The Essential Tools for New Machine Shops

The Essential Tools for New Machine Shops
  • Opening Intro -

    Whether you're an individual looking to operate out of his home, or you've just rented out space, there are some necessities you should consider when opening a machine shop.

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Whether you’re an individual looking to operate out of his home, or you’ve just rented out space, there are some necessities you should consider when opening a machine shop.

While you don’t need every tool right away to start your business, you should continue to grow your inventory to tackle a broader range of jobs. We’ve created a guide on many of the essential tools for new machine shops.

Milling Machine

While getting one may be an easy decision, it still makes sense to emphasize just how important having your milling machine can be. Milling machines cut through metal workpieces as you feed them in the directions of a revolving tool known as a milling cutter.

Milling machines are incredibly versatile and can cut flat and irregular surfaces, drill holes, and make slots in workpieces, among many other functions.

Lathe

A lathe is an essential tool for new machine shops that every new machinist should acquire. It allows you to shape metal or wood workpieces by rotating them around an unmoving cutting tool. There are different varieties of lathes that you can use depending on the job at hand.

Calipers

Calipers are practical tools in every machinist’s arsenal that they use it to determine the distance between two opposite ends of a single object. These instruments can span a broad range of forms, such as digital, Vernier, or dial.

End Mills

An end mill is a type of milling cutter that you use in milling machines. Cutting teeth sit on the face and edge of its body and can slice a range of materials in several ways. End mills help make machining possible and come in multiple shapes and sizes.

Hand Tools

You don’t have to rely on heavy tools to perform many of the requisite operations in a machine shop. There are quite a few smaller tools to stock up on that you’ll use daily.

For example, an Allen wrench set will allow you to turn bolts and screws that feature a hexagonal socket on their sides. A crescent or adjustable wrench has one fixed and one movable jaw that can help with tightening loose bolts.

A ball-peen hammer, or machinist’s hammer, comes in handy for a diverse set of jobs, including striking punches and chisels or rounding off the edges of metal pins or rivets.

Calculator

You’re going to be measuring early and often when working on virtually any project. A reliable calculator that can determine sine, cosine, and tangents will be critical in calculating trigonometry or feed and speed measurements.

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Writing Instruments

Once you have your measurements, you’ll want a visual representation of where you should cut on your workpieces. An oil-resistant industrial Sharpie lets you write on your workpieces despite any grease that might be present on them.

This list is by no means complete. Many other tools can be necessities as well, such as drill presses, gages, pry bars, and more. Many varied factors such as your machining knowledge, budget, customer base, and location will dictate what tools you should buy.

The key here is to avoid letting the lack of one tool stop you from trying to complete jobs with the equipment you do have on hand.

Image Credit: by twenty20.com

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