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Posted: 6/9/2021 5:27:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/9/2021 7:21:53 PM EDT by Green0]
Link Posted: 6/28/2021 8:48:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/30/2021 9:47:52 PM EDT
Wondering how we have never crossed paths, as I run the only shop in WI that offers melonite heat treatment, and maybe the only one in the Midwest that is also a gun guy, lol. I have a machining background, so I will keep my ear to the ground, as your shop sounds ideal.
Link Posted: 7/2/2021 11:42:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/2/2021 11:44:10 AM EDT by RickFinsta]
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Originally Posted By STANMAN:
Wondering how we have never crossed paths, as I run the only shop in WI that offers melonite heat treatment, and maybe the only one in the Midwest that is also a gun guy, lol. I have a machining background, so I will keep my ear to the ground, as your shop sounds ideal.
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Really?  I've got parts I'm getting gas nitrided now but the black isn't as nice as when they were being carburized and black oxide coated.  Drop me a PM and we'll chat.

ETA: and of course, best of luck finding guys, OP.  Things are crazy right now.  My scrap guy keeps getting job offers and shops around here are trying to poach his guys just because they know they show up to work and follow directions.  They'll take anyone who can communicate in English well enough and work, and they'll train.
Link Posted: 7/3/2021 2:31:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/5/2021 10:06:29 AM EDT
Yes, I am the GM at Bodycote, New Berlin. If you have tried us in the past (over 3 years ago), I would be happy to run some samples to show what we can do today. We have glass bead equipment now and are making a stronger push into cosmetics, as you are correct, in the past it was not our target market. We can do 17-4 down to H900 condition, which is as low as any salt bath FNC line can go without it starting to solidify. I am on PTO this week, but give the plant a jingle next Monday, I love to talk shop!
Link Posted: 7/5/2021 10:20:52 AM EDT
I wish I was in the CNC field. Not something I really know about. FYI your location on Google maps lists you as permanently closed.
Link Posted: 7/6/2021 7:11:46 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By N1150x:
I wish I was in the CNC field. Not something I really know about. FYI your location on Google maps lists you as permanently closed.
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If you want to get into the CNC field, the world is your oyster.  Right now most shops in the metro Milwaukee area will hire anyone who will show up, is willing/able to learn, and works hard.  You can probably start as a button pusher in many shops for over $20/hr base pay.  Many will also send you through a CNC Operator or Toolmaker program at a technical college and cover some of the tuition plus pay your to work at the shop.

I first touched a CNC machine in 2017 and I own my own shop and product line now.  Don't get me wrong, there are guys out there at a very high level versus most of the industry, but when it comes down to it, it is no more technically complicated than cooking (neither was production chemistry, FWIW).

Poke around on Youtube and watch some videos.
Link Posted: 7/9/2021 12:03:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/9/2021 12:08:04 PM EDT by Green0]
Link Posted: 7/9/2021 12:18:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/9/2021 12:21:43 PM EDT by Green0]
Link Posted: 7/9/2021 1:11:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/9/2021 1:30:58 PM EDT by Green0]
Link Posted: 7/10/2021 2:00:01 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By RickFinsta:


If you want to get into the CNC field, the world is your oyster.  Right now most shops in the metro Milwaukee area will hire anyone who will show up, is willing/able to learn, and works hard.  You can probably start as a button pusher in many shops for over $20/hr base pay.  Many will also send you through a CNC Operator or Toolmaker program at a technical college and cover some of the tuition plus pay your to work at the shop.

I first touched a CNC machine in 2017 and I own my own shop and product line now.  Don't get me wrong, there are guys out there at a very high level versus most of the industry, but when it comes down to it, it is no more technically complicated than cooking (neither was production chemistry, FWIW).

Poke around on Youtube and watch some videos.
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Congrats on having your own place and product line!!

For first touching a CNC 4 years ago you've done well.

Like all things in life not all CNC programing is equal, programs to drill hole patterns vs 5 axis contoured surfaces are a world apart. And different machines require different skills and thoughts, 5 axis Wire vs 5 axis mill for example.

I owned a Tool Shop for little over a dozen years. I was always looking/thinking about finding a product line. Never did.

I was fortunate to sell out and retire early.

I would gladly hire an eager person who wanted to learn and was willing to work. In fact many times the right person with no experience is often better than one with a bad work ethic and experience.

I was lucky to hire one guy that had no experience. He bugged me for several weeks for a job until I gave in and hired him as an apprentice. He was a hard worker, always looking to improve his skills.
After 3 years of working as an apprentice he was better than a couple of my journey men with over a decade of experience.
Sadly I never got to see him reach his potential as he fell down his basement stairs and ended up dying.


Link Posted: 7/10/2021 10:07:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/10/2021 10:17:10 AM EDT by Green0]
Link Posted: 7/10/2021 11:09:33 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Green0:



I did have the benefit of technical school taking tool and die in 2006,

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Where did you you go for Tech school?

2006? I went thru tech school for Tool and Die from 1977-1979. I guess that dates me some.
Only did 3 semesters, I ended up getting an apprenticeship in Tool Design offered to me at that point. That and with some other issues it seemed like why keep going to school if the end goal is to get an apprenticeship when I can get one now.

Did an apprenticeship and got a Journeyman card in Tool Design. Worked for a lot of places in WI over the years. AO Smith and Johnson Controls to name 2. Didn't do just design work, did lots of other related stuff, quoting, scheduling, establishing tooling and processes required to make parts besides working in the shop getting my hands dirty. I worked with Aluminum Die casting, Aluminum extrusion, Plastic extrusion, Plastic injection molds, Progressive metal stamping dies, deep drawing tooling for stainless steel, screw machine tooling both manual and cnc, assembly fixtures, weld Fixtures and a bunch of other stuff that I can't even think of right now. I think Progressive dies are the most challenging. I designed Prog. Dies for Ford, American Motors, Fisher Body to name a few.  Worked at a Job shop that was on the cutting edge of new tech, I was designing dies on CAD systems in the early '80's when the computers were large main frames.

Talk about being around the block and seeing the age of computers in Tooling and manufacturing come from punched tapes to where it is now.

Gee, I really feel old now.




Link Posted: 7/11/2021 11:25:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2021 11:36:09 AM EDT by Green0]
Link Posted: 7/11/2021 5:44:30 PM EDT
I bought a newish Hurco VM10i along with the product line, and before that we had four of the "mold" machines (VMX42i) at the shop I was running - those are the four machines I didn't buy LOL.  I think the control is nice in that it has a modern UI and features, and the motion control isn't terrible, but the iron is not very good.  At least they aren't a Haas!

The Doosans look really good.  They seem to really give a shit about control implementation, which for FANUC is everything, especially with lower tier controls (i.e. not a 31i/32i).  Build quality seems better than most mid tier stuff.  Their turning stuff seemed very budget friendly relative to cost.

I've got a new Okuma on the floor now (my only milling spindle currently) - fantastic machine but has its own quirks.  For a machine that can eat metal like it can, the chip buildup can be problematic.  The control is top notch and for a 19k pound bridge mill this thing can *move*.

Up at the old place I stacked us with Brother Speedios and a pallet pool Matsuura for 5-axis, and all those are like printing money.  If the small tooling side of things goes how I want it to, I'm going to be looking at adding either a pallet changer Speedio or a Matsuura horizontal in the next few years.  Being a one man show I've gotta prioritize unattended spindle time over the long run, and both Brother and Matsuura are fantastic with factory-integrated automation in budget-friendly price ranges.  Plus you get to deal with Yamazen (though Morris has been fantastic to me as well over the years).  They also have the most compact designs I found when shopping.  I only have about 2750 square feet, and don't really want to ever get bigger than that.  If I do, that means employees, which means it is time to sell the business and move on.

I could nerd out about this shit all day.
Link Posted: 7/12/2021 9:45:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/12/2021 9:49:29 AM EDT by Green0]
Link Posted: 7/13/2021 8:26:57 AM EDT
I was spoiled with that Matsuura for my first 5-axis.  It wasn't even one of their MAM series, just their "entry level" MX with a pallet changer.  It just did exactly what you told it to, to microns, every day, all day.  It had none of the problems with chip and coolant management, or thermal growth or spindle heating that I've seen with other machines trying to run balls-out 24/7.  The pallet integration was really, really good.  The scheduler and sister tooling or rescheduling stuff worked seamlessly.  It is funny, I have heard of spindle issues with the 20k RPM units but haven't been able to find a single owner who had issues in their own shop.  I would buy another in a heartbeat if I had work to justify it.  My stuff is really more suited to high density fixturing on a horizontal if the sales take off, though.  No real need for five axis.  Hell, with utilities through-table you can even build hydraulic or pneumatic indexers into pallets if you really need to minimize operations or parts swapping.  I've got some white label stuff I make that would be perfect on an MX-330 PC10 but with the EPA nonsense going on I'm not sure how that industry is going to go.  I'd need to be doing about 2-3X the current EAU to justify a spindle for that.  We'll see.

As to having employees... I dunno, man.  I've got my mother doing front office stuff since she wanted to help out when she retired late last year, and working alone sucks (very difficult for me to stay motivated), but having to worry about all the government crap with payroll, worker's comp, etc., I don't think is for me.  Hell just keeping up on the books is a chore I can barely handle.

Machine warmup just finished and the saw just dropped the first billet so time to go make chips.
Link Posted: 7/13/2021 2:23:55 PM EDT
Any Quality positions?

Link Posted: 7/14/2021 7:18:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/14/2021 7:18:55 AM EDT by DirtyDirk]
Our CNC Mills were OKK's. Preferred 50 Taper machines.
Speed was less of a concern than heavy duty, being able to take heavier cuts.
Machined mostly Mild steels and Tool Steels, sometimes hardened tool steels.
We depended upon Wires more than the Mills, Used Charmilles Wires, besides Die work we did lots of Plastic extrusion stuff which takes lots more thought. HAd to do multiple cuts on single openings at times. Don't figure the cuts out right and you can't get the slugs out.

We were a Tool shop first and foremost. So lots of one off stuff.
We did make some machine parts that occasionally got into more than one. Big numbers for us were around a dozen.

Different world than production stuff in many ways yet the same in many other ways.
Link Posted: 7/14/2021 7:37:39 AM EDT
May not help the OP but when we got swamped with work we outsourced what we could.
Also bought raw materials more finished than we would normally. Get them ground top and bottom outside rather than us doing it for example.
We also made prototypes or pre-approval of die samples, mostly stampings, when we had to run a bunch we would bring in Temp labor for any job that could be pushed down to them.
Used them for deburring parts off CNC mills for example. Our shop was very flexible, could move talent around as needed to get a certain job done in a hurry if needed. But again, being  primarily a one off shop has it advantages that way. Employees understood the issues and were willing to help on a relatively temp basis.

Didn't have a need for a CNC lathe, had a really great manual lathe guy and pretty much everything being one off it was quicker to do it with my guy but when we got bigger stuff that required lots of cutting we'd send out for CNC lathe work.

I was always on the lookout for help. Some of the issues I had were hiring guys that would come only if they never had to work OT on Sat. mornings. Couldn't do that, not fair to existing employees.
I found that if you offered enough money you could usually suck guys away from other places.

Link Posted: 7/14/2021 10:48:22 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Green0:

If you're talking Operation or Machinist, it starts with good mechanical aptitude, work ethic, and ability to use hand tools about half as adeptly as a professional mechanic.  If you have that, you can learn to be a great operator on the job in 2 or so years.  If a job is actually going to take a strong effort in training you, you'll probably make more like $17 an hour in intense learning environments for a few months, while the focus is 80% education.  The jobs that will give you $20 are going to want more work, and will teach you less doing it.  We have both types of positions available here.  And that's really cool, to get paid to learn things people pay tech schools to not quite learn as well. I went to tech school for machining and in the manual portion, during finals I worked 55 hours a week and paid the school to do that, and at one point I got massively dehydrated and blacked out and woke up on the floor because the shop there wasn't air conditioned like our shop.

Add a 3-4 years, strong attention to detail, good problem solving, good reflex response time, and the ability to remember processes and information you learn, and you can learn to be a great machinist.  

Add a pretty high level of intelligence and very strong drive to learn on your own time, and you could eventually be a high level programmer.  

Everyone starts somewhere.  Today, a lot of people get ahead of themselves and ask for the ceiling without climbing the ladder, and that just sets a person up for failure and disappointment.
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Originally Posted By Green0:
Originally Posted By N1150x:
I wish I was in the CNC field. Not something I really know about. FYI your location on Google maps lists you as permanently closed.

If you're talking Operation or Machinist, it starts with good mechanical aptitude, work ethic, and ability to use hand tools about half as adeptly as a professional mechanic.  If you have that, you can learn to be a great operator on the job in 2 or so years.  If a job is actually going to take a strong effort in training you, you'll probably make more like $17 an hour in intense learning environments for a few months, while the focus is 80% education.  The jobs that will give you $20 are going to want more work, and will teach you less doing it.  We have both types of positions available here.  And that's really cool, to get paid to learn things people pay tech schools to not quite learn as well. I went to tech school for machining and in the manual portion, during finals I worked 55 hours a week and paid the school to do that, and at one point I got massively dehydrated and blacked out and woke up on the floor because the shop there wasn't air conditioned like our shop.

Add a 3-4 years, strong attention to detail, good problem solving, good reflex response time, and the ability to remember processes and information you learn, and you can learn to be a great machinist.  

Add a pretty high level of intelligence and very strong drive to learn on your own time, and you could eventually be a high level programmer.  

Everyone starts somewhere.  Today, a lot of people get ahead of themselves and ask for the ceiling without climbing the ladder, and that just sets a person up for failure and disappointment.
Appreciate the response. Sorry to hear about your finals mishap. Some times all the wrong things come together at the same time.

What you described makes me think I could do the job. I don't think I could convince the family for the move and the pay cut. You'd be walking over to me during the shift sayin," how many baffles did you turn?" And I'd be telling you we really need to be timing our mounts with our suppressors so that the gas flow through the baffle counteracts the weight of the suppressor leading to minimal poi change.
Link Posted: 7/30/2021 7:16:52 PM EDT
A 2 year tech degree will open doors for you, especially if you can at least work part time for a shop. We see the future and we need to recruit more young guys out of tech school.
Looking at maybe 8 retirements in the next 5 years.
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