Toolmaking VS Fitting/Machining
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  1. #1
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    Default Toolmaking VS Fitting/Machining

    I started fitting/machining this year at college in February, but I'm being offered a job as a Toolmaker which means I'll have to drop (mech engineering lvl 3) F&M to Toolmaking.

    Does anyone know what the difference between these two jobs/studies are?
    Will I still be able to make parts by reading technical drawings?
    Do toolmakers make more complex/smaller parts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by theskylinegtr View Post
    Hi,
    I started fitting/machining this year at college in February, but I'm being offered a job as a Toolmaker which means I'll have to drop (mech engineering lvl 3) F&M to Toolmaking.

    Does anyone know what the difference between these two jobs/studies are?
    Will I still be able to make parts by reading technical drawings?
    Do toolmakers make more complex/smaller parts?
    i would ask your college. the course and job titles may means different things depending on which country you are in.
    .
    a Field Machinist / Millwright in the USA is someone who fabricates, installs, aligns, checks operation and can provide maintenance to machines. almost all jobs require reading technical drawings. but in the last 10 years the ability to open 3D CAD models and measure and if necessary disassemble assemblies on a computer before shutting down production machines has become more important.
    ........i routinely design machine improvements by CAD and machine my parts by CAM using CNC machines as well as install, align and maintain. i cannot say all Field Machinist / Millwright do this. Different companies have different job requirements.
    .......Some companies want low paid people who do not do much technical stuff but are just running a machine all day producing parts. Or someone to take dirty machines apart to clean and reassemble. It can take many years to prove to an employer the value of higher paid employees who can do more technical work that is often thought better done by many others with different job titles.
    .......Many a boss thinks the only experts are only outside the company, often because many engineers and bosses often have little experience actually designing and fabricating parts. I often wonder how they got their jobs ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    .......Many a boss thinks the only experts are only outside the company, often because many engineers and bosses often have little experience actually designing and fabricating parts. I often wonder how they got their jobs ??
    Thanks for the reply Tom!

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    Default Machinist Vs Toolmaker - UK

    Here in the UK, a machinist/fitter will probably be production-oriented, making batches of parts and assembling them, whereas a toolmaker will be working to tighter tolerances on one-or-two-offs, for instance tooling, gauges etc. - my grandpa was a toolmaker and loved it because every day turned out different More opportunity to Use His Brain, too.

    Often you'll see a machine described as "Toolroom" grade - e.g. toolroom lathes like Hardinge HLV, Monarch 10EE, Rivetts, Hendey Tool & Gauge in the USA, Holbrook, CVA, Smart+Brown in the UK, Schaublin in Europe - they're designed and constructed to tighter tolerances with the emphasis on accuracy, finish quality and versatility rather than speed of production, so tend to be a little lower-powered and three times the weight...

    As an example, my Holbrook (1950's vintage 13x28, just over 2 tons) has feeds down to below a thou" per rev, and feed trips so I can set it going on a (near mirror-smooth) finish cut and walk off to get a coffee, knowing it'll disengage at the end of the cut, even if it takes 10 minutes It *doesn't* like hogging off 1/4" of steel in a hurry, however...

    Just my ha'pennorth,
    Dave H.

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    As a Fitter - Turner which differs from Fitter machinist in percentage time on machining and scope of machining during your apprenticship I would say a lot depends on what you want after you come out of your time. Australia is not a big manufacturing nation and with China getting better at it all the time manufacturing in Australia is not going to improve.
    However the mining in WA and Queensland is going to get bigger and one of the things holding it up is lack of tradesmen. Mining and it's support industry pays wages you just cannot get anywhere else.
    In the crew I was in working for BHP in Port Hedland there were 2 guys who had started out as toolmakers but changed over to fitting when they came to Australia and saw where the money was. As a TAFE lecturer in Port Hedland after I quit mining I had apprentices routinely making $2500 a week and I know it has gone up considerably. Having said that they earn their money, temperature over 38oC for up to 8 months a year and 12 hour days but if you are prepared to stick it for a few years you can set yourself up for life. You don't have to live in the Pilbara or Queensland you can fly in fly out, which has it plus and minus points, thousands do it.
    A lot to consider, feel free to pm me if you need any more information.
    Clive

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clive Hugh View Post
    However the mining in WA and Queensland is going to get bigger and one of the things holding it up is lack of tradesmen.
    Most of that mining stuff comes in from overseas.. Is it made up in modules in <insert third world country here> and it just gets bolted together... There are not of a lot of engineering shops in those mining areas... Not what you would expect anyway...

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    I realise that most is made overseas, which is a rort as far as I'm concerned, but it all has to be maintained, I can't speak for Queensland but in Port Hedland there are quite a few engineering shops, Goodline employed around 240 in Hedland last year when I retired, they have the most employees but there are quite a few other ones who do very nicely.
    There are camps out by the airport that house thousands, literally, one alone accommodates 2000 and they are building more.
    We just built a rental in South Hedland and the electrician was telling me if he puts his men in the camp it costs him $300 a day. Most of his workers are fly in fly out so he finds it cheaper to rent a house for an exorbitant rent and put 4 in a house. But with the bigger companies who obviously pay a lower daily fee it is all passed on to BHP in the charge out rate.
    Like the old saying in the USA in the 1800's "go west young man".
    Clive

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    Thanks for the info guys

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    i am so impressed by the fact that this forum randomly popped up a discussion about job titles in oz.
    and it was answered by several members

    truly global D.

    you are a bloomin' success

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    Default Toolmaker vs Fitter and turner

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive Hugh View Post
    As a Fitter - Turner which differs from Fitter machinist in percentage time on machining and scope of machining during your apprenticship I would say a lot depends on what you want after you come out of your time. Australia is not a big manufacturing nation and with China getting better at it all the time manufacturing in Australia is not going to improve.
    However the mining in WA and Queensland is going to get bigger and one of the things holding it up is lack of tradesmen. Mining and it's support industry pays wages you just cannot get anywhere else.
    In the crew I was in working for BHP in Port Hedland there were 2 guys who had started out as toolmakers but changed over to fitting when they came to Australia and saw where the money was. As a TAFE lecturer in Port Hedland after I quit mining I had apprentices routinely making $2500 a week and I know it has gone up considerably. Having said that they earn their money, temperature over 38oC for up to 8 months a year and 12 hour days but if you are prepared to stick it for a few years you can set yourself up for life. You don't have to live in the Pilbara or Queensland you can fly in fly out, which has it plus and minus points, thousands do it.
    A lot to consider, feel free to pm me if you need any more information.
    Clive
    I realise this post is 10 years old but I am now facing the same decision. Funny enough I plan to move to Australia soon so this is quite relevant for me. I am currently doing the first part of practical training for Fitting and Turning but am unsure on if I should change to toolmaker. Would you say that your "predictions" or thoughts remain true today? I suppose that toolmakers basically have almost nothing to do with mines.


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