Machinist V.S. Toolmaker - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Here in Alberta where I took my apprenticeship to be considered a journeyman Machinist you had to do four years work experience and you went to school for two months a year. At school we were taught to use all the basic machine tools as well as blueprint reading and some metallurgy. The program was mostly manual when I went through, now it's mostly cnc. If you passed your government exams you are given your ticket. Most shops I worked at would hire based on credentials but the real test was if you could do the job. As far as I am concerned there are so many specialties or niches in this trade that it is hard to compare one mans job to the next and say one is better than the other. It takes skills to be proficient in all areas. To be a good production machinist you need to be just as skilled as a repair machinist. The R and D machinist has to learn different skills. Tool and die makers and mold makers learn to be proficient in their specialty. If you were to take the best from each job and play musical chairs I would bet that they would all not measure up at each others job at first go. The only common denominator between all the specialties is the ability to use machine tools. When I worked production I worked with a guy who spent ten years making gauges for the manufacturing of bearings. He was super good at grinding to .00000...of an inch and was super smart, but put him on a lathe turning out basic parts and it took him four time as long as anyone else to build a part. Just food for thought

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  3. #62
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    Used to know a old guy who they said was Master Tool and Die maker. He was a genius and helped develop the leading edge on the wing on the Space Shuttle. I asked a co worker how he was as a machinist, and he replied, " with a heavy hammer".

  4. #63
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    The job of a tool-maker is to make the tools.
    The only pressure is that they do the job.
    Time, being more-or-less what it takes.
    The job of a Machinist is to get the damn parts out the door.

  5. #64
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    Can't believe nobody thought to mention that a toolmaker is just a slow machinist. Over 40 years I made every drill jig, fixture, pattern, core box and wax injection mold in the place, along with about half the punches and dies, but I never called myself a tool and die maker...probably because I was under more severe time constraints than they ever see.

    But who cares? Toolmakers don't build boring heads, production people build boring heads. Who machines prototypes anymore? Last one I made was onscreen. And then I clicked the mouse to postprocess it. Twelve years after the OP, this thread/argument is as obsolete as the crotchety old farts who sat in chairs to rub out molds.

  6. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldwrench View Post
    Can't believe nobody thought to mention that a toolmaker is just a slow machinist.
    I strongly disagree Oldwhrench,

    I have read many of your post and I think you are among the the top "real craftsmen" on this site.

    A toolmaker makes parts that are generally a collaboration of components that are part of an assembly. A machinist
    will make those details individually. It is a different process.

    The fastest machinist that I have ever seen was, a toolmaker.

  7. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by otrlt View Post
    I strongly disagree Oldwhrench,

    I have read many of your post and I think you are among the the top "real craftsmen" on this site.

    A toolmaker makes parts that are generally a collaboration of components that are part of an assembly. A machinist
    will make those details individually. It is a different process.

    The fastest machinist that I have ever seen was, a toolmaker.
    Well... I hired a pretty good tool-maker some many years ago...
    Swiss.
    Very sharp.
    But... for him to thread up a 1/2-13... don't hold your breath.
    Now, when he actually finished it... it would be so stinking perfect you could barf.
    But, he didn't realize... we were just charging $30.00 for the whole job.
    And I Paid him $90.00 to do it...

  8. #67
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    Well... I am thinking.. you take your best Machinist off of production... and put him into tool-making, actually...

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    Apples and oranges. Both are from a tree. Both are good at what they are good for. That's about it........Bob

  10. #69
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    From my euro - pov..
    where most machinists are industrial engineers.

    A toolmaker is mostly a title applied to people at the highest apex of the profession.
    They are extremely capable on anything and everything, and very good at making designs/stuff to desired cost/unit.

    They get paid multiples of normal, degreed, industrial engineers, or similar.

    A good typical EU toolmaker is the guy who will fix your pulp paper plant, sewage system, or highway asphalt delivery system.
    Litography system for processors, auto system for bottling plants, etc.

    For about 20.000€ per day.

  11. #70
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    There is a big difference between tool and die maker/mold maker and machinist. At one time there were 3 classifications of machinist. 1st, second and third. 1st knew more and was higher paid than 2nd and so on. The 1st class level was someone that could handle just about every job the came in. The tool and die /mold maker was the next level up. They knew as much as the 1st class machinist but their skill derived from the fact they did not have a print. The print they had was of the finished component. Tool and die is primarily involved with punch presses and of course mold maker with molds including injection molding. In both cases they had a print of the results and had to translate that into the "Tools and Dies" needed for punch presses or the mold required to cast the component. There is a big difference in making a part to a print,and making the tools required to produce the required part. I don't want to over simplify the process but machinist keeps trimming the material until the desired dimension is achieved.In tool and die or mold making all the machining is complete, then part made using the "Tooling" made, the finial part is checked to see if it is as per print. Judging from those I've seen they were able to do it in one try. Yes some problems might have come up but in most cases the "tooling" made the part as requested!

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    I’ve always been taught that a machinist can make a part, a toolmaker can make 2 parts fit together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Cee View Post
    A toolmaker is always a machinist. A machinist isn't always a toolmaker...
    Yeah, agree with you a toolmaker know the mechanism of tools. So, it's easier for them to be a machinist and tool maker. Machinists need proper training, tool, and equipment knowledge to adopt this profession.

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    This thread has quite a bit of bad information/opinions. From the Wisconsin DWD apprenticeship information page: "Tool Makers fabricate and repair gauges, jigs, fixtures, and machinist's hand tools."

    Another thing. There are no industry standard classifications of machinist. Either you have a Journeyman's card or you don't, that's it. Now you could be a Journeyman Machinist, Journeyman Toolmaker, or Journeyman Tool and Die Maker. Any classification given is something the employer puts out there to make people feel special and to define their pay structures.
    Last edited by AARONT; 04-24-2019 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Made it more PC so I didn't hurt people's feelings

  16. #74
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    The guy that expired while ice fishing claimed that a mold maker is far superior to a toolmaker or a machinist.

  17. #75
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    These discussions are always interesting to see how grey grey really is.

    IMO, how good you are or how tight a tolerance you can hold doesn't really differentiate what your title is. It would be like saying a General in the Army shoots better than a Private.

    Machinists make "parts", that are most often designed by others and the end product has to fit the time-frame, budget, and tolerances of the guy who ordered the part. Toolmakers or Tool-and-Die Makers, make tools and often have to figure it out how to do so, so how long it takes or how it works isn't as important as it doing the job. A Toolmaker can and does "Machine" parts, and a Machinist can and does "Make Tools".

    How good either of them are depends entirely on how well they hit the mark. Be it the tolerance on the print, the fit of the die, getting the part out on time, or making the tool no one else could.

    Then there's also Fabricators and Millwrights (who just happen to use mills and lathes).......

  18. #76
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    Well, Millwrights just don't really count as a skilled trade.....they are such hacks.

    PokinBob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Well, Millwrights just don't really count as a skilled trade.....they are such hacks.

    PokinBob
    I know (I think) what you said is in jest, but it reminds me of a funny story. Had some people on sight doing a repair or something. One of them came back to the toolroom (in a stamping house) and needed a part modified. I got his instructions, loaded a coated (TiCN I think) carbide end mill in the bridgeport, and just as I was starting to take a cut he yelled "Wait! That's not a carbide endmill, the piece is hard you need a carbide endmill". I told him it was indeed a carbide endmill and "I got this". He said, well I have never seen a carbide endmill that was that color as I proceeded to cut his part.

    edit: forgot to mention he informed me before all this he was a millwright as he was puffing out his chest LoL

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  22. #78
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    To me toolmaker and mold maker about same precision machinist
    that have tricks to hold accuracy, the ones i dealt in the past were
    all manual machine proficient, me machinist i was given no credit for the
    design and machining abilities,they were all like god, you had to handle with care other wise
    were offended, I know for sure most of them are very precise but lack other areas like design,when last big company that i was employed closed, the precision guys went wayside,even made fun of me of going to open a machine shop with "my skills" , 18 yrs later still open.
    sometimes being super precise in machining doesn't translate into how you going to survive
    outside the big company ,when you need to get the work, machine it, collect and pay bills.
    but in my opinion and work related tool makers were hard headed, they were prima-donnas

  23. #79
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    I served a toolmaker apprenticeship. One of my friends served a tool and diemaker apprenticship for stamping dies. He later worked as a toolmaker and now runs his own shop.

    One time years ago I asked him what he thought the main difference was between the two trades was. He told me that toolmaking was way tougher to master than tool and die. He said that with a die you could make a mistake and often just make up for it on the next station of the progressive die. With toolmaking you have to get it right the first time or start over.

    Some time later I stopped to visit another friend that was a tool and diemaker and was trying to start a shop in his garage. He told me that he had tried making a part like a dozen times and kept screwing up a on one dimension or another. I guess the first guy was right.


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