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Metalworking General

Planning Your First Workshop

metalworking workshop machines

Almost every shopworker will tell you that the most important room in their house has to be their workshop. A workshop is a sanctuary of sorts and must be set up with the right tools to do the job. The most important pieces are essential for the job at hand and need to be thought through before going on a “tool” buying spree.

Make a list of what you want to do in your shop such as cut metal, shape metal, drill holes, press bearings etc. Then, you can start shopping for your needed equipment.

Not everyone needs the same tools and not everyone’s budget is the same so here are a few suggestions that may help fill up the vacant spaces in your shop.

If you’re cutting metal and want the best cut you can get so you can eliminate having to grind or deburr the part (saving you money on grinding wheels and deburring tools) and will not throw dangerous sparks everywhere, think cold saws. These are available in 120-volt so having to special wire your shop for the machine or run very expensive three phase power is not a worry. These 120-volt Technics 250 and 315 model cold saws perform every bit as good as three phase models.

If you are cutting metal, but do not need the extreme tolerances and milled finish, then a 120-volt bandsaw will be on your list. Both vertical and horizontal models can be a great safe timesaver. They cut quick and easy and priced right for those cutting projects. If you are into both wood and metal, you are a great candidate for the low-priced high quality VDL-18 vertical bandsaw powered by 120 volts. And with the optional wheel kit you can “use it, then lose it” saving you real estate in your shop. Another addition to your shop that will blow you away is the SE-810 horizontal bandsaw. It too is a space saving “use it, then lose it” machine. For even more models check out our SE-712 and SE-912 models and our bench top portable models. You’ll want to add one to your shopping list.

You’re going to need a drill press at one time or another so think about the maximum size hole you’ll ever need to drill or tap and choose a model that’s right for your applications. Think about if changing the speed by changing a belt or by a variable speed with reverse at a flick of a switch is right for you. Bench top or floor models all to make your life easier.

Will you need a grinder? If your application requires a lot of grinding and a hand grinder won’t cut it, a belt grinder will remove metal at such a fast rate you won’t believe it. Good investment.

And finally, we all have used a hammer and socket or a piece of pipe to seat a bearing race, and wished we had a press to do the job right. So, start thinking about an arbor press and/or a hydraulic press. Once you have a press you will wonder how you ever got along without it, being so much safer than a hammer and much more precise.

So, if you’re setting up a shop at home or for business carefully plan what your goals are and buy good tools, as they will be your best business partner.

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