Friday, November 7, 2014

Important Machines and Techniques for DIY Sheet Metal Fabricators

There are many methods of metal fabrication that are used by metal fabricators in the modern day. Steel plants might best exemplify these methods and techniques. However, it’s vital to try and understand what steel metal fabrication means and what it entails in essence. When you get to know what fabrication entails, you’ll be in a position to understand the tools and techniques that are used in the entire process.

Sheet metal fabrication ideally refers to the act of shaping, forming, and joining metals together for purposes of either building or repairing tangible parts. Metal shaping, forming, and joining are all basic processes of metal fabrication. They therefore employ varied techniques in order to achieve the desired results.

What does sheet metal shaping entail?
Metal forming and shaping is only able to change metals in four main ways. You can cut, bend, shrink and even stretch the metal to the desired shape. Below are some of the basic machines and tools that you can use in this process.

Bending metal
Form bending stands out as the simplest way through which you can bend metals. Just as the term implies, you’ll be bending metal over a shape or edge that is under the metal. A hammer will be of absolute necessity when doing this.

When doing metal brakes, you’ll be able to make clean and precise bends in metal. You will need a clamping tool in doing this so that the metal can produce the desired shape or form.

Cutting metal: What does it entail?
Hand shears are basic tools that you can use in cutting metal to the desired shapes and sizes. However, this is a manual process, but it is still effective regardless of the size of metal you are cutting. In fact, if you want to start a sheet metal fabrication business, shears are among the first tools you ought to purchase.

Also referred to as scissors, power shears are also good for you when you are cutting metal. The good thing with such tools is that they allow you to cut metal faster with less manual effort. There is a wide range of sheers that you’ll come across in the market ranging from electric sheers to pneumatic sheers.

Throatless sheers are also commonly used in metal cutting. These sheers are hand operated and normally come in the form of a hinged blade, which swings down and then cuts through metal. The major advantage of throatless sheers is that they do not waste metal when you are cutting. They are therefore useful when making many cuts of steel at the same time.

Angle grinders and plasma cutters are also quite effective when cutting metal. Although angle grinders are noisy and messy, they will still get the job done. Again, the plasma cutter is best suited for aggressive and powerful sheet metal cutting processes. If the plasma cutter is adjusted in the right manner, it’s able to cut through metal faster and with a high level of accuracy.

Shrinking metal: What tools and techniques are necessary?
For this, you can use a trucking metal or a shrinker. Trucking metal stands out as one of the earliest methods used in metal shrinking. Ideally, you’ll be bunching metals together and passing them between crevices so that they can form a desired shape. A hammer and a wooden stump will also be useful. A shrinker can be more precise than tucking metal, but it moves metal slowly.

Stretching metal: The must have
When it comes to stretching metal, there are also a few basic tools and techniques which are required. The hammer, dolly, stretcher, and the English wheel are definitely of great importance in such a case. The hammer and dolly stands out as the most basic way of stretching metal.

Metal fusion: The necessities
Lastly, metal fusion is also an important method of sheet metal fabrication. This entails fusing panels together in order to produce large complex parts. Perhaps the most common type of metal fusion today is welding. Welding includes oxy acetylene welding, TIG welding, and MIG welding. The MIG welder is probably the most common and and easiest form of welding in the modern day.

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