If you are new to metalworking, you may not be familiar with the many tools and machines required to create a quality product. For your own safety and the effectiveness of your labor, it is important that you are always using the right tools when it comes to working with metal or other materials that are challenging to mold and cut. Depending on the task, you will probably need a variety of tools such as drills, cutters, clamps, and abrasives in order to achieve precision. There are, of course, some basics that you will want to know before you jump right into a new project.
Basic Metalworking Tools
Abrasives are tools used to rub against another material in order to wear away the sides or edges. This will help you shape and finish your piece. Abrasives are used to grind, sharpen, polish, and buff.
Lathes are another tool used for drilling, sanding, and cutting. The Swiss lathe is used when extreme precision or accuracy is required. In fact, this tool can hold tolerances as small as a few tenths of a thousandth of an inch. They are used in the manufacturing of a number of popular products such as candlestick holders, musical instruments, and baseball bats.
Another useful tool is the ER collet, which is the most widely used clamping system in the world. Made from Alloy spring steel, these tools are ideal for machinery applications such as boring, milling, reaming, tapping, and grinding.
A carbide end mill is a tool used for industrial milling purposes. It is similar to a drill bit; however, a milling bit can cut in any direction while a drill bit can only cut axially.
A straight flute drill works great on materials like chrome and stainless steel. These drill bits are able to produce reamer type finishes in abrasive materials.
The 2015 Gardner’s Capital Spending Survey predicted that around $8.822 billion would be spent on metal cutting throughout the year, which is 37% more than the amount that was spent in 2014. In other words, the metalworking industry is highly profitable and incredibly important in order to support the growth of other businesses and industries.