Hey everyone. My name’s Matt Thomson, I’m from team 1038, the rookies out of West Chester. I’m sitting here with a box of tools and old manuals and trying to figure out if I can drill this metal with this bit, or this PVC with this bit, and it’s all getting a little confusing. That’s why I was thinking, is there a place to meet another team that’s not a rookie? Or maybe just get a few leaders from the rookie team to chat/chill with some people from a veteran team to kinda get the swing of things? If there’s not, I propose that we set one up, like a Mentoring Program or something, to help out the rookie teams. I figure nobody’d be opposed, the atmosphere of FIRST is really cool, especially for a “competition,” everyone likes to help everyone else. Maybe the big name teams could get set up with the rookies and so on and so forth, so that the leaders could get up to speed with what’s going on. My AIM sn is on my info or whatever, and my email addy, so someone get in touch, and maybe even use this thread to meet other people. Just put out like an add, kinda like a personal, without the lovey dovey stuff (unless you’re an all girls team…j/k) and then the vet teams can, if they have time, pick a rookie team and help out. Just talking with someone who knows what goes on sounds like it would help a lot. Thanks for listening!

Start here:

That is a list of teams in Ohio that have offered to be mentors to other teams. If you haven’t yet, have your main contact go into the Team Information Management System and indicate that your team would like to be mentored. Also, they can use that system to obtain contact information about some of the teams listed above.

For what it’s worth, we use the same bits for everything :slight_smile: Just make sure that you lubricate the bit when you’re cutting metals (and don’t use water, either :wink: )

Mr Thomson,

Most veteran teams will be glad to help you. I’d help but the commute from CA is a killer. But feel free to post any quetsions you have here on CD. Please use the proper forum though.

As for drill bits, if it looks like a drill bit (ie a spiral channel running up the side) then it probably capable of cutting most things, though you may need guidance on the proper speed and feed. Machinery’s Handbook is a great source for that sort of thing.

If it doesn’t look like a drill bit, then it is a custom bit and is designed specifically for a particular material, like composites (we use a lot of those where I work). You probably don’t need it for FIRST stuff.

A note to veteran teams: you can get help from rookies too! I’ve got one of the Rookie teams we’re mentoring working on a solution to a specific problem because they have technical expertise in that area, and we don’t. If they come up with a good solution we both win!

If you need any help with machining you can ask me. It’s what I do:)

Most drill will drill through metal but you need to us lots of pressure. If you have a big drill say 3/8 or larger use a smaller drill first if helps out so you don’t have to push as hard. As for speeds a good rule of thumb is start slow and crank up the speed until your flutes blur that about right. Or Smaller faster bigger slower:)

Another resource you can use is the new Q & A Forum.
Although it is not up yet, it will provide a place to get answers to questions like the ones you mentioned (without all the off topic discussion).

This forum is located here:

One thing someone on my team learned the hard way (it truly wasn’t me): taps are not drills and you shouldn’t use them as such. Likewise, drill presses are your friend, but don’t try to tap with them unless you REALLY know what you are doing.

Hey, wow, that was quick. Thanks guys for all your help, i can’t wait to meet all of you in the coming months. As for drill bits, I think I’m covered now, but there are mills and composites and all sorts of fun things left. The post that interests me the most was the one about rookies helping out veterans, that was cool. I’d like to be a part of that. Thanks for the Ohio post, my sponsor head-honcho guy is actually the old leader of team 144(?) out of Northwest High School. SO, judging by how well he knows his stuff, we should be fine. But we’re all still rookies, and we’re all still lost. Keep in touch, and keep finding people to help out. And most of all, I can’t wait to meet all of you guys online and at competitions. I think this is gonna be a blast, I just need to get my hands on some metal!

Thanks again!

You can ask anything here and get an answer. Wildstang, Team 111 is mentoring and helping all the time. Just ask and we will try to steer you in the right direction.

A lot of teams here in the Bay area not only help mentor teams, but also help finding new team so they can mentor them as part of the deal with Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. You get about 2000 dollars (I think) if you mentor 1 rookie team going to the regional you are attending, while going through a process making sure teams are doing their job mentoring the rookie team, and making sure the rookie team take advantage of the mentoring team. That’s just how it is over here in California… Though Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers challenged other sponsors doing the same thing.

In general, you will find that a lot of teams are more helpful then you think. I know a lot of them hold workshops for other teams to help them prepare for competition. WRRF in Bay Area did it for 2 years now, and SCRRF just started this year with some very successful workshops, and also workshops at this and last year’s Novi kickoff held by lots of great FIRSTers from around that area.

At the same time, these teams hold post season competitions and something totally different like OCRRA and CDI (unfortunately canceled this year), which are great for teams to get extra experiences at, as well as great chance to socialize with other FIRSTers.

Teams simply made friends with each other through out the years, and are turning that friendship into something more meaningful. I encourage all rookie teams to talk to other teams at their regional kickoffs (AND regional competitions of course), and see what kind of activities are available in their area.

Pay attention to the “off season/unofficial competition” forum in here too, as well as the FIRST website to see what post season activities are happening, so you can take full advantage of them.

Team 222 just assumed the role of mentor to team 1147. We cant wait. I think you will find that most veteran team would be more than willing to help you Mr. Thompson.