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Apprenticeships?

 
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  #1  
Old 06-17-2010, 12:22 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NE Oregon
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Apprenticeships?

Question of the day here folks.

How does one go about finding a gunsmith that is willling to take on an apprentice? I have heard and read that it is much better to find a smith who is willing to take on an apprentice than to go to a school. There are virtually no people in the area in which I live that are qualified smiths for this and I really have no idea how to pursue it. Many things I see come into play as far as good gunsmiths being too busy to teach and fix mistakes made by someone who is learning. Not getting paid as an apprentice until you can do the work. Basically I have no idea where to start with this so any and all opinions are welcome.

Lets hear some suggestions and some of you smiths point me in the right direction of how you got your starts.

Thanks
John
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2010, 08:34 AM
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Re: Apprenticeships?

I think you're about 150 years too late. Today, most 'smiths, that are successful, specialize or have a speciality in the trade. Most, that are 'worth their salt', are way busy and haven't the time to teach a novice, they're just trying to make a living. If you were to apprentice with a well known specialist (a rifle builder, stockmaker, re-finisher, 1911 builder, ect., ect.) you would learn his speciality. On the other hand, if you attended one of the 2 year programs, and applied yourself, you would graduate with a well rounded knowledge of the trade and could specialize later. After you have that 'general' knowledge' you could hire into a speciality shop, if that's what you would want to do. The only place I can think of where you could start at the top would be to get elected Senator, for 1 or 2 terms, and then President.
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  #3  
Old 06-18-2010, 03:43 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Re: Apprenticeships?

Start by making friends and asking. An extra set of hands comes in handy at times and you can go from there, perhaps get instructions working on your own projects first

In the NMLRA magazine there are both metal and wood workshops that would be an excellent start as well

Last edited by Hairtrigger; 06-18-2010 at 03:48 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2010, 08:35 PM
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Re: Apprenticeships?

There are a number of very good smiths here as LRH members who post regularly. I would contact several and inquire how they got into it etc etc. and give you some advice on how maybe you should pursue given your situation. Keep in mind if you go to school then I think you'll come out more rounded as opposed to learning how 1 individual smith does it.
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  #5  
Old 06-18-2010, 08:39 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Redmond Or.
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Re: Apprenticeships?

I dont know where in N.E.Oregon you are, but La Grande has Oregon Trail Trader, and the grumpy ol' farts in there are actually realy cool guys once you get to know them. They do more ''tinkering'' than smithing, but they'd probably be able to point you in the right direction for ''local'' apprentice-smithing.
There was a guy up by Sumpter who was a real smith, but retired in the 90's. He still does an odd job every now and then. Theres also a guy in Halfway. Im sure someone in Pendelton is a reputable smith, but I dont have any hands on with anybody over there.
If you want something firearms related, but not gunsmithing, theres Lasercast in Baker.
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2010, 08:59 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NE Oregon
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Re: Apprenticeships?

Winmag,

I know some of the guys that hang out at Oregon trail trader pretty well. I have talked to some of them about this, but most of them even say that there aren't really any smiths around qualified to teach. Most of the smiths around here only do basic repair type stuff. There used to be a few but they are all gone now. I mostly bounce between La Grande and Heppner, but my job has me travelling all over Oregon and Washington. I will just keep looking around and seeing what is out there. I am not in a big hurry for anything.

Thanks everyone for your input.

John
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2010, 09:11 PM
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Re: Apprenticeships?

japple, not trying to be funny but, at least the one good thing is when you do become a qualified gunsmith you'll be the only one in the area...ought to help your start up gunsmith business.
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