Hello Keith and anyone else who reads this,
I would first like to thank you for giving people like me the chance to be given this sort of prize. I have become very familiar with the value and importance of tools. However regardless of whether or not I am chosen for the giveaway, I have already received something so much more valuable from you and all of the other Youtube machinists out there. Collectively you have given me a great deal of interest and knowledge in the machining trade. And with that, I, Daniel Pankow, humbly would like to nominate myself for the 2016 What’s in your Toolbox Giveaway.
My whole life I have always loved making things, I am always thinking about projects I would like to build and designing them in my head. I had it in my mind from an early age that wanted to become an engineer, but in highschool I started leaning more towards working as a machinist because I realized that I just want to make things. When I graduated high school I worked in an auto repair shop as a shop hand. I made the most I could out of this job and learned all sorts of things about wrenching, using tools, and even Mig welding. Then in the fall I started taking classes towards an associate’s degree in “Manufacturing Engineering Technology–Precision Machining.” In one of my classes we toured all of the different manufacturers that were in the local area. And that is how I found a job at a company called Franchino Mold and Engineering. This company specializes in building custom die cast aluminum dies as well as plastic injection molds. In fact, they currently hold the world record for the largest plastic injection mold ever produced.
I have worked at Franchino for just over a year now as an apprentice Moldmaker. The thing that I love about this trade is the wide range of skills needed to be an effective Moldmaker. In addition to machining, I spend my time grinding, spotting and fitting inserts and cavities, tearing down and assembling, as well as plumbing for coolant and hydraulic lines. Because of this, I am required to obtain a lot of tools. I have been steadily adding to my tool collection, mainly from craigslist and pawn shop scores, but the bulk of my purchases have been hand tools because they are much easier obtain and afford.
In addition to working (10-12 hours per day), I am also taking online classes for my apprenticeship program as well as continuing my degree at the community college two nights a week. At home I am constantly tinkering with my car, motorcycle, and lots of other projects. I am currently working on designing a custom top triple clamp for my motorcycle that I will be machining in my CNC programming class at school. My life has been very busy during the last year, but the satisfaction I get from all of the things that I am learning just cannot be beat. At work I always try and go above and beyond as much as I can, I take every opportunity to learn as much as I can from my mentors. I always work hard and stay busy, which I have found also makes others more eager to teach and entrust me with more tasks.
If I were to be chosen for this giveaway, it would obviously mean a great deal to me. Acquiring machinists tools is something that takes a lot of money and time, two things that I do not have much of to spare right now in my life. And I cannot wait for the day that I have the means to pass this sort of generosity along to others.
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