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Thread: Career advice... Toolmaker?

  1. #21
    smalltime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ritzblitz View Post
    Man, this is an awesome thread already. Thanks for the excellent replies guys.

    As far as the apprenticeship goes, it is not official. I know nothing about how to get the toolmakers papers, and frankly, my mentor tells me he is not even a journeyman officially. But I often think he's pulling my leg. I realize making it official would be a good idea. I'm just not sure how, and not sure if my shop is 'qualified' to have an apprenticeship. Like I said, I am clueless to that process.
    Requirements for a Tool and Die Journeyman's card are:

    8000 hours of On the job training by a qualified mentor(s)
    576 hours of classroom studies.

    If you can document these two things, you can petition the Department of Labor of the U.S. for a journeyman's card.

    Contact them for the particulars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smalltime View Post
    Requirements for a Toll and Die Journeyman's card are:

    8000 hours of On the job training by a qualified mentor(s)
    576 hours of classroom studies.

    If you can document these two things, you can petition the Department of Labor of the U.S. for a journeyman's card.

    Contact them for the particulars.
    I only had 555 hours so I didn't get a card. DAMN. I Wish I had one so I could be a good tool maker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Welden View Post
    I only had 555 hours so I didn't get a card. DAMN. I Wish I had one so I could be a good tool maker.
    keep trying...ull get there

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    Did the 8000 plus around 1200 class room, stopped twirling handles 1972. What I did the rest of my career was based on what I learned and what I became interested in and did a huge number of unpaid hours studying up on. Retired with 4 patents. No degree.

    The point being - becoming a "Tool Maker" certainly does not have to be an end all. For me, it was just a beginning.

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    Like a BOSSSS! (thats a compliment in my generations lingo)

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    Fulcircleny is offline Aluminum
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    John,
    I know you understand my sentiment. I know for an absolute FACT, that there are an awful lot of military Medics, highly trained, that call themselves 'Doc', but I don't think I would really CHOOSE one without the REAL M.D. after their name to do brain surgery on my little girl. The same is true here, it is ONLY a basic set of skills that HAD to be documented to gain the paper. I believe in the system, as I am a product of it. That said, I hired men and women who didn't have the card. My point to the OP was, and still is, the formal documentation is fairly undisputable. There will always be a prodigy who just "gets" it, that can do anything. However, when I did have employee's, for every so called prodigy, I had to go thru 10 plus trolls, who thought they knew it all. The phrase that STILL makes me cringe when I hear it "oh, no problem".

    I don't wish to get off topic, he asked for opinions, I gave one , so did you. Let him decide.
    Have a great weekend
    Chris

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    Has there ever been a single thread where someone asks for career advice on PM where it ends happy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Did the 8000 plus around 1200 class room, stopped twirling handles 1972. What I did the rest of my career was based on what I learned and what I became interested in and did a huge number of unpaid hours studying up on. Retired with 4 patents. No degree.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...hip/Scan01.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...hip/Scan02.jpg
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    Recent Photos by johnoder | Photobucket

    IMPRESSIVE

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Welden View Post
    I only had 555 hours so I didn't get a card. DAMN. I Wish I had one so I could be a good tool maker.
    Holy fuck John,

    Why do you need to tear down the defining point in a person's life?

    My dad was a tool and die/pattern maker, and he was the inspiration for my endeavor to get my card. It has served me well and I am sorry that you, of all people, would seek to diminish the importance of such an accomplishment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smalltime View Post
    Holy fuck John,

    Why do you need to tear down the defining point in a person's life?

    My dad was a tool and die/pattern maker, and he was the inspiration for my endeavor to get my card. It has served me well and I am sorry that you, of all people, would seek to diminish the importance of such an accomplishment.



    GOT MY CARD, THAT MEANS I'm REALLY, REALLY GOOD. 90,000,000 HOUR APPRENTICESHIP PLUS 12,0000 CLASS ROOM. PLUS MY MENTOR WAS GERMAN AND SWISS. BEAT THAT. I'M ELITE
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    The term "tool maker" is unfortunately loosing it's meaning. I have had guy with "papers" that couldn't think or machine their way out of a wet paper bag, under the same roof I have had guys that you could hand a part drawing to and they would hand you back a completed die, that worked, for years.

    The modern tool maker is equal parts, programmer, designer, manufacturing and mechanical engineer with a huge dose of master machinist. I think while the outcomes are the same the requirements for a modern tool maker are quite different from guys that trained in the 60's and 70's. The methods required to stay competitive are vastly different. If you are looking to become a individual with the same ability as great tool makers of the past you would need to be a master of state of the art methods and technology. Perhaps less focus on slide rules and trig charts and more focus on 3D design software and the latest tool steels and component coatings.

    Manufacturing at all levels has changed so the requirements of becoming a valuable "toolmaker" should change as well. If you master all the areas required to competitively produce tooling in the modern market than regardless of what paper you have or what your title is you will be a valuable asset to any employer.
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    i dont think you can take anything away from someone with papers, but by the same token, just because you have papers it doesnt mean you are a tool maker. notice how i said im a journeyman... tomatoe towmatoe call it what you wanna call it...i cut things, with things that are harder than the things i cut, usually the things that are doing the cutting are spinning. lmao...to prove the papers dont mean anything, my papers were sighted by david patterson..the blind ex gov of new york. not that there is anything wrong with being blind, but how would he know what a good part looks like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Welden View Post



    GOT MY CARD, THAT MEANS I'm REALLY, REALLY GOOD. 90,000,000 HOUR APPRENTICESHIP PLUS 12,0000 CLASS ROOM. PLUS MY MENTOR WAS GERMAN AND SWISS. BEAT THAT. I'M ELITE
    Sorry for your loss.............of manhood.

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    I've just never understood why "tool makers" go around acting like they're king shit. I've made a zillion tools and molds and I don't find it special. Sometimes it can be difficult, but so can making aerospace parts or medical or whatever. Pumping out washers at 10 per second can be very difficult and take tons of experience. I just wish tool and die/tool making would be taken down off its rediculous pedestal. I'm not sure how it ever got to be an ELITE thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Welden View Post
    I've just never understood why "tool makers" go around acting like they're king shit. I've made a zillion tools and molds and I don't find it special. Sometimes it can be difficult, but so can making aerospace parts or medical or whatever. Pumping out washers at 10 per second can be very difficult and take tons of experience. I just wish tool and die/tool making would be taken down off its rediculous pedestal. I'm not sure how it ever got to be an ELITE thing.
    i hope thats not how im acting...reguardless of anyones job title, everyone is good at something and sucks at something else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Welden View Post
    I've just never understood why "tool makers" go around acting like they're king shit. I've made a zillion tools and molds and I don't find it special. Sometimes it can be difficult, but so can making aerospace parts or medical or whatever. Pumping out washers at 10 per second can be very difficult and take tons of experience. I just wish tool and die/tool making would be taken down off its rediculous pedestal. I'm not sure how it ever got to be an ELITE thing.
    This is absolutely true, and I don't deny any of it. Me and my son were having a similar conversation recently, he has 3 years into a Bachelor of Arts degree, and his question was "what will this paper really do for me, Dad?".

    I tried to explain to him that as we keep moving forward, there are more and more people that have the piece of paper. It continues to get increasingly more difficult to get jobs without a piece of paper, if for nothing else that many people have the paper these days. When applying for a job, having that piece of paper might give you a small edge that will secure an interview to even talk to someone. If for nothing else it is a gauge for an employer to have, which tells him that you have X number of hours doing a specific job. That way they don't have to hire someone and find out a day or two later that the person wasn't even qualified like they told the employer. It is not even a guarantee that they know how to do the job, but in some cases the paper is better than the word of a machinist himself, just as it will be for my son with his Bachelor of Arts degree. A sad state for careers of all types IMO.

    There is no denying that "Tool & Die Maker" doesn't have the same meaning today, it seems that it was more of a title given in the past when manual machining was more relevant, but to be fair, I don't see it being too different with CNCs as a person needs to have the skills. If a person has a piece of paper, it is nothing more than a notch on their belt. I completely agree with you that all the toilet paper in the world doesn't mean $#!T if you still don't know WTF you're doing! Pretty pathetic to think that a piece of toilet paper would help a machinist get a job that pays $30/hr...but that seems to be what our society has come to...

    Maybe in the future, machinists will have degrees like "TDM Programming" to show they can program an equivalent of what a Tool & Die Maker used to be able to accomplish. I'm sure there are some such degrees already, I am just not familiar with CNC work...but with that said, I don't think anyone should be blinded into thinking that manual machining will flourish in the future...so having a Tool & Die Maker certificate is really nothing more than toilet paper hanging on your wall, other than the skills you acquire when achieving such. With the equivalent skills nothing more should be needed, just that the paper gives the person hiring some comfort...always good to keep those touchy feely people happy, at least if you want to get an interview.

    Cheers,
    Alan

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    modelmakerblue is offline Plastic
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Welden View Post
    I've just never understood why "tool makers" go around acting like they're king shit. I've made a zillion tools and molds and I don't find it special. Sometimes it can be difficult, but so can making aerospace parts or medical or whatever. Pumping out washers at 10 per second can be very difficult and take tons of experience. I just wish tool and die/tool making would be taken down off its rediculous pedestal. I'm not sure how it ever got to be an ELITE thing.
    That's why you will never be a decent 'toolmaker', it is special when you have the skills to make something out of nothing and should be celebrated. I was I hope a good Toolmaker and what is needed to be good at this type of work is interest, training, education, attitude, attitude & attitude!
    Tony

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    I'll stick up for John again.

    If a guy posted on here about his college degree, masters, or PhD and multiple fellowships and patents, you guys would label him a smug bastard. But a journeyman card is OK because "he earned it".

    It should take about 8000 hours to get a college degree. More than that in a technical field like engineering. Except they don't pay you to go to college. In fact, I remember it being just the opposite of being paid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allloutmx View Post
    everyone is good at something and sucks at something else.
    I'm still trying to find something I suck at. That's from my perspective from up here on my tool & die, moldmaker, engineer pedestal while I'm looking down at all of you little people.

    I forgot, I'm changing jobs so add configuration analyst. I don't have an idea if I suck or not because I don't have a clue as to what the hell I'm supposed to be doing. But...neither does anybody else so if I end up sucking, no one will know.

    I did get rid of all the stuff that I've been dragging around for years. The parts that I made the tooling for. Nobody gives a shit. Most people don't have a f'in clue of what it takes to make some of those parts.

    John, That pedestal that you referred to gets shorter all of the time. If you don't have an MBA from a certain university, you must not know shit. Those are the elite few. I'm just a dumb f#$K from a small town in Nebraska.
    JR
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  20. #40
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    Tool makers do have a prima donna complex by and large. Some deserve it, they are amazingly talented, some are assholes with an over inflated sense of self worth. I don't think it is exclusive to tool makers. They guys that were really good, never told you they were, they just proved it.

    I think the apprenticeship program had a lot to do with it, just like engineers, the only group worse than tool makers are PEs. What a bunch of egotistical egg heads. Some official organization recognized them as being special snow flakes, so they believe it. Some are special snow flakes, some aren't.

    I wish some school cranked out people with all the skills to be modern tool makers, all the tech bells and whistles, design skills, software, machining ,materials, heat treat, call them "tooling engineers" I'd hire a TE.

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