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  • Survey Results

    I just finished compiling the results of the survey. Interesting.

    First, remember the old saying:

    There are lies, damned lies and there are statistics.

    This is representative only of the members who frequent this BBS. That said, I think we need to get a few more young people started in the trade. Charlie Coghill made a comment on the survey that the people in the older bracket are probably under-represented because they don't want to or know how to use a computer. I agree with that. I can't see the same excuse for young people.

    BTW, there were exactly 99 respondents including myself. I threw in my wife's numbers as well to make it an even 100. That makes percentage calculations unnecessary.


    I may crunch the numbers even more but here are some results:

    Average age: 48.3

    Median age: 49 (Half the respondents are older than this)

    Youngest: 16

    Oldest: 72

    30 years old or younger: only 9%

    Over 30: 91%

    Average age first modified metal: 10.9

    This next one is suprising to me.

    Number who got up in the night to machine: 54, that is 54%

    Number who have machined as primary income: 46, 46%


    On the decade graph you may take the numbers on the bars as percent and actual number of respondents.








    [This message has been edited by Evan (edited 11-28-2003).]
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

  • #2
    Nicely done Evan!
    To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison

    Comment


    • #3
      EVAN;
      Thanks for the survey, very interesting, but I find it hard to believe that I am the oldest one on this BBS. Besides, if they are reading this, they are on a computer aren't they?
      Jim
      the oldest fart
      Jim

      Comment


      • #4
        Great job Even thanks

        Les

        Comment


        • #5
          Evan,

          Nice work! Interesting too!

          Is anyone else bothered by the age distribution by decade? I run across people all the time who are unable to effect the most basic repairs to their own possesions. Now I know that Evan's survey is only representative of those that participated, but I can't help but notice that as age decreases, so does (apparent) interest in technical/mechanical fields. As I stated earlier, it seems that alot of people are happy to be ignorant of how things work, at even a basic level. Maybe I shouldn't complain since these people will pay me to fix or build what they can't

          Alex
          Alex

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          • #6
            I'm 23 years old, I didnt do the survey because I didnt feel like it, but I guess I will do it now.
            born May, 1980,
            grew up in the 80's
            started modifying metal since a very young age, probably 8 years old.
            Do it for hobby
            Have not gotten up at night to machine

            Comment


            • #7
              That's ok Bill, a lot of us old farts didn't do the survey either. I'll just say I'm over the median age.

              Comment


              • #8
                Maker, Ken, BillH,

                I am very disturbed by the apparent trend. Ken, if all us "old farts" had answered it would look even worse. BillH, even with your input it wouldn't change the numbers perceptibly. With a sample of 100 it is good to represent a 1000. If I added one more sample with extreme outlier values it would not skew the result much. If you said you first modified metal at the age of 100 it would raise the average by 1 point.

                This is not a scientific survey. Some of the flaws are that I don't know how many refused to participate. Obviously, computer use is a prerequisite to participate. A survey like this is not definitive but it still provides valuable information. As I said, I am not doing this except for my own curiosity and I am very curious.

                Back to the alarming trend. Going by the trend, it appears that the average age of machinists on this board is increasing at the rate of almost one year per year. Some mitigating factors are that equipment like lathes and milling machines are expensive and not commonly affordable to younger people. I drooled over the ads for a six inch atlas lathe in the Sears catalog when I was a teenager but could not afford it.

                Still, we will need people in the manufacturing sector who are more than "tool minders". Where are they? (China?)

                The demographics here are, as is common in the manufacturing sector, alarming. I imagine Village Press will be interested in this as well.




                [This message has been edited by Evan (edited 11-28-2003).]
                Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm with you there, I grew up rather poor and it was a lot of work to amass a respectable set of hand tools let alone machinery (and one set was stolen, which was a real setback)...

                  It's not just the money for the tools...aside from the smallest Sherline type equipment it is hard to set up a machine shop when you're renting. It wasn't until I was just about to turn thirty that I could afford a home and a secure area to "set up shop"...but by that time I had to share the shop budget with a new family, new mortgage, property maintenance, and investing/saving for the future.

                  So, really I probably started my shop when I was about 16 and it's taken me 16 years to get the darn pieces together.

                  Evan Said:
                  Snip> Some mitigating factors are that equipment like lathes and milling machines are expensive and not commonly affordable to younger people.<End Snip

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                  • #10
                    I always thought i was born 10 years too early. In another decade people who can do almost anything will be in short demand. Common sense hasn't been present in the younger generations for a while now.

                    I see it at work every now and then. A fire starts and everyone runs out. Hmmm what about a fire extingusher? Or do i just keep them so my employees can empty them when they are bored and/or use the safety pin to push hash or pot into their cigarette. Which they smoke while they are on the job. That is a whole other subject.

                    You should see, and most of you probably get it as well, the reaction when you walk into a store with your hands a little dirty. It is getting harder to clean those wrinkles in my hands . Go back 2 days later and see how they are all impressed by my being clean or driving up in my 1962 bel-air instead of my cavalier.

                    My opinion, is that society judges individuals by how much they earn and not their worth. Sorry guys a little bit of a rant.

                    Evan great survey. Loved the info in it. Thanks for the info

                    Spkrman15

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Evans comment on "tool minders" (we will need people in the manufacturing sector who are more than "tool minders".) has been a pet peeve of mine for some time. It seems unlikely to me that the next generation will be anything more than tool minders. Unfortunately it is my generation that is at fault. Many people my age have spoiled there childrens imagination and desire to learn buy giving them anything that they want. Why would a 12 year old try to build a Go-cart when his father is willing to buy him a $3,000.00 four wheeler? Trade schools are also at fault (IMHO). It is fine to teach CNC machine tool operation but I feel that it should be done AFTER the student has a good grasp on manual operations. These two factors also rob young people of a very important emotional feeling; the feeling of pride in ones work.
                      To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison

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                      • #12
                        Thank you Evan:

                        Well done!!

                        Bernie

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                        • #13
                          Well, the bigger problem is this, no one is a doit your selfer anymore, atleast no one my age. They rather drink, then learn how to build things with their hands. They have absolutely no interest in it, they are instant gratification hungry. They will pay some one else to do it. Its like snow plowing. People used to shovel or snow blow their own driveways, now they pay some one to do it. Mowing the grass, same way. Just the insignificant parts I have made on my lathe, my friends have been awestruck that I was able to make them.
                          THey ask, how long will it take to make my locomotive? I allways say atleast a few years. They lose interest.
                          Highschools no longer teach metal shop, classes on learning to use a lathe and mill are not being taught from lack of interest, this country is moving away from it as it's all going to China.
                          I think the great depression had more to do with creating our Do It yourself attitude than anything else, and as those generations die, the younger people don't have the same attitude.

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                          • #14
                            Evan,

                            Nice job and really interesting. It would be interesting to see how these numbers compare to the same information from subscribers to the HSM. As has been stated already, these numbers may be skewed slightly by the fact that we are on line.

                            When I was growing up, "back in the old days", I had a copy of a 1925 Popular Mechanics Shop Notes, ( I still have it) and used to go through it and wish I had a shop so that I could build some of the great stuff in it.


                            Bernard

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                            • #15
                              Right on the mark BillH.
                              To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison

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