Metalworking Classes - My Teaching Philosophy

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Why I teach Metal Shaping, Fab, Repairs, and Oxy-fuel Welding
by Kent White, TM Founder

It is my sincere wish that the tools, skills, and methods of this craft not die away, but be recorded and passed on to others. This desire is the foundation of my workshop programs.

Even back in the 1970's, when I was a young man and just entering into metalworking, it was difficult to find comprehensive, accurate training. By 1990 there was a huge gap where people were looking for training and had no place to go. I noticed that apprenticeships and trainings with large companies, technical schools, and trade schools, were vanishing. My correspondence with instructors around the United States showed that indeed many institutions were dropping their education for the trades. It was then that I recognized what I had received in my years of training, and that perhaps this would be of benefit to those who could no longer find this type of education.

Kent at Jed Clampett Racing

The early days. This photo taken during complete body restoration of S/N 6885, in West Palm, while working for "Jed Clampett Racing" (Preston Henn). I am watching the Porsche crew out the back of the shop, in the alley stomping the crap out of a 908 body, trying to salvage some metal weldments from the fiberglass shell. We had an ongoing bet – whether I would finish the GTB first or they would finish the 908 first. I won that bet, but Jeannette (crew head) never paid up.

I had the good fortune to work and study with many fine craftsmen over the years. Some of these teachers felt I had a special aptitude for both the metalworking and the teaching, and as a result shared tremendous amounts of information with me. I felt the least I could do was share what I had learned from my (then) 20 years with those true old masters. It is my joy to give again what I have received.

Much of what I've learned and taught was never recorded in books, but I have tried to compile an accurate record from the oral histories I have received regarding automotive and aircraft metalworking. I have also compiled methods and techniques gained from many out-of-print textbooks whose content is still pertinent today. And by doing years of free public demonstrations I have attracted a number of helpful contributors who worked in the industries for many decades and who have become wonderful sources of additional knowledge.

Working with a metalworking student on the english wheel

Forty years of metalworking later! This photo was taken and the end of 2015. Here I’m helping a student with their English Wheel skills during a TM Technologies 4-Day Metalworking Intensive workshop.

I have researched teaching methods, tools, and skills from any source made available to me, and have had my teaching methods critiqued by many trained metalworking instructors around the United States. I feel fortunate to have had the support and encouragement from so many instructors, many of whom sent other instructors and students to me for training.

With the tremendous communication technology today, huge amounts of information exchange rapidly via internet, television, email, DVD's and video. Tool and method information can be transferred very quickly, and without appropriate context instant "experts" become fountains of information (and misinformation) overnight. Because some hard-earned techniques can best be taught in-person, I reserve much information only for the workshops. This information is not available on our website, or through our videos, DVD's, or in articles and publications produced by us.

Each group of students I teach brings their own needs and skill levels to a workshop. For that reason, I try to remain receptive and creative in order to stimulate interest and increase understanding. The workshops I offer are in a constant state of improvement, for as I teach and interact with others I can more accurately feel what the current needs are of the students today. Our goal is to offer the best, most comprehensive, most enjoyable metalworking workshops you can find anywhere.


Kent White

Kent White
Founder & CEO, TM Technologies

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