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Any Shipfitters in here?


Nalu Rash

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I'm looking to switch jobs soon and there is an apprenticeship program opening up early next year.

 

They have a couple of trades that I'm pretty interested in: Machinist, Electrician and a Shipfitter.

 

I know what a Machinist and Electrician does but I'm a bit curious about becoming a Shipfitter.

 

Are there any Shipfitter's in this forum? What type of work do you do and any tips or advice on what

tools I should buy and get familiar with?

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I think you have to be in the right area for that trade. In the Detroit area on the great lakes. You have guys that fix boats but nothing like a ship fitter that deals with big ships. Some people around here might have a yacht with some bigger diesel motors but that's about it. It's mostly outboards and Mercruser IO's around here. You do run into the occasional Volvo Penta guy

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haha me too about shop lifters......anyway I worked on many ships over the years as a fitter ...most of my adventures were colder than a well diggers arse, but you being in the tropics may be warmer......

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When I was growing up we had a lot of Shipfitters that lived in our neighborhood due to the fact the we had Bethlehem steel shipyard here in Baltimore.  They did a lot of fab and structural work. 

I remember the drama when Bethlehem Steel was laying off massive numbers of people.  The 80s really wasn't a good time to be a steel worker in Baltimore.

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Anything heavy industry wasn't going well in the 80's. The big 3 was not doing the best either they were putting out some horrible cars back then.

 

Yeah I know Detroit took a big hit as well in the 80's. Car companies were putting out crap cars, hiring crooks. Wasn't until the industry got schooled by the Japanese that thing's turned around. My favorite cars are American made in the 60's

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I'm a refrigeration mechanic and enjoy a six figure income (obviously varies by location). I make approximately twice as much as I did as a Journeyman Plumber. Almost half of our refrigeration mechanics are also Journeyman Electricians and 75% hold another Journeyman licence.

Elevator Mechanics make very good money as well.

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I'm a refrigeration mechanic and enjoy a six figure income (obviously varies by location). I make approximately twice as much as I did as a Journeyman Plumber. Almost half of our refrigeration mechanics are also Journeyman Electricians and 75% hold another Journeyman licence.

Elevator Mechanics make very good money as well.

 

That's awesome Eddiegoodfellar! 

 

I've never heard of a refrigeration mechanic. That sounds like a cool job, no pun intended. I've always enjoyed taking things apart and figuring out how things tick. I'm gonna look into your job and see if it's something I'd be interested in doing for a living. 

 

Have a good day

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That's awesome Eddiegoodfellar!

I've never heard of a refrigeration mechanic. That sounds like a cool job, no pun intended. I've always enjoyed taking things apart and figuring out how things tick. I'm gonna look into your job and see if it's something I'd be interested in doing for a living.

Have a good day

Grocery and industrial refrigeration is more mechanical than HVAC. The commercial HVAC guys are very good with electrical troubleshooting if that interests you.

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Not related to topic but am I the only one that keeps seeing "Any Shoplifters in here?" ? I might just be reading it to fast but I always to a double take.

 

Hahaha...a couple other guys mentioned that as well, lol. 

 

I'm kind of worried. If I get the job, people are gonna see "Shoplifter" on my resume, haha. "Okay let's take a look at your resume here...Clerk, mmmkay...Assistant, I see...Project Manager, splendid...and Shoplifter. I'm sorry sir, ummm...we have no need for your talents at this moment....ummm thank you" "It say's SHIPFITTER! not SHOPLIFTER!!!" hahaha...Ahhh maybe it's only funny in my own head.

 

I do have a quick shoplifting story though ( Some might consider this as a tip ):

My Dad was carpenter his whole life. I remember as a child always going with him to Lowe's or Home Depot. He would pick up some sheets of plywood and hide some saw blades in the stack. The clerk would often just scan the ends of the boards without checking all the goodies in between. This was a long time ago and I'm sure big box stores have gotten privy to this ever since.

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  • 1 month later...

I am a Shipfitter

 

It is a great trade to be apart of, we have a very proud brotherhood.

 

This is the job description from where I work

 

"Shop 11 fabricates, assembles and erects all structural parts of a ship, coordinates all fixed tank work performed on submarines and ships, and coordinates all sonar dome work. Shop 11 has a mold loft and heavy machinery such as plate planners, shears, punches, drill presses, bending rolls, bending slabs, furnaces, plate beveler, saws, presses up to 750 tons, angle roll (vertical and horizontal), and aluminum true-cut saw capacity 6 inches thick. Conveyors are used extensively to move plates from the layout shed to the various machines inside the shop. Shop 11 is responsible for hydro and air testing of tanks and compartments and is the cognizant shop for chipping and caulking, grinding, drilling, huck riveting and steaming Mogas piping and tanks safe for hot work."

 

If you have any questions, let me know.

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By the way, you asked what kind of tools you should buy and get familiar with.

 

Here's the list of basic tools we use:

Combination Square Set (all 4 pieces)

Framing Square

Chalk Box

Plumb-Bob

Various size levels

T-Bevel Square

Dividers

Trammel Points

Scribes

Ball-Peen Hammer

Center Punches

Chisels

Transfer Punches

Drift Pins

Mauls

Locking Pliers

C-Clamps

Bar Clamps

Screwdrivers

Breaker Bars

Ratchets & Sockets (typically 1/2" drive and up)

Impact Guns (Typically 1/2" drive to 2-1/2" drive)

Needle Gun

Triple Scaler

Scaling Hammer

Angle Grinder

7" Sander

9" Grinder

Rock Grinder

Hand Drills

Magnetic Base Drills

Drill Presses

 

The list is almost endless, I know I missed a lot but that's what came off the top of my head.

 

Here is a video about what we do

https://youtu.be/IxEyPNFVSJA

 

Hope that helps

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By the way, you asked what kind of tools you should buy and get familiar with.

 

Here's the list of basic tools we use:

Combination Square Set (all 4 pieces)

Framing Square

Chalk Box

Plumb-Bob

Various size levels

T-Bevel Square

Dividers

Trammel Points

Scribes

Ball-Peen Hammer

Center Punches

Chisels

Transfer Punches

Drift Pins

Mauls

Locking Pliers

C-Clamps

Bar Clamps

Screwdrivers

Breaker Bars

Ratchets & Sockets (typically 1/2" drive and up)

Impact Guns (Typically 1/2" drive to 2-1/2" drive)

Needle Gun

Triple Scaler

Scaling Hammer

Angle Grinder

7" Sander

9" Grinder

Rock Grinder

Hand Drills

Magnetic Base Drills

Drill Presses

 

The list is almost endless, I know I missed a lot but that's what came off the top of my head.

 

Here is a video about what we do

https://youtu.be/IxEyPNFVSJA

 

Hope that helps

 

Chris I greatly appreciate your help here. Thank you for putting this list of tools together, and for the video link. I'm going to continue studying and doing research about becoming a Shipfitter, it sounds like a challenging job that I look forward to doing someday. 

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I'm a Marine Engineer. I have worked in a ship yard a few times throughout my career. Over here in the UK we have different, perhaps more archaic names for trades. A Shipwright is concerned with the fit out and construction of the ship. A plater will do the actual cutting and shaping of the hull plates before they get to the building slip/dock. Welders can work as both trades as well as pipe fitters and boiler makers. Boiler makers are particularly archaic as most shipyards no longer make their own engines and boilers. Naval Architects are the designers but in reality for the first decade of their career they do complicated maths workload  for the senior guys actually doing the design work. Then there is us marine engineers. We take the vessels to sea and operate them. In a shipyard environment we also do the commissioning of the machinery and sea trials.

I started off my career in the British Merchant Navy but now run a small sales and repair company mainly servicing commercial fishing boats.

 

If you live near a shipyard then I doubt there could be a more interesting heavy industry to be in. Unlike a factory the job is never the same and the challenges are different every day as no two ships are ever identical and no sheet of steel ever bends in the same manner. However it is not an industry I would move location to join as it is a VERY volatile industry in the western hemisphere where work orders are increasingly harder to come by and competition from Asia and cheaper economies makes job security a rare thing, job losses are common.

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Awesome to hear someone else from the industry chime in here Chris. It really is an amazing industry to be apart of, you will do and see things that no one else will ever experience.

 

Interesting side note, at least here in the United States. Our trade name as a Shipfitter comes from the term Shipwright, it changed when they started building the ships out of steel. At my yard Shipwrights are in charge of woodworking, staging and actually docking the ship in the dry dock. I know at Newport News (Huntington Ingalls) the Shipwrights align the prefabbed sections of the ship as newer ships are built more in a lego like format.

 

One thing you'll notice working in the yards is how everything is different from yard to yard. We do everything from call tools different names to even some shops have different responsibilities. You get a bunch of guys from a bunch of different yards together, it can be confusing at first until we all get on the same page.

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