Metalworking and machining is a fantastic skill to have and to develop, and it can also become a source of income for you and your family once you have perfected your talents.
Many people begin metal work as a hobby by turning their shed, outhouse or garage into a small workshop where they can practice and refine their skills, and store the tools they need to get the job done properly.
Here are five tools every home workshop should have if you want to take your metalwork to the next level.
Marking Tools and Rules
Precision is an important part of metalwork. If you are manufacturing something to do a specific job, such as making a metal gate for a yard, then the measurements you take will need to be implemented precisely in order for the metalwork to do the job it has been designed for.
You will need to invest in some robust marking tools, like a razor knife or a scribe. Pencils and marker pens do not have a fine enough point to do the job, and you need the fine point of a blade to mark your measurements properly. A metal rule, or ruler, is also recommended as these are robust enough to last in a workshop.
Precise Dial Calipers
Dial calipers are the perfect tool for making and taking precise measurements, especially if you have to repeatedly make the same measurement when making a box or chest, for example. You can lock the measurement on the caliper and use the calipers to make marks on your projects.
Dial calipers are also great for measuring the thickness of sheet metal, or the diameter of screws and bolts if you are refurbishing an existing item.
A Hand Operated Flanger
Power tools can be expensive, and it is easy for their excess power to the damage materials you are working on.
Hand-operated rotary machines are a great option for the home enthusiast, and a Flanger is one of the most important tools in a metal workshop. Flangers help you to bend sheet metal at precise angles safely when making box structures, or when shaping metal to fit a chassis or framework for a project.
A Press Vise
One of the hardest parts of working on your own is only having one pair of hands to work with, but with a vise, you have a helping hand waiting to tightly grip on to materials for you.
Vises are great for holding sheet metal or parts of a project while you apply finishes, such as sanding or filing. They are metal crafter’s best friend.
Thread Cutting Taps
When working with metal, you will often want to use screws and bolts in the construction of your projects. Thread cutting taps allow you to make a thread in materials like metal for screws and bolts to thread into, so your finished project will be securely fixed together. When making boxes and chests from sheet metal, you can use thread taps to make secure holes in the frame for the sheet metal to bolt onto and give your project a professional-looking finish.
With these five inexpensive tools, you are well on your way to taking your metalwork hobby to the next level and producing professional-quality projects.