Tools are used to manufacture different products. The act of making the any kind of tools is known as tool making. Simple tools are made up of stone or plant fibers and advance tools are built of advance materials and metals. Some common tooling is cutting tools like tool bits and milling cutters, fixtures, metal forming tools. The machine tools to manufacture or test or hold products in the process of fabrication also fall in the category. Modifying standard tools or fabricating customized tools are all a part of the act.
About Tool makers
The classes of technicians or machinists who play the role of making tools in the tool making act are the tool makers. The tool makers work in the manufacturing industries to make fixtures, dies, moulds, jigs, gauges, machine tools, cutting tool and many more. The area of concentration of work varies and so does the name of person who works. The tool maker is also known as die maker or mould maker or tool fitter etc. depending on the area of work.
The tool makers are skilled craftsmen or artisans who work in toolroom. The toolroom could be a single room or any other place. The environment could be flexible within or away from production work. The tool makers get knowledge of their work from learning it through courses and hands-on instruction. Experience from on-job training or apprenticeship can help learn much more. They work in consultation with the manufacturing engineering team as their work involves art, applied science and engineering. The tool maker or die maker can be manufacturing engineer or both at different part of the life, depending on the career path and educational qualification they choose. However the both jobs require the person to be artistic in nature and talented in the field of mathematics as well as science.
Ways to become a tool maker
The tool and die makers must have skills of designing and fabrication of tools without any supervision. This ability along with capability to create components and machines with high detail and precision using their hands is very vital. There are some steps which can help to become a tool and die maker.
- Mathematics knowledge
To become a tool maker one must have the knowledge of basic mathematics including addition, subtraction, etc. Knowledge of basic algebra can help them in their work. It is ideal for them to be master of shop trigonometry which can help in calculating length of triangles and bolt circles.
- Knowledge of computer drafting
It is important for the tool makers to take vocational training to create and interpret drawings of machines and parts. These are taught in the technical schools or vocational institutes for machining programs.
- Get apprenticeship program
You can take up apprenticeship programs at any tool and die shop while you are studying in the high school. Learning simple tasks of drilling, sweeping, and deburring can be learnt easily in the program which can be daunting later on. In the apprenticeship of 2 to 4 years you can also learn complex tasks of mill, surface grinder and lathe.
- Study at vocational trade school
It is important to get into programs that will help them in the career later. Hence it is important to get into a good vocational school. The programs in the schools vary and it is important to enroll in programs for studying various tool technologies for all machines. Along with getting into CNC course you can get hands-on experience in the shops.
- Refer machine handbook
You must get a copy of machine handbook which can be referred when you face any machining problem.
- Buy good precision tools
It is important to buy high quality tools for doing precision work on tools. The high quality tools are durable.
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