When discussing about metal fabrication, the focus is usually on the various processes involved such as forming, bending, cutting, joining etc. However, hand tools play an equally important role in development of metal products as part of fabrication projects. They are used to smooth, polish, cut and abrade metal for projects that range from automotive part repair to jewelry making. Hand tools offer a lot of versatility; however, they need to be operated only by skilled workers having clear understanding of customer requirements in order to extract maximum benefits. This blog will expand on some commonly used hand tools as well as its applications in industry.
A dolly is made of metal and is tiny enough to be held with one hand. Typically, a dolly has more than one surface, each with a different radius of curvature. A dolly is used to shape the metal to the dolly’s curvature, or use it as a miniature anvil to apply the dome or dish to the dolly’s curve. In vehicle maintenance, they’re often employed to form sheet metal, particularly in places where a hammer would be too cumbersome to handle. They may also serve as supports for jarring metals like cadmium. As a “snapper,” a dolly may be used to hold a rivet in place while it is being clasped in place. For shaping and smoothing, metal is put on a dolly before being hammered with an anvil. Structural steel fabricators may quickly and reliably mold pliable metal into rounded forms thanks to the dolly’s curved surface.
Files and Rasps
A file may be used to remove small quantities of material from a piece of metal or wood. Case-hardened steel bars with parallel rows of sharp teeth are the most frequent sort of hand tool in this context. An essential metalworking tool, files include serrated or sharpened scales on metal bars and may be used to smooth and shape metal as well as to cut it away. They may be as little as a few inches or as long as several feet, and they come in many different forms and sizes. A file’s scales or serrations abrade metal surfaces when they are repeatedly pushed over a metal surface. A rasp is a comparable tool, however it has fewer and simpler teeth. These are often used on softer, non-metallic materials since they have a bigger space between teeth.
Lightweight Tinner Snip
Unlike laser cutting which is used for large manufacturing applications, the Lightweight Tinner Snip, an aluminium snip with interchangeable blades, is ideal for tinkering. Long cuts in sheet metal or ductwork are no problem for these snips, which have a cutting length of 3.5 inches. They are most effective when working with copper sheet stock, aluminium and copper step flashing, or lead flashing. The lighter compound action shears, such as Tinner snips, are more precise and simpler to operate for cutting intricate shapes out of thin gauge metal, rubber, and plastics than the heavier compound action shears. These can be used to cut anything from cardboard to insulation, rubber, and metal.
The hand tools described are just a few of the wide variety of tools used in metal work. Tools such as hacksaws, hammers and mallets are used to cut, pound and shape metals respectively for a variety of products, such as mining plant and equipment. A common advantage for all hand tools is that they have no dependency on power equipment (except for hand drill) and work can be performed in any area of the fabrication shop. Metal is a tough material to work with due to its stiffness; however, hand tools is not a metal-working technique from a bygone era, but an important component of a fabricator’s toolset!