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Craftsmanship re-visited

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  • Craftsmanship re-visited

    Hey, the thread of Craftsmanship is a good idea, just digressed, and i admit I helped this a bit.

    However, I have been doing this stuff since I was 13 years of age, or 29 years now, and teaching it for 15 1/4 years of this. I am always learning about "craftsmanship" each and every day, and passing it on to the students.

    Examples are things like putting chalk in a file to prevent 'pining". Draw filing bevels. Filing the tops of knurls lightly. How to file off a burr on a cylinder using the "rocking chair" method. Hand tool and file use is a true art.

    Others: Breaking every edge .003 asap with a 45 deg chamfer tool while it is still chucked so not to lose concentric. Breaking edges on a mill with a 90 deg countersink .003 when possible.

    Milling with a carbide face mill with one tooth, Finish Climb cuts, speeds and feeds.

    Radiuses on end mills on the teeth, all the same between each tooth, and how to do this. Honing a hand ground lathe tool before and after use.

    Simple but easy things to forget like dressing wheels rather than being lazy, spark out on surface grinders.

    Measure twice, figure twice, cut once.

    ready to hear more, and add more as my memory gets jogged.

    My favorite times in machining is when the old guys stop by the teaching shop while the kids are there. i invite this, and they come - kind of like field of dreams. I talk to them, and "set them up" in many a way to show off something. Man this adds creedance to what I do, and what a resource this builds as the word grets out that I invite this, and the kids really respond to it.... builds character in the kids, myself, and the program.

    Takes time, but the end result is the best, and shows off your work.

    Chime in gang!!!!!!!

  • #2

    I would lke the kids to know that even when they get frustrated, they should just take a step back, breath, relax a little, and go at it again once you calm down. Good craftsmanship takes time, and there is always room for improvement and new techniques. A good craftsman never stop learning about his trade - it is a love affair that never ends.

    I have always had the greatest joy in being able to step back and say "I built that". And as such I try to make sure I do it as well as I can - and I don't mind critical analysis of my work either. I can miss details, or could have done it a better way. But it still does not detract from the feeling of a job well done - after all, I did my best!

    The joy of Fatherhood at its finest - making stuff!


    • #3
      spope14 Do you/your students/your program expect to have anything to display at the American Precision Museum show next month?
      I've been to both previous shows and there is a lot of neat stuff, good ideas. Fun to see projects in process one year and finished the next.


      • #4
        Mr Pope, when I was in high school,I was privileged to have an Industrial Arts teacher,that you remind me of. He taught it all,from drafting through electronics,and was the only person I've ever seen that could take a radio that had shorted out with burnt resistors and capacitors beyond recognition,and mathmatically find the correct values to rebuild everything to original. He has been an inspiration to many students. His name was Gene Matthews and if he was alive today,he would love the computer and this type of conversation.
        I enjoy your comments!


        • #5
          Mr. Pope,
          It would have been a priveldge to attend the kind of class you describe in High School. Our shop classes were what you did till you got drafted. I especially like the thought of hearing from real world people who make "things." I had no real idea then where most of the things around me came from. Most adults today don't for sure. The history & mythology of the mechanical trade is a great & honorable thing to learn. I still have the little brass hammer we made in metalshop. Wish I had one of the beautiful Southbend lathes we abused now.


          • #6
            The American Precision museum thing, right across the river and five miles from me. I believe this is the model engines show and such? Never been invited to put anything in, or given any heads up on this. I have seen the pictures afterwards.

            Would like to do so someday, but this is at the beginning of the school year, and being a teacher, I never get a good chance to start a project......

            Sprocket, you live around me?
            CCBW, MAH


            • #7
              Hey crossthread, I have you as a student?

              Anyone have any additional craftsmanship items to list? Looking for little additional "touches".
              CCBW, MAH


              • #8
                Mr. Pope, you sound too enthusiastic to have been my shop instructor. He was slightly burned out at having students like me to complicate his life. My "craftmanship" example is to always relieve the first thread on a tapped hole. We had a small lightweighted beryllium secondary mirror that was mounted with screws into precision pads on the back, without the relief. It was supposed to "bolt together" without adjustment; a dumb idea. As you can guess, this ultra-precise, 10's of K$$$ part pulled up the first thread into a birr, and warped the mirror into a non-symetrical horror. They "fixed" it, sort of, by stress relieving and wand waving, and relieving the first thread. We lost 2 months on a billion $ program. Little things can be important.


                • #9
                  Most Right Honorable Mr. Pope,

                  Thanks for putting this craftsmanship thread back
                  on track, and for the great tips. They are invaluable
                  for novices like me.

                  I've always thought that an important test of a piece
                  of work is that it should feel good in your hands. Your
                  comments about breaking edges speaks directly to that

                  Crossthreaded's note about relieving the first thread is
                  also a gem.

                  I caught the chip making bug 40 years ago when building
                  parts for my thesis research, and then came all these
                  decades of teaching and watching my students do the
                  building. Now I can start designing and making things
                  for myself again!

                  About all I can add to the wisdom so plentiful here
                  is that you should stop and think carefully (as Thrud
                  suggests) after goofing up a part. Many times I found
                  my machining error lead to a way to improve a design
                  rather than reject the part and start all over.



                  • #10
                    Mr. Pope,
                    You sound like the instructor I had at school. He was so concerned about us learning the proper way to do the things we needed to learn to be a machinist. He always told us to make all our mistakes now not on the job. Thanks to you and all your peers for helping all of us to help ourselves and others as well.



                    • #11
                      spope14 Not too far away, Williston VT. just south of Burlington. Grew up in the Brattleboro area. My Dad taught IA at BUHS,
                      but mostly wood and small engines. Had to get to college before I got to metalworking.
                      The APM exhibition is at the Windsor Community Center (old high school) 10/26
                      8:30-5:00 and 10/27 8:30-4:00


                      • #12
                        Another piece of advice I would give is to ask for clarification if you are unsure as to what is required. And when they are out in the real world ask questions of their co-workers. Any machinist that will not help another out has failed the brotherhood - we do not have to keep secrets and we should not. If you know a trick to do something when an apprentice asks just remember how frustrated you got when you were young and full of "why's? and how come's?" and open up a little.

                        Confidence is the darndest thing to aquire. You are pretty sure you know what you are doing, but until you believe in yourself and your abilities this will always hold you back and your work will suffer. The day will come when you realise, with merit "damn, I am not bad". You have finally gained your confidence but still should be humble enough to know you still have a whole world of learning ahead - a wonderful prospect when viewed with the wisdom of life's experiences.

                        You have nothing to lose and everyone and everything to gain.


                        • #13
                          I live in Lisbon N H.
                          How many tips do ya want?