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  • Undo Care & Attention

    Hi All,
    Not a regular contributor but a fairly regular reader. I'm currently doing a night course on CNC machine tool operation. The course is not just a programming course, but more so how to think about CNC machining. The instructor is very good. I say this because he has "the way". What's that you ask. Well to me its the way someone tells you I understand your question but we're not quite ready to go there yet. Gives you a taste of it but gets back on track to the bigger picture. Gotta tell ya I've had some great instructors in my life (some more than crappy ones too). In any event, getting to the thread, I'm P.O'd that people would take a HAAS CNC mill and treat it with undue care and attention. I was at the local machine tool expo for HAAS in my area and this person outlined (roughly - 'cause there probably wasn't a deal per se) how the deal worked for the institute. Now what I'm talking about is a company that basically "gave" some machine tools to a respected technical college such that the students would have something current to use in their training and thus up their own possible employment outcomes. Now before everyone gets off on HAAS looking to the future I agree. Personally I think its great marketing. Check ou their Canadian sales numbers. Why it pisses me off ( I don't use expletives lightly-just kidding) is because when I first went thru engineering in the mid '80's at the same institute we were working with a bloody punch tape! One error and you were screwed. Even then that technology was so out of date it wasn't funny. So someone's Brinelled a spindle, can't use an edge finder because they've been student-ized (wigglers are far more resilient), LOTS of tooling with worts and...I'm STILL wondering about the vagaries of youth. You know folks...I'm 39 years old and I absolutely love being in a machine shop. Frankly, for me it's a religious experience. Regardless of your age-if you don't have respect, if you don't want to be there, p___ off.

    rant off.
    Don't get me started on the pres.

  • #2
    Accidentally drop your surface plate on your toe tonight?
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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    • #3
      I think I see where your coming from.Students learning the "easy way"on new or nearly new machines.

      Frankly votech and tradeschool students should spend two years in a flatbelt shop first.Teach the basics first.
      Then move on to gearhead mills and lathes.Show them how to do production the old way first.

      And if they make it through that finally CNC equipment.And more importantly when to use CNC and when not to.In other words when to use a $500 turret lathe and when to use a $250,000 machining center.

      I think it would do three things,1 It would make them appreciate todays technology.2 It would seperate out the chaff,students who are lazy or just plain stupid would be weeded out in the first week.3 It would end the production of "CNC operators" and help insure that a machinist was running a program and not a $6.00 monkey.Rant off.
      I just need one more tool,just one!

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      • #4
        The program I entered is a night program running from 6-10pm 4 nights a week for @ 3 1/2 months. To answer Evans question I didn't drop a surface plate on my toe - tho' I did drop a few beers down my throat. Hence the post that I wrote last night didn't quite make the sense I was trying to achieve. To enter into the program requires at least three 3 years machining experience and a department pre-test. For me this gig is a chance at a career change as I'm not a machinist during the day. Class limit is 13 and there are guy's aging from early 20's to mid 50's. One thing we all have in common is an appreciation of what the future holds. Yes, manual machines will always be around because not all jobs are CNC suited, but once the production numbers climb you simply can't beat CNC. I got a kick out of the "monkey" term because that was the thing that came to my mind when I watched a HAAS demo - you've got to know about machining first before you'd ever be a good programmer. Yes, anyone can load material & press a cycle start key but thats not what I'm trying to accomplish. When I started doing some research on CNC shops it became evident that where I am (Vancouver B.C. area) a lot of shops are 1-5 person operations. Looks to me that these businesses were started by a couple of machinists pooling their money and talent to move forward and as Martha would say - thats a good thing.
        Oh yes, to finish my rant, schools never have enough money so if you're in a program, try to minimize what they do have to spend by giving a damn about stuff. If you see someone in a program being an idiot - educate them - use a ball peen if need be.

        Best to all,
        Chris

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        • #5
          Yep,the schools here local always need money,unfortunately its needed to build a new gym or football stadium.The machineshop gets nothing.

          Yes programers and for that operators really do need to be machinists,you have to know what your looking at,otherwise you end up with a really high scrap production and few usable parts.

          On many parts the machining sequence is as important as the methods use to do the machining.But thats one more of those times when a dishwaser washes dishes,an engineer engineers and a machinist machines.After all,I being a machinist I hate to wash dishes
          I just need one more tool,just one!

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          • #6
            When i took my machining class last winter, there was a big battle on. The school changed the format of the class. When i got there, there were all these "Old timers" People who took the class just to be able to use the machines. Some had been around for over 10 years.

            I really enjoyed this as they would stop, talk to you and show you their projects. You don't feel all alone. That was nice. The down side is it limited the # of people in the class. Also the province was throwing in money as the class was recognised as a career furthering class.

            The school decided to creat a hobbie class, where these old timers could go, use the machines. There would be no more access to materials however they would still have access to the cutting tools, adapters, etc.

            I was interested in this class, even though i found it expensive but we didn't have access to the CNC machines or EDM. That really disapointed me. IF i am paying for access should i not have access to everything? There was giong to be a teacher on the premises at all times.

            I still enjoyed the course. Learnt alot and met some interesting people. Basically it was a LIVE homeshop Machinst BBS.

            Rob

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            • #7
              This thread just jogged an anecdote into my memory.

              I was taking a machine shop class quite a while back so I could use the machines. The class members varied in skill levels. On the first night, one guy introduces himself as a "multi-talented individual" - we called him "the multitalented sonofabitch".

              Eventually we finally got to go "to recess" and play with the tools. MTSOB claimed to know all about CNC, so he fired up the mill. He proceeded to write a little program that milled a nice little 3/4" slot in the top of the new, unmarred table, then disappeared before anybody found him out. This all happened within our first 15 minutes of shop time. He never came back and His Arrogance wasn't missed.

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