What are you going to do with it?

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creast

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Don't you just hate that line when you show someone your pride and joy engine?
Having spent hours and hours just to create something which in your own eyes is a thing of beauty and a marvel of engineering?
I just reply.. its a model.. the fun is creating it and it doesn't have to serve a purpose or function.
After all, people collect stamps.. why?
People train spot.. why?
People paint pictures.. why?

Am I alone in thinking people just can't grasp the beauty of model engineering?
I often question myself what it is that drives me to want to create a model engine when it often gives so much pain along the way to create it.
Does anyone here think likewise?
 

Swifty

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You are certainly not alone in getting those sort of reactions from family and friends, another common comment is "it's nice and shiny".
A lot of those type of comments come from people who have no hobby or interest to keep them busy.

Members probably have different reasons as to why they build engines and other things, common ones would be because they enjoy making things, something to do in retirement, it's a challenge that stops me going senile, or all of these combined. All the stages in planning, machining, assembly, trouble shooting and finally having a runner etc go together to give great satisfaction to the model maker.

A lot of people probably think of engine making as too much work, that's ok, if their happy sitting around doing nothing all day. I enjoy keeping busy, and machining at home is just a carry on from my working life as a toolmaker. I have a friend that plays golf 3 times per week, he often says that he is bored at home when not on the golf course. Our hobby can be done in the hours that suit us, rain is generally no problem, once you have the equipment, costs are not too bad. It keeps the brain active and challenged and it keeps the joints moving. Sure, I'm happy to sit down and read a book or watch a movie occasionally during the day, but generally there are not enough hours in the day to do what I want.

Paul.
 

Philjoe5

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Am I alone in thinking people just can't grasp the beauty of model engineering?
There are folks who get it and others who don't. Those who don't, likely never will.

I've been fascinated by mechanical things and how they work from a very early age but there are those who use machines daily and don't want to know anything about how or why they work.

You have enough natural curiosity and insight to observe a model engine and realize how much time and effort was used to produce it.

Being able to make a working model engine means you have patience, curiosity, manual skills, common sense and a good connection to translating ideas on paper into a physical object. You have to be a troubleshooter, probably the most sought after skill in our technological world today, though not often known by that name.

Personally I've often thought that model engineering is closely related to art. We just use a different medium

Cheers,
Phil
 
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I can marvel at some of the V8 and other very complex model engines, but they don't 'do' anything for me.

Most casual observers seem to take an interest in something where they can see the bits moving, rather than an enclosed box (to simplify description). And yes, you will always get the "But what does it Do?" type question, to which I usually reply "It just goes round and round, serving no useful purpose but to keep me out of the pub."

Dave
The Emerald Isle - where all they seem to be interested in is vintage tractors!
 

Generatorgus

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I don't show my models, my antique engines or my shop to anyone I don't think would be interested.
Hmmm, maybe that's why nobody visits. :eek:
 

chucketn

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I don't show my models, my antique engines or my shop to anyone I don't think would be interested.
Hmmm, maybe that's why nobody visits. :eek:
Me too. I used to proudly show my models and tools to my family and friends. No one in the family except one nephew I rarely see is into machining, and he does it for a living, not a hobby.
Now I just show my wife whom I've told is obligated by marriage to at least say "very nice, Dear..."

Chuck
 

crueby

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Years ago I was in the ship model shop at the Mystic Seaport museum, talking with the staff modeler (real master at his craft) there with a group of people, all enjoying talking techniques, when this woman walks in, looks around, and asks in this snooty loud voice "Is that all you do here? MODELS??!"


silence....



cricket sound.... cricket sound...



everone looks around, stunned.....



she walks out....


lots of heads shake, and back to conversations.
 

Brian Rupnow

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I am rapidly getting to the point where I almost have to ask myself the same question.---"What am I going to do with these?" Engines have taken over every book case, shelf, desk top and assorted flat spots around my office. They have far to much work in them to give away. They are too precious to me to think about selling them. I hate to pack them away into boxes.
 

Tin Falcon

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I have of gotten the "What does it do ?" I point to my minkin and tell folks I saw a similar model on an antique steam boat.

And the" You have too much time on your hands." I wish !! I tell them I have the same number of hours in the day as everyone else . Many folks spend the evening every night watching TV. I build model engines.

I think a lot of the problem is the modern consumer attitude. Buy it , use it , break it, toss it buy another and start the cycle over. Another factor is the reduced number of manufacturing jobs on the developed world. And the reduced number of repair facilities due to cheaply manufactured goods. If an item say a portable stereo costs $ 80 someone is not going to pay $60 to have it repaired. In the 1950s and 60s when Popular Mechanics was at its prime I think almost every man had a workshop. some build , repaired and experimented with radios some were into woodworking. Some guys had a fix it shop. Others like us built modes and did metal working. But it was common for people to work with there hands and make and repair things. Now guys like us seem like an endangered species.
Tin
 

Philjoe5

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When I started this hobby 6+ years ago I told myself I'm going to keep making engines that appeal to me until I couldn't handle the work anymore. Then I'm going to spend my remaining years running them.

Even now, I'll take an engine out of storage and run it for a day in the shop. It helps on one of those days when I keep asking myself "Am I a complete moron?":wall:

Cheers,
Phil
 

aonemarine

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I know the feeling all to well, same thing applies to old cars. I bought a 1931 ford victoria and half the people that see it in the driveway think what an old piece of junk. Fourty percent think its neat and ask what year it is. Five percent cant beleive it runs. Three percent know what it is.
and two percent try to buy it off me thinking I dont know what its worth...
 

BaronJ

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What can I say...

There is nothing in these posts that I haven't heard before !

Seen it, done it, been there, have the T shirt. :):):)
 

creast

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Guys,
I am glad that there are others that think likewise on this subject.
After chatting with my motorcycling racing friend, he pretty much confirmed it was the same in his hobby too.
His answer was that it is basically a 'man thing' .. a desire to 'DO' , to keep meeting the challenges and yet also creating the challenges in the process to create an unending cycle.
To me I think it is definitely an age thing to do all those things you wished as a kid that you couldn't, either because of funds or hadn't the experience/expertise.
As a professional engineer I don't think I will ever tire of tinkering but there is always the nagging thought of 'why do I torture myself?' at times.
Happy machining!
 

Tin Falcon

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Generatorgus View Post
I don't show my models, my antique engines or my shop to anyone I don't think would be interested.
Hmmm, maybe that's why nobody visits.
Me too. I used to proudly show my models and tools to my family and friends. No one in the family except one nephew I rarely see is into machining, and he does it for a living, not a hobby.
Now I just show my wife whom I've told is obligated by marriage to at least say "very nice, Dear..."

Chuck
WELL my wife attends the ME shows with me and proudly tells anyone who will listen about our engines. Yes she built one too with some help.
But in the early days I got that is nice but when are you going to fix the ____________ ???

AAARRRRGGGG!!!!!!
Tin
 

creast

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WELL my wife attends the ME shows with me and proudly tells anyone who will listen about our engines. Yes she built one too with some help.
But in the early days I got that is nice but when are you going to fix the ____________ ???

AAARRRRGGGG!!!!!!
Tin

DITTO!!!! :eek:
 

dnalot

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I keep a tab on the people that show interest or appreciation in the things I make and come my end they will be rewarded with my prize possessions. Until then their all mine.

Mark T
 
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