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View Full Version : Apprenticeship from Home Shop Machining ?



NAIT
03-01-2004, 12:20 AM
Is it possible to do a state/province recognized machinist apprenticeship solely on work done part-time in a home machine shop ? Ontario requires about 7,500 hours of "work experience" before they will allow a candidate to take journeyman exams. The 7,500 hours has to be signed-off by another journeyman. Apparently Ontario, at least, won't allow apprenticeship without an employee sponsor, but is that a hard rule ? Can someone get a "mentor" journeyman to inspect and sign off work as it gets produced, and let the hours accumulate towards an apprenticeship that way ?

jfsmith
03-01-2004, 01:28 AM
Ask Dalton McGuinty and his folks. And try this website:

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/training/apprenticeship/appren.html


Jerry

Thrud
03-01-2004, 03:20 AM
NAIT
Alberta requires 2100 hrs for admittance to the first year apprenticship program - meaning gainful employment under guidance of a Journyman or in special circumstance the shop owner if not a journeyman. Each apprenticeship program varies slightly, but they all basicly require a full years work experience in a commercial work environment or equivelent. In alberta apprenticeships are from 2 to 8 years depending on the program. To become an "A" pressure welder requires about 10 years field experience in "B" pressure and TIG

outback
03-01-2004, 08:31 AM
Nait:

I would call the Bearou of apprenticeship training if you are in the US. If a journeyman toolmaker would check you on a weekly basis, that may work.

You will also need to take some college courses applicable to your areas of interest.
Furthermore, you will need in your shop a mill, lathe, drillpress and surface grinder.
You must learn to be proficient with all these machines and you have to have some book learn-in.

Their is much more to an apprenticeship than just puting in your time. You not only learn by others giving you instruction but by observing others as well.

I earned the Journeyman Tool & Die Makers certficate in 1975 issued by the
US Department of Labor.

Outback

bspooh
03-01-2004, 09:43 AM
I am an apprectice machine shop teacher, and here in my state, you HAVE to be employed to get your journeyman certificate...All of the liability falls on YOUR employer and not on the state or apprentice school..

Only your employer can make the final decision on whether your qualified enough to recieve your journeymans certificate..Too many lawsuits have now shifted the liability to the employer..

brent

NAIT
03-01-2004, 01:45 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by outback:
...If a journeyman toolmaker would check you on a weekly basis, that may work.
You will also need to take some college courses applicable to your areas of interest.
Furthermore, you will need in your shop a mill, lathe, drillpress and surface grinder.
You must learn to be proficient with all these machines and you have to have some book learn-in.
Their is much more to an apprenticeship than just puting in your time. You not only learn by others giving you instruction but by observing others as well.
</font>

I'm currently in Ontario, but started taking machining courses in California. It appears "apprenticeship" in both jurisdications is strongly differentiated from regular college classes. I'm in a "machining certificate" stream of courses, and students in that stream are not allowed to take the "apprenticeship" courses - even though the classroom theory and machine shop practice pieces appear to be identical. Could be the authorities don't want to contaminate the apprentices with slackers from non-apprenticeship courses. In the "certificate only" program, half the students don't show up on any given day. Of those that do show up, many have to go outside every half hour for a cigarette break. Perhaps not the same in the apprenticeship classes.

NAIT
03-01-2004, 01:51 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by outback:
I earned the Journeyman Tool & Die Makers certficate in 1975 issued by the
US Department of Labor.</font>

Probably equivalent to a Canadian "Interprovincial Journeyman Papers" - tougher to earn than an regular provincial/state papers.

DR
03-01-2004, 02:11 PM
How important is it to go through an apprenticeship program these days?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think things are changing so rapidly in the machining field that those who describe themselves as journeymen are, often as not, dinosaurs. I say this because of the resume's I receive from applicants. Most I've spoken with dodge the issue of CNC, "I never got into that computer stuff" comments are common. Personally, I'll take a young kid who grew up with computers over the seasoned veteran who isn't comfortable around a PC.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn't acquire the valuable, diversififed machining knowledge the program may give you. But will it help you get a high paying job in an ultra modern shop, which these days, will be full of CNC machines?

bspooh
03-01-2004, 02:41 PM
DR: I agree with what you are saying, and obvious a lot of people do as well because of the low enrollment that I currently have at school..

But, in defense to all of that, I do focus a lot of time on the CNC's once the manual machines are out of the way...But my enrollment is absolutely terrible..I predict that my college will close my program within the next 2 years...What a shame....Journeyman machinist is not what it used to be..

brent

NAIT
03-01-2004, 02:54 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DR:
How important is it to go through an apprenticeship program these days?
Maybe I'm wrong, but I think things are changing so rapidly in the machining field that those who describe themselves as journeymen are, often as not, dinosaurs.</font>

My teacher is a journeyman who sneers a bit at "CNC Button Pushers". He tells the story of the "CNC Machinist" who came into his course for some manual lathe training. This CNC expert waved off the teacher's attempts to instruct him - telling the teacher he could do everything himself. An hour later the CNC Machinist came back complaining that his (manual) lathe was no good - too much vibration and rough surface. The teacher went over and saw that the tool was an inch below center. CNC machines center tools automatically, and the CNC Machinist had never learned that tools should be centered...

[This message has been edited by NAIT (edited 03-01-2004).]

metal mite
03-01-2004, 03:09 PM
The problem with this idea is the same as that of small shops offering apprenticeships.

You are limited to learning how to run only the machines you have avalible for you to operate..

Also limited by the number of craftsman you have as teachers.

New Machinists today are limited to cnc experience usually.

A machinist ,when finishing his time was encoraged to go to other shops to learn other ways of doing things (many years ago).

An old retired machinist told me this years ago.

mite

Forrest Addy
03-01-2004, 03:15 PM
Quite apart from the legal requirements you NEED time in a real shop. If you're going to be a machinist you have to be exposed to the pressurs and frustrations of working under the clock on a wide variety of machiine tools some in poor condition.

Your workload has to be varied. You need the the stimulating rivalry and mentoring inherent with working with others. You need to work in several shops. You need community college courses in trade mathematics, physics, English, industrial organization. You'll probably need to be fired once.

Working in a home shop no more prepares you as a machinist than shooting hoops in the driveway prepares you for a career in basketball.

DR
03-01-2004, 03:28 PM
As a barometer of the machining industry's health in my area I watch the ads in the Sunday newspaper.

There used to be upwards of 30 ads every Sunday with some advertising for journeymen. The journeyman-wanted ads were mostly from large shops that I know are unionized. (My opinion is unions have done a lot to put our manufacturing in the dumps where it is today, but that's a whole 'nother topic)

Since the ecomomy has slowed I only see a couple of ads. Those generally are very specific, "must have two years setup and operating VMC", "CAD/CAM experience required", "5 years on Fanuc control", etc, etc. In other words the ads for journeymen have virtually disappeared.

If a young person asked me which direction to go....an apprenticeship program through school or on-the-job training or taking an entry level job as a button pusher on a CNC. Assuming he was reasonably intelligent with some mechanical aptitude I think I'd recommend he take the CNC job. That's where the future is, if he's good he'll move ahead beyond button pushing.

I don't see the future of this country in manual machining skills, the Chinese can beat us at that game any day of the week. Our future lies in keeping one step ahead technology-wise. So any time a young guy can get his hands on the technology I'd say go for it.

outback
03-01-2004, 03:28 PM
The thing that separates Tool Makers from the button pushers is the ability to make simple yet effective setups and know feeds and speeds. The applies to both CNC and manual machines. CNC operators know the G code or other controlling software but no little about setups.

Planning out work is another thing few people understand. My Dad ( a tool engineer) always reminded me that I was building a tool not a stock list. I was in the trade 4 years before I understood the meaning that.

Another thing, earning an appreniticeship will be of little value without learning shop politics, one of my failures.
outback

quasi
03-01-2004, 03:35 PM
NAIT, here in Alberta things are really crooked. If you can get your employer to back you up, you can be given all the hours for a whole apprentiship. Y ou just have to do the schooling or challenge the tests and write them. Your employer has to say you have worked for them for 4 years. I have personally seen several electricians get all their hours for instument mechanics this way.

If you work for oil companies in the country, the government has set up special app. programs for their workers .You put in less work time and have special easier classroom courses. It has a special name (can't remember what it is) but the result is a Alberta jman ticket (not interprovincal).

All the people I have met who have these licenses seem to be a bunch of inbred hutterites. There is a real problem in Alberta finding and keeping good tradesman, especially in the rural areas. Apparently this program is one way of dealing with it by giving licenses to people who should be operating a honey wagon.

NAIT
03-01-2004, 04:22 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by outback:
Another thing, earning an apprenticeship will be of little value without learning shop politics, one of my failures.</font>

And what is shop politics about ?

NAIT
03-01-2004, 04:45 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DR:
I don't see the future of this country in manual machining skills, the Chinese can beat us at that game any day of the week. Our future lies in keeping one step ahead technology-wise.</font>

Clearly there's no future in production manual machining, but it seems to me there will always be a demand for experiental, prototype and one-off machining. The newspapers often have stories of universities and small experimental shops lamenting that they can't replace old-time journeymen who are retiring.

ARFF79
03-01-2004, 04:48 PM
DR: A journyman with a head on his shoulders is still needed. Someone has to be able to do the setups on the CNC machines, someone has to make the fixtures to hold the parts to be machined, and there has to be someone with the knowledge of how tools, machines, fixtures and the work piece interface so that they can properly explain to the designers/managers/(fill in your own favorite mechanicaly challenged group here) et al., why things will not work the way they sent it down from on high. Your average button pusher who has no shop backround will cause numerous crashes of expensive tooling, until they get enough time to recognize a problem. I saw this happen seveal times in 3 different shops that wanted to save money by hiring someone to just load, push the button ,unload, check and repeat. The rest of us had to spend more time teaching these guys how not to get hurt than we should have. Our thanks was to be chastised and even in 2 cases given time off for not doing our own work. The result we stopped and let the desruction begin. Two of these places are now long gone, the third learned and pays a premium to those who learned the trade before learning CNC. There is a lesson in here somewhere, but I have rambled for so long I lost my train of thought. When it returns I will continue unless someone else finds it first.

DR
03-01-2004, 05:36 PM
"And what is shop politics about ?"

Shop politics is about manipulating stupid people to do things to your benefit while not letting them know they've been manipulated, among other things.

It's about having a level of people skills.

It's about selling yourself and your ideas.

Not quite an equivalent situation, but I went to engineering school. Quite a few of my fellow students were geeks, maybe even myself. Some were near mutant, even though they received high grades. Mostly very non verbal types.

What a surprise when we were out in world. We had been taught that in the logical world of engineering our brilliant ideas would sell themselves. Write it up and lay it on the table and the boss would immediately grasp the genius of our work leading to fame and fortune. Unfortunately, we didn't realize we needed sales and people skills to get our ideas across. Shmooze the boss, kiss some asses where needed to promote our work. I remember one particular incident where three of us new guys had worked up a fairly genius proposal to solve a nagging problem. Our local bull s*** artist took our idea which he only half way understood made an exceptionally good presentation to management and got all the glory. Took us a couple years to realize selling and people skills are as much part of engineering as the theory.

Incidently, most engineering schools are full of Asians in this area. Good students, but those who are foreign born don't have super success as line engineers in my experience. Because of their culture they aren't aggressive enough to participate in the day to day politics of promoting their work.

Thrud
03-01-2004, 06:09 PM
quasi
What kind of knumb nuts are you anyway?
The Alberta Apprenticeship Board does not just hand out tickets to any asshole that comes along, nor do they "grandfather"anyone anymore.

Based on past experience they might grant a temporary 2 nd class provisional ticket to a welder that has arrived on Alberta from say S.C. in the US and happens to have all 30 hrs of the state required class time hours there to be called a "welder" but then he has to take and pass both written and practical 2nd, class Journeymans tests - and I can assure you, you still have to be a damn good welder to pass the practical welding tests because they beat the living **** out of your welds to destruction.

So despite your assine statement - even if an employer lies about hours to get a fellow a liscense he or she still has to deliver the goods and prove themselves to a panel of hard asses with real standards of excellence.

Don't bad mouth my Apprenticeship Board because they DO have High Standards. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

jfsmith
03-02-2004, 01:16 AM
I hear the Aucklanders have a really great apprenticeship program for machinist, one person should know this well:

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ubbmisc.cgi?action=getbio&UserName=Nait

metal mite
03-02-2004, 09:29 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by DR:
[B]As a barometer of the machining industry's health in my area I watch the ads in the Sunday newspaper.

In my area, those ads aren't in the paper anymore. The Baltimore sun charges hundreds of dollars for an add.

The ads bring in the same list of drunks and no-account people every time.

Shops do without, or update with cnc's, and operators with a core of good machinists as programers.

The ads are on line (Hotjobs) somewhere in this area.

mite

quasi
03-02-2004, 02:30 PM
Thrud, I have a journeymans ticket as an electrician, instrument mechanic, and welder.I am also a master electrician.( All courtesy of the IBEW and Alberta Apprenticship branch) I deal with the Apprenticship board on a monthly basis. I have personally witnessed all of this. Get your nurse to empty your bedpan and turn your oxygen back on.

metal mite
03-02-2004, 05:59 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Forrest Addy:
You'll probably need to be fired once.


Forrest,

Just curious,

What on earth were you fired for?


I quit once and got throwed off the parking lot.

Thing was, that jerk had two lathes that belonged to me in his plant.

Just poor planning on my part.

mite

metal mite
03-02-2004, 06:18 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by NAIT:
And what is shop politics about ?

</font>

Kissing butt

Forrest Addy
03-02-2004, 06:29 PM
Metal Mite. Never argue with the boss when he comes back from lunch grouchy.