View Full Version : running a machine shop club

Don Huseman
03-09-2001, 09:14 PM
To a members of Machine shop clubs.
I just started a home machine shop in the Los Angles county. I am trying to run an interesting club and make it very worth while to so up at the meeting every month. So far we have had great machinest professional and not show up. I am probubly the least of the machinest in the crowd. Some of our members are making little steam engines , that has superb workman ship . Another member is making machine tools like boring heads rotery tables. I ask a question like how do your hold a round bare streat in a chuck when it can't be held with a live center or a steady rest.
So all you other presidents Email me back with how you run your clubs and keep the meeting interesting and educational for all.
Don Huseman President of S.C.A.R.P.
Southern California Rarley Accurate Putzers.

Bob Lorenz
04-01-2001, 11:16 AM
Congratulations on starting a machine shop club. As you are finding out making the club fun and interesting is a bit of work. I started a metalworking club in the Detroit area a few years ago. I will be glad to share some of my expreiences with the club so far.
Meeting place; Homes are ok to start with but I bet you will find the club will quickly out grow meeting at homes, find a free or very inexpensive meeting hall, try to keep the meetings on the same day of the month, ie. Third Thursday. IF you can meet at a place that has machine tools available to you that is a REAL bonus.
Quest speakers:Some local businesses are sometimes willing to come in and speak, on such as scraping/rebuilding machines, repairing indicators, Loctite is great, good products and they usually have reps that are glad to give a talk on their products, samples too! Contacts from your club members works good to find guest speakers.
Club members that are willing to get up and talk about how they did a project or how to do this or that is the greatest asset to the club, getting more that just a couple of members to give "talks" is the hard part. I have not solved that problem yet, but as the club members become better aquainted it is becoming easier.
Publishing a good newsletter, like the Houston club publishes would be a great asset to the club, but you have to find a club member willing and with the time to write the letter. A web site is a great idea too, same problem though.
A swap meet is a fun meeting, but if the club is small, only do this once a year.
Door prizes at the meeting are a welcome addition to the meeting. This can be really nice items to "another man's junk is another man's treasure". "shorts" of steel and aluminum from local machine shops are always welcome.
Name tags for all the club members is a great help.
A club library of projects etc. is a popular item.
A club project could be fun,also a challenge to organize.
I am getting rather long winded here but the above are some of my expriences so far. Feel free to e-mail me if you would like to exchange more ideas. rwlorenz@mediaone.net
Good luck,
Bob L.

08-12-2001, 12:39 PM
Don, what part of LA are you in?

I am in Van Nuys...

08-14-2001, 08:16 AM
See the New England Model Engineering Society web site http://www.naisp.net/users/fisher/nemes.html

There are back issues of our newsletter online, which recap the previous meetings, to give you some idea of the kinds of things we do. The early newsletters also describe some of the club's startup problems, which may be useful as well.

The web site also has e-mail addresses of the club officers.

[This message has been edited by SGW (edited 08-14-2001).]

08-19-2001, 07:50 AM
I have served a tour as president for our local Kiwanis club. (my wifes turm will end in Oct.) and have found that tours are a great thing for the health of the club. Today is a perfect example of a fun thing your club could do. I am going to go see the Col. Ward pumping station in Buffalo NY. THe pumps are piston from over 100 years ago orignialy driven with steam (still in place but out of service) but now they supply the city of Buffalo with water under Electric power. Lectures get dull and it can make divisions in the club if you get someone who REALLY likes to talk about nothing and you will find that someone on the day that you have 1/2 doz prospective members, who will never show again. Field trips get the whole family involved and add a lot of fun. Also as a club you have the advantage of some respectiblity. We got the grand tour of the Niagra power plant (earplugs and all) that is not open to the general public. People still talk about that one 6 years later. ALso the tower at the airport.
On the DON'T side... Don't get into long discusions on bilaws.. Don't alow public gripeing over what is wrong with ...Town..city ..gov.. crime..children..ect SO put up the no religin or politics sign (and probably the no drinking) I like the name btw.

08-19-2001, 07:55 AM
Oh the local blacksmith club has a thing called iron in the hat (I think).. You put something small, mostly homemade in a hat when you come in and take something out on your way home or durring a break. It is a neet way of showing off a little work and makes new friend as people try to find who made the neat little thing they just got.

09-05-2001, 01:01 PM
I am the founder of the New England Model Engineering Society. We started in April, 1996 (or was it 95?) and now have over 160 members.

I think the meeting place is very important. We are very lucky to have the Museum of Industry as a location. We meet in the old engine house, and pass by the boilers and a machine shop on the way to the room. That provides a lot to look at before and after the meetings, and offers a lot of synergy to the club. We have a lot of projects we can do in/with the museum.

On the subject of speakers, we have had good luck with Sales Engineers from various companies- Loctite, Moglice, J&L, etc. They are generally very knowledgeable, and willing to talk to a group of interested people. There can be a commercial slant to this, but we have not found it a problem- the speakers usually keep the talk to a nice technical level and minimum sales pitch.

We have also had good results from what we call a 'Poster Session' Everyone is asked to bring in something to display- either parts, plans, photos, etc. Everything is spread around on the tables and we all just wander around and look and talk. A very informal meeting, but one people seem to really enjoy-We do it twice a year, usually the Jan and July meetings since both of these occur near a holiday. I started it since I expected those meetings to be lower attendance, but we still get 60-70 guys to them.

Our club has been a great success, lots of new friendships have been formed, and people seem to really enjoy it. It is worth the effort to from a club.

ron ginger