Machine shops often have professional performing cold-metal work. This work involves an operator using tools to remove a portion of the metal, subsequently shaping it to some specified form or size. Machine tools are designed to perform functions such as threading, boring, turning, and facing. The use of tools in a machine shop varies substantially for both large and small jobs.
These highly specialized and advanced machines can be operated manually or may be powered electronically, depending on the model. Depending on the machining service conducted, the machine shop tools used may differ. By knowing the possibilities and limitations of the tools, a machinist is able to design the intended object more effectively.
People operating machine tools must first learn the safety regulations and precautions for each instrument. Understanding the basic concepts of the various tools helps in identifying its usage. Below is a basic guide on machine shop tools.
Drilling machines, also called drill presses, cut holes in metal and wood with a twist drill. There are many shapes and sizes of drilling machines ranging from small hand-held power drills to floor-mounted models. Other than drilling, their use ranges from countersinking, counterboring, reaming, to tapping large or small holes.
There are two types of drilling machines used by maintenance personnel for machine shop repair and fabrication. The bench drill cuts holes through metal, wood, and plastic, while the pillar drill is used to drill more extensive materials and to make larger holes. Control of drilling depth happens by utilizing a depth-stop mechanism located on the side of the spindle.
While drilling in a machine shop, it is crucial to pay attention and remain alert. The operator of the machine must use a sense of feel while feeding the cutting tool into the work. Drill press operators must know how to set up the work, set speed and feed, and provide a coolant to get a quality finished product.
Milling is the machining process in which the removal of metal takes place due to the cutting action of a rotating cutter. A milling machine cuts metal before feeding the workpiece against a rotating cutting tool. Each device has a cutter that operates at a specific range of speed so that the operator can form the required shape.
The machine can also hold one or several cutters at a time. An adjustable speed feature helps regulate the milling machine for a more precise cut. A machine shop relies heavily on milling machines to perform various functions.
A milling machine handles multiple tasks such as carving, threading, milling, drilling, and cutting. These machines come in various types based on precise standard specifications. The most commonly used machines are the column, turret, C-frame, horizontal, bed type, planer-style, and tracer-controlled.
A grinding machine uses an abrasive wheel as the cutting tool. The rough surface of the coarse wheel shreds off small portions of the workpiece. Grinding wheels with different grit sizes achieve better grinding passes as required.
For requirements of precision and surface finish, the grinding process acts as a finishing mechanism after the other metalworking operations. Grinding machines are used for smoothing out rough surfaces on hard materials such as tool steel. It is primarily a finishing operation that removes relatively small quantities of metal to deliver highly accurate products.
Grinding is the most accurate of all of the basic machining processes in a machine shop. There are five categories of grinding machines, namely: surface grinders, cylindrical grinders, centerless grinders, internal grinders, and specials.
The shaper machine aids in the production of horizontal, vertical, or flat surfaces. When handling the shaper process, the operator removes metal from the surface in the horizontal, vertical, and angular planes by the use of a single-point cutting tool mounted on the ram.
In a shaper machine, the workpiece remains stationary while the cutting tool moves back and forth during the fabrication of the desired product.
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