What do you think of when you hear the word "Secrets" ? I think of someone deliberately withholding information. I still question why this was the case, but in all of my experience in more than 15 different machine shops and manufacturing environments over the past 45 years, this was a very prevalent behavior.
I also think of the word "Security" and in most cases I do believe these guys were only protecting their jobs, their knowledge was their most valuable asset.
As I progressed in my gaining and gleaning of knowledge, I felt compelled to share everything that I was learning with the new guys, the beginners, the Apprentices. We didn't actually call them apprentices but that's what they were, and I was one of them. Somewhere back in the 50's/60's we got away from apprenticeship programs, from mentoring our youth, from properly training our future. And there is no question, the incredible talent that we produced through the war effort/era were all fading away and eventually - dying. I can't even imagine how much knowledge was lost...
I'm not sure why we got away from manufacturing in the classroom or "Shop Class" but clearly, we need to get it back, more importantly, we need reliable sources of information. Dedicating a classroom, obtaining the proper equipment and creating a curriculum will not achieve anything without knowledgeable instructors.
My father taught me to rebuild a lawnmower engine when I was still in elementary school, before I knew the difference between a verb and a noun, I was a certified welder before I had a driver's license. To add to that, the older I get the more I realize how much I don't know, but what an incredible time to live, we only have to pick up our phone or latest electronic device and we have access to all of the worlds libraries, just think about it!
I've always felt that the term "Industrial Art" is a very fitting term, since the beginning of time, man has been gifted with productive creativity, and there's no question when we gather with others of similar interests and share ideas, creativity is prevalent.
Now I'd be lying if I said I fully understood it, but I do strongly believe in an individual purpose, and I believe a big part of my purpose is to share this information or these Machine Shop "Secrets" in the best way that I can, and I hope this is a good start.
Secrets? Maybe a better word would be Substance or maybe Essence, either way my intention is to let the Secrets out...
Marshall has been involved in and around machine shops since becoming a certified welder at age 16. He has become an accomplished craftsman in Aviation, Aerospace, Mold-making, Research Science and Product Design.
"When I started out, I didn't have a plan. I soon learned that the more you knew and the more skills you possessed, the more money you could make. Looking back, it isn't the money that's worth striving for; it's the knowledge and skill level. After 25 years, I truly feel an obligation to share my experiences with the hope that those who care to learn will get a head start and be able to take their skills to a much higher level. "