....Then there's the scientific machinists....
I think that's a very nice compliment, to everyone that posts here. The nature of the beast does lean towards a precise understanding, and frustration when you can't get there from here.
I for one am fascinated by the back and forth parrying of scientists who each try to outdo or disprove their competitors. It really is kind of like racing. The difference is there's never a checkered flag, only the gratification of knowing you've discovered something more precise, or something that allows a more precise view of science.
A question raised by your post though is how good a machinist a scientist makes....and I can tell you that most often, in my experience, a machinist makes a better scientist than the other way around.