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Technical Now that the last machine shop closed...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by FishFry, Nov 13, 2022.

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  1. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,969


    Our local high school in with the junior college and got rid 0f all their engine tools. Said no body rebuilds engine any more
  2. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 10,863


    My instructor said all equipment in the building was donated, probably why only one or two CNC machines.
  3. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,526


    I never said it wasn't an option for a small number of people.
  4. Wanderlust
    Joined: Oct 27, 2019
    Posts: 668


    From personal experience, junior high school, instructor missing 3 fingers ( he knows the danger) announces at beginning of semester that no one will be using any power tools, hand tools only! Any cuts necessary will be done by him. Next year at a different school with an amazing shop, wood and metal lathes, about half way through semester a student got wrapped up in a lathe, he survived but lost most of his arm, the instructor quit shortly after, not that I would blame him that must have been a horrible thing to deal with. No more industrial arts program the next year. After that I attended a couple more schools in different areas and only photography/ ceramics. I think liability is probably the biggest issue with the lack of training in schools and that’s fair, 1 maybe 2 instructors ( if your lucky) for classes of 20-30 teenage students with the attention span of a gnat, recipe for disaster. That kind of training requires 1 on 1 instruction in my opinion and that’s not possible in that kind of situation.
    Just Gary likes this.
  5. Liability?
    You can have baseball players take 90mph pitches
    Or strap on a helmet and hit each other full speed on a football field.
    Archery, fishing teams, gymnastics, cheerleading, chemicals in a science lab.
    It’s an administration issue.
    Shop size?
    That’s interesting. There are no set guidelines for a maximum. But there is a minimum of 12 per class to keep programs open for a high school in my state.
    interesting side note, the local Jr college probably has 10 times my budget.
    I had 8-10 times the number of students.
  6. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 6,615

    from Ks

    Like NHRA. You pay us then you can race. :(
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  7. AccurateMike
    Joined: Sep 14, 2020
    Posts: 461


    A few observations.

    It WAS liability that killed school shops where I am from. A kid cuts some digits off and shop is too dangerous. It's way easier to take away shop from the roughniks that were headed for trades than sports for kids who strive for the 2 in a million chance at professional sports. It's a perception that we HAD to have sports. When my kids were in school, they had "Tech" class where you built bridges with spaghetti. I was at a football game and a kid was flown out after having his head crunched. Didn't make sense.

    The concept that you could teach a monkey to run a CNC machine is stupid. You have to know everything a manual machinist knows, and some more, to program, set up and run a CNC machine. Somebody set up speeds, feeds, tool paths and changes. G-code doesn't write itself. Even if he/she didn't write the program, the operator better know what's going on, or the cost of broken tooling and billets will get them unemployed quick. I have seen un-experienced workers stand in front of a manual machine and turn the same handles a thousand times to produce big batches of parts. Same as the programmer, there was a machinist that figured out how to do it the first time. CNC has been around more than 40 years. The billet era notwithstanding, I think CNC is great. It has opened up the ability to make some previously impossible (or at least really hard) parts reality. Kind of like 3D printing is doing now. Running down CNC today is like saying that the guys with the first mills only used them because they couldn't saw and file.

    My friend's machine shop does have 2 or 3 young people that come in to disassemble and clean, straighten up the shop and the sort, for the opportunity to learn the ropes and have access to the shop. If he could pay more than McDonalds, he would have 10.

  8. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 32,409


    After I redid this several times along with guys just flat not wanting to go into trades where you get your hands dirty a lot of the bread and butter daily work in an automotive machine shop is way down due to engines not needing machine work anywhere as soon plus when they do wear out the car or truck that they are in often isn't worth what the cost of having a complete rebuild on that engine costs. Still the local wrecking yards are doing a brisk business in used engines for those same cars. In truth now the bodies often wear out before the engine does. Most of the 40's/ 50's early 60's cars you find that have been sitting in a corner for decades probably have less than 100K on them but the engine is worn out. That is why they got parked. The engine got bad, they weighed rebuilding it vs buying another car and voted for buying another car and put that car over in the "someday" corner.
  9. Dustin 257
    Joined: Aug 20, 2021
    Posts: 268

    Dustin 257
    from Dallas

    To argue with a fool proves their is two

    qouted from the hamb
  10. Wanderlust
    Joined: Oct 27, 2019
    Posts: 668


    It’s all about perception, while I could make light of it and say that back then most families had 3 or more kids and you could afford to lose 1 or 2, the reality today is much different, with the average getting nearer to negative nobody wants their own personal little snowflake being maimed. Granted “sports” is a bit of a blind spot for most because well nobody can control what happens in the heat of the moment, whereas in shop class your little snowflake is in the care and control of a trained instructor , I don’t think I need to elaborate here
  11. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 22,338


    I own a machine shop. We are both manual, and CNC. We have so much work to do that I am working 7-days, and just came from work. It is even keeping me from building cars. We have enough work that we will be getting another machine in the new year, to increase our throughput.

    Contrary to wildly inaccurate popular belief, the CNC machine does not "do the work for you". Only people who do not understand the knowledge and work that goes into it say that.

    The machine does absolutely nothing until it has been calibrated, tools set up and loaded, the machine programmed, and the material locked in. You still need to select the correct tools for the job and load them into the machine.

    We charge the same rate for spindle-hours that we do for CAD and toolpath generation work.

    You still need to specify the speeds, feeds, and the past type: roughing, waterline, finish, and hundreds of other variables.

    I work a 5-axis machine most days, and a good-old knee mill and lathe, too.

    My engine builder has a full staff, and a over-full shop. I cannot get a cylinder head in edgewise there. He cannot hire more people to work for him, because they won't fit in the building.

    He mastered the magic of how to get and keep reliable employees.

    He pays them.
  12. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,693


    Part of the problem is young people these days have very little in the way of skills with their hands or using their brain to solve problems. There is no one cool to inspire them to learn the trades. Some like to savage Jesse James, but he made it cool again to work with your hands and get dirty. Start with the nearest kid in the family, or lacking that - the neighborhood.
  13. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 22,338


    Not taking that bait.
    Dustin 257 likes this.
  14. Wanderlust
    Joined: Oct 27, 2019
    Posts: 668


    . l disagree with the the part about not using their brains to solve the problem, quite the opposite and therein lies the problem, why get dirty when when you can be paid stupid money to work at programming computers or the other option which does involve some work, win the sports lottery and become a god with people throwing money at you and women begging to have your children, problem there is most wont make it and there is no backup plan, they’ve been raised hearing there’s no limit to what they could achieve and most are conflicted because their not sure they can do it , which is reality giving them a nudge. Most are average and few excel, been that way forever, sad part is few are prepared for the eventuality. The flip side of the coin can be even uglier if your not prepared to actually win at life.
  15. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 22,338


    Where I am, mediocre, fresh-out programmers start at $150k. After two-years, if they get good, they can make $250k.
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  16. I have worked in all areas of machining, from starting on manual machines, then onto programming CNC mills and lathes to standing at the CNC machines setting them up late in my career. Working at the machine console is just as hard as programming.

    I have had engine builders die on me, go out of business due to age issues. There are few general engine shops around, most are performance shops. Although they take in regular rebuilding. The guy who did my last engine retired and the shop is still open. They are quite busy and do anything from race cars to offshore boats and even airplane engines.

    Good shops are still around, there are just less of them. Having local racing keeps most going and the good shops have a decent backlog of work.
  17. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 2,801

    41 GMC K-18

    What I am about to describe, is definitely from a different time period.
    This would be 1962, I was 9 years old, and I was in 3rd grade.

    Back then, the entire element of liability, is vastly different from what it is today, so bare that in mind.

    Growing up in the Winton/Atwater/Merced area, of the San Joaquin Valley in California, at that time, the Rainbo Bread, bakery, manufacturing facility, was just 30 miles away in Modesto California.
    Our elementary school, had made arrangements for our entire 3rd grade class, to ride the train up to Modesto, to take a tour of the Rainbo Bakery plant.

    The element of riding the train was a great experience in its own right, it was cool that our school was fortunate enough to be able to arrange that for us !

    That was my first time on a train, and it was the first time I was ever in a huge facility like that. We all had to put on hair nets, because of being around a food processing facility.

    We were told to be on our best behavior and to not touch anything!

    We were shown all around the facility, huge mixing vats, huge machines that did different processes to the dough, the big ovens, the packaging line, the full process from start to finish, and they even gave us all a miniature loaf of Rainbo bread at the end of the tour.

    That was my first time to see any equipment like that and what it did. It was a fantastic experience. Now whether or not it was an inspirational tour, to encourage youngsters to be bakers, that really wasn't the point, it was a great opportunity for kids to see industry as it was and how it works, and we even saw some of the workers, working on the machines as regular maintenance.

    It was also a great opportunity for us kids to ride on the train!

    It was a very cool, interesting experience. I have never forgotten it.

    So fast forward to 2022.

    What are the chances of a tour like that, for 3rd graders, to ever see how bread was made, or to go any facility that makes a product, or does a process to make or manufacture a something, that is done by big machines?

    I would imagine that in today's world, that answer would be " None " The liability is too big of a risk. And I totally understand that.

    But to my way of thinking, if you want the younger generations to get interested in being a machinist, or industrial bakers, or a maintenance man that works on the big machines, or to be anything that is linked to the trades, then tours of the facility's that employ the tradespeople, seems to be a great way to get them interested.

    At the very least, to expose the younger kids, to the world of machinery, and seeing people working with the machines.

    We have a huge Machine shop here in Seattle Known as " Harbor Island Machine "
    They have some of the biggest machines, to work on big pieces of equipment, the place is very big and very impressive.


    In today's world, sure you can show things like this, via a power point presentation with video, but its never the same as actually going to a facility, to see the size of the operation, to hear the sounds and the noises of the machines, to smell the environment, to really experience it all from being there while the machines are operating.

    The days of the old line drive machine shops, they are gone as well, which is too bad, those were fascinating to me, but surely, not the type of environment to take a tour of with grade school children, purely speaking from a modern day consideration of the liability.

    line drive machine shop.jpg

    I am sure @anthony myrick would agree that its a good thing, to get the youngsters interested in the trades, by taking them to see how its done in the real world, in real time, the trick is to convince the powers that be, that its worth the risk of the liability, and also to find a company that would allow such a tour.

    I welcome any thoughts or observations about what I have described here.
    Thanks from Dennis.

    golden alaska engine room.jpg
    Driver50x, bobss396, X-cpe and 2 others like this.
  18. PackardV8
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 991


    A local manufacturing facility employing dozens of machinists I know well is required by their insurance to have random drug-tests of all employees. Even when tipped off ahead of time a "random" test is coming, some will fail it.

    jack vines
  19. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,704

    0NE BAD 51 MERC

    I graduated in 1973, At my high school in Burlington Wi we had all kinds of shop classes, wood, metal and auto. But except for the auto shop teacher the rest were very mundane, everybody built the same cutting board or gun rack or little metal toolbox or cold chisel. When I started high school in 69 the auto shop was always building some kind of project, from a dune buggy, a v8 powered jeep panel truck to a 57 chevy drag car that the teacher raced at nearby Union Grove Dragaway. But you could not take the course until you were a senior. I signed up for it my junior year, When I went back in the fall of 1972, I found out due to public pressure the curriculum was changed to power mechanics. A little about welding, a little about hydraulics and small engines and we spent 2 days learning the functions of the Sun machine. No engine building, no welding and fabrication or hands on car work or repair. Seems the school board and the high and mighty citizens in town didn't want the teachers showing us how to build those evil hot rods cruising around town. Fortunately, at that time there were racetracks and shops of every description around to inspire and learn from. My nephews who are now in their 30s could not even get into shop class when they were in high school because it had become an extra credit course for students with at least a B plus average and basically were taught how to change oil and tires. Fortunately, they were inspired by Jesse James on tv and had an uncle that had a full-service custom Restoration shop, and I taught them. But they are the exception, not the rule in this area. I am glad that there are still people like Anthony who are still able to work in places that value Manual trade education. But he is the exception sadly and not the rule. Our powers that be here in Wisconsin push for increased education, but at the college level not the work force level and for most in Wisconsin $250,000.00 is a 5-to-10-year plan not an annual one. Larry
    41 GMC K-18 and Algoma56 like this.
  20. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,849


    Last year our brain-dead governor decided that requiring high school kids to master Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmatic was unfair to the idiots so she eliminated that requirement for HS graduation.
    It is much more difficult to control actually smart people than those with brains full of mush. Send kids to college to get a truly useless degree and a huge debt load and then you have them begging for help. And they still won't be interested in the trades.
    Side note to any 'youngins'...the oil industry is currently short about 50,000 welders....
  21. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,214


    At my daughters 8th grade career day she wanted me to go and give my two cents. I'm a City of Pittsburgh licensed and certitifed electrician. I'm also a tax paying electrical contractor. In trademen words, I'm a self employed electrician lol.
    We were all talking before the presentation started. This dude from the bank was blowing his horn about how much he makes for this and how much he makes for that, then he, said I understand electricians are making what $20 and hour. I said there's much more to it than that. When your a tradesmen, you don't have to call the plumber, the carpenter, the mechanic for small things because you know how to use tools and understand mechanics. Anything that requires professional help I call some of my favors in. Whats that he arrogantly asked, I help him out he helps me out we shake hands and it's all legal and tax free.
    Then my daughter came over and asked me for five one dollar bills for the machine. She said to everybody in our little circle, my dad always has lots of cash, it's all we use, he even buys cars for cash. I shrugged it off with a tucked in smile. The bank dude didn't have any more smart ass comments after that one. I'm thinking he realised how silly he looked to me with his $20 and hour comment.
    bobss396 and 41 GMC K-18 like this.
  22. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 6,489

    Staff Member

    Politics will close posts every time......
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