Becoming a machinist takes a combination of math, study, and common sense.
It doesn’t matter if you want to be a hobbyist or a professional. You all have to start with the same basics if you’re to produce consistent results. If you’re thinking of your next round of supplies to buy, you’re in luck. There’s a big market out there for carbide tool grinders and socket sets, all designed to give you that extra pop of quality. Buying the right products is only one half of the equation, however.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying a magnetic dial indicator or the best floor jack.
Learn About Your Basic Machine Tools
The function of a machine tool is to improve the quality of your work and save you time. Anything less and you’re just wasting money. Machine tools have been used throughout human history, with some of the most ancient versions found in Egypt and several locations in the Middle East. The lathe and the bow drill are among the oldest. Today you can find a magnetic dial indicator, carbide tool grinder, and die grinder at the click of a button.
Keep A Close Eye On Lathe Tension
The lathe remains one of the most commonly used machine tools today. When it starts to lose tension your first order of business is to fix it as soon as possible, as a loose lathe is about as useful as a bike with no wheels. For correct tension on your lathe it’s recommended you use a deflection of three-eighths of an inch in each belt. Be sure to test it out before committing to a project, as well. This will save you a lot of trouble down the road.
Check Your Available Speeds
For those that have power-feed machines, speed is an issue you’ll have to keep track of. The ones available on these machines can vary between 50 RPM to nearly 1,800 RPM. Slower speeds are more useful for special operations, including counterboring and reaming. It’s learning the little numbers and elements of each machine that will bring out its true potential. There’s no one-size-fits-all for your life or your tools, so treat each one accordingly.
Make Sure To Prevent Rust
A common issue with many beginner machinists is the development of rust. Not only does this affect the performance of the machine, it also puts you at risk of illness. Rust is a toxic compound that can lead to irritation of the lungs, damage to the stomach lining, and even nerve damage in high enough concentrations. If your rust protection fluid’s concentration of 3% remains strong during fall and winter, it’s still recommended you increase it to 4%. That, or until the rust is no longer seen.
Properly Maintain And Store Your Tools
Once you buy your magnetic dial indicator and best carbide grinder you need to think about how you’ll take care of them. When replacing vise nuts it’s recommended you return the jaw as carefully as possible so it doesn’t fall out. A finger full of grease can help hold it in place. You should also keep an oil rag on hand at all times to give each machine a little wipe-down. This will go a long way in preventing rust and encouraging a consistent performance.
There’s still plenty of time to achieve your best. Double-check that magnetic dial indicator and stock up on those oil rags.