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What Type of Machining Experience and Interest Do We Have On This Site?

Discussion in '++ Q & A THREADS OF INTEREST ++' started by Management, Jan 22, 2013.

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What Types of Machining Interest and Experience Do We Have on This Site? (Select as many as apply.)

  1. Hobby use for general fabrication & repair

    292 vote(s)
    84.1%
  2. Business Shop owner

    36 vote(s)
    10.4%
  3. Professional Machinist

    63 vote(s)
    18.2%
  4. Tool ownership ie Lathe & mill

    269 vote(s)
    77.5%
  5. Level of experience: Experienced

    92 vote(s)
    26.5%
  6. Level of experience: Newbie

    104 vote(s)
    30.0%
  7. Level of experience: Moderate

    138 vote(s)
    39.8%
  8. CNC experience

    66 vote(s)
    19.0%
  9. Formal education from a tech school

    89 vote(s)
    25.6%
  10. Formal training in Machining

    77 vote(s)
    22.2%
  11. Other: Specify Below

    50 vote(s)
    14.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Snag_one

    Snag_one United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
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    City:
    Mountain View
    State:
    Arkansas

    -Return to Top-

    I first came into contact with a lathe in 1972 , aboard a US Navy destroyer ... then nothing until I got a job in an R&D lab at a rocket motor plant in Utah . I got to make all sorts of weird oddball stuff , under the tutelage of some of the best Ordnance engineers , M.E.'s , and E.E.'s in the western hemisphere . Some of my work is still in orbit ... and a lot of the comsats rely on work we did in that R&D lab to get to geosynch orbits .
    After moving to Tennessee , I had no machines available , until that fateful day I walked into the pawn shop looking for a belt sander . There it sat , an old Monkey Wards PowrKraft - and soon after , it was residing in my shed . Since then , it's been joined by an RF45 clone , 110v wire feed welder , tombstone welder , multiple band saws , OA equipment , and all kinds of mechanic's tooling . I've never had any formal training in machining , just OJT and what I've picked up from places like this .
    My skills include cabinet making , carpentry , every skill needed to build a house or rebuild a car/motorcycle/lawn mower engine , manual transmissions , and most things mechanical . I've also built a small foundry setup , which has been used to cast parts for my machines - like many of the pieces for my homemade taper attachment . I also make parts for my motorcycles , repair my own cars , and try really hard to keep my wife from building a hunnydoo list . That last item is the hardest ...
     
  2. d6crawler

    d6crawler United States Iron Registered Member

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    City:
    Washington
    State:
    District Of Columbia

    -Return to Top-

    Spent time in vocational courses in high school and then did some college updates in the 90's. No certifications or anything of that nature - just how to use different types of machines, cut, weld, form sheet metal, etc.

    I now have most of the machines I want and they are in pretty good shape. I am working on tooling at this point and have projects backed up but this is a hobby so I'm taking my time :)

    Daniel
     
  3. Bill C.

    Bill C. United States Active User Active Member

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    City:
    Clarksville
    State:
    Indiana

    -Return to Top-

    I started my career in metal working after finishing high school, late 1960's. The last year of high school, I think, one semester was wood shop and the other was machine shop. Our machine shop had a pair of shapers and drill presses. Several 6" lathes, I think South Bend. These lathes were old enough that to change the feeds we had to change the gear train on the left end of the machine.


    I got a job in a local shop soon after graduation. They taught me how to setup and use Bridge Port knee milling machines. I bought most of my tools and gages while there. When I got laid off from there my family suggested I try collage. I have a two degree from Purdue University in drafting design. I needed experience to get a job in the drafting field. After several years away from my tools I was accepted to General Electric's apprenticeship program in Louisville, Ky. They had a drafting and a die making programs. Everyone started out working in the machine shop. We did small lot production making and repairing hand tools used for appliance production. They taught us how use surface grinders. After about two years they closed their drafting program. Given a choice of being laid off or transferring to the tool and die program I choose to work. I was laid off when they closed their program with nine months to go in a four year program. I have worked in several shops since. One shop taught me how to setup and operate turret lathes. The last company I worked for was doing aircraft tooling in St.Louis, Mo., back in 1990's.


    Every time I was laid off I returned home. Due to illness I am currently not working.
     
  4. keltg

    keltg Canada Active User Active Member

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    Trophy Points:
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    City:
    Carman
    State:
    Manitoba

    -Return to Top-

    Lets see, i have mostly experience with wood, i took a wood shop class in high school, taught me precision with measuring, drafting, and to respect machinery. Over the years i have done pretty much everything from janitor to welders helper. My dad being a plumber and tin basher gave me opportunities to play with brakes, and spot welders making duct work. but i never went that way and have spent the past 20 years working as a utility tech installing new water and sewer lines and repairing the old stuff in the ground. i have been operating water treatment plants for the past 10 years. i started with an old plant held together with spit and chewing gum, moved to a brand new RO plant learning operating process on computers (SCADA) and now i am in an older Conventional Lime Soda softening plant. also high maintenance and lots of mechanical repairing. I have been playing with gunsmithing the entire time. This past year i went back to school took a 10 month course on firearm maintenance and repair, finished it in 3, and opened a small smithing shop in my yard. i started very small and have doing things the old way all the time files, chisels, hand saws, elbow grease, and imagination. Once i move into my new shop that i just purchased with the proceeds of my shop, i will be moving a little further into the modern world with the addition of a lathe and a mill, then once again will be teaching myself the basics of machining.
     
  5. rbhodges

    rbhodges United States Steel Registered Member

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    City:
    Antrim
    State:
    New Hampshire

    -Return to Top-

    I am a metal fabricator trade. Mostly steel but a fair amount of brass, bronze, aluminum, and stainles find their way across my bench as well. As far as machineing goes I,ve run both bridgeports and lathes here and there, and I've guese I've pulled it off well enough, that they let me keep doing it. For the most part I am a self taught hobby machinist. I've been making chips since I was old enough to to have a job, and buy my first lathe. A home made unimat like thing I got at the local flee market. I must have been about 16 years old when I got that. I once owned an Ann Arbor I think six inch lathe sold by Sears. That a freind gave me to make brass shells for antique black powder cartridge rifles. We'll say it got the done and thats about it. Though it was the first machine I had that could make threads. Like a lot of other hobbyest I do it when I have time or the need or a freind or neighbor has the need. Now that I have more time to devote to this. My machines have been getting better and I been spending more time on learning how to on this. Both you tube and forums like this one have been instramental in moving me forward. I make many parts for what ever I (or the guy dowm the road) need at that time, sometimes it take a couple of trys, but I think I get a good job done in the end.

    Rick
     
  6. ems8hh

    ems8hh Iron Registered Member

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    City:
    Gahanna
    State:
    Ohio

    -Return to Top-

    I am a Machinist/Tool and die Maker by trade.
    I have been making chips out perfectly good material for 39 years.
    I went through a apprenticeship program for 4 years. Then worked as a tool and die maker.
    When on strike at the union shop. I found a fill in job at a production job shop making parts for the union shop.
    Then the economy (Reagan's belt tightining) cut back on goverment spending and my union job at a defense contractor's work cut back also. Ah the 80's. Glad to see them gone.
    Then I worked for a short time making progressive dies for a automaker sheet stock in one side of the die set and rims coming out of the other side only long enough to finish the dies. That was a interesting job.
    Then I moved into the 21st century working at a medical supplier running a Bridgeport CNC with punch tape teletype and paper tape reader, Buck Rodgers would have been envious. Woo hoo paper tape and G and M codes. Enough to have dreams about them at night.
    Finally moving on to Injection mold building using a Hurco bed mill and tool changer(this was the cat's meow).
    10,000 rpm spindle and gun drilling 24 inch long cooling plates,WOW way cool operation to setup and run.
    Then I moved on from 12 hour work days some time's 7 days a week to my current job at a large company working for the enginnering division as a Model maker/ R&D fixture maker using cad to program the cnc equipment as well as the plasma cam cutting table.
    This has been the most fulfilling job so far. Taking an idea on a drawing or scribbled on a napkin at lunch by a enginner into a working part or project.
    It has been a long journey and a one that has been fun, challaging and one in which I could constantly be creative in setups and part making.
    So that's what I have been doing! How about you? If I can answer questions or offer advise I will be glad to.
    ems8hh (ed)
     
  7. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
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    Trophy Points:
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    City:
    Rochester
    State:
    Minnesota

    -Return to Top-

    my knowledge of machining is at different levels--no training except an imaginable use of what my machines can do to help me in making or repairing items. I have an older retired machinist friend that has a 1930 Packard, and another old friend that can do almost anything(he works on old phonos,old clocks an he also built a car that broke the world speed records in the early 60s with Fireball Roberts the driver) he is working on an old stutz bearcat now.---these type of friends are just fun to be around because they have and complete a lot of dreams. after reading your posts there are a lot of good eager people just like I like to be around. I have lathes-mills-shapers--sanders-grinders and many machines in my shop Dave
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  8. Restorer

    Restorer United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
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    Trophy Points:
    18
    City:
    Rochester
    State:
    New York

    -Return to Top-

    I bought my first lathe (a South Bend) at the age of 13.

    I still have it, no regrets and I never looked back.

    I started Tool Maker apprentiseship but became a degreed Mechanical Engineer first.

    My home shop saved my butt several times over the years, developing solutions for work.
     
  9. Cowman56141

    Cowman56141 United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    City:
    Iona
    State:
    Minnesota

    -Return to Top-

    I welded my first go cart when I was 12 after putting a Wankel engine in it my dad cut it up, I thought 60 mph was ok without roll cage he did not, go figure, since then it is a pastime I have always done I do not have a degree but I have a very good knack at teaching myself I just get the info around and read and train myself so I guess that makes me a self made machinist :)


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  10. stern

    stern Canada Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
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    Trophy Points:
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    City:
    Toronto
    State:
    Ontario

    -Return to Top-

    Well, my jobs in the past were basically electronic based, as I worked as an Engineer doing fire alarm system design and R&D. I later got bored and went out on my own, but swung more into sprinkler work (like the physical aspect). As for my shop I have to say everything I know is self taght from books, a machinist buddy, and recently forums like this. I am pretty good at welding (especially large stuff, as stick is my preference) but after getting the lathe 5 years ago (sat there mostly unused for most of that time), the spring time last year I got back into playing with it. I am now fully hooked and have been doing as much learning and "practicing" as I can. Always wanted a mill, so decided to make one, which turned ok good, but still working on rev #2).

    Love forums like this where people of all skill levels (pro to newb, like me) can gather and share ideas, tips and general discussion. Think Im going to like it here
     
  11. rfw_1968

    rfw_1968 Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
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    City:
    Calumet
    State:
    Michigan

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    My experience in machining? Well that would be, none. I spent 13 years in the Army as a mechanic and I did a fair bit of "soldier engineering" when replacement parts weren't available. I've done a minimal amount of welding and a bit of sheet metal work. I have purchased my first lathe (an old Atlas) but can't pick it up until the snow melts from in front of the basement door where it has been stored for decades. I am retired (thanks to the insurgents in Iraq) but I plan to return to school in the fall to study mechanical engineering. They don't come any greener than me but I am anxious to learn and am very grateful that there are so many knowledgeable folks willing to teach.
     
  12. harmsdesign

    harmsdesign United States Iron Registered Member

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    City:
    Burbank
    State:
    California

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    My dad was a woodshop teacher, so I learned woodworking from an early age. I took woodworking, auto shop and drafting classes in high school. Through many twists and turns, I eventually ended up working in theatre technical direction and scenic design, problem-solving any number of odd contraptions and rigging problems, and became adept in CAD, both architectural and mechanical.
    I worked for a model shop for a while, doing CAD and graphics for interactive display mechanisms and other odd projects and learned a lot from the machinists in the shop.
    i have worked as a film and television art director for the last 10 years, still problem-solving odd contraptions and rigging problems, but mostly overseeing and coordinating crews. I have started putting my own shop together and am exercising my inventor side since I don't do any building at work any more. I now have a tablesaw, bandsaw, compound sliding chop saw, mill, lathe, MIG welder and many other tools and fittings.
    In the end I want to be able to create anything I dream up, whether furniture, mechanism, circuit, musical instrument…
    I am just moving beyond the planning stage to build a CNC router table and I also intend to add CNC to my mill and lathe. I believe it is important to have a solid understanding of the tools and the forces at work before having a computer move a cutting tool, though.
    Thank you to everyone who contributes to this site. I have already learned a great deal.
     
  13. T Bredehoft

    T Bredehoft Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
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    Trophy Points:
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    Location:
    Central Ohio
    City:
    St. Louisville
    State:
    Ohio

    -Return to Top-

    I stumbled into a factory job (needed work) in 1971, Kelsey Hayes, disc rotors. They offered a Tool & Die apprenticeship, I got first shot at it. By June 1975 I had my journeyman's card. I was led three of the years by Walt, a German who had literally "journeyed" for 8 years, 6 months at a time in many industries. Work at Kelsey involved keeping machines in concentricity and making repair parts. In '79 I began work at Ariel Corp, making natural gas compressors. Their tool room made tooling, jigs and fixtures. The largest crankcases they made (cast iron) ranged from 18" by 18" by two feet to 5' by 4' by 8 feet long, the largest cylinders exceeded 36" id. In the mid '80s we got into retrofitted CNC mills in the tool room, (they couldn't get them to work in production). I had computer experience so I got to learn M & G coding and these two machines, then teach the others in the shop how to use them. I retired from Ariel in 2000, have been wishing I had some machines since then.
    A year ago, my eldest son gave me a reprieve. He bought the machinery to make balsa model airplane propellers, knowing I could figure out how the machinery worked. Besides the propeller machine came a small Ames turret lathe and a couple of Taig lathe/mills. Also a small group of band saws, drill presses and arbor presses. In an effort to expand our production, I've recently bought a 6 by 24 Clausing lathe (that turned out to be unused) and am lobbying for a PM20 type mill to convert to CNC. This is a great forum, I've picked up quite a few things in the month I've been here.

    Tom
     
  14. Billh50

    Billh50 Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    City:
    New Britain
    State:
    Connecticut

    -Return to Top-

    I started my machining back in 1968 as a helper in a grinding room back in Forestville, CT. Worked my way through many job shops through the years and became a machinist, a chief inspector for aircraft parts, a toolmaker, a special machine assembler, a special machine designer, back to a toolmaker. I have always been machining parts for motorcycles for both myself and friends. I prefer designing, milling, and grinding to lathe work but have no problem doing what I have to to get a job done.
    The one thing I have learned through the years is this. You will always learn new things in machining. No matter how much you think you know there is still more to learn. I think I have forgotten a lot also as there are things I have learned that are not used every day.
     
  15. RJSakowski

    RJSakowski H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    City:
    Barneveld
    State:
    Wisconsin

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    I would classify myself as hobbyist. I got my first experience in metal working at a University Physics Dept. I am retired having worked as an engineer for most of my life. I am a self taught machinist and welder and and have engaged in both for almost fifty years. Most of the projects I engage in are utilitarian and I enjoy making improvements to existing machinery.
    My machine compliment includes an old Craftsman lathe, Taiwanese mill/drill, 18" drill press, horizontal band saw, Tormach PCNC 770, Grizzly G0602, several Miller stick welders, two MIG welders, TIG torch, oxyacetylene torches, and blacksmithing forge and tools.
     
    uncle harry likes this.
  16. Kevin45

    Kevin45 Active User Active Member

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    City:
    Urbana
    State:
    Ohio

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    I don't know why this showed up under alerts, but as far as machining experience, I have been a tool & die maker and tool designer for 35 years but had to retire under disability due to multiple (10 ) shoulder surgeries and ended up not having a shoulder at all. After 6 prosthesis and 4 modifications, 3 cases of MRSA, it pretty well left me screwed. But when I retired I bought a new JET lathe 13x40 and bought a used Lagun Mill. Last year I bought a Bridgeport Series 1 CNC that I've been working on because I got screwed on it, but am getting it ironed out. It gets me out of the house into the garage. Hopefully this year I can add on to the garage so I have a little more room for y machinery plus gives me a place to park a couple of vehicles. When it comes to Designing or Machining, I prefer machining. I started life as a Tool Designer but hated sitting at a desk all day long. But to be able to take a chunk of material and find what is inside of it, is a feeling like no other. It has to be close to how an artist feels with a blank canvas and ends up with a beautiful picture. Any piece of metal has something hiding inside of it. It's just a matter of cutting away what is not needed to find out what it is. I love it!!!!
     
    cathead likes this.
  17. mcostello

    mcostello Active User Active Member

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    City:
    lancaster
    State:
    Ohio

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    Have a home based machine shop for profit and pleasure. A real Company registered with all formal paperwork done.Started a formal apprenticeship but the economy fixed that. Building an EDM right now as time permits. Make and repair obsolete parts. Probably removed more broken bolts and taps than the average bear.
     
  18. Ed of all trades

    Ed of all trades Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
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    Trophy Points:
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    City:
    Mt Crawford

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    I became interested in machine work when I was in third grade. My dad was a farmer and our shop burned to the ground and a man from our church told dad, "My shop is your shop". The wonderful thing was Milo had a great shop. He had two lathes, a combo mill shaper, at least that is what I think it was, a forge and a head and hands that knew how to use them. I have wanted to be a machinist ever sense. I have been welding sense I was 11 and have worked as a welder a few times and just about anything else you can think of, Ed of all trades, but I am happiest when I work with metal. One job I loved was running a brake lathe at the auto parts store I worked at, I know it sounds boring but I did it for days at a time and loved it. My wife and I now take full time care of her autistic brother and I have a small shop in the back yard where I go to regain my sanity. I have an Atlas 618 lathe that I hope to have up and running soon and a small metal cutting bandsaw, and of course a few small welders. I also have a gas forge and am setting up a coal forge as soon as I figure out how to fit it into my little shop. Hope to add on in the near future. Thanks for all the wonderful help I have gotten here. Hope to soon be able to do more than ask questions.
     
  19. BobSchu

    BobSchu United States Active Member Active Member

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    Trophy Points:
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    City:
    Hillsboro
    State:
    Oregon

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    Always wanted to do a little machining as a hobby and I've had machinist and tool and die friends for many years. But work as an electrician and then my Contracting business got in the way most of the time. That and my many other hobbies that left little time for much else.
    Now that I'm getting close to retirement in a couple years, I got a Smithy 1220 XL 3 in one machine a while back and made and sold enough parts for hot rod buddies to pay for it. However, in simple terms it is a bit crude and a pain to do precise work with so I'm stepping up to an older lathe. Just picked up a Sheldon lathe to do some work with to include gunsmith work to feed my gun looney habits. Still working the kinks out of the old girl but I think this old lathe and I are going to have some great times together. Hope to add a real mill to my other tools and be able to accomplish just about anything I want to.
    With all the great help I've gotten already on this forum, I'm sure I'll be able to get to that point shortly and have something to keep my hands busy and me out of trouble for as long as I can foresee. My neighbor is 84 and he still putters around with his machine tools in his shop on a regular basis. And he is still adding more ..... my kind of guy......
     
  20. Xiansheng

    Xiansheng Australia Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
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    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Point Halloran
    City:
    Victoria Point, Queensland
    State:
    Outside US / Canada

    -Return to Top-

    I attended a pre-apprenticeship course for a year, then undertook technical training in workshop technology and such. Completed an apprenticeship as a scientific instrument maker. Worked on such as machine tool control, nucleonic gauging, gamma cameras, airfield radar, etc. had a stint as a precision horizontal boring, then moved into process control instrumentation, automation, that sort of thing. Later completed a B.Sc in Physics and several other degrees that aid understanding of engineering in a roundabout sort of way. The physics degree helped me a lot with advanced mathematics for engineering.
     

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