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TOP 10 CONVENTIONAL SHEET METAL CONSTRUCTION & REPAIR TOOLS

3 In 1 Multi Combination Adjustable Ruler 4 2

DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE SEPARATE TOOLS FOR SHEET METAL REPAIR OR CONSTRUCTIONS…? ARE YOU USING ANY SPECIFIC TOOLS ALREADY…? IF NOT, TRY OUT THESE CONVENTIONAL TOOLS AND ACCOMPLISH YOUR TASKS FASTER, SIMPLER AND BETTER MANNER.

SHEET METALS – INDUSTRIAL USAGE & ADVANTAGES

Sheet metals are obtained by forming different types of metals into thin sheets. Fabrication is quite simple. Metals are passed through rough rolling stands at higher temperatures and thinned at different thicknesses then cooled and rolled into coils. Metals like Aluminum, Stainless steel, copper, and brass are often used in the sheet metal industry and are predominantly implemented in the Automobile, Aviation, and Biomedical industries for the part fabrication process.

Apart from famous plastic and casting metals, sheet metals provide you following advantages that can be used in different industrial applications.

  • Strength and Durability
  • Malleability
  • Replaceability
  • Sustainability
  • Cost-effectiveness

To sustain the mechanical properties in a sheet metal fabricated product, better workmanship is necessary. To achieve a quality product, you should utilize the right set of tools in your hand. The correct set of tools will provide you to achieve desired quality product out of sheet metals. So, Let’s dig into industrial tool types that are prominently used in sheet metal construction and repair.

CONVENTIONAL TOOL TYPES IN SHEET METAL CONSTRUCTION & REPAIR

Sheet metals are mainly used as a high-strength outer covering of a product. To form required shape and design criteria, different types of tools are needed at different stages in fabricating or repairing a sheet metal product. Identify some of the tool types below when you start each fabricating step in the construction or repair process.

  • Layout tools
  • Marking tools
  • Cutting tools
  • Forming and Drilling tools

Each tool type is separated per the process sequence. Let’s discuss above each tool type and perfect tools for each type that can find in the industrial market.

LAYOUT TOOLS

When you fabricate desired design or repair a part, at first, you need to sketch/mark the layout in the sheet metal type or a part. To do that, the following specific tools can be implemented.

  • Scales
  • Combination square
  • Dividers

SCALES

Scales are available in various lengths and units. For the construction and fabrication of sheet metals, you need to purchase a scale of at least a 12-inch-long ruler which is more common and affordable. The decimal and fractional units on either side are very useful as some of dimensions need to mark or measure in fractions such as fastener length, diameter and metal thickness.

COMBINATION SQUARE

This tool consists of a steel ruler with three heads that can be moved to any position on the ruler and locked in place. The three heads respectively are a stock head that measures 90° and 45° angles, a protractor head that can measure any angle between the head and the blade, and a center head that uses one side of the blade as the bisector of a 90° angle. The center of a shaft can be found by using the center head. This is a perfect replacement for a general ruler and is commonly used in sheet metal constructions. The above scale can be recommended as an engineering layout tool. The overall length is above 12 inches and both fractional and decimal units are included and angular measurement is given by a digital protector.

By considering the aforementioned criteria the above tool type can be recommended for use in sheet metal design constructions and repairs.

DIVIDERS

The dividers can be used to transfer measurement from a product to a layout in which construction is carried out. This tool can also be used as a marking tool in sheet metal construction and repairs. The below tool is made up of medium Carbon Steel and flat divider legs with a sharp end that provides the best measuring experience with easy handling.

The tip of the above scribe is made up of tungsten steel. This tool can be used for marking hard materials such as hardened steel and stainless steel, ceramic, and glasses. Sharp tips and easy handling design will make your marking process much faster.

The center punches shown below are recommended to use when carrying out a repair or installation via fasteners. The punch is made up of carbon steel and the rear end is attached with spring enabling it to apply force easily and repetitively on the required marking points.

CUTTING TOOLS

Sheet metal cutting tools are categorized as powered and non-powered and tools are ranging from small size portable saw, nibblers, grinders to large shop tools like square shears and band saws. The portable cutting tools become handy when dealing with small repairs and parts fabrications. Some of the prominent types of portable cutting tools are,

  • Nibbler
  • Cut-off wheel
  • Hand cutting tools (straight snips, files)

Nibblers are mostly used for cutting different extensive shapes out of sheet metals. They are usually powered by compressed air and utilize high-speed blanking action to cut the metal. The cutting speed of the nibbler is controlled by the thickness of the sheet metal. Nibblers satisfactorily cut through sheets of metal with a maximum thickness of 1⁄16 inch. Too much force applied to the metal during the cutting.

The above grinding accessories are recommended for general sheet metal cutting purposes. It can use for cutting mild/black steel, stainless steel, and other sheet metals. Includes necessary accessories like flange nuts, connecting shanks, and wrenches that can easily mount on grinders.

Hand-cutting tools are tool types that do not use electric or battery power for cutting. These tools are used for sharpening ends, cutting edges of light gauge sheet metals. There are conventional straight snips that are cost-effective and use in general sheet metal cutting purposes.

The mallets or hammers are used to form sheet metals by deforming the sheet metal structures over repetitive blows onto the surface without marring or indenting the metal. The hammerhead is usually made of high carbon, heat-treated steel, while the head of the mallet, which is usually larger than that of the hammer, is made of rubber, plastic, wood, or leather.

In metal workshops drilling metals most conventional tool is pneumatic drilling gun. It is more effective as it is powered by compressed air. But for general small-scale repair or design constructions portable drilling guns can be used. They are more cost-effective, and comfortable in small-scale production processes.

FINAL DISCUSSION

Tools discussed above are some of the conventional tool types that can be recommended for general sheet metal design constructions and repairs. It is the technician or the operator’s responsibility to choose the correct tool type for the required fabrication process. The operation of these tools is not extensive but one needs to have a proper understanding of these before implementing them. Always follow the correct general techniques of each tool discussed. Keep in mind that a quality of a product always depends on the workmanship and the correct type of tool handling apart from the material suitability.

Each tool type is separated per the process sequence. Let’s discuss above each tool type and perfect tools for each type that can find in the industrial market.

LAYOUT TOOLS

When you fabricate desired design or repair a part, at first, you need to sketch/mark the layout in the sheet metal type or a part. To do that, the following specific tools can be implemented.

  • Scales
  • Combination square
  • Dividers

SCALES

Scales are available in various lengths and units. For the construction and fabrication of sheet metals, you need to purchase a scale of at least a 12-inch-long ruler which is more common and affordable. The decimal and fractional units on either side are very useful as some of dimensions need to mark or measure in fractions such as fastener length, diameter and metal thickness.

MARKING TOOLS

Marking tools are used to mark the desired design on the sheet metal or the damaged product that needs to be repaired. The most common marking tool in sheet metal construction is scribes. A scribe is a pointed instrument used to mark or score metal to show where it is to be cut. A scribe should only be used when marks will be removed by drilling or cutting because it makes scratches that weaken the material and could cause corrosion. Other than scribes, Punches and Fiber-tipped pens are the preferred tools of marking lines and hole locations. Following scribes can be recommended for your repair or construction using sheet metals.

The above scribe is the most common type of craft tool used for marking metals. Stainless steel stem will provide high wear resistance and the fine grip helps to grab the scribe comfortably.

Punches are also categorized as a marking tool but these can be used to drive bolts out of holes, loosen frozen or tight pins and keys, knock out rivets, pierce holes in a material. There are a few punches like center punch, pin punch, drive punch, transfer punch fabricated per the each of above-mentioned functions.

Installation of most sheet metal constructions or repairs is accomplished via attaching fasteners. The fastener type, no of fastener, and the diameter depending on the sheet metal design and the thickness. When repairing, the fastener map is essential, cause the distribution of fasteners in the required repair will affect the repair strength. If the fastener map is distributed unequally the whole repair won’t achieve the result you have expected. So, to plot the well-distributed fastener layout in a sheet metal you will need to mark the required layout on the sheet before starting drilling. To do so, center punches can be used as a perfect tool for marking fastener locations ideal for your repair.

operation clogs the dies (shaped metal), causing them to fail or the motor to overheat. So, need to practice before operating these tools. Both electric and hand nibblers are available in the market. Refer to the below conventional nibbler cutting tool holder that can implement with any electric drill.

This nibbler cutter attachment can cut to a maximum of 2mm thickness of sheet metals such as aluminum, stainless steel, steel & copper. Included a double cutting head with a plastic handle which enables easy cutting to desired direction and angle.

CUT-OFF WHEEL

The cut-off wheel is a thin abrasive disc driven by a high-speed pneumatic die-grinder and used to cut out damage sheets in metal structures. Most suitable for repairing small sheet metal parts. They come up with different cutting disc sizes for each appliance. Cutting discs with grinding accessories can be separately purchased from the market and are available to fit in specific die grinders that suit your application.

FORMING & DRILLING TOOLS

The most conventional forming, drilling tools are found in metal workshops and are heavy in size to form large-scale sheet metal structures. But if you need to form and drill a small sheet metal part to repair damage to a structure, the following tool types are the best choice.

The above portable drill enables flat drill function with a good ergonomic handle design. Include a safe locking and support forward and reverse driving. The specification mentioned in the above tool can be recommended for general purpose sheet metal design construction and repairs.

The portable drills can be used as a rivet gun by attaching a riveting tool adapter to them. The attachment comes with a handle that makes the riveting process much easier and faster. Most probably these are cost-effective when compared to traditional revert guns and drills. Ideal these attachments for general use for sheet metal repair and design construction.

REFERENCES:

  1. https://westberg.com.au/how-is-sheet-metal-made/
  2. https://www.estesdm.com/5-advantages-of-sheet-metal-manufacturing/
  3. https://www.awprecision.co.uk/top-tools-sheet-metal-fabrication/
  4. https://www.flight-mechanic.com/tools-for-sheet-metal-construction-and-repair-part-four/
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