I'm probably on the flip side of this, at 29 y/o and running my own shop... However- I say damn the experiance. We've gone up and down the spectrum, hiring guys with not much experience, up to guys who were machining before I was born... To me, it seems to be more the individual's willingness to learn and work hard, then how long they've been doing it.
Right now we have a guy we hired at 20 years old... He knew how to measure basic stuff, use calipers and a mic- but that's about it. He's been a really eager learner though... He started off deburring and loading, then we taught him how to touch off tools on the lathe, then the milll. Now he dl'd a copy of gibbs at his house and he pretty much taught himself how to program.... At this point he can pretty much program and setup whatever I kick him on either our lathe or our mills... He can handle the basics of OSP, Fanuc or haas controls... Now he's organizing jobs for us and making sure we have the tooling and materials, etc.... All of that in 6 months... He's already had a raise, and will get another probably in a few months- not bad within a year...
The flip side is that I hired a guy with 30 years of experience to help my young guy in those tricky spots- give us that experience, etc... Damn guy is slow as hell... He doesn't listen, won't change, and gets flustered and makes mistakes frequently... For example, recently we made a family of parts and he drilled the same bolt pattern into two of the parts- scrapped $4k worth- because he can't figure out how to use windows very well... He just doesn't have any energy and most of the time I walk in back he's just leaning on the lathe staring into the coolant spray while my other guy is running around like a mad man. He was supposed to help organize the operation and eventually become a part time manager- he's not too excited about seeing all those tasks fall to the young, new guy- but he won't get off his ass to do anything about it, so oh well.
Our parts aren't terribly complex and most of them are somewhat the same- so maybe training is a little easier for us then a job shop... In any case, we're now looking to hire another new guy to replace our old timer- and the criteria are simply: Smart and hard working... I could care less at this point if they don't even know what a mic is... You can teach that in minutes, but you can't fix stupid or lazy.
The worst is that the guys who have been doing it forever expect to make a relative pile, even when they don't deliver productivity. So, in the end, I could care less about how long they've been doing it, only what they deliver...
"there is no such thing as a stupid question."
There IS, and it it probably the one you don't know the answer to.
The rest of you, if you are looking for a manual machinist, you can take a 17 YO and teach HIM. If you want a CNC Op, hire a 17YO who games all day. That is all that "button pushers" do, play Computer Games, with a half mill machine.
Them who do not think a dummie can run a Manual have not been here long enough to have known some of the Factories that had many THOUSANDS of "Machinists", who spent 40 or more years on one type of machine.
50 years ago, we must have been a different kind of people. We could do the same thing, day after day, YEARS! Some would bid on BIGGER machines, but still the same type. 12" lathe to a 60" lathe. Same thing. Bigger tooling, but the basics are the same.
You can teach almost anyone anything you want them to learn, if you are willing, and, to whoever said they would make me deburr stuff for the first couple weeks, I would tell you to pound salt, and MY toolbox would be on the way out the gate.
I am supposed to be PROVING something to YOU, and you have hired me to run a MACHINE, and you want me to use a deburring tool, and MY fucking machining ops ALWAYS involve breaking corners, TO 3 decimals, no less!!!
Stick YOUR job in your ass, I keep culling them here who I would never work for if I needed a job. Guru's alignments I could do, but not 3,000 M away, and I don't want to move there. Only interesting job posted, and I don't even know if HIS is all that challenging. Then, too, some of his stuff is coupling to coupling, no challenge. 9 or more pieces to get aligned, OK, that CAN be a challenge.
I once was sent to an alignment class for a week, one other from my steel mill. LASER. BIG fucking deal. I'd been there, done that before I hired, there, 6" Starrett scale, did all I needed. Lined their piddly pieces up WAY before using the Laser stuff could.
'Nother guy from my Mill asked me "How'd you do that?", and he was a Journeyman FROM that Mill. That was his JOB, build up the stuff I needed to do MY job.
JOURNEYMAN MILLWRIGHT, and he had NO IDEA how to align couplings. I felt like I was leading the blind while I worked there.
I really am glad that I am not looking for work. There ain't none out there that is worth doing, moneywise. I will do for neighbors and friends for nothing, not for any of you, at any price you are willing to offer. Owners are some of the cheapest people in the country.
Gmatov, could you share some of your hard earned knowledge and tell me how to avoid using a deburring tool when there are grease grooves cut into a bore?
Originally Posted by gmatov
I always have to break the edges when I finish the workpiece due to intersecting bores, keyways,oil ports,etc.
I think gmatov is that old grumpy guy that was referenced to about 10 times in this post that was too stubborn and stuck in his ways, and too good to pick up a tool when he drops it cause its not his job.
I agree with TomB, though my experiences are a little different coming from the maintenance side, I ran manual machines fabricating and repairing machinery. I then gradually migrated to repairing Machine tools-- I new what to do as I had the experience and knowledge learned through the years, but then came having a blend of CNC operators/machinists and Manual Operators/machinists. Let there be no doubt on both sides of the business you have Operators and you have capable Machinists who can whether it is CNC or manual look at print or part, set the machine up and fabricate with appropriate tolerances and on a rare occasion you have the guy's that can dissect prints and show Engineers the errors before they get started.
Walking by either at given times of the day, you might think 'that's the job for me' until you are familiar with the depth of their capabilities you may be mistaken. As we all know, even a 3D print does not mean it's right.
Take my experience in the last 6 years, after moving to NC and accepting a position in the High Tech Wafering manufacturing-- as per usual when I walked in the door-- I obviously didn't know anything as I came out of a different industry. Quite an adjustment but given the opportunity and a lot of patience I have put my past experience to work and was able to improve and change the methodologies used for their custom tools. It has been difficult, as my first impression was 'They don't know that they don't know' once accepting this I have been able to position myself to where I design machinery & operational changes to enhance quality and productivity.
There is hope for us OLD GUYS, but we have to be tolerant and understand the focus is on the youth and new technology, but in the same respect the knowledge you have gathered all those years are still in demand, maybe not as an operator but perhaps as coach and mentor showing patience and understanding the kids want the knowledge handed to them but that is not tangible without exposure-- just remember what you had to go through as a Kid starting out. Seems I remember being a know-it all smart ass, well maybe just a little bit.
"MY fucking machining ops ALWAYS involve breaking corners, TO 3 decimals, no less!!!"
Can you tell me how you did this George?
I really would like to know.
One should back up a little with statements like "no true skills anymore" and "good old machinist" etc etc etc.
Quality of parts = skills + tools + machines + material. If you have cnc, of course you dont need handwheel-wrestling skills. But you need different thinking and strategies (think of light radial cuts, HSM, which is pointless on manual machines). And if you have good indexable tools you dont have to pedestal-grind them 10 times a day. Again - a skill thats MOSTLY obsolete for new technologies.
There are many many "black magic" skills that "old-timers" use but sadly, many of these are based on long experience and could be easily explained by little theoretical thinking. An example - "did you know that by varying boring bar feed you can control actual diameter by micrometers" - magic ? Use CAD and the magic dissappears, purely geometric explanation for this.
Is there something wrong when our programmer who is also a self taught CNC master makes more precise and complex parts than a guy with 40 years of manual machining experience ? And makes them faster and uses less tools ?