2314 forum posts
My sentiments too - it is a HOBBY! I've been through Gliding, Swimming, Golf ( briefly and badly!) , serious D-I-Y / refurbishment (of necessity!) and I've enjoyed them all but Model Engineering has remained for 50 years or so. I'm not especially good at it but I do get a deal of satisfaction from it and I would wish others to get that same satisfaction. I guess we all have different amounts of cash that we can devote to our hobbies but does the guy who can afford to allocate say £10k a year to his hobby enjoy it any more than someone who has to scratch around scrounging materials and adapting his working methods to old machinery?
We all have different resources, different aims and different satisfactions. Young folk are rare in the hobby ( they may have more interesting options available!) but they should be encouraged. Good on you Alastair and good luck in this fascinating subject.
|dazz dazz||18/10/2012 12:48:11|
|19 forum posts|
Reading this thread has forced me to add my comments
|3334 forum posts|
Dazz dazz, written by his Dad, not "the kid" if you look at the intro header.
1935 forum posts
You seem very confident of your ability to write concisely and clearly, but I'm not sure about your use of English. Sentences a whole paragraph long? Use of 'wrote' instead of 'written', overuse of commas and the lowercase i for the personal pronoun I. Poor spelling e.g. 'earnt' instead of 'earned'. Not to mention variable use of the apostrophe.
There is also your hatred of text speak having already used 'imo' a typical abbreviation for text use. Admittedly the Victorians used abbreviations in their written work extensively, it was simply their form of 'text speak'
I could rant on, as you did, but have to add that you must have had a very good editor when having articles published.
Further I'm not sure where you have obtained your data from, but to generalise as you do about young people today is wrong. I taught 11 to 18 yr olds for many years and can tell you that given the opportunity they love being practical and creating things. Unfortunately the vast majority do not have the opportunities that the lucky young man in the article has. School workshops have been closing since the educational changes of the 1980s and there are few Engineering opportunities. How can they be practical?
Edited By Terryd on 18/10/2012 14:31:43
|dazz dazz||18/10/2012 15:06:52|
|19 forum posts|
i must appologise for the one or two spelling mistakes,but down here we never say earnt or turned even it's always turnt or earnt, the imo was totally my fault as the door knocked and I abreiviated before answering and forgot to change it. Whilst I agree school workshops as we know them are on the decline. Schools today have extensively equipped workshops but the kids can't use the tools as freely as we could.
Opertunities to do practical stuff is out there for kids but they have to go and seek them. My data on kids of today comes from my teenage stepchildrens friends and spending a lot of time over the years working around schools and colleges. The only things that were edited in my articles was use or regional dialogue
inee (not the best speller in the world)
|461 forum posts|
Terry, you saved my day with your comment above. I had real difficulties to read this sermon, which made me almost dizzy-dizzy or rather dazzy-dazzy. Now I know that maybe the 'one sentence = one paragraph' seems to be a wide-spread evil; just have a look at the pages from BBC we see here quite often. I believe this comes from the tabloid papers, and it goes much in this direction here also.
I was very reluctant to write a comment here, but as you started I feel in good company .
Dazz Dazz, read better papers and books and memorize the style! and grammar (my 2 pence). I had to do that also, 50 years ago.
Greetings, Hansrudolf (no native English speaker)
1935 forum posts
Hi Dazz Dazz,
I can't agree with you on this matter. I have taught mostly adolescents for 35 years, and have taught and worked with many thousands, as well as lecturing in the evenings. Most school workshops sold their equipment in the 80s and 90s to make way for other curriculum developments. That is why there are so many Boxfords and Colchester Students not to mention FlameFast foundry equipment adn forges such as was highlighted in the article on the market. I have seen many schools denuded of their workshop equipment and replaced with computer and CNC equipment in a few cases, 'Blue Peter' technology in others.
There is work on robotics and automation eetc but this is usually based on Lego or (in the better schools) Fischer Technik. The emphasis being on design in the modern curriculum, not on how materials behave and are manipulated. This leadds to unrealistic ideas of what can be made. The subject of Engineering technoology as we understand it, is more or less extinct in schools for all practical purposes. Young people generally see Engineering as using computers and CNC.
You are very lucky in your area to have opportunities for young people to use machines and make things. Around here thare are no evening classes and only a couple of clubs, one 6 miles away and the other 15 miles away and these clubs are not really welcoming places for most youngsters. Of course they also like games and playstations, so do I, I've been playing computer games for 30 years, they are nothing new. There is nothing wrong with that as long as it does not become obsessive. Most obsessives are in their 20s and 30s.
|Cornish Jack||18/10/2012 17:31:22|
|1190 forum posts|
Just an interesting follow-up in respect of 'cheque book model engineering' - Full set of Myford 7 collets just sold on Ebay for ... £322.00!!!!!!!! NOT a misprint. Product of a bidding war, no doubt, but I would think that they were somewhat cheaper when new!!
Am I jealous?? ... you're bxxxxy right, I am
|Tony Jeffree||18/10/2012 17:39:04|
395 forum posts
Ho hum...here we go again...
Comparing programmes on the BBC to articles in ME/MEW is comparing apples with chimpanzees - the situation isn't the same at all.
The BBC has sufficient financial clout to commission material and pay proper commercial rates for it; the economics of running a specialist mag like ME/MEW means that they simply cannot do the same.
Current going rate for a MEW article is £50/page (I don't know if ME is the same - never wrote anything for it because I don't own the right anorak/engine driver's hat). From personal experience of writing the occasional article for MEW (!), the time taken to generate an article, including the time to do the project that the article is about, is of the order of 2-3 days per page of magazine copy. So we're looking at a rate of £2/hour - maybe less depending on the complexity of the project. And of course MEW doesn't re-imburse the cost of the machinery, tools, materials, etc. etc. that are involved; that is down to the author. Now if David came to me and said "Tony, I would like to commission an article from you on building XXX", the situation would be rather different; for starters, I absolutely wouldn't settle for anything less than minimum wage (currently £6.19/hour over 21), so the page rate would suddenly go up by a factor of 3, and David would also have to sub me the cost of machinery, tools, materials...etc...assuming of course that I was prepared to write said article for the minimum wage, which in general I would not be (my hourly rates are a tad higher than that). If the mag was to pay page rates that were truly "commercial" then you would probably be talking about another factor of 3, so maybe £400/page would be more realistic. With the resultant hike in the production costs, the mag would have to pass it on in the form of a significant increase in the cover price - I'm sure that DC could opine on what that would be, but I am sure that the resultant outcry and loss of subscribers would be problematic. So commissioning articles on any kind of commercial basis is just simply a non-starter - end of.
So the ONLY way that these magazines can hope to continue is on the basis of readers writing articles about stuff they were going to do anyway, because it is their hobby, and they treat the £50/page that they get in return as a way of reducing the cost of their hobby rather than an income. That approach obviously has problems associated with it; firstly, DC can only select articles from what people send him, and secondly, the quality of the material will inevitably be variable, because the writers are (with a few exceptions) not professional writers. So some of the articles will need professional copy editing, but generally that is WAY less cost/time intensive than commissioning work from scratch.
The bottom line here: If you, the readers of the magazine, don't get off your arses and write articles, then the magazine dies for lack of material. If the readers of the magazine don't like what other people have written when *they* have made the effort to get off *their* arses to write articles, then they only have themselves to blame.
Still believe its a crazy argument? If you do, then YOUR argument seems to be in favour of closing down the magazine. Now that is TRULY crazy.
Edited By Tony Jeffree on 18/10/2012 17:42:09
|392 forum posts|
Well said, Tony. And as for the BBC analogy, the viewers have to pay, via the licence fee, for progammes to be made which they dislike, or can't even watch because they are at work.
Looking over this thread, it seems odd that what began with a criticism of a magazine article has, , seems to have developed at certain points into something of a slanging match between members of this forum.
|Stub Mandrel||18/10/2012 19:37:09|
4311 forum posts
I have just taken the dog for emptying. A mundane exercise that allows space for some philosophical thought.
I must admit the article in question made me feel uneasy.
I think that in the USA - the land where people you've barely met ask you your salaery as easily as we ask how someone is - it would have passed without comment.
In the UK we tend to be self effacing. Looking at model engineer articles, with the possible exception of LBSC, modesty is the byword. Especially, we rarely see people flaunting success outside the world of model engineering.
Alistair is clearly fortunate; it seems that he is also highly talented. It seems his dad has similar talent and has converted this into a succesful career. Unfortunately the writing style came across as 'I'm all right Jack' - the one style guaranteed to jar with a UK audience.
I don't begrudge Alistair (or Dad) good fortune, but I do think they live in a different world to some of us, and the article could have been written with a little more sensitivity to those of us who have to save up for even modest purchases.
|Tony Jeffree||18/10/2012 19:39:02|
395 forum posts
You are of course right - there is pleasure to be had from the project itself and from writing the articles, as well as from the appreciation that some readers express.
2314 forum posts
Whilst I appreciated it no end I do recall a certain flurry of discontent in some quarters at your early writings!
PS There is no need to stand up when you write you know!
Edited By NJH on 18/10/2012 20:01:15
|Tony Jeffree||18/10/2012 20:15:28|
395 forum posts
Hi Norman -
Actually it is some of my later writings that you refer to I believe...my first outbreak of writing for MEW was back in '97...
P.S. True, but I do tend to find that getting to the workshop to finish a project is best done on my feet rather than my arse, unless it is late on a Friday evening after too many glasses of Milk of Amnesia...but then, you have to watch out for the swarf on the floor.
|Tony Jeffree||18/10/2012 23:13:47|
395 forum posts
Actually it's worse than that. If I get a TV with the intent of watching everything else that is broadcast OTHER than by BBC, I STILL have to pay the license fee that supports the BBC. That is like having to pay a sub to EIM just so I can read (and pay for) MEW.
|68 forum posts|
Good God Tony, you don't honestly think I was comparing ME articles to programmes on our beloved gem, the BBC, do you!? Your sermon suggests such!
Just as a side note - OK, £50 a page. There are plenty of people who enrich TV programmes who earn £0 for it.
The analogy stands - I think you are confusing analogy with direct comparison :/.
PS: The BBC is an absolute bargain.
PPS: Most countries have a TV licence fee, and in several that is just a fee to have a TV!
Edited By MAC on 18/10/2012 23:50:27
803 forum posts
How about an article about model engineering enthusiasts who have very little in way of tools etc and what they have achieved.
694 forum posts
Having read all the posts to date I have now read the article in question.
I think it is excellent and do not like to see my fellow model engineers carping and sniping at others who have the drive and ability to do things differently to themselves.
My reasons for liking the article are:
Finally I am very disappointed with some of the unkind and unnecessary remarks made by my fellow model engineers about this particular article and its author. I also do not like the nit picking concerning minor spelling & punctuation mistakes made by other contributors to this thread. We all make such mistakes from time to time.
( I have absolutely no connexion with the author of this article or his son).
|3334 forum posts|
I agree with Lampton in his analysis of the article details, however the real nub of the argument "against" it is, it was too long!
|Tony Jeffree||19/10/2012 09:45:31|
395 forum posts
Yes, that is exactly what you were doing, if you take the trouble to read the words you wrote. If you intended to convey something different, you might try using different words in a different order.
Edited By Tony Jeffree on 19/10/2012 09:49:24
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