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Virtual Machine Shop Forum  |  Machine Tool Technology  |  Questions, answers, ideas  |  Topic: New Member « previous next »
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« on: November 22, 2011, 04:48:38 PM »

Hi there, everyone...

I'm Tom Kreiner, and I just joined this forum, site, etc. 

As a young guy, I had the opportunity to work with an older (60+)  Toolmaker, Hi Milstein, who took me under his wing, and patiently showed me basic machine work.  At the time, I had had shop classes in H.S., and the things I learned from  Hi have been invaluable during the last 40-ish years.  One thing Hi asked, was, "hey, kid, someday teach this stuff to someone else.."

So here we are, it's 2011, and after going back to school to get an engineering degree, I've had a 30 year career as design engineer at companies including: Honeywell, Compaq, United Technologies, Apple, Halliburton, and now, as a Consulting Engineer.  During my career, I've worked with many talented guys, many of whom were great tech's in the machine shop.  Also, I worked with many arrogant, ignorant, and sometimes, downright stupid M.E.'s who treated machine shop techs as servants.  Not good, not good at all.

My observation, is that the kind of guy who gets into engineering is very good at math and the sciences, but may or may not have the intuitive problem solving and/or design ability as one of his main skills.  Many have never stood at a Mill or Lathe working out a setup, nor have they machined enough parts to know how to design things that the shop won't laugh at.  But I digress.

So, back to the future, here I am, approaching retirement, and my 401k, maybe like yours, is a 101k, providing me with almost nothing for retirement, and no end in sight.  My approach to fixing this was to purchase 3 mills, 2 lathes, 412 pieces of layout, inspection, and measurement tools, cabinets filled with drills, endmills, all types of cutters, reamer, etc., and put together a shop, where I can honor the request that Hi made some 40 years ago:  I'm teaching Basic Machine Work to anyone who wants to learn, for a nominal cost. 

Needless to say, my attorney told me I was crazy due to liability issues, but I spent the time, the $$$, and invested the capital to determine how to limit my liability, and I'm preparing to open my doors to my first class of students. 

I'm creating a series of Lesson Plans, and I've already put together a Course Outline, for a Basic Course that will last some 8 weeks.  If you have any materials that might be useful, please feel free to contact me at kcs.labs@gmail.com. 

For experienced guys, or those who have completed the classes, I've put together another program for them to use the shop for a flat rate per hour.  Hopefully, the income generated from the venture will be the equivalent of a 401k, along with the knowledge that I'm helping to improve the life of some guy just like me 40 years ago.

Tom Kreiner
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2011, 05:45:52 PM »

Howdy Tom, and welcome.

Now that's some retirement plan!  I like it, and good luck with it.  Don't worry about what the lawyer called ya, I've had several call me crazy, and on more than one occasion.

Maybe I missed it, but what State are you in? 

Have fun around here; enjoyed your post.


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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2011, 07:25:35 PM »


Thanks for the encouragement! 

I'm in the Houston area. 

Will definitely enjoy the forum, it's a great place to get connected.

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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2011, 07:49:49 PM »

Great plan, I like it!
I have been running an apprentice program for a year or two now, and one question that I get asked is if there is any one training ( read machines for use ) outside the program, their are a few guys that would take a course just for the equipment use.

also you may be able to get contracts for small work at a reduced labor rate

please keep posting

Have fun
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2011, 02:41:28 AM »

Welcome to the VMS site, Tom.  May your new teaching venture and business be blessed with good fortune and success.  I was kind of touched by your story, where you had a  mentor, "Hi", who taught you so much about machining when you were young and starting out, and who asked you to return the favor by "someday teach this stuff to someone else."  Now you are "putting together a shop, where I can honor the request that Hi made some 40 years ago:  I'm teaching Basic Machine Work to anyone who wants to learn, for a nominal cost."

I think that's pretty cool. 

If more people in this business had this attitude, we would be so much better off.  Sadly, not much mentoring or even basic training is going on in most shops.  Your school could help a lot of people who want to learn machining.  You might even have a blast doing it!  Sounds like a great idea.

The machining trade, no matter what anybody says, is FAR from dead, there is a HUGE demand for CNC people here in the Los Angeles area right now.  Look on Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, and you'll see. 

Well, thanks for sharing, glad you're here. 

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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2021, 09:40:04 AM »

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Virtual Machine Shop Forum  |  Machine Tool Technology  |  Questions, answers, ideas  |  Topic: New Member « previous next »

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