Finally did it - back to school!

I've been getting a Continuing Education booklet from my local college for
a while now and for the past 5 years they've offered a Machine shop course.
It started out around 400 dollars for a 10 week course and has gotten up to
500 the past year or so, a bit on the pricey side for me hobby wise so I've
put it off until now. Every year I discused it with SWMBO and decided to
wait a bit more, each year I told her I sure hope they teach it again next
year. Well, it's next year and I've decided to bite the bullet and sign
My biggest two worries were that who ever is teaching it might die or just
plain decide it wasn't worth it anymore or that the college would stop
offering it because of lack of interest. The course starts at the end of
January and is limited to 10 students, as of today I'm the only one signed
up, it will be really neat if I'm the only one since that would mean one on
one instruction :)
One of the reasons I wanted to take the course was that the description
ended with a line, 'for people who want to build their own tools' which is
something I've always liked to do.
I'm hoping for an old geezer with many years experience in the industry for
a teacher, I figure that way I'll get practical stuff and lots of tips
instead of a younger 'professor type' who just went to school for it. I'll
take either one but I think in this field older will be better ;)
Wish me luck.
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You better wish there are a few more sign up or they will cancell it. As to the "old geezer" I doubt it. But on the other hand you may get lucky. Please let us know how it works out. ...lew...
Reply to
Lew Hartswick
Wonderful news Bill!!! You're going to enjoy it and learn a lot.
Ever since my mandatory one semester of machine shop for engineering curriculum (close to 50 years ago) I've been fascinated by it. Back around 1994 I decided to sign up for a class at the local JC in California. Being CA it was pretty inexpensive. Set me back about $ 11. Second semester I took my adult son with me. We took a total of four semesters and enjoyed it tremendously.
Now that I am retired and living in Oregon things are a bit more expensive. More like $ 300+ to take a class. They do have a very well equipped machine shop and the instructor told me that typically geezers sign up for one 'night class' and they come and use the machines all day long, 5 days a week. A permitted activity. I'm very tempted to do same.
RANT--caution. In states where education is highly subsidized (CA, for one) it seems to me that people are better educated. I can't think of any adults in my circle (Oregon) that on a whim are going to pay $ 300 for a U.S. History class, Spanish lessons, "C" programming language, upholstery, etc.
I'd like to hear from people that live in other states.
Ivan Vegvary
Reply to
Ivan Vegvary
Check and see if you can get into an evening curriculum class. With ConEd classes, you pay the whole bill out of pocket. Curriculum classes are are paid, at least in part, by your tax dollar (you might as well get some benefit). At my Community College you could get two Certificates in conventional machining and 58 months of instruction for $1100 tuition. One semester of 16 weeks is $297.50 in tuition. Of course, you need to figure in fees, books, and parking for both ConEd and Curriculum classes.
Congrats.... you'll have a good time and possibly meet others with similar interests.
Reply to
Gene Kearns
The Colleges here dont offer contimuing ed Machining or mechanical technology courses.
Dont get me wrong I'm refreshing my electronics technology stuff and taking some woodworking/cabinetmaking courses
And we have good instructors for that here but i'm going to see if i can take some day courses since i work shifts if they will let me take courses with the day curriculum.
to me i have no hesitation shelling out 2-300 dollars per course because i see it ans being overall a cheap way to keep my mind fresh
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Many states allow "Seniors" to audit courses for a modest fee. Washington is one of those states as well as Virginia. They don't tend to advertise the auditing for " seniors ". So it is worth inquiring about. It is of course on a " if space is available " basis. In Washington I think one has to be 60 to qualify.
I audited a welding course and a bronze casting course at Olympic college in Bremerton. The cost was about $30. But they don't offer a machinig class.
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Here in SC us seniors can go tuition free to the major schools (Univerities) I do not know about the tech schools
Howard Garner
Reply to
Howard R Garner
Bill, good luck - I started out the same way, a few years ago - it was as you describe, a "fee for service" course - it was canceled 2 times due lack of enrollments, talking to someone at the local steam museum open day, he suggested I do a "proper" course at certificate level. The college I was trying to do the "short course" were not helpful, I contacted another one who were bloody fantastic. I enrolled in CERT II in Production Engineering, (used to be known as Fitting and Turning) same fees, for a year of 1 day a week. Finished CERT II (don't feel remotely competent yet) and am going on to do CERT IV (cant do CERT III, you have to be an apprentice)
I am the "old guy" in the class, they know I will never be employed in industry, so they are happy to teach me what I want to know - so saying that, they insisted on teaching me what I needed to know to get to minimal, don't loose fingers or wreck machine standard. This year, want to do more milling, get more precision in my lathe work, and learn how to use a rotary table. Also signed up for 4 units of welding, which should be interesting - will have to "unlearn" most of what I have taught meself, no doubt. A great place, skilled, competent teachers, cant speak highly enough of it.I am mature enough not to do something stupid, or abuse the trust they have given me - I can use their precision machines for my own projects, and they are far better than anything I could ever aspire to own myself. (The brand new Bridgport is indeed a lovely machine...)
They taught me how to measure, from ruler to micrometer, how to use a file (went out and bought about a dozen new ones myself after I realised what a truly versatile tool they are), how to freehand sharpen drill bits, how to freehand grind your own lathe tools, lots of things the 1st year apprentices were doing (it was the same course). You wont get that in a 1 term short course....
Colleges just love the "mature age" students - our government is desperate to get people into the engineering trades, so the college gets brownie points for me being there. Yours is probably similar - looks good in the stats.
So, if the options open to you, try for something similar - all I wanted to do initially was to learn how to do simple things with my lathe and mill as an adjunct to my radio homebrewing - its turned into a genuinely fascinating pursuit in its own right...
But, be warned - you will start collecting tool catalogues, dream of buying more tooling, look at dump bins with a focus on bits of metal - and then you will want bigger, better machines, a bigger shop, more tooling,.....
Andrew VK3BFA.
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Good idea Bill. I retired a few years ago as a professional engineer and last year did the same thing as you are doing. Our instructor is a " young geezer" well maybe 40, but he is pretty damned good. We have a class of about 10 as well ,and they are all an interesting bunch. a mixture of young fellows and old grey buggers like me. I've supervised a lotb of machinists over the years but, now I actually have to do itit takes a bit more thought. I'm sure you will enjoy the mind streach.
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Boy. Isn't that the truth. :-) ...lew...
Reply to
Lew Hartswick
Lew Hartswick wrote in news:13p1fs2if7lvu03
I already do that now :)
I have cut back in the past few years, with three girls, 7,9 and 11 all going on 16, I've had less and less energy and money to do anything so I've let lapse a few of my hobbies. This will probably kick start the desires again though.....
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