Your story…

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  • #48596
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    All:

    In order to get to know everyone better (and to help the participation rate) I thought I’d post this bio thread. Your task – should you decide to accept it – is to give all of us (especially we newbe’s) a little background on you and how you got started on this wonderful journey that is Horology. However, don’t be limited by that, just share whatever you wish with us. I’m sure we will all be inspired by your story.

    Thanks!
    tmac

    #53510
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Nice idea Tmac!
    I am sure I have put all of this down before but I got into clock repair through hurting my back and no longer being able to work. I couldnt do anything too physical and I also couldnt sit for long periods, I also would only be able to move around ok for 3 or 4 days per week so that ruled out getting a normal job. While I was off sick my sister-in-law suggested clock repair. I liked the idea so started to read, buy some basic tools and cheap clocks. After about six months of messing at it I decided to take it a little more seriously and bought Bobs course. I didnt use the forum much at first, I felt very self conscious and hated the idea of people laughing at my dumb questions but as time went on and I started running into problems I began to ask. I had used the NAWCC forum a couple of times but it can be a little unfriendly, not always but if you asked certain questions there can be some very strong opinions voiced and that put me off. There is a very steep learning curve in horology, you cant learn everything in 5 minutes and unless you are rich you cant buy all the tools in one go. I took it steady and picked up bits from e-bay, from supply stores and from auctions. I still dont have everything I want but it is slowly coming together. You can only learn by doing the work, no amount of money spent on tools will make you a better horologist, work on the clocks and watches and you will learn faster than by any other method and also which tools you will use every day and which tools sit on the bench and gather dust.
    I started my business last December and am just beginning to pick up a reasonable amount of work. I love the freedom of being my own boss and instead of waking up in the morning thinking, damn, I have to go to work today, I now cant wait to get to my workshop. I work 6 days per week (when my back allows it),because i love it, not because I have to. One thing I did find very difficult at the start was finding someone to teach me, give me a little hands on experience, these old guys just dont seem to want to give any of their secrets away. Purely by accident I bought a lathe on e-bay from a guy who had done his apprenticeship with the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. The guy is an absolute genius, we have become good friends and I have learnt a great deal from him. I dont want to be like those old guys, I will happily help anyone I can. There can be times when you work on stuff and it goes wrong, you may even feel out of your depth and wonder if you are doing the right thing, just keep at it, it is no different to any other trade, you will at times learn from mistakes.
    Paul.

    #53511
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    @Arutha wrote:

    Nice idea Tmac!
    I am sure I have put all of this down before but I got into clock repair through hurting my back and no longer being able to work. I couldnt do anything too physical and I also couldnt sit for long periods, I also would only be able to move around ok for 3 or 4 days per week so that ruled out getting a normal job. While I was off sick my sister-in-law suggested clock repair. I liked the idea so started to read, buy some basic tools and cheap clocks. After about six months of messing at it I decided to take it a little more seriously and bought Bobs course. I didnt use the forum much at first, I felt very self conscious and hated the idea of people laughing at my dumb questions but as time went on and I started running into problems I began to ask. I had used the NAWCC forum a couple of times but it can be a little unfriendly, not always but if you asked certain questions there can be some very strong opinions voiced and that put me off. There is a very steep learning curve in horology, you cant learn everything in 5 minutes and unless you are rich you cant buy all the tools in one go. I took it steady and picked up bits from e-bay, from supply stores and from auctions. I still dont have everything I want but it is slowly coming together. You can only learn by doing the work, no amount of money spent on tools will make you a better horologist, work on the clocks and watches and you will learn faster than by any other method and also which tools you will use every day and which tools sit on the bench and gather dust.
    I started my business last December and am just beginning to pick up a reasonable amount of work. I love the freedom of being my own boss and instead of waking up in the morning thinking, damn, I have to go to work today, I now cant wait to get to my workshop. I work 6 days per week (when my back allows it),because i love it, not because I have to. One thing I did find very difficult at the start was finding someone to teach me, give me a little hands on experience, these old guys just dont seem to want to give any of their secrets away. Purely by accident I bought a lathe on e-bay from a guy who had done his apprenticeship with the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. The guy is an absolute genius, we have become good friends and I have learnt a great deal from him. I dont want to be like those old guys, I will happily help anyone I can. There can be times when you work on stuff and it goes wrong, you may even feel out of your depth and wonder if you are doing the right thing, just keep at it, it is no different to any other trade, you will at times learn from mistakes.
    Paul.

    Thanks Paul. That’s an interesting story. I figured everyone had told their story at one time or another, but I thought putting it all in one place give us all a different take on things.

    A couple of questions:
    1) The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers – isn’t that an English organization?
    2) So what was your previous career path before you were injured?

    Thanks!
    tmac

    #53512
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Yes Tmac, The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers is an english institute and I am in England :)

    As to my previous lines of work I think I have just about worked in every field, from accountancy to a slaughter house!
    Paul.

    #53513
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    Here we go,

    I’m 58 years old.
    My father was a WWII veteran who went through the Bulova school.
    He stayed in the profession for only a few years. He never said why he left it, but I think he got bored. A lot of vets are adrenaline junkies and need to have exciting jobs after thier service. So he went into law enforcement, and rose through the ranks.

    He passed away over 20 years ago, before I got a chance to learn much from him. My bothers and I would get in trouble when we were younger getting into the movements /tools that he had hidden away.
    I’m always restoring something, and about 4 years ago I was trying to think of a retirement job that I could learn, where I didn’t have to spend my life in a garage working on old cars, firearms, etc., as I have in the past.
    So I asked my mom if I could have all of his stuff, and she said of course.
    So I bought the Chicago school course, Bob’s course, and of course the Bulova materials. Freid, DeCarle, Daniels sit in my bookcase as well.
    I’ve been doing a slow, piece by piece business until I retire, learning a lot from some very talented and wonderful folks..many of them on this site.
    I love being able to untangle hairsprings ( not all, but getting better every time), restoring / conserving heirlooms for friends / clients. I’m always looking to upgrade tools as my money permits, to enhance the overall experience.
    Paul,..the wife and I spend a month just south of Bloxam in the Midlands two years ago, at Heath Farm. We travelled around quite a bit. Had I know that you lived there,..I would have stopped in and bought you and ale and you could have shown me your workshop. Maybe we’ll get there again.
    Godspeed to you all in this great craft.

    Randy

    http://randyb.weebly.com/

    #53514
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    @Randy wrote:

    Here we go,

    I’m 58 years old.
    My father was a WWII veteran who went through the Bulova school.
    He stayed in the profession for only a few years. He never said why he left it, but I think he got bored. A lot of vets are adrenaline junkies and need to have exciting jobs after thier service. So he went into law enforcement, and rose through the ranks.

    He passed away over 20 years ago, before I got a chance to learn much from him. My bothers and I would get in trouble when we were younger getting into the movements /tools that he had hidden away.
    I’m always restoring something, and about 4 years ago I was trying to think of a retirement job that I could learn, where I didn’t have to spend my life in a garage working on old cars, firearms, etc., as I have in the past.
    So I asked my mom if I could have all of his stuff, and she said of course.
    So I bought the Chicago school course, Bob’s course, and of course the Bulova materials. Freid, DeCarle, Daniels sit in my bookcase as well.
    I’ve been doing a slow, piece by piece business until I retire, learning a lot from some very talented and wonderful folks..many of them on this site.
    I love being able to untangle hairsprings ( not all, but getting better every time), restoring / conserving heirlooms for friends / clients. I’m always looking to upgrade tools as my money permits, to enhance the overall experience.
    Paul,..the wife and I spend a month just south of Bloxam in the Midlands two years ago, at Heath Farm. We travelled around quite a bit. Had I know that you lived there,..I would have stopped in and bought you and ale and you could have shown me your workshop. Maybe we’ll get there again.
    Godspeed to you all in this great craft.

    Randy

    http://randyb.weebly.com/

    Randy:

    You have a great story. It must be a very sweet thing to have all of your dad’s stuff. Your site is interseting as well – I like all of the pics of your shop and all of the pieces that you’ve worked on.

    Thanks for sharing! I sure hope others jump in…

    tmac

    #53515
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Hi Randy,
    if you do ever get over this way again by all means give me a call and I will take you out for a beer :)
    This is a great thread and I do hope some of you other secret forum members post up your stories.
    Paul.

    #53516
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    @Arutha wrote:

    Hi Randy,
    if you do ever get over this way again by all means give me a call and I will take you out for a beer :)
    This is a great thread and I do hope some of you other secret forum members post up your stories.
    Paul.

    I promise to do that Paul.

    All my best,

    Randy

    #53517
    jakeh417
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 0
    • Total Posts: 3

    I’ve always love to fix things or build things. From Legos to model cars and planes, to computers and electronics. If I had to choose one, it’s that I love to fix or troubleshoot problems or issues. My interest in watchmaking started with the Omega Speedy Pro. I have always been a space nut, Star Wars, Star Trek and of course the real deal; the NASA space programs.

    I never really noticed or heard of the “moon watch”. It wasn’t until I accidentally stumble upon the speedmaster-mission.net website that I was pulled into the world of watches. When I first saw the 321 movement with all the shine of the gears and beat of the balance spring, it was a start of a big adventure.

    It was then I wanted to know how watches work. What made them tick? I went straight to eBay and bought a really cheap lot of non-working watches with AS movements and a cheap set of watch repair tools. I wish I could say that I jumped right in and became a master watch repairman, but I broke more watches then I was actually fixing. I’ve made every single rookie mistake, I am sure.

    But after all that, I am still a complete newbie when it come to actual watch repair, and understanding. It’s why I signed up for this course.

    One piece of advice I would like to say to anyone completely new to watchmaking/horology/watch repair etc. DO NOT GET INTO THE POLITICS OF THE INDUSTRY. That is if you dont want it to ruin your fun. I jumped full in, and joined a bunch of groups and places. One of those places, which I won’t name, I regret greatly. It ruined the fun and enjoyment I had to step away for a bit. It jaded me in some senses, and I’ve only been into this for about a year! So if I throw a bit of watchmaking political nonsense, let me know, and I’ll shut up.

    I plan to keep this a great and fun hobby, no plans to make this a profession.

    Kind Regards
    -Jake

    #53518
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Nice to have you along Jake :)
    You wont find any such arguments on this forum, its got a bunch of great members who will do all they can to answer any questions you may have. It is a great hobby and in the course of that hobby I have made some very good friends. Thanks for taking the time to post your story :)

    #53519
    gerene
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 16
    • Total Posts: 377

    I have been a software engineer during my active career, i.e. when I got paid for what I did ;) . Most of the time in development of process control systems and other scientific/technical applications. I was always fascinated by clocks and watches and hence when I retired I started fiddling with watches and clocks. No plans to turn this into a profession (I don’t need the stress any longer ;) ), but just a fine hobby which I try to do the best I can.
    For the moment I live in Belgium, where I was born and spent most of my time, but my professional career had me live in Pensylvania and Paris as well.

    #53520
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    I told my wife that I wanted to start my Horological endeavors because it would be cheaper than golf. Boy was I wrong…

    tmac

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