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For out of work and future machinists

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by quick60, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    Really schools are filled with useless pipedreams and crap, nobody takes it serious, it's really f'd because 99% of the stuff taught is unusable garbage. i never turned in homework, but i learned my subjects, and more importantly learned outside of school how stuff is applied thru learning metalurgy, welding, machining, ect. Truthfully i'm 26 and i have NO fear of building anything, and i mean anything, Get me a block of steel and i'll design blueprint, and build my own engine. At the same time friends of mine who have always been friken brilliant, are lost when they try to do anything, they know all the basics of how stuff works, but they have no idea how to apply it in the real world
     
  2. Spent almost 40 years as a machinist. Learned the trade working for Uncle Sam in the USN then worked various small shops the finished out 33 years at Boeing. My experience at Boeing was that in the late 80s-90s we lost a generation to computers. Every kid with a Nintendo believed ,and educators sold this idea, that he could be the next Bill Gates and kick back and live the life of the rich and famous. And every school from Harvard on down was preaching manufacturing was dead and Service industries were the new UTOPIA. When I hired on at Boeing we had people of all age groups. Everything from guys right out of high school to old timers that basicly worked till they died. Never retiring and working well into their 70s. But by the time I left almost half the shop was eligible for retirement. And we had very few guys born in the 70s. New hires in the last ten years started to bring in finally some young guys but just about as many were older guys that may or may not have been machinists but had worked the trades.

    We can argue back and forth where the blame lies with the systematic attack on manufacturing in the US. Simple minded idiots in high places in education have to take part of the blame. Tax laws that encourage factories to relocate and get huge benefiits for creating so called new jobs have also destroyed companies. They refused to accept that successful factories were manned by people that had an incredible amount of tribal knowledge and couldn't survive the move without it. A new breed of company CEOs raking in multi million dollar salaries that begrudges paying a living wage to a guy whose work actually created his wealth. So they had no problem shipping that guys work offshore to a third world sweatshop.

    I was lucky started running manual machines, learned NCs then CNCs and the somwhere along the way returned to the world of manual machines. Which allowed me to escape the constant drudgery of production work.

    I'll never forget my instructor in the Navy saying that machinists were only second to God in creation. As there is hardly anything in the world that can't be traced back to a machinist. He was right then and it still holds true unfortunately its not glamorous and definitely not a job for sissies. And there definitely a lot more of those now than 40 years ago.

    Since I retired I've had several job offers not only from shops but from a community college. Its my belief that its time for another generation to step up.

    What does it take to be a good machinist. I'm amazed by some of the criteria thrown out so far. I've seen some kids hired in as sweepers that became great machinists. A desire to learn and having competent machinists willing to mentor them are more valuable than a piece of paper from a trade school. Substandard wages will drive them away to competitors and does nothing but add costs to those shops that do so.

    My 2 cents
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  3. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    I'm unlucky the same way, nobody takes a kid in his 20's serious when he says he's run tons of bridgeport and is more comfortable with manual stuff. I'm just finally getting to the point i'm almost as comfortable on an NC, because nobody will look at a manual guy that is under 50 years old.
     
  4. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,199

    19Fordy
    Member

    hotrod40coupe: My hat is off to you for teaching middle school. I taught high school "shop" for 33 years and know what you were up against.
     
  5. One shop I know took in a kid that is 25. He has almost no experience on manual machines, but does well on the CNC mills and lathes and is learning some easy basic programming. He's good at the control panel, which I only started doing in the past 2 years. The thing that will hold him back is his lack of the manual machining concept.

    I started manual machining in 1981, got into complex CNC mill programming about 1994. I was doing programs on verticals & horizontals. Which got hairy with indexers, tombstones, multiple vises, etc. Now I do part time work for one shop and am making the transition into setting up CNC vertical mills, which is not as easy as it looks when there are 3 different mills in the shop and each one is a bit different at the control panel and how the offsets are done.

    Bob
     
  6. Right on, I see it as a discipline. Doing the same thing from job to job. If the basics are there and repeatable, what you learn on one job goes to the next. For me, it may start with KNOWING that my vise is on the table with no chips (like some jackasses do..) under it, it's indicated and my Bridgeport head is trammed out. Keep the collets clean, the parallels in matched sets.. it goes on and on.

    Machining was like a re-birth to me. I was always good in math and knew how to make things in general. I was fortunate to grab a good training opportunity and get into an apprenticeship.

    Bob
     
  7. flacoman
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 75

    flacoman
    Member
    from Sunrise FL


    SNIP!
    Same thing in the music world ....
    Take a peek at his clip from Branford Marsalis. Slightly NSFW language
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rz2jRHA9fo
     
  8. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,199

    19Fordy
    Member

    Sadly, Branford Marsalis is right. And most parents support this belief.
     
  9. MercMan1951
    Joined: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 2,654

    MercMan1951
    Member

    That comes from parents and their mindset that you should go to college and not get your hands dirty. We also live in a pseudo-sterile world now where parents reach for the container of sani-wipes any time the kid gets some dirt on themselves. :D
     
  10. Curt B
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 325

    Curt B
    Member

    I’ve been neck deep in it in both Alberta and Texas for the last 30 yrs and my advise is forget formalities and find an employer willing to train. In the end he who fills the chip bin the fastest and not fuck up makes the most coin and runs the nicest, newest machines. A truly good machinist financially punishes his employer just by not being there and is a huge asset not a liability employee so if they don’t miss you then you’re not cutting it. About 30% of operators “get it” and learn to optimize the cutting time by exploring thresholds of both the machine and cutting tools and others are just not interested in how long things take and flounder. Learn to make chips, not excuses.
     
  11. Zookeeper
    Joined: Aug 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,041

    Zookeeper
    Member

    Not all kids are like that. I've had to go into the shop I work at after hours to retrieve something or another and my 11 year old son always wants to go. He thinks I have the coolest job on the planet (I do too) and wants to see everything in the shop. My wife has brought him in a couple times during work hours and I've let him start the CNC machine more than once, he's fascinated how parts start from raw material and end up as something both nice to look at and useful. He "gets" how it often takes a few different steps to produce any given part. BTW, that's something my "educated" boss does NOT understand! Him and lots of my management think the CNC machine is like a friggin' microwave oven, you just set the raw stock in, hit the cycle start button and 30 seconds later, out come finished parts! But that's their problem, my kid loves getting dirty out in the garage, he has a great imagination and wants to know how long I had to go to school to learn what I do. It's nice to see some hope for future generations in the hands on department, so who knows what the future holds for this trade?
     
  12. I live in a area where there are a lot of gated comunitys with privalaged children .I ran a body shop for 25+ years and worked with the area high School programs for 1/2 day students on the job training. I was disapointed by the students attatude about working with there hands.I only had a hand full of young men who wanted to learn the trade. I am glad to hear thats not the case elswhere. I should be glad some wen't on to work at local auto body shops.
     
  13. I see this too. One shop I'm familiar with had a run of "Asian sub-continent" CNC operators. All 3 liked to wear gloves in the shop for doing everything, which is not recommended on drill press and manual milling and lathe operations. I feel that these people have not committed themselves to like and accept what they are doing for a living. All 3 washed out of that shop in record time.

    Most of the kids (helpers, parts loaders, gofers and flunkies...) don't seem to have a problem with it. They get as funky as the rest of the shop. I guess once they commit to the task, they accept the fact that you are going to get dirty, period.

    Bob
     
  14. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,781

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    From my experience as a licensed electrician, even the finest machinists I've had the pleasure to know have very little knowledge of wiring their machines. Most know what voltage they run at, but could never hook one up, or troubleshoot the complicated controls of a large machine.
    I wouldn't expect them to either, as they wouldn't expect me to know how to run their equipment.
     
  15. In most shops opening up an electrical panel would get you sent home. My memory is that just recently Oregon came up with a millwrights/electrician card allowing mechanics to cross over and do some electrical work. I will say that most of the time when my machine went down if possible I hung around and assisted whether the problem was mechanical or electrical. Usually I knew what was wrong and that made it faster to get back to making chips. If you're not making chips you're not making money.
     
  16. Boy this thread is starting to sound like a bunch of grumpy old men sitting around gripping about young people today.... alot like what your parents probably did when you were kids.:rolleyes:
     
  17. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    My dad was an elevator mechanic. His profession required that he know all these things and more.
     
  18. 54EARL
    Joined: Oct 12, 2007
    Posts: 236

    54EARL
    Member
    from Idaho
    1. A-D Truckers

    First real fight my wife and I got in to. She told our two boys don't play on that you'll get dirty. I said they are boys for hells sake they are supposed to be dirty. She says, what if they fall and get hurt. I say, then they get a band aid.
     
  19. carmuts
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 874

    carmuts
    Member

    Most places I have worked are the same way about opening the panels. When I worked maintenance in a packing plant we had to go in front of the managers and demonstrate proper electrical lockout taout procedures along with basic electrical troubleshooting skills just to have the aproval to open them. Usually on a crew of 6 they only let 2 or 3 go through the inplant certifiaction proccess.

    The crew I started with had 3 that had failed, so the supervisor pushed me right to the certifiacion within the first week. Passed it with no problem. Later while still on the same crew we had an experienced certified linesman (about 50 years old with 15-20 years experience) that could not pass. He also did not really graspe the concept of insulated rubberized tape used in the motor connectin enclosures and burnt up several motors and wires, by just using a small strip of basic electrical tape. He was let go after about 3 weeks as he just could not seem to make the transition to doing mechanical work or properly insulate connections. We were gald to see him go. Rod
     
  20. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,147

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    To the first part:
    That is the biggest problem right now. The "educators" are entrenched in the concept that working with one's hands is demeaning and beneath people or at least Americans.

    To the second part:
    I would have to want to believe that the big wheels at Boeing may have learned a hard lesson when they farmed out so many pieces of the 787 to companies around the world rather than have Boeing workers do the work in the PNW. It's hard to have full control over what is being done when the people who are supposed to be doing the work are half way around the world.

    We seem to still have a pretty good demand for good machinists in this area and JM Perry tech school across the street from where I work offers a good program.

    The education system forgets that vehicles and other equipment will always need to be repaired no matter where or when it was built.
     
  21. jimmitchell70
    Joined: Aug 6, 2009
    Posts: 230

    jimmitchell70
    Member
    from CT

    BOTH of my grandfathers were machinists.
    Unfortunalety, one died 3 yrs before I was born and the other when I was 11.
    I wish I could have had time to learn from two careers worth of experience.
     
  22. COEbuilder
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 8

    COEbuilder
    Member

    As others have said already, there are lots of reasons for the decline in both skilled machinists and the jobs to have, but one thing that happened back in the 80's has earned a big part of the blame. A study came forth in 1983 from the Department of Education in DC, and basically said that vocational training was not worth doing, and should be eliminated. A friend of mine at one our best universities in our state told me then that the study would likely kill off training programs across our state in 20 years. Sadly he was way too right, and we have experienced exactly that. Now ... it is rare to find a top drawer machining program at a high school, and with declining budgets for schools to run such classes, we likely will see even the few remaining ones go away. Some school administrators still quote that study as the reason for their thinking. How does "Naive" fit as a title for them??

    So guess who were the majority of the folk that really impacted the study??? Major university faculty members from liberal arts programs. Talk about self serving analysis!!! Hope they all are happy with not being able to find a good car repair shop, or a machinist to make something they might need.
    Interestingly the study was titled, "A Nation at Risk", and in the end did a lot of damage to an already faltering system for vocational education.

    Hopefully our political types will finally wake up to the need, and help programs resume at schools to fill the now increasing needs. IF we do not, say goodbye to our chances of being the leading manufacturing country on the planet. Might be worth asking how many of the kids that learned how to make cartoons on computers can find any kind of work now????

    Grrrrrrrr....... from this retired Machining Instructor
     
  23. R A Wrench
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 468

    R A Wrench
    Member
    from Denver, Co

    Very interesting thread, I can relate to a lot of points brought up in it. I took wood shop & auto mech in HS, moved to So Cal in 65 & got on with N. American Aviation in El Segundo. Got training in lathes & milling machines. Got drafted in 66 & was trained as a surveyor. The GI bill got me thru school in mach shop & drafting. Worked in some shops in the Denver area for several years & found that most of the "bosses" didn't know a damn thing about running the equipment or people. They were mostly educated idiots. Management was only concerned about quantity, quality was second, maybe. I loved making parts but ended up at a desk job which paid better, had better benifits & hours. I no longer see the classes available to train anyone & the schools have pretty much gotten rid of the equipment.
     
  24. CA. 280
    Joined: Jan 8, 2010
    Posts: 220

    CA. 280
    Member

    It's pretty hard to blame schools for what is happening. Local Community Colleges are desperate for money and States fund by the number of students. So if 35 people sign up for a Jazzercise class and 4 for Machine Technology, guess who's going to get funded.
     
  25. Curt B
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 325

    Curt B
    Member

  26. run
    Joined: Jul 27, 2009
    Posts: 51

    run
    Member

    Regarding the article:

    If they were genuinely desperate they would offer higher compensation and the void would be filled.

    Everyone wants something for nothing...

    I thought about being a machinist but HVAC / elevator mechanics / etc seemed to pay better and be similar in terms of required electro-mechanical understanding.

    Always respected and been interested in tool and die making though just added a bridgeport to the circa 1940 16" southbend in the garage...so much to learn still...
     
  27. lucky ink
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 335

    lucky ink
    Member

    This is a great article. being toolmaker-machinist for 20+ years alot of tool shops said before long the experience people will name there price. manual operators are far and few.Everyone thinks computers are the key but not always..
    old school will win...
     
  28. That is probably more the reason schools don't offer those types of courses anymore because sure as shit that idiots parents tried to sue the school over the fact that no one stopped their son from being a moron.
     
  29. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way
    Member

    Before you throw the baby out with the bath water,... you might want to know about "MITES" or "Michigan Industrial & Technology Education Society".

    It is a state wide competition that has regional competitions and the winners go on to the state championships,.... Both my Sons won ribbons at these events,.... What you are about to see is shop projects, Built entirely by High School students in Michigan High Schools in the Industrial & Technological Classes, that are still left. So much potential and skill,.... It's sad its one of the first things they look at de-funding.

    At a recent meeting of the School Board,..When they were trying to get a big millage passed for the sports program,.. at the same time making cuts to the Shop classes, A fellow posed the question,... How many Graduates will end up working in jobs where they use the skills learned in the Industrial Arts Department professionally ?,... One of the board members said It would be about one in eight.

    Then the same guy then asked,... How many Graduated will end up working in jobs where they use the skills they learned in the Sports Program professionally ?,.... The School Board sat in silence for a few minutes looking at one another and finally said they didn't have that data.

    This is my Son Kory's four fluted fly cutter.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And a few more examples, to let you know, skill and a desire to build really cool things, still lurks in the core of some of our youth,... We need to locate it and cultivate it. IMHO

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  30. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way
    Member

    More,...........

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012

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