What Do Lathe And Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators And Tenders, Metal And Plastic Do

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Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic set up, operate, or tend lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, form, or face metal or plastic materials, such as wire, rod, or bar stock.

Salary: $41090
Education: No degree required
Job Satisfaction: Low
Personality: The Builder

What they do

Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic set up, operate, or tend lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, form, or face metal or plastic materials, such as wire, rod, or bar stock.

  • Adjust machine controls and change tool settings to keep dimensions within specified tolerances.
  • Replace worn tools, and sharpen dull cutting tools and dies, using bench grinders or cutter-grinding machines.
  • Inspect sample workpieces to verify conformance with specifications, using instruments such as gauges, micrometers, and dial indicators.
  • Start lathe or turning machines and observe operations to ensure that specifications are met.

Typical day

On a daily basis, CNC Lathe Operators refill, change, and monitor the level of fluids, such as oil and coolant, in machines. They replace worn tools, and sharpen dull cutting tools and dies, using bench grinders or cutter-grinding machines.

A typical day for a Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setter, Operator and Tender, Metal and Plastic will also include:

  • Turn valve handles to direct the flow of coolant onto work areas or to coat disks with spinning compounds.
  • Install holding fixtures, cams, gears, and stops to control stock and tool movement, using hand tools, power tools, and measuring instruments.
  • Select cutting tools and tooling instructions, according to written specifications or knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics.
  • Adjust machine controls and change tool settings to keep dimensions within specified tolerances.
  • Lift metal stock or workpieces manually or using hoists, and position and secure them in machines, using fasteners and hand tools.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, CNC Lathe Operators also mount attachments, such as relieving or tracing attachments, to perform operations, such as duplicating contours of templates or trimming workpieces. They may also turn valve handles to direct the flow of coolant onto work areas or to coat disks with spinning compounds.

On a weekly to monthly basis, CNC Lathe Operators refill, change, and monitor the level of fluids, such as oil and coolant, in machines. They might also install holding fixtures, cams, gears, and stops to control stock and tool movement, using hand tools, power tools, and measuring instruments.

In addition, they move tool holders manually or by turning handwheels or engage automatic feeding mechanisms to feed tools to and along workpieces.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them compute unspecified dimensions and machine settings, using knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics.

To some CNC Lathe Operators, it is also their responsibility to move controls to set cutting speeds and depths and feed rates, and to position tools in relation to workpieces.

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What is it like working as one

Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Salary is below average.

Demand for this career is declining.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).


How to become one

Should you become one

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.


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