What Is A Machinist?

Posted on
February 12, 2021 by

 

As you look for a part to be manufactured or for a person to help you with a CNC Machine, you may ask yourself, “what is a machinist?” Sometimes it’s unclear what a machinist does and what the position entails, and you may think you don’t need a professional, journeyman machinist to do the job right. However, you’d be missing out on some important education and experience if you forgoed a visit to a properly trained machinist to get your parts manufactured. What is a machinist? A machinist is a trained professional who knows and understands how to use machining tools and create and manufacture parts to fit your needs! Read on to learn more!

A Brief History of Machinists

Professional machinists began during the industrial revolution, where developments in technology allowed people to create machines to increase the efficiency and accuracy of manufacturing. In the mid 19th century, machining started to mean something similar to what we define machining as today (the act of manipulating material into a desired shape by the process of turning, milling, and drilling). 

Learn More About the Definition of Machining.

Traditional machinists used tools such as lathes, drill presses, and milling machines. Machining (and machinists) became far more recognized for their importance during the first World War, as machinists were called to help with the war effort by developing tools and weaponry. New developments in lathes, grinders, and other machining techniques were made to increase the speed and accuracy of the machining process. According to American Machinist, the US Machining Industry hired over two million workers during the war, manufacturing over 96, 000 planes in a single year (sixteen times more than had ever been manufactured before, combined), not to mention hundreds of thousands of tanks and machine guns in a very short period of time. This change in production levels and the number of trained machinists flipped the machining industry on its head. As time moved forward, computer-powered machining tools were developed, but the core skills in shaping material to fit a desired scope remains.

What Training Does a Machinist Have?

In Alberta, a machinist is a professional trades position. Prospective machinists become apprentices for four years, which includes a mandatory 1560 hours of on-the-job work as well as 8 weeks of training and education a year. After all the requirements of the apprenticeship have been completed, the machinist can take an interprovincial exam which will grant them a Red Seal. Machinists with a Red Seal are highly qualified in the field and will be able to operate almost every tool in the trade.

What Does a Machinist Do?

A machinist performs the work required to product parts, manufacturing materials into the specified shape and other requirements. Machinists work in many different capacities, from using measuring and hand tools to creating drawings for the project.

Measuring Tools

Machining required extreme attention to detail, so knowing how to properly measure the materials and product is incredibly important.

  • Calipers (plain calipers, vernier calipers, and digital calipers)
  • Rulers, tape measures, and scales
  • Micrometer tools
  • Indicator tools
  • Gauges (center gauges, dial thickness, digital bore, edge finders)
  • Electronic measuring tools

Hand Tools

Much like many trades jobs, machining requires the use of hand tools to help complete a task.

  • Multi-bit Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches of all sizes
  • Pliers
  • Claw hammer
  • Etc.

Machining Tools

Machining tools have changed a lot over the years, moving to more computer-controlled devices being the standard of machining. Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machines are the most popular machining tool as they provide ultimate precision and the ability to mass produce identical products. However, CNC Machines aren’t always used in modern day machining, and there are plenty of tools used that are classified as machining tools. Machining tools can be used for cleaning or grinding a surface, cutting the material, adding holes, and re-shaping the materials. 

  • CNC Machines
  • Drilling machines
  • Milling machines
  • Turning machines (lathes and boring mills)
  • Grinding machines

Do You Need a Professional Machinist for Your Machining Project?

The short answer is, yes! Red Seal machinists are the most qualified professionals to help you complete your project correctly, the first time. With years of experience and time working in machine shops, professional machinists can guide you through the process of getting your project machined, with advice from materials, planning, and manufacturing! If you’re looking to have a custom machining project completed, the best choice is to find a professional machine shop.

Where Can I Find the Best Machinists in Edmonton?

Here at Condor Machinery, we pride ourselves on hiring the best and brightest machinists available. Our expert team of machining professionals can guide you through your projects. Whether you’re in need of AutoCAD drawings, custom CNC machining, or any traditional machining project, our team has you covered! You’ll find the best machinists in Edmonton at Condor Machinery!

Condor Machinery is a full service machine shop in Edmonton, Alberta! We facilitate every kind of machining, from design to production. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your next machining project.

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