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MR.0001"
07-15-2007, 04:19 PM
I'm a 4th year apprentice and work for national oilwell

tattoomike68
07-15-2007, 04:23 PM
I made my living as a job shop machinist for about 11 years till I screwed up my back.

Now I just tinker in my shop at home.

Evan
07-15-2007, 04:24 PM
I'm retired. I once worked in all aspects of aircraft metal work for about 4 years after training in the army.

banjoallen
07-15-2007, 04:25 PM
I am. 31 years.
http://millermachinetool.com/ Been there 18 years. Allen

lazlo
07-15-2007, 04:39 PM
I'm retired. I once worked in all aspects of aircraft metal work for about 4 years after training in the army.

Evan, this comment seems to contradict something you wrote last year. Were you ever formerly trained as a machinist?


I am not a machinist, it's an avocation, not a vocation. I have never been employed as a machinist, only as a airframe mechanic and welder/fitter (plus at least 50 other jobs over the years that have had little or nothing to do with metal work).

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showpost.php?p=175994&postcount=69

Just curious...

IOWOLF
07-15-2007, 04:53 PM
I also make a meager living as a machinist.
Among other things.

Evan
07-15-2007, 04:59 PM
Evan, this comment seems to contradict something you wrote last year. Were you ever formerly trained as a machinist?

No. I have done nearly everything there is to do in metalwork for a living that doesn't involve lathes, milling machines or foundry work. I have never claimed to be a machinist.

Rustybolt
07-15-2007, 05:13 PM
I do. I also design some of the machines I make.

Tin Falcon
07-15-2007, 05:25 PM
I was trained by the US Air Force as a machinist as well as aircraft structural repair. I have worked professionally as a machinist also in a model shop weld shop as well as aircraft repair.
Tin

dicks42000
07-15-2007, 05:31 PM
I make part of my living as a light gauge metal fabricator (allied to my business as an HVAC contractor....Duct work, flashings, curbs, artistic stuff like newel post caps in copper....). I have a diploma in mechanical engineering technology from BCIT, an undergraduate degree in materials science from Ryerson, some RCNVR courses in marine engineering and have completed some courses in lathe & milling machine operation in the machinist training program at BCIT. No IPTQ as a machinist, I refer to my self as a "lathe operator" but do earn a bit of cash at it and enjoy it as a hobby as well. Tetra society jobs allow me to give something back to society too. Working in the shop this afternoon, in fact.
Still enjoy it, sometimes think it would be nice to do it full time in the shop where it's warm & dry, versus driving around in a service van. Not that big a market here anymore though. Toilets and heat pay the bills & mortgage.
Rick

japcas
07-15-2007, 05:42 PM
I have been working full time as a machinist for the last 11 years. Been running my shop at home for almost 3 years mostly as a modeler but I sometimes do work for others to make money to buy new equipment.

platypus2020
07-15-2007, 05:45 PM
I've worked for the last 30 years as an industrial boiler service technician, doing electrical, hydraulic, pnuematic, combustion and refractory services. I also fabricate and machine parts for boilers that are no longer made, as the number of manufacturers still in business, is getting smaller all the time.

About 25% of what I do in my shop is for the boiler company, the rest is for other endeavers, like racing, farm repairs and small jobs for local contractors.

jack

Al Messer
07-15-2007, 05:48 PM
Not me, for sure. Never made a Dime off it. I do it just as a hobby.

Errol Groff
07-15-2007, 05:51 PM
I served a 7500 hour apprenticeship at Pratt and Whitney Machine Tool (West Hartford, CT) from 10/65 to 10/68. Followed by three years at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft (East Hartford, CT) and a variety of other positions over the years. In 1987 I took an instructing position in the Vo-Tech system here in Connecticut.

September 1 will mark my 20th anniversary as an instructor. So, not only have I been a machinist for 42 years I have had a hand in creating a number of machinists along the way.

Only a small percentage of our graduates stay in the trade but those who do have become leadmen and foreman and several now own their own shops.

One of this years grads earned a full four scholarship to the University of Connecticut School of Engineering. He was a super student! This entire past year I never once had to tell him what to do. Every day he would show up with an Autocad drawing of whatever part the Chevelle he is rebuilding needed. Transfer it to Mastercam and do the tool path and set about manufacturing the piece. Actually listened to guidance when he was going astray and was, all in all, a great kid to have around. I will miss him greatly when school starts in the fall.

Tin Falcon
07-15-2007, 05:59 PM
Dicks 4200:
I have never heard of the TETRA Society. I did a google and checked out the web page.Looks very interesting. Please post a thread and tell us about your involvement with this group and post some photos of the projects you have done for them.

John R
07-15-2007, 06:32 PM
I'm a retired engineer. First learned machinist work in engineering school then took it up at home. Sometimes I make a dollar or two but most of the time I'm making parts for the neighbors, my children, grand childern and my self.
John R

PHiers
07-15-2007, 08:00 PM
Good thing too since sometimes I have to make three parts to get one good one. :D

Ag Machinist
07-15-2007, 08:19 PM
I was a machinist for one year building ship board cranes in Seattle, then three more years spent hand-cuffed to a lathe building fishing gear.

Unfortunately I worked my way up the ladder to management for a shop in Eastern Washington. I only get to spend an hour or two a week now at my favorite lathe. Some of my fondest work memories of any job were shackeled to a Voest lathe making halibut and crabbing gear. I'll never be able to forget exactly where that lathe would take a 2 thou dip on you while making a cut, learned to back out the carriage just in time after awhile.

John Foster
07-15-2007, 08:21 PM
I ran my first lathe when I was about 10 and have been running them off and on ever since (I'm now 77). I think I'm a machinist.
I taught machine shop (but more importantly thinking, reasoning and problem solving) at the high school level and vocational shop for adults which included blind and deaf students. Probably the most rewarding times of my life was when a blind student would graduated and get a job. I had some wonderful students and a few clinkers but then that's life.

J.Ramsey
07-15-2007, 08:24 PM
Evan
Maybe you should have read MR.0001's question before you were so quick to post a reply,his question was" how many people on this site are actually machinist for a living"? not other forms of the metal working trade.:)

Your Old Dog
07-15-2007, 08:30 PM
I am a retired tv news photographer. My only claim to fame with tools and tooling is that my complete cabinet wood working shop and now my fairly complete machine shop were all paid for by projects done for local tv stations. A mangled ankle in an accident at work forced me into early retirement. While I carried a camera for over 35 years, my heart has always been with things mechanical and working with my hands. I fed the family and paid the bills with an engraving hammer for a few years also. Now I am no longer a Philistine but a Bohemian and living the life of a guy with a very sore ankle !! :D

lane
07-15-2007, 08:36 PM
No. I have done nearly everything there is to do in metalwork for a living that doesn't involve lathes, milling machines or foundry work. I have never claimed to be a machinist.

From what I have seen you do you would pass for a pretty good one.

Seastar
07-15-2007, 08:36 PM
I spent 45 years as an electronic engineer.
Most of that was designing RF equipment.
The machining is strictly something to keep me out of the bars and pool halls in retirement. I am a lot better design engineer than I am a machinist.
Bill

oldtiffie
07-15-2007, 08:48 PM
Deleted/erased-out

tiptop
07-15-2007, 08:48 PM
Probably only 15% of my wages come from machining. The rest is from woodworking, blacksmithing, and fabrication. People seem to part with their money faster for this work. Although I can say 90% of my enjoyment working (or playing) is in the machine shop side of my joint.

lane
07-15-2007, 08:49 PM
Been and Done Oil field machine work . Tool and Die for ten or 12 years. Design and build specialized machine tool and fixtures for 25 years . Ran machine shop a few years now doing small quantity machine work in production shop and design and build jigs and fixtures for mass produced parts. plus machinery maintenance along with any thing else any one wants.And have had home shop since 1974.

Mark Hockett
07-15-2007, 09:02 PM
I am the owner of a machine shop and work in it full time for a living, does that count?

Evan
07-15-2007, 09:25 PM
Evan
Maybe you should have read MR.0001's question before you were so quick to post a reply,his question was" how many people on this site are actually machinist for a living"? not other forms of the metal working trade.

Not posting does not answer the question. A lack of response does not imply a negative. Are you going to assume that anyone that doesn't make a reply has never made a living as a machinist? Faulty logic that is.

JS
07-15-2007, 09:46 PM
I am... been machining 9 years now

pntrbl
07-15-2007, 09:52 PM
No machinist on me. Just a lot of desire ......

I've considered applying for entry level work. Lathe operator. Whatever. But I make too much money as a painting contractor to do that. Ain't gonna happen.

SP

Mcruff
07-15-2007, 10:03 PM
I served my apprenticeship in mold making from 1981-1983, have been building or repairing plastic injection molds since then. I and my father had a Tool & Mold shop from 1992 thru late 1999 with 4 employees. NAFTA killed it as we could not find new customers fast enough to replace the ones we were losing that were going south. I now work for a company building secondary equipment and repairing molds for the auto industry, mainly Nissan, GM and Mercedes.

chado
07-15-2007, 10:24 PM
I have been a job shop machinist for most of my life. Started back in 1965
and still doing it today. Just got the word last Friday that the I will be going to school to learn the new CNC machine the boss just got. And after 21 years doing CNC programming, setup and operating for him WOW I get to go to school, but then I am only 65 years young.

Don

motorworks
07-15-2007, 10:29 PM
Yes I do this for a living* and because I love it I have made
a life out of it. (now if I could only make some $$ :D)
eddie
*1 man shop owner/operator

madman
07-15-2007, 10:30 PM
34 years in the trades. Aerospace machinist for 17 years or so. Tool and Die Maker and currently a Automated Machine Machinist. I get too fix all the crap the guys screw up. Usually remachining after parts heat treated. Some of the Jobs are nigh impossible but always seem to fuddle through it somehow.

CCWKen
07-15-2007, 10:57 PM
Do I get paid for the machining I do for customers? Yes.
Am I a machinist? No. I'm car builder and restorer. Machining is just part of the job.

Here's the latest project:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/CCWKen/Projects/Model%20T-TT/BobbyPatton-Truck-01.jpg

J.Ramsey
07-15-2007, 11:14 PM
oldtiffie
Thanks for the heads up,I guess some people can't read and comprehend,
I also thought MR.0001 asked a specific question.

Evan I don't assume anything about anybody unless I have known them personally for quite some time,I call that good logic.

Cobra62
07-15-2007, 11:25 PM
Not me, I'm an auto mechanic - although I have made a few parts for customers with my home shop.

I think Evan has it right, no answer at all dosn't really answer the question.

Mr. 0001", what city do you work in? I know a couple of people at National here in Edmonton, it sounds like a really good company to work for.

BTW, that name isn't going to help you much with the ladies!

cybor462
07-15-2007, 11:51 PM
I did back in the 70's and early 80's started in a small shop and ended up at Avco Lycoming in Stratford CT. Was laid off (due to a robotics line) in the early 80's and gave it up. As sometimes things go I now have my own small shop which I am just starting to make and sell tooling.

Amazing how life goes.

budsimmons
07-15-2007, 11:51 PM
I was a toolmaker in the 50's. Then I went into the semicinductor idustry. Worked in the feasability shops, then worked my way into engineering and eventually eng. manegment. I still miss the days of buliding machines. I would like to have a home shop. I retired in 1998.

Doozer
07-16-2007, 12:03 AM
I am a tooling engineer. Basicly, I am a mechanical engineer and a machinist. My job is in the realm of manufacturing engineering. I also work with electronics, PLCs, power systems, hydraulics, pneumatics, motor drives, tig welding, you name it. Many things I do at work involves problem solving. Many times for engineers who should be able to solve their own problems. I guess I know why. I went to engineering school for four years, and most of the stuff I know that makes me smart, was self learned.
At home I have 8 lathes and 4 mills, and lots of other stuff.
--Doozer

Gary Reif
07-16-2007, 12:24 AM
I am for 34 years. First 25 as a automotive machinist and the last 9 as a maintenance machinist in a manufacturing plant.

JRouche
07-16-2007, 01:13 AM
how many people on this site are actually machinists for a living?

Not my self, I'm a cop...JRouche

slim_jim
07-16-2007, 02:19 AM
I am a machinist, 3 years training at South County Technical high school, 2 years training at Ranken Technical collage and 6 years working in the field.
I work 2nd shift 8 to 9 hours a day, then come home to work in my own shop some times until 6:00 or 7:00 A.M.

Jim Hubbell
07-16-2007, 05:50 AM
I am retired from my HVAC company and took up machining as a hobby. Not trying to make money.

ptjw7uk
07-16-2007, 06:03 AM
I am a Physist (Spectroscopist) by training now an ICT technician in a school by day and a machinist whenever I can get at the tools!!
Peter

Your Old Dog
07-16-2007, 08:04 AM
CLARIFICATION OF EARLIER RESPONCE NEEDED:

J.Ramsey, if I asked you to get me some relish from the refrigerator would you just bring me some in your hand or would you hand me the entire jar ? :D


oldtiffie
Thanks for the heads up,I guess some people can't read and comprehend,
I also thought MR.0001 asked a specific question.

Evan I don't assume anything about anybody unless I have known them personally for quite some time,I call that good logic.

Weston Bye
07-16-2007, 09:51 AM
I wouldn't consider myself a machinist. However, I have designed and built many test fixtures or test stands for a living and did the machining required to produce these. I also build prototypes and proof-of-concept models and machine the parts for these. Although I design and build for articles that appear in HSM and Digital Machinist, I could not walk in the door of a local machine shop looking for a job. My skills fit my needs, but would be lacking in the typical shop.

J.Ramsey
07-16-2007, 11:24 AM
YOD
I would bring you the jar of relish from the refrigerator unless you specified otherwise.
Whats your point?.................you cookin hot dogs on the grill?

Evan
07-16-2007, 11:40 AM
I think the point is that the original post didn't say to reply only if you are a professional machinist. You can't do a survey by recording only one type of answer.

J Tiers
07-16-2007, 11:40 AM
I'm in-between.

Actually an engineer, but have done quite a bit of prototype machining for work.

So while not being specifically and separately paid for that service, nor formally trained to do it, I was generally EXPECTED to do it.

JCD
07-16-2007, 11:48 AM
Been there done that.

Willy
07-16-2007, 12:11 PM
I think the point is that the original post didn't say to reply only if you are a professional machinist. You can't do a survey by recording only one type of answer.

Evan, I beg to differ, the original question was..." how many people on this site are actually machinists for a living".

If I address a room full of people and ask all those with names that start with "H", for example, to stand up, I would not expect the the entire room to stand up.

I don't believe the original post was a survey, otherwise he would have asked all of us what are vocations are and then he could tabulate the results to find the actual number of machinists.

If my logic is found lacking I stand corrected.

Scishopguy
07-16-2007, 12:34 PM
I have been in the machinist trade all my working life. Apprenticed in tool and die from '72 to '75 in a company that subcontracted to Detroit. Worked in a production plant that manufactured Atlas Boat Winches, mainly turret lathe work, and ended up in their tool shop making jigs and fixtures for the press and production machine departments. Lucked out in '77 and got a job with the Department of Oceanography at Florida State University. This is where the learning really began. I had to learn some electronics, sheet metal work, and a lot of work with exotic materials such at titanium and monel. Did a great deal of plastics work, all machined parts, to keep the biologists and chemists projects bringing in data. Machined a variety of pressure cases for oceanographic instruments, some of which were deep deployments for more than a year (O ring seals had to be done correctly here). After 26 years with them I retired and now have my own little shop, catering to the science and education industry but not too specialized to make parts for automotive or farm equipment. I have always loved to make parts and build equipment and will do so for the durration.

Evan
07-16-2007, 12:45 PM
As you say the question is "how many people on this site are actually machinists for a living".

You can discover how many people are active members of the forum at the bottom of the main page. Unless people answer the question both in the affirmative and the negative you will not know how many just didn't answer but are professional machinsts.

The set the OP is concerned concerned with is "people on this site". The subset is "making a living machining". It is not reasonable to expect an answer from every single active member who is a member of the subset so the only way to make an estimate is to know what the percentage is. That requires both affirmative and negative answers. With that an estimate can be made to answer the question.


If I address a room full of people and ask all those with names that start with "H", for example, to stand up, I would not expect the the entire room to stand up.

You also don't know how many people's names start with H. They may not have heard your request. To accurately determine the truth you then need to ask how many people have names that don't start with H.

mochinist
07-16-2007, 12:57 PM
Look at what you guys are arguing about, maybe unplug from the net and go outside or something. Lol anyways I make my living as a machinist.

Willy
07-16-2007, 01:16 PM
Look at what you guys are arguing about, maybe unplug from the net and go outside or something. Lol anyways I make my living as a machinist.

LOL
You know Evan....I think he's right.
I think we both have more interesting things to do than to carry on an inane and esoteric discussion.

Renegade
07-16-2007, 01:28 PM
Seems to me some members argue for the sake of arguing because they believe that they are never wrong about anything.
BTW I've run a fab/job shop for thirty eight years and do quit a bit of machine work but don't consider my self a true machinist, I just do what it takes to get the job done.

hoof
07-16-2007, 02:24 PM
I like anything that moves without human power. I program PLC's for a living for machinery. I hope my cellar machine shop and electronics shop get married someday. ie: build a CNC mill or lathe. Got just about everything I need except a plan and the time. Maybe someday.:)

topct
07-16-2007, 02:39 PM
"how many people on this site are actually machinists for a living?"

I don't think you will ever know. There are people "on" this site that are not even registered. There are people that will not answer.

It would be interesting to try to see what percentage of the people that visit here are actually in the trade, but the nature of these BBS's will not get you an answer that is worth anything.

Peter N
07-16-2007, 02:56 PM
I do a bit for pocket money. A couple of small jobs a year perhaps, but my workshop is predominantly for fun and for myself.

It's more about making swarf than making a living :D

Peter

Evan
07-16-2007, 04:42 PM
You know Evan....I think he's right.
I think we both have more interesting things to do than to carry on an inane and esoteric discussion.

Very true. I didn't answer earlier because I was busy in the shop. A quick lunch break and back at it.

Timleech
07-16-2007, 04:56 PM
I do machining work as a part of my living. I'm not a 'machinist'.

Tim

IOWOLF
07-16-2007, 04:56 PM
It is a bit odd for a newby to ask this on his first post?:rolleyes:

Evan
07-16-2007, 05:11 PM
Yeah, that's what I thought too. Seems rather trollish to me. Could be someone here.

Your Old Dog
07-16-2007, 05:12 PM
I think the point is that the original post didn't say to reply only if you are a professional machinist. You can't do a survey by recording only one type of answer.

For someone who chops up his own power cords that was pretty perceptive Evan :D

J Tiers
07-16-2007, 06:17 PM
For someone who chops up his own power cords that was pretty perceptive Evan :D

let's let that one drop.

I'd be pretty annoyed about having it happen once, let alone twice, and might even be tempted to rant a bit about it too. That whether I was right or wrong about it.

We all have a bit of the "Gary E" or the OLD "IOWOLF" in us ..... and people differ..... check the 'eating greens" thread for more details.

Your Old Dog
07-16-2007, 06:43 PM
let's let that one drop.
.

I would hope by now that Evan knows he can count me as a friend and the post was only made for a chuckle and not beat him up. But you're right, this is as good a place to drop it as any.

Kind of like me thanking Wolf for the spelling suggestion and Evan finding a spelling error in my post :D Simply two friends pulling each others chain. Had I been slamming him it would have been the first time and I'm guessing he knows where I'm coming from, after all, I've been called a Philistine by another member I have immense respect for :D

IOWOLF
07-16-2007, 07:11 PM
NoOOOOO, Ya think. LOL

Davyboy
07-16-2007, 11:12 PM
Been getting paid for machine work for over 30 years...hope to get good at it someday.;)

tattoomike68
07-16-2007, 11:19 PM
It is a bit odd for a newby to ask this on his first post?:rolleyes:

Why?



Yeah, that's what I thought too. Seems rather trollish to me. Could be someone here.

How so?

lazlo
07-16-2007, 11:24 PM
Yeah, that seems kind of paranoid to me (thinking this question is a "troll" from one of the regulars).

I thought it was pretty interesting to see who the pro's are, although I didn't see Sir John, Forrest, and Lane respond, and they're (obviously) professionals.

tattoomike68
07-16-2007, 11:27 PM
We have a bunch of pros here, the talent is amazing to me.

KiddZimaHater
07-16-2007, 11:29 PM
I am.....
4 years doing Tool & Die work
2 Years doing Injection Mold Making
3 Years in Production Machining
-Currently doing CNC Programming & Operating.
WWWEEEEEEEEE........

lazlo
07-16-2007, 11:32 PM
We have a bunch of pros here, the talent is amazing to me.

No kidding! I'm amazed at the number of lurkers who are pro's! :)

aostling
07-16-2007, 11:51 PM
In 1962 I had a part-time job in Hewlett-Packard's machine shop, but not as a machinist. This was when the entire corporation existed only in Palo Alto. The machine shop was in Bldg. 4 on Page Mill Road. All lathes and mills were manual except for one tape-controlled machine, a Milwaukee-matic, I think. I didn't do the CNC coding.

I worked for the "tool engineer," and we wrote machining procedures. I don't know if the machinists actually followed them. I mean, why would they need a 'ute' to tell them how to make a part?

I had access to the lathes and mills, and used them after working hours to make a small air-driven engine.

Once a month Dave Packard would host a keg of beer at the warehouse down by the SP tracks. It was always on a pay day.

Mad Scientist
07-16-2007, 11:53 PM
I design and built stuff and things for people who do not know how to, or are unable, to make their own stuff and things. I will work with wood, metal or electronics, whatever the job requires. Iím self-employed and been doing this for the last 20 years or so.

As of last year I am officially retired, :) which means that I am still doing exactly what I was doing before. :D

J Tiers
07-16-2007, 11:58 PM
after all, I've been called a Philistine by another member I have immense respect for

Ah, but you see, YOU didn't deserve it.

Me...... well, I've got a membership card.

Randy
07-17-2007, 12:07 AM
I've been running and programming CNC machines for 9 years now, but an HSM since I got my little Jet lathe in 1981.

Evan
07-17-2007, 01:20 AM
I am curious what qualifies one to be called a professional machinist. I have never claimed to be a machinist because the category is too narrow. I am a metal worker and make things from metal.

If the qualification requires that the person has, for compensation, operated a machine tool that works metal to a different form by subtractive methods then I have worked as a professional machinist. If it requires that the person has worked using specifically a lathe or mill then I am not a professional machinist. The latter seems an unreasonably narrow definition as there are many other ways to work with metal.

speedy
07-17-2007, 01:43 AM
Not me. I try not to work too much in my garage. It seems that the more work I do there, the more puncture repairs:confused:
but strangely enough, and distantly related, a friend of mine was a diesel fitter in a womens lingerie outlet:) .

kap pullen
07-17-2007, 09:14 AM
I am curious what qualifies one to be called a professional machinist. I have never claimed to be a machinist because the category is too narrow. I am a metal worker and make things from metal.

If the qualification requires that the person has, for compensation, operated a machine tool that works metal to a different form by subtractive methods then I have worked as a professional machinist. If it requires that the person has worked using specifically a lathe or mill then I am not a professional machinist. The latter seems an unreasonably narrow definition as there are many other ways to work with metal.

8000 hours practical machine work, plus theory in collage, or ICS classes makes a "Journeyman Machinist" to the state of Maryland.

I don't consider myself professional, considering the dirty fingernails, and bull work I have to perform, and lack of respect from supervisors.

I would consider it a craft.

Most machinists get into the other metal working crafts you speak of.

I too am into sheet metal, welding, fabrication, electrical installation, trouble shooting, repairs, and anything else required to keep a shop going.

Machining is as narrow as medicine, or dentistry in my view.

Evan, your creations appear nicely finished, and well done.
That is something the "professional" may not have time or patience to do.

How often I have heard, and told the machinist, or operator,

Make it to Mill Spec. MILTFP.

(Make it like the friggen print, no better or worse).

Me, I started the Apprenticeship in 1969.

Kap

Evan
07-17-2007, 09:41 AM
8000 hours practical machine work, plus theory in collage, or ICS classes makes a "Journeyman Machinist" to the state of Maryland.
Ok. Now we have one definition that is clear and indisputeable. I very much doubt that all of the people that have replied to this thread that they have made a living as a machinist and consider themselves to be a machinist have equivalent qualifications. That isn't a reflection of ability, merely a measure of the career path taken.

Any other definitions?

BTW, I am extremely familiar with the MILTFP environment. I worked in it for years.

IOWOLF
07-17-2007, 10:24 AM
Well then , according to SOME people I am not a Machinist.:mad:

I will tell the IRS they can't charge me taxes When I work out of my shop because I am not a machinist. It must be a hobby.:)

Peter N
07-17-2007, 10:41 AM
Ok. Now we have one definition that is clear and indisputeable. I very much doubt that all of the people that have replied to this thread that they have made a living as a machinist and consider themselves to be a machinist have equivalent qualifications. That isn't a reflection of ability, merely a measure of the career path taken.

And then we have those like me who are perhaps the opposite.

I did a 5 year engineering apprenticeship, final year spent in the toolroom and ending up qualifying as a Toolmaker.
During this 5 years, 4 years were spent at the local technical college one day and one evening per week, to obtain the formal certification to go with the apprenticeship.
At work we went through all the EITB (Engineering Industry Training Board) modules pertaining to turning, milling, grinding, fitting, benchwork etc, as well as the in-house modules on Injection mould Toolmaking.

C & G certificates here:

http://www.btinternet.com/~p.neill/City_n_Guilds_1a.jpg
http://www.btinternet.com/~p.neill/City_n_Guilds_2a.jpg
http://www.btinternet.com/~p.neill/City_n_Guilds_3a.jpg

After I finished the apprenticeship I moved straight into the drawing office, then junior management, then back to University for another 2 years for a Licentiateship in Polymer Technology and Engineering, then stayed in management and didn't touch another machine tool for 25 years.

I got back into it as a hobby 2 years ago, and whilst technically I qualified as a Toolmaker, I feel more like an apprentice again.

There are un-qualified hobby machinists on here who could run rings around the best of my efforts, and probably in a quarter of the time it takes me to do it as well.

Peter

J.Ramsey
07-17-2007, 10:44 AM
IOWOLF
Some of the others on this forum think that a piece of paper called a diploma makes them smarter than those that don't, most of the others know better.
Send an idiot to college you just get an educated idiot.;)

J Tiers
07-17-2007, 10:49 AM
Send an idiot to college you just get an educated idiot.;)

And THAT is a true statement.........................

lazlo
07-17-2007, 11:02 AM
At work we went through all the EITB (Engineering Industry Training Board) modules pertaining to turning, milling, grinding, fitting, benchwork etc,

I stumbled across the EITB lathe module on eMule (file sharing network), and it's probably the best lathe training manual I've ever seen, and like Sir John, I have an extensive library of old machining texts. I've looked for the EITB milling module, to no avail.

Peter N
07-17-2007, 11:03 AM
And THAT is a true statement.........................


Hey....!! I resemble that remark :D

Peter

heavysteamer
07-17-2007, 12:24 PM
I'm retired now, but have earned a living doing machine work several times over the years. Now I just do machining for myself and maybe a small job if someone can catch me and convince me to do it.

jr45acp
07-17-2007, 01:55 PM
I've neither made a living as a machinist nor do I consider myself to be one. I did complete a certificate program at my local community college some years back. My primary focus is relative to firearms, specifically 1911 style auto pistols, although I've done some limited rifle work. My career was law enforcement from which I retired after 30 years.

John Stevenson
07-17-2007, 02:30 PM
I stumbled across the EITB lathe module on eMule (file sharing network), and it's probably the best lathe training manual I've ever seen, and like Sir John, I have an extensive library of old machining texts. I've looked for the EITB milling module, to no avail.

Still got the lot of them somewhere.
I think the one on benchwork still has blood on it from being hit around the left ear by that guy we had as a teacher.
He got thrown out the SS for cruelty.

.

Rustybolt
07-17-2007, 06:48 PM
wouldn't consider myself a machinist. However, I have designed and built many test fixtures or test stands for a living and did the machining required to produce these. I also build prototypes and proof-of-concept models and machine the parts for these. Although I design and build for articles that appear in HSM and Digital Machinist, I could not walk in the door of a local machine shop looking for a job. My skills fit my needs, but would be lacking in the typical shop.
__________________
Weston Bye


Don't count on it Wes. I've interviewed people who were 'machinists' for decades and couldn't single point a thread or tram a mill head. The longer I do this, the more I realize how meager my knowledge really is. I'm usually thrown a challenge every day and do my best to meet it. It's when you loose your desire to learn is when you start growing old. You'd do fine in any shop.

Ivy McNeil
07-17-2007, 10:13 PM
I retired in 2002 after 43 continuous years in Tool and Die/Automation machines/Aircraft machining/Moldmaker.

Twenty of the years was in the Aircraft Industries.

Ivy McNeil

mochinist
07-17-2007, 10:49 PM
Ok. Now we have one definition that is clear and indisputeable. I very much doubt that all of the people that have replied to this thread that they have made a living as a machinist and consider themselves to be a machinist have equivalent qualifications. That isn't a reflection of ability, merely a measure of the career path taken.Unions are almost non existant here regardless I pretty much did the equivalent of what Kap posted, I just did it on my own and didnt get any paperwork saying I completed it. edit: beisdes the college course grades and credits of course, no degree in machining, got that in firescience before I realized I hated going to car accidents.


Any other definitions?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machinist

wiki can be unreliable though

http://www.nims-skills.org/downloads/documents/standards_machining_I3.7.06.pdf
http://www.nims-skills.org/downloads/documents/standards_machining_II3.7.06.pdf
http://www.nims-skills.org/downloads/documents/standards_machining_III3.7.06.pdf
http://www.nims-skills.org/downloads/downloads.htm

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos223.htm

lazlo
07-17-2007, 11:13 PM
http://www.nims-skills.org/downloads/documents/standards_machining_I3.7.06.pdf

National Institude for Metalworking Skills/ANSI 101-2001
Duties and Standards for Machining Skills

Duty Title: 2.2 Manual Operations: Layout

Duty: Layout the location of hole center and surfaces within an accuracy of +/-.015 (!)
What?! Won't that get you thrown out of most machine shops, if you can't locate to better than 15 thou??

Duty Title: 2.3 Turning Operations: Between Centers Turning

Duty: Setup and carry out between centers turning operations for straight turning.

Accuracy Level: +/-.015 on all fractions, +/-.005 on all decimals. Diameters to be concentric within .002 TIR.
They don't say how long the stock is, but assuming the headstock is aligned with the ways, and the headstock
and tailstock centers are aligned, this is primarily a test of how well you can locate and punch the centers.

Duty Title: 2.6 Vertical Milling

Duty: Setup and operate vertical milling machines. Perform routine milling, and location of hole centers within +/- .005"

Evan
07-18-2007, 12:23 AM
When I asked for other definitions I meant definitions based on the individual experience of the people posting.

I've been modifying metal to make things since I was a small child. I used to make things with my Erector set but instead of following the plans I made up my own creations and I would bend and twist the parts in order to accomodate the design. Nothing has changed since then. :)

lazlo
07-18-2007, 12:47 AM
I've been modifying metal to make things since I was a small child. I used to make things with my Erector set but instead of following the plans I made up my own creations and I would bend and twist the parts in order to accomodate the design.

But that doesn't answer the question that the original poster asked. The topic of the thread is:

"How many people on this site are actually machinists for a living?"

I think we all know what a machinist is, and now we know who are professional machinists. Very interesting thread, all in all...

Joel
07-18-2007, 02:07 AM
I have worked in machine shops, and as such, was a 'professional machinist'. So what.

The shops did (almost exclusively) the same jobs, so the work was typically repetitive and uninteresting. I learned more in my 2 years of schooling than I probably would have in 20 years at one of the shops. Out of the 15 or so people there, only 1 or 2 were what I consider to be a machinist. I will not hesitate to say that many of the members of this board who are not 'pros' could machine circles around anyone there. On the plus side, I was reliable, quick, and consistent in the quality of my work, so whenever there was a rush, it was inevitably me that got asked to get it done. At least that added some level of satisfaction and interest to an otherwise boring job.

For many, many years now, I have been self employed and have done much more interesting work - machining has almost always played some role. While I have done prototyping and still sometimes have to do production work to produce my own products, the loss for me is that I have gaps in my abilities. Like Wes and others, my skills lie largely within the ranges that the work has dictated. After following this and another board for several years, it seems clear to me that my approach is somewhat non-standard comparatively speaking, I suppose due to the fact that I am mostly self taught.

Am I a machinist?
Not that it makes any difference...

Evan
07-18-2007, 02:25 AM
I think we all know what a machinist is

We do? In reference to my question does the definition of machinist include anybody that has worked in a job modifying metal by using subtractive process machines? If not, then where are the limits drawn?

aostling
07-18-2007, 03:04 AM
does the definition of machinist include anybody that has worked in a job modifying metal by using subtractive process machines?

My favorite dictionary is Webster's 2nd (I think it is superior to the current 3rd edition). I also have the Oxford English Dictionary, certainly the most scholarly reference for words. In defining machinist as understood on this forum, I like Webster's definition for its simplicity.


Machinist. One skilled in the use of machine tools.

This shifts the debate. What is a machine tool?

The lathe, milling machine, shaper, and drill press, certainly. What about sheet metal tools? I'd say not. What about hand-held tools like Dremel? I'd like to exclude them, but can't come up with a convincing reason.

Interesting topic!

Weston Bye
07-18-2007, 01:48 PM
.This shifts the debate. What is a machine tool?

Good question. I spent many years wiring, building control panels and programming production machine tools: multi-station dials for milling, drilling & tapping manifolds, wheel hubs, water pump and transmission castings, etc. I suppose the operator who loaded and unloaded the casting could "technically" be considered a machininst, but...

Evan
07-18-2007, 02:16 PM
Machinist. One skilled in the use of machine tools. This shifts the debate. What is a machine tool?

The lathe, milling machine, shaper, and drill press, certainly. What about sheet metal tools? I'd say not. What about hand-held tools like Dremel? I'd like to exclude them, but can't come up with a convincing reason.
Although not really a debate this is what I am getting at. Machining is generally considered a subtractive process where metal is removed to produce the desired shape, much the same as sculpture. Cutting off pieces of metal from stock, then folding and drilling attachment points so they may be assembled is not a subtractive process (not counting the holes) so shouldn't be considered machining.

So, is a plasma cutter a machine tool? How about a laser cutter with controllable depth? What about a file? The ancient Greeks produced a sophisticated bronze calculating machine (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/11/061129-ancient-greece.html) with tools probably no more sophisticated than a file, awl, hammer and a simple bow drill. Was the person that made that a machinist? If he sold the piece, which is thought likely, was he a professional machinist?

airsmith282
07-18-2007, 02:35 PM
well iam a 50/50 guy i sell and repair vintage and new pellet guns and i make custom parts for them as well as many other things iam into on the machinest side of things :D

Mike W
07-18-2007, 03:45 PM
I didn't get interested in machine tools until I was in my 20's. I was already working as an electronics tech. I have been doing so ever since. No regrets, had to work in air conditioned spaces to keep the equipment comfortable.

I remember some fun trips in a snow cat trying to get to a microwave station on top of a mountain. I enjoy using my machine tools at home as a change of pace. I seem to spend most of my internet time in forums like this one. The electronic type forums don't have the same interest for me.

MR.0001"
07-26-2007, 11:07 AM
reply to cobra62

i work in edmonton ,its a ****ty place to work all production work,and the only lady i was trying to attract was you

Clifford Henderson
08-16-2007, 11:27 PM
I've been a machinist for 40 years. I started in a small Tool & Die shop in 1967, Madison Tool & Die. When the owner sold his place I went to work Delco Remy GMC. Which later became Delphi. I've worked in the mold shop, as a die maker, toolmaker, special machine builder, tool designer, machinist, machine repairman, toolroom welder, and robotics expert. I was forced to retire October of 2006 due to Delphi closing our plant. I went back to work four weeks ago at Kent Machine. I own a Southestern Industries Trak 2-axis CNC Milling machine. If I could find some work for my mill I could quit and stay home for good. By the way I am 58 years old if you were wondering and I still love running machines of all types.

dp
08-16-2007, 11:46 PM
As of Sep. 3rd I'm an unemployed Sr. Unix admin. Will code for food.

Carld
08-17-2007, 12:32 AM
Retired job shop machinist.

matador
08-17-2007, 01:58 AM
Used to be a truck driver,later bus driver.In the old days,the odd truck might need a swiftly applied right boot to continue service.Is this machining?:D.(The boot being the tool used to service the machine).
Now just a enthusiastic plodder.Building a 5" gauge live steam loco(slowly:D),and tooling when the mood takes me.

Mike W
08-17-2007, 04:34 AM
I used to work at this radio site. Found this old picture.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v110/tek798/Misc/Towerinsnow.jpg

Lew Hartswick
08-17-2007, 12:18 PM
I spent 45 years as an electronic engineer.
Most of that was designing RF equipment.
The machining is strictly something to keep me out of the bars and pool halls in retirement. I am a lot better design engineer than I am a machinist.
Bill

I'm in almost the same category but analog and digital circuit design
and 100% in agreement on the design vs. machining. :-)
...lew...