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Machine Shop Student

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  • Machine Shop Student


    I am a 1st semester machine shop student, learning all the basic lathe and mill set-ups and operations. How can I go about building job experience aside from class work? I would like to make a career out of machining, the work fascinates me. Any tips?

  • #2
    Seeing as how you didn't say what level of schooling that you are in I'll have to take a guess and say HS. If you are currently not working a job in addition to school you might try and see if any local job shops in your area hire someone that sweeps up the place. It might be a way to get your foot in the door som that when the economy startsmto recover and they start looking for new people they already know who are.
    Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


    • #3
      Get ready for some fun. I started with an old guy who had lots of patience and just wanted to teach. He didn't have a lot of machines but his attitude and knowledge was immense. Taught me the basics on the usual machines and had the books to look up anything I wanted. Learned a lot when I was working with him and went on my way. Been working in and around fab shops all my life and have a good working knowledge of a lot of machines tho I'm not a machinest. I will admit,I am a very good fabricater with my own shop in a boatyard and still learning. My advice would be to go to work in a fairly small shop if you can find one. It gives you a better chance to have hands on with more machines and a larger variety of jobs. No dis-credit to any of you full blown machinest out there with all your schooling and training but that method worked for me. The key is to have fun and keep learning. Good Luck, Dave


      • #4
        I did forget to mention that I am a College student, and a little older than the typical college age kid - 27. I'm looking for hints on the best way to learn, and advice on getting my foot in the door. Thanks..


        • #5
          I started young when I was 15 but I still think a small job shop would be your best bet.The small jobbers are always looking for help.Stay away from production shops they are good for getting burnt out!If you get offered a part time job sweeping up take it the shop I work in uses it as an attitude tester.You have to be willing to be a jack of all trades which if you like machine work it pays to pick up what you can where ever you can.I enterviewed at a job once and when they found out I could turn,bore,mill,drill,setup,cast,sand blast,woodwork and make killer coffee I was hired on the spot!I guess what I am saying is learn as much as you can as fast as you can,Because after all if you can learn one new thing everyday at the end of a year you will be 365 times smarter than you were last year!
          I just need one more tool,just one!


          • #6
            I agree, start with a broom and don't be afraid to to the **** work, there will be lots of it. It is only an attitude test. So it all with a smile and you will go far. I would also say not to be afraid to learn the manual machinery. If you can do it manually then CNC will be a breeze. Find an old guy and learn from him, the older the better but remember to show some respect cuz if you don't you aren't going to learn anything.


            • #7
              you got it fred!! To me lowest paid man capable of doing the work gets the assignment. That makes a well rounded man in short order.

              Course, way I remember it, dtenny is going for his journeymans license or certificate before graduation, so he may not have to start at bottom and work way up


              • #8
                In todays economy i think a person that can run many differant types of manual machines has a better chance of getting into a small shop. I think more can be learned in a small shop than a large shop. One thing I would recomend more than anything! Learn all about metals, what types there are, what are the differances, how they machine, what can happen to some steel pcs. after machining (like warpage of cold rolled steel), cast iron, cast steels, aluminums, tool steels. point is you can't really machine it if you don't know how it machines. GOOD LUCK this trade has been good to me all my life and I have been machining 30 years.


                • #9
                  Follow safety rules first and foremost. If asked to over-ride a safety procedure it should be questioned from a safety stand point.

                  Other than that, Yiou have to start somewhere. Take hwat you can get with a smile and do your job quickly and effeciently and the boss will notice. If you screw up, tell them you screwed up. Listen to what your are told, even if it flies in the face of what you are taught in school - it has already been said by others that all knowledge in not in books - it is shared between us all. And just remember when you are a journeyman and some newbie asks for advice to remember where you were once too in that same posistion and help them out.

                  Fred is right about one thing, the man unafraid of the **** jobs and does them with a smile goes farther than the whiner.

                  You can never learn too much - never stop learning my brother.