Machining is a process in which material is removed from a workpiece to shape or finish it into a desired form. Drilling, holemaking, milling, turning, and threading tools are attached to compatible machinery such as a lathes, drill presses, or CNC machines to perform machining operations on the workpiece. The workpiece is typically a piece of raw material, sheets or rolls of stock, or an existing part, and the machine setup is typically guided by the type of material being worked on and the amount of material to be removed from the workpiece. Machine tool accessories, metalworking fluids, toolholders, precision measuring tools, and other supplies support the machining operation for optimal results.
Machinery is used to create finished parts in machining tasks. Milling machines progressively remove material from workpieces to create features on the workpieces. Drilling machines create holes in workpieces. Lathes remove material from rotating workpieces to shape and size them and to add features such as threads. Grinding and buffing machines help sharpen or soften edges, polish or smooth surfaces, and shape material. 3D printers deposit thin layers of material on top of each other to create simple or complex 3D objects. Fabrication machinery is used to punch, form, bend, and press heavy gauge metals. Downdraft tables have built-in suction and ventilation that help keep work areas free of fumes, smoke, and dust.
Tool Holder and Accessories
Tool holders and accessories connect bits and tooling with compatible machinery. Collet chucks apply 360° clamping force to securely hold tooling in lathes, grinders, and milling machines. Holders secure drills, end mills, face mills, rotary broaches, shell mills, spade blades, taper shanks, and shrink-fit tools onto machines.Machine tool accessories facilitate machining tasks. Drill extensions can access tight areas and hard-to-reach spots during drilling tasks. Box parallels keep work parallel or raised at a level where it can be reached by cutting tools. 4-way parallels are used inside of a vice to lift a workpiece higher for milling, drilling, and grinding applications. Angle plates and angle irons stabilize parts during machining tasks to prevent movement or distortion. Cam handles allow parts to be fastened and unfastened without using tools in operations where the parts only have to be loosened. Chuck keys tighten and loosen drill chucks when installing and removing bits from the chuck. Chuck key holders securely attach a chuck key to the cord of a hand drill to help prevent the key from getting lost. Collets hold tools in place on drills, milling machines, and lathes. Detent, lock, pop, and plunger pins prevent spindles, axles, wheels, or machine accessories from moving during machining tasks.
Milling is a machining process in which a rotating milling tool removes material from the surface of a piece of stock. It is used to create parts with a wide range of shapes and features, such as pockets and slots. Milling tools are installed on a CNC (computer numerical control) or manually controlled milling machine to perform milling tasks. End mills have cutting edges on their nodes and sides and are used to create parts with complex shapes and profiles. Thread mills form internal and external threads on existing holes. Keyseat cutters create grooves in shafts for mating keyed parts to the shafts. Mold and die milling tools have tapered sides and are used for creating molds and dies. Engraving tools are used to cut letters, numbers, and designs on parts. Router bits remove material from workpieces to create decorative edges and other features.
Drilling and Holemaking
Drilling and holemaking tools create and finish holes in a workpiece. Drill bits remove material from a workpiece to make a hole. Reamers enlarge, smooth, or contour an existing hole in a workpiece for a precise fit when installing fasteners or other parts. Counterbores, countersinks, chamfering tools, and porting tools contour the hole to accommodate fasteners and other parts. Extensions, bushings, guides, and other accessories may be used with the tools to help boost efficiency and hole quality in drilling and holemaking tasks. Drill bit sharpeners and storage cases and cabinets help keep tools organized and ready for use.