Tag Archives: cnc machinist

Machinery’s Handbook – Every Day Machinist Tool

If you want to be any kind of a Machinist, or an Engineer for that matter, the first tool you should buy is the latest Edition of the Machinery’s Handbook. It is chalk-full of information, formulas, charts, and many other things that you will use on a daily bases.

The first edition was published back in 1914 for mechanical engineering and practical shop mechanics. Every few years a new edition is published with more/updated information about mathematics, formulas, materials, threading, and many other things involved in machining.

Any time you need to find a thread size/pitch, surface foot for a material, or just a mechanical formula for machining, this book covers more of that than any other book out there. For such a small amount of cash, you’d be losing without it.

Need to solve a trig problem? How about calculating thread dimensions? The machinery handbook is an engineer’s or machinist’s dictionary, and is filled with endless content that is relatively easy to find.

Machinery's Handbook - 29th

It may seem difficult to find things at first, but after using it a few times you will start to remember where each chart and specific pages are.

The 29th is the latest edition of this handbook and it just came out within two years ago. Do you need the latest edition? No. If you already have one that’s recent, there is not a NEED to get one. However, if you want to be updated on the latest threads, formulas, charts, and other new information that is coming out yearly, it would be a good idea to buy the latest version. Besides, it’s only about the cost of one half-inch end mill these days…

Click Here To Buy My Machinery’s Handbook

CNC Machinist Job Description

There are many things a machinist may do on a job, and it mainly depends on what kind of shop you are in. For the most part you will be:

Setting up a CNC machine, loading/making the part program, setting up or making fixtures, loading and running parts, deburring and inspecting parts to make sure they’re within tolerance.

While that is the general type of work you will be doing, the list is really endless. You must be able to problem solve, and sometimes the only time you can get something to work is if you have done it before. Experience is one of the most important traits to a good machinist. They will know what to do and when to do it.

What You Must Know Before CNC Machinist Training

CNC Machinist Job DescriptionCNC machining is not for everyone, as it requires many mechanical skills. You must be good with your hands, and be able to quickly learn things. Being able to problem solve on a daily basis is a must. You will be running machines that cost anywhere from 20k, to half a million dollars, and sometimes more. With these machines, it only takes a blink of an eye to make a mistake; a mistake that could cost the company thousands.

Not only are the machines expensive, but some parts that have multiple operations can cost thousands in labor time as well. Unfortunately, even the best of us mess up at times; we’re only human. The more you pay attention to everything you’re doing, and the more experience you have, the less mistakes you’ll make.

A Machinist must be able to inspect his/her own parts to check whether they are in tolerance or not. If not, they need to determine whether a tool offset, work offset, or other variable needs to be changed. The more experience you have, the more you’ll be able to do on your own, which generally means higher pay. You must be able to read and write in legible English, and pass any drug/screening tests that the company or temp-agency has you do. Reading a blueprint, and knowing how to use basic tools such as: micrometer, caliper, gages, and basic drill charts are a must.

Since CNC Programming has become so popular, it’s important that you have some computer skills,  and being able to use CAD/CAM software is a major plus if there are openings for a programmer in the future (if that’s where you want to be at). Programmers get paid more for their ability to make part programs on 3D programming software, as opposed to the Machinists that are on the shop floor. The Machinists must be able to communicate with the programmers and/or engineers to ensure the design and processes will work, or be able to fix them if not.

Last, but not least, a CNC machinist will maintain a safe working environment by knowing how machines work, and what not do to in certain situations. Safety is very important in manufacturing, as it is very easy for things to go wrong, and it happens fast.

The more you know, the more possibilities you will have available. A machinist will continue to update their job knowledge by going to new classes, and being taught by more experienced machinists, thus providing more production to the company.

CNC Machinist Training – How to Become A Machinist

CNC machining and other manufacturing jobs are in high demand in this country (U.S.), although it’s not like it used to be 30 years ago. Back then you could be an intern as journeyman and get paid a small amount while learning all the tricks of the trade. Once you were done, you more than likely had a full time job. Unfortunately, it’s not like that anymore, as many shops don’t have the time to train-in machinists.

While there are many ‘machine operator‘ positions available, most the actual Machinists positions that companies are looking for require you to have 5+ years of experience. This is done to try and “weed out” the rookies that don’t know much about the trade. Like anything else, though, you aren’t going to get rid of a lot of the newbies, and shops may even miss a “diamond in the rough” by having those requirements. I know of guys that have been in the machining industry for almost 20 years that could be out-knowledge by a 1st year semester student.

In order to get experience, you often have to start out at the bottom. There’s nothing like getting on the job experience, but you will want to get in a job that has a positive atmosphere that does things the right way, and have employees that are willing to go out of their way to help a new guy learn about machining. There’s a few different ways to get the experience needed to move up in this trade, so we’ll quickly go over them.

Tech School

Going to a Tech school for CNC machinist training is probably the number one route today. Some shops require that you have a CNC machinist diploma in order to apply. This isn’t always the case, but if you have a local technical/vocational school with a good machine trades program and are willing to go to school for it, that is probably the best choice. I went to my local Tech school for CNC machining, not knowing much of anything about it when going in, and after two years I felt like I learned so much. That’s not going to say you are going to be a lead machinist/programmer after two years of schooling, because there is just so much to learn being a machinist, and you won’t learn nearly as much until you get out on the job.

Intern

Finding an internship may be a bit harder these days, but with the increasing demand for machinists, you just may find one. It may not be a good paying job, but would be great for a younger person in high school. You will learn a lot on the job, and by the you’re done you may have a full-time job there if they like what they see. Just keep your eyes open and something may pop up near you.

Shop Helper/Deburring Parts

Unfortunately, this route is another one that probably isn’t likely for someone that has more than themselves to take care for. If you don’t have any machining experience, you can sometimes find a position at a local machine shop as a shop helper. You will probably have to de-burr parts, cut stock, and other miscellaneous chores around the shop until they feel comfortable putting you on a cnc machine. The pay won’t be the greatest, but it’s hands-on work, and you won’t have to flip any burgers. if you work hard and a manager/shop foreman likes what they see, you may end up being promoted to a higher paying position.

Those are the three most common options for becoming a machinist. The younger you are, the biggest head start you will have, as you won’t have any dependents to worry about other than yourself as far as money goes.

Be professional, work hard, try to learn as much as you can from older and more knowledgeable machinists, and you will get noticed. Experienced machinists are getting harder to find these days, so if you have the desire, I encourage you to work hard at it.

CNC – Computer Numeric Control

CNC Stands for Computer Numeric Controlled in the Machining industry. It is the only way to go, as it is the easiest and fastest way to machine parts. Manual machining is virtually extinct in the industry today, and NC is too outdated by today’s competitive standards. CNC is better because you can write and edit programs in the machine’s controller, giving you complete control of how it runs. If part of the program is wrong, just go into edit mode and change a few numbers/codes.

Instead of taking a drill press and drilling out holes in your part, a CNC program can be written to save save if you have many holes or parts, especially if they are close tolerance. Just punch in the drilling cycle code, the coordinates of the holes, and you have yourself a simple drilling program. Of course there’s more to it than that, such as machine and tool set-up, but if you have hundreds or thousands of holes to drill, you’re going to want a CNC machine.

CNC Machinist Salary

CNC Machinist salaries can vary greatly, depending on what your job role is, who you’re working for, and how many hours you’re working. A lot of companies require overtime, so you may be working 50, 60, and possibly 70 hours a week at certain jobs. Not all of them are this way, but you will be making a considerably higher amount by working overtime (time and a half)

New CNC Machinists start out around 30,000-40,000 a year. While this is pretty good pay after finishing school, it can be rather difficult to support a family with just this job.

A more experienced machinist with a higher role will make more due to the fact that they know how to do more, and can often run a shift as a shop foreman. A typical experienced CNC machinist will make about 50-60,000 a year, with a possibility of more with more overtime hours.

Machinist Calc Pro – The CNC Machinists Calculator

Are you looking for the latest technology in manufacturing? Tools, parts, and machines are advancing rapidly, and the speed of things have multiply in a matter of years. The Machinist Calc Pro is a perfect addition to your tool lineup, whether you’re an engineer, programmer, or CNC Machinist.

Trigonometry Math?

Struggle with right triangle math? Basic trig is a must in the Machining industry for calculating angles and part lengths. Fortunately, the Calc Pro can solve the equations for you. Uses trig functions, and you can operate with U.S. standard and metric units, saving you time and headaches.

Speeds & Feeds

If you want to succeed in Machining, efficiency is key. And to be efficient, you must have the best possible feeds and speeds set in every part program. If you don’t, you’re either wasting time, or you’re breaking tools too often (which is also wasting time). The Machinist Calculator automatically calculates the RPM speeds, cutting speeds, feed rate, and chip load. All you have to do is plug in the material, tool, machine info.

Advanced Drill And Thread Size Tables

No more need to look for your drill and thread charts. They’re right on the calculator, saving even more time.

Bolt Pattern Layouts

Have a hard time with bolt patterns? If you need to quickly trig out a bolt circle, just punch in the start angle, diameter, offsets, and number of bolts. It gives you all the x and y coordinates you need!

If you’re programming parts and want to save time, which equates to money, this calculator should be the next thing on your list of tools to buy. It’s very affordable, and you won’t need to dig through pages and pages of the machinist handbook to find drill sizes.

Click Here To Buy The Machinist Calc Pro!

What Is A CNC Machinist?

A Machinist is versatile, is able to adapt to new things, a problem-solving, and a does hands-on work. It can be making a small part on a manual lathe or mill, to running hundreds of production parts at a time on a CNC Milling center.

Blue-print reading, inspecting parts, editing programs on a CNC controller, setting up a job in a machine, loading parts on a shuttle, and adjusting feeds/speeds for maximum efficiency are just some of the things that a Machinist job entails. If you like hands-on work, are good at math, problem-solving, a quick learner, and are motivated, Machine manufacturing may be the job for you. Check for machinist jobs near you.

CNC Machinist

Are you looking to become a CNC Machinist? This video shows you some of the many things you could be doing as a machinist. Machining requires a lot of different skills, but with training and/or schooling, finding a job in this career isn’t as hard as most, due to the high demand. Machining often involves: hands-on and physical work, math, problem-solving, program editing, and setting up machines.

Initially, CNC machining jobs are usually well paying jobs if you’re just getting out of school. However, as a career, CNC machinists are often underpaid for what knowledge they have to have. It’s not something you’re going to get rich with if you’re employed by someone, but it will definitely pay the bills, especially if you’re working long hours. There are a few different job positions at a machine shop: a machine operator, a machinist, and a programmer.

machine operator is paid the least because the least amount of experience is required. Operators are often called “button pushers”, due to the fact that they don’t do much more than load parts in the machine. If any real problem occurs, they have to call on the “Machinist”.

A Machinist is someone that has been trained and been around the job for a while. They are very good at problem solving, whether there’s something wrong with the machine, tooling, part set-up, or program. They can set-up jobs, make fixtures, know how to adjust feeds and speeds of machine for maximum efficiency, and edit programs when needed.

A Machinist may move up to the “Programming” position if the manager deems them qualified. They are paid more because they are required to program the tool-paths for the parts. They get a blueprint from the engineers and have to know which operations are required and when. They have to account for many variables, such as fixtures that could get in the way, vice jaws, machine capabilities, and many more.

Do not be intimidated, as many other careers are difficult like this. If you have the motivation, and these descriptions peak your interest, the manufacturing industry in the U.S. could use your help.