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Orchid etiquette


Was: Apprentice questions

And on a general note, if one asks a question and that person
takes the time to craft a response, just don't simply disappear
with out even a thank you. There is absolutely nothing more rude
and it kinda shuts the door for me. 

Reading this post from Hans Meevis, someone who I think of as one of
the people on the forum who is most generous with their knowledge,
made me think about Orchid etiquette. I mean, we would all really
hate to have him give up on the forum, right? I wonder if there are
some simple, basic rules that would help people communicate better
and so enrich Orchid?

Personally, I am a very easy going person who finds humor in nearly
everything, very live and let live. Yet my friends an family often
tell me that my e-mails make me seem like I’m perpetually pissed off
(pardon my language). So I am in no position to tell anyone how to
behave on-line. My only thought on the etiquette thing is to only
write things on the forum and only behave in a way that you would if
you were face to face with the person. If that was the case I’m sure
we would all say thank you when someone we don’t really know tried
to help us out.



It really takes no more effort to reply politely than it does to do
so harshly. Taking just a second or two extra to read your own words
before hitting “send” can go a long ways toward keeping the dialog
positive and friendly. Even a disagreement need not become a nasty,
name calling blow up, if everyone chooses their words with respect.

It really takes no more effort to reply politely than it does to
do so harshly. 

Absolutely, and I seem to forget from time to time how sensitive and
fragile some folk are.

So I apologize to Chris for calling his question lazy and not
answering in a more delicate and diplomatic manner.

I should have perhaps suggested Google as a good starting point,
since I live in Germany.

On the subject of questions, let me explain.

At one stage, all my tutorials on my website were free, but I had to
reluctantly make the more complicated ones pay to view.

The reason was because I was spending an inordinate amount of time
every day answering questions.

Send the answer off and that is the last you hear from the person.

I got tired of answering questions and then tipping them into the
black internet void.

So I figured that if someone is prepared to pay a nominal amount for
a tutorial, they are serious enough and any question I answer won’t
be time wasted.

This is where I became accomplished to weed out the real questions
as apposed to lazy ones.

Lazy ones are questions that the person could answer quite easily by
themselves but would rather let you do the work.

And once they are answered, the person, without fail, simply

This becomes a bit stale after awhile.

Real questions that can’t easily be answered I spend as much time as
is needed.

At any given stage I have anything from ten to twenty students
around the world that ask me questions pertaining to my tutorials.

So I spend quite a lot of time every week pecking out replies on my

It doesn’t make me money, but I love doing it.

So, if you going to ask a question of some one, remember, you are
asking that person to give you some of their time.

And when you receive a reply, send them a thank you or an

It’s the right thing to do.


I have learned much from the people on Orchid who share so willingly.
I still have more to learn than I have learned. Thank you to everyone
who devotes some of their precious time to helping others. Time is
given to us and is the most precious commodity of all - speaking as a
person who had a NDE.


Hi gang,

I’m with Hans: If somebody takes the time to answer your question,
it’s only polite to say thank you.

One suggestion for keeping things on an even keel: Back in the bad
old days of the Flamewars al Russe, I had a ‘sleep on it’ rule.

I’d slam off a reply, and then just put it on hold until the next
morning, and see what I thought of it then.

Quite often, they didn’t pass muster and got dumped, or rephrased
into something a little less incendiary. (Believe it or not.)

Most people read Orchid on a 24 hour cycle. I don’t know for certain
when Hanuman does his bit, but first thing in (his) morning, from
the timing, usually. Which means that I get the day’s messages after
dinner. There’s no point in me trying to jump the queue, because
it’ll be another 24 hours before the next batch cycles through.
Might as well take the time to think things through, and act like an
adult. The wonderful thing about the slow tempo of the Orchid email
system is that it gives us the time to stop, think and perhaps
rephrase, rather than flying off the handle at warp speed.



Hi All

I have learned much from the people on Orchid who share so


But what I hate is when you all talk about cool tools I do not need
or can afford. BUT I STILL WANT ONE LOL.

And when I look at your workshops wow does mine look humble or what?
But it works for me. At least my bench is as messy as yours are in
the archives.

I was taught a tidy bench is a lazy bench. My excuse. But as I am
the only one on my bench I know where everything is.

I think I am a great example of how much you can do with so little.



Hello Hans,

You are one of the masters that is shared with the jewelry world via
Orchid. Evidenced by the marvelous mythical creatures you have
designed and constructed. I’ll thank you right now for giving us the
opportunity to see and learn.

Thanks also go to Hanuman and Ton for their dedication! I appreciate
that flaming is not tolerated.

Brian, your “sleep on it rule” makes a lot of sense. Kudos for
bringing it up. Even an immediate re-reading of a post is wise before
posting. The anonymity of email probably dampens the social tact of
face-to-face conversations. Ergo, our responses should be couched as
though speaking directly to a person.

I’m just sayin’
Judy in Kansas, who sees the redbuds and asparagus signaling spring…
although the return of vultures is the real harbinger!


I’d like to add one point to this conversation. While I’m all in
favor of courtesy and thanking people who help, I am very glad this
forum does not contain what I think of as “content-free messages”.
Other forums I have been on are half or more emails that only say
thank you, and it is a waste of good electrons (and everyone’s time)
to wade through them. So, by all means say thank you, but do it along
with some interesting feedback, or do it off-forum, please-- IMHO.




The Egyptians did not have all the tools we have nor could they buy
them andthey turned out some incredible pieces. Tools make it easer.
not better all ways… I too drool over the new toys. but still do
some fine work without them as you do.

Most people I think do not really know that in incredible things
they can dowith simple tools… Hang in there after you finish paying
the plumber you should have a little to buy a new toy.



Most people I think do not really know that in incredible things
they can do with simple tools. 

Totally agree with Vernon. Some tools make work easier and less
strain on the body. I use a ring bender for my shanks now.

Less strain on my old hands. I was taught to make without a flexi
hand filing and sanding. Slow but just as accurate.

After speaking to a diamond mechanic, he makes the settings for the
diamonds, he told me NOT to use the sanding wheels for finishing up
jewellery. Told me to go back to sanding sticks, like I was taught.
Actually faster, cheaper and more accurate.

I do also use sandpaper on the flexi mandrels. Hold the sandpaper on
with masking tape. I saw a student jeweller tie the sandpaper on with
binding wire. Struck me as very dangerous if it came undone.

While we may really want the new cool tools, I find I do not need
them for what I make. What you need are metal and stones.

Except for the Knew concept saw. It will make my work faster and
more accurate.

Same said for my Benchmate, it is the biggest advance for my
workshop. It cut my fabrication time and increased accuracy.

So Newbies four things you do need to hand make at professional

A good flexi
A benchmate
A Knew concept saw
A good torch.

Do you need them to make quality jewellery? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But you
will make it more slowly.



And once you are an past expiration date for a methane exhauster, you
will want a good electric rolling mill. (of course I roll 6 gauge
wire down to 24 gauge strips. Nearly a miles worth to start with
each year)

Aggie with serious one sides muscles.