I Sebastian Mayfield nominate myself worthy of the 2015 “What’s in your box?” toolbox giveaway. I am a musician turned engineer (!) currently studying at the Newark School of Woodwind Instrument Making and Repair, in England.
Making music (specifically Irish traditional music), and making things, are two activities to which I have dedicated many hours of my life from a very young age. So when I found out about the course in Newark teaching the craft of musical instrument making, it seemed the perfect marriage of these two pastimes. It was one of those rare moments when you know for certain it’s going to be something you will not only enjoy, but become totally immersed in.
And such proved to be the case. I am now in my third and final year of the course. I can still remember well the day I walked into the workshop to attend my interview and assessment, seeing all the tools and machines and thinking I was in heaven! You can imagine my elation when I was told I had got a place on the course. To this day my enthusiasm remains undimmed. There is something very rewarding in making a musical instrument, an object of beauty and precision that will one day give joy to someone in making music.
The first two years of the course also included a separate Engineering element, so I now also have an NVQ level 2 qualification in “Performing Engineering Operations”. This was a weekly class, during which we would work on tool-making projects, working from engineering drawings and using turning, milling and hand fitting techniques. The end results would then be assessed and checked for tolerances etc. For me this was one of the highlights of the school week. As you can see in my video, the engineering workshop is just full of machine tools – that’s my idea of fun! Not only that, but the immense satisfaction of making precision tools which will last my whole career.
My long term aim in doing the course is go into business making wooden flutes (of the type used among players of Irish music). As you can see in the video, my workshop (in my mum’s garage at home) is still in its infancy. There are many more tools I need to make, and I am trying to slowly fund all the machinist tools I need both for tool-making and flute making by doing my chimney sweeping work, a skill I learned just over three years ago. The tools in the toolbox giveaway would give my workshop the kick-start it desperately needs and allow me to do more work at home rather than doing it all at school.
Thank you for considering my nomination. I hope you find the video interesting and informative, and keep up the great work with your YouTube videos!
PS Sorry the video has turned out longer than I thought it would! I have tried to cut it down but I had a lot of things I wanted show. Hope that’s ok 🙂