By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

Self adulation

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
NJH18/10/2012 12:19:38
avatar
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Yes Bill

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.

Regards

Norman

dazz dazz18/10/2012 12:48:11
19 forum posts
9 photos

Reading this thread has forced me to add my comments

How many people who are complaining have actually wrote an article for publication, i used to write technical articles for a magazine, and was lucky enough to be able to describe things so a beginner could understand it and an experienced person could also read it and pick up a few tips (it's a very difficult balance to achieve), the difference between me and the person writing the article in ME is age and life experience, another difference is how the English language has evolved over the years (imo for the worse), a lot of teenagers these days speak and write in text speak (which i hate with a vengeance) and also tailor their speech to regional dialect or how their peers speak, we might not like it but its the way it is.

I was blessed in ways a lot of my friends were not even as a young un in the 70's kids wanted the latest fads, my friends all had expensive bikes to ride my dad (RIP) bought me a broken bike and a set of spanners, so i had to repair my own bike where all my friends had the luxury of taking theirs to the local shop (im sure many other readers were poor), although at the time i was being taught a valuable lesson, some of those friend still ring me now along the lines of can you fix this.

Someone mentioned the lads building a traction engine, can the lad not have a dream, in metalwork at school i used to take motorcycle part in to work on ,someone in our class build a traction engine he did most of the casting in school and only bought stuff in when he had the money, the engine was completed in 3 years of lessons,lunch times and after-school activities, kids today don't have that luxury.

Likewise most kids of today are more interested in the latest gameboxes, clothes and facebook. than actually expending effort on doing something practical and if those kids said dad can you get me a lathe the reaction would be no i can't but you can have the latest games console.

In this instance you have a kid who's dad has got him some kit and his helping him learn to use his hands, as for money you would be surprised what kids can earn today if they have the desire to get out and do something.

One thing i will say is if someone pans something you have wrote it's very easy to take those comments to heart, me i'm big enough and ugly enough to take criticism good or bad, but at 16 i wasn't and would have stopped writing.

So the article wasn't for you and quite rightly it your right to complain, but instead of complaining in the public domain why not take pen to paper and write to the editor (to be passed on to the kid) a constructive critique on why the article was not for you with some positive ways to make future writings more appealing to a wider audience, bear in mind the guys age and the intended audience, In time im sure he will develop a style of writing thats appealing to both young and old, at the end of the days its encouraging that young people are taking up the hobby and willing to share their experiences and dreams, its also easy to say when i was i a teenager i would have wrote it in a different way well maybe you would as standards were different then and lets be honest how many teenagers can sit and write one page of text yet alone 5 or 6, lastly he's earnt some money to buy more stuff with

Regards
inee

KWIL18/10/2012 13:56:34
3334 forum posts
63 photos

Dazz dazz, written by his Dad, not "the kid" if you look at the intro header.

Terryd18/10/2012 14:30:39
avatar
1935 forum posts
179 photos

Dazz Dazz,

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?

Regards

Terry

Edited By Terryd on 18/10/2012 14:31:43

dazz dazz18/10/2012 15:06:52
19 forum posts
9 photos

Terry

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

Regards

inee (not the best speller in the world)

Versaboss18/10/2012 15:52:46
461 forum posts
51 photos

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 wink.

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)

Terryd18/10/2012 17:05:20
avatar
1935 forum posts
179 photos
Posted by dazz dazz on 18/10/2012 15:06:52:
...................

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.

Regards

inee (not the best speller in the world)

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.

Regards

Terry

Cornish Jack18/10/2012 17:31:22
1190 forum posts
163 photos

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

Rgds

Bill

Tony Jeffree18/10/2012 17:39:04
avatar
395 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by MAC on 18/10/2012 00:27:57:

I'm sorry but that's rubbish. When you pay for something, you are entitled to complain about it.

Just take the BBC. If you saw something on there you felt miffed at, yes you can switch to BBC2 - or you could complain/comment, quite within your rights. How would you feel if the BBC's reply was "make your own film and send it to us"?

That's a really crazy argument.

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.

Regards,

Tony

Edited By Tony Jeffree on 18/10/2012 17:42:09

Andyf18/10/2012 19:23:59
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.

Andy

Stub Mandrel18/10/2012 19:37:09
avatar
4311 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles

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.

Neil

Tony Jeffree18/10/2012 19:39:02
avatar
395 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Graham Meek on 18/10/2012 19:24:08:

Hello Tony,

As one who does get of his A*** and scribe the odd line, I would whole heartedly agree but it is more a "labour of love", if one actually counts the pennies versus the hours spent writing and working on the projects, not to mention the overheads heating, lighting, materials etc, I am not going to get rich, but then it does give me an enormous amont of pleasure.

Gray -

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.

NJH18/10/2012 20:00:23
avatar
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Hi Tony

Whilst I appreciated it no end I do recall a certain flurry of discontent in some quarters at your early writings!

Norman

PS There is no need to stand up when you write you know!

Edited By NJH on 18/10/2012 20:01:15

Tony Jeffree18/10/2012 20:15:28
avatar
395 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by NJH on 18/10/2012 20:00:23:

Hi Tony

Whilst I appreciated it no end I do recall a certain flurry of discontent in some quarters at your early writings!

Norman

PS There is no need to stand up when you write you know!

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...

Regards,

Tony

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 Jeffree18/10/2012 23:13:47
avatar
395 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Andyf on 18/10/2012 19:23:59:

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.

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.

Regards,

Tony

MAC18/10/2012 23:46:05
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 :/.

Ho hum!

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

Windy18/10/2012 23:58:32
avatar
803 forum posts
157 photos

How about an article about model engineering enthusiasts who have very little in way of tools etc and what they have achieved.

Windy

Lambton19/10/2012 09:11:27
avatar
694 forum posts
2 photos

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:

  • It describes a young man who has bags of determination, vision and undoubted ability who is aiming to produce a larger model than many twice his age would tackle.
  • His parents obviously support his enthusiasm for a very worthwhile hobby that could, and probably will, lead to Alistair starting his own business in the not too distant future (rather than being unemployed like many unfortunate youngsters).
  • There is obviously a strong father-son bond here. In this modern world many young men suffer from the lack of a strong and positive male role model in their family. Alistair is fortunate to have a Dad like his.
  • Where the money to do the things described comes from is totally irrelevant and indeed is no one else's business.
  • However financed, I can think of no better way of spending your money than creating a good workshop that will provide a lifetime of pleasure and perhaps a profitable business. The fact that Alistair is able do this at his age is something for us all to be pleased about.
  • Yes the article was different from the normal ME ones but what is wrong with that? I often think the ME could do with an occasional change from the normal construction and "day out" articles good as they mostly are. DC1 and DC2 have done a good job in publishing this heartwarming article.

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).

KWIL19/10/2012 09:28:19
3334 forum posts
63 photos

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 Jeffree19/10/2012 09:45:31
avatar
395 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by MAC on 18/10/2012 23:46:05:

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!

 

Mac -

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. 

Regards,

Tony

Edited By Tony Jeffree on 19/10/2012 09:49:24

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
cowells
ChesterUK
Eccentric July 5 2018
Warco
emcomachinetools
EngineDIY
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest