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Old 11-02-2011, 10:56 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Default What can you expect at a metal shaping event?

A lot of folks want to know what they can expect from at metal shaping gathering. Expectations run both ways, what YOU can expect, and what the hosts expect from YOU.

You can expect to get involved with projects, to have access to tools, equipment, and metal, work on your own projects, learn a ton, meet some great people, and generally have a ball. Some events provide metal some events you are asked to buy material.

Generally speaking, folks who host one of these are taking some pretty big risks for no, or little, gain.

- They are taking time from their normal work to clean and organize their shop, both before and after the event.

- They are exposing their tools to use, abuse, and loss (yes, it has happened more than you might think).

- They are out of pocket for expenses such as port-a-pottys, drinks, food, supplies, metal, gas for welders, etc.

- They are probably going to have some work to do in their lawn from damage by the cars and trucks that park/drive there.


You can expect to get involved with projects, to have access to tools and metal, work on your own projects, learn a ton, meet some great people

If we want to continue to have people open up their shops and host event's WE need to make sure WE do our part so here is a list of "DO's and DON'Ts"


DO- Register however the host specifies. It's really hard to plan if the host has no idea how many people are going to show up.

DO- Fill out a Registration form and Liability Release when you first arrive at the event.

DO- Wear your name tag. Believe it or not, everyone doesn't know you.

DO- Ask before using tools. Make sure you know how to operate and adjust them and have the owners permission. Lots of attendees bring gear also.

DO- Put things back where you found them.

DO- Ask before bringing a project. Shop space is ALWAYS limited. Don't just assume you will be able to bring your car and other people will chop it for you etc.

DO- Be aware and respectful of others. Watch where you are throwing sparks. If you're going to start making a lot sparks or noise, let people know. If a bunch of guys are talking, don't just fire up the planishing hammer without asking if they mind.

DO- Follow the Golden Rule.

DO- Put your fair share in the kitty. Past experiences has shown about $30 per person per day has been spend in preparations by the host.

DO- Bring and use your personal safety gear. (Glasses, gloves, hearing protection, welding helmet, etc)

DO- Ask before cutting up a piece of metal. Make sure the host knows what you will need and gets compensated for the costs. Metal isn't cheap.

DO- Help clean up after yourself and others. There are always brooms and dust pans laying around. Empty water bottles and drink cans go in trash cans not on tables or the floor.

DO- Ask before smoking.

DO- Take notes, learn, share, play nice, HAVE FUN!

DON'T- Dominate a work space. On peak days, things usually get crazy and space is at a premium.

DON'T- Assume there is room for your project. Talk to the host before hand about what you want.

DON'T- Dominate equipment. Let other folks have their turn

DON'T- Get irritated if someone changes tooling from what you were using. It's just part of the process.

DON'T- Make loud noises or engage in loud talking during seminars. Not all people are interested in all seminars, but show respect for those that do.

With one exception (who is no longer a member here for different reasons), no one that we're aware of has actually tried to run a gathering for profit. They do it to spend time with friends, learn, share and grow.

That said, there are costs associated with hosting a meet. Usually there is a donation jar and if pushed to put a 'price', the number of $30/day/participant seems to be about average for the hosts to cover costs.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:53 AM
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This is THE key statement. "HAVE FUN"
It is too expensive,too tiring,too much work if you are not having fun. Whether you are a host or an attendee.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:25 PM
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This is THE key statement. "HAVE FUN"
It is too expensive,too tiring,too much work if you are not having fun. Whether you are a host or an attendee.
Yes, but just be aware that one persons definition of fun may not be the same as everyone elses.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:30 PM
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Yes, but just be aware that one persons definition of fun may not be the same as everyone elses.
Tattoo booth, bands, wet t-shirt contests.....
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:49 PM
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OK. True enough. Fun can be learning something new,teaching someone something new,benchracing stories,stories in general. Unortodox machining techniques.
The metalshaping community is made up of some real characters. Folks that are just fun to be around. Dan made a comment about a kidney stone as he was packing up to leave that had me laughing so hard that guys were asking me if I was OK. These are the kinds of fun that I was referring to. Not something done at someone elses expense. Which may be fun for someone but pain to someone else.
Fun where laughter is the spoken language is what makes it worthwhile to me. It is good for the soul.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:28 PM
SWT Racing SWT Racing is offline
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I'd agree with all of Kerry's suggestions, having attended my first metal shaping event at his shop. I'm looking forward to attending many more in the future.

To add to what Kerry said, you can also expect to learn a lot of information and/or techniques that you might not otherwise have access to. . .beginner or otherwise. These gentlemen are opening up their shop (as well as their home) without regard to cost, to people they have never met, in order help like minded people learn. Respect that, as it is a rare thing these days.

Also, do not expect to be taught. . .expect to learn. Watch and observe. Ask questions when someone is taking a break from their project.
Everyone I met was more than willing to help if you asked or saw you having problems.

Lastly, if you learn even one thing during an event, it is well worth attending and contributing generously to the donation jar so that these gents can continue to host events.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:19 PM
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i agree with you 100% kerry..

i've only had one person tell me there was too much talk and not enough teaching going on, so he left. Only after he ate three meals on my dime and stayed in our spare room for the night. ALL for free...........

yes it gets real expensive to host a meet. So the kitty is a real good idea. i think at least 30.00 a day should be put in.

Look at what some pay for classes from the big name shapers, and they just set in a class for a few hours.

I'm sure i can think of some more things. But ive been up way to long.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:10 AM
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How many days do the meets usually go for?
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:29 AM
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Each meet is different. Some are a couple days, some more. I think I spent 6 or 7 days at Dutch Meet this summer. Pugsy and I were troopers till the end.
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:58 AM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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How many days do the meets usually go for?
Up to the host Ben. Some are just a few hours of bench shaping, some a weekend, long weekend, week, ...

If you want folks to being heavy tools, it almost needs to be a few days so it's worth the effort to load and transport the tools.

BTW check your PM's
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