What is the worst machine shop you ever worked at?
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 11 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 209
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    49
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default What is the worst machine shop you ever worked at?

    For me it is the one I just got fired from.
    They couldn't even afford tap oil so we were using used motor oil out of someones car to tap with. Most of the employees couldn't speak english. My boss (he was from poland) had a roughly 900 word english vocabulary and he likes to drink at work. Because all of the collets were trashed I had to put the Bridgeport in low gear every time I changed the endmill or else I couldn't tighten it up enough and the endmill would slide up into the collet. So one of the retarded people that I was working with doesn't have enough common sense to put the machine back in low gear to change tools. He can't speak english so he whines to my boss about it. So then my boss that I just told you about yells at me for overtightening the draw bar and tells me that I am not a machinist at this company, now I am a welder here.
    They weren't willing to spend any money on rags or drill bits either, almost every time I made a tapped hole I ended up using an undersized drill after wasting thirty or forty minutes searching for the correct size drill.

    I am not making this up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Centerville, TN USA
    Posts
    338
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Default

    My own, I can't afford the proper phase converter so I have to be reeally easy on the lathe clutch or the VFD trips. The 3 jaw chuck does not have the proper back so we chuck it into the 4-jaw. The the boss won't get anything better than the f-in chinese dividing head that is so hard to turn and yet has 5 degrees slop, and he wants me to turn out good work on it. I have to get the work, bid on it, order materials, get started, do it right, keep going, check my work, pick up my own swarf, clean the machine when I'm done, bill the customer, put the tools away, make him pay, keep my head on streight, pay the bills, keep all the supplies on hand, and keep on going..... Oh yeah, he won't let me quit until I put a 16 hour day in, 6 days a week... Such an awfull boss...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    7,857
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    5773
    Likes (Received)
    10158

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DieselPower View Post
    My own, I can't afford the proper phase converter so I have to be reeally easy on the lathe clutch or the VFD trips. The 3 jaw chuck does not have the proper back so we chuck it into the 4-jaw. The the boss won't get anything better than the f-in chinese dividing head that is so hard to turn and yet has 5 degrees slop, and he wants me to turn out good work on it. I have to get the work, bid on it, order materials, get started, do it right, keep going, check my work, pick up my own swarf, clean the machine when I'm done, bill the customer, put the tools away, make him pay, keep my head on streight, pay the bills, keep all the supplies on hand, and keep on going..... Oh yeah, he won't let me quit until I put a 16 hour day in, 6 days a week... Such an awfull boss...
    Jesus dude, is there anywhere else you could work? That is ridiculous. Almost seems like you're making it up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    1,813
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    97

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DieselPower View Post
    My own,...... Such an awfull boss...
    I had a boss like that for about ten years, but then he turned into a real nice guy and let me work regular hours. Now he has hired people to do all those things and lets me goof off playing golf and taking cruises, and he pays for it all.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    marysville ohio
    Posts
    9,415
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2701
    Likes (Received)
    6253

    Default

    [QUOTE=DieselPower;1178902]My own, I have to get the work, bid on it, order materials, get started, do it right, keep going, check my work, pick up my own swarf, clean the machine when I'm done, bill the customer, put the tools away, make him pay, keep my head on streight, pay the bills, keep all the supplies on hand, and keep on going..... Oh yeah, he won't let me quit until I put a 16 hour day in, 6 days a week... Such an awfull boss...

    Sounds a lot like my shop, being out on your own is a real bitch sometimes. I worry a lot about making enough to pay all the bills but it is nice not to have to put up with some a hole boss every day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Beaverdam, Virginia
    Posts
    7,430
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    698
    Likes (Received)
    3508

    Default

    The current one. The building I work in is metal with no air conditioning. I think it is cool if it doesn't get over 110 in there in the summer time. Have to open the cabinets on the CNCs and train fans on them to keep from getting alarms. The coolant in the CNC Lathe makes it smell like a cat box even after dumping deodorizer in it. Boss is so cheap I have to sharpen $6.00 drills on a belt sander and only throw them away when they are too short to regrind with out sanding my knuckles. I have to use deburring and buffing wheels till they are as small as slot car tires. I have to use old motor oil as coolant for hand work. Oops, I guess I should stop complaining, the boss is me, and I am the only one left.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,177
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    69
    Likes (Received)
    1241

    Default

    I worked in at least 5 different mold shops from 1981-1998 where the bosses were tight with the buck, and demanded that the work get done with them spending the minimum of time, money, and effort on their part. We had no fancy machinery, and a constant lack of tooling. Looking back, I had the perfect background to become self employed! I feel that since I have done so much for so long with so little, that now I'm capable of doing pretty much anything with nothing. Wouldn't trade the experience in those shops for anything!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Watertown, SD
    Posts
    246
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    The first shop I worked in was my worst, and best. We didn't spend money on tooling, if you needed a drill you would have to dig through the junk drawer, find what you needed and then sharpen by hand. We ran holes +/- .001 by the way. I think we had 3 inserts in the shop for turning. If it got dull, we would grind the top off and shim back to center and run again. No kidding. If you needed a boring bar you had to grab a piece of round stock, mill it down and solder a piece of carbide onto it and grind it to center, and put clearances in it. We didn't have any way of saving our programs, so when the machine got full, you just dumped one to start a new one. They were older fanuc controls, so 1 code at a time, and lots of these were repeat parts we had to program over and over. Just stupid!

    The boss was an alcoholic, and hot-headed. He was arrogant beyond belief and liked to mess with the guy's heads. Total jerk and he held a grudge for years. No radios allowed either! Or chairs. Couldn't sit down between loads. I told him one day I had to leave early for a dentist appointment when we were busy. (We always worked 50 hrs. MINIMUM)
    He got mad and took away my overtime for a whole year!

    As I said at the beginning, worst and best....I learned a lot at this shop and was required to run every machine in the shop. It taught me much more diversity than other shops I worked in where you were assigned to an area. I also learned (the hard way) how tooling works and that has proven invaluable many times over. I know if I am in a pinch I can make a tool for the job, not just buy something I have to wait for. I feel that without that s**t hole I wouldn't have become the machinist I am today, but I sure don't miss it either.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Far Northern California, USA
    Posts
    1,290
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    264
    Likes (Received)
    139

    Default

    I think some guys go a little too far with the pinching pennies bit. I understand not having the latest and greatest gold-plated tooling but not springing for cutting oil and some of the other things I've seen baffles me. A gallon of cutting oil is only $20 for pete's sake. That's enough to last me for a year. Tooling is dirt cheap on ebay. You can get carbides for 50 cents an edge. It costs more than that to pay someone to hand sharpen HSS.

    I don't mind sharpening my own drills. Someone has to do it, and an old surface grinder to sharpen endmills is only a couple of hundred dollars in this market, so I'm not suggesting buying everything new, but employees should at least have the minimum tools to do the job. I once walked into a buddy's shop to see his punch-press operator sharpening dies with an angle grinder. Meanwhile my buddy had just bought a new house and drove a 'vette! I gave him some grief for that.

    I went to use my buddy's shear and the fuses were gone from the box. It seems they just moved the fuses to whatever machine was being used at the time! I went out and bought fuses out of my own pocket. Guess that was rent for the machine. Doing any work there was always like that: hoses split, frayed electrical cords, machines needing fluids, torch tanks empty, worklights missing bulbs. Then these guys gripe about not finding good employees!

    I can put up with bad equipment, if I'm getting paid by the hour, especially if I'm getting paid by the hour, but management attitude I can't stand. The worst shop I ever worked at had some real a'holes at the top. At least twice a week the owner would go off and scream at the manager, who would come out and yell at the forman, who would pick a guy at random ( me, since I was the new guy ) to blame for whatever was holding up the line at the time The engineer was some old German b'tard who thought us technicians were beneath being allowed to see the actual prints for what we were working on. Oh, and if the print said to connect the white wire to the red wire then, by god, that must be right 'cause that's the way he had drawn it and who was I to question him? When, after one month, they gave me my walking papers, I left so fast that my shadow got left behind along with my lunch bag.

    Another rant of mine is fixtures thrown willy-nilly on shelves without any markings as to what job they are for. So you've got to wait two hours for the owner to show up just so you catch grief and then finally get started on a job that could have been done an hour ago.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Klamath Falls, Oregon
    Posts
    3,639
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    418
    Likes (Received)
    1008

    Default

    I'd be embarassed to admit to any of these cheapisms you guys are throwing out there. I don't got a penny to spend because I've plowed it all into my shop equipment and tooling.

    I learned long ago that wasting time because you just broke the last drill of X size is stupid. I always try to have extra endmills, inserts, drills, and other tooling for the just in cases. I buy quite a bit of stuff from the machinery dealer 2 doors up the street; if it was made 30-50 years ago and still works, who am I to turn my nose up at it?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    3,042
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    24
    Likes (Received)
    693

    Default

    Guess its my turn to confess (and maybe this shop goes part way to explaining why I'm such a cranky b*****d at times)

    I had a decent job supervising a CNC job shop, only drawback was it was night shift 4pm to 1am Mon-fri .. not good for someone in his late 20's and wanting to party.
    So I listened to the snake oil salesman(manger for a rival company and got promised the same money for dayshift with a supervisors job in their new CNC shop when it was finished in a couple of months)
    So off I went.

    Then began to learn things..... that no one who had joined in the past 6 months got the top rate promised at the interview, and that the supervisor's job had long been given to someone else, now the alarm bells are starting to ring.
    Then the stupid parts start turning up like a welded 316 stainless assembly that I'm expected to drill and tap M3 through the welded area,(and no they did'nt heat treat it after welding) oh and the max depth of pilot hole was 7mm and min depth of thread was 6 mm
    Then I get a loverly 20 off plastic part thats been made before........only no one knows where the program has been stored and the fixture is in the fixture cage....unlabeled and piled with 600 other fixtures.
    So I set to work at 1pm and by 4 pm I've made a new fixture, written and proved the program, got a 1st off, so I feel pretty proud of myself and then leave it for the night shift guys to bash out the other 19.
    Manager comes up to me the next day and starts chewing me out in front of the whole shop.
    "You took 3 hours to make ONE part!!, while the night shift made 19 in ONE hour, explain to me why I should pay you for all 3 hours yesterday afternoon"
    Of course the other guys said that me calling that manager an "ignorant asshole" would not be good for my career prospects
    So I got my final job for that company.
    3 big hunks of 4130 steel that needed a lot of machining, boring, tapping, and reaming
    They had decided to rough the blanks down to +0.008" on the block sizes, but the blocking out guy had helpfully put a 0.004" run on them and I've got +/-0.002" limit on the finished size.
    So the first thing I have to do is get them square, then do a lot of fiddly details before I can rough the bulk of the metal off
    I get chewed out again for taking too long, but I soldier on with the bulk roughing and finishing
    The manager has allowed 16 hrs to do the whole job, and then I find out the guy who made the previous order, a 1 off, took 21 hrs to do the one part.
    This is after I've managed to finish the job in a little over 48 hrs
    Needless to say I went and saw the manager and bluntly told him exactly what I thought of him and said there was no need to fire me because my toolboxes were already off the site

    Boris

    "Pity I did not have Mr Slammy there.... he could have explained my feelings to that guy a whole bunch better "

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Republic of Arizonia
    Posts
    1,598
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    474

    Default

    The last job ...bunch of cheap bastards I would argue over getting: tooling , coolant, electricians to repair machines, etc.

    Current job same problems as the last job . While we are at it too much paper work. I will have to get a copy of the pre job inspection form that we have to fill out. We got them for: trucks , fork lifts , machines , cranes , rigging , shop in general , some shops require two of each one for your records one the area your in. Work orders are questionable this machine is broken....NO DETAILS of the problem. The just in time schedule on steroids everything was due a week ago, but no one bothered to tell you.

    So now I am job hunting at home while being "part-time"

    I have no use for people who will tell you while having a reduction in force "your full time"
    then three weeks later " we made a mistake your part-time "

    In case your wondering MSHA is who they answer to and copper mining is not a business I recommend for those who don't like bureaucratic messes.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    tucson arizona usa
    Posts
    5,066
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2198
    Likes (Received)
    4777

    Default

    There is a shop here in town that is beautiful it is so clean that you could lick the floors and all the machines are mint condition, it is all manual it is full of L&S lathes and K&T mills all big industrial machines and every type of tooling known to man, but there is one serious problem, the owner he is nuts I almost got a job there till I spoke with the past 4 employees who had worked there and they filled me in on why no one will work there. The man is a maniacal neat freak.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Southeastern US
    Posts
    6,401
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    845
    Likes (Received)
    2806

    Default

    My job before this one. Big corporation......
    Rat outfit....
    Floors so dirty they had build-up of old dried coolant, dirt and chips, would have taken a jack hammer to clean that crap off the floors. Piss-poor lighting. Anything to "get the parts by the customer". Didn't give a damn about quality in real life, but sure preached it when parts got rejected - the write ups were just to appease the customer.
    No regard for safety at all. I personally saw one man loose 7 of 10 fingers in a trim press that had 8 write-ups because of broken up locks. They refused to fix it and forced folks to run it (run it or get fired). Another man burned over 85% of his body because they were using cheap flammable hydraulic oil in the die casting machines instead of the more expensive and OSHA mandated non-flammable oil. (1400° molten metal and flammable oil don't mix well....)
    Absolutely raised hell if you had to have an insert....even if the one you had was running junk.
    They went bankrupt a few years ago....and I wondered why it took that long...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Angleton, Texas
    Posts
    1,714
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    939
    Likes (Received)
    536

    Default

    Candidate 1:

    Owner refuses to provide coffee, sugar, soap, paper towels, shop towels or toilet paper ... for the single porta-can he does provide for 40+ employees.

    Won't buy propane for the heaters in winter or let us turn on the fans in summer.

    Claims he can't afford it ... not on top of payments for his new Cadillac apparently.


    Candidate 2:

    Christmas/New Year is coming up.

    The company is going to be closed for the entire week of the holidays and most of us at this shop aren't yet eligible for paid holidays.

    So the company is going to do us a "favor" ... for November and December up until the holidays we will work "extra-time" off the clock and the company will pay us for that time for the holiday week.

    (Yes, I was pretty innoc ... gullible back then.)

    Sooooo ... the Friday before the holiday week I show up for my shift (2nd) and notice that the parking lot has a lot fewer cars than normal.

    I went in and asked what was going on and found out I was one of the "lucky" few that didn't get laid off as my Christmas bonus.
    Last edited by KilrB; 08-21-2009 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Not wordy enough.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Waukesha, WI
    Posts
    7,365
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    711
    Likes (Received)
    1824

    Default

    I was going to mention one of my places of employment, but WOW! It don't compare to some of these stories.

    I'd be out of those places so fast the wind would blow all the chips around.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Centerville, TN USA
    Posts
    338
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Welden View Post
    Jesus dude, is there anywhere else you could work? That is ridiculous. Almost seems like you're making it up.
    Hehe, I once worked for someone else, for about 6 months. It was an 8 to 5 job, and was the worst 6 months of my life. The work wasn't bad, I was running small aluminum parts on a smithy and deburring, gluing, and assembling plastic parts, but I started looking at my watch every 5 minutes at about 2 in the afternoon, just waiting to go home. Talk about hell in slow-motion... Sooo, I started my own shop shortly after that, and 6 years later wouldn't do a thing different. I can work 'till the job is done, but waiting for the clock I will never do.

    And to all you guys that cut with used motor oil, and drill with 2 inch long drill bits and end mills with all but one flute broken off, you don't love what you do, you can't. My insert drawer has over $1500 hundred of NEW inserts in it, and I change them whenever I please, I have a very loved set of cobalt drills, veriflute end mills and other high dollar tooling. You can always futz around with a cheapo dividing head and other fixtures that are not used every day, but if you job is cutting metal, every day, you had better have the right cutters and fluids, every day...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    detroit,mich.
    Posts
    4,704
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4710
    Likes (Received)
    417

    Angry

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonytn36 View Post
    Absolutely raised hell if you had to have an insert....even if the one you had was running junk.
    ..
    What in the hell is wrong with people? I understand not wanting to WASTE money, but god damn! If people don't want to spend a single cent they shouldn't be in any type of business. Am I the only one who has ever heard the phrase, "It takes money to make money"?

    Jeff

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Fl. west coast USA
    Posts
    103
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DieselPower View Post
    My own, I can't afford the proper phase converter so I have to be reeally easy on the lathe clutch or the VFD trips. The 3 jaw chuck does not have the proper back so we chuck it into the 4-jaw. The the boss won't get anything better than the f-in chinese dividing head that is so hard to turn and yet has 5 degrees slop, and he wants me to turn out good work on it. I have to get the work, bid on it, order materials, get started, do it right, keep going, check my work, pick up my own swarf, clean the machine when I'm done, bill the customer, put the tools away, make him pay, keep my head on streight, pay the bills, keep all the supplies on hand, and keep on going..... Oh yeah, he won't let me quit until I put a 16 hour day in, 6 days a week... Such an awfull boss...
    FWIW,,,You ain't alone!!!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Country
    FINLAND
    Posts
    209
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    36
    Likes (Received)
    136

    Default

    Worst shop this far was one smallish shop which did mainly medical machining. About 10 employees or so.

    My teacher arranged me there, our goal was to get some programming training on fanuc lathe for skills competition. During the two months i was there i wasn't allowed to write a single line of code.

    The shop was an old warehouse with no proper ventilation. Imagine the mist which appears in the mornings at countryside on fields. Good, then imagine it being quite bit brown/yellow and inside a shop... I had to wash my eyeglasses every single day because of the mist and i had minor breathing problems. They also bought a brand new mazak integrex, but no tooling for it.

    I was assigned to hang with the only cnc turning dude in the shop. He was some kind of psychopath i think. He visited thailand few times in a month saying he sees his girlfriend there. My guess was he is a pedophiliac. He had an obsession of taking bucket of mixed aluminum/brass chips. Then he took pliers and removed the aluminum chips one by one which he then dropped on the floor. I once finished a turning job when that dude was gone and i asked the foreman what to do next. He said i should cut some plastic at the saw. So i went to the bandsaw while the maniac dude came back yelling at me "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!! YOU SHOULD BE FRONT OF THE LATHE" (which was finished with the run and he was only one allowed to do set-ups on it)

    I mostly spent my days sitting in front of bar fed lathe doing 2000pcs runs on brass, just sat there and waited for a part come each 2-3 minutes. I could have done something else when the machine was running... When my "workmate" was gone in thailand, they just shut down the lathe and made round parts by milling instead of letting me do programs. I took it as an insult #1

    When it was my last day, the CEO of the company asked if i wanted to leave my studying halfway and offered generous 7eur/hour salary for it. I took it as insult #2

    Now i run my own shop. I get piss poor salary and i have to work with not-so-good equipment, but i still love it.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •