Six Important Types of Equipment You’ll Need for a Machine Shop

Machine shops use equipment to create parts and products. The items need to be made with the utmost accuracy, which is why machine shops need to utilize the right tools for each task. 

While metal is the most commonly used material at machine shops, machining techniques can also be performed on wood, plastic, and ceramic.

If you are starting a machine shop, there are various types of important equipment that you will need.

You should consider what types of parts you are going to make and which materials you will be using to determine the precise machinery and tools you will require. But all machine shops should have the six following important types of equipment.

1. Cutting Equipment

Cutting equipment is needed by every machine shop.

There are a variety of metal shears and saws available, so make sure you select the types of cutting tools that you need to cut the specific materials and predetermined dimensions that your machine shop will be handling.

For metal shears, you can find great choices from this dealer, including shears from leading brands like Amada, Cincinnati, and Betenbender.

2. Boring Equipment

Boring equipment is used to enlarge or re-shape established holes.

There are multiple types of boring tools available. For instance, a machinist at your machine shop could use a jig borer to locate the exact center of a hole and a horizontal boring machine for cutting.

There are two main types of machine boring methods: linear boring and back boring. The former involves a boring bar that is fully supported at both ends of the workpiece while the latter involves only one end of the workpiece.

3. Drilling Equipment

You can use drilling equipment to create holes in workpieces by removing material.

Various types of drilling tools are available. One piece of equipment you will certainly want for your machine shop is a drill press. You may also consider other drilling tools that can be attached to a compatible machine, like a CNC lathe.

4. Turning Equipment

Your machinists will need turning equipment to rotate workpieces while they use cutting tools to remove material and shape the workpiece to the desired form.

The most common type of turning equipment used in machine shops is a horizontal lathe.

5. Grinding Equipment

Grinding equipment uses rotating wheels to make light cuts, create finishes on machined workpieces, or sharpen tools. So, grinding equipment is a vital component of any machine shop.

Grinding tools can also deburr and remove imperfections on the surface of a workpiece to create a smooth finish.

You may also find a pedestal grinder comes in very handy. A pedestal grinder sharpens cutting functions on milling machines and turning machines.

6. Milling Equipment

With milling equipment, a rotating cutting surface with multiple blades is used to cut designs or create holes.

Milling machines can mill flat and irregular surfaces. They can be used to drill, cut, and bore slots on workpieces.

Consider the Machining Techniques Your Machine Shop Will Use

As mentioned in the introduction, you should consider the type of work you intend to carry out at your machine shop in order to identify the precise types of machinery and tools you will require.

You will need to know what parts you are going to manufacture and which materials you will be using.

You also need to consider the machining techniques your machine shop will be using. There are two main techniques for machining operations: subtractive and additive. Many of today’s machine shops use both methods.

As you probably know, the subtractive technique takes away unwanted material from a larger piece to create the desired end product.

The additive technique involves adding material to gradually create the desired item. If you intend to go down the additive technique path, you will need to add a 3D printer to your arsenal of equipment.

Summing Up

Spend time determining what operations your business intends to carry out to know what types of machinery you need.

To recap, every machine shop needs the following six types of equipment:

  1. Cutting equipment.
  2. Boring equipment.
  3. Drilling equipment.
  4. Turning equipment.
  5. Grinding equipment.
  6. Milling equipment.