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How to Become a Machinist at K&T in 1941

Richard King

Diamond
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Location
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
While doing some research for a K&T Mill on Vintage Machinery I came across this paper. Really interesting as to what the old timers had to do to become a Machinist. http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/2098/22063.pdf

My Dad went through a similar program in Minnesota at a Naval Defense plant up here called Northern Ordinance. He became a Machine Rebuilder / Maintenance. I have his graduation certificate. I'll see if I can find it and post it.

Also found this newsletter from K&T in December 1942 http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/2098/19783.pdf
 

Cyclotronguy

Stainless
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Location
Northern California
Yup, Dad came out of the Army Air Corps at that end off WWII and went to school at Mare Island Navel Yard, He was in their first post war apprenticeship program and became real enamored of screw machines. Later a memboer of the the Apprenticeship Standards Committee and one of the first members of the local SME chapter (Society of Mfg Engineers chapter 28, Oakland CA)

Was it rigerous.... you bet!
 

Mike1974

Diamond
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Location
Tampa area
Is a formal apprenticeship a thing of the past now? I have my cert from the USDL when I graduated in '99(?)....

That said, I don't think I have ever been asked to provide a copy of it. :confused:
 

RCPDesigns

Hot Rolled
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Location
Atlanta GA.
I've always known I was blessed to be a computer programmer starting out in the 80s but reading something like that apprenticeship at K&T really drives it home. When I started I knew more than about programming than the people asking me to do it.
 

Robert Lang

Stainless
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Location
Minneapolis, MN
My Dad went through a similar program in Minnesota at a Naval Defense plant up here called Northern Ordinance. He became a Machine Rebuilder / Maintenance. I have his graduation certificate. I'll see if I can find it and post it.

Northern Pump,
Northern Ordinance,
FMC Corporation,
United Defense,
BAE Systems.

I retired from there when they closed the manufacturing operations.
I was the last machinist in the Machine Repair Department.

Rob
 

DeSelle

Cast Iron
Joined
Oct 23, 2006
Location
Midlothian, TX
I wish we still had programs like this. It would fill a massive gap in skilled trades and offer an honorable alternative to a 4 year degree. Where will the next round of manual machinists come from?
 

John Garner

Titanium
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Location
south SF Bay area, California
I am in awe of K&T management's wisdom shown in offering how-it's-done training for college graduates, described on page 10 of the K&T document {page 13 of the PDF file).

My employer of nearly 38 years would have benefited greatly from putting new design engineers into hands-on assembly jobs for three months, but management's position was always "We can't afford to pay engineers to do assembly." I'm convinced that hands-on experience in the company's real world would have saved far more money than three months of pay differential, in fastener installations alone.
 

sfriedberg

Diamond
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Location
Oregon, USA
As just one teeny tiny example, I have long felt that the engineers and industrial designers (two rather different categories) who design the thumbscrews that secure cable plugs to receptacles (e.g., DB-9, DB-25, DVI) should be required to spend at least 10 hours actually using the damned things, especially in a variety of cramped spaces, before any design is approved.

But, heck yeah! Design for manufacturing and design for assembly requires having some idea about the contraints on manufacturing and assembly!
 

Dtapster

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Thanks for this article! My dad was a machinist and went through a similar program at Brookley Air Force Base in Mobile, Alabama right after his service in WWII. Became a journeyman and eventually worked for NASA in Huntsville, AL; machined parts for the Saturn V vehicle that took the astronauts to the moon.

Very different world back then.

Doug
 

duckfarmer27

Stainless
Joined
Nov 4, 2005
Location
Upstate NY
As just one teeny tiny example, I have long felt that the engineers and industrial designers (two rather different categories) who design the thumbscrews that secure cable plugs to receptacles (e.g., DB-9, DB-25, DVI) should be required to spend at least 10 hours actually using the damned things, especially in a variety of cramped spaces, before any design is approved.

But, heck yeah! Design for manufacturing and design for assembly requires having some idea about the contraints on manufacturing and assembly!

Amen to that. I'm a retired mechanical engineer who spent most of my career in a manufacturing engineering management role of some type. Some of us who ended up as engineers had a wayward youth turning wrenches, bashing wood and metal, welding, etc. You quickly learned who among the design engineers had ever done any hands on work as it showed in their designs.

One program we had was a military system. That added in the fact that the only people with military experience were those of us who had to build it. Tried to explain to the designers that real world requirements were correct. Finally managed to get a 'field trip' to an actual unit in the field using similar equipment. Was interesting how the 'light bulbs' turned on once they actually saw the real world. Ended the 'nobody would ever have to do that' comments.

Yep, every designer/design engineer should be able to build and maintain the product they are responsible for. Makes a huge difference.

Like another development program I worked on - aircraft. When the military senior pilot not only was an aeronautical engineer as well as military test pilot school graduate - also put himself through college working as an A&P line mechanic for an airline. Total perspective of what was going on.

Dale
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
When I was an apprentice some of the apprentice pieces from the more prestigious trades were marvels.....cabinetmaker apprentices used to make miniature Louis XIV inlaid furniture,builders would make scale model Frank Lloyd Wright houses,stonemasons would make city halls,watchmakers would make luxury timepieces, etc....my highest achievement was greasy fingerprints in my logbook.
 








 
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