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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    qt: [Started out at around $13/hour wages doing production work,}

    What are you making now at almost two years down the road?
    How sable is the job?
    What benefits?
    Have you made any effort to improve your self other that what the job taught you?
    Do you have a good or best attendance record?
    Have you made the better or worse reputation?
    Does the boss or owner know/think you are really trying to do your best?
    Are we helping the deserving guy to get the better job?

    QT: *[You have a point. However you must understand we are more of a "custom" machine shop who primarily produces one-off work. The G-code programming here is quite minimal and only for the senior guys. For that reason I do know zippo about G-code.] *Is that the opinion of a less than two year experience guy? ..

    If ManCave was the shop owner or a senior guy what would he think about that answer?
    At almost two years down the road building assemblies of custom model steam engines.

    Job is very stable, will always have work.

    As stated before, don't get much more in the benefits than paid holidays and vacation, most likely will never get more than that, same with the other employees.

    As far as improving myself, always clock in early and clock out late. Voluntarily work after hours to get better at cad, cnc, and other stuff. So bottom line is reputation between me and the whole team is much better and getting better than day 1.

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  3. #22
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    ^ This is the problem with this trade, way too many people get talked into staying in dead ends on low money, any other profession on the planet does not work that way anything else you move up the ranks and your money increases, this whole trade is full of dead end promises that rely on the fact that most machinists have little social skills and can be kept working cheap.

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    QT:[ At almost two years down the road building assemblies of custom model steam engines.]
    Sounds like an interesting place to work and likely has every kind of work.
    When the owner retires perhaps the end of the shop. I know of a niche shop that almost went belly up when the owner gave it to the kids. They had learned how to run a business in school, needless to say the owner had it right and teachers never had a clue. first thing the kids did was to cut overtime..and so competitors came into the field and took half the work..now never to come back.
    You did not say current wage or shop top potential..
    Spend work over free time learning new talents. threading Id and OD, boring to .001, turning between centers to make a perfect shaft with a key,//surface grinding: Make a single point diamond box slide wheel dresser for the surface grinder-> 3/4 x 1 x 5..it is 3 parts the outer shell box bottom,the box top and the diamond holding slide..you figure it out and draw it..when done clamp it to an angle plat and dress a perfect 45* to the surface grinder wheel..then with that make a perfect long V block (3/4 x 1. x 5) that might be used for holding parts or sharpening drills..Buy an old Brown & Sharpe V block then grind and hone it to .00005 perfect for center and square(yes grind it to .0002). learn how to use a lathe steady and a mill dividing head. Have an angle plate with an angle bar (likely buy it for $50 or so and buy a bargain set of 123S )
    Don't waste time making things you can buy for low prices but make things that teach a new skill. guess you might manual machine a good steam engine..and boiler.
    *You should have the G code book by next Friday if you order it Monday..Make a list of your short comings and check them off. Ask some old timers for what to put on your list..Study how to write the best resume.
    Target perhaps $30 to $45 an hour job with a retirement package, perhaps your own machining business making something, Enough skill and stature that you can walk into any shop and know you will have a job..even when the "no help needed" sign is out. Stature can be every bit as important as skill.

    MotionGuru's offer.. It is hard to tell you that as only you know what ties you have where you live...It is very common one may have to pack bags to have the best job.

    *know perhaps only 10% of jobs pay this much.. I know of a top shop that pays only (about) $20 per
    Last edited by michiganbuck; 02-11-2018 at 10:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    ^ This is the problem with this trade, way too many people get talked into staying in dead ends on low money, any other profession on the planet does not work that way anything else you move up the ranks and your money increases, this whole trade is full of dead end promises that rely on the fact that most machinists have little social skills and can be kept working cheap.

    Exactly!

    Guys I served my apprenticeship with who stayed there are making like 10 maybe 20% (high 20's/hour) meanwhile I moved on, and had a string of places I worked making a hell of alot more than that.

    What a joke

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    Some top shops don't want you to have a tool box but if that you can have a hobby shop at home and use tools there. Perhaps making Steam Engine stuff.
    Just thinking about you I thought of a few steam engine things that would sell on Ebay...

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    In case no one has mentioned....you use conversational programming. Chances are that lathe may also use gcode. Get the lathe's programming manual and learn in after hours. Gcode is actually dirt simple to learn, kind of surprising you haven't already picked it up after a couple years.

    Yeah, you could move to SW Washington/Portland area as Motion Guru suggested. Or even north to the Seattle area. You may get severe sticker shock on the cost of living though. But lots of jobs in machining, at least in the Seattle area, paying well (btw: my wife pays our cleaning lady $30/hr).

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    Me? If you like the shop then have a sit down with the owner and ask him what your future could be there in regards to responsibilities and compensation as well as opportunities to learn more.

    Bottom line: You sound like a pretty smart young man so you would be an asset to any shop. Don't sell yourself short and carry yourself confidently like the smart guy you are. Good Luck! I would love to take you under my wing.

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    QT OP: The 2 machine shops I've went to looking for work said they need someone who can program g-code so right there my manual/conversational experience makes me just as dumb as a highschool dropout.
    Likely some high school dropouts know G code..so they may not be so dumb...Go figure who might get the job..

    That should have been the heads up that G code is about minimum theses days..
    *Yes I think you can place an Amazon order on Sunday.

    How good are your interview skills? does you life style add to your chances..
    Today in the bigger shops the interviewer is a trained person who looks for more than just skill and talent..I know that is a rip but that is life..My niece Sandy is that person at one of the very top shops of the US and the world...and she knows squat about the machine trade but hires the trades people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Br0WN&$h4RP3 View Post
    Hello,


    WEAKNESESS:
    G-code, nothing, no experience. The only thing I can do on our G-code mills/lathes is
    confidently change tool offsets, hit go button, stop machine if tool breaks, reset fixtures, manually jog axis.
    It is not unusual for programmers now not to be too involved with G codes as they are generated by the post processors of the programming system and can be quite complex depending on what is being programmed. The skill is knowing how to approach a part when sitting down in front of a computer. The G codes are not important to you as long as the part graphically simulates correctly on the screen. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't hurt to know G codes but not essential. Back in the day when I started programming there were no PC's or programming systems except for the large aerospace companies so I had to write every program long hand on a telex machine onto paper punch tape. Knowing G codes was not optional, you could not do it any other way.

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    Based on responses your first option is to talk to Mr.Motion Guru.
    If you are tied to your area(my mom had a stroke when I was 19 and that changed a whole lot of my plans) I understand.
    I would check out the local colleges. Find a certificate or diploma or AA course. If you get some kind of tax-relief/credit or government help on fees that's the type to go for. You do not need a 'continuing ed ' class. Get a list of the classes and the exact costs. Show your boss what you intend doing. If he reacts positively, see if he will help with fees(you pay up front - he reimburses you if you pass). You may be surprised. If he is not interested start taking a class per semester anyway. Once you get a couple of credits start looking around. The other employers will see you are serious.

    Take heart. What you are doing beats unloading trailers or cleaning floors. The fact that your boss gives you free rein after hours is a plus. Find a book or look on line for plans to make tools etc. that force you to develop new skills - sine bar, etc. The senior blokes you work with maybe able to help or ask here. I still have a tap wrench I made as an appie(cut a left hand thread), toolmakers clamp - knurling, hand-cut thread - we all learned about 'drunken threads.' A bench vice - cut a square thread and serrated the jaws with a knurling tool in a shaper.

    All the best with whatever you do.

    Perhaps the forum needs an "Apprentice" section?
    Last edited by gwelo62; 02-15-2018 at 06:22 AM.

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    The hidden threat in all of this not mentioned or not mentioned enough for me to find it is the lack of health insurance benefits.

    I can sign on with a small enough organization that doesn't offer benefits for obvious reasons for the right compensation, but keep in mind that while no one can refuse you medical treatment, health cost debt can burden you for a life time.

    Weigh the pros and cons - Go up the street and make a dollar more $14/hr and have benefits ($9/hr), making $21/hr total benefits compared to $13/hr? No brainer to me.

    FWIW - 20 months in? Be sure to stay humble and don't get classified as the typical gen Y stereotype expecting max pay without putting in the work. No one should be blamed for making sure their basic human needs (Health Insurance etc) are covered.

    Also make sure you are paid an honest wage for what you produce not by what people think you should make for your age as this is a major issue in this industry. Having this viewpoint will also motivate you to improve.

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    How hard was it to learn the alphabet? How does anyone learn the alphabet? If you haven't picked it up, then you haven't tried hard enough. There is very little logic involved as would be the case in 'real programming languages' used in software.

    So just sit back, download the Haas programming workbooks and start reading. Develop a logic base understanding how machines MUST be instructed to move from point to point in either straight lines, or arcs. Learn how to turn on/off the machine's switches with M codes (duplicating what you do manually on manual machine switchgear). Learn about the actual G codes which are general code instructions that set modes of operation in the machine controller.

    Make sure you're not the type of guy who asks a question in order to just get an answer for the moment. Instead, you want to ask general questions and sweat the answers yourself as much as possible, to build a well rounded understanding of what is happening around you.

    NCPlot software has some freebie try it out versions that let you write some sample programs and then 'execute' the code to see the path created.

    Edit: A bit of background education in trigonometry will help you make sense of the most daunting gcodes G02 and G03 (arc movements) which would look like total gibberish to a newbie. So you might look elsewhere FIRST, to study up on basic trig functions called sine, cosine and tangent. When you learn how to define locations on a circle with little triangles based off the center of the circle, then things will begin to make sense. Even take a class on such stuff, if you are really serious. I literally never calculate any of that stuff, I use cadcam for it, but I thoroughly understand what I am looking at, when I look at a program.

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  20. #33
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    My advice: you only have two choices right now, STAY put, and learn! (re-read jashley's first response)
    Seriously consider motion's opportunity if leaving PA is an option.
    I am from PA, the smartest thing I EVER did was leave! I miss it dearly.
    But, life in AZ has provided me with endless opportunity that I never would have had in PA.

    My take on G-code. In this day, don't worry about it. Learn CAM. Let the CAM write the code.
    All you need to know are the basics of reading it, so you have a clue what is going on in the machine.
    I own 5 CNC machines, and can not write G-code. I can read basic code. But, I let the software write it.
    I would make too many mistakes!

    If you want to move to AZ, I need help! There is another offer! (motion's is better)
    But, I can tell from your OP you are somebody I would like to have in my shop.
    You will be very valuable someday. Just stay humble, don't get cocky, and be patient. It takes a lot longer than 2-years.
    And, anything you think you need to know, or WANT to know, that you are not learning at work? Teach yourself!
    Nobody has an excuse these days for not being able to learn. Everything is on the internet. EVERYTHING!
    You may have to refine your google-fu to find exactly what you are looking for. But, its out there to find.

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  22. #34
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    You ever think maybe the guys don't want to teach you G-Code as you pretty much already know it...just you do not know that yet and your thinking its this high almighty, genius, above your head out of your humble reach, Master Code that needs to be cracked by the elite.

    Nah...G-Code is so dam simple they don't want you to see just how easy it really is.
    Examples

    Want to rapid from X0 to X1.

    G0 X1. gee, real tough huh?


    Wanna make a liner move from X0 to X1. at a feedrate of 5" a minute.

    G1 X1. F5. Wow... now that's real tough, a complete mind bender.



    Need to drill a hole? Sit back and put your thinking cap on...

    hole needs to be at location X1. Y1. - You want drill to start .05 above Z0 surface, and drill at a feedrate of 5" per minute to a depth of 1/2"

    G81 X1. Y1. R.05 Z0.4 F5.

    (Need a 2nd hole at X2. Y2. then add the next line)

    X2. Y2.

    Walla its done. FYI- Items in ( ) will be notes on the monitor as you run, no affect on program.

    Oh...here is a tough one....at the end of a drill cylce "G81" you can cancel by entering A "G80" or program Rapid "G0"



    That is really it...not so tough.
    Yes, you do have to add more info...such as tell machine to use work offset G54 and to work in absolute G90.
    You need to tell machine turn spindle at 1000rpm "S1000" in the forward direction "M3". Coolant is nice to "M8"...or want to shut Coolant "M9".

    G90 G54
    S1000 M3
    M8

    Call the drill? Use a tool call "M6"...and you want to use Tool 8 "T8" and use Tool Height Offset "G43" height number 8 "H8"

    M6 T8
    G43 H8


    G-code is nothing more then a language the machine speaks. You need to tell these dumb arse machine everything and how you tell them what to do in through G-code. The list of codes is not that long...you'll learn the most common quick and for the rest...a cheat sheet at the machine is just fine.

    Take some time and learn it...Haas website has lots of tips and programs you can learn from.

    Your smart...ask management IF after hours, when machine is not setup..IF you remove tooling and vises...so machine absolutely cannot crash...if you can take some time to learn on it. Hands on things really click...expect some dumb mistakes that will give you errors as you miss a line or numbers don't match. If possible let someone walk you through a basic program. Hands on...its not too hard...
    BUT- first read, become familiar then hands on it will click. At the end...put vise and toolin gback in place...or give machine a nice cleaning to thank for the time.

    Aside from that...$13/hr...your past that. management likes you, money is the way it needs to be shown. Learn and earn. Or learn and leave...

    Don't leave for a buck or 2 more an hour t be an operator or get stuck in a dead end job...learn and earn...sometimes that means leaving. Don't burn bridges as after you learn...if you like that old place go back...but this time you go back as a machinist and get paid such.

    Small shop, big shop and everything in between you can learn to earn...
    Also try not to be the Jack of all trades and master of non...find a field/area and push to master that...then go back and work on the others.

    Sounds like you have getty up and go...I'd hire you.

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    SIM has it pretty much correct about G-code.
    The only real issue is: you have to know how to stack it. And, in what order.
    Many years ago I crashed the hell out of a Mori-Seiki SL-15 because I forgot to cancel a tapping cycle.
    I still don't understand to this day exactly what happened. But, you can bet I never forgot that G command again when writing code.
    And, that event is the main reason I like CAM.

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    CAM is a matchless timesaver but if you can't read its output you can waste time or cause damage. There are so many places the cutting parameters of a given tool can be entered that it is easy to accidentally alter one or more of them if you're in a hurry to spit the post out. It helps to be able to proofread the post, so if it has somehow defaulted to F5. when it should be F120. you'll catch it before it cuts air for 10 minutes at a time. That's just one example, some of the others make noise...

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    Sounds to me like its time for you to shit or get off the pot.
    A couple of thoughts.....
    #1.....stop with the "brainless operator" comments....I know what you mean...but there are MANY operators out there who are pretty good and quite frankly....know more than you do about machining. My point is....they have knowledge that you need and you arent going to get it from them that way.
    #2.....If you want to do more than operating and make decent money doing it, then you will need to go to Tech school. There are other ways to get the knowledge ....and many do....but it will be the quickest way to get you up to speed and at least let a future employer know that you stuck through the program, have decided this is your career and HOPEFULLY you have a base of machining knowledge (not all do).
    #3.....I would talk with your current employer. Can / will they pay for some or all of your school? If not.....I would try to find a shop that will. There are many out there.
    #4....as to your current employer not patting you on the head for doing a good job...........this is the modern dillema........an aging generation that was never told "good job" trying to manage a generation that needs a gold star on a chart every time they get to work on time. It would serve you well to try to need that pat on the head less often....but remember that desire for it if you ever find yourself in a position of authority. Because many millenials will go a long way for that little pat on the head.

    This advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.
    Good luck

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    Many others had it ..
    Motions offer is excellent.
    You would probably make 80-100k / yr there in a few years imho.

    Motion is not the only one.
    I myself changed countries languages and cultures multiple times.
    There is endless demand for young guys like You .. smart, motivated, interested, willing to put in hours, grow.
    But motion comes across as one of the nicest guys ever.

    Often such young guys make really big bucks fairly soon .. a few years ..
    and in setups like motions posts indicate this is what they/he wants/needs.

    Young guys can fairly soon be setting up Big Stuff for Big Money to the client- such guys get paid accordingly.

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    Young man,
    From your post I can see exactly the kind of attitude that at least I appreciate and it would definitely draw me to help and share in working with you. We all have been around long enough to find ourselves working with persons who are very arrogant,condescending, and just plain off a little. We do not prefer to open up with such a person and you are not that kind of person you do have your head on straight with a good humble outlook. Having this outlook you transmit you are ready able and willing to use the direction of good employers and helpful collegues.


    Truth is Mr. Motion Guru has been imho genuinely impressed by your post and having such extensive working experience with people he has always to me came across to me as very down to earth decent people . You will find here the owners and bosses on this site , the ones like these men are basically in the trade the cream of the crop. That is why they take the time to help others on this site and even people which you just have to work with yet you may want to take a pass. Life dictates this is part of our imperfect world and we all take positive steps to make things better.

    If you can take him up on it. It is the intent of this site to help improve our trade and our collective lives.

    Spinit

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    Was in the same boat a few years back, At one point I was programmer, set-up, operator, deburr, and delivery driver for $13 an hour. I accepted what I didn't get in pay I got in experience and it was the best thought process to have. The owner noticed the effort and interest and overtime I've been able to meet and exceed my "wage" goals.

    Working in a small shop is tough, ALOT of pressure to perform all around while maybe not receiving enough time/training to do so properly. I had some guys that would help me out after hours, don't be scared to ask some fellow employees for help. I used to buy my supervisor a bucket of range balls just so we could spend a bit more time going over things I struggled with throughout the day. The owner also encouraged use of machines for personal projects as well which was probably the best possible thing to do as a beginner.

    BEWARE OF A-HOLES WHO SCARE YOU AWAY FROM ADVANCING YOUR SKILLS!!! I've encountered a few people who hate to see a young kid shake and move his way up in the trade. Started at 18 cleaning bathrooms, I'm 29 now and I'm currently the Operations Manager in the same shop. I still do everything I did before just quote, purchase, and deal with customers and the shop floor as well.

    You definitely need to invest your own time in learning G-code, I'd read anything I could while I began programming including the help menu's of our programming software, Machine Manuals, Forums , and even just watching some decent youtube videos. For the most part if you can make a part on a manual mill you can program, like everyone keeps saying it isn't as hard as it's initially explained to people it's just learning to talk to the machine.

    Now if you don't feel your boss is someone who recognizes good work then you need to take your skills elsewhere. I knew my boss was slow on handing out pay bumps but when he did it was worth the wait and was well recognized. Getting a thank you from him every now and then was nicely added touch.

    Hope it all works out, keep a good attitude/open mind and you'll do fine just about anywhere. Seems to be some extremely nice people here on these forums as well so I'm sure if asked a few could help out where they can.


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