– Machining Fundamentals, John R. Walker,
Goodheart-Willcox Company, Tinley Park IL
(2004). $60 new, $35 used from Amazon. pp.
55-182. (Remainder is excellent, but not to
be covered here.)
• Other sources
– McMaster-Carr catalog
– Grainger catalog
•Definition: what is a ―tool‖
–1.an implement, esp. one held in the hand, as a
hammer, saw, or file, for performing or facilitating
–2.any instrument of manual operation.
–3.the cutting or machining part of a lathe, planer, drill,
or similar machine.
–4.the machine itself; a machine tool.
–5.anything used as a means of accomplishing a
task or purpose: ―Education is a tool for success.‖
–6.a person manipulated by another for the latter's own
ends; cat's-paw. [???—Matt]
–[stolen from dictionary.com]
–―Things that you use to get stuff done.‖ A Matt original.
– If you use a tool more than a half dozen
times, quit borrowing it and buy your own. It
will save you time in the long run.
– Always use the proper tool for the job. It’s
not true that the only tools you need are a
hammer, screwdriver and vise grips!
– What is a hammer?
– What is a screwdriver?
– What are vise grips?
– What are the tolerances of the job you are doing?
Can you pace off the distance or do you need an AFM
to do the measurement? (Remember the concept of
the sanity check?)
– Never over-specify tolerances
– Rulers and straightedges
• Functions of rulers and straightedges
• Rulers make great straightedges!
• For greater lengths use a piece of angle iron, channel...
• The 4' ruler is a great tool
• So is the ―15 inch foot rule‖ ubiquitous in the Department
– Tape measures: avoid using the end for critical
measurements, but be careful to do the math to
correct for the fact that you are not starting your
measurement at zero!
– Advantage: easier to read, especially for old eyes
• Vernier: how to read a vernier.
– The underlying theory.
– Advantage: both ―APS‖ and metric on one instrument
– Digital also
– Height gages and indicators: how to tell if your
surface is flat
– Combination (triple combination)
Fasteners and their friends:
Nuts and bolts and other stuff
– A screw is a shaft with a helical groove or thread formed on its
surface and provision at one end to turn the screw. Its main uses are
as a threaded fastener used to hold objects together, and as a
simple machine used to translate torque into linear force. Wikipedia
(The Wikipedia entry for ―screw‖ is excellent!
– Machine screws
– Wood screws
– Sheet metal screws; self-tapping screws
• Head types
– Flat, Round, pan, hex, socket
• SAE (―APS‖) terminology: 1/4-20 and 10-32
– first number is original shaft diameter (if a fraction of an inch) or, for a
whole number, related to diameter by d = 0.060‖ + (# * 0.013‖)
– second is number of threads per inch
• Metric diameters and thread pitches: coarse and fine
• Wood screws and grabbers and the ―screw shooter‖
Accessories for Screws
– Flat, lock, star...when to use them
• Anchors and inserts
– When and where to use them
• Studs for concrete: epoxy makes them
• Staples, etc
• The Brookstone Screw Chek’r
– Nothing but a plate full of tapped holes with
sizes attached so you know what size of
screw you have in your hand.
• The Elemoto Screw Selector.
– An old-fashioned cardboard ―slide rule‖ that
gives you every dimension imaginable on
screws, nuts, washers, etc., specifically
including the size of drill you use prior to
tapping a hole.
Taps and Dies
The miracle of the Gun tap
– Used to thread holes into material for inserting a screw
– Use a reference to determine hole size to drill for your
tap; this is not an opportunity for creativity!
– Always use lubricant when tapping: Boelube
– Use minimum torque
– Reverse often to clean out the threads you are making
– Two-fluted Gun taps cut amazingly clean threads
– Plug and bottoming taps
– Used on rod to ―make your own screw‖
More on Taps from Wikipedia
• During operation, it is necessary with a hand tap to
periodically reverse rotation to break the chip formed during
the cutting process, thus preventing an effect called
"crowding" that may cause breakage. Periodic reversing is
usually not practical when power tapping is involved, and
thus has led to the development of taps suitable for
continuous rotation in the cutting direction.
• The most common type of power driven tap is the "spiral
point" plug tap (also referred to as a "gun tap"), whose
cutting edges are angularly displaced relative to the tap
centerline. This feature causes the tap to continuously break
the chip and eject it into the flutes, preventing crowding.
Another version of the spiral point plug tap is the spiral flute
tap, whose flutes resemble those of a twist drill. Spiral flute
taps are widely used in high speed, automatic tapping
operations due to their ability to work well in blind holes.
Lubricants for Tapping
• The use of a suitable lubricant is essential with most tapping and
reaming operations [and only slightly less so for drilling]. Recommended
lubricants for some common materials are as follows:
• Carbon steel
– Petroleum-based or synthetic cutting oil. Boelube!
• Alloy steel
– Petroleum-based cutting oil mixed with a small amount (approximately 10%)
of kerosene or mineral spirits. This mixture is also suitable for use with
• Cast iron
– No lubricant. An air blast should be used to clear chips.
– Kerosene or mineral spirits mixed with a small amount (15-25%) of
petroleum-based cutting oil. Other oils also work, including WD-40, 3-In-One
Oil, and mineral oil.
– Kerosene or mineral spirits.
– Kerosene or mineral spirits mixed with a small amount (10-15%) of
petroleum-based cutting oil.
– Something used to make holes
– Ambiguously refers to the tool and its energy source
• Drill motors (the energy source)
– Variable speed
– Hammer...the Hilti
– Corded and cordless
• Drill presses (―mechanical advantage‖)
– Magnetic base drill press
– Keyless chucks
• Fractional, letter and number
• Pilot holes
– Often the center of a large bit does not cut
– Large drills are very difficult to start where you want
• Center drills
• The concept of deburring
– Single flute
• Carbide drill bits for concrete
• Hole saws
• Knockout punches
The Hierarchy of Wrenches
Box and Socket Wrenches
(At the Top of the Hierarchy)
• 6-point are stronger and less likely to strip the
corners off the nut/bolt head.
• 12-point give you finer gradations to work in
• Ratchets and breaker bars
• 1/4" to 1" drive
• U-joints (Universal)
• Lug wrenches
– Never use an air wrench to put the wheels on your
car: you may not have one when you need to take it
• Open end wrenches (combination wrenches)
• ―Crescent‖ (adjustable) wrenches
• Slip-joint pliers (Not a wrench, but can be misused for one!)
• Vise grips (Not a wrench, but can be misused for one!)
• Pipe wrenches (except when used on pipes)
• Strap wrenches
• The ―cheater‖, a piece of pipe that goes over the handle of
the wrench and extends it: the existential definition of torque
• The torque wrench and torque specifications
• The act of stripping threads
– When the screw gets tighter and tighter, then all of sudden easier to
turn, you have a problem.
– Either stop immediately or replace what you just ruined.
– The ―easyout‖: great concept, works reasonably well for bigger bolts;
impossible for really small ones, where you really need it!
• Hex keys, ―Allen ― wrenches
• Torx wrenches
• Open end wrenches (combination
• Ford and monkey wrenches (You are
unlikely to ever see one.)
• ―Galling is a cold welding phenomenon which
can occur when uncoated stainless steel or
aluminium alloy parts, such as the threads of
nuts and bolts, are forced together. These
materials owe their corrosion resistance to the
ease with which they passivate, forming a thin
protective oxide layer. The friction scrapes off
this oxide layer from the surface asperities* and
exposes clean reactive metal. If the mating parts
are of a sufficiently similar material, no additional
activation energy is needed to cold weld them
• Stainless is most susceptible to galling, copper
next, then aluminum. Never occurs with
• *[asAperAiAty (-spr-t)
• n. pl. asAperAiAties
• 1. A. Roughness or harshness, as of surface, sound, or
climate: the asperity of northern winters. B. Severity;
• 2. A slight projection from a surface; a point or bump.
• 3. Harshness of manner; ill temper or irritability.]
• Galling can occur even if the parts are brought together
• It is prevented by the presence of grease or surface
coatings, even if the surface coatings increase friction.
• It does not occur when joining dissimilar materials (for
example threading 18-8 stainless into 17-4 stainless) even
though both of those materials are susceptible to galling.
• Galling does not occur on carbon steel.
Leonard’s Famous Experience with
• 1 each 12 KV, .25" Single Conductor
(185A) feedthrough w / 1" baseplate
• $164.00 each
• Stainless nut galled stainless feedthrough
• In addition to being corrosion-resistant,
stainless is very strong
• Nut had to be cut off with abrasive wheel!
• The utility of a screwdriver is directly proportional to
the size (diameter) of the handle; cheap little
screwdrivers are nearly worthless
– Blade should fit the slot as tightly as possible
– Hollow ground vs straight taper
– The cheap ones are worthless because they are too pointy!
– Sizes: 1, 2, 3, 4
• Impact screwdrivers
• Torx drivers
• Nut drivers
Hammers and Mallets
• Ball pein
• Dead soft/mallets
• Lineman’s pliers
• Cutting pliers
• Parallel jaw pliers
• Slip joint pliers
• Channellocks (tongue and groove pliers)
• Vise grips: ―World’s mightiest hand tool‖
• Needle nose pliers
• Wire strippers
Grinding, Abrading and Sharpening
– Material removal
• ―Coarse‖, Bastard‖, ―Second cut‖ and ―Smooth‖
refer to coarseness of file
• ―Cut‖ refers to number of teeth per inch of length.
Appears to vary with file length!
• Shapes: Flat, round, half-round, square…
• File cards
• Rasps for wood
• Materials used for the abrading particles are:
• flint — no longer commonly used
• garnet — commonly used in woodworking
• emery — commonly used to abrade or polish metal
• aluminium oxide — perhaps most common in widest
variety of grits; can be used on metal (i.e. body shops) or
• silicon carbide — available in very coarse grits all the
way through to microgrits, common in wet applications
• alumina-zirconia — (an aluminium oxide - zirconium
oxide alloy), used for machine grinding applications
• chromium oxide — used in extremely fine micron grit
(micrometre level) papers
• ceramic aluminum oxide — used in high pressure
applications, commonly known as Cubitron by 3M, who
invented sol gel ceramic grains.
– Historically abrasive was made from sand glued to paper
– If still available, vastly inferior
– Aluminum oxide and garnet are modern replacements
• SiC paper
– ―Wet or dry‖
– Worth the extra money
– Grit sizes: 60 to 1500
• Emery cloth
– ―For rust and corrosion removal and metal sanding. Cloth
– ―Scotch-Brite™ Hand Pads are the alternative to steel wool that
will never rust. Impregnated with aluminum oxide abrasive for
fast cut, the durable, 3-dimensional nylon web resists tearing,
shredding, and loading for long life.‖
• Belt and disk sanders
• Wire brushes
– Stationary, electric
Grind Wheel and Wire Brush
• Hack saws for metal
• Saws for wood
– Keyhole (sheetrock, too!)
• Power saws
• ―Skilsaw‖, a.k.a. ―Finger remover‖
• Jig saw/Scroll saw
• Table saw (wood)
• Radial arm (wood)
• Band saw (wood OR metal...but not both!). The Marvel
• Panel saw
• ―Chop saw‖ (cutoff saw; miter saw) Miter box!
• Saw blades
– Steel for wood, plastic, other soft materials
– [Tungsten] Carbide for fine finishes on wood
Radial Arm Saw
Band Saw Teeth
Metal: finer Wood: coarser
Other Cutting Tools
• Tubing cutter/pipe cutter
• De-burring tools
• Knockout punches
• Utility knives
More Cutting Tools
• Routers for wood
– Cut edges
– Cut slots
– Cut dovetails
– Use guide wherever
• Extremely sharp
• Always chisel away from yourself!
• Errors can be fatal!
– Metal: When to use them
– ―Floor chisels‖
Center punches, drifts...
• Failure to center punch steel or other hard
metals will give you about a 10% probability
of getting the hole where you wanted it.
• Following the center punch with a center drill
will give you a 100% probability of getting the
hole where you wanted it
• If you can find an ―automatic center punch‖
that actually works, I’ll buy it from you!
• Use a scribe to mark metals with accuracy
much greater than you could get from a
Truly miscellaneous stuff
• Carpenter’s pencils
• Scribes (Dychem ―paint‖)
– Come in various lengths
– Use whenever you want two things at the
same elevation..like pictures, shelves!
• Wire strippers
• The ―grabber‖ tool
Machinist Vise Woodworking Vise
Truly miscellaneous stuff
• Putty knives.
– Sheetrock compound
• Inspection mirror
Where to buy quality tools
• There is no worse investment than a cheap tool.
―Quality has no regrets.‖
• Quality brands
– This isn’t easy: almost everyone makes good tools and cheap
tools and they are not easy to differentiate.
– Quality also changes with time.
– Delta and Powermatic stationary power tools
– Milwaukee, Makita, DeWALT, Hitachi, Bosch, Black and Decker,
– You can get amazingly good bargains at Harbor Freight. You
will rarely get very high quality.
– Klein, Craftsman
– Stanley Handyman and Sears Champion; Home Depot off-
brands like Husky