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Our first big step towards even more exciting next steps. (Group Courses, Group Metal Buys, etc.)


Joshua West
Hello everyone,

I hope all is well.

Over the past few weeks, with the help of some key members, we've been developing a set of questions designed to better equip our team with useful information that we can use to grow into more exciting initiatives. As always, I've believed in transparency, so have detailed below everything I think is relevant, along with the reasoning that led to it.

We've gathered about 30 questions into a survey format which is now ready for everyone to see. It has been split into 4 sections each made to gather a specific set of information for a specific purpose. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete, Less time than booking a Saturday morning for a coffee meetup, but arguably much more important.

Please note: The survey will not ask for your name, phone number, email address, etc. as my goal is not to connect your answer to your account personally. Also, the survey is encrypted with a proper SSL security certificate, so your answers are secure, while also not tied to you personally.
(If you want to skip the below reading and dive right in, the link is here, as well as below: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/canadianhobbymetal )

Page 1) Demographics
Though we have a pretty good understanding of our member base, we've never formally documented it in a manner that we can use for anything.
For example: We know the majority of members in this group are men, but there are ladies too, and we're not sure the split exactly.

The goal of the first page, Demographics, is to better understand the nitty-gritty of our member details. This information will be used both to correlate things like "interest in courses correlated to age ranges" or "background in machining correlated with a willingness to participate in a weekend course" etc.

The other reason we're asking for demographic information, and generally much of the survey will help with, is to better prepare us for future Vendors / Sponsors who may want to support our group. Knowing the details is something most sponsors would benefit from prior to committing to help fund our future endeavors. (Courses, a physical location, loaner tools, etc.)

Page 2) Metalworking specific questions
These questions are designed to allow us a better understanding of everyone's involvement in metalworking. For example, there is lots of machining interest in our group, but does that outweigh welding? Many machinists and hobby machinists will also own a welder, so without actually asking, it's hard for us to know!

We also ask some questions in this section specific to your personal experience metalworking.
Things like: Did you find it more difficult to source raw stock, source machines, or simply find room for all the stuff you did source?

These questions will both help us understand which of the many growth ideas we have had, that makes the most sense.
(Should we work towards having a small inventory of metal, or maybe expand the tool lending library, etc.)
As well, this section will help us decide which areas of interest are most likely to fill a course.

Page 3) Interest in courses / Training opportunities.
We're working towards painting a picture of which courses would be the most likely to get enough people together to allow an entity like SAIT to put on a special course for our group.
What are your areas of interest, as well as course-specific questions like "Are weekends classes better than evenings during the week?" or "How many days is too many/little for a course on tig welding?" etc.

Page 4) Final questions, general forum feedback, growth direction specifics.
As well as generally trying to make sure we're improving on any concerns, this page will help us understand which of the many growth initiatives has the most demand.

A shared shop / physical location would be awesome in future, but more immediately, should we be putting more effort into group buys of stock, setting up courses, building a shared inventory of stock, sourcing more group discounts, or setting up group projects for us each to work on, etc.

Other important questions like: "How often should our meetups be?" are also asked.

To summarize, this survey is secure, will not connect to your user profile, only takes about 10 minutes, and will help us as a group understand where our focus should be moving forward.

Please take a moment to complete it!

If the above button does not work, the link is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/canadianhobbymetal


Active Member
Done and done.
I must say that I belong to many a forum, this is the first one to have a survey that shows a genuine interest in the members and strengthening the community that they support.
Love this place, really wish Toronto had this...


Premium Member
Thanks Josh for starting the forum. I get a lot out of it.

One thing I did forget to add the survey is the photo rotation problem. That is the one thing I do not like about the forum.


Premium Member
Glad to be a part (however minor, at this point) of the community, and I'm also glad Josh started reaching out a few years ago. I'm looking forward to getting more involved once life gets a little less involved


Joshua West
Thanks everyone!

Really happy to have such a great community here!

John, I'll have another crack at the image rotation issue, will have a programmer take a look too. Thanks for reminding me that it's still an open issue.



Joshua West
Of course, I'll share some of the new comments and general info with the group once we have some more data.
There are still submissions coming in, so I haven't considered it done. :)

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Ultra Member
Premium Member
Did the survey. I keep getting this banner though.


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Joshua West
Hey Peter,

The survey and the forum are not actually connected what-so-ever. So the forum doens't know who has and who hasn't participated in the survey.

Just click the little X on the far right of the notice and it should stop bugging you.



Ultra Member
Premium Member
Oh the one that says 'dismiss notice'


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Premium Member
Almost like a Dear Santa list, few forums reach out to their members like this. Keep up the good work. WOW !!

Brent H

Ultra Member
Filled it out!
Great community of folks on here and I have been enjoying the posts and helping out a few people.
As Murdoch said it would be cool to have a group around the Ontario area - possibly something to work on as a “If only I lived in Calgary” sub group - LOL.

I Hope to keep learning and possibly helping !

Chris Cramer

Super User
Premium Member
I completed the survey, I love how this is becoming so much more than an online forum. Just posting and participating in some threads has been enough to help me move on; but the meetings, and now what we see in front of us I feel will do so much more as a community.