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Advice wanted for an apprentice beginning his tool collection

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
You might add your location because it is likely somebody will ask.
A push cart that holds your mini surface plate and the tools specific to your current job can be very handy. Making one out of wood is best.
An old fashion vernier height gauge can be very handy if you can find one at a garage sale for 25$ or so.
*Big shops only allow their own measuring tools.
 
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Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
Be careful of online bargins. Lots of Mitoyo fakes being sold from China as factory seconds. there are no Mitoyo factories in China. Many of these fakes are very well done and impossible to spot.
I am sure other makes as well. No idea if it applies to mechanical calipers etc or just electronic.
Bill D
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
In Georgia, ask around about the best way to store this stuff so it does not rust.
Harbor Fright digital calipers are really pretty accurate. I had to go through all they had on the shelf to find one with a smooth action. I was going to buy another for my nephew but no good. Probably 5-10 I rejected.
Machinists may look down on Hf tools but it is not a trade like auto mechanics that believes snap on is perfect and worth 5x the price. A real machinist knows if the tool does the job it is a good tool, regardless of who made it. Brand name may last longer and have nicer surface finish but shop made can. be jus as useful. A cheap harbor Fright screw driver is probbaly good enough to grind a special tip and bend it to fit for a one time use.
Bill D
 
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jj80909

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
The only thing I can offer is spend a little extra on the hand tools you use more frequently. You'll be glad you spent the extra $$ on that Snap-On wrench or Knipex pliers decades later.
 

Nmbmxer

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Location
VA
When I got my first job we were expected to own our own small measuring tools (6" calipers, 0-3" mics, combination square, 6" scale, .0005 DTI, 1" indicator and Noga bases), edge finders, and some standard hand tools such as brass hammer, dead blow, hex keys and some wrenches/tools to be able to setup the machines. Everything would fit in a basic Kennedy top box. Anything else you owned just to save yourself time; like the toolmaker having his own surface plates and gage blocks, millions of different setup blocks and angles, weird cutters etc. Anything else you needed was either ordered for that job or checked out of the toolroom.
 

jscpm

Titanium
Joined
May 4, 2010
Location
Cambridge, MA
I think it is funny he has all that crap listed out and there is no file.

Here's an idea: throw out all that junk and learn how to (1) make a serviceable file (as opposed to the worthless garbage that you can buy), and (2) use that set of actual working files.

If you can do that, you will be better than 99% of the machinists I come into contact with.
 

jaguar36

Cast Iron
Joined
May 13, 2015
Location
SE, PA
Keep in mind that some places not only won't require you to bring your own tools, but they won't even allow it. I wouldn't buy anything now until you need it. If your current job is supplying the tools now and presumably so is your school you'd just be wasting money. Wait until you have a need for a tool before you buy it and you can buy a few high quality tools rather than buying a bunch of cheap ones that will eventually get replaced anyway. Its not like it takes a long time to get stuff if you need it. If you get a job offer from a place that wants you to bring your own tools you'll have plenty of time to order it before you start.

The only exception I would say would be stuff that you'd want to own anyway to do stuff at home. Stuff like wrenches, calipers, tap and dies.
 

Nmbmxer

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Location
VA
I forgot to add, the company I started with recognized that on day 1 an apprentice had no tools and they let me order everything thing I needed using the company accounts at MSC/McMaster/Fastenal etc and deducted some from every paycheck. So buying it ahead of time would have just made me cash strapped. Find out what the company expects before you go spent a couple months of paychecks on tools you don't need immediately. Besides, for the first bit I didn't need anything but a simple green bottle, rags, and a broom...
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
Right now would be a very good time to seek the best shop job. If you had your location listed someone might give advice on where to find such a job.

Oh, Athens ga... where the tec school is..
Aircraft shops..and a decent choice.
 
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michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
I am having trouble with some small parts trying to thread 10-24 UNC 2A on my surface gauge spindle bolts that bend after 15 thou thread depth.

The process is king. Drill with a drill press, then with a tap wrench having a tail center tap perfectly straight... or drill and tap in a verticle mill spindle using the quill.
Scrapping a part by trying the hand tap is not so good.
*I hope you made your T-tap wrench with a center drill hole
* and hope you made a V-notch surface gauge.
 
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Matthew Dudley

Plastic
Joined
Sep 13, 2022
I realized that I need to say that I would not necessarily buy the consumables. I would most likely keep some in my box at my company's approval. I also thought this may be an efficient way to limit tools from disappearing or being out of convenient reach. If I do end up running my own shop, I have thought that I would have a standard set of tools for each machine and employees would be issued keys to the boxes which would be returned to the tool room daily. I find that I spend way too much time looking for tools in all three shops I use, even my own tools, so I thought this may be a good way to kill two birds with one stone. I also have experience in assembly lines while working for Sherwin Williams PSP at Caterpillar Athens, which turned me off to large shops that run mass production. The type of shops I would be interested in are short-run production/job shops such as the one I work for now. I do appreciate the responses and advice from yall.
 

Matthew Dudley

Plastic
Joined
Sep 13, 2022
Right now would be a very good time to seek the best shop job. If you had your location listed someone might give advice on where to find such a job.

Oh, Athens ga... where the tec school is..
Aircraft shops..and a decent choice.
I am very well connected to a major shop in Watkinsville, GA and have put in applications at a few others around Athens before finding Williams Industries. I do think Mr. Williams is the best employer in my situation for now, but would not be opposed to better opportunities as I gain experience. He has been teaching me things that I will not learn at Athens Tech simply because our shop structures are different. Athens Tech is more geared to producing CNC operators/programmers while Mr. Williams is a manual-only machinist but also has CNC machines that our shop foreman programs, teaching me the fundamentals of machining while backing up ATC. I know that I could reasonably expect a $15+ an hour job at the shop I have family connections to, but I would not learn nearly as much as with Mr. Williams.
 

tdmidget

Diamond
Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Location
Tucson AZ
I am very well connected to a major shop in Watkinsville, GA and have put in applications at a few others around Athens before finding Williams Industries. I do think Mr. Williams is the best employer in my situation for now, but would not be opposed to better opportunities as I gain experience. He has been teaching me things that I will not learn at Athens Tech simply because our shop structures are different. Athens Tech is more geared to producing CNC operators/programmers while Mr. Williams is a manual-only machinist but also has CNC machines that our shop foreman programs, teaching me the fundamentals of machining while backing up ATC. I know that I could reasonably expect a $15+ an hour job at the shop I have family connections to, but I would not learn nearly as much as with Mr. Williams.
Whoaaaa! You're not making 15 bucks an hour now?
 

tdmidget

Diamond
Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Location
Tucson AZ
No but I am perfectly fine with it for now. Not a big deal. I also oppose $15 minimum wage laws or minimum income laws in general.
You're not an apprentice. More like a journeyman sucker. I'm in Arizona, a lower wage state than Georgia. The Walmart distribution center in Buckeye has a big sign out front begging for people. If you can't do anything, 17.50. Forklift driver 20.35 to start. There's a yardstick to judge your skills and compensation by. Oh, if you have a CDL for tractor /trailer they guarantee $90,000.00/year. No tools required.
 

Matthew Dudley

Plastic
Joined
Sep 13, 2022
You're not an apprentice. More like a journeyman sucker. I'm in Arizona, a lower wage state than Georgia. The Walmart distribution center in Buckeye has a big sign out front begging for people. If you can't do anything, 17.50. Forklift driver 20.35 to start. There's a yardstick to judge your skills and compensation by. Oh, if you have a CDL for tractor /trailer they guarantee $90,000.00/year. No tools required.
Look, I am just fine with my pay. I have worked for more but at a job I did not care as much for, but I think I am being paid fairly for my work. That is all I need for now. I wouldn’t oppose a better paying job in the future but I am not in dire need. I am sure I could negotiate a raise when necessary or find an employer that pays a much better minimum, but I think the experience is worth much more than the pay at this point. I honestly don’t want to continue the discussion on my pay or the way industry wage markets operate.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
Manchester, England
Funnily enough in my career I never moved jobs for more money, it was always for more experience. I worked in a tool room making jigs and fixtures for a while then I moved to a company making large components with really big machine tools. Other moves were in between those two extremes. I never got rich financially but I could tackle most engineering jobs you put in front of me. Purely on the fitting and machine building side of course but I knew enough turning, milling, welding etc to get by.

Regards Tyrone.
 








 
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