Computer programmers don't construct anything you can touch, see, show off, or really measure. More often than not, software we write is discarded before it's ever used. Really. We create magnetic patterns on a spinning aluminum plate. Truly vaporware.
So I am drawn to machine tools. Metal is permanent, tactile, heavy, shiny, sharp, smooth, hot, and cold. You can give it to someone. You can create something useful from a lump of something that isn't. Machining is anti-programming.
So now I'm searching for a metal lathe. Not something huge because I ultimately have to move it. But something just right, like an Atlas 618 perhaps...
So I'm looking at ebay trying to find a suitable lathe that's affordable, in good shape, and within a reasonable drive. Slim pickin's.