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View Full Version : So: Who is a "machinist" and who is not?



J Tiers
12-17-2016, 01:02 PM
I see posts saying "I am no machinist...", and I see on other sites people dumping on "hobby machinists", etc, etc.

I think that's a load of crap.

There are people getting paid to do machining who are not as good as a lot of folks on here. Sorry if that offends anyone, but it's true. I've seen what comes back from some "machine shops", and it has looked like they don't own any mics and haven't changed out their tooling nor sharpened anything since Nixon was President.

As far as I am concerned, if you can take a drawing, and make a part that conforms to the drawing and looks good, you are a "Machinist", and no two ways about it.

After that, its all details.... can you do that as fast as this other guy? Could you work fast enough to make a living at it? That sort of thing. Fun for some people in the trade to argue about, but hardly the biggest deal for folks who have no intention of making a living at it. Those issues say NOTHING about craftsmanship, nor skill.

The work many folks on here do would blow away most of the apprentice projects I have seen pics of.

A.K. Boomer
12-17-2016, 01:09 PM
As far as I am concerned, if you can take a drawing, and make a part that conforms to the drawing and looks good, you are a "Machinist", and no two ways about it.

.

Pretty Vague JT --- technically did that this morning after a couple cups of coffee and then proceeded to plug up the toilet - only thing missing was the drawing ahead of time but could write something up real quick if you wish?

loose nut
12-17-2016, 01:19 PM
I would state that a machinist is one that does it for a living instead of doing it as a hobby or for fun. I guess I could say I'm a amateur mokchinist and serious metal mangler and I can even make parts to size, mostly but I wouldn't want to live on my skills with a lathe or mill, I prefer to have food on the table.

I made a living as a pipe and pressure vessel welder for 30 years and I have met people that call themselves welders, selling what they do out of their garage or shed but after seeing those welds I would have to say ....ahh...NO. So maybe those that make a living at it and those that can turn out first rate work for fun are machinists and those that think they are but can't do the work are not.

dalee100
12-17-2016, 01:28 PM
Hi,

I've been a paid tool and die maker for over 30 years now. Been running shop floors for 20, but I still like to get my fingers dirty too.

While I have had the opportunity to use some of the very best machines and tooling this entire planet has to offer, I've also been stuck with pure junk. And I still got the job done. My own little home shop is populated by Harbor Freight and Grizzly machines and a mix of eBay tools and top shelf stuff. One thing I've learned is that it's not skill in the tool, it's the skill in the operator. As witnessed by all the clowns I've fired over the years. The title "Machinist" means little to nothing. There are few working at it that even have a diploma for it. And none have a license. At least like I have to licensed as an EMT to work in ambulances.

Why hang out with what some might consider newbies and hacks, (glances at PM)? I do so because here I often get to see and learn things from a fresh perspective from people who are unaware of the "PROPER WAY" to do something. It's often quite amazing what can be done when you don't know any better. Another thing I've learned is that there is no real wrong way to do things if it works. Just that some methods might have certain advantages that are just different. And those advantages are subject to change. And sometimes when the stars align right, I can even help someone here to get through a problem.

Dalee

larry_g
12-17-2016, 01:47 PM
I've worked with real machinists. I've been paid to machine parts. I am not a machinist. I can hack out a part and make it work. I can run a lathe and mill. But there are so many more machines to master, so many materials to understand, so much math to master, and the ability to see some complex parts and do setups in the correct order to EFFICIENTLY make the part.
lg
no neat sig line

MikeL46
12-17-2016, 01:50 PM
I have to agree with Machinist being all encompassing. Nothing in the term implies skill or competence. I'll allow each individual to decide on the level of skill they possess. Myself, I'm a hack. But, a hack Machinist.

Kind of like all cars are operated by Drivers. Not all of them should be allowed to drive, but they are Drivers. If you operate a machine tool to remove metal you are a Machinist.

Mike

Andre3127
12-17-2016, 01:50 PM
A "Machinist" to me is someone who makes what they need with the machines they have at hand, has tricks up their sleeve, at least a handful of years under their belt, and the ability to run several different machines with speed and accuracy. They also need to know the basics of math and science.

Daminer
12-17-2016, 02:06 PM
I refer to myself as an "amateur machinist" since the only "formal" training I've had was in high school 60+ years ago. I'm not leery of asking professionals for help and advice, and I've learned much from this site over the years.
I own stick, MIG & AO welding gear, but I'm not a qualified "welder" by any means. Doesn't mean I can't get the job done cuz I'm not titled.

Jim

Toolguy
12-17-2016, 02:07 PM
I have been doing Tool & Die work for a living since 1974, right after I got out of high school. I went through the Boeing and Cessna tool & die schools in Wichita, KS and worked for them for a total of 5 years or so. Then on to many different job shops. Moved to KC in the early 1980s and worked in tool & die shops here. A lot of places only had worn out machines, but you were still expected to hold tolerances and make time anyway. Did everything on manual machines most of that time. In the beginning there were not even DROs, much less CNC. I could run every machine in most of the shops. Some of the guys I worked with were total hacks and nothing they made was very good. Finally went full time at home in 2006.

I have a small but well equipped shop behind the house. My main business is making prototypes of new inventions, but also do repairs and custom production tooling for local businesses. I am very good at this, but so are a lot of other people, so I don't think I am better than anyone else. I have always tried to learn something new every day in order to be at the top of my craft.
I got on this forum to learn new tricks and share what I know. No one can live long enough to know all of it, plus there is always something new happening. I try to treat everyone with respect, although I enjoy a good joke or ribbing as much as the next guy, as long as it doesn't go too far and get ugly.

Mcgyver
12-17-2016, 02:08 PM
. After 25 years of making and pursuing all manner of things, I don't think there is much the average machinist knows how to do that I either haven't done or couldn't figure out. I've also done a fair bit of machining to support my fabrication business (my guys send me with home for the weekend lol) so technically can claim doing it professionally I suppose (yeah ok its stretch, but its my story). None of that has been a complex as say making a triple expansion engine or reconditioning a machine tool. So without hurting my arm too much, I'd likely be on par with a good commercial guy in parts making ability.

However there's a big BUT. There is a lot more to being what I consider a machinist than making good parts. Its making good parts AND doing so in the shortest time and minimal scrap. My activities and objectives have perhaps developed skills but they're practiced at a slow leisurely pace. That only halfway fills the boots of commercial guy who has to get good parts out the door with minimal cycle time and always with time pressure

tomato coupe
12-17-2016, 02:10 PM
Pretty Vague JT --- technically did that this morning after a couple cups of coffee and then proceeded to plug up the toilet - only thing missing was the drawing ahead of time but could write something up real quick if you wish?

Did you filter out the coffee grounds before you drank it?

GEP
12-17-2016, 02:10 PM
I see posts saying "I am no machinist...", and I see on other sites people dumping on "hobby machinists", etc, etc.

I think that's a load of crap.

There are people getting paid to do machining who are not as good as a lot of folks on here. Sorry if that offends anyone, but it's true. I've seen what comes back from some "machine shops", and it has looked like they don't own any mics and haven't changed out their tooling nor sharpened anything since Nixon was President.

As far as I am concerned, if you can take a drawing, and make a part that conforms to the drawing and looks good, you are a "Machinist", and no two ways about it.

After that, its all details.... can you do that as fast as this other guy? Could you work fast enough to make a living at it? That sort of thing. Fun for some people in the trade to argue about, but hardly the biggest deal for folks who have no intention of making a living at it. Those issues say NOTHING about craftsmanship, nor skill.

The work many folks on here do would blow away most of the apprentice projects I have seen pics of.

I agree with you. Keep in mind there are people that work on a production machine that only feed material and remove the finished parts they also call them self a machinist Ha ha

KIMFAB
12-17-2016, 02:26 PM
I've got the equipment and have put out runs of parts to spec but I consider myself more of a fabricator than a machinist.
I actually enjoy working on the machines more than using them. I admire some of the stuff shown here but I don't have that kind of patience.

This discussion brings to mind the age old question:
"What do you call a person that graduated from medical school in the bottom 10% of his class?" (a doctor)

fixerdave
12-17-2016, 02:26 PM
This forum is called a 'vertical slice'. It takes people from all stripes, all classes, any backgrounds, and even any country. The only thing missing is automatically translating languages, and that will come soon. That's why I like this forum. Honestly, that's why I like the OT posts as well. These people are brought together because of a common interest, machining. Titles don't matter.

I would not be the least bit surprised to find that posters here had educational degrees or professional certifications they've not bothered to mention. If you count the lurkers, too afraid (or smart) to post, we probably have everything from politicians to nuclear physicists. People with multiple degrees and certifications in widely varying fields are probably a lot more common than you think.

The thing is, this is an odd hobby that attracts odd people, for odd reasons. There's a high startup cost and very steep learning curve. It attracts people that PURSUE an interest beyond the casual flirtation, the kind of people that often pursue an education as well. You will get polymaths like Evan, moving from one interest to another, excelling at each in turn. You will get a lot of people that excelled in something entirely different, achieved a level of proficiency at the top of that field, and then moved on to be an amateur here, applying the same focused intellect and drive to excel at something else. And, then you'll get people like me that are just in it to have fun.

I knew a guy that had a degree in geography, or some such thing, that ran an electronics design company. He could run circles around me designing circuits, the guy with the paperwork to say I was an expert. He bought a lathe to make pressure enclosures. If he had pursued that then he would be the kind of guy that lurked here, learning. He would probably be able to machine circles around a professional machinist. He was a polymath, excelling at what interested him at that particular time. Do you think he would care about the credentials of some other poster?

Me, I could put some letters after my name. Don't care. I don't care what you call yourself, what letters you have, how many years you did X, how many posts you've made, how long you've been here, or what popular topics you've managed to start over the years. All I care about is what you write, in that post, how it makes sense, and how it fits into whatever interest I have that made me waste my time reading it. It's your ideas that matter, and how they are expressed. They, not you, compete against other ideas.

Titles are for egos... I don't care. Egos are a waste of time and effort. Ideas matter to me. Ideas compete on merit. Merit of the idea, not the person. Now, that's me, and I'll admit that I'm rather odd in this respect. Then again, this board attracts a lot of odd people. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can call yourselves, or each other, whatever you want. Some of us don't care.

David...

darryl
12-17-2016, 02:41 PM
Plug up the toilet- you're supposed to use toilet paper, not your drawings-

enginuity
12-17-2016, 03:09 PM
What is difficult about this is the term "Machinist" often implies a ticketed apprenticeship, or someone who has completed a full apprenticeship.

Where I live I believe the term is General Machinist, and is a 3 or 4 year apprenticeship. There is also Millwright (also a full apprenticeship) and Tool and Die Maker (again a full apprenticeship).

I am a completely self taught "machinist". I originally went to school for mechanical design and currently I'm going to school studying manufacturing engineering (to complete my engineering degree). Working at various places has forced me to learn how to prototype stuff using lathes, mills and grinders. And I also fully program, fully setup, and occasionally run multi axis CNC equipment. I select the tooling, processes, and inspection requirements. All this flows out of my interest for designing quality things. I've had numerous tooling suppliers and other professional machinists view the work that I do and they tell me what I have setup and run is efficient and competent. Once I get the design and manufacturing processes sorted out I hand it off to people who do the daily production.

Now, if job requiring a machinist comes up, can I apply? Well that depends. If they require someone who is 'ticketed', I cannot. As such, I guess I couldn't call myself a machinist - much like the term 'Engineer' is reserved for those who have completed specific requirements. But I do have a lot of skills that professional machinists have.

Amateur machinist is my preferred title, like amateur astronomer, although many people associate that term with hack for some reason in the machining world.

I've also avoided all this and just tell people, I design products and know how to build them - the way the field of engineering was before we had all these 'specialists' who really seem to be math experts and CAD jockeys.

Alistair Hosie
12-17-2016, 03:12 PM
I never worked or ever made a dime from my woodworking or machining however I did attend a retired machinists club, one day a week for about 5 years so just about know my but from my elbow, but not vastly experienced as is the case with some/perhaps most here. I never try to pretend I am as I don't see what's wrong with being a hobby guy. The guys like John Stevenson are top notch but then so they should be after doing it all of their lives. Although he is a bit special in a way. Alistair

J Tiers
12-17-2016, 04:39 PM
Again, it's the details.

Ticketed journeyman machinist has a legal meaning in some places. Not everywhere.

There are "good machinists" there are "bad machinists", there are "union journeyman machinists" in both categories.

There are "fast accurate machinists" and there are "slow hacks" and professional ticketed machinists fall in both categories.

There are "professional machinists" who may or may not be "ticketed" or have "journeyman status", they get paid to use machines to make parts just the same.

To me, the term "machinist" with no extras attached means a person using shop machines to make parts. The other things are details, (in some places, legal details).

For OUR purposes, folks who make good parts are good machinists, and that's all there is to it. I see folks putting themselves down as "I'm no machinist", and then they have pictures of something that is very nice, that would be definitely accepted as a "high passing grade" apprentice project anywhere.

I've personally made money from the shop, although that is not it's purpose, and I do not claim any particular competence. I have made all sorts of prototypes, test equipment, tooling, even stamping dies for work. I guess that is about what Mcgyver is describing. I'm pretty sure he could hold up his end in any manual machine shop. There are plenty of other folks on this site who have not been paid to do the work, but who could do that if they needed to, and not be the last guy in the shop, either.

flylo
12-17-2016, 05:31 PM
I am not a machinist, just a lifetime fabber and built lots of thing since buying a welder & torch set when 16, but a motercycle traier & raced class A at Redbud and many things after that. Got into prewar aircraft & had a smaller lathe probably a 12x40 in the shop of my big hanger at the airport before the tornado took it down so I set up a "real" machine shop at the home hanger mainly to build a full size 1877 Gattling gun. So I'm a rookie with all the toys & some of the skills. I've had fun upgrading my machines, have too many & mainly use them for building & tweaking target rifles from 22lr to 338 Lapua. I thought this was Home Shop Machinist but all crap I've received from being accused of being a machine dealer & not building enough maybe I'm not qualified to be here. You tell me.:confused:

Seastar
12-17-2016, 05:38 PM
I looked up the definition of "machinist"in three dictionaries .
Essentially they all say "one who operates a machine or machine tool"
That makes me a machinist.
I'm not very good but I am a machinist.
Any other definition or qualifier is BS and/or ego.
Bill

pinstripe
12-17-2016, 05:38 PM
To me, the term "machinist" with no extras attached means a person using shop machines to make parts. The other things are details, (in some places, legal details).

I look at it differently. I've painted my house, but I'm not a painter. I've also worked on my car, but I'm not a mechanic. I think if there are "no extras attached", then a "machinist" is someone who is employed as a machinist. They may or may not be good at it, but they are a machinist.

Here you will sometimes hear people say things like "I'm a machinist by trade". Normally that means they are no longer working as a machinist, but they have qualifications. So they might say "I'm a buyer for XYZ hardware, but I'm an electrician by trade."

mikem
12-17-2016, 05:41 PM
flylo and jtiers--I enjoy all of your posts. Both of you. Keep it up!

I don't think that titles can really define most of the posters here. Some are better than others at some things. I would say that all here are good at something!

I read here daily to learn something from someone that knows more than me!

Mcgyver
12-17-2016, 05:59 PM
Any other definition or qualifier is BS and/or ego.
Bill

Tell that to the guy who went to school and served a four year apprenticeship. I think pinstripe comes closest, being a machinist in the grand scheme of things is a vocation. If you meet the standards for general employment in your area as a machinist, then yeah you can probably call yourself a machinist. Its a question of opinion though, there is no right or wrong

CarlByrns
12-17-2016, 06:11 PM
I went to school to learn machine tool operation and then worked in a job shop. You were considered a machinist when you could make a complex part from a print to spec without supervision or asking stupid questions. Screwing up meant the company lost money.

The shop I worked for got caught on the wrong side of the CNC revolution and failed (along with every other manual shop in the area. There were a lot of going-out-of-business auctions for a while).

Today's (pro) machinists have all the skills the old-school guys did, plus the ability to work efficiently with digital machine tools. By that standard, I can't call myself a machinist anymore. More of 'fabricator with machine tools experience'.

JCHannum
12-17-2016, 06:13 PM
My wife runs a sewing machine. That is a machine, so by definition, she is a machinist right?

flylo
12-17-2016, 06:22 PM
A degree, license or rating doesn't make someone anything if they're dumb as a box of rocks. I may just be me but I've seen many young engineers with no common sense at all as I have it in architects, contractors, etc. More hacks than pros. IMHO A paper doesn't make an expert in any field. Common sense isn't common anymore.

Swarfer
12-17-2016, 07:03 PM
My wife runs a sewing machine. That is a machine, so by definition, she is a machinist right?That is how the jobs are advertised - sewing machinist.

The textile manufacturing revolution is where the term "luddite" comes from. The traditional textile workers went around smashing the machines taking their jobs.

PStechPaul
12-17-2016, 07:11 PM
My main aptitude, interest, education, and experience has been in the field of electronic design engineering, and although I do not have an EE degree, I consider myself an engineer. And although I have and continue to make money from it, I cannot (legally) call myself a professional engineer. I've also had some interest in mechanical contrivances, which has involved some machining, although for a long time the only machine I used was an electric drill and other hand tools.

By the time I joined this forum a few years ago, I had already bought and used a lathe and milling machine, but the only skills I had came from reading books and trial and error (with lots of error). Advice from those on this forum and elsewhere helped me become more proficient, and eventually (upon some recommendation here), I attended two semesters of Machine Tool classes at the local community college. After getting high A's and successfully completing two metalworking projects using the more professional Bridgeports and Clausings at the school, as well as my own machines, I might more confidently consider myself a machinist, but as others have said, it is a broad definition covering many levels of skill and experience.

I probably have much more to learn than I have to offer in metalworking, while perhaps in electronics I may have more to offer. However, there is probably a wider range of specialties in electronics and electrical engineering, especially including computers and programming, to the point that expertise in all facets is impossible. Machining is a more "mature" discipline, where many techniques, tools, and materials are little changed from 100 years ago, and advances are mostly in degree of precision and size (mostly toward MEMS, or nanotech).

Perhaps the distinction may be made between those who have the basic "knack" to do machining to some degree and eventually become proficient at it, and those who may never "get it" even with extensive attempts to learn. I saw one or two young people in my shop class who, although very intelligent, just didn't seem to be able to grasp the fundamentals or exhibit any sort of intuitive way of approaching various problems without being instructed exactly how to do it.

oldtiffie
12-17-2016, 07:50 PM
So far as I am aware, being granted membership here does not in any way class you - or especially me - as an instant machinist.

I do not and will not class myself as a"machinist" here or anywhere else as I am only a member of this Board who does not really have a "shop" as such - at all - just a shed with some machines and tools that I use to suit my purpose from time to time.

I do not seek to classify any others who may see their circumstances as different to mine as regards "machining".

Swarfer
12-17-2016, 07:58 PM
I don't see myself as a machinist, but if I made something, and someone asked "who was the machinist?", I wouldn't hesitate answering "me"

J Tiers
12-17-2016, 08:08 PM
I'm NOT looking to classify anyone.....

But I think it is perfectly fair to "upgrade" the description of folks who deserve it. I'm NOT interested in legal definitions.....

Just think about it for a moment, and some of you hard-liners MIGHT "get it"... People may say "so and so is a <insert job title here> but he is a pretty good machinist also".

They intend that not to indicate that the person has union sanction, or paper from some Canadian province, but that the person has, uses, and otherwise demonstrates the degree of skills and abilities that a good worker with union sanction has.

So, maybe the folks who keep dumping on themselves do not really need to do so. Not that they need to claim qualifications, but that they need not preface their posts with "I'm no machinist"...... They ARE, if they demonstrate (as many do) the necessary skills and abilities.

An example of someone who does show skills and abilities, is the fellow who posted a pic or two of his sailboat pulley block. Darn good work. perfectly saleable goods. I've seen stuff for sale at high prices that didn't look as good as that.

End of story.

You guys that hold papers or deal with unions etc, need perhaps to loosen up as far as this board is concerned.

1-800miner
12-17-2016, 08:16 PM
If I make a part that fits and get paid in beer rather than cash am I a machinist?

Mcgyver
12-17-2016, 08:26 PM
Will an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of lathes make the part? Are they machinists? I think I'd sound like a dickhead calling myself a machinist if I've never done it for a living....I'm just the lucky monkey that makes the odd good part

A.K. Boomer
12-17-2016, 08:40 PM
I worked in a machine shop as a machinist for maybe 5 or so years --- not a machinist here - I know the real deal and am not them...
I am a mechanic and also somewhat of a mechanical engineer - and although I did not go to school for the later I only say it because im constantly improving on designs of "supposedly real" mechanical engineers, so the prior is just a fact - its what I do - and to the latter im mostly shoot from the hip but also think outside the box and many a time come up with a superior approach to the original without having to crunch all the numbers --- another thing I hate... lol

J Tiers
12-17-2016, 08:40 PM
Will an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of lathes make the part? Are they machinists? I think I'd sound like a dickhead calling myself a machinist if I've never done it for a living....I'm just the lucky monkey that makes the odd good part

There is a difference between claiming a skill, and just not DIS-claiming it..... When I guy says "I'm no machinist" and show parts he has made that look like they came out of a high class machine shop, I'm saying he's wrong! And his work says he's wrong. It can almost be "reverse bragging".... :D


Claiming a skill, whether you have it or not, is one of those things that a guy just does not do.... no need to discuss those who publicly pat themselves on the back.

JCHannum
12-17-2016, 09:09 PM
I consider myself a pretty good mechanic, but not a machinist, plumber, electrician or paper hanger although I can do and have done an acceptable job at those tasks and others that are considered skilled trades, sometimes being paid for my skills.

For most on the board who have shown their work, the term machinist is restrictive. They show many other skills beyond simple machining including the imagination to dream up a creation, research, design and draw up plans, do the requisite machining, and often finish up with furniture grade woodwork to make a case or platform to display their work. You need look no farther than one of Brian's engine builds or Rich Carlstedt's Monitor engine for examples.

Tim Clarke
12-17-2016, 09:15 PM
Looks like that I, once again am entering the thread late....Once upon a time, I worked in an Automotive machine shop. Learned to do all but grind crankshafts. Looks like I was lacking in journeyman status. BUT, I learned how to align, and bore Main bearing bores. Including fitting caps, shrinking the block, etc. We were the only shop in town doing align boring at the time. Does that mean the other guys at other shops, weren't journeymen?

I left the machine shop to work at a private truck fleet. Spent 35 years there. I got respectfully good at engine work, gear work, And hydraulics. But, I never rebuilt any Allison Automatic Transmissions, and in a fleet with 80 garbage trucks, we did more than a few. That must mean I'm no truck mechanic.

Nowadays, I make chips in my home shop. Also some scrap, just as I have most of my life. I doubt anybody enjoys it more than I.

So, what's the point of this rambling? Well, I have known a few machinists. When I worked in a lumber/plywood mill shop, It was Alex. He was 66 years old when I started, when I was 19. He was an old school machinist, and everyone there went to him when they needed help, even the Mechanics. Then there was Joe, he was the top guy at the automotive shop, but only in his early 30's. Probably the best example of the ones I've met, is our own Forrest Addy. I was to a scraping school in the Seattle area, and learned a little about scraping. I also learned he is perhaps the most talented shop hand I have ever met. To call this man a machinist would be like calling Da Vinci an artist. Of course he was, but so much more. I had a discussion with a man who was at one time the best automatic transmission rebuilder in my area. I told him, Gerald, when you and I started this business, it was a lot different. Now, the learning curve is a whole lot steeper! He replied, it sure is! So, for me, and some guys that are of my generation, The old definitions need to be changed to reflect the fact that now, It's getting tough to put a label on any of the trades.

tmc_31
12-17-2016, 09:26 PM
From Merriam Webster Dictionary:

************************************************** **************************

Definition of machinist

1
a : a worker who fabricates, assembles, or repairs machinery b : a craftsman skilled in the use of machine tools c : one who operates a machine

2
archaic : a person in charge of the mechanical aspects of a theatrical production

3
: a warrant officer who supervises machinery and engine operation

************************************************** *********************

I am a Machinist.

There are many who are better machinists than I and some who are not as good.

I have little use for those who look down on newcomers to our hobby/profession. I have found that even the newest of us can make contributions to the knowledge base.

That said, I have come to appreciate those skilled machinists who have cared enough to share their wisdom on this and other forums.

Tim McMurray

GNM109
12-17-2016, 09:56 PM
"A machinist is a person who uses machine tools to make or modify parts, primarily metal parts. This process of machining is accomplished by using machine tools to cut away excess material much as a woodcarver cuts away excess wood to produce his work. In addition to metal, the parts may be made of many other kinds of materials, such as plastic or wood products. The goal of these cutting operations is to produce a part that conforms to a set of specifications, or tolerances, usually in the form of engineering drawings commonly known as blueprints."

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

I do this most every day.

danlb
12-17-2016, 10:17 PM
I agree with Jerry's initial assertion.

A machinist is someone who can make a part to spec reliably. If you can take a blueprint and make an accurate physical model from it, then you are a machinist (in my opinion).

Closely related are the hobbyists, tinkerers and artists. They also make things, and those things are often functional and beautiful. They make things that match what they envision. What sets them apart is that the process often includes an element of trial and error or guesswork. If no two parts you make are alike, you may well fall into one of these categories.

There is nothing wrong with being a hobbyist, tinkerer or artist. Most of my work falls into the "tinkerer" class where I make a quick sketch and throw a piece of metal in a machine. But some of the things I make are made to spec (mine) , and I can do the whole process without any doubts about how it will turn out. That's when I feel like a machinist.

Dan

flylo
12-17-2016, 10:23 PM
Will an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of lathes make the part? Are they machinists? I think I'd sound like a dickhead calling myself a machinist if I've never done it for a living....I'm just the lucky monkey that makes the odd good part

Something we can agree on & not even the dickhead part. I agree if you get paid for being a machinist & have the skill you're a machinist. If you don't get paid & have a home shop & some skill you're a Home Shop Machinist, just like Home Shop Mechanic, etc.

flylo
12-17-2016, 10:27 PM
From Merriam Webster Dictionary:

************************************************** **************************

Definition of machinist

1
a : a worker who fabricates, assembles, or repairs machinery b : a craftsman skilled in the use of machine tools c : one who operates a machine

2
archaic : a person in charge of the mechanical aspects of a theatrical production

3
: a warrant officer who supervises machinery and engine operation

************************************************** *********************

I am a Machinist.

There are many who are better machinists than I and some who are not as good.

I have little use for those who look down on newcomers to our hobby/profession. I have found that even the newest of us can make contributions to the knowledge base.

That said, I have come to appreciate those skilled machinists who have cared enough to share their wisdom on this and other forums.

Tim McMurray

I disagree with all them #1 would be a cnc operator who can't operate a manual machine & 2 & 3 don't apply IMHO.

QSIMDO
12-17-2016, 11:05 PM
Not a "machinist".
"Leisure fabricator" suits me fine.

Tundra Twin Track
12-18-2016, 12:36 AM
I am not a Machinist but have designed and made things for the Farm and Farm Shop to make my jobs easier and more efficient.I have been mostly self taught,learned by doing and making mistakes,but getting some of it right.I am thoroughly enjoying the larger machines that I have got the last few years,it makes a lot of the jobs easy.

thaiguzzi
12-18-2016, 02:10 AM
Fitter turner?

big job
12-18-2016, 06:07 AM
I wonder how many get paid like myself and I really don't put a label myself. Or I may be called a problem solver because
most work performed on things out of this world I have no clue about. But I will say customers don't give one hoot
if work was done on a 100 yr old lathe or a war baby shaper and most don't know or care, they just want the part,
usually yesterday. And then within walking distance is, lets say 'real machine shop' employs maybe 30 people all
cnc that can machine 1000 parts to my one; Who would pay $500 for a simple lawnmower shaft and get it back 6months
later cause they can't be bothered. Meanwhile I get the work with 'walk ins' I will machine that, usually while the customer
waits probably 30- 40 bucks so bottom line is I'm too old to worry about what I am called, I just get things done. sam

AD5MB
12-18-2016, 07:39 AM
it's like this: there are cooks who can make any recipe they come across, but not come up with anything special on their own. their specialty is formula following.

there are cooks who can take what they have and make something special out of nothing much. they understand the underlying principles and put them to use.

I can kluge a thing to solve a problem. I can't mill a head to raise the compression ratio. I made my living by McGyvering things from stock at hand. innovation was more important than precision.

a machinist? no. a useful guy to have around when you need a problem solved and you don't have the solution? yes.

Punkinhead
12-18-2016, 07:42 AM
Anyone who can push the start button on a CNC is free to call themselves a machinist. I see it every day and it doesn't bother me at all. Calling themselves a toolmaker is a different kettle of fish.

CarlByrns
12-18-2016, 09:28 AM
A degree, license or rating doesn't make someone anything if they're dumb as a box of rocks. I may just be me but I've seen many young engineers with no common sense at all as I have it in architects, contractors, etc. More hacks than pros. IMHO A paper doesn't make an expert in any field. Common sense isn't common anymore.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard that for 40 years and in the those 40 years products have gotten better, not worse.
The paper (or in the case of engineers, architects, doctors, and lawyers, a license) is proof that the holder meets- and is held to- a standard.



I worked in a machine shop as a machinist for maybe 5 or so years --- not a machinist here - I know the real deal and am not them...
I am a mechanic and also somewhat of a mechanical engineer - and although I did not go to school for the later I only say it because im constantly improving on designs of "supposedly real" mechanical engineers, so the prior is just a fact - its what I do - and to the latter im mostly shoot from the hip but also think outside the box and many a time come up with a superior approach to the original without having to crunch all the numbers --- another thing I hate... lol

That's an insult to real mechanical engineers who did go to school and have the diploma and the license to prove it.
"Shooting from the hip" and "thinking outside the box" by someone who didn't do the math gets people killed on a regular basis.

Here's what happens when you play by your own rules:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/09/nyregion/fatal-manhattan-crane-accident-crane-operator.html

If you make an unqualified 'eyeball engineering' change to an existing design and it fails and there's injury or death, get ready to be sued into the stone age while you meet your new cuddle buddy at the Hotel Graybar.

1-800miner
12-18-2016, 09:40 AM
My wife is a therapist. Last night at dinner I told her about this thread.
Her reply " I never heard of mass identity crisis before"

loose nut
12-18-2016, 09:44 AM
A machinist from 100 years ago, looking at how things are done now, would probably say there aren't any left.

David Powell
12-18-2016, 09:54 AM
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard that for 40 years and in the those 40 years products have gotten better, not worse.
The paper (or in the case of engineers, architects, doctors, and lawyers, a license) is proof that the holder meets- and is held to- a standard.




That's an insult to real mechanical engineers who did go to school and have the diploma and the license to prove it.
"Shooting from the hip" and "thinking outside the box" by someone who didn't do the math gets people killed on a regular basis.

Here's what happens when you play by your own rules:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/09/nyregion/fatal-manhattan-crane-accident-crane-operator.html

If you make an unqualified 'eyeball engineering' change to an existing design and it fails and there's injury or death, get ready to be sued into the stone age while you meet your new cuddle buddy at the Hotel Graybar.

A licensed engineer wrote a report saying that the Mall in Elliot Lake Ontario was safe. The townsfolk had been expressing concern about the place for years. The Mall fell down, My daughter, grand daughter and Ex wife were on the way to the mall at the time. All a licence proves is that the holder bothered to get the licence, not that he or she is competent or honest. Regards David Powell.

boslab
12-18-2016, 10:07 AM
It's the old joke, what's the difference between a doctor and an engineer?
A doctor can only kill one at a time, not far wrong
Mark

QSIMDO
12-18-2016, 10:24 AM
My wife is a therapist. Last night at dinner I told her about this thread.
Her reply " I never heard of mass identity crisis before"

Sure she has.
Several of the topics not allowed here!

DR
12-18-2016, 10:26 AM
+1 to what Carl said.

On this forum your formal education with diplomas, certificates, etc, etc may not be so important. Your work and your ideas may speak for themselves.

Not so in the working-for-a-living world. There, those proofs of formal education are the entry ticket to employment. Without the entry ticket you may never get the opportunity to even try to prove yourself. In the long run you still have to perform to prove yourself though.

Employment ads for high tech positions still seem to have the requirement of a BS degree in a related field to get in the door for an interview.

What I see of requirements for "machinist" positions are changing these days. Companies are less willing to do on the job training like back in the day. Journeyman status is not so much a firm requirement anymore. More often than not I'm seeing prior experience on a very specific model of CNC machine tool and its related CAD/CAM.

Mcgyver
12-18-2016, 10:35 AM
Carl is right. The notion of calling a someone machinist because they can make part is just stupid. Make 1" OD cylinder, 1" long with a 1/2" hole drill through it and pronounce yourself a machinist and wait for the laughs. Calling yourself an engineer if you don't have your P.Eng, or maybe at least a degree is equally nuts (unless you drive a train lol). I'm going to start calling myself President of the United States because I know a lot, have some leadership experience, have thought about it a lot and have some good ideas. I could do it, they just haven't put me in yet <insert loony smilie>.

Listen to 1-800's wife....what is the point of this in any event?

Tony Ennis
12-18-2016, 10:46 AM
While I can turn a diagram into a part, I am not a machinist. I think a machinist works with some level of speed and repeatability.

The difference between a professional and a hobbyist is that the former is on the clock. Brian Rupnow makes really nice steam engines. But if he were doing it professionally, he'd probably have to cut corners to keep the hours (cost) down. And knowing how to do that, and when not to do it, is another machinist skill which I am sure Brian has. There's a similar lamentation in the woodworking field - hobbyists can afford to make beautiful furniture because they're doing it for their own entertainment and not to put bread on the table. See Fine Woodworking magazine to see what "amateurs" can do.

A.K. Boomer
12-18-2016, 10:50 AM
That's an insult to real mechanical engineers who did go to school and have the diploma and the license to prove it.
"Shooting from the hip" and "thinking outside the box" by someone who didn't do the math gets people killed on a regular basis.

Here's what happens when you play by your own rules:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/09/nyregion/fatal-manhattan-crane-accident-crane-operator.html

If you make an unqualified 'eyeball engineering' change to an existing design and it fails and there's injury or death, get ready to be sued into the stone age while you meet your new cuddle buddy at the Hotel Graybar.

Ohhh Geeezus krist... What kind of a fantasy world are you living in to think that just because someone went to school for something makes them infallible --- do you not read any of the hundreds of serious recalls resulting in hundreds and thousands of deaths? all by incompetent guys who have degree's in mechanical engineering?

Im not "insulting" anyone "pal" that does not deserve to be insulted,,, there's good engineers and there's bad engineers --- GET IT??? and im not changing over someone's brake calipers with something I built on my mill or front axle spindle designs so try not to get your panties in a wad --- about had it with you flying off the handle when you have ZERO idea of what im "modifying" all good mechanics make quality repairs to existing things from everything from hood prop rods holders and pivots to installing heli-coils in something like a plastic interior part that whoever the brain dead dumb ass engineer that wasted his fuqueing time going to school did not realize all the forces it was up against --- I have hundreds of examples and not one of them is going to ever get me a bunk with "bubba" so try your scare tactics on someone a little less seasoned because your making me laugh...

with what I do and as long as iv been doing it - I see brilliant engineering - and I also see outright abortions --- and yes I can not only make that call - I can make "certain parts" way better then the dumbasses that originally built them - and they will never fail and even if they did it would just amount to an inconvenience - NEVER a safety issue GET IT? - I bolt on box stock or improved parts when it comes to anything to do with safety, that being said - when it comes to other less critical stuff (the majority of trinkets of what makes a car a car) im allot like the most of the mechanics out there that also know how to "repair" things, after all - it's what we do...

All while Carlb is ordering the same inferior POS over and over again because it keeps breaking --- can be a lawsuit on that too buddy so be careful K? You know - if your knowingly bolting on junk esp. if it's important junk, instead try to find a proper outlet -and keep this in mind Einstein - just because some guy in china has a degree and built the damn thing does not always "make it right" :rolleyes:

Way-ta-prove your ignorance --- learn the facts before you open your yap Carlb --- handing you your ass like this in front of everyone is getting old buddy... and every single time it happens --- open up mouth - insert foot - repeat... GET some kind of a clue...

HWooldridge
12-18-2016, 11:23 AM
I have worked over ten years at a large (150 employees) production machining company (this past CY quarter, we made about 23 million parts). All of these are small parts that will easily fit in your hand - in fact, some are so small that 10,000 or more will fit in your hand. The work is done on CNC and cam machines, some multispindle and some single spindle. We regularly work to .0005 tolerances but we know when to turn it over to outside services, like when the tolerances go below that range. For example, we make some dowel pins for a customer where the tolerance is +.0000, -.0002 so we run those slightly oversize and rely on the centerless grinder guy to finish them, which he does all day long and in batches of 5000-10,000.

Prior to working in production machining, I spent almost 20 years in the injection molding business, where the bulk of the precision work was put into building the mold. The better the mold, the better the molded parts would be. And then there are the gunsmiths and engine builders and bearing manufacturers, and people who build musical instruments, etc. etc. Some work is "one-off" and some is repetitive production but all have to be done by skilled people who can work without crashing the tools.

"Machinist" covers a lot of ground. I think a lot of people are machinists and don't even know it...

Mcgyver
12-18-2016, 11:47 AM
I think a lot of people are machinists and don't even know it...

Like the Le Bourgeois gentilhomme chracter who is thrilled to learn he'd been speaking prose is whole life without even realize it :D

MrFluffy
12-18-2016, 12:04 PM
Whole concept of this thread just seems like a nail to hang a hat of some people wanting to feel better than other people, out of place, sure you didn't mean to post it on PM instead? They're the one for witchhunts if I remember.

DR
12-18-2016, 01:02 PM
Whole concept of this thread just seems like a nail to hang a hat of some people wanting to feel better than other people, out of place, sure you didn't mean to post it on PM instead? They're the one for witchhunts if I remember.

PM is a for profit site (I suppose this one is too in a sense), it depends on advertisers of mostly high end machine tools to survive. Unlikely those advertisers would be interested in the site if it was full of questions about low end Chinese sourced machines. Allowing only posting related to higher end machinery and related workings is what makes it good for users. I've been able to get complicated issues with my CNC machines solved there within hours of my posting. The number of experts in CNC operation and repair on PM willing to share their knowledge is not available anywhere else on the web.

This board has its purpose just as PM does.

lugnut
12-18-2016, 01:08 PM
Well that's a bummer. I used to think I would like to be a Machinist, but after reading this thread, I have learned they can't decide amongst themselves who, why, or what they are. I guess I'll have to just be satisfied with being a Home Shop Tinker :D

flylo
12-18-2016, 04:24 PM
Whole concept of this thread just seems like a nail to hang a hat of some people wanting to feel better than other people, out of place, sure you didn't mean to post it on PM instead? They're the one for witchhunts if I remember.

I agree 100%, well said! You too Lugnut!

A.K. Boomer
12-18-2016, 04:31 PM
Its just JT bored and trying to start trouble - which he did so sure he's content now and we can coast for awhile... :p

Jmay
12-18-2016, 05:43 PM
I am not a machinist nor do I try to fool anyone. I am a mechanic with a lathe and drill press that just happens to be a member of Home Shop Machinist.

CarlByrns
12-18-2016, 05:58 PM
A licensed engineer wrote a report saying that the Mall in Elliot Lake Ontario was safe. The townsfolk had been expressing concern about the place for years. The Mall fell down, My daughter, grand daughter and Ex wife were on the way to the mall at the time. All a licence proves is that the holder bothered to get the licence, not that he or she is competent or honest. Regards David Powell.

In the US it means you can be sued and possibly be held criminally negligent.

stefang
12-18-2016, 06:17 PM
People get way to hang up about what they want to be called...

Your boss/customer does not care if you are moldmakergod, jesusthetoolanddieguy or awesomemachinist. He wants his parts on time, to cost and to spec.

oldtiffie
12-18-2016, 06:30 PM
People get way to hang up about what they want to be called...

Your boss/customer does not care if you are moldmakergod, jesusthetoolanddieguy or awesomemachinist. He wants his parts on time, to cost and to spec.

I really don't care what I am called by anyone - me included.

The more people who don't know what I have or what I can (or cannot) do with it the better I like it.

A.K. Boomer
12-18-2016, 06:44 PM
oh yeah? what if they call you late for supper?

Mcgyver
12-18-2016, 07:02 PM
A licensed engineer wrote a report saying that the Mall in Elliot Lake Ontario was safe. The townsfolk had been expressing concern about the place for years. The Mall fell down, My daughter, grand daughter and Ex wife were on the way to the mall at the time. All a licence proves is that the holder bothered to get the license, not that he or she is competent or honest. Regards David Powell.

sure, a license does not guarantee competence. However in the case of a P.Eng (who would have had to stamp the drawings and watch the construction) it does ensure there is a high degree of training and a high level of commitment. Have only P.Engs stamp buildings makes sense because they are competent - most buildings and bridges don't fall down.

However that some professionals are incompetent seems a million miles away from concluding since some are incompetent anyone can call themselves an engineer. Should the next large public building be built by some character who considers himself an engineer but never went to school or did the practical and wrote the professional exam? I'm not saying you're saying that, but it seems a theme out there.

There might be crappy doctors out there but if I'm going under the knife the doctor will have to have a degree from an accredited medical school and served an internship :). Then again, even that extreme example isn't a no brainer for some.....look at the people paying for cures from crystals or milliwatt lasers at the chiropractor.

I'm with AK, call me anything but don't call me late for dinner

Dave C
12-18-2016, 07:11 PM
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard that for 40 years and in the those 40 years products have gotten better, not worse.
The paper (or in the case of engineers, architects, doctors, and lawyers, a license) is proof that the holder meets- and is held to- a standard.




That's an insult to real mechanical engineers who did go to school and have the diploma and the license to prove it.
"Shooting from the hip" and "thinking outside the box" by someone who didn't do the math gets people killed on a regular basis.

Here's what happens when you play by your own rules:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/09/nyregion/fatal-manhattan-crane-accident-crane-operator.html

If you make an unqualified 'eyeball engineering' change to an existing design and it fails and there's injury or death, get ready to be sued into the stone age while you meet your new cuddle buddy at the Hotel Graybar.

The "Paper" proves that you have the tenacity to sit through the course. It is not necessarily an indicator of intelligence or ability. I've had much experience in reworking parts that were made correctly according to the engineer's drawings, but did not fit the application.

A.K. Boomer
12-18-2016, 07:20 PM
My opinion is what you have to do and especially "nowadays" is question everything and everybody, Iv seen aftermarket front end parts that I would not ever bolt on a car - stamped OEM, NOT!

people need to take their thinking a step further - just because "maybe" technically you can "washa u handsa" of the "incident" God forbid should there ever be one does not let you off the hook - you have a moral obligation to look out for your flock,,,

I say this because there is allot of junk out there being designed by people who do have degree's --- Iv gotten so good at it I can usually predict failure in many area's,
My gray area is of course the quality of materials being used - that's hard to judge many times until it's too late --- but have I seen outright engineering flaws in design? --- OH GOD YEAH all the time....

there is a balance to be had --- yes it would be great to have competent well educated people who actually gave a damn about what they do --- but you can wish in one hand and crap in the other and see which one fills up the fastest,,, sad fact is - is for just about any of us in what we do we need to keep an eye out for others dropping the ball - be it for defects - or faulty programs or whatever as so much stuff is connected anymore, the days of turning a blind eye to all the incompetence going on out there is not the answer,,, there's simply too much of it going on...

Degree or no degree take a look at what's going on

Mcgyver
12-18-2016, 07:36 PM
The "Paper" proves that you have the tenacity to sit through the course. It is not necessarily an indicator of intelligence or ability. I've had much experience in reworking parts that were made correctly according to the engineer's drawings, but did not fit the application.

So....if you were building a bridge would you want a P.Eng to stamp it? Or just anyone who thought of themselves an engineer. If you would want P.Eng, legalities aside, why?

flylo
12-18-2016, 07:49 PM
I've dealt with plenty of architects over the years that had no common sense at all & doubt they could find their arse with both hands. Load bearing beams right over windows, etc but they always have an out, the stamp on the ptint that says everything must be verified by the contractor or builder. Many just learn how to pass tests. I've said for years they need 2 years in the field working under a contractor. I'll take common sense over a pc of paper anytime. Most so called unlearned overbuild. As I mentioned before most young engineers are the same way. I think in most fields you get 1 good one out of 10. Too bad for the people who hire the 9.

CarlByrns
12-18-2016, 08:05 PM
Ohhh Geeezus krist... What kind of a fantasy world are you living in to think that just because someone went to school for something makes them infallible --- do you not read any of the hundreds of serious recalls resulting in hundreds and thousands of deaths? all by incompetent guys who have degree's in mechanical engineering?

Nowhere did I say ‘infallible’. You made that up, just like you made up “hundreds and thousands of deaths… all by incompetent guys who have degrees in mechanical engineering”

First- “hundreds and thousands of deaths”. Really? How many hundreds and thousands? Prove it (with citations), please.

Second, most (automotive) product failures occur on the assembly line by workers who believe they know more than the people (or computers) that designed how a part fits and operates. Or by a third-party vendor cutting costs in a non-approved manner. See also Takata airbags.


Im not "insulting" anyone "pal" that does not deserve to be insulted,,, there's good engineers and there's bad engineers --- GET IT???

You don’t get it- you are insulting the entire profession of engineering by saying that you, a car mechanic with no formal education, are capable of judging their work. You’re not.


with what I do and as long as iv been doing it - I see brilliant engineering - and I also see outright abortions --- and yes I can not only make that call

- I can make "certain parts" way better then the dumbasses that originally built them - and they will never fail and even if they did it would just amount to an inconvenience - NEVER a safety issue GET IT?

No, you can’t. If you’re so good, why aren’t you working in a tech industry like aerospace instead of changing oil on Subarus? Let me answer that: you don’t have the degree or the license, the proof that you know what you’re talking about.

You can f*rt, but you don’t have the sh*t to back it up.


Way-ta-prove your ignorance

Strong words from someone who can’t spell or punctuate a sentence.

AD5MB
12-18-2016, 08:07 PM
my former employer is corrupting the Professional Engineer pool. He hires college students to do high school dropout jobs. he is jealous of another contractor that has a bizarre mix of construction workers and physicists. The college boys say that he hires them off the street with the job title of engineer, which fact leaves them stunned. They tell me that if you work for 6 months with the job title of engineer you can apply for certified engineer status, and get a job for three times the pay. they leave our $45,000 a year job for a $135,000 a year job they are not qualified for based solely on their certified engineer status they legally obtained but in no way earned.

you can't get people to do a job that is 99% peon work, 4 10 hour days a week, 12 paid holidays, pays $45,000 a year with medical, dental, 401K matching, and a month of paid vacation. The first 2 questions locals ask is "Do I have to pee in a bottle?" and "Do I have to get up early every day?" and when they find out you need a security clearance and have to abandon the bong for the duration, they're gone. People from out of town look at the town and they're not interested. what we get are college boys who have lived here for years and found their own recreational opportunities, not looking for entertainment handed to them on a platter.

Weston Bye
12-18-2016, 08:28 PM
When I was exhibiting my entry in the Grand Rapids ArtPrize, normal people would ask what my background was. Machinist? Engineer?

My reply was: "I was originally an electronic technician by training, but I masqueraded as a machinist and engineer for the last 20 years."

The question is never asked when I exhibit at NAMES. Those people look at my work and make their own assessments - for better or worse.

AD5MB
12-18-2016, 09:10 PM
~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

upgrade that to "~Practitioner of Electroprestidigitaion~". a certain level of pomposity is permitted to artists.

Weston Bye
12-18-2016, 09:27 PM
Electroprestidigitaion

Yep, did a lot of automation too.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke

dan s
12-18-2016, 10:05 PM
I can draw a parallel to my field, as it has a similarly generic title. I'm a developer (software), and it's a tittle that gets abused and misused way to much.



Just because you can write code doesn't mean you're a developer
just because you are being paid doesn't mean you're a developer
just because you have a degree doesn't mean you're a developer
just because you have been doing it a long time doesn't make you're a developer.



What makes someone a developer is all of the following:

The ability to write code that meets specifications
The ability to write code in a timely fashion
The ability to write code that is efficient for the task it needs to do
The ability to write code that meets given coding standards with regards to style, readability, & organization.



I've worked with a 20 year old high school drop outs that was a better developer than guys with masters in computer science and 20 years of "industry experience". I have a coworker who has been a developer for 30 years, and if I had my way she'd be fired tomorrow, because she is a hack that just makes messes that someone will have to fix and clean up in the future. I'm working on an old system right now, and if the guy who wrote it was standing in front if me, id probably knock him on his as*. Most of the time when I open a source file, I find 1500 to 4500 lines of code and at most 100 lines of comments. If I had to guess, he had the "job security through obscurity" mentality.



In short, it's your ability/skill/talent & proficiency that makes you a developer, machinist, engineer, (insert profession/trade/interest here). Sure some require a degree or certification to do it legally as a profession, but just because you have a piece of paper, doesn't mean you are skilled or talented, or in some way better than others.

in my personal experience, those who go around touting their title, degree, or "year of experience", or constantly talk down to others, usually aren't as good as they think they are. Usually, the ones that let their work and peers do the talking are way better.

Weston Bye
12-18-2016, 10:24 PM
I have designed and built four clocks...but I don't claim clockmaker status, particularly after viewing the YouTube in this thread:
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/72280-1000-Hour-Clock-build-in-12-minutes!

Indeed, readers who have built clocks from my designs invariably do a better job of it than I do.

sewingmachine
12-18-2016, 10:38 PM
You got it spot on.

JRouche
12-18-2016, 11:59 PM
I see posts saying "I am no machinist...", and I see on other sites people dumping on "hobby machinists", etc, etc.

I think that's a load of crap.

There are people getting paid to do machining who are not as good as a lot of folks on here. .

yes. I agree. JR

justanengineer
12-19-2016, 12:13 AM
I dont claim to be a machinist, draftsman, nor anything other than an engineer as I firmly believe doing so would be an insult to those who maintain their professional education, skill, and work in those fields daily. I will however occasionally mention that I have quite a bit of experience as a mechanic and weldor having formal education and experience in both areas, but again, until hired and I dusted off the rustiness I probably wouldnt call myself either.

One ethical issue I struggle with regularly is engineers with little/no experience taking on more than theyre qualified for, sadly I've seen this in other fields as well. Just because you CAN run an analysis doesnt make it correct, just because you CAN operate a machine other than your usual doesnt make you good at it, and just bc you CAN do something outside your experience doesnt mean you should without an expert nearby.

RB211
12-19-2016, 12:24 AM
According to the OP's criteria, guess I am a machinist. Based on my own criteria, I am not. A machinist is some one who can turn out parts to spec in the shortest amount of time on a manual machine, and be paid for his work.

flylo
12-19-2016, 01:03 AM
If the term machinist is making money making things machining the "Home Shop Machinist" website is only for people doing machining for money at home? I didn't think that was the idea. Many people are breaking the law then because zoning for you folks in town may allow it. I like many are but I don't machine for money. Maybe I was wrong but I thought the website was for people machining this in a home shop & Practical Machinist was geared for the make money croud so maybe I'm wrong & most of us don't belong here. George who's this website made for:confused:

Evan
12-19-2016, 03:00 AM
I have probably built about three or four aircraft if you could somehow put all the parts together as full individual aircraft. They range from fabric wing steel tube Piper Cub to C-130 transport aircraft. I have constructed a full Can-Am race car chassis one summer when the aircraft repair business was slow and I have welded new barges for the Mackenzie River. I have gas welded replacement steel control column assemblies for antique aircraft but have never been employed as a welder, just a fitter.

All my work has always passed inspection when I was paid to do it but I have never been employed as a machinist. Am I a machinist? I never introduce myself as one.

stefang
12-19-2016, 03:28 AM
A machinist is some one who can turn out parts to spec in the shortest amount of time on a manual machine, and be paid for his work.

Manual machine? I would say "the machine that makes the most sense for the task".

If I make the choice of using a cnc machine to profile a part in 15 minutes against running ten different setups using a rotary table on a manual mill in 5 hours, that makes me the more valuable person/machinist/whatever to my employer. Because I was faster, not because I used a series of "look-at-me-how-good-I-am"-setups.
The times where we machined parts on manual machines with rotary table, angle table and on pantograph machines are gone.

That said, my employer pays me to be a machinist and my favourite machine by far is the cnc, as its dirt-fast ;)

DICKEYBIRD
12-19-2016, 06:50 AM
I think a machinist is he (or she) who gets his (or her) hands dirty & chips down his (or her) pants making usable parts out in his (or her) shop instead of spending all his (or her) time blathering on the internet about what a machinist is.

Rustybolt
12-19-2016, 08:42 AM
I see posts saying "I am no machinist...", and I see on other sites people dumping on "hobby machinists", etc, etc.

I think that's a load of crap.

There are people getting paid to do machining who are not as good as a lot of folks on here. Sorry if that offends anyone, but it's true. I've seen what comes back from some "machine shops", and it has looked like they don't own any mics and haven't changed out their tooling nor sharpened anything since Nixon was President.

As far as I am concerned, if you can take a drawing, and make a part that conforms to the drawing and looks good, you are a "Machinist", and no two ways about it.

After that, its all details.... can you do that as fast as this other guy? Could you work fast enough to make a living at it? That sort of thing. Fun for some people in the trade to argue about, but hardly the biggest deal for folks who have no intention of making a living at it. Those issues say NOTHING about craftsmanship, nor skill.

The work many folks on here do would blow away most of the apprentice projects I have seen pics of.

No. I do it for a living and I'm not offended. There are people here with much more talent than I have. The difference being is that I have to solve problems every day and those problems have time constraints. I don't just run a lathe or a mill or set up a drill press. On most occaisions I have to get it right the first time. Not a lot of do-overs where I am.

Mcgyver
12-19-2016, 09:09 AM
No. I do it for a living and I'm not offended. There are people here with much more talent than I have. The difference being is that I have to solve problems every day and those problems have time constraints. I don't just run a lathe or a mill or set up a drill press. On most occasions I have to get it right the first time. Not a lot of do-overs where I am.

No one here really knows how good anyone else is. Yeah, nice shiny pictures, but the observer has no idea beyond that and therefor is in no position to judge the work or abilities. Tolerances achieved, finish, fit, metal sacrificed on the alter of stupidity or how long it took are critical to performing as a machinist. These things are not apparent in a shiny photo. You otoh most certainly are performing in those areas else you would not be there for long. Big difference imo.

1-800miner
12-19-2016, 10:11 AM
I just went through this entire thread and the count is in.
There are more members that claim not to be a machinist than do claim to be.
I make a motion that we rename this forum. Home Shop Nonmachinist.
Do I have a second?

Jmay
12-19-2016, 10:29 AM
I just went through this entire thread and the count is in.
There are more members that claim not to be a machinist than do claim to be.
I make a motion that we rename this forum. Home Shop Nonmachinist.
Do I have a second?

I 2nd that. Proceed! :D

boslab
12-19-2016, 11:25 AM
I tend to agree, primarily as the question posed was who was a machinist and who wasn't, without some clear definition of what a machinist is we are unable to decide, further categories have also appeared, a "good" machinist, engineer or whatever, and a bad one, quantifying an unknown undefined quantity even further.
The original post is emotive and devisive, it doesn't really help anyone, we're all here to help each other
Does this, if it does then I'm sorry,
Mark

Weston Bye
12-19-2016, 11:55 AM
I have come to the conclusion that I would not try to pass myself off as a professional machinist. That is to say I wouldn't attempt to apply for a job claiming to be an all-around machinist, able to hit the ground running in any machine shop on any machine, doing any process in the most efficient way, in the least amount of time. Rather, I would and have weaseled my way into jobs claiming some working design and machining knowledge or skills.

boslab
12-19-2016, 12:58 PM
But added there are so many types of shop, aerospace, development, even electrical, someone who trained in a pipework type of shop would not make an instant transition to a press tool shop, or vice versa, I'm thinking there are as many kinds of machinist as there are machines for them to use?, I recently went to a shop making replacement screws for injection moulders, the big worm kind as opposed to nuts and bolts, serious skill there but when I looked at a fixture they had made it was ****e!
Horses for courses I suppose.
When you go to the doctors you (hopefully) see a doctor who besides being a. "Doctor" is trained at the particular kind of medicine you need, a cardiologist wouldn't be very good at gettin a tumour out of your throat.
Besides there are "doctors" who don't even do medicine, anyone with a PhD may apply.
I don't want to be rude but I don't understand what this thread is trying to achieve, I'm obviously missing somthing and will happily be educated.
Mark

plunger
12-19-2016, 01:42 PM
I am a fully government qualified tool ,jig and die maker and have a red seal certificate to show for it.I did my training in one of the best tool rooms in S Africa making moulds for rubbermaid and sealatainer.

If I applied for a job today I would last for ten minutes before being fired. Simply because I have no experience.I qualified and left straight away.
This site is full of very helpful homeshop machinests and I am totally self taught through this site.I am quite comfortable with the label of homeshop hacker and as bad a machinest as I am, I have alot of fun making stuff for myself.Titles to me are irrelevant,I am here to learn

Toolguy
12-19-2016, 01:52 PM
There are many who are of substandard proficiency in their chosen profession as well as many who are very good at their hobby, whatever the profession or hobby may be. I think there is quite a lot of overlap. Some hobbyists are way better than some professionals will ever be.

I don't look down on anyone, even the most green beginner. We all have to start somewhere. In fact, I have great respect for those who forge ahead and still get things made with the minimum of tools and equipment. Been there, done that. No one starts at the top. We are all just at a different point in the journey. I have found I can learn something from nearly anyone. Sometimes the beginners have insightful questions that make me rethink something I've been doing for years. If those who are well seasoned don't help those who are not as far along, then how are they to advance and get better?
The ability to find and communicate across the country and even the world is a tremendous service that this forum provides.
I thank George Bulliss and Village Press for this site. It is a valuable resource for thousands.

boslab
12-19-2016, 02:02 PM
Being a machinist or engineer or whatever is a process not a destination, besides as pointed out a technical qualification is valid for about 5 years according to our lot (institute of mechanical engineers ) hence the CPD schemes for mech, elec, electronic etc etc (continued professional development) if you can't show what you've been doing to keep up your boned
Mark

Evan
12-19-2016, 02:55 PM
For a change I fully agree with Mcgyver. The professional Machinist must be able to meet specs (and no more than that) on time or better. That is what he is paid to do regardless of how it is done. The good machinist will decide how to do it, that is also what he is paid to do. The home shop machinist can afford to waste as much time as he likes to make it look pretty and make it far more accurate than it needs to be. That is how I work but it would never fly in a pro shop where I have worked. It was one of the main reasons I like working on aircraft. That is one of the types of metal work when the time constraints are very relaxed and the product is often required to be pretty and shiny.

Back when I worked on the big rigs at Edmonton airport I was paid five bucks per hour for the privilege of not having to push the work out the door as fast as possible. The 20 year lead hand got six bucks. Meanwhile, the air conditioning metal bashers were paid ten bucks an hour. I liked my job a lot more.

flylo
12-19-2016, 07:25 PM
The question wasn't who was a Professional Machinist it was who is a Machinist. I may be wrong but I don't even think he even said professional did he? One might be a tire changer & use a manual machine & hammer or a Pro tire changer on Indy cars, Big difference, right?

Firecracker
12-20-2016, 04:34 AM
Technically, according to the letter I got offering me the job, I'm a 'Steam locomotive Fitter/machinist'. I describe myself as 'I repair broken steam engines' to anyone who doesn't work in engineering, 'A fitter at Grosmont on the Moors' to anyone in the business and when shooting the breeze 'Well, I'm only a failed electrician' (this comes from a blazing row with a college in a job I left shortly after, and I took it as a badge of honour).

Basically I can use hand tools and machines to make parts to drawing (and to fit when the drawings wrong), design from scratch when required and have a working knowledge of what material to use where, repair damaged parts and have a good (and always growing) knowledge about the workings of the locomotives. I can also fault find and repair the various electrical systems required for mainline running.

Then there's the job specific stuff, I can examine a steam railway locomotive and certify it fit to run on the main line railway network, I can prep the same loco from cold and (when signed off) drive it, operate various plant around the yard, supervise volunteers, talk to the public about what's going on and when required grab a shovel and empty an ash pit.

Basically, I'm a jack of all trades failed electrician.

Owain

boslab
12-20-2016, 05:51 AM
And if I'm right(national rail museum in York) has got a very big train set including a Napier deltic (you'd be hard pressed to build one of those engines if you was a "professional machinist", awesome beast, 2 Pistons in one bore, bonkers, love it
Mark

kc5ezc
12-20-2016, 11:53 AM
I believe Fixerdave has it right. I am a fixer. I fix what breaks here on the farm and for my other hobbies and for my neighbors I am learning to machine, another 15-20 years and I might make a hand. I have lathes, milling machines, a shaper and assorted hand tools A little electrical/electronics using machined parts for antennas and other devices. A little welding, gas and stick, a little construction of out buildings and associated wiring. But mostly I fix things that are broken. Doesn't make me a machinist, but I do make chips. Life is great here is Oklahoma! I am still trying to be a machinist. So many things to do; so little time.

Sim
12-20-2016, 12:06 PM
JTiers: I had just finished watching Red River when I read your post.
Try reading this, and make it sound like John Wayne: "As far as I am concerned, if you can take a drawing, and make a part that conforms to the drawing and looks good, you are a "Machinist", and no two ways about it."
Made my day :)
I agree with your assessment.

A.K. Boomer
12-20-2016, 12:13 PM
Nowhere did I say ‘infallible’. You made that up, just like you made up “hundreds and thousands of deaths… all by incompetent guys who have degrees in mechanical engineering”

First- “hundreds and thousands of deaths”. Really? How many hundreds and thousands? Prove it (with citations), please.

Hundred's AND thousands, see how I worded that? well a quick two minute google search netted me this, http://www.matscieng.sunysb.edu/disaster/

but damn that's only a study of 800 cases resulting in 504 fatalities and and 592 injuries, and not conclusive and specific enough with the "blame" still - just a two minute search so calling it good -

so dang need a quick 1500 dead people ------ hey I got it - whats the name of that boat that was deemed "unsinkable" and
then "made like a submarine" think is was back in 1912 or close to that, and yeah all kinds of engineering disasters before and since then -
Welp - there's my couple thousand to make the word a plural and toss an S on the end of it, and since there are hundreds within the thousands I think my work is done here - also just the tip of the iceberg lol







You don’t get it- you are insulting the entire profession of engineering by saying that you, a car mechanic with no formal education, are capable of judging their work. You’re not.

No im not - im insulting the hacks and praising the good ones just like any other profession,,, And speak for your own "mechanical engineering low self esteem" Keep in mind your the guy that does not even know how to tighten a GD spark plug lol I know women who would grab a ratchet - push you and your torque wrench and spark plug torque wrench spec book out of the way and while doing it themselves would add "enough already --- I gotta go shopping and then get my hair done" My niece is one of them.

I make engineering calls all the time from the parts I choose to the analytical reasoning skills I have as to not only why I choose them but the where/why and how it failed in the first place,,, besides the grunt work - that's actually what I get paid for...
Im fully capable of judging other engineering "works" in a vast majority of the parts of not just what makes a car a car - but what makes a motorcycle a motorcycle,
That's what happens IF you do it for long enough AND pay attention to detail - over 4 decades of holding other peoples genius successes and dismal failures in my hands and analyzing them - again it's not only what I do, it's also the fact that I recognize that I have a keen advantage that even most of the engineers that built them did not at the time, I see the end results after hundred's of thousands of miles of use,,,

Sometimes even at a glance I can make an assessment of the where/why/how - like an offset interior door lever, ok so it's plastic, many will blame just that fact, yet upon closer examination it becomes apparent that the engineer underestimated the torsional loading of the part due to it's initial offset and the fact that he did not incorporate a diagonal reinforcement rib to compensate, I cannot only make that assessment - I can then build a part and correct the situation, and I do,

last but not least, Pay attention to what flylo stated back in post 75 and I quote;
"Most so called unlearned overbuild"

- bolting on another OEM part that has a track record of being defective and will just break again within months is no way to correct a situation,
while it's easy to see that the original engineer was indeed negligent keep in mind he was also limited by cost in his choice of materials by the bean counters and sometimes even by total weight of said part by the weight weenies, im not - It might not look as pretty, it also might add a couple dozen grams or so --- but the situation will be corrected and will never fail again - ever... the part will do what it's supposed to do and will keep on doing it - that's called "effective engineering"
and it's way more practical than something that does not work, esp. when there's no place to turn - when nobody's addressing the issue and building a stronger replacement...








No, you can’t. If you’re so good, why aren’t you working in a tech industry like aerospace instead of changing oil on Subarus? Let me answer that: you don’t have the degree or the license, the proof that you know what you’re talking about.

You can f*rt, but you don’t have the sh*t to back it up.

First off you assume again and assume wrong - and not that there's anything wrong with it if someone is doing a good job and finds reward in doing so, But - I do not do oil changes on subaru's or any other car for that matter except my own, most people want something like that done on the weekends when they don't have to work --- trouble being is I also don't want to work on weekends and am a repair shop not a quick change...

secondly - being useful to others and also being useful to others on a local level is the meaning of work success to me - im needed - im wanted and im also greatly appreciated and in that respect I consider myself not only successful, but very fortunate - my cust. are my friends and visa versa, and I also constantly remind them of just how important they are to me, success means something different to everyone, if your going by income or some kind of label prestige im sure you would have to stamp me as a dismal failure, im fine with that - because neither of those things mean much to me in the first place - so your opinion does not really matter,
if I wanted something different out of "work" I would simply go after it, but there's nothing I can think of that I would change... nothing.



Strong words from someone who can’t spell or punctuate a sentence.

Will trade that off anytime for knowing how to tighten up a spark plug buddy - again - simply not important to me - kinda a priority thing I guess,

have a nice day :)

fixerdave
12-20-2016, 12:59 PM
... You don’t get it- you are insulting the entire profession of engineering by saying that you, a car mechanic with no formal education, are capable of judging their work. You’re not. ...

Even at 16 years old, every time I worked on my Pinto, I insulted the entire field of engineering. Furthermore, I used the most foul language a 16 year old punk could use, and I meant every word. I cursed the engineer that didn't think to consider that someone might actually want to remove that bolt, on the starter, while the engine was in the car. I cursed the engineer that designed a car where the stupid starter had to be removed to do just about anything else on that car. And I CURSED the ENTIRE field of automotive engineering for not organizing a lynch mob to deal with those freaking idiotic bleepity bleep bleep bleep FORD (Fix or Repair Daily) so-called engineers that designed that piece of garbage the day that first so-called 'car' rolled off the assembly line.

Was my damnation of an entire field too harsh a punishment for something as trivial as a Ford Pinto? I think not! :cool:

But, yes, there have been a few real cars that have redeemed the automotive engineering profession since then.

David...

edit... sorry, couldn't resist.

Puckdropper
12-20-2016, 01:11 PM
Technically, according to the letter I got offering me the job, I'm a 'Steam locomotive Fitter/machinist'. I describe myself as 'I repair broken steam engines' to anyone who doesn't work in engineering, 'A fitter at Grosmont on the Moors' to anyone in the business and when shooting the breeze 'Well, I'm only a failed electrician' (this comes from a blazing row with a college in a job I left shortly after, and I took it as a badge of honour).

Basically I can use hand tools and machines to make parts to drawing (and to fit when the drawings wrong), design from scratch when required and have a working knowledge of what material to use where, repair damaged parts and have a good (and always growing) knowledge about the workings of the locomotives. I can also fault find and repair the various electrical systems required for mainline running.

Then there's the job specific stuff, I can examine a steam railway locomotive and certify it fit to run on the main line railway network, I can prep the same loco from cold and (when signed off) drive it, operate various plant around the yard, supervise volunteers, talk to the public about what's going on and when required grab a shovel and empty an ash pit.

Basically, I'm a jack of all trades failed electrician.

Owain

Sounds like you might have some stories/tales that would make for interesting reading. What goes in to turning a hunk of (very specifically shaped) metal into a certified and running steam locomotive? (A new thread wouldn't be a bad idea.)

Mcgyver
12-20-2016, 01:17 PM
For a change I fully agree with Mcgyver. .

glad to see you're making progress.....keep up the good work! :D

boslab
12-20-2016, 01:28 PM
Can't argue with that, I think the lot of us are interested in trains, what's not to like about them, the only guy I know who doesn't like trains used to be a train driver, he's 90 years old now and in his words he was glad to see the back of them!
I think he's lying myself, he's still got his old hat
Mark

flylo
12-20-2016, 01:39 PM
Some stupid automotive so called & papered engineered designed the Chevy Monza which had a V8 you had to pull the engine 3" to change plugs, I almost didn't graduate over that stupid car as I broke a plug & the auto shop instructor said I was paying for it or not graduating so after sitting in the classroom for 3 weeks & coming down to the wire he offered to split it with me so it cost us both under 50 cents but it was principal & yes I haven't changed but I wished that so called engineer had that SOB design rammed where the sun don't shine. And we wonder the japanese cares took such a big slice of the market.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Monza

Alistair Hosie
12-20-2016, 01:44 PM
Plug up the toilet- you're supposed to use toilet paper
Yes and if your of tight arsed, and of northern Yorkshire English decent then that means both sides of the toilet paper me bucko.LOL

Alistair Hosie
12-20-2016, 01:46 PM
You can lead people to knowledge but you can't make them think.
I thought it was you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Of course if it was whiskey well then that's another matter altogether, is it not me bonnie boys, . Alistair

A.K. Boomer
12-20-2016, 01:52 PM
One of my old Bossman's - who was always a little ahead of the curve philosophically heard me pissing and moaning one day - I think it was over a Swedish car which is his nationality and therefor was probably taking it personally (again lol)

anyways --- I was in full blown curse mode of a specific engineer basically condemning him to ever lasting hell and the like,,,
and then I threw in something like "these sorry SOB's should be forced to come back after they die and work on their own crap"

Bossman; So ----------- what did you do in a past life?

response; complete silence - he got me and got me good and he knew it... lol

H380
12-20-2016, 02:04 PM
https://youtu.be/8Dd_qiuWxPs

Dave C
12-20-2016, 03:20 PM
Some stupid automotive so called & papered engineered designed the Chevy Monza which had a V8 you had to pull the engine 3" to change plugs, I almost didn't graduate over that stupid car as I broke a plug & the auto shop instructor said I was paying for it or not graduating so after sitting in the classroom for 3 weeks & coming down to the wire he offered to split it with me so it cost us both under 50 cents but it was principal & yes I haven't changed but I wished that so called engineer had that SOB design rammed where the sun don't shine. And we wonder the japanese cares took such a big slice of the market.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Monza

If you think the Monza engineers were off their beam, how about the clown that designed my Northstar engine with it's starter in the valley under the intake plenum?

sasquatch
12-20-2016, 05:18 PM
Exactly!

Magicniner
12-20-2016, 05:35 PM
Professional means "Does it for a job", Qualified means "Spent time learning and proving a small percentage of that", neither, in the end, mean "Is any good at it"
An engineer is as an engineer does ;-)

Ditto for "Machinist", "Developer", "Coder", "Panel Beater" and so on,

- Nick

tmc_31
12-20-2016, 05:52 PM
Would you call a person who runs a 3D Printer an Additive Machinist?

MikeL46
12-20-2016, 06:04 PM
I will say that cutting parts on my mill and lathe made me a better engineer. I clearly stated cutting part, not being a machinist so as to not offend anyone.

Mike

RB211
12-20-2016, 06:45 PM
I'm a pilot, started with private pilots license, now an ATP with a couple of type ratings. A private pilot knows how to fly an airplane, but are they an airline pilot? Same thing with machining. It's not proper to call ones self a machinist unless you do it for a living. Just as its not proper for a student pilot to walk around with 4 bars on their shoulder at a flight school.

Toolguy
12-20-2016, 06:46 PM
I've known a handful of really good mechanical engineers in my time and they were the few that actually knew how to make something in the shop. Even some basics makes a big difference. Good on ya, MikeL! :)

flylo
12-20-2016, 07:56 PM
I'm a pilot, started with private pilots license, now an ATP with a couple of type ratings. A private pilot knows how to fly an airplane, but are they an airline pilot? Same thing with machining. It's not proper to call ones self a machinist unless you do it for a living. Just as its not proper for a student pilot to walk around with 4 bars on their shoulder at a flight school.

I agree but isn't a Home Shop Machinist like a private pilot? Not making money as a private license holder is not allowed to charge but can share expenses. The question was machinist which IMHO would be the same as saying pilot, not student nor Captain all who fly aircraft like we all operate metalworking machines. Right?

tmc_31
12-20-2016, 08:11 PM
RB211,

Good anology, just totally backward. It sounds like you would prefer it if you could not be called a Pilot unless you had an ATP and a flying job. Just like you cannot be called a Machinist unless you have certificates up the wazoo and are earning money machining.

I beg to differ. I submit that a student pilot (especially one who has soloed) has every right to claim the title "Pilot". I also submit that one who uses machines to alter the state or shape of metal or plastic (or other materials) should be able to claim the title of "Machinist" if they so desire.

I am a pilot. Are there better pilots than me out there? Yup. I am also a Machinist. Are there better Machinists out there than me? Yup.

Tim

RB211
12-20-2016, 08:59 PM
It's all a matter of definitions really, isn't it? Whats the machinist union? I am sure their definition of a machinist, none of us would qualify unless you went through their ranks. If your definition is simply, "knows how to run a lathe and mill", then all of us are machinists.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

flylo
12-20-2016, 09:27 PM
Your a professional pilot, I'm a pilot. Some here are professional machinist, some are home shop machinist which is the name of the forum you're on. PM is more for the pro's & will be glad to tell everyone that. It's like you reading private pilot magazine or forum, you won't as ypu'll read or be on a pro mag or forum, right?

RB211
12-21-2016, 12:02 AM
Your a professional pilot, I'm a pilot. Some here are professional machinist, some are home shop machinist which is the name of the forum you're on. PM is more for the pro's & will be glad to tell everyone that. It's like you reading private pilot magazine or forum, you won't as ypu'll read or be on a pro mag or forum, right?
You know, being a pro pilot has taken all the fun out of flying, right? I won't touch an aviation mag, don't talk about aviation at home, etc. I'd imagine same thing would happen to machining. Doesn't matter that I now fly a 747, it's just another tin can. Show me the money, and time at home all I care about. I haven't touched GA since going to airlines, I'd think rotating at 60 KTS would scare me! Single piston engine certainly does. I flew canceled checks in a 210 in icing conditions over mountains, I'll never do that again.

flylo
12-21-2016, 05:17 AM
My point exactly, as the say if you want to lose a fun hobby make a business out of it. I got to fly when & what I wanted, same with machining. So I'm a private pilot & a home shop machinist which both equal fun to me. If I had to make parts from plans I didn't know or care about it wouldn't be fun. But IMHO we're both pilots & machinist. I was in the lumber business & hated doing carpentry, I'd do it for myself as a means to an end & was good at it but would rather be welding, building things from steel, rebuilding prewar planes, etc.

David Powell
12-21-2016, 06:11 AM
My point exactly, as the say if you want to lose a fun hobby make a business out of it. I got to fly when & what I wanted, same with machining. So I'm a private pilot & a home shop machinist which both equal fun to me. If I had to make parts from plans I didn't know or care about it wouldn't be fun. But IMHO we're both pilots & machinist. I was in the lumber business & hated doing carpentry, I'd do it for myself as a means to an end & was good at it but would rather be welding, building things from steel, rebuilding prewar planes, etc.

I earned my way through school and University working for a contracting and machine shop business. Initially I had a "clean hands career " as an administrator, but continued working part time with the contractors. I got so fed up with my career that I returned to machine shop work full time and never looked back. I do wonder whether I would have enjoyed my hobby more had machining remained a hobby, but simply have no way of telling that now. I am now retired and have the time to use all I learned as a" professional "( I am now a machinist, my Ontario govt issued licence says so!) in my hobby. I do as much or as little as I feel like in my shop at home every day, only watch the clock so that I will be upstairs and ready to greet my significant other when she comes home from her work, and can take a tea break as often as I like. Hope this is of interest David Powell.

Magicniner
12-21-2016, 07:31 AM
Would you call a person who runs a 3D Printer an Additive Machinist?

If it's dimensionally accurate plastic that does a job and doesn't require re-work/re-finishing/painting to make it look less than shonky or laser sintered metal and he does the CAD/CAM himself then I would.
If it's rough parts with visible layers made from downloaded files then he's an "Operator" or worse, he's of the "Maker Generation" ;-)

A.K. Boomer
12-21-2016, 07:41 AM
I will say that cutting parts on my mill and lathe made me a better engineer. I clearly stated cutting part, not being a machinist so as to not offend anyone.

Mike

That's a good statement and I would have to agree, learning the value of leaving a radius on a part instead of a sharp inboard corner is elementary engineering --- but being able to bench test different size radius in certain materials for specific application makes for better and more accurate engineering skills... just one example.

boslab
12-21-2016, 08:37 AM
As it turns(pun-ishment)out the majority of engineering failures are caused by that fact, air crashes (comet square Windows), ship sinkings(square deck hatches on Liberty ships, the list is huge, sharp undercuts are nasty stress raisers, according to gripiths crack theory a crack once big enough will self propagate as it's got enough internal energy, the bang is the crack breaking the sound barrier, somthing a machinist might be aware of, tounge in cheek btw
Mark

1-800miner
12-21-2016, 08:58 AM
[QUOTE=RB211;1087113]You know, being a pro pilot has taken all the fun out of flying, right?

Prostitution:
First you do it for fun, then you do it for friends, then you do it for money.

JCHannum
12-21-2016, 10:35 AM
Professionals like doctors, lawyers and engineers practice their professions. Machinists have to get it right. Why is that?

Toolguy
12-21-2016, 11:19 AM
Our work ends with a quantifiable physical object. Theirs does not. Don't forget about the weather guessers. I have always wished for a doctor that was done practicing on other people before they retired.

DICKEYBIRD
12-21-2016, 11:35 AM
Prostitution:
First you do it for fun, then you do it for friends, then you do it for money.Wow that's so true; that's exactly how my hobby evolved. I never thought of it that way: "Doing precision tricks for money!"

tmc_31
12-21-2016, 04:36 PM
If it's dimensionally accurate plastic that does a job and doesn't require re-work/re-finishing/painting to make it look less than shonky or laser sintered metal and he does the CAD/CAM himself then I would.
If it's rough parts with visible layers made from downloaded files then he's an "Operator" or worse, he's of the "Maker Generation" ;-)

It has occurred to me that 3D Printing could replace casting for small parts with only final machining to finish the parts. Some university students in Sweden were experimenting with a CNC wire feed welder to create geometric shapes in steel.

Cool stuff with a lot promise for a small shop.

Tim

fixerdave
12-21-2016, 05:13 PM
It has occurred to me that 3D Printing could replace casting for small parts with only final machining to finish the parts. Some university students in Sweden were experimenting with a CNC wire feed welder to create geometric shapes in steel.

Cool stuff with a lot promise for a small shop.

Tim

Yeah... I saw a video where they were doing additive mig welding via CNC... I thought I was a bad welder. Sort of maybe looked like a sprocket. Not quite there yet.

Eventually, we'll get to the point where we print something in some nice easy wax-like material and then toss it in a solution for a few days. Through the wonders of nano-technology and materials engineering, said wax-like substance will get replaced, molecule for molecule, with something as hard, flexible, strong, or slippery as required. Maybe it will get to the point where multiple substances are printed and each is replaced by the appropriate end material. At that point, with enough resolution, you could print a roller bearing, complete with grease :)

Then, the kids will stare at the old people still carving stuff out of metal and ask why they still bother... they'll (our kids... or maybe us) will answer... "because it's fun... go away." History does repeat itself :) At that point, being called a 'machinist' will be like 'blacksmiths' today. People still do that?

David...

justanengineer
12-21-2016, 05:17 PM
Professionals like doctors, lawyers and engineers practice their professions. Machinists have to get it right. Why is that?

Depends on the definition of "get it right" and "machinist." In a production shop machinists are usually held accountable for meeting a scrap rate per the customer's contract. In a prototype/job shop its often the whim of the shop owner, but the shop usually isnt held accountable for much of anything to the customer. I've sent out plenty of prototype castings for machine work that came back as scrap with no recourse. Realistically, crap happens and most shop owners arent going to take a job that pays $5k with a $25k risk, the best I get is a do-over freebie. OTOH, as the guy responsible for outsourcing, if my project is late or over budget bc a job shop screws up a prototype/custom casting, my neck as the engineer is still on the line when the project/company starts losing money. This is one reason why I'm a huge believer in fast vs cheap vs good (pick one, maybe two), and EXTREMELY doubtful of supposed miracle workers.

John Stevenson
12-21-2016, 06:01 PM
My wife runs a sewing machine. That is a machine, so by definition, she is a machinist right?


Correct.

Where I live, Long Eaton, in Nottingham [ it's actually in Derbyshire to confuse you even more ] it's the heart of the furniture trade.
Any chairs or 3 piece suites made and sold in the Uk are made here and have been for literally centuries.

All the trades are in this one town.

Around me must be well over 50 small wood working and upholstery works.

Every week the localpaper has adverts "Machinist wanted " but this can cover the whole trade from mill workers working with rough sawn down tom the ladies who finish the suites off. Probably got to have more machinists here than anywhere else in the country. :p

Me ? I'm not a machinists, I'm a bodger.

You can read some of my exploits here.

http://www.model-engineer.co.uk/forums/postings.asp?th=96032

flylo
12-21-2016, 09:16 PM
Sir John you hit the nail on the head. A "machinist" is one who operates a machine, Case closed, Thank you Sir!

GEP
12-22-2016, 08:30 AM
Reading all the definitions on a machinist it is very clear that a machine dealer is doing a lot of talking. He is a used machine or as some have called it a tyred iron dealer. As he stated he is only here to make money off of home shop machinists

lugnut
12-22-2016, 02:05 PM
I still think the Chicken came first. :o

Toolguy
12-22-2016, 02:25 PM
The egg came first. Eggs are breakfast, Chicken isn't until dinner.

lugnut
12-22-2016, 03:24 PM
So I can tell you have never had chicken pancakes. ;)

PStechPaul
12-22-2016, 04:51 PM
I'm pretty sure the rooster came first :rolleyes:

A.K. Boomer
12-22-2016, 04:59 PM
I'm pretty sure the rooster came first :rolleyes:

pretty sure that would be called premature ----------- ahhh well you get the idea...

boslab
12-23-2016, 12:14 AM
Perhaps my boss was right then, machinist, Jack of all trades, master of some (ok its a variant), if you want it ground then ask a grinder not a turner. If you want it welded just beat the brains out of a fitter.
He did know how to compliment people, silken tounged swine as the janitor called him every time he called him a dirty c**t when mopping the office with dirty water.
Funny things people,
Mark

jtrain
12-28-2016, 12:21 AM
I am not a machinist or tool and die maker. I got the interest to to model a simple steam engine. So about eight years ago I bought a 10 by 20 lathe then a couple years later I got a small mill and figured things out from there, with the help of this web site also.

flylo
12-28-2016, 03:30 AM
Most on here are terrific people, learning from each others & a few are "pros" & a few of those believe they're at a higher status because they they make $$ machining, engineering, etc. IMHO those folks feel insecure in some part of their like & try to make up for it by being better than others & always be right. It's just a character trait found in many people. I'm a realist & know what I'm good at & I am a good buyer & a hack hobby machinist. I can do it & end up with a nice job but I'm slow & have to read, watch a you tube, etc to find the best way to do new things. Gunsmithing has gotten to be pretty good but I have fun & that's why I do it & why I joined this forum "Home Shop Machinist". This is just my take on it.

RB211
12-28-2016, 07:50 AM
Maybe I stated this already, all I ever wanted to do was build a live steam locomotive. Thats what ignited the spark. Needless to say, I've done everything else but finish a locomotive! Perhaps this topic is slightly morphing into why we all come back to this forum. For myself, its the diverse knowledge of the user base who share similiar interests, and I like seeing what others are doing. Although I have to admit, theres far, far fewer projects being shared. It seems most of us use our tools to fix things now than create new.

flylo
12-28-2016, 11:14 AM
My Gattling's not done either.