To all the bosses and ex bosses,
I have working for me a smart 22 year old young man. This makes my
shop a two man shop. He is proficient at mig welding, can read basic
blueprints, and picks things up fast. He is intelligent and wants to
be a machinist. Since I don't have the luxuries of unlimited time and
money the fellow must learn on the job mostly with some time spent
purely for teaching.
The shop is equipped with manual lathes, mills, grinders, welder
and plasma cutter. It also has a couple cnc lathes and a cnc mill. My
goal is to teach him as much as possible about these machines while
still making enough profit from his labors.
Right now he's getting an overview of the shop and what all the
machines do. He is being taught that .005" tolerance is wide open. My
philosophy about machining is to make all the parts accurate and
beautiful. I was taught this by the man who gave me my first machine
shop job. This means no sloppy work and no scrap parts making it out
the door. All mistakes are recognized and corrected in the shop, not
by the customer. Unreported bad parts can lead to him being fired.
At this time my employee (I'll call him "Mac") is running the cnc
mill. He is learning setup procedures. Using an edge finder, finding
the center of holes with an indicator, setting Z zero by bringing the
tool down to the part and touching off a piece of paper laying on the
part, establishing the location of all the other tools and entering
the offsets are skills he is now learning. Mac is learning about
cutting speeds and how to find out what speed is right for what tool.
Next week I'll start showing Mac how to grind drills. He will be
learning what the drill should look like and how it cuts after being
re-sharpened in the shop. Soon he'll be learning how to grind HSS and
carbide lathe cutters.
My teaching method is to have Mac use grinders with tool rests,
protractors, etc. first in order to see how the tool should look when
ground properly. The distinction between shop ground cutting tools and
bought tools will be shown. This will enable him to grind offhand and
know when the tool is ground properly. I show him things and have him
do what I just did so that he gets the hands on experience so vital to
becoming a machinist. An example of this is when I swept in the head
of the Bridgeport mill and after that was done bolted a rotary table
to the mill and found center with the indicator. He then had to do the
same thing I just did. The mill head was tilted a little and the
rotary table was removed, so he had to start from scratch. He got the
head swept in to .0002" TIR and the same for the rotary table.
I encourage Mac to use his imagination and have told him that I'm
not too proud to listen to and implement any ideas of his that are
better than mine
With the above information in mind any teaching method suggestions
would be greatly appreciated.
Eric R Snow,
E T Precision Machine
- posted 17 years ago