Which hand tools are used for metalworking?
Metalworking is, as its title suggests, working with metals to create individual parts. There is a wide range of technologies that are used within metalworking to create all types of products, such as small pieces of jewellery to building components and large-scale constructions. Most metalworking processes can be categorized into three categories: forming, cutting, or joining. However, it's also important to note that casting is one of the most widespread methods of metalworking and involves pouring metal into a mould, after which is cooled and solidified.
Top Metal fabrication company Melbourne
Metalworking hand tools are hand tools that are used in the metalworking field. Hand tools are powered solely by the operator.
Classic Tinner Snips
The Classic Tinner Snips are offered in 10", 12" and 16" sizes for straight cuts, and a Duckbill model for tight radius cuts. All three models are metal machine precision design, forged for strength, and have a rust protection coating. We tested the 12-inch model and used them a lot! Like the other tinner snips, this model has a 40% larger handle loop for working with gloves. The Bolt Lock technology Milwaukee uses prevents the blade handles from loosening during use. The 12-Inch Classic Snips will cut:
- Cold rolled steel up to 20 gauge.
- Stainless steel up to 22 gauge.
The Compound-Offset Tinner Snips is an all-metal machine precision design, forged for strength, and has a rust protection coating. The blades are secured with a BOLT-LOCK™ Technology to prevent them from loosening over time. This offset Tinner features 45-degree all-metal forged offset blades to keep the user's hands above the material. Something you'll appreciate when cutting wire mesh or aluminium sheet stock! This Tinner uses a compound cutting mechanism that increases the tool's cutting force, allowing cuts in metal materials – such as metal, heavy gauge copper and sheet stock up to the following gauges.
- Cold rolled steel up to 18 gauge.
- Stainless steel up to 2 gauge.
A dolly is a name given to a category of tools used in shaping sheet metal. In general, a dolly is a solid piece of metal, small enough to hold in one hand, with a curved or shaped face. Generally, a dolly will have more than one surface, each with its radius of curvature (much like a three-dimensional French curve).
A dolly can be used either as a hammer, shaping the metal to match the curve of the dolly, or as a small anvil to provide a curved surface over which to the dome or dish metal. They are commonly used to shape sheet metal in auto repair, especially in locations where it is difficult to swing a hammer.
They can also be used as backers for upsetting metal. When used as a portable anvil, a dolly can be used to hold a rivet in position while it is being clenched with a "snapper". Such dollies are commonly cylindrical and rely on mass to work. The act of using it is known as holding up or holding on. Dollies can also be used in boat building when clenching nails.
The dolly is the antecedent of the anvil; metal is placed upon a dolly and pounded for shaping and smoothing purposes. Dollies may be hand-held or placed on stationary surfaces, such as a table. The curved surface of a dolly allows metalworkers to form malleable metal easily and consistently into rounded forms.
Files and Rasps
A file is a metalworking and woodworking tool used to cut fine amounts of material from a workpiece. It most commonly refers to the hand tool style, which takes the form of a steel bar with a case hardened surface and a series of sharp, parallel teeth. Most files have a narrow, pointed tang at one end to which a handle can be fitted.
Files, a traditional metalworking tool, are bars of metal covered with serrations or sharpened scales and are used to smooth, shape and remove metal. Files range in length from a few inches to more than a foot and appear in a variety of shapes, including cylinders, triangles and rectangles. Constantly pushing a file across a metal surface causes its scales or serrations to abrade metal surfaces.
A similar tool is a rasp. This is an older form, with simpler teeth. As they have larger clearance between teeth, these are usually used on softer, non-metallic materials.
Related tools have been developed with abrasive surfaces, such as diamond abrasives or silicon carbide. Because of their similar form and function, these have also been termed 'files'.
The hacksaw is a basic hand-held cutting tool with a sharp-toothed blade that is used to shave away and cut through metals. The hack saw features a C-shaped frame attached to a pistol-grip handle. Blades attach to the open portion of the frame, and the metalworker pushes the saw back and forth across pieces of metal. The fine, closely grouped design of the blade's teeth prevent it from catching and halting on tough metal surfaces. Hacksaw blades are categorized according to teeth per inch, i.e. more teeth for harder metal and fewer teeth for softer metal.
Hand Or Cold Chisel
They were used for cutting all kinds of metals in a cold state in contradistinction to a hot hand chisel that is used for cutting metals in a hot state. For this purpose, it would be 3 in. Longer and thinner at cutting edge. It was made of tool steel.
A wide range of body hammers is used in metalworking. Hammers range from small, lightweight "pick" hammers (that provide stubby pick point and high-crown peen-type faces that will ding out small dents in high fins), to specialty hammers and heavy-duty "bumping" hammers for heavy gauge truck fenders and panels. There are dozens of hammers that are designed for specific tasks or metal thicknesses.
Lightweight Tinner Snip
The Lightweight Tinner Snip is an aluminium-bodied snip with replaceable blades. With a cutting length of 3-1/2," these snips are ideal for long cuts in sheet metal or ductwork. I reach for these when cutting copper sheet stock, aluminium and copper step flashing or lead flashing. Lightweight Tinners snips are also more convenient for cutting light gauge metals, rubber and plastics than the heavier compound action shears you might be used to, and tend to be more accurate and easier to guide when making complex cuts. These Tinners work well on many materials, and I cut everything from cardboard to insulation, rubber and metal. If I had to explain these to someone who has never seen them before, they are the most heavy-duty, durable, outstanding cutting shears I've used.
Mallets used for metalworking usually have either wood or plastic faces. These "faces" come in a variety of shapes, such as flat, torpedo, hemispheric, or square in shape. The different faces (and material the mallet is made of) allow you to work and/or shrink different metals. For instance, the flat face can be used for planishing and smoothing and for hand shrinking thicker soft metals. Whereas a large hickory "torpedo mallet's" striking weight is best used for shaping soft metals such as aluminium or copper, but a similar torpedo mallet made from heavy black rubber has a striking weight which is best used for shaping steel.
Metalworkers use plastic, wooden or rubber-headed mallets to shape, form and pound metal into place. Whereas metal-headed hammers leave noticeable strike marks on a metal surface, the blow of soft-headed mallets produces few dents and surface blemishes.
Check out Austgens LASER CUTTING
Used for measuring the outside diameters of bodies and for transferring sizes from the rule to articles in the round, or vice versa. Usually made of iron or steel and used largely in turning.
A profile gauge or contour gauge is a tool for recording the cross-sectional shape of a surface.
Contour gauges consist of a set of steel or plastic pins that are set tightly against one another in a frame which keeps them in the same plane and parallel while allowing them to move independently, perpendicularly to the frame. When pressed against an object, the pins conform to the object. The gauge can then be used to draw the profile or to copy it on to another surface.
A punch is a hard metal rod with a shaped tip at one end and a blunt butt end at the other, which is usually struck by a hammer. Punches are used to drive objects, such as nails, or to form an impression of the tip on a workpiece. Decorative punches may also be used to create a pattern or even form an image.
Scratch Card Or Card Wire Brush
They are used for cleaning files by brush-ing it on the file and in the same direction as the cut of the teeth. It consists of card wire tacked on a piece of wood shaped so that it is suitable for holding in hand.
Used for filing all kinds of flat surfaces and roughing down any metal. Sometimes called a safe edge flat file, as it has one edge without teeth, for use when filing shoulders.
A scriber is a hand tool used in metalworking to mark lines on workpieces, prior to machining. The process of using a scriber is called scribing and is just part of the process of marking out. It is used instead of pencils or ink lines because the marks are hard to see, easily erased, and inaccurate due to their wide mark; scribe lines are thin and semi-permanent. On non-coated workpieces marking blue is commonly used to increase the contrast of the mark lines.
They are a rod with a tip made of cast steel that has been hardened and tempered. The point is sharpened to an angle of 30 or 40 degrees. Some scribers have a point at both ends. It is used by drawing the point over the surface of the workpiece to leave a shallow scratch on its surface.
Made either of brass or steel-brass for use on iron and steel, steel for use on brass, copper, etc.
Both metal and wood slappers are used for metalworking. Generally, wood slappers are covered with a leather-face. Slappers can be used to shrink, contour, and planish (smooth) the panel without leaving rough marks to clean up. The slapper controls more surface with each blow than a hammer can and is very easy to use because it has the same angle of attack as a body hammer. This means the user does not need to change their arm and hand position when moving from hammer to slapper. The slapper can be far more effective than the hammer for shrinking because its leverage gives a greater mechanical advantage over the rough spots. The slapper is great for working metal over a T-stake or for gouging and planishing. A good slapper can make radius bends and crowns quite well. A slapper works well with forming stakes and post dollies for lightly planishing and pulling cold shrinks.
Snips and Shears
Snips and shears are used for cutting metal. Various types of snips and shears are used for different metals and thicknesses. Some shears allow longer or shorter cuts depending on the shear's style. Certain types of snips and shears are recommended for aviation metalworking.
Snips, also called metal shears, are the scissors of the metalworking world. These tools look like bulky scissors with extra-sharp, serrated blades. Snips cut metal roofing, flashing, sheet metal and thin metal plates. Varieties of snips include aviation snips, hawksbill snips and duct snips. Aviation snips, also called compound snips, feature a unique design that takes advantage of leverage to cut manually through thick metal sheets.
Or sometimes called a copper bit. They are used for all kinds of soft soldering. Handle usually of wood, the rein of wrought iron, a bit of wrought copper. Made in various sizes and shapes; 1-2 1/2 lb. are the most useful weights.
3" Speed Seamer
The 3" SPEED SEAMER™ is designed to be comfortable for both overhand and underhand use and feature a forged metal head and comfortable over-moulded handles. A simple to use and easy to reach lock keeps the tool jaws closed. The 3" Speed Seamer folds most common metals found in HVAC ductwork and copper and aluminium flashing work. The forged steel jaws have markers at 3/8 and 1-inch, both common seam folds, allowing both speed and accuracy. The Speed Seamer has a 1-1/2 inch deep throat and will crimp the following metals:
- Cold rolled steel up to 22 gauge.
- Stainless steel up to 24 gauge.
In the remodelling field, I often reach for the 3-inch Seamer when working with roofing, window and trim flashing. They came in perfect the other day reworking a copper window overhang. I liked the comfortable symmetrical handles and the power or leverage that the tool provides.
5-Blade HVAC Crimper
The 5-Blade HVAC Crimper is impact resistant, and it features reinforced crimper ribs, which provide greater blade stability, producing up to 2X longer tool life. Milwaukee's BOLT-LOCK technology prevents the blades from loosening. The crimper has a 1-5/8 inch deep throat and will crimp the following metals:
- Cold rolled steel up to 22 gauge.
- Stainless steel up to 24 gauge.
The 3" SPEED SEAMER™ and 5-Blade HVAC Crimper are designed to be comfortable for both overhand and underhand use and feature a forged metal head and comfortable over-moulded handles, As remodelling carpenters I typically find myself reaching for this tool when installing or reworking the kitchen, bathroom venting and HVAC as well as and dryer venting. Without this tool, you're at a loss fitting vent pipe and ductwork.
What are the strategies of organizing tools?
The 5S component of lean manufacturing has its origins in production work. It certainly can be adapted to a job shop environment, particularly one large enough to have separate departments, such as for cutting, bending, and welding. Shadow boards and standard tool layouts work wonders for shortening changeover time.
But in a project-based job shop and prototype operation, people follow a product through production. They may have a standard set of tools at their workbench or on their tool belts, such as a tape measure, a marker, or a scribe, but every project involves such a variety of tools, it's difficult to standardize.
For this environment, Lipton described two components of successful tool organization. The first is to know a person's organizational style. A person's work speaks louder than the appearance of his workbench. If a person's workbench is messy, yet that person is extremely productive (relative to his co-workers) and knows where everything is, then there's no problem.
However, if tools are shared, and his co-workers can't find tools on his messy desk, then, of course, things need to change. The same thinking goes if co-workers or customers who tour the shop value neatness. The bottom line: If a messy workbench affects others, some organization is in order.
Although Lipton said he's hands-off when it comes to certain aspects of personal organization, he does provide workspaces that help people find tools quickly. For instance, most toolboxes and bins in the shop have drawers that aren't very deep so that people can fit only so many layers of tools, usually just one.
"We never want to use a 2-foot-deep hopper, with stuff at the bottom that never sees the light of day," Lipton said. "If people can't put their hands on the tools, they need quickly, and you're just throwing money away."
The second component of Lipton's organizational strategy involves creating kits of tools for the day's work. This adapts the ideas behind 5S, which states that a workbench should have only the minimum tools necessary to complete a job. Excess tools at the workbench open the door for disorganization and inefficiency.
Managing a job shop in which workers tackle disparate projects from day to day requires a different approach. At the beginning of each day, Lipton and his co-workers create a kit of tools for the day's work. If it's an assembly job, they put together a kit of wrenches, screwdrivers, and other mechanical tools. If the day's jobs will entail weld prep, joining, and homemaking, they grab the kit developed for this kind of work. If they're installing a machine, they retrieve tools to transport the system, level it, and set it up for the customer. That calls for a rigging kit, with jacks, pry bars, dolly, wedge, blocks, and similar items. The next day he may be running power to the machine, which requires another toolkit, this one involving electrical equipment. Some days may call for several kits, depending on the schedule.
"The mix of jobs drives how exactly you kit your tools," he said.
Lipton added that, of course, if something unexpected comes up, he may need to get an extra tool here and there. But he shouldn't be making trips to the toolroom every whipstitch.
Nowadays, speed and productivity are very important, and therefore many works in the workshop are being done with the power tools and machines. However, any good craftsman knows that the quality result lies in the balance between the handwork and machine work. In many cases during the manufacture, the craftsman has to decide whether some operation will be done with the hand tools or with the machine. Such a decision should always be made by considering which method is more efficient, which method you are adept to, which methods produce better work and which method is cheaper.
Always use the right-hand tool for the job. This way, you get the best job with the least effort, the least damage to the tool and the least danger to yourself.
In some cases, hand tools are faster than the machines. Of course, if many identical parts need to be cut, hand tools are slower. But if you work on some unique project, it will surely be easier to perform some operations with the hand tools, rather than to waste time to set up and configure your machine.
One of the important advantages of hand tools is that they are cheaper than the power tools, so if in your work you do not have a specific need for this type of tools, it will be much more cost-effective to buy less expensive hand tool and use it occasionally, than to buy an expensive power tool which will lay on the shelf. Besides that, the hand tools are indispensable for house maintenance. Various jobs on the house are occasional, so it is not profitable to invest a lot of money in various power tools. Another great advantage of hand tools is that they are much safer than the power tools, and this is important for both craftsmen beginners and for the amateurs, who use hand tools just for quick repairs.