From auto body work to homemade art, working with metal can be challenging and rewarding. Whatever your project, metalworking tooling has all the basic supplies you need to get the job done. Good tooling is an investment that can make a big difference to the ease of your work and the quality of your finished products.What is metalworking tooling?
In order to work with metal, you need special equipment, including cutting tools. Metalwork tooling refers to collections of tools and other materials designed to work with metal. Here are a few of the most common tooling types.
- Lathe: Circular cutters designed to make the most of the space available, these machines let you cut and mold a broad range of metal types. Most lathes support multiple blade types and attachments for safely gripping and moving metal. Depending on your needs and space availability, you can find everything from handheld models to industrial-size manufacturing machines. If you're just starting out with metalworking, many compact lathes come with tooling included.
- Grinder: Handheld and larger grinding machines let you mold metal and trim edges as needed. Tooling related to grinding sometimes comes packaged together in cutting sets.
- Vernier: This handy little tool lets you measure pieces with high accuracy.
- Rollers: Working with metal sheets often involves starting with large pieces that you then need to cut up or mold. Rollers and other specialized tooling machines help mold and secure metal in place.
- Plates: There are many times in the process of working metal when you will need to keep a piece flat and secure while cutting or molding. Well-placed metal plates give you the necessary backing to do so.
- Welding tooling: Many forms of metalworking require welding with heat to join pieces. To process metal with heat, you'll need special welding tooling. Tooling for heat includes fire-resistant holders and personal protection for metalworkers.
The tooling you need will generally depend on the type of work you are trying to do. If you're looking to start hobby metalworking at home, consider a starter tooling set. You can find quality tooling sets that include everything you need that will fit in a compact space. Industrial-grade metalworking requires elaborate production equipment, including safety parts to protect machine operators. Most cutting edges and guides follow standard sizes for attaching and detaching parts. These parts are, therefore, easy to replace or add to your collection as needed.