Organizations for Craftsmen

Getting together for fun and to improve quality

 (Click photo to view a larger image.)

Clubs and Craftsmanship

When craftsmanship and a common interest draw a group of people together, great things can happen. Working in a vacuum is a slow process, but when you have a group of people with diverse backgrounds and talents but like interests to draw upon, solutions to problems happen much quicker. In addition, the pressure of regular meetings spurs many to put in more hours on their projects and work even harder to achieve perfection so that they have some progress to show at the next meeting. The energy that is created by a group like this exceeds the total of the individuals involved and brings out the best in each member. In addition, the camaraderie shared by members at the meetings and at the shows they attend adds to their enjoyment of life.

Some clubs like the Southern California Knifemaker’s Guild come up with club projects, where each member contributes a part in his area of expertise. These can be displayed as club projects or auctioned off to raise money for the club. This is another way of promoting craftsmanship, as each craftsman working independently must make his part of the project to close enough tolerances that it will fit with all the other parts made by other members. This can be much more challenging than working alone and is more akin to the demands of commercial production where the parts from one manufacturer must work with a component or components made by others.

The Bay Area Engine Modeler’s club members attend not only model engineering shows on the West coast and around the country, but also auto shows and vintage auto events, and their tiny, running engines always attract an appreciative crowd. One or two engines are impressive, but a club showing with rows of gleaming engines can be a stunning sight…not to mention sound when they fire them up. Exhibiting at events where people might not normally expect to see your area of interest can bring new members.

You don't have to go it alone...there are others out there who share your interests

There are already many established model engineering and engine clubs. (See link below.) The Joe Martin Foundation has noticed that when these craftsmen gather at meetings and shows, the bar for what is an acceptable level of craftsmanship is always being raised. Each year the quality of work continues to get better as members strive to outdo themselves and others. This is not to say an individual working on his own cannot produce excellent work, but when given the opportunity to see the work of others and learn from their experience, the quality of a craftsman’s work can advance at a more rapid pace due to both the availability of knowledge and the presence of competition. This is not unique to model engineering. The same holds true with clubs relating to woodworking, plastic model making, clock making, cooking, quilting…anywhere and any time people who make things get together and compare notes. We encourage all those working alone in their shops to consider finding or starting a group of like-minded craftsmen in your local area. Whether you form a formal “club” or just gather informally is not as important as the fact that you are able to both learn and teach when you share your experiences with others.

For a list of model engineering clubs, see

Let us know about your club

If you are a member of an active group of craftsmen, send us information on your club. We will be glad to help you show others what you do as a group. Include a statement about the goals and accomplishments of your club and photos of some of the projects produced by the members or by the club as a group. Include contact information for people who are interested in joining. If you have a web address, we will provide a link.

Model clubs represented in this section are:

Organization (Click name to visit the page on this group)

Typical Project (Click photo for larger image)

Bay Area Engine Modelers

an active San Francisco area model engineering club

Your club could be listed us

horizontal rule

New Submissions Welcomed

If you have additional information on a project or builder shown on this site that your would like to contribute, please e-mail We also welcome new contributions. Please see our page at for a submission form and guidelines for submitting descriptive copy and photos for a new project.

horizontal rule

This section is sponsored by

publishers of

The Home Shop Machinist, Machinist's Workshop and Live Steam magazines

To learn how your company or organization can sponsor a section in the Craftsmanship Museum, please contact


Copyright 2009, The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship. All rights reserved.
No part of this web site, including the text, photos or illustrations, may be reproduced or transmitted in any other form or by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise) for commercial use without the prior written permission of The Joe Martin Foundation. Reproduction or reuse for educational and non-commercial use is permitted.