Everyone knows what a "Gunsmith" is, but HOW do you explain what a machinist is?
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    Question Everyone knows what a "Gunsmith" is, but HOW do you explain what a machinist is?

    There appears not to be an OT, and I'm putting it here because, frankly, I've always wanted to be a gunsmith, and as a little boy was actually MAD that Browning was born before me LOL.
    I do have it in mind to do some serious smithing soon enough, I'd like to build an AR with folding buffer tube, pistol version, similar to the "35 AR", basically a necked-up blowed-out 7.62x39 case and .35Rem projectiles.
    Not just that, but I'd like it to shoot cheap cast bullets..... but I digress....... pistol length due to a Logan 820.... ok now I digress....

    After a injury in construction I've been retraining myself as a machinist, for 3 years now.
    People ask "What the heck is THAT?" I don't know what to say!
    If I told people that "I'm retraining myself to be a gunsmith" they would know exactly what I meant, even if they had no idea what the actual operations entail.

    My current strategy is to name some specialties, gear cutting (gears=$$$), engine work, die makers (car body panels and cookie sheets), tool makers (drillbits)
    Is there something I'm missing?

    Golly I'd like to just say gunsmith.... but the politics... you know... and I'm not specializing in firearms (though PCP airguns are high on my list)
    Help me out guys? What the heck IS a machinist?

    I'll be posting a thread in the next month or so with my new shop...just let me finish the LED lights and RPC panel... suffice to say I won't be threatened with banninnation for uttering "HF" (again).
    Last edited by gratewhitehuntr; 12-05-2017 at 11:05 AM. Reason: addendum

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    A machinist is one who operates a machine tool.
    Every machinist is on a different level of knowledge.
    Me, 55 years and still learning.

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    Machinist:

    Pro at using 4-1/2” hand held grinder, Damascus knife maker, and billet auto part engineer.

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    If you search, there are many many of these threads.


    If you're in the UK, a machinist is anyone that runs a machine including ladies doing production on sewing machines.


    Metalworker is simple enough for the average person, although I imagine they would have fabrication in mind rather than machining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven-Canada View Post
    If you search, there are many many of these threads.
    I'm not sure that bellyaching over how much $$$ a plumber might get paid will clear anything up...
    Seriously, if you could point to some thread that arrives at the answer to "How do I explain to lay-people what a machinist is?" then I would be THRILLED to go read, and then back to lurking.
    As you mmight imagine, the word "machinist" comes up a LOT in the search here.
    Sewing machines in the gunsmithing section? Get some self respect man! That is only labour, semi-skilled at best. (or they become a seamstress or tailor, etc)
    Yes, those in the UK have some "humourous" definitions....


    Ok, there were some implied rules to what constituted a acceptable answer, now I'll state them plainly.

    It's forbidden to use a word to define itself, pretty sure most people learned this in elementary school.

    The form of machinist in question involves mills, lathes, grinders, mig/tig, plasma, and the tooling/fixtures/meteorology associated.

    And finally, it must be a SIMPLE explanation.
    Simple like my Father who operates a tractor, which is a machine, and one with dinged splines from being hit with a hammer, which is a tool.
    Golly if I'm using a tool on the machine does that make it a machine tool? (no dad, that makes it a MESS)

    Maybe I should just PM Forrest? (kidding!)\
    Come one guys, I KNOW someone here can boil this complex issue down to a single sentence.

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    To be a true gunsmith you must be a machinist.
    Simple assemblies do not apply.

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    I'm a watchmaker and I tell people I'm a machinist (I do spend most of my time making parts). If that causes them to inquire further I tell them I make precision parts out of metal.

    The machinist switcheroo comes from a mentor from Detroit who told me to never say to strangers that I work on watches. Old paranoia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Screwmachine View Post
    I'm a watchmaker and I tell people I'm a machinist (I do spend most of my time making parts). If that causes them to inquire further I tell them I make precision parts out of metal.

    The machinist switcheroo comes from a mentor from Detroit who told me to never say to strangers that I work on watches. Old paranoia.
    I believe a watchmaker would make an
    excellent gunsmith, but not so much the
    other way

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    Well I see I'm in good company! Thank you for posting that mneuro.

    Quote Originally Posted by Screwmachine View Post
    I'm a watchmaker and I tell people I'm a machinist (I do spend most of my time making parts). If that causes them to inquire further I tell them I make precision parts out of metal.

    The machinist switcheroo comes from a mentor from Detroit who told me to never say to strangers that I work on watches. Old paranoia.
    You're a Swiss watch maker? Pretty cool! I'm an American watch breaker! (really I break so many that it's all $2 Chinese stuff now)
    Your logic is sound, save one point, most people have no better idea what precision is either.

    In all seriousness, the thread Milicron started pretty much ties it up with a variety of generic answers.
    Thanks to all who answered there, and here also.



    Onward!
    Here is a sneak peek at one of my new mills.... let's see if anyone can guess what it is....other than unpainted.....and MUCH easier to move....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sam_3279.jpg  

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    If Luke Short could call himself a shootist (John Wayne copied him) we can call ourselves machiners, which is more accurate. A machiner is one who performs machining. After all, we wouldn't call someone who operates a sailboat a sailist or someone who installs pipes a plumbist.

    Bill

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    This might be one of you, or me


    machiner.jpg

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    Machinist IMHO is one who can run most basic machines (cutting tool machines and grinders)and can make parts from a print or a sample part...A plus is one who can figure out what is needed and make that part..much the same as a Tool Maker...

    limited guys by choice or talents is the hand..lathe hand, grinder hand, Bullard hand, Blanchard hand...Grinder hand is often surface grinder and OD grinder. cutter grinding is often a special and so many grinder hands don't want to do that or have not the experience..

    Most machine tool guys can figure something out but the hand, machinist, tool maker or the like can figure it out PDQ..

    Yes now most have CNC skills...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    If Luke Short could call himself a shootist (John Wayne copied him) we can call ourselves machiners, which is more accurate. A machiner is one who performs machining. After all, we wouldn't call someone who operates a sailboat a sailist or someone who installs pipes a plumbist.

    Bill
    As a Yankee freshly immigrated to Georgia, I was still calling it "pop".
    Then a 5yo punk told me "It's called SODA YOU'RE STUPID!"
    Never again.

    Print or sample part is easily understood. Thanks MIbuck.
    I'm looking at a 3D printer to learn some skills close to cnc, some of them do run gcode.


    The last of my 7-11 parking lot street lights burned the driver yesterday.
    I was referred by LSI tech support to Lucas Ford ASC in Georgia, $92 EACH? WHAT?
    And the guy told me that these were the best driver they ever made, yet all mine burned in 8 years intermittent use.
    Guarantee I can build a 370v dc 500ma power supply for about $25, and it'll have a whole lot less magic to smoke out.
    Linear.
    I have 5 to resurect, 119 Nichia leds in series, had them on the shop ceiling and it's as good as daylight.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails normal_img_5401a.jpg  
    Last edited by gratewhitehuntr; 12-06-2017 at 06:57 PM. Reason: cool picture

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    Gunsmiths mostly specialize in a particular aspect of repairing or building firearms. If you are sensitive about admitting to being a gunsmith, maybe your friends would be more accepting if you called yourself an "artist". However, you might continue to admit being a gunsmith to your paying customers. Just saying. Regards, Clark

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    Tell them there is 2 things in this world,things God made and everything else a machinist made.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    +1 for D Nelson ha ha ha.

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    MACHINIST - Literally, a man or woman operating a machine. In common usage, a person who is capable of setting up a machine and doing accurate and intricate work on the average machine tool. This originally meant all machine tools, but the increase in kinds of machine tools and the special purposes for which some are made, makes it unlikely that many, even skilled men, can be familiar with them all. The term is used to distinguish a man trained on the many machines from one who is simply skilled on a certain machine tool, like and "operator".

    From "Machinist Dictionary" by Fred H. Colvin Editor of "American Machinist" magazine.


    I personally like this from the Craftsmanship Museum.
    https://www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com/Shoptools.htm

    What does a Machinist Do?

    A machinist trained to use powerful yet precise metal cutting tools to produce accurate metal parts exactly to specifications provided to him in mechanical drawings. He must have knowledge of the properties of the material he will be cutting and the capabilities of the tool he will be using. This means he must know how much metal can be removed from a particular part using a particular tool in a given amount of time. He must also decide how the piece of material will be held on the machine while it is cut and in what order the cuts will be made. If special fixtures must be made to hold the part, he must make them as well. He must also be able to accurately measure the part while it is being made and when it is done to assure it is made to the specified limits of size tolerance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    Machinist IMHO is one who can run most basic machines (cutting tool machines and grinders)and can make parts from a print or a sample part...A plus is one who can figure out what is needed and make that part..much the same as a Tool Maker...

    limited guys by choice or talents is the hand..lathe hand, grinder hand, Bullard hand, Blanchard hand...Grinder hand is often surface grinder and OD grinder. cutter grinding is often a special and so many grinder hands don't want to do that or have not the experience..

    Most machine tool guys can figure something out but the hand, machinist, tool maker or the like can figure it out PDQ..

    Yes now most have CNC skills...
    Problem is most "Toolmakers" of us are hitting on seventy. ;^)

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