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What is the worst machine shop you ever worked at?

Just who the hell are you, expecting your employer to pay for your tools.

If I gave you a block and told you to make it .750 +or-.005 and you gave it to me .738 you would soon be looking for a new job.

If start time is 7:30 and you start at 8:30, then you shouldn't be paid till 8:30.

The only way you could complain as far as I am concerned it if your name appears in the bottom right hand corner of the paychecks.

I think that post may have been tongue in cheek:D
 
I was working at a site once when a well dressed accountant came up and asked if he could use one of the small bench grinders ,I replied if you take your tie off first .

He didnt and the last thing I saw was a very agressive little grinder climbing up his tie , another worker who was a little closer to the switch managed to cut the power before any major damage was done ,however neither of us had a camera close by , it would have been priceless .
Needless to say there were no more visits from the neatly attired ones .
 
I was working at a site once when a well dressed accountant came up and asked if he could use one of the small bench grinders ,I replied if you take your tie off first .

He didnt and the last thing I saw was a very agressive little grinder climbing up his tie , another worker who was a little closer to the switch managed to cut the power before any major damage was done ,however neither of us had a camera close by , it would have been priceless .
Needless to say there were no more visits from the neatly attired ones .

That's the problem with Darwinian selection: someone close by turning the switch off.
 
That's the problem with Darwinian selection: someone close by turning the switch off.

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That's the problem with Darwinian selection: someone close by turning the switch off.

On the other hand, a hard-headed moron will destroy your endmill, knock everything out of alignment and you'll have to do the setup all over again. :angry:

No to mention the fact they are full of shit, crack 'em open the SMELL will drive you out of the shop. :bawling:
 
My own, I can't afford the proper phase converter so I have to be reeally easy on the lathe clutch or the VFD trips. The 3 jaw chuck does not have the proper back so we chuck it into the 4-jaw. The the boss won't get anything better than the f-in chinese dividing head that is so hard to turn and yet has 5 degrees slop, and he wants me to turn out good work on it. I have to get the work, bid on it, order materials, get started, do it right, keep going, check my work, pick up my own swarf, clean the machine when I'm done, bill the customer, put the tools away, make him pay, keep my head on streight, pay the bills, keep all the supplies on hand, and keep on going..... Oh yeah, he won't let me quit until I put a 16 hour day in, 6 days a week... Such an awfull boss...
 
I never worked there ,but old George Mitchells shop was one I recall .........as he got older (he was over 92 and still working when he died) there was less and less cleared up,and eventually the machines were enclosed in bunkers of swarf...........there was always mechanics working on trucks and tractors there ,I dont know how the money was split up......but very little tax paid ...as in none.
 
I worked at a shop that was never wired properly, just cords everywhere through all the swarf, everyone walking on them. Then one day one of the cords got cut through when someone stepped a chip through the insulation. Huge flash as about half the swarf went off like a flash bulb. Electricians were on site the next day and wired the joint properly.
 
First job after serving my apprenticeship, had been working there as a turner for about 3 months, an old colchester lathe that was so worn out it wasn't funny. You could put an indicator on the chuck, grab it and get 0.025" play in the bearings, any less than 100 rpm and you could hear the clunks as it moved about on the bearing clearance. It was that cold in winter you couldn't touch the machine beds with bare fingers or your skin would stick to them.
Anyway, the day of my sacking I had to turn a bore 1/8" eccentric to the OD, +/-0.0025" on position and +0/-0.0005" on diameter. The four jaw was dead because someone before me had crashed it and snapped three of the jaws clean off and he wouldn't pay to replace them so the only way to do it was to hold it in the three jaw with a shim under one of the jaws (he wouldn't buy soft jaws). It was virtually impossible to clock the eccentricity correctly because of the aforementioned spindle bearing clearance issue so I complained vociferously that the equipment wasn't up to the job and was told to "shut the f up and just turn the effing thing". Job went out at lunchtime and came back an hour later with an irate customer complaining that it wasn't within tolerance... I was called in to the bosses office and summarily dismissed on the spot in front of the customer.

Years later I was working in a toolroom on the tools but also acting as foreman, pretty much running the place as the two owners were never there. We had some injection tooling that had to be shipped overseas first thing Monday morning, as usual everything was last minute because the owners were the only ones that could order supplies and seeing as they were never there ordering always got behind. The week prior to the delivery we were all working 16hr days with the owners nowhere to be seen, come the weekend it still wasn't finished so 5 of us worked 20hrs on sat and 20hrs on sun, slept in the lunch room for the other four hours and finally got it finished about 4am monday. We got the tooling all wrapped up on pallets ready to be picked up at 7:30.
I told the lads to take the day off and come in on tuesday and I went home, had a few hours sleep and came back in to work at about 10:30. First thing the boss said to me when I clocked on was "where the f have you been?" and "where's all the other guys". I told him we had worked until 4am and we had all worked over 40hrs in one weekend to get the job out and I'd given them the day off. He went off his nut "who the f do you think you are giving my employees the day off" etc, etc, ranted for about 10 minutes about me coming in late blah blah.
I quit on the spot, walked out of his office, put my tools in the car and never went back.
 
My first job was in the army, induction was a bastard 3 months of waking at 4am and going to bed at midnight. Bosses shouted at you all day. On call 24 hours a day. No weekends off. Food was shit. Cleanest workplace ever. Only problem I was the cleaner. Got to go camping and hiking only problem was the hikes were in the middle of the night and the packs were as heavy as anything. Eventually after all the training I got to visit exotic places. Only problem was the locals didn't like us and planted landmines everywhere. Got to do a lot of camping and hiking again. Only problems, no water and people shot at you for no apparent reason. Eventually I became a boss and got to shout at the workers and send them on long hikes. I left for civvy street and now I decide what time to wake up and whether I feel like shaving.
 
First job after serving my apprenticeship, had been working there as a turner for about 3 months, an old colchester lathe that was so worn out it wasn't funny. You could put an indicator on the chuck, grab it and get 0.025" play in the bearings, any less than 100 rpm and you could hear the clunks as it moved about on the bearing clearance. It was that cold in winter you couldn't touch the machine beds with bare fingers or your skin would stick to them.
Anyway, the day of my sacking I had to turn a bore 1/8" eccentric to the OD, +/-0.0025" on position and +0/-0.0005" on diameter. The four jaw was dead because someone before me had crashed it and snapped three of the jaws clean off and he wouldn't pay to replace them so the only way to do it was to hold it in the three jaw with a shim under one of the jaws (he wouldn't buy soft jaws). It was virtually impossible to clock the eccentricity correctly because of the aforementioned spindle bearing clearance issue so I complained vociferously that the equipment wasn't up to the job and was told to "shut the f up and just turn the effing thing". Job went out at lunchtime and came back an hour later with an irate customer complaining that it wasn't within tolerance... I was called in to the bosses office and summarily dismissed on the spot in front of the customer.

I hope that on your way out the door you advised the customer to take his work to another shop? In that situation there's absolutely no way on earth I'd be able to keep my mouth shut...
 
OK I have to chip in here. I moved across the country chasing a dream, and was about to go back if I didn't get a job. About a week before the deadline I wander into a shop on a Saturday and find a guy working. Coincidentally a guy had quit the week before and yes! I could have a job.
I came from a pretty nice shop; great manager, fantastic machines, decent co-workers. This place is a pit. Everything old and worn out. The old part is fine, the worn out part, not so much. The place is black with grime.

First day, everyone has their own lathe and I get assigned to mine.
They hand me a roll of 1" emery cloth. I say 'what's that for?'.
'Well you know, sometimes you need to make a shaft and it has to be the same diameter all the way'. 'Isn't that what the lathe is for?'
'Well there is a bit of wear in places.'
No shit. .005 over a foot. I learn the 'bump the cross slide a thou or so every couple inches, or keep inching it all the way down' methods. Then file and emery to make a shaft. Really good way to make money. Oh wait, no it's not.

The 'best' guy in the shop, i.e. he made a lot of parts, quickly (tho not well), when he was happy, he would keep time with the music by banging on the mill table with a ball peen hammer. (!) One of the worst butchers I've ever seen.
When the job was done or at quitting time, he would turn the mill off and walk away. No cleaning for him.

One guy (who's last job was delivering fuel oil) adjusted his chuck by hammering on the offending jaw with a 10lb piece of cold rolled. A couple weeks after I start I find the boss dumping his toolbox drawers into the parts washer. Hammers, wrenches, mics, calipers, the works.
'What's up?'
'Oh buddy's on vacation and I'm cleaning his tools (which belonged to the shop). Otherwise they never get cleaned...'

One guy's morning routine is to walk around the shop talking to EVERY GUY IN THE SHOP.
At least an hour every day. He quickly learned not to talk to me.

After a while of bitching about the machines, they finally rebuild ONE lathe. The 'lead hand' gets it. First day using it he gets a chip under the tailstock, probably because they were so cheap, one of the owners worked on it and didn't put the way scrapers on. The fresh rebuild now has embossings all the way down the freshly ground bed...

This same guy (who owns shares in the company), later gets caught moonlighting for one of the customers, using the shop's machine, tools and material. This while everyone is on reduced hours because of a slow period.

The receptionist/bookeeper gets caught embezzling over a million dollars, but doesn't get prosecuted, because why? Because she knows the boss is cooking the books! Early on I asked why he took all the time sheets home every night and did the books by hand.
'You should do that on a computer!'
'No I don't trust them' translated, I don't know how to keep two sets of books on a computer...
Got fired after a medical condition kept me from work. What a nest of vipers.
Decided I can do this better. And I did.
 
Not so much a bad shop, but dad had a few "winners" that made things difficult.
His foreman. Well, "foreman" was only what he did for money, his real career was "alcoholic" which he was aces at.
Breakfast for him was a six pack at 7 am, then stumble into the shop.
After a weekend bender, tools, equipment, cutters, and things would go missing. No problem, we'd find them at other shops in the area after he sold them for beer money.
It went on and on....

One day, he comes in about 2 hours late, hammered to the point of staggering.
Dad (finally) blows a gasket, grabs him by the collar (literally) and kicks him out.
It only took 30 years....
 
I worked in a contract toolroom with a couple of unique individuals. One asked if he could borrow my 14mm socket. Toolbox definitely smelt like weed, he had used my socket as a pipe for smoking his Durban poison. Other guy would only work long though to qualify for benefits. He would then claim benefits while working as a builder for cash. Problem was he would use the same tools in the toolroom, you could tell because they were coated in cement. Last guy was a alcoholic. He would tell you he was going out to buy cigarettes and disappear for 3 weeks on a bender. The boss kept his passport in the safe to make sure he always came back. He disappeared one day so the boss went looking for him at the usual places. He asked the receptionist at the local if they had a Paul Shakeshaft staying there, answer was no so he asked to see the register. Paul was registered under an alias with his real signature next to it. One day the boss asked if I had seen Paul, I said I thought he was next door using the large surface grinder because I had seen him walk out with a 1 metre height gauge. When he eventually reappeared after a week or so the boss asked where the height gauge was, he eventually told him where he had pawned it. Boss went and paid to get the height gauge back and asked if they had anymore of Mr Shakeshaft's equipment. The pawn shop had an entire cabinet just for all the stuff he had lifted from the shop. Paul eventually died of a heart attack in the shop toilet.
 
Worked for a company called ProAction Cylinder Heads AKA ProTopline AKA Southern Performance then eventually sold to RHS in the states
Well started out great , first job out of my 4 year tool making apprenticeship , lots of awesome gear (Mazaks , Serdi, Engine dyno etc)
All crammed in to a couple of small buildings
"Worlds best flowing chevy head" could not keep up with demand, all going to the states from NZ
Lots of comings and goings at night with some Hells Angels , not sure what was going on there but a friendly bunch ( was putting in decomp valves into the nitro harley heads in overtime)
More workers , more crap being churned out , QC non existent , Crims and wanna be bikie gang employees now on the roster , stuff going missing
Move to a bigger building , stop credit every where , bins not being emptied , Cast Iron scrap sitting in carpark turning into to compost , more stuff going missing , Tool box stolen , heads to rework going missing.
Cue Topline America , Chet ? I think it was his name pumps 15mil into the business , we boxed up at least 500 scrap heads to look like inventory , my day to day is manually reworking cylinder heads , cant keep up , more dodgy employees on night shift , drunks , druggies lots of angry people ,
Get written warnings from production manager for riding a bike from one end of factory to other to save time , Owner gets wind and bollocks said manager.
Manager hates me after this , puts me on night shift , with all the ferals , saw some carnage on the CNC machines , got good at fixing them.
Place is a circus finished tooling for a john deer cylinder head and honda B16Vtec , about to test it all on dyno.
D day security turn up unannounced and lock the place down , that's it , shop closed , tools down , end of it , 250 employees down the road
All tooling I busted my a@# making all goes in the scrap , oh what could have been
18mil lost in shortfall , the company was just like a pirate ship, to this day Pro Action heads turning up on market place or Trademe , I have a giggle , these are the heads that probably leak in the chamber or intake
Never been in a place like that since , certainly one of a kind, Old owner is still around , huge list of struck off companies , now makes security gates , crack up
 
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