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Mentor Required

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A

Anonymous

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This may be an odd one, but I'm looking for a woodwork mentor in the North West Kent Area (UK!). :? Working for the cash strapped NHS it's been suggested that having a mentor may be a way of improving my skills without having to send me on expensive courses so I'm afraid there wouldn't be any money in it. If that hasn't put everyone off, what I think I might be looking for is someone with shed loads of woodwork experience who can spare a half day every month or so and who doesn't mind passing on some of their knowledge - just for the love of it! In return I can offer Tea, Coffee, Biscuits and if push comes to shove maybe even cakes - and a well equipped workshop as the learning environment. I like to think I'm quite friendly, with a good sense of humour and reasonably house trained. :)

Failing that, does anyone know of any general woodwork clubs in the above area?

Many Thanks

Mike
 

chiba

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Rocker - can't help (too cr@p and waay too far away), but just wanted to say that's a bloody good idea. The world should really work like that, especially for crafts like woodwork.
 

Adam

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Or how about..... anyone in the Brighton/Sussex area, if you want to trade some labour hours/machine hours in exchange for some labour hours/machine hours...

e.g. you need help processing rough stock to PAR for a particular project as it's big, and you work on your own, and in exchange you offer.... access to something I need and don't have... few hours on a lathe, odd use of a belt sander etc.

Or vice versa....

Adam
 
A

Anonymous

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I must admit I felt a bit selfish asking for help like that, but if it encourages the pooling of resources or knowledge by others then maybe it's not a bad thing.

On a serious note of caution I would recommend that under 16's don't ask for personal help directly - it's one thing to share on-line but none of us want this site taken over by un-desirables with ulterior motives. Likewise for the adults - keep yourselves covered and talk to the parents first before helping out: if in doubt, don't!

Other than that, thanks for the support

Mike
 
A

Anonymous

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I like the ideas but can't help much I'm afraid. My wood butchering is definitely still on the bottom end of the learning curve and I'm much more of a taker than a giver to this forum. I haven't heard of any woodworking clubs around here but i too would be interested if anyone else has.

I did do a year of woodwork at a local evening class in Bexley a couple of years ago to get me started as I'd not done any woodwork since age 13 at school, apart from the usual DIY and house renovation carpentry jobs, ie screws, nails, filler and paint rather than joinery. It gave me a few pointers but after a couple of months I found it frustrating - you were not allowed to use the power tools because of health and safety regs, the hand tools were pretty ropey and i soon wanted to progress beyond where most attendees were in the scope of the pieces I wanted to work on, ie furniture rather than kids toys and MDF radiator covers. And I did more damage to the pieces I was working on by keeping taking them to and from the class than the progress i achieved in the 2 hours a week i was there :-( I've thought of doing some of the expensive courses but can't afford the money or the time off from my day job which is nothing to do with wood.

if this in an official work thing for you could you get any form of day release to attend part time local college courses like NVQ? or would they also be out of the non-existent budget range?

or at a push could you ask to sit in on a few amputations? there must be some surgeons in the NHS who can wield a saw:)
 

Alf

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MP":ckx32il0 said:
I like the ideas but can't help much I'm afraid. My wood butchering is definitely still on the bottom end of the learning curve and I'm much more of a taker than a giver to this forum.
Personally I reckon even two fairly new woodworkers can learn a lot from each other, even if it's the mistakes. The odds are that each will know something the other doesn't, plus they both know what it's like to be a beginner - something longer term woodworkers soon forget, often to a learner's detriment. And I also reckon that everyone contributes to a forum such as this. You can learn a lot from the answers to a "newbie" question that you didn't know before, simply because you never thought to ask it yourself. :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Aragorn

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That right!

I like this idea of mentoring/apprenticing/mutual learning.

One of the principles of Steiner education is that the kids have the same teacher from ages 7 - 14, teaching them almost every subject at the same time as "learning" the subject him/herself.
It's based on the idea that a learning adult is a better mentor/role model than an adult that seems to just know all the facts and never demonstrates actual learning.
That's why IMHO, forums such as this are beneficial to newbies and oldies alike, and why a relative novice can learn woodworking skills from another relative novice, and why an experienced woodworker can learn something from an absolute beginner.

Cheers
Aragorn
 

norman

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Hi all

It is an idea that work`s . I have two young chaps visit me for a half day on monday and friday I say young 21&33 yrs one in the morming and the next for the afternoon. its very good fun for me as I never know what their next question is going to be and makes me think "just why do I do it this or that way" its a bit like when the kids were always asking BUT WHY???. If you have the time to spair I can recomend it.
By the way I cover antique furniture restoration.

Regards
Norman
 

norman

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asleitch":8tjsvkl4 said:
Or how about..... anyone in the Brighton/Sussex area, if you want to trade some labour hours/machine hours in exchange for some labour hours/machine hours...

e.g. you need help processing rough stock to PAR for a particular project as it's big, and you work on your own, and in exchange you offer.... access to something I need and don't have... few hours on a lathe, odd use of a belt sander etc.

Or vice versa....

Adam
Hi adam
Im in Seaford if you need any thing contact me.
Regards
Norman
 
A

Anonymous

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everyone contributes to a forum such as this. You can learn a lot from the answers to a "newbie" question that you didn't know before, simply because you never thought to ask it yourself. :D

Cheers, Alf
couldn't agree more - i've answered many of my own questions by going through the old posts and seeing someone elses approach to a problem coming from a completely different view to my own, and I've definitely learn more from this forum over the past couple of months than from most of the books I've managed to get my hands on, both through direct questions and following other discussions. And already getting ideas for future projects hearing about what other people are working on, although I think I need to pace myself before trying one of those rocking chairs ;-)

I try and contribute where I feel I have got something of value to say on a post and share which, as Aragorn points out, may well be a "don't know the right answer but i do know some wrong ones...". All in favour of peer learning and sharing...but i definitely don't feel I can fit the mentor role that Rocket was originally asking about, and don't know of any clubs in the area

m
 
A

Anonymous

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Having asked the initial question with mixed expectations I'm pleased to say that I've been taken on by an active and knowledgable member of this forum and have so far had a couple of very productive (from my viewpoint) sessions - and looking forward to many more in the future! :D

If the experience I've had so far is anything to go by, I would thoroughly recommend it. I hope everyone can be so lucky and that in years to come I may be able to do the same for someone else.

Good luck to everyone in the contacts they make

Mike
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Neil

To a certain extent, this whole forum offers mentoring in a sort of peer review way. I hadn't realised that just by asking the question for a mentor in itself might help others consider the idea or encourage them to meet and share resources - so even people just asking the questions rather than supplying the answers are helping others. And you can bet there are usually several different suggestions to every practical question that's answered so even those in the know can probably learn something new. I'm impressed by the quality of people the forum attracts, especially when those who are so much more knowledgable take the time to answer questions that they could, by rights find trivial. Good on them, that's what I say! :D

And keep up the contributions - with the amount of information shared here we can all up our game, no matter what standard we start from.

Mike
 

Alf

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Rocker":1a347ojq said:
so even people just asking the questions rather than supplying the answers are helping others. And you can bet there are usually several different suggestions to every practical question that's answered so even those in the know can probably learn something new.
Well said, Mike. Glad to hear it worked out so well. Should we be calling you "Grasshopper" now? :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Gary H

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Still trying to get the 'woodshack' watertight in
Congrat's Mike! You have my envy!! :mrgreen:
I'd love to do something like that myself and actually gain some experience from a much more learned and skilled craftsman. As you say, college courses etc. are not always within our reach, and most of us are not fortunate enough to have discovered the beauty of wood/tools/machinery early on in life, thus making a hobby our profession.
But as you say yourself, this forum has certainly helped us all in one way or another and it also allows us to 'bridge the miles between' with the use of photos, diagrams, etc. (Wow, did that sound a little too poetic?!? :shock: )

Enjoy, friend and keep us up to date with your progress..
Gary
 
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