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Machine Tools Hold Society Together Learning About The Basic Equipment You Need To Succeed


Machine tools are responsible for much of the innovations we enjoy today.

Back to the earliest reaches of human history to the modern day, machine tools have laid out a reliable foundation. They keep our equipment running smoothly at all times. They provide us the flexibility we need to adapt to any situation. When you become acquainted with the art of the machine tool just about anything is possible. Starting out can be a little intimidating, with so many tools on the market, but everyone has to start somewhere.

From carbide grinders to magnetic dial indicators, we’re going to look at the basic machine tools that have withstood the test of time.

The History Of The Lathe

Anyone who works with the lathe likely has some knowledge of both their origins and staying power. The lathe is an old machine tool that has been used to shape and carve various metals over the centuries. Even now it’s widely preferred for both its accuracy and ease of use, able to be picked up by hobbyists and professionals alike. Correct tension in a lathe is key — a common rule-of-thumb to follow is to keep 3/8ths of an inch evident in each belt. A lathe that’s too loose won’t have the friction necessary to get the job done.

Learning About The Bow Drill

If you’re familiar with the lathe, you’re familiar with the bow drill. This tool has been found in several ancient human cultures around the world, widely considered to be among the oldest tools ever found. It’s a basic tool that added another level of complexity to woodworking (with some evidence found of these tools being used on teeth). Today’s tools wouldn’t be as advanced as they are without the advent of the lathe and the bow drill. Take the carbide grinder, for instance.

Function Of The Carbide Grinder

Machine tools free our hands to do other things, all while maintaining the quality we’ve come to expect in modern times. The carbide grinder, at its core, is used to grind down metals into various parts and pieces. A high quality machine has the ability to create a single tool or component in a mere 10 seconds to three minutes, with high end production runs offering one or two units per second. Among the first things you do before machining a part is telling the machine where ‘part zero’ is. This is a datum that corresponds to the 0, or the CAD drawing you used for all your work.

Using Your Magnetic Dial Indicators

Another common tool you’ll come across are the magnetic dial indicators. These are highly useful tools that can be turned on and off as you work, giving you a bigger picture on the state of your materials. Magnets are a frequently used element in today’s society, but they didn’t get that way overnight. Magnetic dial indicators give you the ability to figure out how much power you’re using and to what end. Think of them as a thermometer for metals.

Maintaining Your Quality Machine Tools

Machine tools won’t be able to do their job right without regular maintenance. Just like you visit the dentist for a check-up, so too should you give your tools a physical to ensure they’re not falling apart on you. You should always have an oil rag on standby so you can wipe down your tools after every use. There are various lubricants you can try to keep your equipment from clanking or rusting — if your rust protection fluid’s concentration of 3% is adequate during colder seasons, you might need to raise it a little higher. A little effort goes a long way.

Embrace the art of innovation. See what the best socket sets and magnetic dial indicators can do for your craft.

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