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George Bulliss
10-01-2012, 02:34 PM
Anyone go to the GEARS show in Portland, OR this past weekend? Any photos?

gaston
10-01-2012, 06:42 PM
Yup I went, kinda low key compared to last year. Forgot to take a camera but did take the great grandson, he loved it .
talking to some there I heared this may be the last year for the show. I hope they can find a venue to tag onto like the annual Brooks steam up, really hate to see it fade away ,but all the "old farts" are dieing off and the young people only care about "junk in a box" and games
(to be fair, Newberg highschool had some great stuff there and has a good program) .

George Bulliss
10-01-2012, 06:47 PM
i had heard about it being the last year; not sure how much truth is in that though. Hope it keeps going in one form or another.

oldtiffie
10-04-2012, 07:51 AM
Yup I went, kinda low key compared to last year. Forgot to take a camera but did take the great grandson, he loved it .
talking to some there I heared this may be the last year for the show. I hope they can find a venue to tag onto like the annual Brooks steam up, really hate to see it fade away ,but all the "old farts" are dieing off and the young people only care about "junk in a box" and games
(to be fair, Newberg highschool had some great stuff there and has a good program) .

From a seperate and recent thread it seems that that malaise is or has affected a good number of magazines as well for pretty much the same reasons it would seem.

dp
10-04-2012, 01:04 PM
From a seperate and recent thread it seems that that malaise is or has affected a good number of magazines as well for pretty much the same reasons it would seem.

The Steampunk genre is doing well - it might be interesting to see what would happen if HSM started a Steampunk forum here. There's a lot of energy there, and lots of out of the box thinking.

George Bulliss
10-04-2012, 03:26 PM
From a seperate and recent thread it seems that that malaise is or has affected a good number of magazines as well for pretty much the same reasons it would seem.

I think OT may be onto something; at my next meeting I think Iíll suggest to management that we just bin it all.

Actually, from my viewpoint, I feel that the hobby is doing just fine. In spite of the economic downturn the magazines have grown. They havenít grown much, but theyíve grown.

The changes made to one small, niche magazine in a small, niche market does not necessarily signal that all hope is lost. Similarly, the fact that there is nobody standing in line willing to take on the headaches and frustrations of putting the GEARS show together does not mean that there is no interest in the hobby.

Iím sorry Sunshine, but in looking around at the amount of information, equipment, and services available to todayís hobbyist, it doesnít look like a dying hobby to me.

oldtiffie
10-04-2012, 05:01 PM
Thanks for the update George.

I am glad there is reason for on-going participation and optimism for the future of VP's magazines and shows - and subscriptions.

macona
10-04-2012, 06:46 PM
Yeah, this was the last gears show, here is the email Pat Wicker sent to us:


In 2003 a small group of people gathered together to create a new show to replace the PRIME show. Frankly none of us had any experience at putting on model engineering shows. What we did have was a conviction that it was important that home shop machinists have a place on the west coast to display their crafts.

As a result we created a non-profit corporation, Oregon Home Machinists. The primary charter of OHM was to promote the hobby of home shop machining and promoting trades in the high schools. The GEARS show was created for that purpose.

Sadly after 9 successful shows it is time to close our doors. While the response to GEARS has been overwhelming, for 9 years the show has been conducted by the same small group of people, with the loss of some key people due to age and illness. We have gotten to the point where we can no longer be sure we will have enough people to organize a show for another year.

Understand, the show has been successful and profitable. Over the upcoming months the OHM board of governors will determine how to spend the money we have made. Most of will go to promoting trade crafts in local high schools.

I have always said that this show was successful not because of the organizers but because of the exhibitors and vendors who have made the show theirs. I am always overwhelmed by the number of volunteers that comes out to help setup the show on Friday and stay around the whole weekend to help manage the show. Whether it be manning the ticket sales, parking cars, or standing out in the heat and rain to guard the back gate I have always had people standing by to help.

In lean years we have even had vendors that offered to loan us money to ensure the success of the show. We have never needed to take them up on it but that is the kind of support we have seen.

This has been a very rewarding experience for all of us and we have enjoyed it very much.

We have made a lot of friends and we will miss all of you!


On behalf of all of the members of the GEARS planning committee, I wish you all the best and hope you will keep making chips.

Pat Wicker
President, Oregon Home Machinists, Inc.
Chairman, GEARS Planning Committee

loose nut
10-04-2012, 06:55 PM
Gears is gone, Names is limping along (that's as much an affordable venue problem as compared to lack of interest. Attendance is down), Cabin Fever is still growing. Considering the amount of hobby machining equipment being sold it tends to indicate that the hobby is doing well in one form or another. This forum is always getting new members that are just starting out in home machining, that is an indicator that things are still going strong. Economic problems may be a limiting factor in some regions.

DICKEYBIRD
10-04-2012, 07:36 PM
Very sad indeed. Living in the middle of the country, I haven't been able to get to one of the shows but always enjoy the coverage both in print and online.

Geez, if they all fade away over here I guess we'll have to charter a 747 and go harass Sir John. I hear he's quite friendly in person as long as you buy 'im a pint & a pie. The shows are still doing well over there.

macona
10-04-2012, 09:03 PM
There was no issue with GEARS doing well, just the people that put it together are getting old and sick or dying.

dp
10-04-2012, 09:18 PM
What I see in the GEARS letter is opportunity. It was successful for 9 years and lack of success was not an issue in ending it. It sounds to me like it needs new people, fresh energy, and perhaps some fresh thinking about what interests the emerging hobby machinists. I'd bet it would include CNC laser and plasma cutting, plastics, Arduino circuits, clever things like Evan's and Weston's magnetic gears, robotics, hoverers and flyables, fusion technology such as electronics and mechanicals, and metal and wood, and fewer reproductions of hit and miss engines.

Weston's mag-gear clock is a good example - a nice project that is leading edge, attractive, and does something useful.

macona
10-04-2012, 09:34 PM
dp, that already exists. It's called a MakerFaire.

dp
10-04-2012, 09:42 PM
dp, that already exists. It's called a MakerFaire.

In Portland? There isn't one in Seattle but I'd go if there was.

Just checked the sched and answered my own questions - Yes on Portland and Seattle - mini-maker fairs. I've missed it here (July) and Portland and Eugene's have come and gone, too. They're clearly not reaching out to the soon to retire IT professionals :)

oldtiffie
10-04-2012, 10:44 PM
What I see in the GEARS letter is opportunity. It was successful for 9 years and lack of success was not an issue in ending it. It sounds to me like it needs new people, fresh energy, and perhaps some fresh thinking about what interests the emerging hobby machinists. I'd bet it would include CNC laser and plasma cutting, plastics, Arduino circuits, clever things like Evan's and Weston's magnetic gears, robotics, hoverers and flyables, fusion technology such as electronics and mechanicals, and metal and wood, and fewer reproductions of hit and miss engines.

Weston's mag-gear clock is a good example - a nice project that is leading edge, attractive, and does something useful.

Getting peope to give of themselves, their time and their money has been a growing problem for years and it gets worse as the participants get older and "fall away" for one reason or another. A lot of people simply do not want to become "involved" or tied up in volunteer work of pretty well all sorts. It may suprise some but being a "volunteer" can be expensive in terms of time and money as well as your other obligations - family and work included.

Even if you recruit a volunteer there is no guarantee that he wil stay and/or that he will be any good anyway.

A lot of "community" and "service" organisations have had this problem to varying degrees for years.

It might eventually boil down to just a willing few being left to do the "heavy lifting" and they see who really isn't helping and they get a bit pi$$ed off too. Its no surprise that I've seen many of the same "volunteers" doing the same jobs in several/multiple endeavours.

Getting more toward attracting volunteers is very hard but exceeded only by keeping them.

But I do hope that these "HSM"-type activities and shows etc. are successful for the long haul in all the ways they want to be.

camdigger
10-05-2012, 03:02 AM
In Portland? There isn't one in Seattle but I'd go if there was.

Just checked the sched and answered my own questions - Yes on Portland and Seattle - mini-maker fairs. I've missed it here (July) and Portland and Eugene's have come and gone, too. They're clearly not reaching out to the soon to retire IT professionals :)

Maybe you need to do a little google search for Make magazine, Makershed, and makeprojects...

You're partially right, the whole Make phenomenon is built by and for the next generation. I am, in my 50's, almost always a decade, two, or even three older than the authors of articles in Make magazine which I subscribe to. My digital subscription entitles me to all back issues and the current issue via pdf downloads.

Due to the younger average age and their focus on creating a following, it is far more friendly to beginners than most of my my other interests especially HSM, fishing, and model engine building. Mentoring and skill development is a huge part of their self directed mandate. As I see it, the Make movement is comprised of the people of that age group that would otherwise end up in HSM or simply give up in frustration - ie, the people the HSM hobby missed because the old curmudgeons are often crusty and miserly in their sharing of hardwon experience.

My $.02, YMMV

macona
10-13-2012, 07:36 PM
Well, gears might not be dead yet. A bunch of us are going to try an keep it alive. Time will tell.