• Abhi Shejul

Getting to know the tools!

As a mechanical engineer we have interactions with many processes, from the simplest ones to the most complex. Some involve a large and heavy machinery whereas some could be performed using our regular toolbox. So lets take a look into this toolbox and understand what are some of these tools!


The precision and accuracy of the machining is determined by the quality of cutting tool.


Lathe machine and milling machine are big machines, and expensive as well. Many operations are performed on these machines. A slight change in the orientation and the workpiece shape is altered. But wait, it's not just the orientation, the shape of the cutting tool is very crucial for determining the shape and accuracy of the product. Well, not just shape but the material properties of the tool factor in as well. Before these modern machinery came into picture, tasks were performed by hand held tools.


Evolution of tools
Evolution of tools

Today we will take a look at different types of cutting tools and what are their distinguished characteristics which makes the cutting operation feasible.


To begin with, let's take a look at some simple tools which can be operated or used manually.


File

A file is used to do the filing operation. What is filing? No. Not stocking up documents in a file. In mechanical terms, filing is removal of excess materials in order to provide a fine and accurate finish to a cut or profile. A file has a grid of small sharp profiles through out the surface. These sharp profiles remove fine amount of material when rubbed against any metal surface.

Different types of file tool
File tool

In sheet metal cutting, when the metal is being cut, tears get created along the cutting length. To cover this tear and give a smooth cut, filing is done.

 

Hacksaw

As the name suggests, hacksaw is a cutting tool which has sharp teeth along its length. Usually the cutting teeth are present only on once side. A hacksaw is an assembly of two components, hacksaw frame and hacksaw blade. It is a very simple tool. The frame holds the blade with the help of fastening screws. Blades are an accessory to the tool, meaning the blades can be changed as per the requirements.


Hacksaw
Hacksaw

A hacksaw is an handheld tool which is used for cutting of wood or metal components such as pipes, planks or sheets.

 

Chisel

If we want to make a cut at the center of a wooden block it is difficult to simply use a saw an start cutting. Even in sheet metal cutting, to make a cut which is not along the circumference there has to be an entry point for the blade. A chisel is used in such scenarios. A chisel is a characteristically shaped tool with sharp corners to cut or carve into wood, metal or stone. The typical use of chisel as discussed is to force cut into the material. This is done using the pair, chisel and hammer. The stock end of the chisel is round and wide such that the hammer blows can be done easily.

Chisels
Chisels
 

Scraper

As the name suggests, scraper is a tool for scraping off any undesired material or composition on the surface of a metal or wooden workpiece. Often used in the recycling of a product to remove rust or any coating of paint on the surface. A scraper is a thin metal plate with sharp edge around the circumference. It looks like a spatula which is used in any household for cooking.

Scraper
Scraper
 

Drill

We are all familiar with this and have seen drilling happening around our house. Drill is a cutting tool used to cut circular holes into a surface. A drill bit is the actual cutting tool which does the cutting operation in the drill machine. Drills exist in a variety of sizes and forms, and they can drill a variety of holes in a variety of materials. Drill bits are normally coupled to a drill, which enables them to cut through the workpiece, usually by rotating, in order to make holes. In the chuck, the drill will hold the shank, which is the top end of a bit.

Drill bits
Drill bits
 

Reamer

We can drill a hole using a drill machine, but these holes might not have the accuracy and precision which is required. A reamer is used in such cases. A reamer can enlarge a hole or a contour which is made into any solid workpiece.

Along with enlarging the holes, a reamer also provides a cleaner and smoother finish to the cavity.

Reamer
Reamer
 

Tap & tap wrench

Fasteners are often installed and removed with wrenches. They have a handle with an aperture or bit at the end that can catch a fastener. However, not all wrenches are created equal. Tap wrenches are available in addition to socket and open-end wrenches. You might be wondering what tap wrenches are used for, given their unusual appearance. Tap wrenches are most commonly used to establish internal threading for fasteners. Internal threading is required for fasteners such as screws and bolts. Although fasteners feature external threading, they still need to be threaded internally during installation. A tap wrench can be used to generate this internal threading.

Tap & tap wrench
Tap & tap wrench
 

Die & die stock

Earlier we saw that tap & tap wrench are used to provide internal threading to a pipe. Similarly, die & die stock are used to provide external threading to a pipe. The die will have internal sharp grooves which will imprint the threads onto the cylindrical workpiece, whereas the die stock will hold the workpiece in place.

Die & Die stock
Die & Die stock
 

Grinding wheel

The term "grinding wheel" refers to a wheel that is used to grind. Abrasive compounds are used to make grinding wheels, which are utilized for a variety of grinding and abrasive machining operations. Grinding machines make use of such wheels. Composite material is used to make the wheels in most cases. This is made up of coarse-particle aggregate that has been crushed and bound together in a solid, circular shape by a cementing matrix. Grinding wheels are consumables, albeit their lifespan might range from less than a day to several years, depending on the use. Individual grains of abrasive are periodically released while the wheel cuts, usually because they get dull and the higher drag pulls them out of the bond.

Grinding Wheel
Grinding Wheel
 

Counter boring & Counter sink

You may drill a variety of materials, including metals and non-metals like wood and plastic. Drilling a hole, boring or increasing the diameter of the hole, and countersinking and/or counterboring to allow a screw, bolt, or fastener to lie flush with the workpiece are examples. Counterboring provides a flat-bottom hollow, whereas countersinking creates a conical cavity that fits the angled shape of the underside of a flathead screw. This permits the screw or bolt head, which is typically used with a washer, and the flat underside of the screw or bolt to rest completely within the counterbore. A cavity roughly the same size as the head of a deeply set flathead screw is common.

Counter sink tool
Counter sink tool
 

This is it about some of the tools any mechanical engineer should be aware about. Write in comments if we missed any and please be sure to subscribe to Mech n Flow for such great content ahead.

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