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Thread: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

  1. #281
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Sehr gut Herr Garret!
    Jay

  2. #282
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    In response to the last very fine posts by Jay and Garret, I can add that Norway also was evaluating the students in the lower grades, marking out those whose aptitude’s indicated a college track, those that were marked for vocational school, and interestingly a third course. A student who might want to become a cabinet maker, house carpenter, etc, but was also showing some entrepreneurial leanings was sent to a third type school that had the vocational aspects of the trade, but added in basic bookkeeping, finance, business law, etc to help prepare for being a business owner.
    I reckon at least half the students in our colleges and universities have no business being there, no motivation, no plan, and many of those would fit into the “learning by doing”, and find a great future in the trades.
    And, oh by the way, not have to be saddled by a $40-$100,000 School debt.

  3. #283
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schweiss View Post
    In response to the last very fine posts by Jay and Garret, I can add that Norway also was evaluating the students in the lower grades, marking out those whose aptitude’s indicated a college track, those that were marked for vocational school, and interestingly a third course. A student who might want to become a cabinet maker, house carpenter, etc, but was also showing some entrepreneurial leanings was sent to a third type school that had the vocational aspects of the trade, but added in basic bookkeeping, finance, business law, etc to help prepare for being a business owner.
    I reckon at least half the students in our colleges and universities have no business being there, no motivation, no plan, and many of those would fit into the “learning by doing”, and find a great future in the trades.
    And, oh by the way, not have to be saddled by a $40-$100,000 School debt.
    I think those are some great things, but I do worry about abuse. What's to stop a kid who's acting out because of home problems from being "tracked" into a path that's not best? I can think of other examples, but you get the idea. I guess that as long as there are ways one can change tracks it could work.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  4. #284
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    As another thread here brings out - a 40K course (at a very good school) is not something that everyone can afford - but a chance to work in a shop where one will actually learn is something a lot of people could profit by.
    Investing $40k and a year or two in such a course when no education required jobs are out there that pay little different is a poor investment of time and money. Lots of employers still seem to be in the mindset of the last 10-20 years where they can wait around and find that perfect applicant who's done everything and they can pay them next to nothing. If small employers want to survive they are going to have to find those cheap reliable guys and train them.

  5. #285
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    I think those are some great things, but I do worry about abuse. What's to stop a kid who's acting out because of home problems from being "tracked" into a path that's not best? I can think of other examples, but you get the idea. I guess that as long as there are ways one can change tracks it could work.
    Unfortunatley nothing. The danger of deciding at a young age if a child is destined for higher education or not are many, and most countries that do it are trying to get away from it, or at least raise the age at wich it is done. But usually 14-15 is the high limit at wich the decision is made. Yes there are ways to continue an education past vocational school, but it is a hard path in practice. I am not aware of any country in Europe that does not offer a way for appretices to earn a university acceptance qualification, but the numbers show that there are not many taking it. It's not only a problem of learning the necessary stuff, it is also a problem of aquired attitude from the social environment. In Germany they have even got so far as recognizing the master of crafts as university acceptance qualification.

    As for how great the vocational education system works in Germany or other european countries that is a matter of debate. A industries bound system is dependent on the individual firms to offer a place to the apprentice. This can have good sides like selection trough competition, the contents are always updated and synchronized with the employers needs, and bad sides like loosing the crafts because the masters don't want to be bothered to teach "old stuff" or "non-relevant stuff", workforce shortages if demand increases, etc. And altough the title of master of crafts implies education in pedagogics (at least in Germany) one is still dependent on the ability and desire to teach of each individual. One thing that regularly surfaces is employers treating apprentices as cheap low qualification workforce without actually teaching them much. Countries of course try to rectify this and other known problems by codifying the curriculum, exams, and so on, but it is by far not a perfect system.
    On the other hand programs that are not industries bound have opposite problems, like creating an overabundence of workers, teaching that is disconnected from the work reality, etc. There are even countries offering both systems at once, plus systems with vocational and academic qualification at the same time. When the systems work as designed they all produce better workers on average than purely on the job training does. But when they fail it's really bad, you get incompetent workers with a diploma.

    I do have to say that Mr. Greer is correct in his assesment that german woodworking is alive and well. Woodworkers now represent the lions share in traveling journeymans altough most are of course carpenters. But I would not say that France or Italy are lacking in this department either.

    On the other hand boatbuilding is highly dependent on your place of apprenticeship. The six apprentices taken on this year by the Hanse boatyard won't probably become masters in plank hanging, riveting or caulking, but they will probably be competent cabinetmakers and their composite skills will be top notch. If you like to become a wooden boat specialist you probably have to seek out one of the yards still doing that kind of work.

    To be on topic again I happen to think that one of the (probably minor) reasons why wooden boats have become such a niche thing is that for a long time masters of this craft have guarded their art like it was some esoteric body of black arts knowledge. Only recently are amateurs able to learn propper tehnique by taking courses.

  6. #286
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    When I was in Venice Italy on a boat related business trip, I had the pleasure of being taken to several boat yards as well as a gondola squara/yard. It was a eye opening experience to see the amazing craftsmanship that was being practiced there. Having done a restoration on a gondola that was here in the USA I had taken some photos of the project along. I had made a new "forcula"/wooden oar lock, for the restoration project as the old one had been lost. I had worked from photos of the first one and was able to make a reasonable replica from white oak.
    Our host took us on a tour of the work shops of several boat builders. One was of the oar and "forcula" maker Sr. Giuseppe Carli, It was in a small shop boardering on one of the canals. Mr. Carli and his apprentice were working on a new forcula that was clamped in a wooden vice made from a tree trunk, the end of which was buried in the floor. Mr. Carli looked to be about seventy years old and the apprentice was a boy of about sixteen. Another boy stood by watching the work with great interest while the one helping was showing little or no interest in the work. Neither payed much attention to my wife and I until our interpreter showed Sr. Carli the photos of the oarlock I had made. Then an amazing thing happened Sr. Carli literally threw his arms around me and said with tears in his eyes that I had made a forcula di Carli and that I should come and work with him and we would make lots of money! Needless to say, I was taken aback by his sudden out burst of enthusiasm. He then insisted on showing me his collection of wood panels that had grain patterns representing scenes from the Bible. He spoke of the "Tre Robbos" that could be easily seen in the grain of one of them. It was a scene of the crucifixion! The three crosses could be clearly seen.

    He then went on to say that the young men of Venice no longer cared to work in the boat trades. But when they did, all they wanted was to earn enough money to buy an Avon raft and a motor so that they could go to one of the islands in the lagoon and drink wine with bad girls! In fact his apprentice looked just like a boy who had those thoughts in mind! He could have cared less about what he was learning! The other boy showed great interest and in my opinion should have been working in place of the other and learning something of value that would provide him with support until he was as old as Sr. Giuseppe Carli.
    Sadly, young men in Italy are being trained to work as assemble technicians in large manufacturing facilities and the traditional trades are being threatened by this trend.
    Jay

  7. #287
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Mr. Greer let me assure you that moaning about apprentice quality, motivation and intelligence is nothing new and very normal. It might have even increased since corporal punishment was forbidden. Usually the older the master the bigger the moanings. There is of course some truth to it, the current phase of social changes promotes alternative career paths more, and often the kids learning crafts are the "problem kids". But in truth on average kids are not more stupid and less motivated then they were in the past. But the generational gaps are bigger, and if you don't understand how to motivate the current teenager you will have problems teaching them anything, be it crafts or foreign languages. Nobody wakes up some day at 14 and says out of the blue: "I want to be a woodworker". And if your first contact with your new trade is a grumpy old master ... well you can all imagine how that usually goes.

    On the other hand be assured that wonderfull craftsmanship you admired will continue. As long as there will be someone to pay for those boats, they will produce them and pass on the craft. Maybe there will be less people doing it, the boats will be even more expensive then they are now, and the craft will become even more a family business then it is now, but they will be there with their history, and pride and craftmanship.

  8. #288
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Perhaps the relatively larger number of plywood/epoxy and strip/epoxy boats is due to a water shortage. Not drinking water, but boating water. As the population goes up and income inequality goes up, it gets very expensive to keep a boat in a slip or on a mooring. A higher and higher percentage of boats are trailered, so people want boats that won't open up when they dry out on a trailer.
    I will beg you for advice, your reply will be concise, and I will listen very nicely and then go out and do exactly what I want! (Apologies to Lerner and Lowe.)

  9. #289
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    The comments about youngsters are very relavant, I work in a secondary school as a Design & Technology technician, its relatively small & our department has some great people to work with. I find myself often working with the kids with the teacher doing practical projects. On the whole a lot of kids have a fascination with making stuff but the practical subjects have been so eroded & dumbed down that most will be frustrated because they simply will never get much practical time in the workshop.
    Many will be lost to gaming & maybe will one day wake up & realize at the age of 40 odd that they have spent half their lives sitting on their backsides staring at a screen. Despite this there are some great kids & it is satisfying to help them on the road to a practical carreer.

  10. #290
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Maybe its worth looking in Boatbuilding Repair, I went to a lot of effort to post pics of the rebuilding of Ghost. I was going to add a lot of text explaining the how and why, glad I didn't waste my time, almost zero interest in this thread.
    the invisible man........

  11. #291
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwaterline View Post
    Maybe its worth looking in Boatbuilding Repair, I went to a lot of effort to post pics of the rebuilding of Ghost. I was going to add a lot of text explaining the how and why, glad I didn't waste my time, almost zero interest in this thread.
    4,000 views is no interest? I don't understand. I realize some other build/rebuild threads have more, but the ones that do have engaged people - asked questions, made comments, etc. I've found your pics interesting, but haven't felt the need to respond. I will do so in the future.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  12. #292
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwaterline View Post
    Maybe its worth looking in Boatbuilding Repair, I went to a lot of effort to post pics of the rebuilding of Ghost. I was going to add a lot of text explaining the how and why, glad I didn't waste my time, almost zero interest in this thread.
    Maybe slow down a bit on your posting. When people post as they build its fun to go along for the ride, as is happening on the harbourmaster thread. Your thread is bombarding photos of work over what, the last 10 or more years? It's an amazing rebuild, and a lot to take in. But by the time we've admired your metalwork, we are 10 posts down and you've replaced the keel, floor timbers and transom, ripped the cabin off and rebuilt the deck. Gives me head spins!

  13. #293
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    you might be being a bit sensitive, I too have read your thread and found it interesting, but also not felt the need to comment. I had my own "my girl" thread running for a while, but found it so much easier just to keep the blog. Doesn't mean because they don't comment they aren't interested. I check the Petrel, Harbourmaster calling, Arabella and the kotik threads everyday but rarely comment.....

  14. #294
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Hell, I think it's awesome, just don't have any suggestions or tips to add. I'm staying out of the way and watching from the corner

  15. #295
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Many apartment dwellers have no place to do anything except to watch TV and get high.
    Many apartments do not even allow playing of musical instruments.
    HOA's are also ruining the culture.
    On the home renovation programs people buying homes say NO to Hoa's now.
    Cannot even paint your front door without permission.
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

  16. #296
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Quote Originally Posted by donald branscom View Post
    Many apartment dwellers have no place to do anything except to watch TV and get high.
    Many apartments do not even allow playing of musical instruments.
    HOA's are also ruining the culture.
    On the home renovation programs people buying homes say NO to Hoa's now.
    Cannot even paint your front door without permission.
    I hate gentrification. Just hate it.

  17. #297
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Quote Originally Posted by keith66 View Post
    The comments about youngsters are very relavant, I work in a secondary school as a Design & Technology technician, its relatively small & our department has some great people to work with. I find myself often working with the kids with the teacher doing practical projects. On the whole a lot of kids have a fascination with making stuff but the practical subjects have been so eroded & dumbed down that most will be frustrated because they simply will never get much practical time in the workshop.
    Many will be lost to gaming & maybe will one day wake up & realize at the age of 40 odd that they have spent half their lives sitting on their backsides staring at a screen. Despite this there are some great kids & it is satisfying to help them on the road to a practical carreer.
    Some of our kids are heavily into starting at a screen. The thing that strikes me is that although anyone can go into the IT section of a uni library and read why games are so popular, none of those who are trying to promote outdoor activities do so.

    Computer games are designed to quite complex theories using quite deep insight from psychology. It's not surprising that they are proving more attractive than outdoor pursuits and crafts that don't use such insights, and could be seen to be designed to turn people off. Outdoor pursuits etc could almost certainly learn from computer game designers, but they don't seem to even think of doing it.

    Some of our kids have been into the Maker scene and Hackerspace; they are certainly out there making things but with 3d printers etc. Another is heavily into gaming and she tells me of the way in which top Starcraft players train - 18 hours per day in special houses with other aspiring pros. It's bizarre that so many people claim that kids have no attention spans AND cannot be torn away from their devices; that's a complete contradiction in terms in some ways.

    In summary, other pastimes and sports (ie sit on top kayaks and SUPs) have arguably been learning and adapting while much of sailing is locked into some strange space where people are ignoring the clear evidence about what is popular and what's not. If we took a more sophisticated approach to understanding the appeal and drawbacks of our pastimes, they could well be revived. Blaming the kids won't do it.

  18. #298
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    After spending, nearly, a life time of designing and building all manner of boats, marine hardware and associated gear. I find it very frustrating that so few young people have an interest in learning the trade. My grand daughter is not one of them. Here she is helping build the cockpit seat gutter drain rails for "Bright Star".
    Jay

    Last edited by Jay Greer; 02-11-2018 at 04:36 PM.

  19. #299
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwaterline View Post
    Maybe its worth looking in Boatbuilding Repair, I went to a lot of effort to post pics of the rebuilding of Ghost. I was going to add a lot of text explaining the how and why, glad I didn't waste my time, almost zero interest in this thread.
    ...says he on page 9 of the thread. Such bluster!

  20. #300
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    4,000 views is no interest? I don't understand. I realize some other build/rebuild threads have more, but the ones that do have engaged people - asked questions, made comments, etc. I've found your pics interesting, but haven't felt the need to respond. I will do so in the future.
    Many people view the posts with projects photos and dialogue .
    "but haven't felt the need to respond."

    It takes time to post and get photos and post photos.
    A little thanks is ALWAYS appreciated .
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

  21. #301
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Plywood dust locks up my respiratory system! Even visiting a lumber yard section that has it stacked has the same effect!
    Can't work with it for this reason!
    Jay

  22. #302
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    Some of our kids are heavily into starting at a screen. The thing that strikes me is that although anyone can go into the IT section of a uni library and read why games are so popular, none of those who are trying to promote outdoor activities do so.

    Computer games are designed to quite complex theories using quite deep insight from psychology. It's not surprising that they are proving more attractive than outdoor pursuits and crafts that don't use such insights, and could be seen to be designed to turn people off. Outdoor pursuits etc could almost certainly learn from computer game designers, but they don't seem to even think of doing it.

    Some of our kids have been into the Maker scene and Hackerspace; they are certainly out there making things but with 3d printers etc. Another is heavily into gaming and she tells me of the way in which top Starcraft players train - 18 hours per day in special houses with other aspiring pros. It's bizarre that so many people claim that kids have no attention spans AND cannot be torn away from their devices; that's a complete contradiction in terms in some ways.

    In summary, other pastimes and sports (ie sit on top kayaks and SUPs) have arguably been learning and adapting while much of sailing is locked into some strange space where people are ignoring the clear evidence about what is popular and what's not. If we took a more sophisticated approach to understanding the appeal and drawbacks of our pastimes, they could well be revived. Blaming the kids won't do it.
    Very good point Chris, i hadnt really thought of it that way. Our club has recently adopted rowing as a means for encouraging new members. Some older members railed against this change saying "We wont be a yacht club any more", it will be the end. Thing is the club is full of old people & dead & derelict boats, the end bears down on us. We run an annual cadet week which is succesful to a point but retention is awful, we never see them till next year. I recently suggested asking the Cadets what they really think about sailing & how they would reverse this trend. This suggestion was met with blank incomprehension by the older people present! Going to chase it though.

  23. #303
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    Keith in my experience old white man have two pressure points to motivate them: ego and money. It might be usefull to try a carrot and stick approach. For example an anual beauty contest (lots of categories, best varnish, shiniest bronze, best looking on the water, best looking on stands, best interior, nicest sailcovers, etc.) coupled with a 50-100% increase in fees for derelict boat owners ("this is a bloody yacht club not the breakers yard, if we must take the shame at least let them pay for it").
    Try a mentorship program. Any member regularly taking cadets on board gets some discount. Old men love to show of and often lack audience. Cadets will be required to put in work hours or pay some equivalent work fee to the club (not to the boat owners). The work hours can be allocated to the mentors boat, but not the equivalent fees.

    Young people usually want some competition and social life. You have to allow regular parties and informal beer can racing. The old members will have to put up with the youths uncivilized choice of loud music and barbaric manners. No way around it if you want to survive.

  24. #304
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    As an old white man, that knows a lot of other old white men, I think your preception of old white men needs revision.

  25. #305
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    I have spent the last years bending in oak frames, rudder blocks, keel cheaks, cabin sole deck beams, carlins, planks, fasteners, floor timbers, drifts, carriage bolts, screws. It is wearing me out. I hardly have time to work on my house. we have thirteen people going like gangbusters, full time. I must be in an alternate reality.

  26. #306
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    Default Re: Decline of Real Wood Building and Restoration Threads

    I have spent the last years bending in oak frames, rudder blocks, keel cheaks, cabin sole deck beams, carlins, planks, fasteners, floor timbers, drifts, carriage bolts, screws. It is wearing me out. I hardly have time to work on my house. we have thirteen people going like gangbusters, full time. I must be in an alternate reality.

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