My journey into the world of machining started in 1991 when I landed an apprenticeship at British Aerospace. For the first year, I studied general engineering principles where I learnt about every type of shop floor manufacture from welding, sheet metal work, bench fitting, tool making and of course machining. The following two years I specialised in manual machining, I found this to be a very important stage of my study as learning the feel of a manual machine enabled me to understand the limits of the CNC machines later in my career, and also gave me knowledge on how different materials behave under the high stress of the material removal process.
Moving on to CNC machines was a massive life-changing moment, I still remember that day clearly. Seeing the possibilities of rapid industrial manufacture blew me away and grabbed my interest like nothing else, I was hooked. The rest of my apprenticeship was spent with journeyman teaching me how to program and operate 2 axis Lathes then onto 3 axis milling machines, then 5 axis mills until eventually I was setting, programming and operating 7 Axis machining centres with dual spindles and live tooling.
Over 30 years experience
At this point in my training, I had finished the college courses I needed to be a qualified CNC Machinist. So I enrolled in night school and studied advanced CNC programming then another course on Computer Aided Design (CAD) Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) and Computer Aided Programming (CAP) I had a thirst for learning and wasn’t about to stop there. So I enrolled in an ONC/HNC 4-year university course studying mechanical engineering.
Altogether I had spent 10 years studying engineering by the time I was 26. After working as an Aerospace CNC machine tools engineer for over 30 years for GE, Airbus, Boeing and a range of military contractors I discovered I enjoy teaching apprentices. So I built online courses to help the new guys in the trade to excel in this exciting world of CNC Machining.