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Thread: CNC Machinists

  1. #1
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    Default CNC Machinists

    In case you don't know me by now, I'm 16 yrs old, like to work on snowmobiles and trucks, and I'm very good at math. I've been wanting to be a CNC machinist for the past 2 years. Next year, I have the opportunity to do a youth apprenticeship at a machine shop for the 9 months of school. You work 6am-10am, then I'd have to hike on over to my high school and take a few more classes (I only need an english and social studies class to graduate). When the youth apprenticeship is over, you could possibly be offered a formal apprenticeship, and get your schooling paid for at my local technical college. So what I guess I'm asking here is, are there any CNC Machinists out there? What do you like about your job? And, what don't you like about your job? Did you go through an apprenticeship or not? And if you did, would you do it again or do it differently?

    Thanks!

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    I graduated High School in 92 and started an apprenticeship through the tooling and manufacturing association (TMA) to be a moldmaker.I became a junior moldmaker,and then started leaning towards CNC programing.I started off being a parts changer,set ups etc...I learned Mastercam and spent some good years running Mazaks,Moris,Okuma..etc..I ended going back to the bench to be a moldmaker. Moldmaking and die shops set up to have programmers and operators. I couldnt be a programmer(allready had two) and being a moldmaker paid better than being an operator.I allways made real good money in the trade.It was never repetative.Youre allways learning and the technology never stops flowing.The hours wore on me (55 to 60 week)good money but not a lot of time to enjoy myself.

    I now own my own buisness and work way more than 55 to 60 hours/week.LOL .My passion was drag racing and was lucky enough to make a go at it succesfully.I started by building cars full time in 2000.About five years ago I purchased my first Haas CNC machine now I make parts for cars through machining and fabrication.It is pretty cool creating bad @$$ parts for stuff you are passionate about.I learned alot from my father and apprenticeship programs.

    Thats where I am at right now.I have a lot of friends in the buisness who are allways busy and looking for good help.I think from job shops to specialty machining someone who is talented and wants to work will allways have a job making what I think is good money.

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    Can you clarify something for me? Do you want to be a machinist (take a blueprint and make a part) or a operator (runs production parts)? The reason I ask is we have operators who haven't done what you are talking about doing and calling themselves machinists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joks79 View Post
    Can you clarify something for me? Do you want to be a machinist (take a blueprint and make a part) or a operator (runs production parts)? The reason I ask is we have operators who haven't done what you are talking about doing and calling themselves machinists.
    machinist, not operator

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
    I graduated High School in 92 and started an apprenticeship through the tooling and manufacturing association (TMA) to be a moldmaker.I became a junior moldmaker,and then started leaning towards CNC programing.I started off being a parts changer,set ups etc...I learned Mastercam and spent some good years running Mazaks,Moris,Okuma..etc..I ended going back to the bench to be a moldmaker. Moldmaking and die shops set up to have programmers and operators. I couldnt be a programmer(allready had two) and being a moldmaker paid better than being an operator.I allways made real good money in the trade.It was never repetative.Youre allways learning and the technology never stops flowing.The hours wore on me (55 to 60 week)good money but not a lot of time to enjoy myself.

    I now own my own buisness and work way more than 55 to 60 hours/week.LOL .My passion was drag racing and was lucky enough to make a go at it succesfully.I started by building cars full time in 2000.About five years ago I purchased my first Haas CNC machine now I make parts for cars through machining and fabrication.It is pretty cool creating bad @$$ parts for stuff you are passionate about.I learned alot from my father and apprenticeship programs.

    Thats where I am at right now.I have a lot of friends in the buisness who are allways busy and looking for good help.I think from job shops to specialty machining someone who is talented and wants to work will allways have a job making what I think is good money.
    Thanks for the reply! I'm truly amazed at some of the stuff people can make, which is the main reason I was interested in this in the first place.

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    I graduated in 2000 with a tool/die degree. Did an internship with them in 99/00 and have been here ever since.

    I am at a unique shop where over 1/2 of the people here are engineers and only 3 machinists.

    I mainly run our CNC high speed mill but also know/do grinding, wire edm, sinker, micro sinker, lapping, etc...

    I order all our material, all my cutters, custom design my own cutters, do all the CAM for the mill, etc...I also do a decent amount of CAD work when I need to.

    If you can get in with a shop that will pay for school, you can't beat that. That way you don't have any school debt when you are done. You may have to give
    them x number of years in an agreement but that will go by fast.

    I work with everything from aluminum to fired ceramics, hard milling, etc...you name it I have probably cut it and it all keeps you on your toes as designs seem to be
    getting more complicated as the years go by. For example, I am now cutting with bits that are 0.001" in diameter and have a couple that are 0.0004" in diameter but
    haven't had time to try and wreck, I am cut with them yet.

    One thing to remember is to keep the ears open and listen/learn what the others are teaching you. Learn as many different types of tools as you can. You seem to
    have that natural mechanical aptitude to I think you will do well with machining.

    I do know that right now there are a lot of places that need a true machinist, not the operator calling themselves a machinist. Also, from the outlook that people see, there
    will be a large demand for it as not many are going to school for it right now.

    Good Luck.

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    Oh ya, one more thing. Don't waste your high school days working too hard. You will have a ton of time for work after high school so enjoy those days while you have them, trust me.

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    big differeance between machinist and button pusher, the pusher come dime a dozen.
    i think you want to stay towards the set-up/programing side of things. cad/cam knowledge would be great to have also.
    as an operator when i started out. got old fast.
    then moved up to what i also had mentioned-always something new to do/learn. more challenges.
    there will always be something that is good about a job and something that is not. and feel that will differ between each individaul.
    so i aint going to bore you with my likes/dislikes.
    good luck dude.

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    I had three years of machine shop in high school and was hooked on making stuff. I then went off to college and tried mechanical engr and that was a bummer, friends said I should have went for manuf.engr but I hated the book work. I then went to get my associates at a local college and was for the most part the only one I know with a AAS in Computer Aided Manuf (it was a CNC Programming degree when it start but course change to include CAD) even to this day.

    I never really became a manual machinist as I had experienced that in HS and some short jobs after HS but then with the college I got a job setup/operating and quickly turned to programming as the shop I was in was bringing in new technology and I happened to be the only one with a formal background in CNC thus I became the lead guy, this was over 25years ago.

    Then I went to the company I'm currently at and worked in the Specials Dept where we had to program/setup/run our own parts, custom indexable cutting tools average lot size of two. So I was able to get tons of experience there and was a perfect job for me, to use CNCs to make stuff (yes i even made stuff for the sled and PWCs, and whatever else I could think of)

    For the last 10years I have been off the CNCs and out of programming "directly" since I do all the processing for the shop in addition to being a shift supervisor which brings me to the machines to solve CNC issues and now this year they added the programming dept to my responsibilities.

    Many times I had to do tours for parents and incoming high school freshman that were looking into the manuf program of a local school. One of the things I would stress to them is that altho the CNCs are cool because they are computerized and anyone can actually run them, they still should work hard at learning the basics on manual machines. Without basic machining knowledge you are practically useless on a high cost CNC machine, if for example you can not put an R8 collet in a bridgeport or know the difference between climb and conventional milling you would not be making much more that minimum wage nowadays.

    To be honest right now I question being in manuf and this really hurts as I fully beleive someone has to make stuff for the economy to be strong, and I love making stuff, which I say i love my work. Now for the "job", that is the part that is really getting tough and not fun at all and I'm starting to think my next job will not be in manuf, could it be that I have been in supervision for 25 of my 30+ years, could it be that the demands are far out pacing rewards (not just money as I think I get decent wage), but bottom line I always fall back to the "making stuff" that I love and no one can take away the pride and accomplishment away not to mention the skills, and trust me I'm still learning things to this day as manuf is constantly evolving.
    Last edited by racerx; 12-14-2011 at 07:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indy_500 View Post
    In case you don't know me by now, I'm 16 yrs old, like to work on snowmobiles and trucks, and I'm very good at math. I've been wanting to be a CNC machinist for the past 2 years. Next year, I have the opportunity to do a youth apprenticeship at a machine shop for the 9 months of school. You work 6am-10am, then I'd have to hike on over to my high school and take a few more classes (I only need an english and social studies class to graduate). When the youth apprenticeship is over, you could possibly be offered a formal apprenticeship, and get your schooling paid for at my local technical college. So what I guess I'm asking here is, are there any CNC Machinists out there? What do you like about your job? And, what don't you like about your job? Did you go through an apprenticeship or not? And if you did, would you do it again or do it differently?

    Thanks!
    Hey, good for you Indy! Take that apprenticeship and run with it! Remember to do as yamahauler says, and not work too hard in your high school days. You have alot of years after school to do that. Good luck!

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    racerx:

    I hear ya, when you hear about how the mfg report wasn't good, everything is moving over seas it can get depressing. BUT, I would say in the last few years, depending on the mfg you are in, things are looking a little different. More and more talk or re-shoring and also actually doing so has taken place. I think it will take years but it is hard to say but when the dollar is down we become much more competitive. Also, I think for now some businesses that are trying to go the cheap route when they shouldn't are realizing that the move wasn't so good. Bad product, crappy material, warranty problems. It took time but they are realizing it. Get in with a reputable shop and work your way up and things should go well for you.

    Also, when you are finished making a really gnarly part and you sit back and say, yup, I did that, it is awesome!

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    I was a machinist 10 years. Not the fake kind (CNC operator) that would just set up a part, use an edgefinder, change a tool and hit go.

    I started out in moldmaking and moved onto different small shops learning how to run manual lathes, mills, grinders, cnc bridgeports (not big cnc machines), etc. Cutting all different kinds of metals with close tolerances. Making gages to just simple parts. It all depended on the job.

    Here's my advice: Go into school and try to find something that you may actually like doing.

    Why do I say this you ask? Well for one, I no longer am a machinist because I fortuanately stumbled upon a career fitting hearing aids. I own 2 office locations and work for myself. Would I have it any other way? Of course not. Screw the long hours, the constant pressure for parts that have to be done "right now." I was good so I was the go to guy for fast, right parts. Now I have more on my shoulders but the money is worth it. It's harder to run a successful business than it is to punch a clock.

    Ask yourself a few things:

    Do you want to work for a hard @$$ boss?
    Do you want to work overtime for chump change?
    Do you want to work weekends?
    Do you want to cut metal and get coolant and oil all over you just waiting for quitting time?
    Could you spend your whole working career really putting up with the above?

    I could've done it, but I'm sure glad I didn't. I work harder and I'm under more stress running my own business but I make more money and work less hours. Would I have a cabin in the woods working for the man cutting metal? No way.

    I had paid vacations, holidays, and insurance. Now I have none of that. I forgot to mention that they paid for school to. For what? I learned everything I needed to know on the job by listening to what others told me and not blaming mistakes on others. School means jack unless you go to certain shops. Experience is everything. CNC operators have almost no experience except for set up.

    I'm not trying to put anyone down that is in this career but as I look back on it, I would've been smarter to go into something that I wanted to do. I still have all of my tools and a career that I could fall back on if I had to though. I hope and pray that never happens.

    All I'm saying is don't sell yourself short Indy. Before you know it you'll be a democrat

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    Polarice, you must of had some bad experiences.

    My bosses are great, ya everyone has their moment but 99% of the time it is great. Isn't the average wage of a machinist with let's say a degree and four years experience around $21-25/hr. Overtime isn't too bad at that kind of wage. Now it doesn't matter but working 60+ weeks would get old in any profession and I don't know if any amount of money would be worth doing that forever.

    I have worked two weekends in my twelve years of work. One I did in my first year, the second I did because the customer needed the parts yesterday, lol. They paid me $1000.00 cash as well as all of my OT, lets just say that was a very nice check.

    You might get a little dirty, just depends on what kind of work you do. My machine shop has white floors that stay white, so it is very clean.

    You say you had paid vacations, holidays, and insurance and now you don't? I think that would be a nice thing to have. Granted, owning a business you can somewhat take off when you want but I don't think that out weights all the extra work on days you don't want to work, just my opinion.

    School is a great thing, you should do it. It gets you through things faster an unfortunately most places you go you need that degree. Better to do it now then latter.

    Anyway, not trying to argue with Polarice, but just wanted to show that I don't think that is the norm working in this industry.

    Oh ya, I forgot to mention this before. This is a great way to decide if this is something you'd like to do and if not, by the time you are done, you'll be able to switch degrees in college anyway. My two cents would be based on what I have seen you do, you should really look into mechanical or manufacture engineering.

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    U remind me of myself a few years ago...i was always taking stuff apart and puttin together...took all the machine shop i could...after school went to a trade school for design..ended up in a mold shop starting from bottom...worked my way up and finally ended up programming and running cnc boring mills...play with steel from 200 lbs to 20,000 lbs...love what i do but got so pissed about not making any real money that got a job offer for a shift or carrier i didnt want but money i definatly did...long story short the shop i was at decided they wanted me enough to beat the price so i stayed...but in my opinon in my area the days on $20 plus and hour r over with...i see way to many good mold makers getting low balled to $14 an hour...dont know how they do it cus cant raise a family on that....

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    Thanks for all of the replies guys! I really appreciate them! I look at what fields interest me, and I don't seem to be interested in anything that requires a 4 yr. college degree even if you make more money. I'm also interested in welding but can't see myself doing that day in and day out. I think the physical labor involved will burn you out, I know a few welders and they've had lots of hip and knee surgery's. I have until february to decide about the youth apprenticeship. I believe I'm the only one in my grade interested in it, everyone else thinks its either too hard (math) or its too much work (work starting at 6am). You get paid $8.50 I live 8 miles away
    Last edited by indy_500; 12-15-2011 at 11:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yamahauler View Post
    you should really look into mechanical or manufacture engineering.
    not so excited on the idea of going to a 4 year college. Not only the book/school work, but the debt! I'm in an engineering class right now, I love building the stuff, but hate all the "recordings" and such that the process requires to "engineer" something. I really like the cad part of the class though, I took 2 cad classes last year and love it.

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    Indy,

    A lot of good info here. Some things that jump out to me:

    Should you choose to take advantage of it, this field provides the opportunity to never stop learning. There will always be new software, new techniques, new tools, and new equipment.

    CAD/CAM is a must. Take all of the automated design classes you can.

    Job satisfaction counts

    Apprenticeships, internships are good. In my field, the vast majority of interns are offered jobs at their place of internship

    Sorry, but depending on your employer, you may not be able to escape "the process".

    Maybe you could make me a nice set of billet wheels

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiroule View Post
    Maybe you could make me a nice set of billet wheels
    Actually the reason I thought about becoming a CNC machinist is a couple years ago a guy posted on here a picture of a custom snowflap holder/bumper I believe it was and I thought how neat it was that someone could make something like that. I don't remember the guys username but he had a ski doo.

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    Learn manual machining, and go do something else. I started out machining, the old school way and realized back then that this work was going overseas. That was 20 yrs ago. Learn the trade and find another career. Right now Indy, pipeline welding!!!!! I work for the gas company as the in house pipeliner, making a 100k a year with 28 days vacation and all the other benefits. My counter parts, the contractors, 125k to start and the sky is the limit. The average age of a pipeline welder is in the upper 40's to early 50's, there is a demand for people to weld. The city of Chicago is looking for welders, real welders, not the run a bead and call yourself a welder. Starting pay was 44 bucks an hour.

    Welding can take you anywhere you want to go, any place in the world, every industry needs something welded or fabricated.

    I had 4-5 companies call me an offer me a job without even in putting in job application. Pay for a truck, food, lodging, a per deim and starting pay, 48 bucks an hour. Heres the catch, I'm experienced with more than a decade of pipelining, a beginner with a 6G qualification will only start out at 38 or start as an apprentice and make 29.

    The KEYSTONE pipeline, this pipe is going to get laid.

    Here is a interesting fact, the Alaskan pipeline, a 10 year project back in the 70's I think. One welder from that job was making what I'm making now, 40 years ago. Some guys worked the full job and RETIRED from that pipe, never to have to work another day in their life, if they so choosed.

    Just a thought Indy

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    My Hubby retired from John Deere in IA doing CNC work. Now we are retired up north, living the dream in a new house.
    He now grooms in a blue tractor (New Holland), but couldn't care less what color it is!
    Good luck in your venture!

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    Here is a timely article about your future. Seems as though you are chosing a good career path. Best Wishes.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/12/15...est=latestnews

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    Hard to beat a good education, pay your dues up front, You can play NOW and PAY later or PAY NOW and PLAY LATER. Go after a degree, take time deciding what direction you want to go in .

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    Quote Originally Posted by yamahauler View Post
    Polarice, you must of had some bad experiences.
    I worked at many different shops in my short career. I had a lot of good and bad experiences. The most money that I made was $16.00 per hour. It sounds like you make a bit more.

    Anyways, I'm glad that I have a technical background. I still think of everything in thousandths when measuring is concerned. I just think there are far more better careers to get involved in. If anyone is making less than 90k per year they're selling themselves short IMO.

    I agree with Frosty. That sounds like a FAR superior job opportunity than being a machinist.

    Look into a career in sales. There's little if any schooling involved. You can make a killing if you're good.
    Look into a career in sales. There's not much school if any and you an make a killing if you're good.
    Indy, if anyone tells you that the math is hard, that is crap. It's easy and the blueprints basically have it figured out for you. Then if you have to do trig or something like that, there's always little 'books' that you keep in your box that has all the information that you need. You just need to have some sort of work 'drive' and allow yourself to listen to the more seasoned guys (and not be a know it all) to excel in the field.

    I've been on both sides of the fence here as it sounds like most of the others have not been on. I can clearly see both sides because I've walked them both. I would not choose a career in machining. As someone else said, the wages are low. Talk to some guys and find out what 'top' pay is where they work. You may change your mind real quick. Unless you can get a career working for a Nascar driver or something like that.

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    The good news I am personally getting out of this thread is that there's actually programs out there for manufacturing in high school. Pretty much everything around me has been eliminated...and, as a business owner...I'm looking for kids like the OP. My employees are getting up in age, and I need to maintain the level of quality my customers expect...which is largely the result of the experience of my people.

    Something else I might toss out there...it's not ALL about the $. You should really just do something you enjoy. I took over the family business last year after working in the shop for 15+ years....being the boss pays better, but I still enjoy getting my hands dirty over paying bills.

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    You should look into a career in sales. Heck, be a salesman for a machine shop. There's little if any schooling for sales. You can also make a killing if you're any good.

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    Poor guy is 16 years old.You have to START somewhere.The more you learn the bigger your foundation.If you change directions it isnt a waste.Every career goes through cycles.Sounds like you will do great whatever happens.The individual is the largest deciding factor on what they get out of any carrer.

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    Indy, as far as debt, you mentioned they would pay for your schooling which would equal no debt. If they would pay for a your year degree, why not take it. If you don't use it is fine, if you do, then you have it.

    Polarice: This joke is all in fun and after your last few posts I have to tell it. How do you know when a salesperson is lying??? When their mouth is moving. Sorry couldn't resist. Salespeople CAN make a good living but they can also be hammered when things go south like the last few years. It just depends on what area you are in I guess.

    The pay thing also depends on what area you are in. If you live in small town don't expect to necessarily make as much as the city but then again that small town cost of living is usually less as well so it is an even trade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yamahauler View Post
    Indy, as far as debt, you mentioned they would pay for your schooling which would equal no debt. If they would pay for a your year degree, why not take it. If you don't use it is fine, if you do, then you have it.
    .
    They only pay to get a "machine tool technician" degree

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    If you want to move to the UP Extreme Tool is always looking for help in that field... There are 2 tool/mold making co's up here that always in need qualified workers. http://www.extremetool.com/employment.htm

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    Indy - I was very similar to you in high school. I loved to repair stuff, mostly in the automotive area. I talked with lots of people and somehow I became a mechanical engineer and graduated from Mich Tech. I wouldn't suggest it like you already said. You don't really ever get to put your hands on stuff and build it, that is what the machinists/welders/whatever do. After working for 3 completely different companies in three different fields my advice would be to stick to something you love to do. Forget about money and pick what you want to do, if you are good enough the money will follow.

    As for welding, I think you can make a lot of money. But you could make more as a broker for stocks, selling insurance etc. There will always be jobs that pay more money than what you are making right now, just a fact. Find something you want to get up for each day and your life will be nothing but fun.

    Oh yeah the internship with school. It can never hurt to get a degree, NEVER. I would do it, if nothing else you will be making boat loads of money while in school so you can ride your sled, put more sh*$ on your truck etc.

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    Get into wire EDM best thing i did,learn some cad programs if you like computers cad is really not that hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
    Poor guy is 16 years old.You have to START somewhere.The more you learn the bigger your foundation.If you change directions it isnt a waste.Every career goes through cycles.Sounds like you will do great whatever happens.The individual is the largest deciding factor on what they get out of any carrer.
    That's true that you do have to start somewhere. I'm trying to help give a different perspective. Perhaps not 'positive' but 'constructive.'

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    Quote Originally Posted by yamahauler View Post

    Polarice: This joke is all in fun and after your last few posts I have to tell it. How do you know when a salesperson is lying??? When their mouth is moving. Sorry couldn't resist. Salespeople CAN make a good living but they can also be hammered when things go south like the last few years. It just depends on what area you are in I guess.
    A 'bad' salesman is a liar. The economy does hurt but a sales position is a very good career. Just like machining though...you have a 'trade' to fall back on. Starting out though as a machinist you're on the bottom of the totem pole. As a salesperson, you could be on top really quick if you're good.

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    Indy - people more familiar with this line of work have given you good advice above. I work as a business financial consultant (have a CPA background). I recently had a CNC shop as a client (made parts for Delta faucets and Bilstein shocks) and I spent about 8 months working there onsite. I'm assuming you want to be the guy doing the designs and set-ups, not the hourly operator. You seem to be way too creative to be satisfied in the long run for the operator role. But that was a fairly "basic" shop - high volume, low difficulty of parts - so I don't want to give you advice as to this field. If I were you, I would probably do this program. Sounds like a good opportunity to figure out if this is something that interests you. However, I would implore you to also take as much math and science as you can in high school, because those skills and more importantly the thinking skills developed in learning them will be critical in any field that is likely to interest you. Just my $0.02, which isn't worth much any more.

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    Thanks for all the replies so far! If anybody has anything else to add, feel free! This is REALLY helping. The only problem is my mom. She really wants me to go to a 4 yr. college while my dad really wants me to do this. My dad worked in a machine shop for the first 5ish years of his adult life, but mostly as an operator and realized paper milles payed a lot more LOL. I think it's a really good opportunity, too good to pass up. I get hands on training, and if I decide I don't like it, well, I'm still a senior in high school and have the next few years to go to tech for something else, or do whatever else I decide.

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    Good point about still being in high school. You could do something else. Another good option would be the medical field. If you like to help people you won't be wandering around when you get out of school to find a job.

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    Indy I say do it, get a feel for it, you may find that you don't like it, which will be fine because you still have time to change your direction. And while you are there, learn EVERYTHING you can learn, don't just think, " I am here to learn this, and this only". The more experience you have doing whatever, the more valuable you are.

    If you find you love it, that is awesome, it is no fun getting up to go to work hating what you have to do to make a living!
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    Indy- I did a similar program when I was in high school, except I worked on building fire trucks. I learned so much stuff about manufacturing and the real world. I think that if you are willing to put the time in the machine shop it will at least give you a chance to see what you think of the work and you can ask yourself if it is something that you really want to get into. It is experience that you will never lose. I was considering to be a CNC machinist but I decided that I would go into CAD and design. I went to school for 2 years and I got a AS degree in engineering and design. Once I started working the company that I worked for needed a CAD/CAM programmer, so they sent me to training and I started creating the programs for the machines. I enjoyed that but I liked designing better.

    I look back at what I have learned and I think that it makes me a much better at my job. I now work for a large medical device company designing equipment. I think that if machining interests you I would jump on the program. From the posts that I have read you seem to be very creative and willing to learn. Like Skylar said, Learn everything you can. The experience that you gain will help out in the future. Good Luck!

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    Look into going to school for heavy equipment operator, They get paid pretty good and you get to play with some cool stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomxc700 View Post
    Look into going to school for heavy equipment operator, They get paid pretty good and you get to play with some cool stuff.
    This is what I was going to do but at the time I wanted a steady paycheck and did not want to be off in the winter (this is before I was into sledding go figure, I would like to be off now). So I opted for the steady pay as a machinist altho I did go into the miltary and drove heavy equipment in order to get the experience. Now instead of driving CATS, Deere, Bobcat etc. I'm making tools that machine parts for them

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    I learned when I was in my 30's and it was not so easy. Programing was. All you do is scan something and baboom! lol... I liked doing all of it. From start to finish. Good luck Indy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by indy_500 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies so far! If anybody has anything else to add, feel free! This is REALLY helping. The only problem is my mom. She really wants me to go to a 4 yr. college while my dad really wants me to do this. My dad worked in a machine shop for the first 5ish years of his adult life, but mostly as an operator and realized paper milles payed a lot more LOL. I think it's a really good opportunity, too good to pass up. I get hands on training, and if I decide I don't like it, well, I'm still a senior in high school and have the next few years to go to tech for something else, or do whatever else I decide.
    The first rule of thumb I figured out after listening to my parents for 22 years: Do what you want to do, not what will make them happy. If you have to work somewhere that you don't like you won't last there long. Your parents may be happy with the job but if you are let go because you aren't putting effort into the job are they going to let you move back in with them? Probably not. Do what you want to do. There is some awesome advice above about the trade you want to get into, but like someone said, learn not just what a CNC operator does, learn what manufacturing is all about. And no matter what anyone says LEAN manufacturing is here to stay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tealracing16 View Post
    And no matter what anyone says LEAN manufacturing is here to stay.

    Amen to that...I started in a shop of around 120 on the floor in 96...went thru a lot...and I mean a lot of 70+++ hours a week...then went thru the slow time of being laid off for a bit...and barley getting 40 a week for a few months...we leaned down to about 35 on the floor and probably aint ever going back up...but we still kick as much if not more work out then any of our busyest years...and turn around is in weeks and not months on top of that...

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    Indy I was the type of kid that was always taking things apart just to see how they worked and then put them back together. Sometimes they would work sometimes they didn’t. There is nothing wrong with being a machinist, they are defiantly a needed. Quite often a machinist stands at a machine most of the day and run parts the good ones can program but you are still standing still running parts. I would at least look into the industrial maintanence mechanics program at the local tech school. Maintenance mechanics / machine tool repair the mechanics are not tied to a machine and can typically work throughout the building repairing the machines and systems. It is a large field and the schooling will get you in the door for many types of jobs

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    Well, went to an open house last night with my parents, get back home and theres a message for me on the answering machine, they already want to set up an interview! I tried calling him back 3 times already, no answer he must be done for the week. I'm 1/3 who's sent a resume, about 15 kids from all different schools were there. A lot of them dressed worse than I do when I go to school. I also have a friend there (who i worked with at fleet in my dept. and goes to school with me) who put in a good word for me. He said they constantly are asking him about me, hopefully all goes well! Me and my parents talked to one of the owners a lot last night while taking a tour (my 2nd time there). The owner is a really cool guy, knows every single guys name out on the floor, still helps on tougher projects. There's actually 4 owners of the place all former machinists who wanted to start a shop that focuses on quality and cleanliness. There isn't a single metal shaving on the floor, you could eat off the floor. And the best part, I was even on the news last night!

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    Way to go Indy! Good Luck!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by indy_500 View Post
    Well, went to an open house last night with my parents, get back home and theres a message for me on the answering machine, they already want to set up an interview! I tried calling him back 3 times already, no answer he must be done for the week. I'm 1/3 who's sent a resume, about 15 kids from all different schools were there. A lot of them dressed worse than I do when I go to school. I also have a friend there (who i worked with at fleet in my dept. and goes to school with me) who put in a good word for me. He said they constantly are asking him about me, hopefully all goes well! Me and my parents talked to one of the owners a lot last night while taking a tour (my 2nd time there). The owner is a really cool guy, knows every single guys name out on the floor, still helps on tougher projects. There's actually 4 owners of the place all former machinists who wanted to start a shop that focuses on quality and cleanliness. There isn't a single metal shaving on the floor, you could eat off the floor. And the best part, I was even on the news last night!
    Awesome news Indy! Keep us posted.
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    Great news Indy, good luck I'm sure you impressed them

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    Good Luck Indy!

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    I'd say go for it. School/work try it out. Worse that can happen is you dont like it after months of trying. But with that said i also would also consider that 4 year college and degree. 1 thing ive learned is when you drop all your eggs into 1 basket and 20 years later the economy is down well what do you do? Back when i was 18 i went into the electricial field did the apprentiship and life was good for the next 15 years
    then things went south real quick work dried up and pay went back to days ive never seen and there you sit with no 4 year college degree to fall back onto. It may seem like a waste of time and money but a person can never have to much education and who knows what the job market will be like in 20 more years. Guess my point is with the 4 year degree your options will allways be easier for when times change. At 36 and a familly i cant just up and go get my 4 years degree now because my work field is in the tank.

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    Indy,
    I would have to agree with Arctiva. Although running CNC's isn't that bad and its a trade that there SHOULD always be work on don't overlook the importance of a 4 year degree. Try it, see if you like it, but DON'T put a job in front of school TRUST ME I speak from experience.

    That being said, I am a moldmaker in a small shop. We now have 4 CNC's and should be getting a new YCM high speed machining center within the next month. We have 2 sinker EDM's and a newer Wire EDM along with a few grinders and Bridgeports, lathes and Jig grinder. Our shop only has 4 people on the floor so its nice that I get to run every machine. I've been in the trade for 16 years and have seen the highs and lows...and was laid off from a shop that nearly closed its doors 10 years ago when the trade really slowed down (75% of the employees were let go and with 7 years in I didn't make the 10 year cutoff). Almost 30% of the shops around me closed down in the last 10 years. Now things are picking up again and we are overloaded until July with work. The best thing about my job is the variety - I rarely ever make the same thing twice so every day is a new challenge and every day you are on your toes to make sure that every program and setup is correct.

    I like my job but its not for everyone. In our shop we are so busy that, honestly, except lunch, nobody talks to each other. And, lately, with every machine on its really loud - so, if your shop is the same, wear ear protection - you'll thank yourself in 20 years. Good luck in your endeavor - you've always been a go-getter from the posts I've seen and have good mechanical apptitude (a must in this trade) but, as has been said before, don't overlook a 4 year degree - in 10, 15 or 20 years you might really need it.

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    Don't forget to take spanish!!!! Then if you don't get the job, obama will give you things for free.

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    Good news Indy.

    There is some truth to the 4 yr degree because it is unfortunate that the people that run businesses use that to narrow the field. There are some fields where there is no doubt that the 4 year degree and then some it needed. BUT there are a lot of fields that is not the case, BUT to get through the hope you have to have something. IF you are a quality machinist (not a button pusher) a true machinist, you will do fine in the machining world. There is a HUGE need for a quality machinist everywhere there is mfg. The other thing is that the retirement of these of a lot of these quality machinist is picking up steam fast. One other big piece of advice is to learn as many machines as you can. If you can master them all, you will basically be able to go anywhere you'd like. Good Luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakester View Post
    Don't forget to take spanish!!!! Then if you don't get the job, obama will give you things for free.
    +1

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    Well I just got back from the interview. It went pretty well, i thought one of the most interesting questions was "why machining and not engineering"

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    Quote Originally Posted by indy_500 View Post
    Well I just got back from the interview. It went pretty well, i thought one of the most interesting questions was "why machining and not engineering"
    It does make sense as I initially went into engr, altho it was mechanical and others asked me why didn't I go manuf engr, but I still did not like the engr side from any perspective and wanted to make stuff with my hands. I'm in Process Engineering right now and everyday I miss turning handles or actually pressing the start button as I'm a little bummed since every day that passes by I lose a little bit of my programming skills but it does come back when needed I'm just not as sharp as in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indy_500 View Post
    Well I just got back from the interview. It went pretty well, i thought one of the most interesting questions was "why machining and not engineering"
    And what was your answer?
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    Funny this thread came back to life. Just the other night there was a pretty long story on the local news how the colleges in our area are pushing the "trade" classes a lot more. How so many shops (Berrien and Cass county) are looking desperately for qualified people to work in them. No experiance and they will train you and expect to start out around $10 and with experiance expect to start around $15...I thought the last part was pretty funny..If you think I am taking my $5000+ tool box and years of college somewhere else for $15 your nuts...lowes will pay ya close to that. It is a sad day when a trained trade is worth so little. Just to hear employers saying they can't find anyone with good work ethic....

    Wish ya the best indy and learn all you can. A good machinist makes for a better engineer anyday in my book.

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    Indy - grab this opportunity, learn all you can, but make plans to get an engineering degree also. That will help to keep opportunities open later. I'm guessing you're dreaming of going on lots of snowmobile trips later in life, and you'll need to make a few bucks to do so...

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    Well, finally the call I've been waiting for. I got the job!

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    Way to go indy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylar View Post
    And what was your answer?
    I said that I like to work with my hands and I feel you lose that aspect with engineering.

    I'm just glad I got it, that interview was really hard, and i was really nervous during it LOL

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    entered in the trade in 85. by 93 i started my own shop and by 2001 it had grown to 25 employees. i sold in 2005 due to the nature of the business...high stress, low margins and the fear of each and every customer potentially going broke.

    i did very well, i love the trade. not everyone is cut out to operate a machine for the rest of their lives, for me i could not have done that...but i know many great guys that love it. i needed more, that led me to move to engineering and design.

    my former shop currently is doing very well, i sold out but the shop continued. things are booming these days for those that survived...but about 70% of the shops did not make it the last 11 yrs. i am currently back in the trade, unbelievably working in a high-end shop in the west upper peninsula.

    speaking as a former owner, from a few years back....apprentice programs are ok, but not of really anything i counted as important. i did the program myself in the late 80's and could have taught most of my classes far better than the instructors....on the job training is far better for this trade imo.

    it is a good trade, potential for good money if you are motivated. you are inside when it is cold and wet and it is usually air conditioned when hot...good environment.

    while things are booming now, the fact is that it is because the supply side of tooling is so small now. the majority of our things are now built on places like China and even middle east countries...and that isnt going to change until somehow the pricing scale evens out.

    good career and now is a good time...i would go for it if i were u.

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    Congrats Indy!

    Matt, is this a mold shop you are at?
    Lake Effect Snow, my three favorite words.

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    Congrats Indy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylar View Post
    Congrats Indy!

    Matt, is this a mold shop you are at?

    Yes, Extreme Tool and Engineering in Wakefield. I went expecting a ma and pa shop but found a very modern and decent size company building high quality stuff. nice to get back in the trade again...much nicer to be an employee and not have all the worries!

    i did mean to say regarding the apprentice programs....at least for me and most that i knew in the trade, it is far more important to have an employee that shows up on time every day and can follow directions...we could easily train anyone that could do those two things. trouble is, those are increasingly hard qualities to find, even in the skilled labor force.

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    Hooray! Congrats, Indy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by yamahauler View Post
    Good news Indy.

    There is some truth to the 4 yr degree because it is unfortunate that the people that run businesses use that to narrow the field. There are some fields where there is no doubt that the 4 year degree and then some it needed. BUT there are a lot of fields that is not the case, BUT to get through the hope you have to have something. IF you are a quality machinist (not a button pusher) a true machinist, you will do fine in the machining world. There is a HUGE need for a quality machinist everywhere there is mfg. The other thing is that the retirement of these of a lot of these quality machinist is picking up steam fast. One other big piece of advice is to learn as many machines as you can. If you can master them all, you will basically be able to go anywhere you'd like. Good Luck.
    not sure i agree on the button pusher -vs- true machinist statement. aside from a few old timers, i havent seen a true machinist (defined by the contrast) in 25 years. the days of a guy with a blueprint at a Bridgeport or a manual lathe making parts by hand not only doesnt exist on any real scale (in my world at least), it is ineffecient and unpractical

    everyone needs to have the skill to run a manual machine or precision grind something...but button pushers are capable of tweaking the programs to hold tolerances that before were time incredibly difficult. The computer allows us to do things that were not possible in the past (shapes and otherwise) to exact precision and repeatibility.

    not saying that there isnt a shop out there otherwise, but most of us that grew up in the trade in the last 25 yrs are not skilled to manually do the things the old timers can/could do.

    lots of very skilled guys but the days of a guy using the machinist handbook to choose the right cutter and making a gear on a bridgeport are past. super skills but no longer needed. one might say that the ability to manipulate 3d cad and design a 3d object on a 2d screen and remove the metal using your imagination so that the button pusher can then take it, adjust and tweek to get a part that is near perfect....a very equal set of talents in my book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indy_500 View Post
    Well, finally the call I've been waiting for. I got the job!
    Congrats indy!!!!!!!!

    Welcome to working the rest of your life. lol

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    Thanks guys!

    @eagle1, I already know what that feels like LOL. Since winter ended I've been working every mon/wed/fri and every sat/sun. 4-4.5 hrs during weeknights and 6-7.5 hrs on the weekends. Not been fun, and I mow about a half dozen lawns a week on top of that. And you can't forget school 8-3 mon-fri. In fact I worked 9-3 today and just got back from mowing a lawn that took me 2.5 hrs. It was over a foot tall, it was a disaster! Not to mention I got some nylon/yarn stuck in my mower deck (not sure why it was in their yard) and my push mower wouldnt start so i had to go home and get another one

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    ha, ha yea you probably put more hours in than me. But all your hard work will, and already is paying off.
    Not too many kids your age can say they paid for and maintain there trucks,sleds and mowers. Those life lessons will serve you well in life and I have no doubt you will excel in what ever career path you choose.

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    Congrats Indy.

    @thebluff...agreed with the true machinist thing except one thing. If you know the manual mill/lathe and can do the CAD/CAM stuff, you are going to do well and I would consider that a real machinist nowadays. A button pusher is not a machinist no matter how you look at it. They generally only can change a few codes, not the 100+ that are out there. They generally can't trouble shoot a problem real well or think outside the box. They are usually trained to tweak something specific, setup something specific, etc... You give them a blueprint and they may be lost on where to start cutting if it wasn't laid out for them.

    We tried to hire 5 yrs ago, interviewed 30 people...all said they were machinist. Then when asked what their experience was in an interview they stated that they loaded parts, change some code, etc... I tossed up a quick program on the board and said this is what the program did and what is should do, what needs to be changed and they didn't know where to start. They didn't know basic geometry, metric to english conversion, nothing. Maybe I got 30 bad ones, don't know but that is just my experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yamahauler View Post
    Congrats Indy.

    @thebluff...agreed with the true machinist thing except one thing. If you know the manual mill/lathe and can do the CAD/CAM stuff, you are going to do well and I would consider that a real machinist nowadays. A button pusher is not a machinist no matter how you look at it. They generally only can change a few codes, not the 100+ that are out there. They generally can't trouble shoot a problem real well or think outside the box. They are usually trained to tweak something specific, setup something specific, etc... You give them a blueprint and they may be lost on where to start cutting if it wasn't laid out for them.

    We tried to hire 5 yrs ago, interviewed 30 people...all said they were machinist. Then when asked what their experience was in an interview they stated that they loaded parts, change some code, etc... I tossed up a quick program on the board and said this is what the program did and what is should do, what needs to be changed and they didn't know where to start. They didn't know basic geometry, metric to english conversion, nothing. Maybe I got 30 bad ones, don't know but that is just my experience.
    This is so true...We have some youngs guys that can not tell me the insert grade on the tool they are using yet the box sits right on the desk in front off them and they expect and continually gripe that they are not getting mid 20/hr since they are "machinists" and not "operators". You would not believe the knowledge level that is lacking nowadays. Heck the other day a guy could not figure out why his part was off 0.094" and blamed the program turned out he could not even use his calculator to add the numbers correctly and enter in the wrong offset. Funny thing the machinist vs. operator debate is almost a daily topic here and boy does it raise some feathers.

    Admit this or not but this is part of the problem with manufacturing going overseas (not trying to start a debate) but how can companies afford high wages for people that have little to no real "value-added" part of the product, this translates to expensive costs to manuf and who wants to do that. So the places that flourish are companies that have the highly skilled people and those people are generally paid fairly well, but the products are also more expensive but can not be made elsewhere for a multitude of reasons.

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    Well, I put in my 2 weeks at Fleet Farm, kinda feel bad since it wasn't really "2 weeks". I didn't get an email from the machine shop until yesterday and I went in today to put in my notice, I start the 4th at the machine shop and I put in the 2nd as my last day, but I had asked off for the 31, 1, and 2 to go to the Crandon Brush Runs so it was only a week really... Hope Everything goes well its gonna feel weird waking up at 430 every morning LOL

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    4:30 isn't so bad been getting up alot of years at that time, you'll do ok Indy, Congrats on the new job and welcome to the club, I should add this career field really needs young people like you, stick with it learn everything you can you'll go along way.
    Last edited by Bradzoo; 08-25-2012 at 06:47 AM.

  77. #77
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    Wish ya the best indy and learn all you can. A good machinist makes for a better engineer anyday in my book.[/QUOTE]

    You know it's funny, I'm back on the bench, last job 6.5 as an engineer, and everyone engineers especially want to be a maintenance/ tooling guy. They roll into the tooling area, want to borrow tools which they have NONE of or maybe at best a set of company issued calipers.... then continue to tell me how they are almost a toolmaker >>>>> LOL
    All is see it a mess and a bunch of busted carbide drills & mills.... they will turn them black and shatter the ends ( what a hoot ). I actually have a 12" X 12" X 6" cardboard box worth of company damaged expendable tooling sitting there. They " smoked the stuff " at 35 -85 a cutter ( Garr ). AND the drama continues. It must be 4-5K worth of junk.

    Always continue your education, I feel that there is a lack of old school toolmakers around . I havent seen anyone young in this trade that served an apprentiveship like I did many years ago. Back to basics, being able to make stuff the long way takes knowledge & skill. Heck nowadays you dont even have to make your own electrodes, in fact some of them are so complicated and in 1 piece that they have to be made on a cnc. Always good to know how to re-engineer a core or cavity detail so it can be repaired ... incase there is NO cnc around.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by indy_500 View Post
    Well, I put in my 2 weeks at Fleet Farm, kinda feel bad since it wasn't really "2 weeks". I didn't get an email from the machine shop until yesterday and I went in today to put in my notice, I start the 4th at the machine shop and I put in the 2nd as my last day, but I had asked off for the 31, 1, and 2 to go to the Crandon Brush Runs so it was only a week really... Hope Everything goes well its gonna feel weird waking up at 430 every morning LOL
    Congrats again Indy, a little advice, like you haven't heard enough of that right, its not getting up at 4:30 that gets to you, its going to bed later then 10-11 a night that catches up with ya. When we are working 50's, I get up at 3:30, if I don't get to bed by 9, the whole next day I am tired. LOL.
    Lake Effect Snow, my three favorite words.

  79. #79
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    Thanks guys for the advise! I'm really looking forward to starting there, especially having every weeknight and every weekend off! And it helps that half the guys employed there are fellow sledders!

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylar View Post
    Congrats again Indy, a little advice, like you haven't heard enough of that right, its not getting up at 4:30 that gets to you, its going to bed later then 10-11 a night that catches up with ya. When we are working 50's, I get up at 3:30, if I don't get to bed by 9, the whole next day I am tired. LOL.
    Thats cuz you're gettin old!!!HAHAHAHA


    Carbide prices are dropping better sell it now

  81. #81
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    Hey, good job indy! Your gonna love that work.

  82. #82
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    If they offer you overtime...take it...im in the same trade and thats when you starting making good money.Plus it will look good on your review.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by indy_500 View Post
    Thanks guys for the advise [sic]! I'm really looking forward to starting there, especially having every weeknight and every weekend off! And it helps that half the guys employed there are fellow sledders!
    Of course I would ADVISE (verb) you to accept any ADVICE (noun) you can get. (Yeah, the devil made me do it!)

    And I wish you every success on the new job, Indy!

  84. #84
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    Just thought I'd give you guys an update! I got offered the apprenticeship today. Will start working full time the day I graduate. When next fall rolls around I will be going to school once every other week for 8 hours and working full time in between. Out of the 5 of us youngsters I was the only one offered an apprenticeship. I can't wait, very excited to keep learning, can't get any better than making an aluminum block look like chrome!

  85. #85
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    Congratulations Indy! I'm not surprised one bit you were the one chosen. Smart management at that place! Does this mean a new sled for next year?

  86. #86
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    Yikes, this is going to cut into riding time for sure!!!

  87. #87
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    Waqy to go Indy! Always looking for cnc machine guys here in the western UP. Extreme tool in Wakefield is one and Presion Tool in Ironwood cant find all the qualified people they need.

  88. #88
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    Congrats Indy.

    Arcticgeorge...same problem here in the Twin Cities.

  89. #89
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    hmm..only if the wife would move...if i was single i would be putting in a resume at extreme tool.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by hemi_newman View Post
    hmm..only if the wife would move...if i was single i would be putting in a resume at extreme tool.
    I thought about looking in to it since the wife does want to move but the problem I have is I do not have mold experience and I believe my background would not be as much of a benefit that I would like going in to something new.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticgeorge View Post
    Waqy to go Indy! Always looking for cnc machine guys here in the western UP. Extreme tool in Wakefield is one and Presion Tool in Ironwood cant find all the qualified people they need.
    Definatly something I'll think about down the road!

  92. #92
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    Thought I'd bring this thread back to life. I've moved up 3 machines since I started in the lathe department am now helping out older guys with code. They shoved me back on the 2nd lathe I was running on Monday after working 12s all weekend making steel plates that get cemented into the ground to hold up the big windmills that generate electricity. Long story short my company isn't the greatest at communication but this lathe is the oldest in the shop with 18k hrs on it and as I'm running it Monday afternoon a guy is taking pictures of it and tells me he's taking it on trade and replacing it with a puma 3100 xly (live tooling lathe) from what I understand sounds like I may be getting to run this bad boy. Never a day that I wake up and hate going to work I really am enjoying what I do. Making okay money more than the rest of my buddies who didn't choose the college route. I ordered a 2015 rmk 800 155" which will not be financed so I think its paying off. I decided to look back and read this entire thread thought it was funny someone mentioned the school doesn't teach much and learn what you can on the job. I've found that to be spot on. Lots of guys around here are making $60k without much OT I feel like im right where I wanted to be. Thanks for the suggestions a few years back guys! I've taught myself a lot in my short time of experience so far. Hold tolerances of .0004" daily I use Gibbs to program most parts sometimes handwriting is quicker. Have run 6' long shafts taking .400" a side. Pretty crazy stuff you can do. Hopefully I continue to learn and grow in this trade. I got the chance to head to the UP 11 times this past winter. I guess what I'm saying is as a 19 yr old I'm having fun doing exactly what I want to! Not sure what my future exactly holds who knows maybe I'll own my own shop some day. Sorry for the rambled lengthy post I did this on my phone lying in bed not being able to fall asleep due to my goofy 3pm-3am schedule . I left work at 10 and have off tomorrow time to yank the front axle on my truck and replace my oil pan gasket

  93. #93
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    Glad your enjoying it Indy, I have a couple weeks off my new gig starts on the 16th, more money and less hours should mean more time to ride this winter sounds like I won't be working working many weekends! Definitely a shortage of trades people out there, makes for a job rich environment.

    Bradzoo

  94. #94
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    Glad you like it Indy! Keep on doing what you are doing. Always try to remain positive and enthusiastic. :-)
    Lake Effect Snow, my three favorite words.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by indy_500 View Post
    Thought I'd bring this thread back to life. I've moved up 3 machines since I started in the lathe department am now helping out older guys with code. They shoved me back on the 2nd lathe I was running on Monday after working 12s all weekend making steel plates that get cemented into the ground to hold up the big windmills that generate electricity. Long story short my company isn't the greatest at communication but this lathe is the oldest in the shop with 18k hrs on it and as I'm running it Monday afternoon a guy is taking pictures of it and tells me he's taking it on trade and replacing it with a puma 3100 xly (live tooling lathe) from what I understand sounds like I may be getting to run this bad boy. Never a day that I wake up and hate going to work I really am enjoying what I do. Making okay money more than the rest of my buddies who didn't choose the college route. I ordered a 2015 rmk 800 155" which will not be financed so I think its paying off. I decided to look back and read this entire thread thought it was funny someone mentioned the school doesn't teach much and learn what you can on the job. I've found that to be spot on. Lots of guys around here are making $60k without much OT I feel like im right where I wanted to be. Thanks for the suggestions a few years back guys! I've taught myself a lot in my short time of experience so far. Hold tolerances of .0004" daily I use Gibbs to program most parts sometimes handwriting is quicker. Have run 6' long shafts taking .400" a side. Pretty crazy stuff you can do. Hopefully I continue to learn and grow in this trade. I got the chance to head to the UP 11 times this past winter. I guess what I'm saying is as a 19 yr old I'm having fun doing exactly what I want to! Not sure what my future exactly holds who knows maybe I'll own my own shop some day. Sorry for the rambled lengthy post I did this on my phone lying in bed not being able to fall asleep due to my goofy 3pm-3am schedule . I left work at 10 and have off tomorrow time to yank the front axle on my truck and replace my oil pan gasket
    Awesome! Now start saving to buy a duplex, live in one half and let your tenant make your mortgage payment. In 5 years, move out of the duplex and buy or build a house with big shed for your toys. Keep the original duplex and buy another one.

    HH

  96. #96
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    Indy, you have a plan and the ambition and smarts to make it happen.

    Some very good advice given by highhertel. If I could have done one thing differently in my life up to this point, it would have been to spend some of my money more wisely. You do not need to make huge sacrifices in your lifestyle or in the fun you have to start setting yourself up nicely for the future. I always thought I would have plenty of time to save for the future and somehow never fully got around to it. I did do a few things right along the way and I am saving now, but time is not on my side like it is yours. You do not need to make huge financial commitments, just smart ones. Make your money work for you, not the other way around.

    -John

  97. #97
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    Thanks for the advice guys. Been pondering if I should increase the 3% going away for retirement. I figured it was a wiser choice to keep that money where I want it for a house. Not interested in PMI and crappy interest rates like the rest of the country has seemed to fall back on.

  98. #98
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    Glad things are working out for you Indy!!
    John gives some very good advice. Your already ahead of the game being 19 and having a 401k. Now make sure you stay there.
    Now bump up that 3% to 5%, then once a year (anniversary, birthday) bump it up 1%. If your living right you'll never miss that 1%.

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