What are metal work tools?
This class covers the bare basics of metalworking. It is meant for those who have never done any metalworking before but have an interest in learning the basic tools and concepts. By the end of this class, you will be able to cut and drill pieces of metal, fasten them together, and polish them. This may seem basic but is enough to get you started and provide you with just enough knowledge to dive deeper into the subject with confidence.
Nevertheless, when you are ready to invest more time and money into diving deeper into metalworking, you will have some familiarity and won't be going in blind. Check Out Melbourne Sheet metal fabrication company
While this class does not require the use of any shop tools, we will also loosely be reviewing them when applicable. This is to familiarize you with workshop tools that best correspond to the hand tool techniques you are learning. However, this is by no means training in these tools, and you shouldn't expect to know how to use them by the end of this course.
Throughout this class, we will be learning about metalworking by converting an aluminium tube into a teleidoscope. This is like a kaleidoscope, but it has a spherical lens at the end of the tube instead of a container of colourful beads. At the end of the course, you will also be presented with an option for converting this into a kaleidoscope should you wish.
This project is designed with the absolute beginner in mind and can be completed with accessible hand tools. With the exception of a hand drill, there are also no power tools required. This class is designed to introduce you to some fundamental concepts and techniques in a hands-on manner.
Bend all types of metal to your will with our professional-grade metal working tools. For everything from bending to cutting to welding, we offer everything you need to get the job done. Outfit your garage, job site or machine shop with the best tools from our warehouse.
Metal is an unforgiving material. Its rigidity allows for incredibly precise tolerances, but that can also make it difficult to work with. That's why we offer engineering machine tools specially designed to cut and shape metal parts. With these stationary metal working tools, you can shear and bend sheet metal, create complex rods on a lathe, and mill your pieces down to exactly the right size. Once you've managed that, a good bench grinder can give your material a beautiful sheen.
Forge and shape your metal on one of our metal working anvils for a more traditional result. Our metal working hand tools are designed to withstand high temperatures and sharp impacts, perfect for smithing or metal sculpture. Hand tools are also excellent for detail work; remove unsightly burrs from your workpieces with our files and rasps, and grip and bend hot pieces with a versatile vice grip.
No metal shop is complete without welding, soldering and brazing apparatus. We have the metal working tools and equipment you need to weld successfully and safely. Our professional-grade safety equipment will protect your hands, face and body from wayward sparks while using one of our many welders and plasma cutters.
Working with metal requires patience, precision, and the right metal working tools for the job. When shopping for metal working tools, remember that it's always better to have the exact right tool for your project than to try and improvise with less suitable tools. With so many high-quality options to choose from, finding what you need should be a simple task.
Check out our wide selection of metalworking saws, drill presses, tool sharpeners, and find the right tool to complete your job quickly and easily. Acme Tools has a large inventory of various metalworking tools from some of the best brands, including JET, Metabo, Fein, DeWalt, Milwaukee Tools, and more. Shop online or visit an Acme Tools store near you.
Iron and steel tools
Iron technology was derived from the known art of reducing copper and bronze. The principal requirement was a furnace capable of maintaining a reducing atmosphere—i.e., one in which a high temperature could be maintained from a good draft of air. The furnace had to be tall enough to allow the iron to drop from the smelting zone and form a slaggy lump, usually called a bloom.
After aluminium, iron is the most abundant metal, constituting about 5 per cent of Earth’s crust. Copper is in short supply, having a presence of only 0.01 per cent. Iron ore suitable for simple smelting was widely distributed in the form of surface deposits that could be scraped up without elaborate mining procedures.
The limitations imposed by the dearth of metals in the Bronze Age were now lifted; new tools and implements became possible, and their numbers could increase until even the poorer classes would have access to metal tools. The iron of antiquity was wrought iron, a malleable and weldable material whose toughness was enhanced by forging. Brittle cast iron, versatile and widely used in modern industry, was unknown to the ancients, and it would have been of no value for their edged tools and implements. The earliest history of smelted iron is obscure, with the first scanty evidence of man-made iron dating from about 2500 BCE in the Middle East. A thousand years later, the abundance of ores led to the displacement of copper and bronze by iron in the Hittite empire.
During most of its history, iron was not recovered in a molten state but was reduced to a spongy aggregate of iron and slag formed at a temperature well below the melting point of pure iron (1,535 °C, or 2,795 °F). This metallic plastic sponge was consolidated by hammering to squeeze out slag and weld the iron particles into a compact and ductile mass; thus it was called wrought iron, essentially pure iron with remnants of unexpelled slag coating the iron particles. Wrought iron contains so little carbon that it does not harden when cooled rapidly (quenched). When iron containing 0.4 to 1.25 per cent carbon is heated to 950 °C (1,740 °F) and then plunged into water or oil, it is hardened.
By about 1200 BCE, when iron had become important in the Middle East, humans had learned how to create wrought iron on a steel surface, or case, that could be hardened by heating and quenching. This case was produced by the prolonged heating of wrought iron packed in a deep bed of glowing charcoal. The procedure worked because a surface of red-hot carbonless iron readily absorbs carbon from the carbon monoxide generated in the enveloping charcoal fire.
Knowledge of casting gathered from working with smelted copper and bronze did not apply to a metal whose shape could be changed only by hammering. Moreover, the malleability of iron is less than that of copper for the same temperatures, which means that the smith has to work harder to change the shape of the metal. Stone hammers gave way to hafted bronze hammers, iron itself coming into use later. The first anvils—for copper and bronze—were convenient flat stones; they were followed by increasingly larger cast-bronze models that in turn were superseded by rudimentary forms of the modern type, in which several pieces of iron are welded together. The earliest iron artifacts are of ruder appearance than the bronze articles that came before them.
A valuable property of wrought iron is the ease with which two or more pieces may be united by hammering while the metal is at a high temperature. Even at the production stage, small pieces of spongy iron were united into more abundant blooms. Welding became an essential production procedure. When iron tools had reached the end of useful life, they could be reused by welding the scrap into a blank and starting over, a process akin to the melting of copper and bronze scrap to cast new tools.
Iron ordinarily has twice the flexibility of bronze and is much tougher, for a bar of iron can be bent back upon itself without fracturing, whereas a bronze bar (such as a sword blade) breaks after only a light bend (bronze blades repaired by casting new metals into the fractured sections are known). Bronze, in other words, is brittle when compared to iron, although copper is not. As the tin content of bronze rises, hardness increases, but ductility is lost. Most of the malleability is missing from cold bronze with 5 per cent tin, and ductility becomes practically nil at a 20 per cent tin content. The cutting edge of a hammered bronze tool is superior to that of a similarly treated iron tool, and it is corrosion-resistant.
In the Early Iron Age, when the metal was still in scarce supply, local armament makers were the chief consumers of the new metal. Agricultural tools, needed for clearing forests and cultivation, were the next iron tools to develop. Axes, picks, and hoes also were needed. Iron was smelted in the Middle East before 2500 BCE, but the Iron Age proper was 1,000 or more years in maturing. Its full development came with the discovery of hardening by carburization (addition of carbon) and heat treating, which led to superior edged tools of great toughness.
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Toward Increasing Hand Tool Specialization
During the evolution of tools over more than 3.3 million years, using as principal materials, successively, stone, bronze, and iron, humans developed a number of particular tools. These specialized tools form an inverted pyramid resting upon the first general-purpose tool, the nearly formless chopper. With the discovery of metals and the support of numerous inventions allowing their exploitation, the first approximations to the modern forms of the basic tools of the craftsperson established themselves, with the main thrust of further development directed at improving the cutting edges.
The earliest tools were multipurpose; specialized tools were latecomers. A multipurpose tool, although able to do a number of things, does none of them as well as a tool designed or proportioned for one job and one material. How a handle is added to a tool (hafting) provides the primary distinction between the knife, axe, saw, and plane. An application or craft is best served by a further specialization or form within a category: the knives of the butcher, woodcarver, and barber reflect their particular tasks. When confronted with the unusual, a skilled craftsperson develops a special tool to cope with the situation. In the early 19th century, for example, joiners had dozens of planes in their kits to deal with the many mouldings, rabbets, and jointings they had to produce before the day of machine-made stock and mill-planed lumber.
Below you will find three supply lists (tools, cleaning/safety, and project materials), followed by an explanation of some of the items on each list. These lists may seem intimidating, but they are just the basics.
What are the basic tools and equipment used in doing metalworks?
Metals are so useful that we need to know more about them and the tools that are used to shape, cut, form, and finish them.
A steel rule used to test the flatness of a workpiece. The edge of the steel rule is placed on the surface of a material and then held up against the light.
This is used to measure the outside dimensions of either a flat or round stock. It may also be used to check the parallelism of surfaces. The setting on the outside calliper may be converted into linear units by measuring the opening with a steel rule.
Inside the calliper
This is used to measure the diameter of holes or widths of keyways and slots. To convert the inside calliper’s opening into linear units, use a steel rule in the same manner as that of the outside calliper.
This consists of two legs, one is like that of a divider, and the other one is like the leg of an inside calliper. Hermaphrodite callipers may be used to scribe arcs or in marking layout work.
This consists of a thick beam sometimes called the stock and a thin blade set at 90° angle. This tool is commonly used to test or “try” the accuracy of work. Many try-squares are graduated on the blade so it may also be used as a rule.
This is similar in construction to callipers except that the legs are straight and terminate in sharp points. These are used for measuring distances between points, transferring measurement from a scale, and scribing circles and arc.s
This comes in different lengths but commonly in two-metre lengths. They are useful in measuring large dimensions such as lengths of metal bars and width of iron sheets. The flexible metal tape rule is housed into a small metal receptacle and can be pulled out when needed.
This is a device which measures dimensions more accurately than most other measuring tools and is commonly used in machine shop work.
This is used to measure very small dimensions. It may be used to determine the thickness of a shim or the diameter of a single hair strand.
This is made of granite or cast iron. Granites are considered better than cast iron but are very expensive. For very simple layout work, any plain surface such as an ordinary tabletop will do.
These are generally used with a straight edge ruler to draw straight lines. These are made of hardened steel and sharpened to a very sharp point. On some scribers, one end is bent to allow marking lines in hard-to-reach places.
Also commonly known as prick punch. It looks like a centre punch except that the point is ground to an angle of 30° to 60° and is used to permanently mark the location of layout lines.
Is practically the same as the prick punch except that the point is ground to an angle of 90°. It is used to mark the location of the centres of holes. The wider the angle of indentation permits a drill bit to start holes accurately.
This is the most commonly used tool in benchwork to securely hold small work for sawing, chipping, drilling, reaming, polishing, and tapping operations. Vises are made of heavy cast iron or cast steel. Their sizes are determined by the width of the jaws. Gripping highly polished work or soft materials, jaw caps are used to prevent the work surface from getting marred or damaged. Jaw caps are made of plastic, lead, aluminium, or copper.
The most commonly used in benchwork are the ballpen, straight peen, and cross peen hammers. Aside from the three, soft-faced hammers are also extensively used in metalwork. These are used in assembling or disassembling parts so the finished surfaces would not be dented. The faces of soft hammers are made of lead, plastic, rawhide, wood, or copper. These are attached to a steel handle and are generally replaceable.
Instruments designed to drive in and take out screws. The two most common types used in the shop are the standard screwdrivers with a flat blade, and the Philips screwdriver with the crossed tip to fit the recesses of a Philip-head screw. Both of these types are manufactured in various sizes and styles such as the standard, stubby, and offset. An important rule to remember in the use of screwdrivers is to use the right size for the right screw. Too big a size damages the slot of the screw and may even cause the screw to break. Too small a size will dent the screwdriver and also damage the slot of Philips screws.
There are different types of wrenches used for specific purposes. The name of a wrench is generally derived from its use, shape, or construction.
What are the types of wrench?
Maybe single-ended or double-ended. The opening is generally offset at 150° to permit turning the nut or bolt in a crowded space by flopping or inverting the wrench every single stroke. The double-ended wrench is usually of two opening sizes to accommodate two bolt heads or nut sizes.
Is also called the box-end 12 point wrench. This wrench completely surrounds the nut and has 12 equally spaced notches inside. A small rotation of a nut can be affected by shifting the wrench to another notch. It can move as little as 1/12 of a circle or 30°.
Similar to the box wrench but is driven differently by means of a handle provided with a square head which fits on the top end of the socket wrench. The handles may be a rachet, or when certain bolts or nuts have to be tightened to a correct degree, a torque handle is used.
This has an opening which may be adjusted within a certain range to fit several sizes of nuts or bolt heads. This is particularly useful to repairmen who travel to do servicing jobs, eliminating the need to carry too heavy a load of wrenches. For shop work, however, this type is not preferable since slippage is more likely to happen if proper adjustments to the bolt head are not attained.
These are hexagonal L-shaped rods that fit into the slots of Allen set screws.
Are designed for gripping and holding small parts for certain machining operations. They are also modified levers so one can “multiply” gripping pressure with the use of these tools.
What are the different types of pliers?
Are designed to grip small and big stocks by simply slipping the fulcrum.
These are used mainly for gripping, bending, and cutting small diameter rods or wire. When this plier is provided with insulated handles, it is also called the electrician’s pliers.
These are manufactured either straight or bent. They are used for holding very small parts and for positioning in hard-to-get-at places. They are also very useful in making small loops or rings out of wires. This is sometimes called needle-nose pliers. The bent kind is also known as crooked-nose pliers.
Or simply diagonals are useful in cutting, picking up, or putting cotter pins.
Vise grip pliers
Provide an extremely strong grip because of the adjustable lever action. The grip pliers can be locked.
Is a hand cutting tool made of high carbon steel having a series of teeth cut on a flat body or face. The parts of a file are as shown below. Files without handles should not be used. Files are classified according to how the teeth are cut on the face. They may be single cut or double cut. According to the coarseness or size of the cut, they are classified as a rough, coarse, bastard, second cut, smooth cut, and dead smooth. According to cross-sectional shapes, files are classified as flat, half-round, square, three-square (triangle), and knife.
This is used in cutting metals and other materials like fibre and plastics. It is composed of a handle, a frame, and a blade.
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This is used to produce a surface more true that can be produced by machining. Scraping is a process of removing small amounts of metal from specific areas to produce an accurate surface. It is a long and tedious process. Scrapers are made of high grade hardened and tempered tool steel. Carbides are sometimes added to the tips to make them last longer.
Is the simplest form of a cutting tool. It is made of heat-treated steel with the cutting edge shaped differently for various chipping requirements.
What are the most commonly used chisels in the metalworks shop?
Is used for cutting and chipping metals and for splitting nuts, bolt heads, and rivets. The blade of the flat chisel is ground to an angle of 60° to 70°.
Is used for clearing out corners or correcting errors while drilling in steel plates. It is ground to a square cross-section end and provided with a cutting edge at one corner.
Has a narrow cutting edge and is used in cutting narrow grooves, splints, or keyways.
Round nose chisel
The tip of this chisel is round and is used in making half-round grooves and channels. It may also be used for moving holes which have been inaccurately started.
These are called cold chisels because they are designed to cut metals at room temperature. There are special chisels described as hot chisels which are used to cut or chip while the metal being worked on is red hot. These chisels are provided with a long handle to keep the operator’s hand away from the hot metal.
Are tools necessary in the metalworks shop, especially when working with metal sheets that are very thin (1/16 of an inch thick). The snips are generally called tinner snips as these are the main tools of a tinsmith.
What are the different types of snips?
Is used in cutting along a straight line on a metal sheet, plastic, rubber, and other materials. They are made in various sizes with cutting edges from two to five inches long. The handles are generally plastic coated.
Has narrow, slightly curved blades. It may also be used to cut a straight edge but is most effective in cutting along inside curves.
Has short cutting blades and two fulcrums for a greater mechanical advantage. It may be used for cutting straight edges or curves but is most effective in cutting long outside curves.
Are tools used for drilling small holes through metals, wood, or plastic. It consists of a shank which is attached to a toothed wheel with a handle. The toothed wheel or gear turns another toothed wheel and carries the shaft which holds the chuck and the drill bit.
This is a cutting tool consisting of a steel rod with two flutes running around its body, the point of which is ground so that cutting edges are formed. Twist drills are manufactured from forged steel. They are available in a variety of sizes from a small as 1/32 to as big as two inches in diameter. They are made with either straight or tapered shanks. Small twist drills are generally straight while the bigger ones tapered.
Is made of special steel with shallow cutting edges around its entire length. It is used to smoothen the surface of the hole made by a drill to finish it to a standard size.