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  • john s or other englishmen

    are there any forums like this in Great Britain?

  • #2
    'Fraid not, that's why I hang out here, it's the best one by far.
    All we have are a couple of Yahoo groups aimed at Uk users but hardly ever used.
    A news group which is quite laid back but only runs to a few posts per day.

    What you have to realise in the UK is that it's a very small place compared to other countries and even states in the US. Add to that most model engineers are elderly and don't use computers as much as in the US and Canada, possible because they meet their friends and go to weekly or bi-monthly clubs.

    Of the UK home shop guys who use computers we tend more to keep in touch by email or visits.
    It's very, very common to get someone to have stuff dropped off from a local seller for someone in another part of the country. Later on some one will either collect or someone else will take it the next part of the journey. Most of us know each other, even from opposite ends of the country and have visited at sometime.

    I am going to Lincoln tomorrow, about an hour away and on the way back will call in to see Allan Waterfall, whom I have never met before.
    On Saturday someone is delivering a marine gearbox for a guy up in Warrington that he got off eBay. When he collects that he'll also take some bits up that's already here for a guy in St Helens and bring me some bits down from Preston.
    Not quick but works very well.

    One thing we have here that we are very proud of is Chris Heapies free adverts page.

    It helps us keep in touch and get some good deals.

    John S.

    [This message has been edited by John Stevenson (edited 06-16-2004).]

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


    • #3
      Thanks to you both. Interesting question and reponse. It's always nice to learn more about the rest of the world.


      • #4
        The truth is that John's workshop, being geographically in the centre of a small country is the hub.
        If you're going north to south or east to west you're near enough to John's to make a small detour!



        • #5
          I seem to recall that no place in the UK is more than 70 miles from the ocean. Here that is the distance to the next town.
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


          • #6
            From this side of the pond, the UK looks like an absolute paradise for home machinists. There seems to be a big machining/modelling expo somewhere every two months or so, and lots of active clubs. Not to mention Myfords. An online forum such as this one would seem a natural for our British cousins. Hey Neil: maybe an opportunity here? Might increase magazine/book sales.

            Jeff E.


            • #7
              John, I often visit Chris Heapies webpage and wish I lived in England so I could buy some of the tools I've seen advertised there. As I have a Myford Super 7B, Chris's webpage has been a great resource for ideas and help. I've told him so in an email.


              • #8
                It is a paradise in some ways.
                Now I don't want to get anyone het up, this isn't sour grapes or having a dig but here are big anomolies between the US and the UK on machinery.

                I have had the good fortune to visit the States a couple of times, FL and CA, both pleasure trips and had nothing but nice experiances.
                After visiting I fully appreciate the problems you have in the US as regards distance which you probably have come to accept, something we couldn't do here.

                Some wag once said 200 miles is a long way for an Engishman whilst 200 years is a long time to an American, and I think theres a lot of truth to that.

                I think I can expain why the UK has the amount of model engineers that it has. One, it's a nice hobby and very popular all over, not just in the Uk but here, because of the fact we don't have to travel the distances involved we get more time.

                Lets go back to the 60's thru to the 80's when it reached a hight here and look at what made this unique.
                At this time a guy would be employed by a local firm, there was no lack of manufacturing jobs, in fact there was a shortage of skilled workers. That guy in the early 60's probably didn't have a car or if he did it was only used sparingly. Travelling to work was either by bike, motor bike or bus.
                Hours would be 7.30 am to 5.30 pm or 6.00, he would have been home by 6.00 or 6.30, diner on the table and by 7.00pm the night would be his own to disappear into the shed to play with his tools. There wasn't a lot of money availabe so skill played a large part in making his own equipment.

                This led me to posting that header the other day "We have never had it so good"

                Now this brings us to the present and the anomily that exists between the US and UK.
                For some reason we have to pay, before taxes, a lot more for our imported equipment than the US.
                Whether this is us being ripped off or import duty I don't know, I suspect the former as there are some supplier based in the UK who sell cheaper in the US, after shipping and duty, than here. Newall being one.

                Your imported machines are far cheaper than here, a lot cheaper BUT your secondhand machines are far dearer than ours.

                A classic example is a Bridgeport clone, from Grizzly, MSC etc it's about $4,000 give or take, at current rates thats آ£2,200 UKP
                That same clone here is آ£5,000 UKP or $9,100

                Now that clone, S/H, on eBay will fetch half new price $2,000 or آ£1,100 UKP.
                Here it will fetch about the same in UK money, about آ£1,100 UKP when if all things were equal it would fetch half of آ£5,000 UKP.

                Added to this is the fact we don't have to go vast distances to collect equipment.
                I went to London earlier this year, 120 miles, to fetch a 18" shaper that I bought for 80 pounds, I was in two minds whether to go that far , no seriously, normally you can get whatever you want within 40 miles.

                So before you envy us those second hand deals thank yourselfs that you have access to some of the cheapest new equipment out there.

                John S.

                Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


                • #9
                  Upon distance...

                  I went to Galveston this weekend. It is "almost" a suburb of Houston (or vice versa, as the Galvanites would say). Just the built up city parts were more than 88 miles across - Houston to Galveston. Things keep growing, too....

                  I think we are going to seriously regret the spread out sometime. But here it is. About 320 miles from my house to the beach.. "Close"....



                  • #10
                    As you leave town to the west here there is an advisory sign on the highway with flashing lights. It is to warn that a steep hill down the road a bit is closed due to snow and ice conditions. That hill is 500 klics down the road. From Prince George to McBride there are no towns, villages or even a residence for about 250 klics.

                    The distance by road from Watson Lake at the very north of BC to Vancouver in the very south is 2238 km. (1387 miles)
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                    • #11

                      My pup comparing American beer to English beer

                      Looking for another one in the box..

                      I figure this test must be biased since he probably has some english bulldog in his history.



                      • #12

                        No he's a Geordie! Only Geordy's drink Newcastle Bruun.

                        He probably barks like 'Sid The Sexist' as well.

                        I can fully endorse all that John has said - having had the pleasure of many business trips to many parts of the US in the last 30 years I feel envious of your retail supply system (i.e. the quality of service you get), here your lucky half the time to get someone to answer the phone! I feel for you when it comes to the second hand market as you don't seem to get a good deal on used equipment. Then again that could all be down to supply and demand, maybe the only serious business demand we have over here for second hand equipment is the exported sending the 30 year old mill over to India or China.



                        • #13
                          Jerry said it's 88 miles across Houston to Galveston, if I went 88 miles in two directions I'd get wet feet !

                          It does have some advantages thou being crammed in.
                          I live 5 minutes walk from out small town centre and on the edge of an industrial estate.
                          If I leave my house and walking, no vehicle, in a loop, in 45 minutes I can visit, [no stopping ] the following shops:-
                          Garage, Motor parts store, Platers, Janatorial suppliers, Compressor and air shop, another motor supplier, two accident repair shops, hardening shop, woodyard, tool wholesalers, computer store, cafe, chip shop, 2 pubs, tool and cutter grinders, welding suppliers, bolt suppliers, bearing suppliers, toolmakers, DIY store.
                          This is without entering the town and not going further than a radius of 1/3 of a mile from my house.

                          John S.

                          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


                          • #14
                            Would an "accident repair shop" be a body shop? Or does body shop mean something else over there?


                            • #15
                              I think that would be a bawdy shop...
                              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here