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  1. #41
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    I think it comes down to arrogance, what someone doesn't understand they look down upon. A crash on a manual is no big deal. A crash at 800IPM rapid with a cutter a 5000RPM into a hardened vise is a big deal. It takes a lot of skill to know what button to push, when to push it, and know what it will do.

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    I've been a toolmaker and a machinist for 22 yrs and the toolmaking is boring in my opinion ( too much time spent in front of a grinder) I need to make big happy blue chips that everyone has to dodge when they walk by my machine!

  3. #43
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    well gee ive learned a lot by reading this thread.
    i didnt know i was supposed to tell the machinist' where i work to make my parts.
    i thought every body ground their drills,lathe tools,endmills,die parts,ETC. the only thing i havent sharpened in my career were diamond turning tools, however i have dressed diamond milling tools does that count?
    now i know what you guys are saying because i have encountered all types of skill levels in my journey thru life, lots of machinist' and toolmakers who couldnt sharpen a drill or end mill.
    the same concerning chasing threads, but lots of times a craftsman just has to drill and tap a hole and assemble with screws, thats no indication of a lesser skilled person the just never had the chance to learn.
    heck there things that i would like to improve on, my optical tooling dock work could really use improving. i can level a transit and shoot in fixtures but im not fast like some guys i know.
    but i have to agree with some of the statements made here. some people call themselves toolmakers when they are barely adequate machinist' but tommorow is a new day and the challenge for every one is to learn something new or improve on an existing skill, be ye machinist', toolmakers, or even,God forbid, engineers...jim

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  5. #44
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    but lots of times a craftsman just has to drill and tap a hole and assemble with screws, thats no indication of a lesser skilled person the just never had the chance to learn.
    Poor logic here...If a person does not possess the mentioned "skills," whether they were denied the opportunity to learn them or not, then yes, they ARE less skilled. However, this does not make them less intelligent or able to learn, if given the chance. Other than that, you have made valid points.

    Other than that I think I will stay out of this debate except for snakebit's comment. If you qualify a real machinist in the way you describe, I fear you have never seen a skilled machinist, and instead fill your "machinist" slots with machine operators. I , and most every other apprentice machinist who graduated with me at my shop, would consider "setting up and grinding a 6 flute endmill in a tool and cutter grinder" quite the bit of child's play. I've even done tapered and reverse-tapered endmills. This is plain-jane vanilla stuff. Our apprentices, along with any certified by D.O.T., were expected to have the following (minimum) hours of training:

    Assembly/millwright work: 500 hours
    Layout/inspection: 500 hours
    Tool room (grinding, etc.): 320 hours
    Drill press (radial arm): 500 hours
    Shaper/Planer: 500 hours
    Lathes: 1,000 hours
    Milling Machines (Vertical): 1,000 hours
    Vertical Boring Mill: 1,000 hours
    Medium (Table type) HBM: 1,000 hours
    Large (Floor-travelling) HBM: 1,000 hours
    Assembly Floor (Burn, Weld, Air-Arc): 1,000 hours

    And we got it. We also did many other types of work to include OD/ID grinding and etc. which were not officially on the list. If someone says they are a Journeyman machinist and didn't get these hours (or at least close) of training, they're not REAL journeyman machinists, and may safely (in most, certainly not all cases) be considered operators. Mind you, the better machinists have easily tripled or quadrupled (even more in some cases) their hours of experience in many of these areas.

  6. #45
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    I interviewed a tool & die guy yesterday. He had over 20 years experience doing this that and the other. Large machines were not a problem. He like the website, thought it would be interesting, everything looked good to go. Told him about our test, it's 6" long, 2" diamter, has a #5 morse taper, a hex, internal and external threads. You make it on manual equipment, we supply tools, print and a time card. He wanted to know if we supplied the dies for the threads. I said we supply the tap for the internal but you were supposed to single point the external. Silence on the phone. Does that make him ignorant? No!

    The point is I went from a production shop to a tool shop. Made form blocks, mill fixtures, ground parts, poured plastics, used optics then went to a job shop. I hold both machinists and T&D makers in high esteem. Most of my family were T&D makers. I'm the rat bastard I guess. For me though both are craftsman. I've known T&D makers (at Gulfstream) that could make any type of form block but had no clue how to run a lathe. I've known machinists that had no clue how to sharpen and endmill or what a tooling ball was. Heck, I've never sharpened an endmill, but I can sharpen a mean 4" diameter drill on a 6" bench grinder at 3:00 am. Does ANYONE know it all? IMHO I don't think so. Some are really really good and experience but anyone that has worked 40 years in the same shop can't possibly have seen it ALL. Who is the better soldier? The guy who can operate a tank or the guy that can pick you off at a 1000 yards and you never see him coming?

  7. #46
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    wyzkdd;
    my point was that tool & die makers rarely need to make any threads except for mounting die blocks. who in the world would require some one in that discipline to chase threads when its not nessacary?
    i certainly wouldnt waste my money requiring a man to learn something he would rarely use if at all. maybe your defination of cost effective training is different than mine. but i have to admit ive never seen a Department of Transportation (DOT?) machinist or toolmaker...jim

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    Dagblasted acronyms! I meant to type D.O.L. My mistake! And I see what you mean...when I initially read your post it didn't come across in that context.

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    I'm new to this here thread - but isn't the "Assistant VP of Sales" and "The FNG Manning the Phones" the same thing?

    President? Owner? Big Cheese? Sump Cleaner on Sundays?

    What's the diff? I hate titles!

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Please pardon my ignorance, I'm just a facinated outside observer but I was under the impression that in many modern machine shop settings, the tool room maintaines the majority of the "sharp tools" and that in many others, inserts rule.

    In either setting, how does a talented and competant machinist ever develope the finely tuned sharpening skills, offered above as a critical attribute, in the quest for (insert preferred accolade here), super machinist-in-cape status?

    Oops, demand a lengthy stint in the tool room, with frequent short term reassignment to maintain compentency?

    Other "critcal" attributes noted above, seem to me to fall in that done-by-few-anymore category as well.

    If the sticking point is vintage assessment vs modern reality, a bunch of you better acquire bearing scrapers, candles for smoking, treadles for your machine tools, (lot's of hard-won coordination challenge there), and get to work accumulating all those hours. It wouldn't surprise me to find that Forrest Addy started in an animal skin, hunkered over a bow drill. No chance of catch-up.

    I know that many of you are hard on the trail of the holy grail as witnessed by the flock of you who followed Mr. Addy to Georgia to begin the quest to acquire the ancient skill of making iron flatish, revealing the low point by laboriously turning all the high points into little piles of iron granules and then abandoning the newly discovered low point by scratching a myriad of lower points in which to store way oil. Wish I could have attended.

    Does mastering all the diciplines up to scraping, qualify you for that cape? If so, what would you prefer as your title?

    I remain confused outsider Bob, past cave man client of bow driller and fawning admirer of the ill-compensated and disappearing MASTER MACHINIST.

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    demand a lengthy stint in the tool room, with frequent short term reassignment to maintain compentency?
    Yes, exactly. You learned in your training phase, then when you needed a tool sharpened, if the official Tool Maker, Tool Room Attendant or etc. was not around, you could do it yourself.

    Today it is a changing world however, and there is far more value placed on individuals being highly specialized in their skills and abilities, so that those with far-reaching general knowledge are beginning to become few and far between. What this creates is all sorts of fellows who know how to do only one or a few thing(s), but very well. (Though not necessarily better than any of the good old "master machinists" as you call them Robert). Better for businesses I suppose, but worse for individuals, many of whom now have fewer "marketable" skills.

    You almost have to re-name this thread Master Machinist vs. Toolmaker I guess. I'm just used to machinists being up to the tasks of the "master machinist." I suppose anyone who is paid to operate a machine tool is qualified to be called a machinist.

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    This has always been a thing. If you say you are a Tool and Diemaker then you should be. Mold makers are a very interesting bunch. Job shops which restore things to working order are somewhere in between and on the high side of the middle closer to a Tool and Die person than to the novice by a good margin.

    I have worked with fellows who told me they had worked tool and die before back in the 80’s when manufacturing was gaining speed in decline here in the US.

    Here where I hang my hat I know of one shop which does Tool and Die work having established a reputation for it. A friend worked there and from what he described to me was sometimes to build something right also took more time to do than what Machinists do every day.

    Many things already posted are some of the best descriptions. I do not think there is some card that goes into a person’s wallet which validates one or the other. Perhaps there is I have not seen that.

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    world is changing. for example end mill sharpening done on cnc grinders you input data about tool and it does most of the programming for you. same as manual machining being replaced with cnc lathes and mills
    .
    cutting threads on a manual lathe sure i have done before but its 10x faster on even a simple cnc like a prototrak lathe. suggest hand sharpen a drill bit ? i would get laughed at in a modern shop. world is changing
    .
    i would ask what do you make per year ? who cares who is the most valuable if you are making less pay ??
    .
    a CNC operator can make $80,000 to over $100,000 per year. and some programmers only making $40,000 or $50,000 a year. whats a tool maker make ?
    .
    talk is cheap its pay i would be more interested in. you got cnc operators laughing all the way to the bank at the machinist and tool makers arguing who is more valuable ?

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    I am not sure what I qualify as on this post, but I got my trade in Tool and Die at the end of the automotive industry in North America. Our shop had the biggest and latest tech milling machines in the continent. We spent years trying to design an aluminium vehicle for Honda, failed ultimately, but cool project.

    Our machinists were only there to run the machines and make sure the followed the program of the engineers. The tool and die experts, on contract from Japan, always said that a good toolmaker can make anything those machines could make with hand tools.

    So I took that to heart, and learned as much as I could from those old guys, and 10 years later I find myself in a remote area of the world, getting paid good bucks to repair ancient machinery, and design machinery as I see fit. And every apprentice I have is required to learn to make it with a die grinder before they can use the mills or lathes.

    To me, a toolmaker is somebody that can create a tool to accomplish a specific job. A machinist is somebody who can run a machine to its best capacity, and product that is within tolerance. To be a toolmaker, you must at least understand the abilities of the machines required to create the tool, not to mention the understanding of the final product the tool is required for.

    My latest product is one of the largest agricultural implements in history, and I know many people would argue that this not the job of a toolmaker, but in reality, this is actually the definition of a toolmaker. Somebody needed a special tool, not available anywhere in the world, and I created it for him. Required the services of Boilermakers, Machinists, Fitters, Electricians, hyrdaulics, pnuematics ect. I was the toolmaker that envisioned the tool, and decided how to create it, and its only through experience, and a simple understanding in many of these different trades that I was able to design and build a tool, specific to a task, from the thoughts of customer.

    Somebody, somewhere, at some point in history, realized that they needed a hammer, and somebody figured out how to make it for him.

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    My experience.
    As an employee toolmakers were smug and aloof where I worked in the nineties and it showed in the pay check.
    Machine tool fitters such as myself were on £7ph toolmakers £10ph


    Now as a employer my findings are tool makers are excellent on a surface grinder, ok on a mill and lost without a wire eroder.

    The big problem slow on a lathe ,really slow at screwcutting and terrified of a big job needing a steady.

    Generally cant weld but excellent at heat treatment.

    Dont bump into many toolmakers these days

  17. #55
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    In the big aerospace tool shops I grew up in:

    Tool designers working with manufacturing engineers designed the tooling necessary to make aircraft parts. Usually in my case nc holding fixtures and assembly jigs.

    Tooling machinists would get the blueprints and machine the tooling plates and details and assembly jig parts under the direction of the toolmakers. This is back when jig borers were common in tool rooms.

    Toolmakers would then assemble the plates and details and assembly jigs and check for final fit.

    Tooling machinists and toolmakers made the same hourly rate. Tool designers were on salary.

  18. #56
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    A toolmaker is far superior to a machinist. The guy who said this died of a heart attack while out ice fishing. That's all I care to say on the subject.

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    You are all wrong. Machinist ,toolmakers blah blah. You all need to TRY and become a plastic injection mold maker. Whole new class of machining welding,sealoff,hot runner manifolds. List goes on. A mold maker can do all of your jobs with ease. And tolerance. But you can't do his. Food for thought

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    Moldmaster1,
    Somehow I don't think that saying you are more skilled than everyone else is a good start for a first post here.
    Bob

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  22. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Nelson View Post
    A toolmaker is far superior to a machinist. The guy who said this died of a heart attack while out ice fishing. That's all I care to say on the subject.
    Moldmaster1- You sound exactly like the above mentioned guy who died of a heart attack while out ice fishing. NOW that's all that I will say on the subject!

  23. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Nelson View Post
    Moldmaster1- You sound exactly like the above mentioned guy who died of a heart attack while out ice fishing. NOW that's all that I will say on the subject!
    Good heavens - are you saying he's back from the dead? Is that still a thing? And will he go ice fishing again? (you'd think he'd learn from the first time)

    Mr. Mold, welcome to the forum. We have cookies (but you can block them), as well as crusty old bastards who like to hammer down proud nails.


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