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Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

Interview for a machine shop position



 
 
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  #21  
Old May 18th 06, 11:30 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Default Interview for a machine shop position

On Thu, 18 May 2006 09:24:01 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm,
Randy Replogle quickly quoth:

wrote:
However, if I went to work for his
company, I seriously don't know if I'd ever actually do some precise
work or design any tools.

Alot of this message is me just venting (maybe you guys had a similar
situation that you want to share).


Whatever job you end up taking, get *all* points of interest in writing.


Excellent advice, Randy.

Jody, in addition to that, make your apprehensions known to the guy
before you're hired so you're on the same page. Maybe they'll end up
redoing their job definition so you're happy or so they get the worker
they really need, even if they don't know what they want. You never
know until you ask.

I wish I'd asked more questions before hiring on to some of my
previous (automotive repair) jobs, and I've had employers tell me that
the touchy but honest questions I did ask were important to them for
future hires.


--------------------------------------------------------
Murphy was an Optimist
----------------------------
http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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  #22  
Old May 19th 06, 01:09 AM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Default Interview for a machine shop position

On Thu, 18 May 2006 15:22:56 -0400, "Robin S."
wrote:


"Eric R Snow" wrote in message
.. .
Or does a toolmaker make whatever is
needed?


Ultimately a toolmaker does whatever is needed. It is a specialization. GP's
and heart surgeons save people's lives through medicine. They are not the
same.

Toolmakers have specific knowledge which pertains to the tooling they build
and/or maintain. When building new dies, tryout/troubleshooting is a major
part of the build, taking in excess of 50% of the total hours required to
complete the build. Tryout typically requires very little "by the numbers
machine work" while requiring lots of experience-based decision and
execution.

Jig and fixture makers have specific knowledge as far as accuracy and
location, automation, productivity, ergonomics, etc. This includes original
design as well as tryout/troubleshooting.

A toolmaker is typically considered the top guy on the job, below
management. The really good ones can make decisions that can effect the
form, function and buildability of the final product and frequently that's
what the customer wants.

Understand that due to the custom nature of tool and die making in general,
the toolmaker is required to take a design that resembles "functional" and
make good parts. It may sound trivial these days with computers and
sophisticated programs available to designers and engineers, but ultimately
(especially in die work), the tool as designed will not produce a good part.

As far as your job is concerned, why would you even bother getting hung up
on a title? Aside from the previous ribbing due to the rampant arrogance in
the world of tool building, it's really just a name. I know many certified
toolmakers who can just barely get a die in the press and get the die to
close. I know others who can truly take a die from design to purchased tool.
If you're a one man army, there is virtually no title which would adequately
define your job except for perhaps entrepreneur.

Regards,

Robin

P.S. Signs of a toolmaker: heavy drinking habit, arrogance, vulgarity,
healthy distaste for engineers, constantly dirty snot, intolerance of bright
lights, social ineptitude, inability to do any more than just less than the
required amount of work to complete a job, nervous ticks, jumpiness,
partial/complete deafness, having the compulsion to stare blankly at
everyone passing by, etc.

Robin,
I'm not hung up about my title. It just seemed to me that the OP was
denigrating machinists as if what he did made him better. Using your
doctor analogy it's sorta like comparing my Orthopedic Surgeon to my
GP. I have tremendous respect for both of them. Their jobs are
different and the Ortho guy had to spend extra years on his exact
specialty. But they are both equals in my eyes. The surgeon has lousy
bedside manner because he is kinda shy. He tries hard though. The GP
really listens to what I say, pays attention to the other things going
on in my life that may affect my pain level, and doesn't dawdle when
checking my prostate.
ERS
  #23  
Old May 19th 06, 01:54 AM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Default Interview for a machine shop position


"Eric R Snow" wrote in message
...
Robin,
I'm not hung up about my title. It just seemed to me that the OP was
denigrating machinists as if what he did made him better.


I have found this mentality to be common in industry, although I haven't
been to very many shops.

The kicker is that while a toolmaker can typically do what a machinist can,
albeit not as quickly, a machinist can seldom do what a toolmaker can.

For example, I can setup, program (manually or using CAM) and run CNC
machines and make good parts. I can't do it really quickly but ultimately I
can get a good part. I believe none of the machinists at work have any clue
about die assembly or tryout - if they did, they'd be toolmakers. Indeed
calling a toolmaker a machinist is typically considered an insult.

Now my perspective is in the eyes of die work. Jigs and fixtures sound
ultimately more "numbers" based as opposed to experience and intuition, but
I could be completely wrong as I have built very few, and only very simple
jigs and fixtures. Nothing like inspection fixtures, high-production
fixtures, or tooling for automated assembly.

YMMV.

Regards,

Robin


  #24  
Old May 19th 06, 04:28 AM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Default Interview for a machine shop position

Right on, Jim. Whoever blurted the "get in writing" statement, needs a good
dose of reality.

Bob Swinney
"jim rozen" wrote in message
...
In article , Robert Swinney says...

Yeah! Because a sweatshop by any other name is still . . . . a sweatshop.


Whatever job you end up taking, get *all* points of interest in writing.
Randy


Not for nothing, but that (requiring terms in writing) is the quickest
way to not get hired. Granted in this case it's a good litmus test,
but employers and managers get really, really, antsy whenever they
have to promise an employee something in writing.

They get worried that they might be held to it, and won't be able
to change their mind whenever they feel like it in the future.
Bosses hate that.

Another issue with the idea is, even if they *do* put a promise
in writing, it won't be worth much. The standard scenario is that
you extract a written promise from your boss, for "X." Then
you get transferred to a different group, or your division is
taken over by another one - so you have a new management chain.

"I didn't make the promise to you, your former boss did. That
was then, this is now. Sorry the promise is wothless." Except
usually they leave out the 'sorry' part.

Jim


--
==================================================
please reply to:
JRR(zero) at pkmfgvm4 (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com
==================================================



  #25  
Old May 19th 06, 01:13 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: n/a
Default Interview for a machine shop position

On Thu, 18 May 2006 20:32:42 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm, xray
quickly quoth:

On Thu, 18 May 2006 07:58:17 -0700, Eric R Snow
wrote:

That job required roundness within .00003"
TIR. Size however within .0001" TIR.


I'm a garage hacker and have no idea or desire to achive that level of
tolerance. Just curious, can some machines do that just from knobs and
such or does it require more finesse?


Yes, and you need to know the machine well enough to work around any
slop, wobbliness, or wear it has. Adjust-out all you can and know
where the rest is so you can factor it in.


Being a novice on these things, I had an impression that the last pass
of removal should be a couple thou or more. No truth?

My tools are unlikely to get into the .0001 range, but I'm curious about
the techniques that might make it semi-possible if I ever need it.


You need sub-RCH-marked dials and a light touch, X. Bifocals and/or
magnifying lenses help, too. A really good "feel" for calipers/mikes
helps as well.

--'nother hacker.


--------------------------------------------------------
Murphy was an Optimist
----------------------------
http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
  #26  
Old May 19th 06, 02:48 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: n/a
Default Interview for a machine shop position

Mark sez:

" Bugger, I suppose that means I'm a toolmaker. And there I was thinking
that I
was a professional electrical engineer, who grew into and got burned out
by
computers and just wanted to make swarf as a hobby to keep his sanity."


Sorry about that - your having to switch from Prof. EE to swarf making as a
means to keep your sanity. The PC has done more to lower technical wages in
the world, and increase stress in the workplace, than anything that has come
along since Tesla. The problem is that anyone who can memorize the location
of a few plastic pads on a keyboard and run another's software is
"Engineer". No! That's not even the real problem. The real problem is
that employers are generally not engineering competent themselves and can't
tell an engineer from any other keyboard pecker. Thus, trained engineers
are held back because management, mostly keyboard peckers themselves, lacks
the technical sense to know the difference. It seems the MIS departments of
large companies are pretty much responsible for engineering decisions these
days. Don't even get me started on CNC! CNC proves what "management" has
long suspected - there is no need for technically trained personnel; they
can all be replaced by PC operators.

Bob Swinney


"Mark Rand" wrote in message
...
On Thu, 18 May 2006 15:22:56 -0400, "Robin S."
wrote:




P.S. Signs of a toolmaker: heavy drinking habit, arrogance, vulgarity,
healthy distaste for engineers, constantly dirty snot, intolerance of
bright
lights, social ineptitude, inability to do any more than just less than
the
required amount of work to complete a job, nervous ticks, jumpiness,
partial/complete deafness, having the compulsion to stare blankly at
everyone passing by, etc.



Mark Rand
RTFM



  #27  
Old May 19th 06, 02:49 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Interview for a machine shop position

Mark sez:

" Bugger, I suppose that means I'm a toolmaker. And there I was thinking
that I
was a professional electrical engineer, who grew into and got burned out
by
computers and just wanted to make swarf as a hobby to keep his sanity."


Sorry about that - your having to switch from Prof. EE to swarf making as a
means to keep your sanity. The PC has done more to lower technical wages in
the world, and increase stress in the workplace, than anything that has come
along since Tesla. The problem is that anyone who can memorize the location
of a few plastic pads on a keyboard and run another's software is
"Engineer". No! That's not even the real problem. The real problem is
that employers are generally not engineering competent themselves and can't
tell an engineer from any other keyboard pecker. Thus, trained engineers
are held back because management, mostly keyboard peckers themselves, lacks
the technical sense to know the difference. It seems the MIS departments of
large companies are pretty much responsible for engineering decisions these
days. Don't even get me started on CNC! CNC proves what "management" has
long suspected - there is no need for technically trained personnel; they
can all be replaced by PC operators.

Bob Swinney


"Mark Rand" wrote in message
...
On Thu, 18 May 2006 15:22:56 -0400, "Robin S."
wrote:




P.S. Signs of a toolmaker: heavy drinking habit, arrogance, vulgarity,
healthy distaste for engineers, constantly dirty snot, intolerance of
bright
lights, social ineptitude, inability to do any more than just less than
the
required amount of work to complete a job, nervous ticks, jumpiness,
partial/complete deafness, having the compulsion to stare blankly at
everyone passing by, etc.



Mark Rand
RTFM




  #28  
Old May 19th 06, 04:40 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Interview for a machine shop position


I'm a garage hacker and have no idea or desire to achive that level of
tolerance. Just curious, can some machines do that just from knobs and
such or does it require more finesse?


Most people that claim to be holding those tolerances are full of crap. I'm
not pointing fingers at anybody, cause obviously it is needed for some
tools, and can be done. But, it cannot be done in a general shop environment
day in and day out.

I am presently a shop owner. Before I started my own shop, I ran one for my
boss. I've don interviews with tool makers that will tour the shop and say
they'll have no problems holding .00005. I've seen 2 types of people make
those claims. Type one actually THINKS he can hold that tolerance, and will
try to do it on every job that walks by. Even if +- .05 would do. You cannot
afford to hire that guy. He'll take 3 times longer to do any job than is
needed. Type two hasn't learned how to use a micrometer, and isn't capable
of counting decimal places. He's just trying to get a job and doesn't think
you'll notice that he doesn't have a clue.


Dave, who has NEVER held closer than .0002, and can't think of why he'd need
to.


  #29  
Old May 19th 06, 05:34 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: n/a
Default Interview for a machine shop position

jim rozen wrote:
In article , Robert Swinney says...
Yeah! Because a sweatshop by any other name is still . . . . a sweatshop.


Whatever job you end up taking, get *all* points of interest in writing.
Randy


Not for nothing, but that (requiring terms in writing) is the quickest
way to not get hired. Granted in this case it's a good litmus test,
but employers and managers get really, really, antsy whenever they
have to promise an employee something in writing.

They get worried that they might be held to it, and won't be able
to change their mind whenever they feel like it in the future.
Bosses hate that.

Another issue with the idea is, even if they *do* put a promise
in writing, it won't be worth much. The standard scenario is that
you extract a written promise from your boss, for "X." Then
you get transferred to a different group, or your division is
taken over by another one - so you have a new management chain.

"I didn't make the promise to you, your former boss did. That
was then, this is now. Sorry the promise is wothless." Except
usually they leave out the 'sorry' part.

Jim



In my case the promises weren't *my* demands but were offered out of the
blue. I had a decent job already and these promises were the only reason
I took the new job.
Randy
  #30  
Old May 19th 06, 07:24 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: n/a
Default Interview for a machine shop position


"Dave Lyon" wrote in message
news:yFlbg.952791$x96.450759@attbi_s72...

I'm a garage hacker and have no idea or desire to achive that level of
tolerance. Just curious, can some machines do that just from knobs and
such or does it require more finesse?


Most people that claim to be holding those tolerances are full of crap.
I'm
not pointing fingers at anybody, cause obviously it is needed for some
tools, and can be done. But, it cannot be done in a general shop
environment
day in and day out.


And therein lies the rub. Day in a day out. You can finesse some pretty
tight numbers out of most machines, you just don't want to have to do it all
the time.

Most surface grinders can reliably hit .0002 over a smallish area. Manual
jig borers have dials graduated in .0001 or .0002 (it's been a while since
I've seen one). Cylindrical grinders can hit those numbers reliably. There's
basically no chance that a Bridgeport/knockoff can reliably hit .001" in a
production setting, and it has to be setup correctly to hit even .001".

As far as why you'd want to, high-speed dies require some pretty tight
numbers. Automotive engines require very tight numbers over hundreds of
thousands of parts. I'd assume there are others ;-)

I think a lot of people don't appreciate how far off things become when you
have the right tools to measure them. The way holes are curved, plates are
not flat, cylinders are not round or straight, etc.

Regards,

Robin


 




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