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Pete’s 180k hours of knowledge

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  • Pete’s 180k hours of knowledge

    The Melbourne metal Shaping community has been blessed to have Peter as a resource and mentor for a number of years. In some ways we have been spoilt. As a craft that’s usually picked up then refined over many years it’s inevitable that both good and bad habits are adopted, practiced and finally accepted as correct. While each tradesperson has his or her own particular way of performing a task there s only a few things you can do to Sheetmetal or aluminium. Cut it. Fold it. Weld it. Shrink it. Stretch it. The variations are endless but the skills are the same. This page is a summary of how Peter uses those combinations. Pretty much all the traditional metal shapers use the same techniques although each will have their own touch. David Gardiner and Geoff Moss are other shapers who use the same techniques

  • #2
    Cheers Reedy,

    There's nothing as Sweet as a EK V8


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kiwi john View Post
      The Melbourne metal Shaping community has been blessed to have Peter as a resource and mentor for a number of years. In some ways we have been spoilt...........................David Gardiner and Geoff Moss are other shapers who use the same techniques
      This is interesting as I just got off of the phone with PeterT and we were talking about the differences between how he teaches and how classes are taught in the U.S. Most of the U.S. Metalshapers were self taught, and didn’t go through apprenticeships. Car parts were always available, so they were just replaced. A new one didn’t need to be made. Most of the information in this country was held close to the vest and not shared. There was a giant hole in the knowledge for metalshaping in the U.S. until the Ron Fourier books came out in the early 1980’s. Then in the early 2000’s, the internet community started where we are now.


      • #4
        I think a lot of the skills in the US were lost after WWII as we had less of a need for hand skills (no shortage of huge presses here). Also remember that metalshaping in the US was all power hammer based until John Glover introduced the wheeling machine here, which kind of raised the barrier of entry for hobbiests. Not many folks have a Yoder or Pettingell in their home garage.

        There are still traditional US metalshapers that argue that the wheeling machine is a silly thing to use. I think Fay Butler said that using one was like "filling a swimming pool with a teaspoon".


        • #5
          After formal apprenticeship and decades working in a highly specialized craft, it's difficult to work with (or even tolerate, in many cases) self-trained people who think they know enough to present themselves as knowledgable in my field. Well-meaning people trying to reverse engineer how things are or were done do not resurrect or save a traditional craft. They create a new one and the two are not the same, no matter what the end product look so like.

          This is part of the chaos now. Far room many dudes with some tools and a video camera are teaching classes, making and selling gimmick gadgets because they are an "expert" who knows how it used to be done and should be done nowadays. They don't. They never earned a living in the craft. It's important to recognize what your Master actually is- is he a craftsman, a teacher or a salesman. Did he wait to become a pensioner before he had the courage to trust his skills in a craft to pay the bills ? If you only read a book to"know" something, what you know is what only what the author wrote and the editor tolerated. If that's the sole basis of your present, that's the basis of your future. Metal work isn't much different

          A Master won't ask you your opinion when you're being trained. Shut your mouth, do what you're told without making the same mistakes again or get out of my shop. After enough hours and success, your opinion becomes relevant but you're still not the Master. When your name is on the door, youll have your turn.

          None of us here are going to become Masters because we spend a little time on an Internet forum pecking keys and trying to glean from Peter. This is a rare opportunity to learn from a willing Master. We can show our respect and appreciation for the opportunity by doing exactly want I said in the previous paragraph. That's the proven traditional method for success.

          maybe this is how Peter and other Masters see us. I greatly appreciate Peter's willingness to teach us more than we know.


          • #6
            Amen Cliffy. I think you have pretty much covered everything I have been trying to express since I had the opportunity to spend time with Peter starting back in 2014. A camera and a blog will take you so far but the craftsmanship takes a lifetime. My grandpa told me I was born with 2 ears and one mouth for a reason. It takes maturity to learn to use them in the same proportions ! Thanks Cliff. Cheers John


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kiwi john View Post
              Amen Cliffy. I think you have pretty much covered everything I have been trying to express since I had the opportunity to spend time with Peter starting back in 2014. A camera and a blog will take you so far but the craftsmanship takes a lifetime. My grandpa told me I was born with 2 ears and one mouth for a reason. It takes maturity to learn to use them in the same proportions ! Thanks Cliff. Cheers John
              My goal isn't to be just another arrogant critic. It has more to do with being analytical as Ive mentioned previously. Technology/internet, easy credit and political correctness have changed so much, but especially with hands-on craft.

              Being wrong is the first step to being right. It's necessary to know the difference and be able to change your ways. A worthy Master will tell you you're doing it wrong if you're doing it under him. Novices need determinant boundaries and guidance to become efficient. If not, they will become as indifferent as their mentor. I don't do emoticon things, but imagine Peter saying "if you want to do it that way instead of my way, that's ok with me".... How many of us would be here?

              I never had an Executive Chef or Master Sculptor that was all kittens & rainbows. I don't want that in a metal-working Master, either. Some people are needlessly crude to underlings as a habit- which isn't a good thing to learn, either. That demonstrates insecurity, which is one of the greatest obstacles to achievement and proficiency.



              • #8
                Where did you apprentice at?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Devin0789 View Post
                  Where did you apprentice at?
                  just testing my peter 101, lol

                  i'm pretty sure it was scaglietti
                  thanks neil


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Devin0789 View Post
                    Where did you apprentice at?
                    if you're asking me, Devin (?) my apprenticeship in stone under my cousin was the most significant and the most legally defined because of the Union contract.. The legacy aspect within the family was a real priority and we're still very close. Other Masters who participated in my apprenticeship still support me and my growth. It took years to earn their real trust and respect. That didn't come until after I had operated my own studio for years and proved that their investment in me was not wasted. Since then, I've passed opportunity to return to VT to train others because of the social & political realities of living there now. My cousin wasn't an asshole like some of my culinary mentors who apprenticed me years before stone. Much different environments, but the kitchen prepared me for the stone. When your entire livelihood & income depends upon your success in a rare apprenticeship opportunity, it motivates a person differently than a class where money is flowing in the opposite direction..

                    this is a copy of my general apprenticeship background from the video thread-


                    Apprenticeship is generally a much less definitive word here in the USA. Basically, unless you're a paid member in a union or working in a profession governed by a legal licensing body, apprenticeship is whatever you say it is.

                    Some licensed professions have periods considered apprentice periods that simply have a time or Hour parameter to advance. Others may also include testing to advance to the next pay grade, like a Master Plumber or Master Electrician. Others are just a description of a more focused employer-employee work relationship.

                    when I got my auctioneer's license in 1987, I had to legally serve an apprenticeship of two years under a fully licensed auctioneer before I could originate work on my own. In theory, you'll learn what to do but there were no additional testing or proof required that you were any more competent than before. There's a similar process to getting a real estate brokers license. Once you get your real estate license, you have to have a fully licensed broker carry you under their license for two years before you become a broker who can list and sell property on your own,

                    when i I began my culinary apprenticeship in 1991, the private city club that hired me had specifically advertised for a culinary apprentice. I later came to understand that they were simply looking for a white guy but sure couldn't post an ad saying that specific thing. Except for the executive Chef and executive Pastry Chef, I was the only white regular employee in the kitchen full of black employees. They were trying to ward off possible complaints by hiring me.... No matter, I excelled and took full advantage of learning, basically created my own apprenticeship parameters instead of just being another lazy ass, drunk bum theif employee. We had lots of them. After approx two years, my chef gave me my own thermometer and said "congratulations- now you're a chef."

                    When I began cutting stone in 2000, I had to serve a full two years of full time Union employment (basically 4000 hrs) as an apprentice. I didn't have to pass any credential test to progress to journeyman. at the end of my apprenticeship period, I was entitled to full rate compensation - the full base Union pay scale, also known as "bill" plus benefits as a fully fledged member of the Union. After that, moving to a higher pay rate (like bill and 5 meaning full Union bill plus $5.00/HR) was based upon the demonstrated skil and expertise. My grandfather always said that a real professional stonecutter or finisher never worked for bill. As a kid, I didn't understand and always wondered who Bill was and what was wrong with him...

                    During my stone apprenticeship, I think I began at $14.50/HR plus benefits and bill was about $16.50/HR plus benefits +. After one year, I got a raise to $15.50 and got $16.50 after two years. My cousin did apprentice me but it was not a formal, documented process lie some guilds in other parts of the world may still require. There is no formal "Master" credential in the Granite Cutters Union, especially as a Sculptor. It is an honorary recognition granted by peers and never one we claim for ourself or use to self represent. There are other stone trades, like limestone carvers, who do apparently allow people to call themselves a 'Master Carver". But they can't do what I/we do, so we're not buying it....

                    I have people I have apprenticed in culinary and continue to apprentice in both culinary (occasional) and stone. Nothing formal, just trying to teach them the right ways, not the latest fad or workaround. [/QUOTE]



                    • #11
                      Well we have been up and running for a couple of years now and we are pleased with the progress . Back in late 2018 when Neil and I decided to create our independent forum we were warned it would fail..

                      Actually we were offered the opportunity to buy one of the largest metal shaping sites in the US instead of starting from scratch but we declined. We declined because we didn't want to inherit the legacy.

                      We are pretty straight shooters ( Within reason ) and recognised that the responsibility we had was to enable the true masters of this art form to be able to pass down their knowledge unfiltered. Neil is the back room rocket scientist but doesn't have an ego or altruistic motives. He just goes about quietly doing his thing. We are absolutely indebted to Peter T for his support but in some ways I think Pete probably appreciates the opportunity to share without the bullshit attitude.

                      i would love to see more input from other greats but having witnessed their treatment over the years I don't blame them from keeping a low profile !

                      Every post you upload of your journey is appreciated. Peter gets a kick out of seeing his knowledge transferred . That's the sign of a true teacher and leader. They have a desire for their students to surpass their accomplishments. Post your successes. Post those failures too as you may be the person who inspires the next master.

                      Thanks every one. You're part of a special community. Thankyou for playing your part



                      • #12
                        And a HUGE thank you, to you Johnny and Neil, for going to the immense trouble and work, to get this forum to work so well.

                        For a novice who lives in the middle of nowhere, I greatly appreciate the help Peter and you two have given me, as well as everyone else, who shows me how to shape metal on this forum.

                        Hopefully this year I can come to Melbourne to see my daughter and do a course with Peter,

                        Cheers Charlie


                        • #13
                          After the squabbles and changes elsewhere, We are extremely fortunate to have both this forum (thank you, Neil and Johnny) and Peter (thank you, Peter) at our resource. There are so many distractions and snake oil salesmen out there that many/most of the real experts have simply stopped participating. It's great to know where actual expertise can be found and accessed.

                          Peter, your willingness to reach us where we each are (or aren't) is something that separates you from many other talented would-be-Master experts. That may not be as clear to people who haven't pursued experts like yourself, only to be told to f--- off in one way or another because that expert has no time for fools or novices. BTDT many times before I first found the experts (who were highly skilled, but were not Masters) before finding the Masters who trained me. I really appreciate what you are investing in each of us as we try to learn because I know it is your deliberate effort & goal to make us into better craftsmen.

                          Again, thank you very much to the three of you for making this forum a reality. We would literally be lost without it.


                          • #14
                            All I did was to suggest it was time for a forum that provided an avenue for masters to teach and willing students to learn. Neil did all the work setting it up and Peter has been exceptional in his support. A facebook page may have been an easier route but a forum provides the content continuity. Thanks Pete. Thanks Neil


                            • #15
                              thank you for the thanks lol, Johnny and I did speak about a forum for traditional methods, I think it was the right move for us wanting to learn from a true craftsman. I was taught to respect my elders growing up from a young age and as such, I along with many others repect and hold pete in high regard. I am happy I can help provide an opportunity for all of us wanting to share in Peter's experience and willingness to teach. all I do is filter out the spam sign ups and pay the bill's, along with trying to finish my porsche so I can start another lol. other than that the forum is what YOU make it, post pictures of failures along with successes, that's how you and others learn happy easter
                              thanks neil