled only a few times a month and now that it is permanently installed (all the airlines are ran) we wanted to get things caught up around here.

Vintage Precision Machines and Tools Rebuilding


We at last getting some great machines being assembled and a few are done, even some precision tools that we are so very proud to have completed:

  • The Flume micro lathe base is nearing DONE
  • A German micro drill press is being mounted then DONE
  • A small Bergeon carbide sharpening tool is getting assembled then DONE
  • A Mahr dial indicator stand and the S-T Industries dial indicator that goes into it are both DONE

Lathes Made in California nearing Completion

Not one, but two Levin Instrument Lathes are being assembled now, they are first getting their head stock bearing then it is just systematic assembly and finally permanently mounting on their individual dedicated maple wood work bench table tops.


Well we are glad you asked, we have a lot and we still have more to share then we have exposed on our YouTube channel or Instagram to date, we do still have a vintage Barker Power Mill AM Series to finish assembly of the rebuild, more on this machine and its secret it want to share in a future Blog post and via our YouTube Channel eventually.

What is in the Meaning of a Set of Words?

Well, when we, Patrick and Lance were younger you were your persona, you were all about what you said true or false?
Maybe still even more important, it might be best remembered by us, like this, It was not what you said necessarily but, it was all about how you conveyed (with style, sounding cool, and even with reassuring tones even) those words to others in particularly your friends.

Hash Tag versus Pound Sign

Niche versus Nitch, neesh, nish, knitch.
My whole life including adulthood I went along perfectly fine pronouncing the word as ni-T-ch, at half a century plus, I learn I am wrong, but because I am American I am right HUH.
Back in the year 2012 to 2013 there was a large jump 140% increase in the researching or lookup of the word “niche”.
The cause of this from our point of view is the marketing of products from drop shippers selling products that are sold through their online stores, products delivered and backed by the big retailers and each person was seeking a niche to fit their road to marketing and selling success.

I had always said incorrectly, the man has a “niTch” in what services he is offering.
The correct answer is, the man has a “niche” in what services he is offering.

Understand that people in general and men in particular likely if like Patrick and myself Lance never used the work NICHE, as you can see by what time frame (listed above) this word became a new thing in the marketing world in ones attempt at being focused and unique in the offerings from oneself.

Hash Tag or Pound


Another symbol that for nearly all of our two lives event that got myself and best friend Patrick this far is from the phone receiver, please press pound #33 to be connected.
Now the “#” sign has taken on a whole new life and that has turned this seemingly unsuspecting and yes harmless and innocent symbol of our entire lives and turned it into a symbol of like, love dislike and hate as in this example.
#americanmachined is good and #yousmell is bad

Patrick and Lance are Making a Documentary


See we watch a lot of YouTube videos here at Active Atom Precision Machining and we see a lot of educational, advanced learning, skills and knowledge documentaries. I mean come on we live in the middle of vast open desert within a very small town so you learn to get creative when we are not machining parts and such.

Watchmakers are International yet Speak a Common Language

A London Based Iranian Watchmaker is exposed by a filmmaker that shares more then just another watchmaker as we have seen, many of these videos from all over the world.

The story of a man living seemingly alone in an England flat brings wristwatches back from the dead or makes watch finds that cannot be fixed into parts for future watches.

The story is more about the lifestyle of this man then about the acts of making watches work again and it appears these repaired watches are for his personal enjoyment and do not appear to be for customers, the whole damn flat tics.

Periodically we will share a watchmaker related video, though we are currently not in the watch repair or parts making business, we are always open to return to these crafts we have known now for decades.
We do not share these videos for their quality of workmanship because to know a watchmaker workmanship is to have worked with the watchmaker side by side year after year.
We share these videos to bring to life the people behinds these lifetimes of investment into either the collecting or watchmaker machines, tools instruments and occasionally a wristwatch collector, however it should be known as well that we are not collectors at Active Atom we are makers, we make parts and products utilizing the machines, tools and instruments we rebuild, service and we consider ourselves in this way.

The Active Atom Quote

“The wristwatch, the watchmaker’s bench, his tools, his instruments and the machinery he has that make watch parts and components are never actually owned by him, you, nor us, we are each merrily the caretaker of these animate object until the time arrives to pass them along to the next caretaker.”

We are an open book personal and share more then you likely would need or want to know about us our home and our work.

Our Work Ethics


We are American citizens and we are California born natives, sometimes this statement alone can work against us in the perception that outsiders might have of either Americans or that many Americans themselves have about those crazy Californians.

Truth is, we the two of us, are a little nuts, never met programmers and machinist that were not a little well, analytical, off the trail a bit, and those people, like us hang with like minded people just like we are, our lives are just one big happy crazy workplace.

Our California location is more of a back country state, say like Ohio or Kentucky (where my dad Herbert, his dad and his dads dad and his dads, dads dad and so on are all from) of rural living, as far as people living here attitudes go, we would be very similar to those places.
This area we call home is a very god fearing, country loving, gun toting, family devoted friendly neighbor and stranger alike culture up here in the California high-desert.

Geographically we are very different from those two states above mentioned you see, our town of Yucca Valley is home to Active Atom and is located in an arid open desert (few bushes or trees, no water) region of California, meaning it is no Kentucky or Ohio because of the lack of trees, heavy grasses, bushes, green landscapes flowing and running waters and smooth mountain sides and peaks, an east of the 100th meridian thing.

All of this just means that we are very unique and totally not an image of anything an outsider of California life would imagine when thinking of California.

We are also a far cry different then the glamour and glitz of Hollywood though we are gunning to become YouTube stars (NOT) nor are we anything like the Technology buzz of Silicon Valley portrays.
We do want you to know though we are designers, computer software engineers as well as electromechanical and electronics engineers, CNC programmers, that is about as Silicon Valley as we get around here.

We do accomplish more tasks then listed above regularly, but those listed above are the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, San Jose even Irvine or Santa Monica related ones.

The very principles the two of us stand for in regards to fine craftsmanship and meticulous attention to details required to work on both the rebuilding of vintage micro machines and tools and the ability to operate such tight tolerance high precision micro machines and micro finishing tools producing production runs while making components and parts that make up the products we strive to produce are a lifelong commitment to deliver to our customers the very best in workmanship we are able and can provide.

This way of life, this way of thinking, is what makes us a happy small company in a rural California desert town worth paying some attention to.

This is why we are making these videos, writing these blog posts, posting these pictures to Instagram and talking the whole thing up on Facebook and Google Plus. If we do not share our skills now and leave them in a digital format for future generations then our personal take on precision making of things, analog or digital, mechanical or electronic, are going to fade away one day along with the two of us.

That is our personal commitment to stay the course on this journey of two childhood best friends living and working together in a small rural town.