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Apprentice Pieces

source of drawings

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Anthony Knights18/09/2018 12:15:56
223 forum posts
72 photos

I still have a depth gauge, set square and tap wrench, which I made as an apprentice many years ago. Does anyone know of a book or other source of drawings for items produced as learning exercises by engineering apprentices in days gone by?

Speedy Builder518/09/2018 12:31:56
1741 forum posts
118 photos

I have all the 1" G clamps that didn't make muster - really useful in the workshop. There were about 6 pieces we had to make under the "Technician" apprentice scheme(5 years), the most bizarre was a 5" section of a R100 tapered hollow box section which had additional hemispherical stiffening sections top and bottom, all riveted together. It involved making the curved sections on a Fly press, the box section sides on a folder, and one line of rivets set by hand, one line set by rivet gun and one side set by hydraulic rivet swager. I forget what was used for the 4th side!.

BobbH Vickers Armstrongs Aircraft Weybridge (1963 - 1968)

Bill Davies 218/09/2018 12:37:58
79 forum posts
10 photos

During the first year of my apprenticeship, there was an EITB (Engineering Industry Training Board 'Black Book' of about 80 pieces. I have been looking for a long time for a copy. We also had to make a piece of equipment as a final practical exercise, which I think was assessed externally (by the EITB?). In my year, it was a set of small bench centres, and in two's we had the run of the training school workshop to complete it.

There are is a pdf of some US apprentice pieces knocking around on the web somewhere, don't know off hand where, but I may have a copy on my home computer; I'll check later.


Bill Davies 218/09/2018 12:39:18
79 forum posts
10 photos

I'm not sure where the smiley came from, it was not intended.

Bill Davies 218/09/2018 12:42:28
79 forum posts
10 photos

BobbH, you would have finished at Brooklands the year I started! Or did you go to Kingston?

geoff adams18/09/2018 13:27:17
116 forum posts
107 photos

I went to eitb on the Purley way in Croydon we made a universal vice and in sheet metalwork we made a tool box had it for years don't no what happen to it. We had to made an injection moulding machine and mould that produced key rings for the open evening. we also had the 3 day week still had to do 5 days sheet metal work and fitting


Jon18/09/2018 15:58:18
988 forum posts
46 photos

Not aware of anything.

Late in to it and a small old school close knitt society there was nothing written or ever drawn up.
Just handed a completed part, make one of them for yourself you will need it, steels over there. Subsequent newbies were handled with same criteria, best way of learning.

Jon Lawes18/09/2018 15:59:16
303 forum posts

Mine was at MoD Boscombe Down; we had to file a metal block into a cube and cut a hole in another block and file it until it fitted in the hole in every way round with no gaps to a nearly mirror finish... painful at the time but pleasant memories.

Philip Rowe18/09/2018 16:26:44
167 forum posts
14 photos

Ah, the square block in the matching hole - I remember it well, not with any affection I might add. To me as a spotty faced 17 year old it was a complete waste of time, couldn't see any point in it. Funny how age modifies one's opinion! I do recall one of the other apprentices in my year cheating by giving the block a clean up on the surface grinder when the instructor wasn't around, however he dropped himself in it because although he took the grinding marks out with finishing by draw filing and emery cloth, he completely missed one face of the block. Doh! Got his come uppance though, the instructor made him do it again properly with the addition of a triangular piece in a triangular hole. Now that must have been hard.


martin perman18/09/2018 16:48:17
1562 forum posts
66 photos

I had a Lucas apprenticeship, we made tap wrenches, die holders, a three drawer tool box with a door which slid under the bottom drawer, Vee block and clamp, a Hardened and ground centered bar which I still use to check the tailstock with the chuck between centres, tool makers clamps. All kept in the tool box, most I still have except for the tap wrench and die holder which were stolen along with a complete set of tools along with the car they were in from a hotel in Sunderland twenty five years ago. If anybody has picked up some items from car boot sales over the years with 008 etched on them that was my apprentice no sad

Martin P

Edited By martin perman on 18/09/2018 16:49:20

fishy-steve18/09/2018 18:27:41
108 forum posts
30 photos

Hi Anthony,

Take a look here.



mechman4818/09/2018 22:42:40
2365 forum posts
373 photos

I believe i have some of the apprentice task drawings on my external drive somewhere. I was a Mech. Eng. instructor for the ECITB / EITB / C & G for 9 years, teaching apprentices to NVQ level 2 followed up by assessments on site to NVQ level 3.Looking back at some of the memories from members all apprentices did the same tasks on the whole. One particular item that I used to give them at the end of their 2nd year was to make a spirit level that had to match the master eng.level that was kept for that specific task.

I got rid of a pile of ECITB training manuals last year when I had a clear out, both the 'Black book' & the 'Green book', H & J series IIRC. Must have a look in what remains of my collection of 'old stuff', possibly post any I find if any one is interested ?


Adam Stevenson19/09/2018 00:40:07
17 forum posts

I started my trainee apprenticeship when I about 8yo with my dad being the instructor. When I got out of school in 91 I wanted to get into electronics but the only way to do this was via mechanical engineering NVQ 2. After about a month I had done the first term excises, yes I cheated by using the surface grinder but had given a valid reason. It was more time effective to use the best tooling, I only got away with it because they had not even shown us how to use the surface grinder and was able to answer their questions about how I had done it, My punishment for that was to strip, service and reassemble the head stock on the Harrison lathe. Sheet metal working was designing and making the cowling for the new welding booth for the brand new tig welders. My old books will still be in the stuff my father had as they never got used as I had more real life training. I did my 2 year course in 1 year and still got my NVQ 3 while doing electrics the next year.

Some of my other tasks was to make a new mud guard for someone's motor bike, help rewire the workshop during Easter holiday, I got paid for that. Fixing lockers with hardened pressed rivets. Oh yer and giving one of the lectures a heart attack when he believed I had got a PO for a sea king helicopter after he told me to get a sky hook, he had asked for a glass hammer just before that so I got the rubber mallet from stores.

Edited By Adam Stevenson on 19/09/2018 00:42:20

Anthony Knights19/09/2018 08:20:04
223 forum posts
72 photos

Thank you all for the replies.

David Standing 119/09/2018 08:37:15
1206 forum posts
45 photos
Posted by Bill Davies 2 on 18/09/2018 12:39:18:

I'm not sure where the smiley came from, it was not intended.

The wink smiley wink 2 is ; followed by ) in smiley code, the site software assumed the punctuation marks at the end of 'black book' ) was a wink smiley.

The reason it didn't put the wink smiley when I explained it above is because I left a space in between the single quotation mark and the parenthesis, and it then treats it as punctuation marks instead of smiley code.

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