Machines And Tools Things To Know If You’re Just Starting Out

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By definition, a machinist is a person who machines using hand tools and machine tools to create or modify a part that is made of metal, plastics, or wood. A traditional machinist is someone who can operate, disassemble,reassemble and repair the machine tool as well as build new parts such as gears, splines, and shafts using various machine tools such as mills, lathes, grinders, and planers. Many machinists could be tool and dye makers, pattern makers, mold makers, and operators- just to name a few. The job of a machinist is important. He can fix problems with a part or create a new one using metal working, plastic, or in some cases, wood. It’s a true talent that requires knowledge of tools and how these instruments work. If you’re just starting out as a machinist, here’s what you need to know.

General Machine Facts

The machines machinist use typically range from 17-inch to a 22-inch center-drilling capacity. They have different speeds available for certain machines. There’s power fed machines and their speeds can vary from 50 RPM to about 1,800 RPM. Other machines can be engaged in slower speeds, which allow for special operations, such as counterboring, counter- sinking, and reaming. Depending on the job you need to complete, there is always going to be an ideal speed for you. In addition, many of these machines are floor mounted. They can possibly be mounted using portable floor jacks. It’s important to find the best floor jack for your machines and the jobs you need to complete. There are tool supply companies that will provide you with your jack(s). You may have to do some research to find the best fit for you.


There are many different tools a machinist needs to get the job done. Here are some of them that are common and necessary in any machinist garage:

Hand Tools: Many machinist utilize machines to complete their jobs. However, that does not mean that hand tools shouldn’t be available, used, and considering efficient in performance. Hand tools can come in a tool set for mechanics. Some of the tools include, pocket calipers, carbide grinder, and sockets. These tools come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and designs. All machinists should keep hand tools on them. They can get the job done just like machines!

Machinist Block: A machinist block is a common shop setup tool usually made of hardened steel. Machinists use these blocks for myriad machine and inspection setup tasks. The hole pattern of a machinist block helps machinists attach the blocks to machines/connect them which helps with setup. These blocks are usually used in pairs. They are definitely more beneficial than a spacer!

Dial Indicator/Dial Indicator Holder: Dial indicators are used as a tool for measurement. They measure deck clearances, crankshaft thrust and straightness, lifter travel, and anything that involves the measurement of distances between surfaces. A dial indicator holder is needed when the job requires attachment of the indicator (attached to the product it’s measuring).

Edge Finder: Edge finders are tools used to find the edges, center, or place markings down. You can find them in a a collet, or end mill holder. It’s necessary for many jobs!

Kurt Vise d688

Let’s discuss one machine that you can use for a job. A kurt vise d688 is a machine rail that allows for precision alignment when you are performing a job. The kurt vise d688 has a large jaw opening, about 8.8″. The nut of the kurt vise d688 does not go beyond the end of the body. It has ideal clamping pressure. Therefore, it get’s the job done efficiently. Lastly, it’s powder coat paint resists coolant-induced peeling for greater corrosion protection. So, it’s physical appearance even has benefits!

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