Author Topic: Age and Model Engineers  (Read 15943 times)

Offline Jo

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Age and Model Engineers
« on: January 23, 2013, 07:50:48 AM »
I am not sure if this is an age thing but here goes? One of the things that I have always noticed is that Model Engineers tend to be ?older?, I think that the average age of my own club members is about late 70?s. There may be younger members but if there is they either don?t turn up or are engaged in building electric mice/rats and slowly migrate up into live steam versions. The older generation is definitely into Model Locomotives rather than building model engines. The ones we have sadly lost over the last decade were equally into model engines.

When I first started out in this hobby at a tender age of 23, I can remember being inundated by members wanting to ?help?, show me how to do things. As time went on I found that less and less members wanted to engage in helping and guide me learn new things and I have also observed that new younger members were being offered little help.

I have also on a number of occasions had very negative comments from fellow model engineers and observed them being aimed at other youngsters comments that could be summed up with ?what do you youngsters know about model engineering, you weren?t around in the days of steam?. Thankfully the most cutting one in which a prominent member of the Southern Federation recently followed up a similar comment to myself with one along the lines of you don?t even have any engineering qualifications, discovered the naivety of his remark ;D, others may not be able to respond in the same manner :-\.

Ok enough winging. Why are there so few younger model engineers, is the attitude of some older model engineers putting them off and what can we do to encourage more.

Jo
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 08:11:54 AM by Jo »
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Offline spuddevans

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 08:41:49 AM »
Why are there so few younger model engineers, is the attitude of some older model engineers putting them off and what can we do to encourage more.

Speaking as a relative youngster here (at least in my own little world - you should come visit it sometime, the scenery is lovely  :Lol: ) of 37, I have had a fascination with engineering since I was in my early teens, but it wasn't until I had got into my late 20's that I could afford to set myself up with engineering tooling, then I got married and money became tighter again.

I have a friend who loves engineering and would love to have a workshop, but doesnt have the space nor the spare cash or time to spend as he's got a family to support and look after. I think a lot of others are in the same boat, would love to get more involved but have other priorities that come 1st. Then later in life they take these "hobbies" up as they then have the time/money to devote to them.

In short, life today gets filled up with too many things, so hobbies and other interests can tend to get pushed onto the "I'll do that later" pile.


Tim ( one of the fortunate ones who has got some spare time, now has the equipment, but unfortunately has no place to work in..... YET!!! )
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Offline swilliams

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 09:02:10 AM »
"I think that the average age of my own club members is about late 70?s."

I bet the age mix here is a lot more diverse. Now all we need is a club house, some affordable transport and some time off to get there  :DrinkPint:


"Thankfully the most cutting one in which a prominent member of the Southern Federation recently followed up a similar comment to myself with one along the lines of you don?t even have any engineering qualifications, discovered the naivety of his remark ;D, others may not be able to respond in the same manner :-\."

Forget the engineering qualifications. Send that low quality man to deportment college!

Steve

Offline Jo

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 09:02:53 AM »
I have had a fascination with engineering since I was in my early teens, a late comer my parents remember having to let me go look at the diggers at the age of 3  ;D but it wasn't until I had got into my late 20's that I could afford to set myself up with engineering tooling, then I got married and money became tighter again.  :disappointed: I know the feeling

I have a friend who loves engineering and would love to have a workshop, but doesn't have the space nor the spare cash or time to spend.

Gaining a workshop can be a problem, in the old days model engineers would let youngsters come an make an engine with them. I offered to a young lad in the village to come and do just that, and his uncle even gave him a set of Stuart No 4 castings to learn with but his parents were worried that he might hurt himself :hellno: so he was not allowed >:(.

[I recognise that for slightly older gentalmen, especially the ones with partners, the opportunity to go to visit a woman to make use of her machines and tools can be missinterpreted by :o both parties. It was not a problem BD but since I have become young free and single again the older apprentices have "dried up"]

Jo
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Offline peatoluser

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 09:19:42 AM »
I think most young people who do get into model engineering do so through an older relative and having access to workshop equipment. To start this hobby from scratch can be expensive and the reasons Tim gave were the very ones that prevented me from entering the hobby for many years

as for youngsters being put of joining a club by the attitude of some older members, well, isn't that what this site is for? A warm welcome and plenty of friendly constructive advice.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if more people begin to find this hobby via forums like ours, than by actual contact with a club, although I dare say that some clubs do actively seek out new members.

peter



Offline Deko

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 09:26:33 AM »
Jo, I agree about some of the older club members (says he 72 y.o.a ). I often met a chap down at the local scrapyard and mentioned that i liked model engineering so we would chat for a good while. Then one day i said i had no interest in locos, that did it, ever after that he would totaly ignore me, and even walk away when i came anywhere near ( no i do'nt have bad BO ) :paranoia: I later found out that he is the chairman of the local ME club.  :shrug:

Cheers Dek. :old:

Offline John S

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 09:40:50 AM »


 It was not a problem BD but since I have become young free and single again the older apprentices have "dried up"]

Jo

Please send post code but don't tell Ower Gert   :LittleAngel:

Seriously my take on it thru experience.

Firstly I am not a model engineer, everything I do is 12" to the foot and usually broken but I do have an interest gleaned from when I started out I had to buy from the shows and same traders we all use today.

A while ago after giving up racing bikes and our local bike club folding i looked round for somewhere else to go one night a weel / fortnight / month with like minded people.
We have two ME clubs local so enquiries made and an invite thrown out and I went up.

To be fair I was made welcome, got a coffee and people were coming up, introducing themselves and asking what loco I was building. When I said I was more into the machinery / engineering side of it they soon wandered off.
After an hour of this I was on my own. Sorry but loco's leave me cold.

Second club was even worse, they have monthly meetings but April to October are running nights at their track which leaves November to March, 5 meetings in a local pub.
One is a ladies night, one is the AGM so I would have to join for 3 nights out per year.

I loose more nights out than this coming back blotto from the pub !  :pinkelephant:

Now as an aside with my ARC CNC hat on [ blatant plug ] we often gives talks on why bother with CNC and to this effect i did a lot of research and some of the main reasons are, lack of formal training but often coming from office / warehouse  / industrial enviroments most are very computer literate unlike what is left of the flat earth society in the clubs.

This then goes on the doing complex parts with little or no special jigs , cams etc to mention the people who are not interested in the journey but more the reward. I.e. they need the part no matter how it's made.

Then there is the group of people [ larger than most realise ] that have a workshop to support another hobby like vintage bike / car restoration.

Lastly and I find this interesting are the people who build a CNC, lets face it compared to an 8' x 4' router it IS a model and then use the MKI to build the MKII and then the MKIII etc.
To them CNC has now become their hobby.

These are all younger people, 25 + and what I'm trying to say is workshops and home shop engineering IS alive and well in this country but it's probably moved on from the old written in stone Model Engineering.

Many of my friends have workshops, some very, very well equipped but none build models. I feel the Yanks [ hawk spit - ding ] have it right when they call their mag Home Shop machinist, it does say a lot more.

Another aside when talking to Dave Fenner the Ex - editor of MEW, he remarked that the issues of MEW that had bikes and cars on the cover outsold the others. lets face it you have to be a right anorak if you can spot a magazine with a dividing head on the cover from 17 paces in W H Smitt Gmbh.


[ Edit] Whilst i was trying this tome Deco's reply came in which further adds to what I mentioned in my opening statements.

John S.

John Stevenson, Nottingham , England

Offline DaveH

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2013, 10:41:08 AM »

Ok enough winging. Why are there so few younger model engineers, is the attitude of some older model engineers putting them off and what can we do to encourage more.

Jo


This is a perennial topic and the "younger" generation probably feel they have more commitments, a young family and all that goes with it. They also spend a lot of time "trying to make a living" than just living.
Nevertheless I feel the "older" model engineers can be a little offish which doesn't help. Let me give you an example CNC, there are "young" people very involved and interested in CNC,  - what happens some old *art tells them it is cheating - "cheating" my goodness there's a bit of encouragement  :facepalm: Well let me tell you what I think cheating is - using DRO's on your lathe and mill - whats up can't you count!

Take this forum, there must be 10 categories ( I haven't counted them) of engine builds, my design, someone else's design, with castings, without castings, with CNC, without CNC, with plans, without plans. What does it matter how one builds/makes it, but on here it matters ............ some sort of snobbery.

That's my little rant  :old:  :whoohoo:
 :cheers:
DaveH




Offline Jo

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2013, 10:42:47 AM »
Then there is the group of people [ larger than most realise ] that have a workshop to support another hobby like vintage bike / car restoration.
.....
These are all younger people, 25 + and what I'm trying to say is workshops and home shop engineering IS alive and well in this country but it's probably moved on from the old written in stone Model Engineering.

Many of my friends have workshops, some very, very well equipped but none build models.
....

John S.

John, Many true comments there.

I am currently helping out one collegue with his 1930's Rover who needs to have a cast part remade from scratch. And another youngster who is slowly restoring a 1960's Mustang who needs parts for that... Both with workshops, one with a lathe, but no desires to build model engines yet, but I am working on them :naughty: .

Jo
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Offline steamer

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 10:56:45 AM »
All great comments everyone...keep them coming!

Dave
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Offline Jo

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2013, 11:18:10 AM »

This is a perennial topic and the "younger" generation probably feel they have more commitments, a young family and all that goes with it. They also spend a lot of time "trying to make a living" than just living.

I am not sure, the younger guys I work with have time and money for lots of things that don't choose to do or spend my money on. So many of them with families are off down the gym a few nights a week  :???:, dancing seems to be in fashion :-X, out playing golf :hellno: all day on a Sunday and this is all with in an engineering company. I would say they have more time than I had at their age.

I hear that Babies can be a distraction but our own Dave here shows that that only need be for a few years, then they can add to the fun in the workshop 8).

Funding: Here is an interesting one, a few years ago I priced up my entire workshop, the materials/castings for all my models and the time I have spent doing this hobby against colleagues hobby costs who were into sculling, golfing and classic cars. My model engineering was by far the cheapest hobby :whoohoo:.

Jo
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Offline steamer

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2013, 11:18:53 AM »
Hey DaveH,

Do you really feel that way?....like there is snobbery in the forum?....I ask that earnestly...and to be very clear...I am in no way upset by that comment...I want to understand it..

I know I could care less how an engine is made...or even if it's an engine at all!....I enjoy seeing the fruits of the effort...and the thinking process behind it....that "floats my boat".....whether it's a loco, a mill engine or a F8 Crusaider, or a miniature spinning wheel....though having the index set the way it is might set an "image"....but I really don't think ...at least I haven't seen any snobbery....

We had some issues at the "other place"....VERY isolated ones...and with 12000 members....anything can happen.....where someone was getting abusive private emai about a post subject that ...as was put to them...was "OFF TOPIC"....to the point he was going to quit the forum to make it stop!.........I put a stop to that right quick! 8)

I think this place is a very inclusive and tolerant bunch...but I am open to being proven wrong...and will help to mend that if I am.
I think the "index" just makes it easier to find a specific design of engine or engine build.....My Wallaby is a casting set engine....ect.

Warm regards,

Dave     (steamer  MEM)

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Offline steamer

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2013, 11:27:09 AM »

This is a perennial topic and the "younger" generation probably feel they have more commitments, a young family and all that goes with it. They also spend a lot of time "trying to make a living" than just living.

I am not sure, the younger guys I work with have time and money for lots of things that don't choose to do or spend my money on. So many of them with families are off down the gym a few nights a week  :???:, dancing seems to be in fashion :-X, out playing golf :hellno: all day on a Sunday and this is all with in an engineering company. I would say they have more time than I had at their age.

I hear that Babies can be a distraction but our own Dave here shows that that only need be for a few years, then they can add to the fun in the workshop 8).

Funding: Here is an interesting one, a few years ago I priced up my entire workshop, the materials/castings for all my models and the time I have spent doing this hobby against colleagues hobby costs who were into sculling, golfing and classic cars. My model engineering was by far the cheapest hobby :whoohoo:.

Jo

Jo

I have twin 10 year olds   a boy and a girl....beautiful kids....love em more than life itself....but to say they are a distraction to my hobby...understates how much work kids are.    I think I am the exception...only because I know how to work unreasonably hard...and am as stuborn as stink!, and that I have my wonderful, understanding and dedicated wife who loves me too...  I don't find many "me's" out there....present company excluded...most people think  I'm nuts!....but that's OK...my family loves me and that's all that matters..

NEMES is a great bunch of people , but true...the average age is a good bit older than me I suspect...but...there are a few "youngin's"

And some don't use CNC!

Dave
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 11:35:47 AM by steamer »
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Offline Tennessee Whiskey

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2013, 11:33:47 AM »
Jo, I really appreciate this thread. We now live in a world where our youth are pretty much given everything and they are entertained by electronics. Building plactic models or wood projects with Dad and Grandad are pretty much things of the past. If we wanted a car we had to find something old and fix ourselves, now they pitch them the keys to a new one. I've watched them take the metal working and skilled labor classes out of schools and replace them with graphic arts and computer skills classes.
And all the while I've watched  quality and pride in craftsmanship all but vanish and their work ethics are terrible. If luring them in by CNC is the route we must take then that's fine and maybe we can instill the rest.  And if mom and dad want to by Junior a new Tormach, we'll at least get to play with it.  :thinking:
Eric

Offline Jo

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2013, 11:47:52 AM »
[Jo

I have twin 10 year olds   a boy and a girl....beautiful kids....love em more than life itself....but to say they are a distraction to my hobby...understates how much work kids are.   

Sorry Dave: Don't have kids, never will have them, so I am not qualified in these matters. My only exposure to the effort involved is my sister who is a single parent, who actually gets more time for her hobbies than I would have expected.

Jo
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Online b.lindsey

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2013, 12:00:56 PM »
I agree with much of what Eric says at least as to my neck of the woods. I work, teach, and manage the machine shop lab for the Engineering Technology Dept. at a large urban university. More specifically I teach the machine shop lecture and co-teach the labs. The young people today are by far more interested in their smart phones, ipads, etc. As to machining they are taught solidworks and take to it like ducks on water, but that is as far as it goes often times. What we have lost is the ability to know that just because something can be drawn, that doesn't mean it can be machined easily or in a cost effective manner. They are so used to 3D printing, which we have several of, and now CNC, which we are just getting into...that they can't be bothered with the trials and tribulations of manual machining. I have some 18 or so engines of various types scattered around my office and in 6 years...I can count on one hand the number of students that have even expressed an interest in hobby machining. I can and do recommend to those how they might get into it for minimal cost and then grow into the hobby as time and finances permit, yet still the numbers are virtually nill. I think much of the problem is that we spoon feed these youngsters so much that the learning curve in this hobby is simply more than they now wish to take on. I don't mean all that to sound negative, its just what I observe on a daily basis with the student engineers of tomorrow.

Bill

Offline rebush

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2013, 12:01:38 PM »
JO: I live in S.W. Florida, they've taken all the machines out of the schools here. It seems like the skilled trades are not as desireable of a future it once was. I think time and money to buy tools and the space to put them is an issue also. I've built cabinets and furniture for the last 37 years it getting harder to find young people who want to work in the shop. When I finish a model I take it to work to show the guys, their always amazed by the finished product and the skills it takes to build, but, not one person yet has shown any interest in learning to work on models. I'm sure the hobby will continue. Our tools are going to end up with a new owner when we're gone. Hope they turn out a few good model engines with them. Roger
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Offline DaveH

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2013, 12:06:10 PM »
Hey DaveH,
Do you really feel that way?....like there is snobbery in the forum?....I ask that earnestly...and to be very clear...I am in no way upset by that comment...I want to understand it..
Warm regards,
Dave     (steamer  MEM)
Hi Dave
Of course there is snobbery in this forum, it's no different to any other forum or "walks of life" in that respect.
However categorizing the engine builds and relegating them to sub forums just seemed an odd thing to do (to me) when the tittle of this forum is Model Engine Maker. I couldn't care less how one builds it, or from what but some must otherwise they would not have been categorized in the way they are.

End  of that rant.
Now for the next one.

There is nothing wrong with the younger generation, they are not much different to how some of us older *arts were. If there were a simple answer to get more young people into our hobby - then it would have been done years ago. What the young people need from us is encouragement and understanding, and when we are criticized we need to take it and get better. Not come out fighting, moaning and winging and blame the younger generation.
We are an odd lot we need to realize we are the odd ones not the rest of society.

Yikes I'm having a good day to day  :cartwheel:
 :cheers:
DaveH
   


Offline steamer

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2013, 12:14:29 PM »

Yikes I'm having a good day to day 



Clearly!  ;D

Well...if you can point out the specifics...I'll work to make it better....and trust me....I'm trying to bring my kids along..

Dave
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Offline Jo

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2013, 12:15:15 PM »
We are an odd lot we need to realize we are the odd ones not the rest of society.

Yikes I'm having a good day to day  :cartwheel:
 :cheers:
DaveH
 

Dave, at least you are in the majority, there are more men in this hobby than women. In the wider engineering circles women are, in the main, accepted as equals amongst engineers but in my experience it very much less so in Model Engineering.

Edit: Actually thinking about professional engineers ;D, and retired ones, accept me as a woman model engineer better than non engineering types.

Jo
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 12:28:14 PM by Jo »
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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2013, 12:24:00 PM »
I don't find the categorization of build methods to be an issue at all. Probably like a lot of us, I swing between moods and projects and methods from build to build. Sometimes its castings, sometimes bar stock. Sometimes its from my own plans, sometimes from those of others. I find the categorization helpful in that regard as far as focusing in on what may interest me most at the moment. But in no way does that mean I can't admire projects in other categories.

Bill

Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2013, 12:25:16 PM »
I remember talking about this some time ago. At the time I talked about the lack of opportunity.
It worries me that our schools keep dropping programs like woodshop, metalworking, drafting etc.
Sure, you can find them in community colleges or private schools that cater to that, but if, when you leave high school you'd never been exposed to it, you won't consider it.

I was lucky in that I spent some years as a kid in Europe. My parents took me to museums and in Europe you're going to see a lot of machines. And my parents gave me erector sets and chemistry sets.

But while I say 'lack of opportunity' there is also 'too much opportunity'. When I was growing up, there was no TV (or what there was was in a foreign language), no computers, no youtube, etc.

Today kids can spread their attention to a lot of different areas. Too many really. And because of the plethora of interesting things (and to some extent the way we raised them), fewer kids have the patience or the time to pursue such hobbies as this one.

But...having said that...it's amazing what you find on the internet. Kids making steam tanks, lego engines, steam driven spiders. They are out there.
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Offline Tennessee Whiskey

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2013, 12:34:33 PM »
Steamer  I'm not seeing it.

Jo, a person's best judge are their peers. If anyone who as ever built anything can look at your work and not offer respect (In my case awe) they need to have their micrometers welded shut.

ERic

Offline steamer

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2013, 12:43:52 PM »
Steamer  I'm not seeing it.

Jo, a person's best judge are their peers. If anyone who as ever built anything can look at your work and not offer respect (In my case awe) they need to have their micrometers welded shut.

ERic

 :lolb:

Absolutely agree!

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Offline gbritnell

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2013, 01:23:47 PM »
Times have changed. As with any topic like this it's easy to stray from the subject so I'll try not to.
I'm fast approaching 68 years. I grew up in a time when there were 3 courses that were offered to the young men in high school under the heading of industrial arts. One was wood shop, the second was metal shop and the  third was mechanical drawing. At the same time almost everyone I knew had an interest in cars, working on them, customizing them or building them.
One of the other interests of the era was mini-bikes or go carts. There were always old lawnmower engines to be had and frames could be built even from wood. About the biggest outlay was for a centrifugal clutch and chain.
Someone also mentioned models, plastic and balsa.
Times have changed.
Our world has entered the electronic age. Cars can no longer be worked on, machining has gone to CNC, set up your tools, load a part and press a button, the interest in building models has been replaced by 'texting'. While most of the high school shops have been dismantled there are local vocational schools that still offer 'industrial arts' classes but I'm not even sure how much longer these will endure.
I entered an apprenticeship for metal patternmaking in the late 60's at the Ford Motor Co. It was a 4 years apprenticeship accompanied by classes at the local high school covering drafting, metallurgy, machining, math and physics.
The last apprentices we hired were in the late 80's and I suspect that most of the large industrial companies ended their programs about the same time.
I have 2 boys, one who is very mechanically inclined and the other somewhat but even with dad's machining hobby as part of their life for 40 some years neither of them took a direct interest in turning handles.
If it didn't even catch their interest then there's not much of a chance for others to be drawn into the hobby.
Times have changed.
I lost my job because they don't make automobile engine parts from iron any longer. It was an inevitable change.
I enjoyed my training, my job and my hobbies but they were from another era. All we can do is accept the changes, mostly because we can't do anything about them anyway, and when you attend an engineering show or even participate on a forum such as this, offer all the information you can. The ones that are asking are doing so because they have an interest in our hobby and might perpetuate it for another decade or two.
Times have changed!
George D. Britnell
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Offline Terryd

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2013, 01:25:44 PM »
Hi Jo,

the lack of interest in model engineering at leqst in the UK has a set of complex reasons:

Lack of apprenticeships in Mech. Eng.
Decline of related subjects in Schools allied to the closing of workshops and selling off equipment;
Lack of expertise amongst the school teaching profession, due to changes in training (due to 'National Curriculum');
Lack of experienced Engineers entering the teaching profession from industry;
Rise of CNC in industry and less manual machining, fitting and bench work;
Changes in maintenance, i.e. replacement of faulty units instead of repair;
Lack of opportunities for using machinery and hand tools,
no awareness of what is possible.
Fewer hobbies which involve making e.g. plastic assembly kits, Model aircraft, Etc etc.
Rise of IT based hobbies and interests such as gaming and the increase in emphasis on IT subjects in school.

If we are to encourage future model engineers than something must replace the lost opportunities which our generation was exposed to almost on a daily basis.  Should the clubs be more open and offer such exposure and opportunities - it would be a huge call.

I must admit to being a bit pessimistic about the future of the hobby among younger generations having seen how their opportunities in Education have become more limited, especially the increasing emphasis on resullts in the so called 'academic' subjects and the blinkered view of 'education' among our political masters.

Regards

Terry :(

Offline DaveH

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2013, 01:27:43 PM »
Well said George  :ThumbsUp:
 :cheers:
DaveH

Offline DaveH

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2013, 01:57:55 PM »

Dave, at least you are in the majority, there are more men in this hobby than women.
Jo
Jo,
That just means you are a lot "odder" than the rest of us on here  :lolb: :lolb: :lolb:
 :cheers:
DaveH
 

Offline John S

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2013, 03:06:17 PM »
I resemble that last remark !
John Stevenson, Nottingham , England

Offline Captain Jerry

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2013, 03:32:44 PM »
What! No youngsters?  This summer I crossed the line between early 70's and late 70's but in this hobby I am a youngster and this is my club.  I have had a lifelong interest in how thing work and how they are made but mostly I have kept that under my hat and I scrub my hands and fingernails carefully.  Among my social friends, except for cruising sailors, mechanical interest is absent if not discouraged.  But that is ok.  My shop time and the things that I build are for my private enjoyment, and yours.

If you are a member of this forum, you are already hooked, but I am not in favor of encouraging kids in their 20's or 30's to get involved.  This hobby is addictive and time consuming and is probably not a path to career advancement and a young man or woman does not need the distraction.  Their world is competitive and fast paced and they don't need to spend too much time with old ideas.

They will retire someday and maybe look for something to do when they are to old to play golf.  It is never to late to learn.  Maybe we should be looking to retirement communities for new converts.

Jerry
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There are things that you can do and some things you can't do. Don't worry about it. try it anyway.

Offline DaveH

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2013, 03:37:20 PM »
Then there is of course my other side, I couldn't care less ( I really couldn't ) if any youngster's come into this hobby or not.
Is there a reason why I should care?
 :cheers:
DaveH
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 05:03:53 PM by DaveH »

Offline Lew Hartswick

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2013, 03:40:16 PM »
Like Sir John S. I never built or anticipate building any "model" engines. But sure do enjoy "inventing" and
designing and building all sorts of jigs and fixtures.  And volunteering at a high school metal shop
(about the only one of its kind in the state) I get a kick out of the one or two kids in a class that "get it"
when shown how to do a project on the lathe or mill.  The prospect for "home shop machining" is a best
pretty dim from what I see of the classes over the last 14 years though.  Most of the kids don't even have
enough interest in "results" of a project let alone the "process" (which is what intrigues me)  involved.
   ...Lew... ( b 1932)

Offline 90LX_Notch

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2013, 04:38:09 PM »
My son is nine and has an occasional interest.  We actually started Elmer's Tiny as his first engine.  So far we have had two machining sessions.  At this point I don't want to push him.  If it's going to happen, it will.  I used this approach with fishing.  I couldn't wait to take him when he was little.  I quickly learned that it was going to take some time.  By the time he was four our fishing sessions lasted for 15 mins. and I didn't even bother bringing my rod.  By the time he was seven it was like fishing with an adult.  He loved it and could operate a spinning reel by himself.   My hope is that engine building will follow the same path.

As far as schools dropping industrial arts-  I think it is a big mistake.  In my opinion band and choir should be dropped first.  Industrial art classes teach important skills that can carry you through life.  After the big storm hits, and your generator wont start, would you rather take the carb apart and get going or stare at it and sing a song.  Heck, maybe you could play a happy song on your flute as your wife and kids freeze to death.

The shop classes I took in high school carried me further in my working career then my bachelors and masters did.

-Bob
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Offline propforward

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2013, 04:49:01 PM »
As far as schools dropping industrial arts-  I think it is a big mistake.  In my opinion band and choir should be dropped first.  Industrial art classes teach important skills that can carry you through life.

I agree. I blame society in general (it's just easy). This attitude that sprang up at some point that "working in factories" is for some reason a demeaning and low level job, has steered entire nations away from manufacturing. Just exactly what is wrong with a job where you make things is beyond me.  :shrug:

There are a lot of ins and a lot of outs to it, which I'm not going to get into because politics and social issues on forums tends to be vgery inflammatory, but the net result is less emphasis on making things in school, means less interest in making things for a hobby.

All is not yet lost, I was judging a school science fair the other day, and there were some astoundingly excellent projects there. I don't just mean cool things kids made, but rpojects where an experiment was performed, and careful analysis had taken place. That was good to see anyway. Although there was a lack of actual physical things present. Not a single model steam engine anywhere. :(
Stuart

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2013, 05:17:33 PM »
Can you really blame kids for not having an interest in engineering just look what it has done to us
There was a time when an engineer had a degree to go with the title now you just need to clean toilette's to be qualified as a sanitary engineer what does that say about the status of engineering .I know if I had the chance again I would not go down the engineering route as long as I had a hole in my backside so why decry the younger generation for not been interested lets just face it we are dinosaur's  but at least we have fun and occasionally turn the tables on them.

Offline propforward

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2013, 05:26:53 PM »
The fact is, that things will always need to be made. Somewhere in the world, there will always need to be machine tools turning out parts. At the basic level, steel and aluminum will need to be cut from one form into another form to make the stuff people want. It doesn't matter whether that happens on CNC or manual machines, it will take expertise and know how to do it, and it needs to remain in our countries.

As regards the way titles are applied now - yes it stinks in a way. But I don't see it as ruining the engineering profession. It is because engineering is so noble and important that people seek to apply the term "engineer" to whatever job they are doing.

Engineering is fundamental to existence. Engineers always have been, and always will be needed. Manufacturing is a central part of an economy, and needs to be nurtured. The offshoot of that is more amateur engineering interest.

Engineers rule.

That's a sort of pun. ;D
Stuart

Offline 90LX_Notch

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2013, 05:27:08 PM »
Ah yes Prop, but how much adult help went into the projects?  That is another disturbing trend, the parents doing all of the kids work.  I see it with the Pinewood Derby that the Cub Scouts have.  One kid could barely use scissors and showed up with a perfect car.  Amazing!  I help my son with his but, I won't build the entire car.  I'm so bad about this he didn't participate last year.  He kept blowing it off everytime I said: "Hey, we should work on your car."  I told him numerous times that I would not build it for him.  He learned a lesson as he was the only boy in the whole Pack who did not race.  When I was his age I would have cut my left nut off to build a "racecar".  We will see what happens this year.

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Offline propforward

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2013, 05:29:30 PM »
Ah yes Prop, but how much adult help went into the projects? 

A good point, but it was mixed, and went multiple ways. Part of the judging involved interviewing the kids. It was pretty clear which kids did the work themselves, and I was happy to see that most of them did.

There were some disturbing entries where it was clear the parents did the work, and had done a rotten job of it, frankly. In those cases the kids would have been better off on their own, I expect.  :facepalm:

The pinewood derby is a good exanple where too often the parents do pretty much everything.  ::)
Stuart

fcheslop

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2013, 05:39:53 PM »
Hi Propforward, sorry I have to disagree I just think engineering and manufacturing at least in the UK has gone down the pan and that anyone who works with there hands for a living is now treat like a third class citizen or at least that's the way my world has gone
cheers

Offline Tennessee Whiskey

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2013, 05:47:16 PM »
A big salute to those that are really trying to raise your children. So many think it's the school system's responsibility, yet, they b**ch when little whatever isn't treated right. You know if you raise a dog to point birds you can't fuss at them when they won't run a rabbit. Might be in theis "raisins"

Eric

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2013, 05:53:39 PM »
Hi DaveH, I think youre comments are bang on target
cheers

Offline propforward

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #41 on: January 23, 2013, 06:01:07 PM »
Hi Propforward, sorry I have to disagree I just think engineering and manufacturing at least in the UK has gone down the pan and that anyone who works with there hands for a living is now treat like a third class citizen or at least that's the way my world has gone
cheers

Well yes, that is where my comments regarding manufacturing come in. For some reason, working in factories and making things is regarded as a low quality job. That doesn't change that engineering and manufacturing are actually highly critical and important, it's just people don't see it that way.

This is part of the reason why I left the UK and went to the USA.
Stuart

Offline steamer

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2013, 06:17:13 PM »
OK guys....which windmill are we jousting here.

If your position is such that you feel no responsibility to the profession, the hobby, or the next generation.   Thats fine.    But ...don't whine later about the atrophy of society.

Part of being a "gray beard" is to mentor and teach the younger and less experienced one...that's my position on the subject....Your mileage may vary...professional driver on closed course....yada yada yada....

As for this side of the pond anyway.   I know that Engineering will be a needed profession for some time to come.   My son likes to make stuff in the shop, and scores very well in math and science....he's got the knack...maybe I'm just blessed.....I'll take it

but I have seen the younger generation in a lot of forms....some couldn't be bothered....but I've seen the other side too!

I was Engineer on "Sabino" one evening 10 or so years ago...and this inquisitive little boy was looking down to the engine room from the railing....watching EVERY move I made as I tended the boiler and answered the manuvering bells.......he was quiet at first, but then quietly....and EXTREMELY respectfully...I got a question:

Excuse me sir, may I ask you a question?    ( when was the last time you were called Sir or Maam?.....it got my attention)

Sure!  I'm Engineer Dave....how can I help you.  ( Mind you I'm coverd in oil and coal dust and the engine room is 140 degrees...so I don't smell so good either!)

Every question began with "Sir?"

He then asked a small question about when I should decide to put more coal on the fire?.....VERY politely!   and with very good diction....you don't hear this often...I was intriqued.

He then took that answer, and formed a new question based on the new found data....15 minutes goes by...and we're talking....and I got to say...this kid really impressed me!

I look around the boat a little...and about 15 feet away forward by the bulwark was guy staring at us with a big grin on his face...and he mouthed ...is this OK?

I gave him the high sign...and he just left us to talk for another 20 minutes.....and the questions got pretty technical...every question based on the answer he got from the previous question....
At the end of this conversation ...his Dad came by....and offered to "take him off my hands" ....which I said    buy all means stay and ask any question you like!

He asked me about school and I explained my 4 year degree, and why I was a VOLUNTEER on that boat doing what I was doing.

He enjoyed it a great deal, but not as much as I did!

He new what gage said what , when I should fire, when I should rake, when the condensate valves should and should not be open, what the bypass valve was, where we got our coal from, the size of the grate, which fire tool was which, and what they were used for.....and I could go on!.....

Blew MY MIND!

At the end of the charter, I took him down the engine room and showed him around....he loved it!....and was extremely well behaved.

I wouldn't be surprised to find myself working for this kid someday....I'd be alright with that.

So lets just say....I'm a bit more optimistic. 8)

Dave

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Damned ijjit!

Offline propforward

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2013, 06:20:06 PM »
That's a great story Dave. I see that kind of thing too, and it is wonderful when you encounter it. Genuine, polite interest. And some basic manners.

Heck, I'm happy to get that from the adults I meet, and that's rare enough, some days.
Stuart

Offline rleete

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2013, 06:21:32 PM »
I'm among the younger members here, just having gone past 50. I took metal and wood shop in high school.  No idea if it's even still offered.  But it was my father who passed on the tradition of fixing and making things.  Mostly because we both share the same trait of being cheapskates.  Never spend a buck if you can make it or make do.  And because it is an outlet for my creativity beside work, where I am a mechanical designer.

That said, I am a relative newbie.  I don't get the time in the shop because of work and family, which limits my output & skill level.  I do, however, show off my engines and other projects to the neighboorhood kids, aged between 6 and 10.  They are all fascinated with the engines, and will sometimes ask if I'll get them out and run them.  They show interest in almost everything, from tools to engines to the pens I make.  They ask questions, and are genuinely impressed.  This leads me to believe that the main problem is not laziness or inability (or whatever), but just opportunity.  Exposure to the world of machines, to the people that make stuff.

You want to encourage the younger people to make stuff?  Then YOU must be the one to show them that it can be done, and offer to help make things.  Dad is likely off playing golf like Jo said.  If he's not making stuff, junior will never even know about lathes and mills and tooling.  I learned to operate a table saw from dad.  I "graduated" to metal working several years ago when I came across one of those old Popular Science articles on making an engine.  Being a bit older than when I first saw it, and having both the space and finances to get started led me to the web and forums.

That never would have happened had I not had the exposure to it at an early age. 

Offline mklotz

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2013, 06:54:49 PM »
Well, Dave has offered his anecdotal example so I'll submit mine.

Local junior college having an open house for high school students who might be looking for a place to go after they graduate.

I've got a table full of operating engines - air, Stirling, flamesuckers as well as some other mechanical oddities.  You know, the kind of stuff that you would be ogling with bated breath when you were a kid.

I kept count for a while.  At least half of the boys and all of the girls walked by without looking at all.  The rest offered a casual glance and returned to fingering their phones.

Finally, one sleazy looking boy with a face full of fishing tackle sidles over, glances around and says,  "So, what's all this crap?"

As long as we have a culture where football is a religion and starting a rock band is a legitimate career goal, model engineering is doomed.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 04:14:31 PM by mklotz »
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Offline propforward

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2013, 07:00:49 PM »
Well, I don't know. The common theme whichever way you look at it, is that kids need an exposure to making things at an early age in order to become interested in it. School is a place where it needs to happen, as well as the world in general. Is model engineering doomed? I don't really believe that, but it is likely to be a smaller concern maybe.

Stuart

Offline rleete

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2013, 07:03:42 PM »
Another thing I just thought about.  In the past several years, I have become the neighborhood "Mr. fix-it".  Since I'm out working on cars alot in the nicer weather, the kids figure I must know how to do stuff, so they bring bikes and other toys to me for repairs or adjustments.  Once, several years ago, a boy threw the chain on his bike.  He wheeled it past his own father to bring it to me.  The father was somewhat anoyed by this, and asked the boy why he hadn't brought it directly to him.  The response was, "I wanted it done right".

Just another example.  It's the exposure to the trades that gets the interest going.  Show off your stuff and you will soon have a rapt audience.  Kids are like sponges - if you teach them (without lecturing) they will be interested.  Not all, but that's okay, too.

Offline Tennessee Whiskey

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2013, 07:20:32 PM »
From Dave's story down. That kid's dad was training his " pup" , not just letting it grow up. I was kicked out of a prominent Catholic kindergarten because I was uninterested and made the other kids unruly
Hell yeah, I wanted to get back in the shop with my dad and uncle and hand them wrenches and keep the shop clean and if I did a real good job I could practice my welding. I could read a tape, new the fractions on a wrench, and I could push a broom. I could have gotten a job at lotta places by today regs. Some where there is a generation that let a lot of this happen and it's hard for anyone to take the blame and what's bad is they are the ones that don't even notice it. Yet

Eric

Offline 90LX_Notch

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #49 on: January 23, 2013, 07:32:28 PM »
My 7.5 year old daughter loves to come in the shop and watch me.  Whenever she asks to help, I find something for her.  She ran the lathe when she was six, her brother just ran it at age nine.  She wants me to have an "engine building school" in the summer.  I'll bet her engine gets done before her brother's.  They are two very different people.  You can see it with the Legos.  My son is a whiz at following the directions and building the sets.  My daughter creates her own things which are very creative.  He's very "in the box' and she is very "outside of the box".  He's your engineer type and she is your zany intellectual type.

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Offline Jo

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2013, 07:37:28 PM »
He's your engineer type and she is your zany intellectual type.

Hey, no reason why the lass cannot be both ;)

Jo
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Offline 90LX_Notch

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2013, 07:43:43 PM »
Engineer in the professional sense when he is grown.  I can totally see her taking up this as a hobby before he ever would.  She has a genuine interest.  His interest is more about "can we do some guy stuff".
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Online sco

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2013, 08:49:02 PM »
My 7.5 year old daughter loves to come in the shop and watch me.  Whenever she asks to help, I find something for her.  She ran the lathe when she was six, her brother just ran it at age nine.  She wants me to have an "engine building school" in the summer.  I'll bet her engine gets done before her brother's.  They are two very different people.  You can see it with the Legos.  My son is a whiz at following the directions and building the sets.  My daughter creates her own things which are very creative.  He's very "in the box' and she is very "outside of the box".  He's your engineer type and she is your zany intellectual type.

Funny but I would have a labelled them the other way around - a good engineer wants to do more than just follow somebody else's plans.
Ars longa, vita brevis.

Online sco

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #53 on: January 23, 2013, 08:57:52 PM »
I have four children; eldest two are boys, second eldest is doing engineering at uni but I don't think is a natural engineer and is just doing it because he's seen the enjoyment I get out of engineering and doesn't know what else to do.

Youngest daughter is very creative and could be a good engineer but I suspect will be turned off by her peers, we do stuff in the garage from time to time but mostly she is into needlework type crafts.

I'm impressed by the skill and dedication that goes into building locos but when they don the flat hat and ride round behind them I find it hard not to have an image of a clown on a tiny bicycle in my mind.
Ars longa, vita brevis.

Offline Jo

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2013, 09:18:59 PM »

Youngest daughter is very creative and could be a good engineer but I suspect will be turned off by her peers, we do stuff in the garage from time to time but mostly she is into needlework type crafts.

Nothing wrong with needlework  8) : http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php/topic,283.0.html

Jo
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Offline craynerd

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Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2013, 09:25:33 PM »
What an interesting topic.

I'm 29 and purchased my first lathe at 19, while at Uni, couldn't use it, couldn't find anyone to help and got rid. Bought one back 4 years ago aged 25/26 and progressed from there.

I know a lot of the time and certainly in the past, I have been accused by members of not listening and following advice. I don't do this on purpose as without advice and information on forums I couldn't have even started. But what I think a lot of older members forget, is that my age group and younger didn't get ONE SINGLE bit of engineering knowledge imparted to us at school (I got shown how to use a plastic vacuum suction machine!!! ). Until recently, I use to get advice and even the simple steps didn't make sense.....bearing it mind that most advice uses terms of methods that seem obvious to the person writing it! It is very difficult to interpret written word advice without even the basic knowledge. I'm just saying that it is very very hard to start in this hobby without even the basics which kids no longer get.

I've managed to find a few local engineers but sadly a lot of those like talking about locos rather than actually machining steps.

As has already been said by others, I work 5 days, have a family of 4 to support and my time in my workshop is limited to a hour or so (at best) each night. I just couldn't commit to a club. It is also a sacrifice, workshop time or reading about matching! Time is limited.

Looking at the young coming into engineering, they seem very interested when I show them my work but when asked, do you fancy having a go they reply by saying... Looks good but I couldn't be bothered! Not to mention the cost element. My wife would murder me if she knew how much I'd spent on equipment. Then as a cheap skate you fall into the trap of buying cheap and having to buy again.

At the end of the day, to get anywhere starting from scratch,you need to be truly interested and dedicated.....bordering on obsessive!

Without you guys posting on forums like this, I certainly wouldn't be with the knowledge (as limited as it is) I have now. So, thank you!

Chris

Offline Maryak

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2013, 09:28:15 PM »
 Age from 3 to 16 ? Wanted to join the Navy
Age from 8 to 13 ? Member of Ian Allens Locospotters Club
Age from 13 to16 ? Migrated to Australia and started to learn how to race sailing dinghys.
Age from 16 to 32 ? Served in the RAN as an Engine Room Artificer (fitter/turner) and later as an Engineer Officer. The Cost of all this was paid for by the Australian Tax Payer. Continue racing sailing dinghys on many of the worlds finest harbours.
From 32 to 48 Lubricants Engineer with British Petroleum. Built a couple of racing dinghys which I sailed with both my son and daughter.  Learned to play golf badly.
From 48 to 65 Retrenched so contract lecturing in marine engineering. Industrial surveying Master 4 ticket. Bought a yacht, divorced my 1st wife. Went to Siberia married my 2nd wife. From volunteer to engineer at SA maritime museum, restored a steam tug, restored a police rescue launch. Raced my yacht all over the place.
 
Suddenly the sails got too hard to pull up and take down, the water down the back of my neck was cold and wet and had a devastating effect on my libido when it settled in my undies.
 
Meanwhile back in the real world computers went from massive bits of machinery, housed in air conditioned buildings and attended by people in white coats called System Administrators and Programmers; to something that fitted on a desktop attended by ordinary folk.
 
This gave rise to among many other things CAD and CNC. With this, the umpteen machines attended by umpteen machinists could be replaced with a couple of machining centres attended by a couple of operators.
 
Aha, now we don?t need the umpteen apprentices to replace the umpteen machinists.
 
Some bright spark figured that at best machining was a time consuming and wasteful process. So design philosophies were changed from machine down to size to a build up to size.
 
Also when I and my family were younger there were not??. home computers, VCR?s, DVD?s, microwave ovens, mobile phones, coffee machines, food processors, the internet, multifunction cookers  and on, which must be provided and maintained in today?s home.
 
Now back to me, I was older, more tired and with a flagging libido! Even worse I still had this active brain trapped in a not so active body. What do I know and what can I do to accommodate this.
 
Sell my yacht and use the money to set up a workshop and make model engines so here I am.
 
Face it???. we do this because we enjoy it. We may not like what we see as deficits in today?s world but then, neither did my father or my grandfather and I am pretty sure my children and my grandchildren will have the same reaction.
 
Best Regards
Bob
 
 
Если вы у Тетушки были яйца, она была бы Дядюшкой

Online sco

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #57 on: January 23, 2013, 09:37:16 PM »

Youngest daughter is very creative and could be a good engineer but I suspect will be turned off by her peers, we do stuff in the garage from time to time but mostly she is into needlework type crafts.

Nothing wrong with needlework  8) : http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php/topic,283.0.html

Jo

No not at all - she does cross-stitch, sewing stuffed animal kits and has recently discovered latch hook which is a type of rug making.
Ars longa, vita brevis.

Bluechip

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #58 on: January 23, 2013, 10:21:16 PM »

Youngest daughter is very creative and could be a good engineer but I suspect will be turned off by her peers, we do stuff in the garage from time to time but mostly she is into needlework type crafts.

Nothing wrong with needlework  8) : http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php/topic,283.0.html

Jo

No not at all - she does cross-stitch, sewing stuffed animal kits and has recently discovered latch hook which is a type of rug making.



Gordon Bennett    :Lol: .. that brings back memories ... Hour after hour with my gran, covered in lint ...

Readicut still going, it seems ... Damn good rugs though.   

BC

Offline John S

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #59 on: January 23, 2013, 10:24:20 PM »
I've got three kids, one of each...........
John Stevenson, Nottingham , England

Offline DaveH

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2013, 10:28:21 PM »
Mmmm ............ Male, Female and .................. Convertible ???  :lolb:
 :cheers:
DaveH

Online b.lindsey

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #61 on: January 24, 2013, 01:10:44 AM »
A bit of context ....how many of us are there in the world....including experienced model makers and those making serious attempts at getting into it?   Suppose we say 1,000,000 which is probably a generous number. Out of a world population of some 7 billion, that would be 1 in 7000.   I can certainly empathize with Marv's example...that kid's momma should have taught him "if you can't say something nice the don't say anything" but that aside...it reminds me of the saying (somewhat out of context i admit), you gotta kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince!! Despite our love of the hobby, the fact remains that we are a pretty small minority.  I still take engines to shows and let kids touch and play with them, hoping to maybe find and influence in a good way, that 1 in 7000.

Bill

Offline TerryWerm

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #62 on: January 24, 2013, 01:10:56 AM »
To quote John Lennon, "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans."

I've always been a fan of all things mechanical, but my plans have changed as time has gone on. Back in high school metal shop I built a couple of small steam engines and also did some aluminum foundry items. Had a ball.  Loved every minute of it!

I developed an interest in live steam locomotives back in about 1980 or there abouts. I didn't have the money to purchase any equipment, and even if I would have, I had no place to put any of it. So, I watched from a distance, attended steam shows, etc, and drooled alot. 

1984 - Got married - wife agrees that when I quit smoking, I can apply former cigarette money to a locomotive.  :smokin2:
1985 - First son is born
1987 - Second son is born, dies a short time later.  Medical bills up the wazoo.
1989 - Third son is born
1990 - Finally bought a house!  Now I've got some room. Bought a stick welder and a Sawzall.
1992 - Went into business for myself - little extra money, but managed to get an air compressor, drill press, and a wire feed welder
1994 - Wife becomes deathly ill - no medical insurance - medical bills again - HUGE ones this time!
2004 - Finally have medical bills paid off
2009 - I quit smoking  :whoohoo:    Also realized that maybe I should keep my interests in something a little smaller and easier to handle. Thus my switch to model engines, no matter what type of power.
2010 - Bought a used Logan lathe, some tooling, etc. - made a few small projects
2011 - Picked up a Keller power hacksaw for cheap - fixed it up some, made some more small odd projects along the way.
2012 - Bought a Clausing 8520 mill and some more tooling
2013 - Kids are finally all moved out, now have room in basement - currently fixing up a room for the shop so I don't have to try to work in the garage!!     :cartwheel:

So, I am finally exploring and enjoying my interest in model engines, in my 50's, not my 70's, but getting here was a rough and rocky road. But, I am grateful for what I have, and thankful that I can now get into this wonderful hobby. Thanks also to all of you here, as your ideas and thoughts are helpful too! 

Terry

Making chips with old machines - there's nothing like it!

Offline Pete49

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #63 on: January 24, 2013, 01:57:13 AM »
Hi Dave
Of course there is snobbery in this forum, it's no different to any other forum or "walks of life" in that respect.
However categorizing the engine builds and relegating them to sub forums just seemed an odd thing to do (to me) when the tittle of this forum is Model Engine Maker. I couldn't care less how one builds it, or from what but some must otherwise they would not have been categorized in the way they are.
Yikes I'm having a good day to day  :cartwheel:
 :cheers:
DaveH
 [/quote]
Well DaveH no disrespect meant but I find the sub cats a good thing. As a beginner in this model stuff (only used lathe for small repairs in my business at the time) I find its an easy walk to the info I need or want while working on a project. Nothing more time consuming than trying to hunt down info on a site with no idex(ices?) yep language nuances too  :Lol: but again this forum allows for discusion and helps to set what the members want unlike some other forums I have looked at.
As to why I took so long to try modelling it was simply the magazines available in my area from news agents were mostly 1 Aussie and 2 Brit magazines. The Aussie & 1 Brit mags where mostly steam loco which I enjoy watching but don't really want to build one and the staionary engines where hardly dicussed except as a small column which made it sound as if it was only put in as a sop to readers like me. It was the forum HMEM that produced stuff I lied and members that where generally very helpful and knowledgeable and I was upset when it was sold and members dropping off the site. Thankfully for discusions on MadModders I found them here and quickly joined up and saw the names of others from the other site joining up daily. Still miss a few like Brian Rupnow among others but live in hope
Pete
I used to have a friend.....but the rope broke and he ran away :(

Offline propforward

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Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #64 on: January 24, 2013, 02:31:13 AM »
I also like the forum categories. It just makes it really easy to find things - especially when I am browsing for ideas.
Stuart

Offline Tin Falcon

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #65 on: January 24, 2013, 02:34:29 AM »
HMM I read scanned  this thread.
here are some observations in no particular order.
Cabin fever ME expo has been growing a good thing now moved to April.
My son  built a couple engines when he was 14 he is now 23. and works with me as a scale mechanic.
Times have changed and life is more computer centered than ever. CAD CNC hand held devices online forums etc.
I learned machining in 1997 and stared as a hobby in 2001. and have helped on On-line forums for the last 5 + years.
I am I guess one of the young ones at 50 something.
Machining programs in junior colleges have given way to robotics programs.
I have considered volunteering at a museum about an hour away but they want 7 day a week availability NOT Possible for me.
Statics show that in most groups 10% of the people do 80% of the work.
of course 57% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
Tin