That is, I'm just a wannabe fabricator. I'd love to know how to use lathes, mills, laser cutters and welding equipment, but I'm never going to buy these. The latest IEEE Spectrum featured the TechShop, a membership-based 'neighborhood' workshop. For a small fee, you can have access to all types of tools from top-of-the-line CNC equipment to hand tools. The original location is a 15k' facility in the San Franciso Bay Area and new ones will be popping up elsewhere across the country.
Everytime I read about such places (there's a similar wood-working facility near me) I get all excited. Then I learn the cost. Annually $1500, 6-months for $700, $125/month, or $75/day. Then throw in the cost of training which is required to learn and run the machines, I just can't justify it for the few metal components that I'd like to make. Oh well, most of us can't have everything. (It helps that there isn't one nearby anyway.)