“Papaul’s Projects” is our online YouTube presence, where we share some of the projects we undertake in our “Job Shop”.
Welcome to Papaul’s Projects.
My name is Paul, but you can call me Papaul.
I still am a licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer with 50 plus years of experience in working with large and smaller aircraft. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this license designation; it is very much like the A & P Aircraft Mechanic designation in the United States.
The aviation business has been good to me. I managed to build life-long friendships while doing my job. My career was primarily applied in Western Canada, mostly in the Edmonton, Alberta area, where I still call home.
I was able to travel to many places, including destinations that are not on the usual tourist “hot spots”. You may have heard of Alice Springs, Australia. The average daily temperature is about +35° C located almost at the geographic center of Australia. I have not yet been there… But, I have made it to Alice River, on Cornwallis Island in Northern Canada. When I was there the average daily temperature was about -35° C. Its geographic location is just next door to the Magnetic North Pole. 😉
As well, business took me to Germany and England, a few times; as well many airports and cities in Canada and the United States.
The experience of travel is invaluable in understanding cultures and getting to know some of the people in each region.
With a business partner we managed to grow the business to about 50 employees, doing all manner of aviation related technical activities.
Forced to Move
In 2013, I was forced to close my aviation business when the City of Edmonton, closed the City Centre Airport and expropriated the airports lands for a residential development that was supposed to be the envy of environmentalist around the world. After almost five years, the only thing they seem to have accomplished is to knock down all the aviation hangars and tear up the concrete runways. In French they have a saying “quel dommage!” which translates to “what a pity!”
Always like Welding and Machining
Right from my late teen years, while attending a technical school for Aircraft Maintenance, I seemed to especially enjoy the aspects of welding and machining. I had first learned to crudely weld growing up on my father’s farm. The technical school provided the initial exposure to the text book knowledge and became the solid underpinning for the next 50 years. Likewise, the initial classes on a 6 inch South Bend student lathe, provided an opportunity to experience the personal pleasure found in the process of beginning with an unusable piece of metal, applying your experience and knowledge and creating, yes creating, a shiny usable tool or part.
Just last week, I went to my tool box to get a center punch. And there it was, still useful after 51 years of use, this very same tool I made in my second year at technical school. Turned on that student lathe from O-1 tool steel, heat treated and tempered. A brief stop at the bench grinder, to touch up the point, as I have done so many times, and it was good as the day I created it.
Retirement – NO… Doing Something I Enjoy!
My birth certificate said I was old enough to retire, but I wasn’t anywhere close to being ready.
So when I shut down the aviation part of my business, I decide to take the equipment, computers, software, tools and knowledge I had acquired and continue as a “Job Shop” at a new location. Many of my previous customers followed to the new shop. And, with a little word of mouth and advertising others found the new shop as well.
Hence, it was a natural, given my life-long interest in machining and welding, that I use the internet, and low and behold I discovered an abundance of Machine Shop/Welding Shop, YouTube Channels. They were absolutely great. I enjoyed each and every one of channels and the individuals who presented their respective take on how they applied their experience and knowledge of the machining/welding process to complete each job. This global community seems to reiterate, what you see in each video is not the only way to accomplish the work, but it’s the way the presenter has learned to do it.
Inspired by the videos produced by Adam Booth and Keith Fenner, to name just two, I had been thinking about producing a couple of videos and uploading them to YouTube. Let’s assign Papaul’s Project as the new You Tube channel name.
I watched with enjoyment the many videos produced during the 2016 Bar-Z Summer Bash and hope to view subsequent years. I smiled, and even laughed out loud, with the comradery displayed by all who attended. What I like most is the humble pride shown by all for the work they do, each day, and the personal pleasure ultimately enjoyed.
I said to myself… “I think I want to be part of this like-minded community”. “I could easily pass on some of what I have learned”.
Unlike another famous person; Yoda who said “Do or do not. There is no try.” my farmer grandfather used to say… “That’s all a steer can do, is try”. 😉
So, I decided. “Try, I will”. Papaul’s Projects it is.
Papaul Almost Unique
Okay. You ask, where does the almost unique name Papaul come from?
It originated about 26 years ago when my eldest granddaughter was about 2 years old. Her parents were trying to differentiate between me and her maternal grandfather. He had already been named “Papa”. So, to identify me, they asked this 2 year old to call me “Papa Paul”. Her first attempt to use the new name resulted in “Papaul”, which instantly stuck. All of my six grandchildren, many family members and friends call me by this moniker. Even the license plate on my pick up proudly displays this name.
And when I hear Papaul called out, I happily respond, “Yes, this is me”.
So it only seems fitting that I associate my nickname with the projects I so enjoy.