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June 16, 2012 at 10:38 pm #48289
Hello. My name is Bill. I have been checking my local area trying to find someone who would be willing to give me hands on training with pocket watches and clocks. Not having to much luck. I am not looking for long term training, possibly 2-4 weeks. I would love to take a school course however time wise I could not stay away from work that long. I have a basic knowledge of pocket watches ( mostly from Bob’s course and what I have done on my own) but not much on clocks. I know 2-4 weeks is not a very long time, just hoping to get a good grasp on the basics under proper guidance and gain further expertize with a lot of practice doing my own watch and clock repair. I am hoping there is someone within a couple hundred miles from me (Elizabethtown, KY. about 40 miles south of Louisville KY.) that would be willing to help an eager student. I would take care of my own living and eating accommodations ( 37 ft. motorhome). I have my own tools and plenty of non working pocket watches to work on but I would be willing to help with your work load if that is something you would want. If there is anyone out there that could help it would be greatly appreciated or if there is someone that would have a different scenario along the same line please feel free to contact me at any time. My cell # is 1-270-268-0952, I am on Eastern time. Thank you for reading my post.
For anyone considering my request, a little backgroung om me: I have been doing jewelry repair for 25 years and I am retired Chief of Police from a small city near where I live . If you have any concerns,please ask. Oh yes, MARRIED WITH CHILDERN!!!! but will coming alone. 😆
BillJune 17, 2012 at 9:50 am #51849speedmasterParticipant
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Shame you’re not in the UK, they do courses and seminars at http://www.bhi.co.uk, I’m about to take the plunge and start the distance learning courses, with the hope of getting qualified so I’be got a back up plan for when I get too old for the building trade .June 17, 2012 at 10:21 am #51850
I wish we had something like that over here. I’m just someone who would really like to learn the trade and hopes there is someone out there who would be willing to offer some of their time and expereince and help me out and if need be I would be willing to pay a fee ( if not too much ) for their help. I don’t expect a hand out just someone willing to offer help.June 17, 2012 at 11:11 am #51851
My own experience with the BHI distance learning course has not been very good. Most of the work comes back within 2 weeks but my last 3 drawings I have had to wait between 8 months and a year for. I recently sent them an e-mail asking what was going on, no response, so I sent them another e-mail saying I had had enough and no longer wanted to do the dlc and wanted my name removed from the subscription list. No response.
This is my experience, you make up your own mind!June 21, 2012 at 11:25 am #51852
Bill, if you look up the BHI – British Horological Institute website you will see that international students can do the Distance Learning Course. It might not be what you had in mind when writing this post but I started on the Clock Course. I have had my own personal issues with the BHI but as the course goes it is quite thorough. One thing I am not sure about is to get the final qualification you would have to sit an exam, maybe in England? But even without the exam it could be something to look into. I dont know if the NAWCC do a similar thing but it could be worth looking into?
If I was doing watches and lived closer you would always be welcome to come and spend some time with me but as you are the watch guy and I the clock man I think you would end up teaching meJune 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm #51853
Thanks Paul. I have no doubt that you would be willing to help and thank you for the offer. The wife and I plan to come to Europe one day and I just might have to look you up.June 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm #51854
You would always be most welcome, I have a spare room so we could even put you up for the night.
Dont be put off by not getting an immediate response when asking for help Bill, I had the exact same problem but over time you meet people and at some point you will meet someone who can give you hands on help. One of the guys I met who has helped me no end and has become a very good friend I only met because I bought a lathe from him on e-bay. He was lucky enough to do an apprenticeship in a store in London and has worked on everything. He now only does trade work, i.e takes in the work other horologists feel they cant do themselves. When I went down to pick up the lathe I got chatting with him and could see he knew his stuff. I asked him if he would show me how to cut a wheel. His immediate response was “sorry but I am very busy”. A few days later I got a text message from him saying bring the wheel you want to cut and I will show you, his wife had told him he should help me! You just never know.
The only advice I can give you is go to the nearest NAWCC meeting, even if it is 100 miles away. Talk to people, tell them you are just starting out and want to learn, make contacts, this is the important bit, they might live 200 miles away from you but remember they have contacts too and one of them could be living just the other end of your street.
Try posting on the NAWCC forum, its not as good as this one obviously ( ) but who knows, you might find someone on there willing to help.
Just dont give up, be patient and it will happen and remember, we are a rare breed, there aint that many of us out there, not compared to mechanics and carpenters etc.
Paul.June 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm #51855Bob TascioneModerator
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I agree with you guys. Connections are very important!
It’s pretty tough finding someone that will help through on the job training for just a couple of weeks. In fact even long term deals are difficult to come by. When looked at from a business perspective it’s usually very counter productive for the business owner and ends up with only one person really benefiting. It usually takes a lot of teaching (time) on the owners part to get someone up to speed enough to where they can actually be a benefit rather than an expense to the company. Many times people bale just when they’re beginning to become an asset with some actually going in business right down the street from the person who helped them! Stories of this happening are so common that shop owners are somewhat gun shy when the offer is made.
Paying for on the job training may work but when you consider what the watchmaker charges per hour for his repair services (time teaching is time away from the bench) might be $50 per hour on up (some make much more than this) then you can see where this may become unmanageable in no time at all.
This is where suitcase and on premise courses with NAWCC and AWCI can prove to be a very good investment for someone looking for hands on training as the instructors for both are usually top notch.
That being said…there are those that do finally find a kind soul that remembers how difficult it was for them to get help when starting out and are actually looking for someone to mentor just because they would like to give something back to the profession. These are usually guys nearing or in retirement that don’t really depend on the business to make a living any longer but do it for their love of horology.
This isn’t meant to discourage you in any way from continuing the search Bill as you may eventually find that person and as William and Paul noted there are different options but you did mention today in another thread that you were a little disappointed that no one has contacted you and I just wanted to pass on why that may be.
Enjoy for now,
BobJune 21, 2012 at 7:55 pm #51856
Thanks Bob. All those senairo’s crossed my mind, it’s just sometimes when I am excited about something I get a little impatient. I just love to learn and watch and clock repair have really captured my learning spirit. Question? The NAWCC, is this an organization you have to join or do they have a forum you can just join?June 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm #51857June 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm #51858
Thank you Paul.
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