I took some machine shop classes (along with metallurgy and mechanical drawing) back in 1974 when our local community college first opened its doors. We had the use of a fine shop with large 4-jaw South Bend lathes, Bridgeport Universal milling machines, surface grinders, heavy metal-cutting band saws, Morse-taper drill presses, and so. The shop also contained a special room with a huge polished granite layout table. I learned a lot of basic skills from the excellent instructor, Mr. Mick, a retired journeyman machinist who had worked for NASA at one time. One of our projects was to make a pair of machinist's parallel-jaw clamps (about 8 inches long): mill the jaws, drill, tap and counter bore them for the adjusting screws, and then turn and thread the screws and knurl their grips. I still have the ones I made and I still use them. I never really needed a lathe in my RR hobby, but I did buy a good, heavy-duty, accurate drill press. And I learned all about fractional drills, number drills, and letter drills, as well as proper cutting speeds for different materials. I also discovered bottoming taps, reamers, sine bars, dial micrometers, edge finders, and lots of other neat tools.