The Many Types Of Tools Used In The Metal Fabrication Industry

Published: 20th April 2011
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Techniques used in metal fabrication have been taught and passed along for many generations of fabricators dating back to the first blacksmiths. As the years have gone by the methods used have evolved along with the tools used. As with the methods the tools have evolved as well. Some tool variations that are used are operated manually while others are hydraulic.

Saws are an integral part in this industry and come in a few different models including band saws which use a thin blade positioned either horizontally or vertically and is primarily to cut tubing of all shapes and sizes. The chop saw uses a circular blade to make straight and angled cuts through tubing and other materials. The cold saw acts a lot like the chop saw only with this one it incorporates water into the mix in an effort to prevent burning during the cutting process.

Shaping machines include variations of a tool called the English wheel this tool uses two steel wheels that are stationed on top of each other with a space in the middle to put the piece being worked on in. Then a adjustment mechanism usually located on the underside has a wheel unit that allows the craftsman to apply different degrees of pressure by tightening or loosening the adjustment wheel. Once the pressure is set then the piece being worked on is pushed and pulled through the wheels in order to shape it into whatever shape is desired.

Another tool that is common is a bender machine this unit allows for square pipes and other shapes of piping to be bent into many different shapes. Along with the ability to add shapes; presses have the ability to cut material in one clean motion. These two machines are often found in shops that perform custom work.

Another style of bender machine is the pipe bending machine. This tool is commonly found in muffler shops and custom manufacturing shops. It uses hydraulic pressure to bend and form pipes for all sorts of applications including custom exhaust and handlebars for motorcycles.

Grinders both handheld and standing are also a common sight in custom shops. Using these tools is the best way to remove imperfections and surface scratches that can occur during construction. They are available in a belt model and disc model and are generally electrically driven or pneumatic.

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