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Brill88

Tom Brill general woodworker and woodsman
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Is there anyone from the old days when courses were hard to pass and you were taught more than the very basics? I think I remember my grandfarther saying his course was 7 years including his apprenticeship although that may have been muddled with WW2 popping up at the same time.
I was after a coat for keeping the dust and shavings off my clothes and from abit of talking to folk on here it turns out there was a whole thing with different lectures wearing different colours etc. I just have this vision of an old boy with a pipe and shirt and tie cracking the whip so to speak.
Only course I’ve done was a kitchen fitting one with a rather lack luster teacher who complained the whole time of his ill health.
Guess what I’m trying to say does any one on here remember the old school ways of carpentry before it all became about having the latest festool tool and more about the level of work and working with wood not MDF?
I was doing some work a while ago at a building built in the 60s. It was an ex-tax office and there were fire extinguishers on the wall surrounded by a lovely hardwood probably sepele with an angled compound dovetail mitred joint. Couldn’t believe it each signed by someone with the year they were installed.
 
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Peri

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Deleted (I shouldn't post before first brew, engage joined up thinking first) :)
 
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Brill88

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must add I have no formal qualifications but would’ve liked to have gone through an aprentiship in bench joinery at the start
 
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TheTiddles

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The good old days come up a lot, when you could buy a house for a year’s wage and tools lasted a lifetime...

Of course a lifetime was much shorter back then, so the people flouncing around with cheap Festool rubbish purchased after their easy course didn’t have to put up with the moaning for so long. Maybe that’s what was good about the old days, I wouldn’t know, wasn’t there.

Public spending these days is much tighter controlled, for instance you go to a meeting and you need to bring your own coffee as they can’t provide it, something about it being more of a priority to use the money for caring for people in their old age, it’ll never catch on

Aidan
 

Spectric

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You are talking about when we had technical colleges and only a select few took an academic route through to university, now even the village silly person goes to university and you can get a degree in flower arranging. City & Guilds were harder because after year in the classroom everything hinged on that one final exam, you could not pass based on course work alone and just top up with an exam. I suppose it is because these days they get paid for bums on seats and results so not in their interest to fail anyone. Having worked in engineering all my life you could see the changes, you had the ones who had started on the shop floor and grafted their way up and those who had a bit of paper, very academically qualified but as much use as a bottomless bucket and had to be trained for the real world.
 

Jacob

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Is there anyone from the old days when courses were hard to pass and you were taught more than the very basics? I think I remember my grandfarther saying his course was 7 years including his apprenticeship although that may have been muddled with WW2 popping up at the same time.
I was after a coat for keeping the dust and shavings off my clothes and from abit of talking to folk on here it turns out there was a whole thing with different lectures wearing different colours etc. I just have this vision of an old boy with a pipe and shirt and tie cracking the whip so to speak.
Only course I’ve done was a kitchen fitting one with a rather lack luster teacher who complained the whole time of his ill health.
Guess what I’m trying to say does any one on here remember the old school ways of carpentry before it all became about having the latest festool tool and more about the level of work and working with wood not MDF?
I was doing some work a while ago at a building built in the 60s. It was an ex-tax office and there were fire extinguishers on the wall surrounded by a lovely hardwood probably sepele with an angled compound dovetail mitred joint. Couldn’t believe it each signed by someone with the year they were installed.
Yes it was usually day release and very close to the trade and the apprentice system, so it could stretch out over years.
The course I did was a short sharp version of C&G Carpentry and Joinery designed to get people back to work quickly (I was on the dole for a couple of weeks following collapse of previous business in the 79 recession).
It was the same syllabus I think, and taught by experienced tradesmen approaching retirement age.
All hand tools. The only innovation was that most of us had our own tape measures in preference to the supplied boxwood ruler.
26 weeks full time 8 til 4.30 (I think) in a strict regime not unlike an open prison (I imagine!).
So I was lucky enough to have had a taste of the good old craft days, if not the full monty.
 
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Brill88

Tom Brill general woodworker and woodsman
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Yes it was usually day release and very close to the trade and the apprentice system, so it could stretch out over years.
The course I did was a short sharp version of C&G Carpentry and Joinery designed to get people back to work quickly (I was on the dole for a couple of weeks following collapse of previous business in the 79 recession).
It was the same syllabus I think, and taught by experienced tradesmen approaching retirement age.
All hand tools. The only innovation was that most of us had our own tape measures in preference to the supplied boxwood ruler.
26 weeks full time 8 til 4.30 (I think) in a strict regime not unlike an open prison (I imagine!).
So I was lucky enough to have had a taste of the good old craft days, if not the full monty.
I went on a kitchen fitting course years ago through a work scene didn’t learn much if anything and have looked at courses but it’s all stuff I know I just thought I could learn more but probably need some old bench joiner to shadow to get some new tips and tricks or just keep progressing at the rate I’m on for now
 

Brill88

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Anyone familiar with robin clevet think he did a more traditional course
 

Doug71

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I reckon I am probably from the last generation of old school joiners, no cordless drills or fix-all when I started out.

I went to college 1 day a week but it was a waste of time really, most of the lads weren't interested, it was just a day off work for them and the teacher was clearly a failed joiner who had fallen back on teaching.

It's easy to look back at the good old days with rose tinted spectacles but I think things are better now. Where I worked we had a planer with square cutting heads, if you stuck your finger in there you would have lost an arm. Spindle moulders didn't have tooling with limiters so they took chunks out of you rather than nibbling away 2mm at a time. Dust extraction was just a broom you swept the piles of wood shavings up with, it's a wonder anyone survived to tell the tale 😂😂😂

I am lucky to have had chance to make some nice stuff over the years but the quality I can produce now is better than ever because of the tools and machinery available.

There are still many skilled people around it's just people aren't prepared to pay or can't afford them.

And yes Robin Clevett knows his stuff (y)
 

Brill88

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I reckon I am probably from the last generation of old school joiners, no cordless drills or fix-all when I started out.

I went to college 1 day a week but it was a waste of time really, most of the lads weren't interested, it was just a day off work for them and the teacher was clearly a failed joiner who had fallen back on teaching.

It's easy to look back at the good old days with rose tinted spectacles but I think things are better now. Where I worked we had a planer with square cutting heads, if you stuck your finger in there you would have lost an arm. Spindle moulders didn't have tooling with limiters so they took chunks out of you rather than nibbling away 2mm at a time. Dust extraction was just a broom you swept the piles of wood shavings up with, it's a wonder anyone survived to tell the tale 😂😂😂

I am lucky to have had chance to make some nice stuff over the years but the quality I can produce now is better than ever because of the tools and machinery available.

There are still many skilled people around it's just people aren't prepared to pay or can't afford them.

And yes Robin Clevett knows his stuff (y)
I just Ment more about the change from city and guilds to gnvq courses but am interested in the old joiners the Americans seem big on it with folk like Larry gain but house builders and carpenter types don’t seem well remembered I guess as long as the door closed and locked probabley no one cared that much I just think there should be more respect for trades when I was at school we were taught computers and that’s about it if you wanted a trade that was for the thick kids basically which isn’t the case
 

Jacob

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..... I just think there should be more respect for trades when I was at school we were taught computers and that’s about it if you wanted a trade that was for the thick kids basically which isn’t the case
You were lucky we didn't have computers at school they'd hardly been invented! We did have calculators though, they were just coming in by the time I left.
Yep trade for thick kids - the only thing which counted was getting into Oxford or similar (which I didn't. :rolleyes: )
Completely mad really - all boys (no girls) did woodwork, and metal work if you weren't academic - bang in the middle of the industrial midlands where all the best jobs were: Rolls Royce Aero engines just down the road, and BR Carriage and wagon, Sheffield just up the road., Nottingham and Boots not far, Notts Derbyshire coalfield all around.
Also bang in the centre of the Derwent Valley where major first steps of the industrial revolution took place a few miles from Arkwright's first mill - the world's first "factory"
I guess CDT was meant to fill the gap between old crafts and academic subjects like physics and chemistry, which were themselves late comers - chemi and physics labs were recent building add ons.
 
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Brill88

Tom Brill general woodworker and woodsman
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You were lucky we didn't have computers at school they'd hardly been invented! We did have calculators though, they were just coming in by the time I left.
Yep trade for thick kids - the only thing which counted was getting into Oxford or similar (which I didn't. :rolleyes: )
Completely mad really - all boys (no girls) did woodwork, and metal work if you weren't academic - bang in the middle of the industrial midlands where all the best jobs were: Rolls Royce Aero engines just down the road, and BR Carriage and wagon, Sheffield just up the road., Nottingham and Boots not far, Notts Derbyshire coalfield all around.
Also bang in the centre of the Derwent Valley where major first steps of the industrial revolution took place a few miles from Arkwright's first mill - the world's first "factory"
I guess CDT was meant to fill the gap between old crafts and academic subjects like physics and chemistry, which were themselves late comers - chemi and physics labs were recent building add ons.
That’s interesting I’ve got two cousins both Oxford and Cambridge in there studies got masters each as well one works for a betting agencies and the other teaches finger painting to little kids go figure and me the thick one although I did get a degree but in design because my health was bad with crones but couldn’t hack being in front of a computer screen so went doing tree work and garden landscaping as I made more money doing that and was outside.
Roll on now I run my own business missis helps with the books and pretty happy
 

Jacob

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Glad to hear it worked out for you!
Design was left out from syllabuses too. You could do "Art" but nothing in the way of applied art unless you were a girl doing dressmaking and similar.
 

Brill88

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Glad to hear it worked out for you!
Design was left out from syllabuses too. You could do "Art" but nothing in the way of applied art unless you were a girl doing dressmaking and similar.
Well there’s fine art and you can go on and then teach fine art it seems lol you need to think of what people need and fill that gap people need fences people need there hedges cut and off the back I’ve done more I could make some lovely furniture but people would rather buy cheap ikea generally
 

TheTiddles

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You are talking about when we had technical colleges and only a select few took an academic route through to university, now even the village silly person goes to university and you can get a degree in flower arranging. City & Guilds were harder because after year in the classroom everything hinged on that one final exam, you could not pass based on course work alone and just top up with an exam. I suppose it is because these days they get paid for bums on seats and results so not in their interest to fail anyone. Having worked in engineering all my life you could see the changes, you had the ones who had started on the shop floor and grafted their way up and those who had a bit of paper, very academically qualified but as much use as a bottomless bucket and had to be trained for the real world.
That’s a very one-sided view from what appears to be a poorly informed position.

There’s a need for a range of skills in life. Sometimes you need one type, sometimes another. If I was of your disposition I’d be denouncing how terrible the thermodynamics calculations are that I’ve seen from people with C&Gs, however I’m not, I realise they don’t do that kind of thing, and they realise I do, between us we solve the problems, good job one of us got that bit of paper perhaps?

I was in a primary school last year watching the students write python code that I couldn’t do, it’s an uncomfortable feeling when you’re being surpassed by children half your height and a quarter your age. But instead of being negative about how they will have a bit of paper and not spend time “grafting” on a shop floor (because it’s only “real” work if you did it, right?) I can only be impressed at how our education system is adapting to provide the skills needed for the future, not clinging onto the past.

By all means “graft” away if you like, you will be replaced by a machine and we won’t be sorry.

Aidan
 

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My grafting days are long behind me, thats where I started but finished in R&D . I had a pile of C&G's, a BTECH, HND and more but at one interview I remember the guy saying in very direct language that they all meant JS to him unless I could do the job and deliver for the company, so gave me a months trial and again very directly stated that if I gave him any reason then his boot would be the first to kick my rear out the door. I did spend several years with that firm because a great bunch of guys and a working enviroment that would make todays generation head for the nearest shrink as absolutely politically incorrect.

What ever way you look at it you cannot beat experience, something that is learnt and not taught. Would you let a guy straight from uni perform an operation on you just because he has passed the exams and has the paperwork?
 

TheTiddles

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My grafting days are long behind me, thats where I started but finished in R&D . I had a pile of C&G's, a BTECH, HND and more but at one interview I remember the guy saying in very direct language that they all meant JS to him unless I could do the job and deliver for the company, so gave me a months trial and again very directly stated that if I gave him any reason then his boot would be the first to kick my rear out the door. I did spend several years with that firm because a great bunch of guys and a working enviroment that would make todays generation head for the nearest shrink as absolutely politically incorrect.

What ever way you look at it you cannot beat experience, something that is learnt and not taught. Would you let a guy straight from uni perform an operation on you just because he has passed the exams and has the paperwork?
Yes. Especially when the “experienced” person doesn’t know how to do it.
 

doctor Bob

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I did spend several years with that firm because a great bunch of guys and a working enviroment that would make todays generation head for the nearest shrink as absolutely politically incorrect.
You'd enjoy my workshop, very very sweary, and a thick skin needed by all. Having said that all apprentices have stuck around for a few years and go from shy kids to be expert pish takers.
 

Brill88

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You'd enjoy my workshop, very very sweary, and a thick skin needed by all. Having said that all apprentices have stuck around for a few years and go from shy kids to be expert pish takers.
My engineer friend said when he did his apprentice there was some right blinders that went on one story was in the mornings the blokes would hit the toilet with a fag a brew and a paper as they’d be paid to dung lol anyway one of the aprentises would come and take the bets for the horses well this day one of the blokes who liked a drink had a bit much the night before and fell asleep on the toilet and when he woke up his legs had fallen asleep and fell and knocked himself out on the toilet door they ended up having to remove the hinges to get him out haha
 

Jester129

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Fella in the dyehouse, as 'regular' as clockwork disappeared with a newspaper to the loo for an hour at 08.15. We eventually got him a pearler with some conc. ammonia tipped over the door. Never seen anyone move as fast with their trousers 'round their ankles. Them wos the days, them wos!
 
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