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tyrone shewlaces
06-09-2010, 10:50 PM
Fresh results enclosed. See latest post for update...
___________________________________________
(Original post):
Today was the second day of testing for a new job.
All I had to do was (yesterday) make a twin lead Acme LH thread. Normally I could have whipped that out in an hour, maybe three max at a stranger's shop. Took me all damn day to scrap two (machinery issues) and make one that I thought was crap. (today) drill ten .03" holes about 3/4" deep at angles (5 intersecting the other 5), which after breaking the first drill at about .1" deep I was able to shift the part and complete ten with no problem. Drill bit issue? Who knows. Anyway, since time was short I decided not to start a new part so my submission has one hole with a piece of drill bit lodged into it. Not a huge deal and the "part" would still be functional, but it also should have been cake and I should have been able to make a pretty one. The error will count against me. Also took me twice as long (or more) than it should have.
Tomorrow I may be able to try another do-over or two, but if my choking continues I won't even have the time to try.

This job was just about in my lap and when I really needed to come through, I came across as a hack.
I really needed this job. The alternatives are bleak and things are slipping away. If no miracles appear tomorrow, then I'm strongly considering getting out of the field. So if anybody wants a nice machine shop, I'll probably have to sell mine off anyway just to make the bills this year.

It sucks when you have salvation in your hand and you let it slip away.

All I can hope for is that everybody else isn't going through the same knocks. Normally I try to be upbeat despite the life situation, but today all I can see is bleak future and despair.

Things were so much better just a few years ago.

JoeFin
06-09-2010, 10:57 PM
Your not the Lone Ranger today my friend

Started a new job today myself. After 5 hours of some jerk off yelling at us telling us "We'll Fire you if you don't do this - We'll fire you if you do this", they give me a written proficiency test - which I promptly failed.

The only shinning hope was after the written exam they gave me the oral portion. Some how I impressed the guy hiring me enough he went back, changed a few of my answers and welcomed me on the project.

Every thing has changed since the economy went to hell. Every thing is political now with 10 or 20 "Back-Biters" waiting to sink their teeth into you at every turn

squirrel
06-09-2010, 10:59 PM
I am really shocked some one made you work in the shop before hiring you. You did not miss out on a whole, a shop that is run like that is a ticking bomb. I usually hire them so they are covered with workers comp in case they get hurt. I am not that fortunate enough around here to find people that know which end of the drill bit to use......so you ain't the only one feeling bad.

Liger Zero
06-09-2010, 11:21 PM
THIS job didn't work out, maybe another one will come along.

I just pick myself up and move on to the next thing. That's how I got out of plastic into machining then sheetmetal then back to plastic.

Just keep trying. Don't give up.

Jim Doherty
06-09-2010, 11:34 PM
Don't let the depression keep you down. You have done this work, You can do this work. Think positive and go to sleep tonight dreaming of doing your best work ever tomorrow! Push away any negative thought only think positively. Don't rush make sure your prep is proper and complete and show those people what you can do. Best of luck we're all pulling for you!

Jim Doherty

x39
06-09-2010, 11:52 PM
About thirty years ago I worked in a shop where the foreman was a proficient machinist and a good guy to boot. He told me when the company first hired him (as a foreman), on his second day at work he had set up an almost new lathe to do a job, hit the power and the chuck (complete with workpiece in it) started wobbling, came flying off the machine, and went rolling across the floor. It had a cam-lock spindle and he had only loosely tightened one of the six cams. Must have been good for some red ears and tight jaws. Anyway, they saw his potential and kept him around.

Mcgyver
06-09-2010, 11:56 PM
I have a history of doing unconventional things to get jobs, customers etc. Occasionally, rarely actually, it leads to acute embarrassment ...more times it leads to getting noticed out of the pack.

if you really think you performed so far below you potential you've risked not getting it, Id' Show up tomorrow morning with a well prepared letter to the decision maker. Say I was extremely disappointed in my work today and thought at lot about it. Here's what i did wrong and how i should have done it, then go at point form. details good here, it shows you know what you are doing

Conclude with by saying I very much want this job. I can work under pressure but the stress of a test I so badly wanted to do well at combined with working in an unfamiliar shop produced performance that i don't find acceptable.

In writing this the hope is it would convey that i do know how to work professionally and while the anxiety was counter productive to the test performance, my really wanting to work here will be a positive in the long run. If my test results are standing in the way of this job I'd like to have the chance to discuss in person to better communicate and demonstrate the abilities i know i'd bring.

Some co's will toss it, depends on the size/culture and hiring practice....but what have you got to lose? if you don't get it because of the test you're out a few hours of writing, but maybe it'll make you stand out in a positive way

darryl
06-10-2010, 12:08 AM
Hmm- I started a new job today- same as I was doing a few years ago, cabinetmaking. Same boss, different shop. I'm sure wondering though if I should have gone back to this, or tried to get something else- place I was last working laid me off for two weeks- six weeks ago.

Feeling really old? I can tell I'm starting to run out of steam- just starting to, mind you- and I'm seeing two other of the guys who are ahead of me looking really tired. If I retire at 65, I have 5 yrs to go. These are the years that I have to be productive so I have half a chance at least of keeping the house and staying mobile. Doesn't look like all roses ahead, but things can turn around overnite. Stay positive.

wierdscience
06-10-2010, 12:19 AM
Like Joefin said,your not the Lone Ranger.I think something is in the air right now.Did a job over the weekend,everything that could go wrong did go wrong.$650 in stainless in the balances and a customers production schedule thrown in for the fun of it.They had trouble doing they're end,I had trouble doing mine,job looked not as good as I like,but it got them through,got me paid and they are happy.

Tomorrow is another day,drink a could one,relax and let it happen.

tyrone shewlaces
06-10-2010, 12:50 AM
Thanks for the support, and I'm sorry to hear there's so much empathy to go around.
This test would undoubtedly go much better on the equipment at the job location. It happens at the local tech school - set up and paid for by the company and worked out in cooperation with the school. Doesn't help that there are a couple dozen students buzzing around all day either, but the theory is the other candidates are subjected to the same abuse. Also doesn't help that there were unusual quirks with the lathe which, since I know them now, would half the time it took and produce good parts instead of crap. Of course now the quirks are fixed by me, and I was first to go, so the rest of the candidates can thank me for fixing their machine for them.

We'll see how tomorrow goes. I'm not optimistic - I have perseverance so I'm not giving up until tomorrow is over. But I am realistic too and things aren't looking good. I could use another day after tomorrow. Been studying things all evening and I'm one shade of light gray sharper than I was at 4:00.
I'm off to bed. Being tired won't help tomorrow.

jnissen
06-10-2010, 01:21 AM
Good luck and wish you the best.

saltmine
06-10-2010, 01:29 AM
I got tired of that crap the first year after I retired. All of the jobs I went to interview for were paying about 50% of what I retired at, and nobody said it, but I could tell they were looking for somebody a lot younger than I am....the reason nobody said anything was because that's an age discrimination lawsuit right there.

The only jobs available that welcomed my experience and age were minimum wage jobs, like clerking in a convenience store, or counter sales in an auto parts store. I soon discovered I was better off not working...especially when it came to income tax.

Trust me, you think working in a shop is stressful, try selling "Slim Jim's" and beer to juvenile delinquents and career criminals for a living. It didn't take long to realize that my life was only worth the $35 I kept in the cash register.
Not worth $8 an hour.
Selling auto parts? Yeah, everything was going well, until business dropped off (recession), then the boss started blaming me because customers were not streaming in the door....What do you want, you want me to stand in the middle of the street and wave people down?
Anyway, I'm retired, now. So don't aske me to go apply for a job like that.

jugs
06-10-2010, 06:47 AM
I have a history of doing unconventional things to get jobs, customers etc. Occasionally, rarely actually, it leads to acute embarrassment ...more times it leads to getting noticed out of the pack.

if you really think you performed so far below you potential you've risked not getting it, Id' Show up tomorrow morning with a well prepared letter to the decision maker. Say I was extremely disappointed in my work today and thought at lot about it. Here's what i did wrong and how i should have done it, then go at point form. details good here, it shows you know what you are doing

Conclude with by saying I very much want this job. I can work under pressure but the stress of a test I so badly wanted to do well at combined with working in an unfamiliar shop produced performance that i don't find acceptable.

In writing this the hope is it would convey that i do know how to work professionally and while the anxiety was counter productive to the test performance, my really wanting to work here will be a positive in the long run. If my test results are standing in the way of this job I'd like to have the chance to discuss in person to better communicate and demonstrate the abilities i know i'd bring.

Some co's will toss it, depends on the size/culture and hiring practice....but what have you got to lose? if you don't get it because of the test you're out a few hours of writing, but maybe it'll make you stand out in a positive way

Take Mcgyver's advice, a good boss wants responsible workers, a letter lie that proves you are. If they don't take a second look @ you, its not going to be a good place to work. Good luck.
john
:)

Your Old Dog
06-10-2010, 07:34 AM
This is true so don't discount it, learn how to deal with it:

Worry, Fear, Anger, Guilt and Vengeance are the 5 debilitating emotions. They serve no one. Confidence on the other hand can often times help you. Believe in yourself and start now.

A.K. Boomer
06-10-2010, 08:45 AM
Thanks for the support, and I'm sorry to hear there's so much empathy to go around.
This test would undoubtedly go much better on the equipment at the job location. It happens at the local tech school - set up and paid for by the company and worked out in cooperation with the school. Doesn't help that there are a couple dozen students buzzing around all day either, but the theory is the other candidates are subjected to the same abuse. Also doesn't help that there were unusual quirks with the lathe which, since I know them now, would half the time it took and produce good parts instead of crap. Of course now the quirks are fixed by me, and I was first to go, so the rest of the candidates can thank me for fixing their machine for them.

We'll see how tomorrow goes. I'm not optimistic - I have perseverance so I'm not giving up until tomorrow is over. But I am realistic too and things aren't looking good. I could use another day after tomorrow. Been studying things all evening and I'm one shade of light gray sharper than I was at 4:00.
I'm off to bed. Being tired won't help tomorrow.


It sucks bro, but you have to remain optimistic - you have to have a spark, persistence alone won't cut it, nobody want's to hire someone who walks in without enthusiasm and even if you have to dunk your head in a cold bucket of ice water before you go then so be it,
If you really feel like you let yourself down don't let the cycle continue --- now's your time to totally rock, if you walk in with a defeatist attitude then you will get defeatist results,
I really like Mcgyvers approach --- but I would change one thing, I would write up the letter and have it all prepared, I would add what you stated in having to deal with in initially setting things up on the lathe but I would carefully word it as to not bring in the other guys that followed you having it easier (point being is your not nobody's victim) I would then go in and totally set the place on fire (figure of speech) THEN when leaving make the decision on whether I need to leave the letter to explain about the first day being butterflies, depends on the situation.

The thing is - is that the door hasn't closed yet, your foots still in it...

Difference being is your REALLY going in with something to prove now, You can either let this cripple you or awaken a tiger, don't just persevere - your not there to just get through the day - set the freekin place on fire (figure of speech) Git-er-done, (and good luck to you)

(If you guys think this is a "pep talk" you should have heard my Dad!)

hojpoj
06-10-2010, 08:56 AM
Well-wishes on your next go-round.

I noticed you said that there was a problem with the machine you were working on that was making life difficult for you.

It might work to your advantage to say that you discovered an equipment fault that caused you to lose x amount of time. Attribute the appropriate part issues to the fault. By spending y amount of time fixing the problem you saved time for anyone else and could possibly have reduced the scrap rate for other folks.

Being able to show that you can identify and fix production problems might at least work to your advantage.

hornluv
06-10-2010, 09:25 AM
Don't feel too bad. Every time I go to a shop I've never been in before, I feel like I don't know anything at all. The controls on the equipment, especially the lathe, can be unfamiliar, I have no idea where any of the tooling is, and overall, nerves and stress from the situation put you on edge and can distract you from your chosen task. Don't think for a minute that the other candidates aren't feeling the same thing, even with a properly adjusted lathe. When you start getting frustrated things will only get worse, so you just need to psych yourself in instead of out. You know this stuff. You've been doing it a long time. You've done similar jobs in the past. Then take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, and go.

Carld
06-10-2010, 09:43 AM
working in someone else's shop is never easy and taking a test in that shop is murder. Having issues with the machinery is a serious issue and should have been brought to the attention of the manager/instructor of the trade school shop.

If the issue was serious in my mind I would have stopped the test and discussed the issue with the instructor. When taking a test like that the pressure is on and you don't need issues with a machine to bugger up your work.

The very first time I tried to get a job in a machine shop it was a shop with very old worn out machines. He showed me around and discussed the machines and admitted that they had issues. He gave me a piece of metal to saw off and machine a part as a test. When I started to saw the piece and the saw was cutting at an angle and I saw I would have to adjust the guides and replace the blade and I thought about the worn out lathe I would have to fight with I stopped. I went to the Boss/owner and said I don't think this is going to work out for you or me and left.

From then on I evaluated the machines, owner and/or boss and employee's as to whether I wanted to work there before we got down to serious talking and/or testing. Not many are at ease taking a test and the only thing it proves to me is you can work under pressure on unfamiliar machines so I guess that is what they are looking for. Expecting precision or speed under those conditions is unrealistic.

Relax, work like your doing it for the hell of it rather than testing for a job.

John Stevenson
06-10-2010, 09:49 AM
Things would be better for me if it wasn't for the boss.

He's a real mean tight fisted arse.

.

j king
06-10-2010, 10:32 AM
John. You need to sit down in front of a mirror and talk to this tight arse. Explain you have to have more time to post on web sites and help others.Its your duty. Hell while you have his attention ask for a raise.If you get it buy me a beer, LOL

s7hss
06-10-2010, 01:51 PM
You may have just had a bad day in the shop. Here's an example for you:

I recently let depression affect my performance at work and it ended in me doing something really dumb. One of my customers had a problem and I didn't escalate it properly. I let the situation persist through the weekend when it needed to be fixed on Friday morning. The problem was routine, something I've dealt with a thousand times.

I was reprimanded in writing for improper escalation. My boss said, as he delivered it, "This is a formality. We can talk about it, but I don't think that will help you. I want you to keep on doing a good job like you always have. We have faith in you and your work and we know you won't do the same thing again."

I consider myself a perfectionist, but it's really tough to admit being a knucklehead. Can't be brilliant all the time. That's probably the hardest part of this whole thing to swallow. Eighteen years in my trade now, too.

I've moved on and I'm still standing. So will you be. You know what to do, and you'll do it. Don't let it throw you.

Harvey Melvin Richards
06-10-2010, 02:38 PM
Ten years ago I started where I'm still working today. The first part I made had a series of tiny holes. I broke a bit in the first hole and was able to shift the holes and keep the part with the bit broke off flush.

I still occasionally run into this part here at work. I can't even recall what the part was, but every now and then I get to see it again.

jkilroy
06-10-2010, 04:13 PM
"Things would be better for me if it wasn't for the boss.

He's a real mean tight fisted arse."

I have the same problem, my boss is a PRICK of the highest order and I am tired of looking at his ugly mug in the mirror! :D

tyrone shewlaces
06-10-2010, 09:50 PM
Well I went in and pulled one out of my orifice today.
The test consists of machining projects, setups and a written test and three days to complete.
The past two days were a waste other than discovering where the quirks are hiding.
Today I redid the previous two projects from scratch plus the others, completed the setups and did a decent job on the written test. The machining was done to MY satisfaction so I know they are fine. All this in one damn day. And I finished an hour early to boot. I don't know if it will be considered, but I think the ability to whip all that out in a single day under pressure should prove something if anyone was watching.

Anyway, no longer wanting to jump off a cliff for the moment.

Good advice on here last night. I did some studying, then planned out my course of action for today pretty much step by step so I could be efficient. Then just visualized each thing going well two or three times in succession. Got a decent night's sleep, walked in this morning and said "Lets roll !"

I went from having absolutely no chance at all up to putting myself back in the game.

Thanks guys.

Liger Zero
06-10-2010, 09:55 PM
We're rooting for you!

Also just so you know if you get this job you won't be permitted to post here any more you'll be promoted to Practical Machinist. :D

Jim Doherty
06-10-2010, 10:29 PM
That's awesome news! doing all that in one day ought to make someone take notice for sure. Good luck I hope you get the job.

Jim Doherty

larry_g
06-10-2010, 11:13 PM
Tyrone
I worked for a large company and one of the jobs I has was to put together interview tests that could be administered to many and the results qualified by many. It was one of the harder jobs I had. Unlike high school I did not want everyone to be able to 'ace' the test. I really wanted the results to be a true bell curve that no one could get a 100% on. So your failures on the first day are to be expected. You are not being given an easy task to accomplish. What is expected is that the one who does the best with fewest failures is the best candidate.

Much of the equipment we maintained was one of a kind stuff. This was electro mechanical equipment and the techs were expected to be able to maintain, troubleshoot, and repair processors, pneumatics, mechanical drives, gearboxes, robots, and a whole slew of other stuff. One of the test items was a box of parts that the candidate was asked to identify. One part was a pneumatic actuator. Blow air in one port and the shaft would rotate 180 degrees ccw, blow in the other and it would rotate back. Most people did not know what it was, so I would say what I did in the last sentenance and then ask them what they thought was inside. There explination usually counted more that their experience. It would show me the person who could think, or not, not just a person who had seen one before.

So your failures and recovery may say more than just doing what was asked.

lg
no neat sig line

Richard-TX
06-10-2010, 11:35 PM
Today was the second day of testing for a new job.
All I had to do was (yesterday) make a twin lead Acme LH thread.

I think you were trying too hard.

I think you will make it.

Just relax and be yourself....

danlb
06-11-2010, 03:59 AM
Like Larry_G, I test candates for the depth of their knowledge as well as wanting to see how they handle tough questions.

If the resume claims expertise in a certain specialty, I throw problems at them that require a high level of expertise. Even if they get the answers wrong it sometimes tells me how they interpreted the question. Maybe that's the case here?

With any luck, you will get a chance to talk to the shop instructor about the things you had to do to condition the machines to do the work. Casually ask if that was part of the test. When he says "no", suggest that is could be made part of the test. Either way, it should add a few brownie points.

Dan

jugs
06-11-2010, 04:11 AM
Things would be better for me if it wasn't for the boss.

He's a real mean tight fisted arse.

.

Thats true, I've met the ba$$tad, don't know why you still work for him or do you have to stay until you've finished your apprenticeship. Do you still get to sleep under the bench ? at least he lets you use some springy swarf as a pillow, so he's not all bad.
:)

John Stevenson
06-11-2010, 04:33 AM
No room under the bench, everytime I go looking there I just find more jobs he's stacked up for me to do.

Seriously if this is a recession I don't want another one.

For the first time in my life I have had to turn work away from regular customers.

At the moment I have truthfully a months work of jobs stacked up and I'm ringing customers to see what's urgent and moving from urgent job to urgent job and slowly getting round to the rest.

I know I always have jobs on the back burners as backups, like CNC conversions but it now got to the stage where normal jobs are backing up. I have had two pumps on the floor now for 3 weeks that want broken studs out, helicoils and bearings sleeved, probably a 5 hour job for both pumps but they aren't getting done this week.

I was expecting 35 new three HP motors for conversion later this week, 18 small 3/4 HP ones showed up so I thought brilliant that's some breathing space.
then yesterday the importer rings up "Are the 18 small motors done as we want to send the 35 large ones down "

In a word

"NO"

I'm doing my utmost to upset as many as possible by shouting and swearing down the phone but they think it's a joke..............

toolmaker76
06-11-2010, 06:29 AM
Well I went in and pulled one out of my orifice today.

That may have been the focus of the testing to begin with! I have to say that this economy SUCKS!

I have over 30 years of well rounded experience, meaning that if it is mechanical, I can fix it, if you have no spare parts I can make what it needs. I can design and build, too, and program at the machine without the need for any programming software.

Spent several months unemployed last year, now working at less than half the money in a production machine shop pushing buttons for the most part. Others have it much worse than me so I won't complain; hope to have my own shop soon so it won't matter.

I have witnessed firsthand that a lot of shops these days aren't looking for experience, they don't want to have to pay for it.

Hope your test results put you at the top and you get the job! Most of the other applicants were also nervous, I guarantee it.

BWS
06-11-2010, 06:50 AM
The very best of luck.........you have to practice being positive.I think for a slew of reasons,negativity is the default thought process.For me it is getting alot easier with practice to just "not go there",WRT negative BS.

We're all in a situation with economy......for me its been a roller-coaster.One minute working 12 hr,7 days a week.Then going two weeks with nuthin.Its that old sayin however,it ain't a problem its an opportunity.I went through a real bad period 1 1/2 years or so ago with the whole dpresion kinda thing.Never went for help bein the A-hole,I can fix it sorta guy......well dang-it I DID fix it.Its all about the practicing of positive thinking.We basically ARE what we think.

Turn off the TV,pick up a good book instead.Feeling tired?Take a walk.Start paying more attention to your diet...............now,how many of ya'll were thinking negative things assosiated with above?Its gonna be hard at first,but you HAVE to see the good in things....how can I make this situation better?

There's a reason we're on this earth.....theres a reason we all build chit...go find it,grab it,shake it up a bit.BW

BobWarfield
06-11-2010, 12:18 PM
No room under the bench, everytime I go looking there I just find more jobs he's stacked up for me to do.

Seriously if this is a recession I don't want another one.

For the first time in my life I have had to turn work away from regular customers.

If there is any bright side to a recession, this is it. As you're coming out of it, there is a lot less capacity to keep up with increasing. Those that survived will feast for a time.

Coming out of a crash has always been one of the best times to build a business for me. You get a little tailwind, there is less competition, and (we hope!), less likelihood of another crash until you've had a chance to build the business up a bit.

Tyrone, way to show them what you're made of!

Best,

BW

Deja Vu
06-11-2010, 12:34 PM
I have had two pumps on the floor now for 3 weeks that want broken studs out, helicoils and bearings sleeved, probably a 5 hour job for both pumps but they aren't getting done this week.

Why? ....you can't find them?:D

George Bulliss
06-11-2010, 02:19 PM
I have witnessed firsthand that a lot of shops these days aren't looking for experience, they don't want to have to pay for it.



Some shops around here want the experience and don't want to pay. I saw an ad this week for experienced CNC programers/operaters with pay up to $12/hour! The high school kids working for my wife make more than that.

The sad thing is manufacturing is so gutted in this town they will probably have guys fighting for this job.

George

Twmaster
06-11-2010, 07:35 PM
I moved to Oklahoma 3 months ago. While I am not a machinist, I only play one on TV, I cannot find even a menial job here. Even 7-11 isn't hiring.

Some of the job listings I do see are as George relays, they want you to be everything AND a pack of cheese crackers. However all they want to pay are crumbs.

:(

Tyrone... So how'd it go today?

kc5ezc
06-11-2010, 07:52 PM
Mike: You are in a university town that is used to cheap student labor (slaves). I was there 50 years ago and it hasn't changed much in the area of job pay. I do not know any of the machine shops in the Norman area now.
Good luck.

Your Old Dog
06-11-2010, 08:35 PM
...............now,how many of ya'll were thinking negative things assosiated with above?Its gonna be hard at first,but you HAVE to see the good in things....how can I make this situation better?

There's a reason we're on this earth.....theres a reason we all build chit...go find it,grab it,shake it up a bit.BW

Well when I read Tyrone's 2'd post I felt great and then I got to Slur John's post :D Now I want to shoot myself. Come clean John, you'd b!tch if the rope was new wouldn't you? :D

John Stevenson
06-11-2010, 09:33 PM
No YOD not bitching but I have never come across this level of work.

I know it gets a bit feast or famine in this game in fact I'm grateful for the odd day when you can play catch up or repair a machine.

No idea what causing it, perhaps industry getting busier but not wanting to splurge out or can't get parts ? I do get a fair bit of that.

Today I got a phone call about a biggish DC motor 10" diameter 14 - 15" long that powers one wheel on a concrete crapping machine *
It's gone tits up in a big way and all it does now is travel in a circle crapping on it's own feet.

No spares at all, best the rewinders can offer is to get a similar motor and have me modify the front the take the reduction box, the rear to take the brake and the armature to take the input gear and brake.

If it works and I can't see why not, then 10:1 they will want the other wheel doing. Snag is it's a good days work to modify one of these.

*
A concrete crapping machine is one that makes these hollow concrete blocks. Bit like a traveling gantry crane, they load it with sand, fly ash from power stations and cement and it gets mixed up. It runs round a windy concrete runway so it can go further for a given plot size.

It lowers the pattern head onto the floor and the aggregate is pumped into the head, it then has a good squeeze and fart, lifts the head, moves a few feet and sh´ts another stack of blocks, when it's about 3/4 the way round a front loader with a fish slice type blade lifts the semi set blocks and stacks them so it's got fresh ground to crap on. Turns many thousands out in a day.

JanvanSaane
06-12-2010, 10:42 AM
We that have mechanical apptitude and/or machining ability are truly lucky right now. I am working 5 day 12 hour shifts, the other mechanic (2 man shop with 70 delivery trucks) retired last year. The company (curse them or praise them) is trying to make profits in a tough economy. They didn't replace my counterpart, they are not buying any new trucks for our location. My first 6 hours was writeups and paperwork, after lunch was a set of kingpins and a leaf spring in another, and am I sore today, but I have a job. Unemployment here is easily one in ten no matter what the corporate media tells us. Under employment is probably higher than that. I have meet people with college educations working at gas stations because the company they worked for downsized or closed. Things are tough out there, I would sure hate to be looking for employment in the general labor department. Times are tough, good luck to all looking for a job, or a better job,,,, and good luck to all of the overwhelmed just trying to get by with an unreal workload. Jan

sansbury
06-12-2010, 01:19 PM
No idea what causing it, perhaps industry getting busier but not wanting to splurge out or can't get parts ? I do get a fair bit of that.

In boom times companies will replace old machinery with new (which increases capacity) rather than repairing it. Increased repair business would be great news if it was being used to increase capacity that had been left idle. It still beats simply shutting old machines off when they break down.

On the labor side, in the US the past month and change have seen a large increase in *hours worked* vs. employment. The increase in hours worked in April equaled about 350,000 jobs. Companies are increasing output by working people harder rather than hiring. It can't go on forever but it can go on for a long time which means GDP will go up faster than employment for a while.

The consistent picture is that companies are avoiding investing (whether in capital equipment or employees) wherever possible, but there does seem to be a real increase in demand they are trying to meet. As long as that keeps going we will eventually turn around, but the government is doing its best to retard that.

JanvanSaane
06-12-2010, 02:59 PM
Are you trying to insinuate our government is retarded? If so I would agree. Companies are worried what new regs are going to be put on them by this goldman sacks administration. Sorry for the drift, I wish Tyrone good luck on his job quest and I am curious how he is doing on his testing. Jan


Originally posted by; sansbury....The consistent picture is that companies are avoiding investing (whether in capital equipment or employees) wherever possible, but there does seem to be a real increase in demand they are trying to meet. As long as that keeps going we will eventually turn around, but the government is doing its best to retard that.
Today 08:42 AM

oldtiffie
06-12-2010, 08:22 PM
Originally Posted by John Stevenson
No idea what causing it, perhaps industry getting busier but not wanting to splurge out or can't get parts ? I do get a fair bit of that.

In boom times companies will replace old machinery with new (which increases capacity) rather than repairing it. Increased repair business would be great news if it was being used to increase capacity that had been left idle. It still beats simply shutting old machines off when they break down.

On the labor side, in the US the past month and change have seen a large increase in *hours worked* vs. employment. The increase in hours worked in April equaled about 350,000 jobs. Companies are increasing output by working people harder rather than hiring. It can't go on forever but it can go on for a long time which means GDP will go up faster than employment for a while.

The consistent picture is that companies are avoiding investing (whether in capital equipment or employees) wherever possible, but there does seem to be a real increase in demand they are trying to meet. As long as that keeps going we will eventually turn around, but the government is doing its best to retard that.

Repair instead of replacement is pretty "big" as the expense is a direct tax-deductible item whereas "new" not only needs new capital but has to be depreciated over time (lottsa years) - if you stay in business. It often keeps "in-house" labour that might other-wise be idle and there is a lot less re-skilling/training required on existing gear than new etc.

I live in OZ and my eye-brows shot up when I read that employment increase figure in the USA. It seems that - as I recall - that many are "Government" workers hired on a temporary basis for the USA census and then they will be "let go" - to put the real numbers where they belong.

The US has employment figures for on an off-farm too which makes it harder to follow.

RB211
06-12-2010, 08:47 PM
In the East Bay area, I dare say the unemployment rate could be as high as 20%. I do not care what anyone says, this is a depression, not a recession.
I became complacent with my flying job. Failed a re-current check ride, eating crap for it. All the jobs I can find now are simply part time, many requiring you to be bi-lingual... My job taking photographs of fans at Oakland Athletic home games doesn't pay for the air I breathe. I am forced with perhaps driving back home to Florida, getting my old flight instructor job back and worse off, leaving my love behind probably to never see again. That in itself could give me a nervous breakdown. Thankfully a friend of mine is creating work for me, doing drawings in Solid works, procuring local machinists and industry, and giving me assembly work for his airplane. This will hold me off for a couple more months, after that however, I have no idea. I hope my girl moves with me... Only problem is that home is even worse than where I am now, except for my old job which is 6 days a week, 50% of the time not getting paid.

Anyhow, just wanted to say you are not the only one going through a life crisis. Hang in there, things will get better, even IF we both don't think so...

oldtiffie
06-12-2010, 08:49 PM
Originally Posted by toolmaker76

I have witnessed firsthand that a lot of shops these days aren't looking for experience, they don't want to have to pay for it.


Some shops around here want the experience and don't want to pay. I saw an ad this week for experienced CNC programers/operaters with pay up to $12/hour! The high school kids working for my wife make more than that.

The sad thing is manufacturing is so gutted in this town they will probably have guys fighting for this job.

George

Perhaps some need a cold shower and a reality check as well as eating a bit of humble pie and face up to re-training for something else.

Perhaps this is a re-run of the wheel-wright, coach-builder and blacksmith etc. situation.

If an employer is struggling to make a go of it or is seeking to take what-ever advantage he can of things as they are now an likely to be for a while, why would he pay more than he has to?

Labour and material are just commodities and add the plant and machinery and all you have is a means to an end. All are considered as "disposable" if as and when required.

If the manufacturer is competing to make a profit and labour (machinists included) are competing to work for that manufacturer, perhaps things are "in balance".

Some will do well, some will do no good at all and the rest will be in between.

Perhaps its time to seriously consider re-training for something else or new or "moving house" to where the opportunities are or might be.

Legislating against bias based on age ("ageism") is one thing but finding and/or enforcing it may well be another matter. So if your self-esteem, or expectations - and your age and experience - are not those that the employer wants - then you don't get the job. I'd expect that anyone over say 40 will find it harder than anyone under. Sometimes its not only better to get someone younger (and cheaper) to train them from scratch than it is perceived to be to "un-train" an "older" person with irrelevant skills (and "bad habits") that need "re-focusing".

I doubt that it was really much different really in the "good old times" - it was either not as evident or just not thought or worried about.

clutch
06-12-2010, 08:54 PM
Some shops around here want the experience and don't want to pay. I saw an ad this week for experienced CNC programers/operaters with pay up to $12/hour! The high school kids working for my wife make more than that.

The sad thing is manufacturing is so gutted in this town they will probably have guys fighting for this job.

George

In our cratered Michigan economy, I'm sure you aare right in the prediction. Raising a family on 25K would only be possible in a nation where things like the EIC and WIC exist. That is the real corporate welfare.

Clutch

clutch
06-12-2010, 09:08 PM
In boom times companies will replace old machinery with new (which increases capacity) rather than repairing it. Increased repair business would be great news if it was being used to increase capacity that had been left idle. It still beats simply shutting old machines off when they break down.



We have mined a closed facility that was part of the corporation for couple T32 multiplex's and two Okuma LU15's. Can't buy new but we can pick over the grave of a closed facility that didn't meet targets. We had to put a lot of work into those machines but they are better than we have so we gained ground.





On the labor side, in the US the past month and change have seen a large increase in *hours worked* vs. employment. The increase in hours worked in April equaled about 350,000 jobs. Companies are increasing output by working people harder rather than hiring. It can't go on forever but it can go on for a long time which means GDP will go up faster than employment for a while.


The living wage on a 40 hour work week is history. A short week now is 6 days. Health care costs are a factor in working overtime, not to mention the workers you work OT will still be working when things slow down so your unemployment insurance rates won't go up.




The consistent picture is that companies are avoiding investing (whether in capital equipment or employees) wherever possible, but there does seem to be a real increase in demand they are trying to meet. As long as that keeps going we will eventually turn around, but the government is doing its best to retard that.

Ten four on that. We freed the slaves back in the 1860's, now we have temps that are exploited. Good luck finding relief on that one. The people's party the Dem's is only interested in union labor and the republicans have a deaf ear when it comes to treating working people decently.

I'm a right wing conservative/libertarian at heart if you want to frame those comments around a political frame of reference.


Clutch

vincemulhollon
06-14-2010, 02:23 PM
One part was a pneumatic actuator. Blow air in one port and the shaft would rotate 180 degrees ccw, blow in the other and it would rotate back. Most people did not know what it was, so I would say what I did in the last sentenance and then ask them what they thought was inside.

OK larry g, I'm still a noob compared to the old timers, I'll bite. What do you think of this answer:

If you hadn't demanded a full 180 degrees each way, I'd say its like a little double acting steam engine piston rotated around the crankshaft with no valvework. Probably make the cylinder by making a round "shell" with mounting brackets or whatever, then inserting two identical "cylinder liner" tubes, one inserted from each side to make a gap - cylinder in the center, each with a little lip of an end-stop to make a stop at "TDC" and "BDC", and the lips will have a serrated edge or something to positively locate. Then drill and tap two holes in the shell for the ports, one on each side of the "little lip" as close as possible to the lip. The "crankshaft" will be a simple TGP shaft with a drilled and tapped hole in the middle, plus whatever you need to rotate mounted on the ends. The piston is carved out by a lathe on the inside and outside to fit the radius of the "cylinder" and the radius of the crankshaft, then the pipe shaped piece is moved to a CNC mill with a rotary table. The mill cuts into the pipe to make a slot, rotates "half a piston" plunges in a clearance hole and countersinking hole for the screw that attaches the piston to the crankshaft, rotates the other half of the way, taking into account the kerf width, then cuts it again. The pipe-ish piece moves back to a cut-off tool equipped lathe, and chop chop about six to ten or so "pistons" fall off, a nice icky interrupted cut. Screw and locktite the piston into place on the crankshaft. Assuming the radius of the inside of the piston matches the radius of the crankshaft and you don't torque it down like a gorilla, it shouldn't need an alignment jig. Press in some bearings between the crank and the shell, or maybe just cheapy bushings or whatever, and off you go. Add springs or whatever to center it, or just free float as per application. I bet I could make one in a couple hours, rapidly moving toward maybe dozens per day, depending on machinery (CNC or turret or manual, cnc tool changer or manual tool changer, etc) Although a lot would depend on the level of precision required by spec, I could hack out something that is visually similar a lot faster than going all aerospace grade. This design also assumes it was completely made my machining and you can disassemble and rebuild to your hearts content, which is probably not a specified requirement, a lot could probably be done to cheapen it up with spot welds and sheet metal.

That would work up to maybe 170 degrees rotation each way, to pull off a full 180 degrees each way you'd need to make a "two cylinder single acting steam engine" twisted around a shaft. The cylinder design and manufacture of the "fulll turn" model is going to be complicated compared to the simpler almost full turn model, and the shell is going to have the two ports offset along the axis of the shell (because there are two cylinders) and the shell will have separate pneumatic and vent ports (in other words, two drilled vent holes in addition to two drilled and tapped air holes). At least the pistons would be the same.

So am I even remotely close to how those things are actually made? (Am I back to my basement shop, or do I get to at least sweep the floor, or actually working there now?)

larry_g
06-15-2010, 07:57 PM
OK larry g, I'm still a noob compared to the old timers, I'll bite. What do you think of this answer:



So am I even remotely close to how those things are actually made? (Am I back to my basement shop, or do I get to at least sweep the floor, or actually working there now?)
http://rotomation.com/

It looked similar to the one on the bottom of the picture, but it worked like the rack and pinion ones. So I'm not sure you would get the job as the question was "what do you think is on the inside?" not how to make it. There are some rotary actuators that do have a piston and crank so yes you could be correct. Some are a vane actuator. Search out pneumatic rotary actuator .

lg
no neat sig line

vincemulhollon
06-16-2010, 10:31 AM
http://rotomation.com/

It looked similar to the one on the bottom of the picture, but it worked like the rack and pinion ones.

Very interesting... I found one of your competitors has a nice "before and after" cross-sectional diagram at:

http://sealsys.com/pneumatic_rotary_actuator.html

In my infinite spare time it might be fun to build one of those.

As far as describing how to make it, vs describing how it works, different strokes for different folks, but my brain can only solve one by solving the other, or vice versa, the two can't be separated in my brain process, and figuring out how different candidates think was probably the point of the question, more so than being able to imagine how that nifty gadget works.

Aside from the fact that I'm partial to it because thats how I think, I'd suggest in abstract thats a pretty good strategy, if you can't imagine how something could possibly be constructed, maybe it can't be constructed that way, yet it exists, indicating its time to come up with a new operating theory, and see if that new design could be constructed...

Twmaster
06-17-2010, 01:39 AM
So Tyrone.....

How'd it go?

tyrone shewlaces
09-11-2010, 10:37 PM
I found out a couple weeks ago that despite my personal assessment of my performance on the testing that the powers that be decided that I was their first choice for filling that position after all. Either speaks of a tendency to be overly self-critical (I'll definitely admit to that), or maybe that the competition was just less than I expected, or both.

Been dealing with logistic steps - paperwork, physical exam, etc. - and found out yesterday that it's official and I start in a couple weeks. Woohooo!

This is a major surprise and relief. I gave up on my chances a couple months ago due to the crickets and tumbleweeds, but I guess I was mistaken.
Looks like I'll be stepping up to the plate and into a pretty good situation. I have total confidence that I can do the work since I've been doing this kind of thing for quite a while.

I was about due for a good break. Things have been tough for me through several years. I'm not much of a drinker, but I'll tip my metaphorical hat and actual styrofoam beer cup to yous fellers for sending the positive energy. Thanks.

deltaenterprizes
09-11-2010, 10:45 PM
Glad to hear you got it!

Toolguy
09-11-2010, 10:57 PM
Way to go Man! Good on ya!:D

Mcgyver
09-11-2010, 11:44 PM
way to go, very glad things are working out for you

Tony Ennis
09-12-2010, 12:02 AM
congorats!

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Pherdie
09-12-2010, 12:06 AM
Congratulations both to you and your new employer.

It sounds like your new boss is getting an experienced, caring, responsible person...

Fred

mike4
09-12-2010, 12:30 AM
No room under the bench, everytime I go looking there I just find more jobs he's stacked up for me to do.

Seriously if this is a recession I don't want another one.

For the first time in my life I have had to turn work away from regular customers.

At the moment I have truthfully a months work of jobs stacked up and I'm ringing customers to see what's urgent and moving from urgent job to urgent job and slowly getting round to the rest.

I know I always have jobs on the back burners as backups, like CNC conversions but it now got to the stage where normal jobs are backing up. I have had two pumps on the floor now for 3 weeks that want broken studs out, helicoils and bearings sleeved, probably a 5 hour job for both pumps but they aren't getting done this week.

I was expecting 35 new three HP motors for conversion later this week, 18 small 3/4 HP ones showed up so I thought brilliant that's some breathing space.
then yesterday the importer rings up "Are the 18 small motors done as we want to send the 35 large ones down "

In a word

"NO"

I'm doing my utmost to upset as many as possible by shouting and swearing down the phone but they think it's a joke..............

I found the same thing for the last few weeks ,more work and it all has to be done yesterday or better.
Somehow managed to scrape through and get all but two jobs completed , one need parts for a fault I wasnt told about and the other site cant be accessed on a weekend.
The workload seems to be worse now than last year,and customers all think that you are sitting at the bench with you hand over the phone eagerly waiting for them to call.

Peter.
09-12-2010, 05:21 AM
Well done T.S. - all the best in your new job!

spkrman15
09-12-2010, 09:14 AM
well done !

AllThumbz
09-12-2010, 10:07 AM
Congratulations!


Best,

Nelson

lynnl
09-12-2010, 12:49 PM
Tyrone, thanks for the update! Every little ray of sunshine helps to brighten things just a bit.

Congratulations, and best of luck and happiness with your new situation!

KiddZimaHater
09-12-2010, 01:28 PM
make a twin lead Acme LH thread ..... drill ten .03" holes about 3/4" deep at angles
I hope that was just for the test.
If you have to do that kind of work manually, everyday for them .. Then that job ain't worth it my friend.
Tell them to go find another sucker.