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Axminster tools to discontinue their engineering courses.

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jon hill 315/03/2021 12:35:33
106 forum posts
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Appologies if this subject has already been covered, I have only just heard form the horses mouth.

I recently made enquires about Axminsters metal machining courses as covid restrictions are begining to lift, regretably they informed me that they will no longer be offering these coarses.

As I outlined to their customer service department, I am of the opinion that this is a valuable resource for newbies with scarce competition. Furthermore I am sure the coarses offered would add to their total sales.

It seems their mind is made up unless the members of this forum can persuade Axminster to carry on... So that got me thinking what other training organisations are there both nationally in the UK and Southwest?

Frances IoM15/03/2021 13:05:38
1176 forum posts
28 photos
can a mod change the title please - I thought it referred to Axminster's dropping of standard Metric coarse fixings
not done it yet15/03/2021 13:10:29
6444 forum posts
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Perhaps their machinery prices may become a little more competitive? No idea of any other training establishments anywhere. I went on a CFE ‘evening class’ once. It was mainly used by those machining cast iron who didn’t want to do it on their own machines!

Mick B115/03/2021 13:22:01
2047 forum posts
117 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 15/03/2021 13:10:29:

Perhaps their machinery prices may become a little more competitive? No idea of any other training establishments anywhere. I went on a CFE ‘evening class’ once. It was mainly used by those machining cast iron who didn’t want to do it on their own machines!

When I went on one of those, everybody knew it was cover for what amounted to an informal club. That would've been fine, but it also became apparent that the better milling machines were being hogged for more-or-less whole sessions by blokes producing locos for commercial pay.

Henry Brown15/03/2021 13:23:26
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484 forum posts
106 photos

I'm not surprised, I had a feeling they were running their engineering side down when I bought my ex-display mill in 2019, most of the stock in their Leicester branch was biased towards woodworking and their mailshots reflected this.

jon hill 315/03/2021 13:48:19
106 forum posts
18 photos

Sorry Francis

spelling is not my strong point, perhaps one of the mods can change it.

As regarding course fees, I thought for what you get it is competative, I have seen higher prices. One course, up north which I wont mention said they work to 0.25mm accuarcy which I believe is 10 thou!

I was shocked, I expect even most novices could work to 3 thou with a bit of practice.

Howard Lewis15/03/2021 14:33:17
5562 forum posts
13 photos

Course, or some form of instruction is needed for newcomers to the hobby.

Witness some of the threads on this Forum.

Without some understanding of the basics, there are going to be a lot of disappointed and/or disillusioned would be machinists out there.

Howard.

Mick B115/03/2021 14:40:35
2047 forum posts
117 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 15/03/2021 14:33:17:

Course, or some form of instruction is needed for newcomers to the hobby.

...

Howard.

Agreed, and it behoves the machinery distributors to consider the possibilities of supplying it if they want the hobby side of their business to prosper.

Britain will never retain any sort of technical lead, in any field, if the ability to make parts isn't well distributed in the population.

Edited By Mick B1 on 15/03/2021 14:41:54

Frances IoM15/03/2021 14:48:16
1176 forum posts
28 photos
SMEE pre-covid had some courses designed at this level but I understand that hands-on tuition rapidly falls foul of H&S and thus insurance.

Possibly some videos blessed by authority as to their safety etc may be one approach as we have seen just recently the destruction of an not cheap specialised ER nut due to non-understanding of its operation.

Maybe I was lucky in the one local authority course I went on many years ago but it was woodworking for newbies using manual tools so guess avoided the attention of those who signed up purely for access to better machines and was very useful - I near daily sit on the workshop stool constructed so many years ago.

Edited By Frances IoM on 15/03/2021 14:48:43

Howard Lewis15/03/2021 16:05:12
5562 forum posts
13 photos

Various threads on here, recently show that there is a need for newcomers to learn the absolute basics of their machine, its safe use, and limitations. (I have seen one mini lathe ruined by trying to take cuts of 8 - 10 mm deep with a heavy feed. The repairs are likely to cost half the price of a new machine! )

Newcomers would learn to drive a car, but seem to think that having bought a lathe they can immediately outperform Cherry Hill.

Basic tuition is needed, either by suppliers, or M E Clubs.

Under normal circumstances, some Clubs do a splendid job providing instruction for junior members, But there is obviously a need for training for more mature newcomers.

We all had to learn to walk before we were able to run, let alone sprint.

Howard

Peter Low 415/03/2021 17:03:20
22 forum posts
7 photos

Living not far from Axminster this is sad news for me. I had been reckoning on doing one of their courses, post covid, to avoid just the beginners muck ups envisioned above.

With help on the forum I've got my ML7 just about sorted and much more usable than when I first got it running. Remembering what my older brother told me 50 years ago, mostly "what not to do" , has enabled me to make a bit of a start with no disasters so far.

I wouldn't count myself as into model engineering, but would be glad to hear of a club, local to South Somerset where a bod wanting to make bits for his motorbike would be welcomed.

Pwete.

JasonB15/03/2021 17:24:31
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Posted by Mick B1 on 15/03/2021 14:40:35:

Agreed, and it behoves the machinery distributors to consider the possibilities of supplying it if they want the hobby side of their business to prosper.

One of the reasons why ARC spent a considerable amount of money supporting the Milling and lathework for beginners series in MEW and published the subsequent book. For example it does tell you how to fit ER collets into the nut unlike any of the old books where they were not even heard of.

In the 25 odd years I've been using Axminster for woodworking I have only felt their engineering side to be a very small amount of their business so may well not be running that side of things down as it was never very high up.

Andy Carruthers15/03/2021 18:46:39
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317 forum posts
23 photos

Shame. I enjoyed two workshop courses there a few years ago and learnt a huge amount

Have the instructors decided to retire?

jon hill 315/03/2021 19:01:16
106 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by Andy Carruthers on 15/03/2021 18:46:39:

Shame. I enjoyed two workshop courses there a few years ago and learnt a huge amount

Have the instructors decided to retire?

No from what the customer service rep told me Bob Rolph one of the instructors is considering setting up his own training school.

Bill Phinn15/03/2021 20:14:23
612 forum posts
89 photos

I've had it from the lips of more than one Axminster Tools employee that demand [for merchandise and training] from woodworkers has traditionally been much higher than demand from metal workers.

Maybe it's that firstly there are higher entry barriers to taking up metalworking than woodworking, and secondly most routine home DIY work involves little metalworking but quite a bit of woodworking. Even professional house bashers don't show much need for metalworking equipment.

Andy Carruthers15/03/2021 21:36:57
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317 forum posts
23 photos

Bob is an excellent instructor, if he sets up his own course I would be very tempted to attend

Lots of skills I lack, TIG welding for example

jon hill 315/03/2021 22:17:38
106 forum posts
18 photos

Hi Andy

I have done some tig welding, personally its my favorite arc welding process, consistant reliable results once you get the feel of using the torch and feeding the filler rod.

Andy Carruthers15/03/2021 22:27:06
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317 forum posts
23 photos

Thanks Jon, I have a TIG welder but not used it yet, house and workshop move in-flight, probably 6 months before I am set up again

But I digress and risk derailing your thread

Without the Axminster courses, I may have given up before I got started

Dr. MC Black16/03/2021 01:01:01
239 forum posts
1 photos

There’s an FE College in North London that ran a Model Engineering evening class until Covid struck.

One of the people enrolled has sadly died during the lockdown and I hope it will restart - but I can’t see this happening until the Autumn, even though we have paid for a full year.

.

Lainchy16/03/2021 06:47:11
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271 forum posts
103 photos

I do hope Bob does set up his own course... He was excellent on the Axminster one. A really good tutor. If nothing else, I got a huge amount of safety info from doing it which I thought was invaluable. Hitting dimensions comes with practice, but there were some great tips.

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