Machinist V.S. Toolmaker - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    tfarnz, see what thy hath wrought!! This always happens with Machinist vs toolmaker. Ego's always enter the debate or explanation or description. Most machinists just shrug and say "whatever" after years of hearing just who is better. Most accomplished machinists ARE toolmakers AND machinists and it is hard to draw the line between the two jobs. Ego, ego, ego, hath thy no heart!!

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    There really is not a diffrence, except for being more knowledgeable in certain areas...

    I know stamping Die makers that could not build a mold to save their lives..and Moldmakers that would have a hard time making a die...I have done and can do both, because over 20 years I have worked in difrent shops doing diffrent work... Guys that stay put for 20 years are not exposed to diffent things and dont have the additional skill set.


    Things are just diffrent, and without experience and exposure to certain things, youll just be in the dark...but that dont mean you arent capable.

    Guys that run CNC machines with no real knowledge of anything arent machinist, just machine operators..they are excluded from this discussion,lol.

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  4. #23
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    In the past 16yrs in this business I have went through a T&D apprenticeship. The difference was and has been stated was that I did all my machining myself. It's just the way it was and is now for the most part nowdays. I was exposed to stamping dies, draw dies, plastic injection molds along with fixturing and the likes. I am pretty effiecient in all but by nomeans an expert. Everybody in my opinion can learn something every day. I have seen people who have claimed to be a machinist and or toolmaker who didn't know crap and proved it when I saw them work.

    From my experience, right now I am required to do T&D and machinists work. And no matter what type of work I am doing it is get it done as fast as can be with the nice catch phrase " WE HAVE TO COMPETE", blah,blah,blah. The days of the old toolmaker are gone where they supervised and handed out work to the machine boss or machinists. He is responsible for it as well as the tooling.

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  6. #24
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    I have seen people who have claimed to be a machinist and or toolmaker who didn't know crap and proved it when I saw them work.
    We all meet them sooner or later.

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  8. #25
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    I just let the people signing my paycheck decide what I will be any particular day. I've been called a machinist, CNC operator, programmer, diemaker, moldmaker, and sometimes much worse!

    Seems to me, sticking your nose in where it don't belong sometimes is a good thing to do. It won't get you a lot of credit some days; but the more things you can learn a little about, the better. Let someone else worry about putting a tag on you. No matter what they call someone, they always seem to know where to get the job done.

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  10. #26
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    In the automotive manufacturing plant where I work the Toolmaker classification is officially listed as "Tool, Jig & Fixture" (I do not know the history) although they also do work that I'd probably classify as close to "Machine Repair" too.

    I think the lines will continue to blur...the latest auto plants have 2 trades, Electrician and Machine Repair, some smaller plants simply have "Multiskilled".

  11. #27
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    I would say a toolmaker makes tooling for a machinist to use and a machinist does production work using the tools a toolmaker makes.

  12. #28
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    OK, heard the phrase " close tolerances " several times here, so what are your ideas of close tolerances, I personally am held to .0001's about every day but I presently work on EDM's and consider myself a machinist. P.S. I can run mills, lathes,grinders, and even an arbor press on a good day [img]smile.gif[/img]

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    Machinists work to thousandths. Toolmakers work to tenths

    Toolmakers generally work in more specialized areas, like die, mold, fixture, cutting or form tools, model and pattern shops, etc. Often they are partly or wholey responsable for the design of their tools. For example, a diemaker may only get a print of the finished part, and the interm steps in which the part is formed may be up to the toolmaker to design. With parts being more complicated today than ever, it's more common to see a designer do the entire tool, however the toolmaker still typicly has much input on the final design.

    A machinist typicly works on general parts, pretty much anything that is not part of a high precision tool. This isn't to say machinists do not sometimes work to very high tolerances, but typicly it is not part of their routine unless they are running a super precision machine, like an EDM for example. They also typicly work to a set print, and are not allowed to deviate from those parameters under any circumstances. There are also maintenance machinists, who generally do not have prints but will reverse engineer a broken part from a machine and make a new one, or repair the existing part back to a useable, although not always original, specification.

    Cliffnotes: Toolmakers make tools, machinists make parts. 'nuff said!

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    I got castigated for this same debate when I suggested that the guys who buy an offshored machine , or are hired as Operator for a Surface Grinder, a vertical or horizontal mill, or feed a CNC machining center are not really machinists, as far as the true definition goes.

    Machine Operators, at best. There is nothing wrong with this. Industry has not, for a long time, been operatting with actual Machinists, ie, papered Machinists. Machine Operators was the norm.

    My own Westinghouse had Boring Mill Operators, Drill Press Operators, Milling Machine Operators, Blanchard Grinder Operators, any number of Operators who could hold their own against ANY Machinist 285 to 365 days a year. They ran ONE machine, and most ran them well, produced excellent work.

    And, too, the Apprentices who got their papers wound up running one type of machine till a management job opened up to allow them to move up.

    By this time, most of them forgot how to run the other machines, for the most part, that they went through the apprenticeship program to learn.

    Granted, they may have had an easier time graduating to another class of machine than an off the street hire who ran a Boring Mill.

    A VBM is nothing more than a lathe stood on end, BUT, VBMs dont have to counter droop, as a lathe does, everything sits on the table, the "chuck".

    I was a pretty damned good VBM operator, I am a mediocre lathe operator, and them I have, don't have a VBM.I am also piss poor on the multifunction machine I bought, as to milling.

    I AM NOT a Machinist, though I put out at least 99 % good product as a VBM operator, from 36 inch Bullard to 16 foot Sellers.

    If this causes even more dispute, here, so be it.

    Cheers,

    George

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  16. #31
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    A machinist is a vocation, a toolmaker is a job title.

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    Whow!! Sorry I did not know that this was such a touchy subject. If there is one thing I've learned over the the years is there are guys that get the job done no matter what they have to do, what the tolerance is or the prodject. Then there's the one's that don't. If asked I call myself a toolmaker but I still have a heft load of repairing castings, worn shafts and anything else that walks in the door right down to tohe neiborhood kids bike

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    Toolmakers wear white aprons and stay clean......Machinists wear blue aprons and try to stay clean.

  19. #34
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    BrianH "A machinist is a vocation, a toolmaker is a job title". Well said Brian.

  20. #35
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    heck we used to rip on the guys we worked with in a job shop "if you can't chase a thread you arent even a machinest yet"......chasing threads was not something they ever did.

    I consider myself a toolmaker because I can design and make a fixture to make a part, I'm not a tool and diemaker because I have rarely worked on any kind of dies....I'm not a moldmaker for the same reason.I am proficient with lathes, mills, ID/OD grinders, centerless grinders, surfafe and tool and cutter grinders, have run gear cutting equip....can design the process as well as make the parts and the cnc program.

    These days machining the parts CAN at times be closer tolerance work than making the fixtures to machine the parts , BUT one big differance is typically the MACHINEST has most of his thinking done for him, all he does is make the parts with the process and tools and fixtures somebody else planned out and often setup(in production type jobs).

    Bill

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  22. #36
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    I would like to see any machinist disassemble, sharpen and reassemble a complicated progressive die-set. Or perhaps grind a set of rolls for a roll-forming line. There is a BIG difference between a tool-maker and a machinist. In our shop, machinists push buttons, machine parts to drawing specs and inspect them.........nothing more. We have a tool-room that has tool-makers and they do not run any type of production parts. They are busy sharpening / repairing dies, building new holding fixtures / tooling blocks for chuckers and screw-machines, building complex welding fixtures, building new CNC machining fixtures, e.t.c. Yes, a machinist needs to know his way around a shop so that he can run different equipment to support the different part processing throughout the plant.......no doubts there. Put your average machinist on a tool & cutter grinder and have him sharpen some 6-flute endmills and let me know what you get at the end of the day!! They are both very necessary to a successful shop, but have different functions / skill-levels. Yes, some machinist have tool-maker skills and they will fall into the gray area. However, I would not hire any machinist to fill a tool-makers shoes in our shop.

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  24. #37
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    I prefer to call myself a production machinist that has done a little toolmakers work. I know many of you dislike the CNC guys. But I setup a job to run as fast and as productive as it can. Thats trying to make things go faster, the finish better, tolerances tighter, and minimize second op work. I can make anything on a manual I put in a CNC. I don't know why a lot guys look down on CNC I have never looked down on manual machinists. I love doing manual work because I work with CNC so much. And I have done plenty of manual machine production, 10K piece job 3 1/2 months straight on a HVL-H.

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    When I was at Texas Instruments, we had machinists and we had Master Machinists.
    By the descriptions given above, my understanding of the Master Machinist would be both machinist and Toolmaker.

  26. #39
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    I prefer to call myself a production machinist that has done a little toolmakers work. I know many of you dislike the CNC guys. But I setup a job to run as fast and as productive as it can. Thats trying to make things go faster, the finish better, tolerances tighter, and minimize second op work. I can make anything on a manual I put in a CNC. I don't know why a lot guys look down on CNC I have never looked down on manual machinists.
    Its for a very simple reason.
    The same reason during 're-grading' exercise at a previous employer, the CNC guys all got downgraded to semi-skilled, why? because the managers/HR people saw us as nothing more than button pushers, load the part; hit the button.
    They never saw us re-editing or writing a complete new programs to do a job, or building the fixtures, or taking a customers aborted attempts to 'program' a 10 foot mould dish and actually getting it to work, or to generate a tool profile from a mathematical function ( its a bitch having only 3 digit precision for sin and cos functions when you need at least 7... bloody Fanucs [img]tongue.gif[/img] )

    All you see with CNC is the button pushers..load the part; press the button... no skill involved there... except the skill has changed ... the programmer/setter guy does all the skilled stuff, and believe me, sometimes its a heck more complex than grinding and fitting a press/mould tool

    I love doing manual work because I work with CNC so much.
    I hated turning those handles all day, and since moving over to CNC....... I still do

    Boris

    A Machinist no thats not right

    A Manual Miller
    A Manual Lathe handle turner
    A Surface/Cylindrincal/Centreless grinder
    A Precision fitter (Only on bike engines now )
    A Fanuc OM programmer
    A Heidenhain TNC programmer
    A Fanuc OT /21T Programmer
    A Java applications programmer....no hold on.... whats that doing there???? A weblink

  27. #40
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    I haven't seen many toolmakers, tool & die or mold makers that didn't have an attitude or ego about what they are and considered themselves better than everyone else.

    A toolgrinder is a different job title requiring different skills. I would bet there are very few machinists, toolmakers, die makers, mold makers, etc. that grind their own tools or can do it. Most of the tool grinders that I have talked to act like average Joe's doing a job and don't have an attitude. Why is it when you add Tool to a job title the person gets a big head?

    You have to be a machinist to be a toolmaker, die maker, mold maker, tool grinder, etc. You do not have to be a machinist to be a machine operator in a production shop, or a CNC operator. However, many of them are.

    No matter what job title you have you are doing machining. The ONLY difference between all of the above job titles is the knowledge to do the work. No matter what you think, no job title is better than another. I am a job shop machinist and I know for a fact that when a person experienced in another job title comes to work as a job shop machinist he/she is lost untill they have learned the job requirements. It goes with any switch of job titles. It does not matter what our job title is, if we change then we have to learn new skills. It does not make us any more important or better than anyone else. It just means we have different skills.


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