What’s a Machinist?

2 02 2010

From a computer that clearly has internet access, Snark asked me what a machinist is.

Wikipedia says,

machinist is a person who uses machine tools to make or modify parts, primarily metal parts, a process known as machining. This is accomplished by using machine tools to cut away excess material much as a woodcarver cuts away excess wood to produce his work. In addition to metal, the parts may be made of many other kinds of materials, such as plastic or wood products. The goal of these cutting operations is to produce a part that conforms to a set of specifications, usually in the form of engineering drawings commonly known as blueprints.

If you follow the machine tools link, you’ll see a list of the machines that a machinist might operate. The big two are the Lathe and the Milling Machine (or simply mill). On a lathe, the part spins while the cutting tool does not. On a mill, the opposite occurs. CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines are controlled by computers running programs. Mostly, these computer controllers run programs written in “G-code”, which I believe is derived from the language used to program the old NC machines, which didn’t have computer controllers. Don’t ask me how they work; I’ve never seen one. CNC lathes are officially known as turning centers and CNC mills are calling milling centers.

There are hybrid and specialized machines and there are other machines that use the same language, such as laser cutters, electron beam welders, and routers. I primarily run a CNC lathe, making aircraft parts.

If you ask “yeah, but what do you do?” I’ll fucking stab you.

Okay, mostly I do crossword puzzles, but sometimes I have to fix program errors introduced by operators who are bad at math. For whatever reason machine shops are often not afraid to put morons in front of there machines. Sometimes, I have to use trigonometry. I liked the movie “The Machinist”, but my workplace doesn’t resemble what you see in that movie at all.

Machinist porn:

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3 responses

3 02 2010
fidelbogen

Machining: the way that civilization builds itself by its bootstraps, from the ground up. Did I get that right?

“Machinist” sounds like about the right occupation for a cavemen, all in all. Both roles encompass tools and beginnings.

I haven’t read everything yet, but I gather from one or two remarks on this blog that you don’t think well of feminism. That is well. Feminism has many enemies now, and the well of their disaffection grows daily deeper! 😉

4 02 2010
Snark

“From a computer that clearly has internet access, Snark asked me what a machinist is.”

It was a joke .. because the post was about how aggravating it is that people keep asking you what a machinist is.

4 02 2010
Snark

But what I REALLY want to know is, what exactly IS it that you do?

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