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Dexterity
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Peter_L



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 2323
Location: New Brunswick. Canada.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:16 pm    Post subject: Dexterity Reply with quote

At first glance, one may be forgiven for thinking what has this got to do with, cars.

https://www.bbc.com/news/education-46019429

I am of what I refer to as the "Meccano Age" a time before there were interlocking plastic blocks. Dexterity was the norm when using Meccano and that ability has still not left me even after well over 60 years. I have witnessed the inability of those who have to try both directions before managing to put a nut on a bolt let alone use a spanner in an inverted position and listened in amazement when a young man explained to me that he was trying to turn the wheel wrench the "wrong way" because it was opposite to the way he turned it on the other side... He put the 3 ft breaker bar facing towards the front and loosened the nuts, but when he tried it on the other side, no amount of jumping on it would break the nut loose.

But all that said, my father could run a plough behind two horses and my mother could hand sew in a straight line with stitches of the same tension and spacing. Except for the few who will live on to maintain and restore the classic machines that this site is known for, future generations will have no reason to remove a wheel or cylinder head, why would they when the technology that exists behind and below such tasks can only be serviced with the help from even more technology.
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Penman



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 4128
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Dexterity Reply with quote

Hi
peterwpg wrote:
and listened in amazement when a young man explained to me that he was trying to turn the wheel wrench the "wrong way" because it was opposite to the way he turned it on the other side... He put the 3 ft breaker bar facing towards the front and loosened the nuts, but when he tried it on the other side, no amount of jumping on it would break the nut loose.

Not knowing the person concerned, he might have previously watched someone changing wheels on a heavier vehicle which did have opposite threads on different sides.
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Peter_L



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 2323
Location: New Brunswick. Canada.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can assure you that wasn't the case and would have zero knowledge of such technicalities.
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viteran



Joined: 02 Dec 2016
Posts: 11
Location: South yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
I would completely agree. I am a retired veterinary surgeon and stitching is certainly a knack that needs to be learned, I am good with a curved needle but I certainly can’t do cross stitch like my wife. I expect things to heal !
Meccano certainly helped, that combined with my profession leads to a lot of lateral thinking, useful with old cars! Specifically that “ feeling” when something is about to break!
Ian
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viteran



Joined: 02 Dec 2016
Posts: 11
Location: South yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
I would completely agree. I am a retired veterinary surgeon and stitching is certainly a knack that needs to be learned, I am good with a curved needle but I certainly can’t do cross stitch like my wife. I expect things to heal !
Meccano certainly helped, that combined with my profession leads to a lot of lateral thinking, useful with old cars! Specifically that “ feeling” when something is about to break!
Ian
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roverdriver



Joined: 18 Oct 2008
Posts: 1158
Location: 100 miles from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never been a surgeon, Veterinary or otherwise, however I have had a lifetime of associations, one way and another, with things practical since my beginnings in the Meccano age.

Every task requiring some dexterity has taught me some sort of skill that I can recall, when needed, and apply to a different task. As well as Meccano, I grew up with a small steam engine, put-put boat, and similar toys. Among household chores I also had to split firewood from foot blocks. At age 7 I built a wooden wheelbarrow to assist me, using a 2 inch wide slice off a tree for a wheel. Later I engaged at various times with veteran then vintage and now classic cars, doing most mechanical jobs on them myself, I have dabbled with model railways, full scale railways, and a host of other interests. I have been lucky enough to work at a large variety of jobs. The only stitching that I have managed with any success is when I taught myself book binding.

I do fear for many youngsters today because they lack the self-learning that comes from those simple beginnings. I do know that a few use their hands for other than pressing buttons on an electronic device, and I say "keep up that activity and develop it further'.
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alastairq



Joined: 14 Oct 2016
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Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45969676

The nub of my thinking lies about 10 lines down in the piece above.

Quote:
I've turned my kettle upside down and there are screws holding together the metal and plastic components. I'm no engineer, so if it is going to come down to replacing the element, switch or wiring, I'm not sure I'm up to the job.


Folk these days..probably because our society has no need to encourage, are reluctant to acquire even the most basic of old-fashioned skills in order to mend or maintain.

I have not received much, if any, proper 'engineering' or 'electrical' training...aside from what I learnt at school in the '50s and '60s....[plus a bit of lateral training whilst apprenticed at sea.].....yet I have basic understanding of how wiring works, or how bolts undo.
Learnt, because I bothered.

Nowadays, basic manual skills seem almost beneath the dignity of some. WHy should they bother? Especially when they can pay someone to do it for them....and the upside of that policy is, if things don't go right, they have someone they can blame and vilify for the failure.

Things would change overnight, however...if breakdown services became unlawful? [So would car design!!]

Perhaps modern society's purpose is to create a generation of incapables?

But, I am retired...thus I have no further desire to educate or illuminate....happy that as long as I know what to do, that's really all that matters to me now....
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victor 101



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 449
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

viteran wrote:
Hi
I would completely agree. I am a retired veterinary surgeon and stitching is certainly a knack that needs to be learned, I am good with a curved needle but I certainly can’t do cross stitch like my wife. I expect things to heal !
Meccano certainly helped, that combined with my profession leads to a lot of lateral thinking, useful with old cars! Specifically that “ feeling” when something is about to break!
Ian

Just a day ago a surgeon was saying that students spent much more time behind pc monitors these days and he fears that they are loosing the art of sawing and stitching in the operating theatre.
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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1411
Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alastairq wrote:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45969676

The nub of my thinking lies about 10 lines down in the piece above.

Quote:
I've turned my kettle upside down and there are screws holding together the metal and plastic components. I'm no engineer, so if it is going to come down to replacing the element, switch or wiring, I'm not sure I'm up to the job.


Folk these days..probably because our society has no need to encourage, are reluctant to acquire even the most basic of old-fashioned skills in order to mend or maintain.

I have not received much, if any, proper 'engineering' or 'electrical' training...aside from what I learnt at school in the '50s and '60s....[plus a bit of lateral training whilst apprenticed at sea.].....yet I have basic understanding of how wiring works, or how bolts undo.
Learnt, because I bothered.

Nowadays, basic manual skills seem almost beneath the dignity of some. WHy should they bother? Especially when they can pay someone to do it for them....and the upside of that policy is, if things don't go right, they have someone they can blame and vilify for the failure.

Things would change overnight, however...if breakdown services became unlawful? [So would car design!!]

Perhaps modern society's purpose is to create a generation of incapables?

But, I am retired...thus I have no further desire to educate or illuminate....happy that as long as I know what to do, that's really all that matters to me now....


Surely it's academic anyway with a kettle, as there's no way you'll be able to get a replacement element and there's no way the switch will be a standard part? I can just about remember when elements for kettles, irons and so on could be had at independent electrical shops in any town worth the name but that all went out a long time ago - likely a consequence of eveything being made in China these days so firms don't need to pay decent wages and the government can fiddle the inflation statistics.

Some of this stuff is enshrined in law now as well. In the last few years it's become effectively illegal - though fortunately the law is pretty well unenforceable - for an unqualified person to repair or alter the wiring in their own home. I'm not sure why because generations of practical men did their own electrical work without any real issues, yes of course there was the odd cowboy but cowboys are also to be found amongst the ranks of "qualified" tradesmen.
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Peter_L



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 2323
Location: New Brunswick. Canada.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Referring to the main context of BB's post (above). "Repair is not an option" Smile

I had an electrical wholesale business, we would sell kettle elements and just the washers. The 2kw were a populat upgrade for the older kettles.


As to electrical safety, "smoke and mirrors" when it comes to electrical installations. The number one culprit for electrical fires is the appliance. Central Vac's, Tumble dryers, Freezers. Expensive but none are fitted with high temp cut outs. The North American continent rules the world for the most dangerous electrical system known to man. Over 80 years of zero improvement and an archaic 110V which means that the plug on your portable heater is going to get warm. Outlet design and wiring practices that are hopelessly out of date.
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 3292
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My solution to the problem of dexterity (or the lack of it) would be to include a plastic model kit as part of students' course work. Airfix models (or similar) can keep me occupied for hours. Most recently I have assembled a Bullnose Morris, a Rolls Royce, a Mercedes 500k and a split screen VW camper. Cheap and cheerful but sometime throwing up problems and challenges requiring innovation. It is a clean and tidy little pastime and whether you like ships, planes, trains or cars I think it can help develop dexterity.
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Peter_L



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 2323
Location: New Brunswick. Canada.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ray. I am the same, once built a replica Mk 1 Ford World Cup Rally Escort from a standard kit. Adding the flared arches, wider wheels, the "cow catcher" lights and the never to be forgotten external roll cage, that went from roof to front struts. Why... because it was a challenge, it needed thought and diversity of bits and pieces into other roles. It wasn't intended to show off, or be peer acceptable, it was fun....
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roverdriver



Joined: 18 Oct 2008
Posts: 1158
Location: 100 miles from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are so right, Ray. I ran a hobby shop for some time and encouraged youngsters to take up building plastic kits. As their skills improved, I would suggest working on something more challenging. many a young fellow started with the plastic aircraft model, and under my prodding moved to simple balsa flying models, then scratch building, designing their own, radio control etc., etc. and a few of them even joined the air force in various roles.
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alastairq



Joined: 14 Oct 2016
Posts: 1294
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, it can be said....that the penchant of young lads & lassies of the 50's, 60's and even 70's era, for the construction of airfix kits is somewhat paralleled by today's kids and their tech?
Locking themselves away in their rooms for hours on end, into the wee dark night......in our case, with the company of an open tube or two of polystyrene glue providing a heady atmosphere?
I just knew there was an added attraction to building plastic kits, beyond the fun of making....

Smile Smile Smile
_________________
Dellow Mk2, 1951 built, reg 1952.
Ford Mustang coupe, 1967, 6 cylinder auto.
Fiat 126 BIS
Cannon special [1996 registered. Built in 1950's]
----------------------------------------------
Ford Pop chassis, Ashley 1172 bodyshell, in pieces.
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 3292
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alastairq wrote:
Of course, it can be said....that the penchant of young lads & lassies of the 50's, 60's and even 70's era, for the construction of airfix kits is somewhat paralleled by today's kids and their tech?
Locking themselves away in their rooms for hours on end, into the wee dark night......in our case, with the company of an open tube or two of polystyrene glue providing a heady atmosphere?
I just knew there was an added attraction to building plastic kits, beyond the fun of making....

Smile Smile Smile


I think the amount of time spent these days on electronic games/social media etc. far exceeds the indoor stuff we used to do. I heard today that only I in 30 kids get enough exercise! They should be having fun; playing football.!

I can remember how I would rush through school homework just so I could get outside. There was so much fun in riding a bike that you had built up from bits or having soap box races down a steep path trying to avoid the trees !

Kids today don't know what they are missing - and that's a shame really.
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