Preserving Precision Grinding Experience for a New Generation of Grinders
CNC machining might be the most popular method of machining these days, but it’s still hard to match the custom, hand-crafted quality of a manually ground part. Plus, not all parts and end products are suitable for CNC grinding. It’s why manual grinding and workers with this skillset are still important in this age of manufacturing. Steve is one member of our Duval Precision Grinding team who continues to hone this craft while mentoring the grinders of tomorrow.
Precision Grinding Mentorship
A third-generation grinder with more than 40 years of experience, Steve brings a unique skillset to Duval Precision Grinding. On one hand, he’s a veteran of the craft and relied upon regularly to produce some of the most significant part orders Duval receives. And on the other hand, he’s a reliable teammate and valuable mentor — helping his peers meet deadlines and quality standards while being there as an advisor for the OD grinding professionals of tomorrow.
As a kid, Steve would accompany his dad to work on occasion and developed an interest in grinding and machining. After high school, he went to trade school to learn the basics, and while there was some manual instruction, many of his most valuable skills were learned on the job. Now, as a senior specialist with Duval Precision Grinding, he’s training others the same way he learned — on the job and from a mentor.
“A lot of it has to do with patience,” Steve says. “You’ve got to be patient. When I’m training somebody, I don’t really talk. I just tell them to watch me and ask questions. You’ve got to ask questions. Being humble in learning goes a long way, and your teacher will be more apt to show you things. The more humble you are, and the more of a sponge you can be, the more your teacher will open up to show you things.”
It worked for Steve when he was learning — and it’s working for the grinders of tomorrow today.
Preserving OD Grinding in a CNC World
CNC machining isn’t always appropriate for every part— complex CNC programming or challenging handling requirements can incur higher costs in some scenarios, which is why manual grinding is still an important offering for any machine shop. That’s where Steve’s experience comes in, and it’s why we encourage all of our employees to step outside of their comfort zones to learn new skills and preserve the expertise of their mentors. Steve has been instrumental in leading this charge, and the challenge of crafting parts in this manner isn’t just enjoyable, but rewarding.