The art of ironworking is as old as human civilization itself. The reason iron is the preferred metal by people is that it is easily available. In addition, the process of extracting the metal from the crust is very easy. Over the years, people have gained experience on how to manipulate metal into various shapes and designs for a wide array of uses. Most of these devices used are made of iron alloys and are designed for a variety of purposes.
Various actions are performed on pieces of iron before they can be used. For instance, the metal pieces may require cutting. This is done using diamond-tipped tools. Another task performed on iron is drilling. This is made possible using a drill bit. The bit bores holes, allowing the use of nuts to join two pieces of metal together. In addition, sometimes there is a need to grind and polish the metal; this is an attempt to achieve a certain shape.
All these functions are usually performed separately. This does not have to be the case; years of human innovation have led to the development of machines that can perform all these tasks in a single setting. This is essential in reducing the amount of time spent making iron pieces. It is quite essential when one is trying to duplicate various iron pieces on an industrial scale. At such an instance, using handheld tools may not be practical. It will not meet the industrial scale demand.
Using the Lathe
Using a lathe is the easiest way to combine various functions of ironworking. It allows one to puncture holes into the metal piece and to cut metal pieces with precision. In addition, it allows the ironworker to bend the metal pieces to various shapes. The lathe also contains a sander for filing down the metal pieces to the desired shape. Best of all, one can precisely calibrate the lathes to replicate the piece repeatedly. This is important when one is working with many duplicate pieces.
Sometimes, lathes can be combined with mills. This is a more efficient combination that reduces the effort of working with iron. The lathes come in various sizes and different amounts of sophistication. People who work with simple design should definitely choose the most basic lathes. In addition, lathes are quite cheap. Most of them are sourced from China, where the cost of manufacturing is very low. Over the years, the quality of lathes sourced from China has been continually rising. One can expect to get a good lathe at a reasonable price. However, there are other places such as Taiwan where lathes are manufactured. Although, they may cost a bit more, they are likely to be sturdier.
Finding a multi-purpose tool in ironworking is quite essential. It simplifies all the various tasks into one. One of the few tools to achieve this is the lathe. The demand for increased functionality in multipurpose tools will continue to increase. The will motivate innovators to come up with new multipurpose tools in ironworking.