If you are working with metal or other materials that are difficult to mold, shape and cut, you are going to want to make sure that you are using the right tools, or you are not going to be making very quick progress. And depending on the project, you may need a whole array of tools, from drills to other abrasives for precision and effectiveness. If metal cutting and shaping is something that is fairly new to you, there are some basics that you will want to become familiar with before you dive in head first and attempt to take on a project that may be a little much for you to tackle right at the beginning.
Figuring out which abrasives will fit your needs
Abrasives are most often materials such as tough minerals that are used to rub against a piece of work in order to wear away sides or edges in order to shape and finish the desired piece. Most commonly, abrasives are used to grind, polish, sharpen, sand, cut and buff different materials. And usually that is just one aspect of a greater project in which other types of materials and tools are also necessary. Lathes are also frequently used for drilling, cutting, and sanding, among other things. And there are of course different types of lathes. For example, the Swiss style lathe is specifically used in cases where extremely precise accuracy is needed, even down to just a few tenths of one thousandth of an inch! Lathes can be used to produce any number of different things, from candlestick holders and cue sticks to baseball bats and musical instruments.
The profitable business of metalworking and related fields
According to Gardner’s Capital Spending Survey, which is quite thorough and highly regarded on the durable goods manufacturing scene, the 2015 survey predicted about $8.822 billion to be spent on metal cutting throughout the year, which is a jump of 37% from the estimate for the year of 2014’s spending. And it is a good thing that there is so much money being generated, as the money spent on advertising alone for the industry is set to reach $481.38 million in 2016, boosting awareness and sales across the market for metalworking machinery and related equipment. Of course, it is not always just about the money. While some people excel behind a computer, or in professional sports, or in retail, or creating delicious food, there are those who work best with their hands, creating and shaping things in ways that others could hardly imagine.
Metal working is a complex and intricate field to try and understand, but for those with the passion, understanding, and determination, it can be the perfect career. How impressive would it be able to answer the “What do you do?” question with “I can cut through stone and glass with diamonds.” You may want to follow that up with a more detailed description, but it is certainly a catchy opener!