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Ex Bogstandard
HMEM Supporter
Dec 26, 2008
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Crewe, Cheshire, UK
I get death and excommunication PM & email threats every time I try to bring this subject up.

I would just like to bring a few of my personal beliefs to this post, and every time I have said them, people get nasty.

The first point I would like to raise is that a picture at the top means absolutely naff all to me without a full post to go with it. Just because someone produces a nice engine or bit of tooling doesn't mean it is good. All I can see is a pretty picture of an engine, OK it is nice, but where does the recognition for it come from? Can anyone point me in the direction of the post where this months winner shows how it was made, and no, not just 'this is what I did yesterday', but a heart and soul rendition of what had to be done to produce it.

I am not saying it would be done, but I could just as easily pick a picture up somewhere, post it up and say 'look what I have made'.

Just as an example (BTW, I don't know who's this is or where from)

This is what I knocked up in couple of weeks in my spare time a few months ago, and because I was busy making an 18 cylinder radial in the same week, I didn't take any other pictures.

Do you like it, and can it be considered for putting at the top of your site page even though I have only posted one other message before?

I know that the above would be stupid, but that is exactly how it comes across.

Again, to me, I would prefer to see some total beginner showing his blood sweat and tears in a posting about how he built his crap running, all out of square, made out of bits and bobs wobbler, than some great looking engine that has taken years to complete, but shows nothing about the build in the post.

If it don't come with a warts and all posting, just let it die a death, with a few people commenting how pretty it is.

I honestly feel that a picture like the one above could actually put a lot of new people off starting to build model engines.

"They must all be good if that is the sort of thing they are making, I will never be able to achieve being that good, so I just won't bother."

We all know that isn't the way it goes, and with a little bit of good tutoring (by reading good build postings) many people come on in leaps and bounds, but they don't know that.

So to my way of thinking, the above sorts of things should be done away with, and each month, give some recognition to new members of the 'total beginner' standard, where if they build an engine, and do a reasonable post to go with it, make their day and give them the recognition they really deserve, with no one person to be given more than one recognition, as by the time they have done one, they are 'experienced'.

I am sure that this would bring a lot of the lurkers into the open, and give them the opportunity to start writing posts of their own, rather than just following along.

I think we are all over the bad spelling and grammar problems by now, and as soon as the beginners recognise that they won't get penalised for it, more will start to join in.

This is not a new idea, I personally have been trying to push this in a slightly different guise since the web site started a few years ago, but it was always poo-poo'd in favour of the 'elite' amongst us, who should be quite satisfied by now from the praise they already get from the membership.

There needs to be no voting, no behind the scenes decisions, and shouldn't upset anyone, as we have all been in their situation. It could be judged on the overall reaction of the members during the post, The better the posting and descriptions the more reaction should be got. If it comes to a close call one month, stick up two pictures, or even more if needs be.

Give recognition to beginners, who try the hardest, rather than the old hands, who building a great engine is second nature.

As you can most probably guess, I am totally against elitism, fame seeking, and also in my case CNC. I am a true hands on believer, and at the first sight of it, to me the post is finished with as far as I am concerned. But that is just me.
I keep getting told that it is just the normal progression of the site. But how much further before it becomes just like all the others?

I am wondering how many threats I am going to get this time.

'Just out looking for a trash can to hide in' Bogs.



Project of the Month Winner!!!
Project of the Month Winner
Jan 3, 2008
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Hey, nice engine Bogs....can't wait to see that radial as well :big:
Seriously I agree with your comments, especially as to newcomers. And even more than that, younger folks who express an interest in becoming invloved. Without that the hobby will most certainly die out in time.

One thing I notice each time I log onto HMEM is the number of users online at the time. Almost invariably, there are about 2 guests for each 1 user logged on. I often wonder how many of the guests are true guests that haven't joined yet or may just be surfing, or how many are registered users that visit without logging on (this seems less likely to me). The point is that there are a lot of interested people not just "out there" somewhere, but actually looking at this site. To me that represents a vast untapped resource for active participants, and one that we as a group should do whatever we can to make them more active.



Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2008
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Bogstandard said:
They must all be good if that is the sort of thing they are making, I will never be able to achieve being that good, so I just won't bother.
I understand this all too well. It almost happened to me once (giving up), and I have to constantly remind myself not to let the apparent perfection of others discourage me.

I have to remember that making an engine is my goal, not impressing others. To strive towards the better made ones, and not compare my own work to them.


Aug 26, 2009
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I felt like the object of the project of the month was a project that was documented and the builder be it newbie or old pro made an effort to show just how they accomplished the task. If we go to just finished projects how are newbies to learn or pick up ideas and as far as that goes it isn't just newbies that benefit from that even the older folks. I have always said there are many ways of getting the job done. I know since I joined the group I have seen a few build threads that I thought to myself now why didn't I think of doing it that way. I've been in the tooling trade, first in the shop and now design for 36+ years and still see things new and exciting. Without the build threads we lose a lot of potential. I hate to see just a post of a finished project with no build thread that's one thing the build thread was what convinced me to join this group! I know I don't post as often as I should but let me tell you I really enjoy the build threads!


Well-Known Member
Aug 16, 2009
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Well said bogs Thm:
I recently did my first build post of my Elmer's twin wobbler but i nearly didn't bother because i didn't think any body would be interested or that any body would learn from it but i gave it a go if only for somebody to tell me how i could have done it different if i had to do it again. But every body who commented was very kind and after a bit of recognition for my work i wanted to get in the garage and start another engine straight away.
So what i am trying to say is to encourage absolute beginners to have a go and not to feel inferior would be brilliant.


Owd Bob

New Member
Sep 25, 2010
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I am one of those newbies yet to build anything. I will not be in postion to do so for several months. I have never touched a lathe or a milling machine in my life. This site and the helpful comments from the members has sparked my interest. When I do get started I will be following a noble tradition of the self-taught amateur. My big advantage will be that I have followed "Build-ups" and made use of the freely given advice of people such as Bogs and Pat J and many others. I stand in awe of the workmanship demonstrated here. Without the "How I did its" it would pointless to try and build anything. This site is my classroom where I learn theory. My workshop(Garage" will be where I do my homework. If and when I get started I will post for constructive criticism and feedback. So for my sake and the sake of others who wish to walk in your footsteps, please do what you can to promote "Build + How to " sequences.
Sorry if this a bit rambling and sorry that I have no "Machining " input. I shall now retire to "Lurking" until I have I have a more constructive contribution.


Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2007
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You and I've discussed this before and we are both on the same page with the basics of your comments. The thing is being actively discussed and I'm definitely an advocate for seeing that the struggling newbie gets a shot at some of the recognition, right along with the talented old guys. You know my own background and how recently I too was a newbie, so you also know my true heart lies with them.

I've made a few suggestions and am awaiting the end of the ongoing discussions to see where things shake out. I can tell you we're looking for equitable solutions.