You want to start metalworking, but you don’t know where to begin. Acme Tools is here to help with the ten tools you’ll need to start your new hobby.
You want to start metalworking, to start a new hobby, but you don’t know at all where to begin. Metalworking is a simplified way of saying metal fabrication. Now metal fabrication includes cutting, bending, and welding bits of metal together, and can be fun and rewarding. Maybe creating a knife, an ax, or even a sword, to something like a table, a potter, or even a desk, its all in the realm of possibilities. But to do this fantastic hobby you need tools, and we have some suggestions to get you started.
Ten Tools You’ll Need to Start Metalworking
Metalworking is no easy hobby to get into but if you are interested in continuing, let’s go over some of the must-have metalworking equipment.
1.Welder & Welding Mask
If you want to metalwork, you will need these pair of tools to get any project done. A welder and welding mask is a metal workers version of wood glue and goggles. Welding is your way to set your pieces together, but it does produce a bright light. Hence why you’ll also need to have a welding mask. The mask will protect your eyes from the blinding light, preventing retina burns which can lead to loss of vision. While also giving you the visibility you need to look at your work.
Getting a drill press or a drill is an option between what you can afford and how much space you have available. For heavy-duty jobs, you would prefer a drill press, but if you are starting a drill will be enough to get the job done. The drill is needed for making holes in metal for mounting or making pilot holes for screws when you need to secure them to something.
Yes, there are specific drill bits and tips for metalworking. No, you can’t attach your woodworking bit and think that you’ll get through the material. Metal is denser than wood, and unless made for that material, your bits will dull or break.
Metal working bits are an investment that will save you time and give the flexibility to work.
Another specific tool that you need is metalworking saw. Yes, you can use your other saws and have a metal cutting blade installed. But if you are only working in metal, you might as well get a saw that is specialized towards your hobby. You can get this as a band saw or a chop saw, but either one will do for your projects.
This is one of the few multifunctional tools that you have at your disposal. Use the grinder for cutting, descaling, and even buffing. This tool you will need in your shop as it can get into places where your other tools can’t. You also can’t ignore the portability or its maneuverability.
These tools are meant for cutting sheet metals that you may need if you need more intricate or curved cuts. While a grinder and metal saw will give you great straight cuts these tools allow for bends and curves.
No matter what the hobby, if you are measuring, attaching, or cutting, you will need some way to secure them together. Clamps, especially metal clamps, are necessary for metalworking. Magnets are an exclusive accessory to metal workers as it allows for a strong connection to workpieces, and depending on the magnet, can hold them stable by themselves.
A center punch is a device that makes marking and pre-drilling holes easier. What this little device does is that it pushes out a metal tip and denting the material underneath. Center Punches makes a clear indication of where to drill. You would typically use this tool if accuracy were essential to the project. A center punch can also be used in more than just metalworking. So, if you find yourself in the woodworking world (TRAITOR), you can still use this handy tool.
Now, when working with metal, incidents happen where a piece of metal comes to you bent or dented, or in the more unlikely process you bent or dented it GASP! A hammer can be used to fix those tiny mistakes or can be used to add character to pieces. You will mostly be using this tool to form your metal into whatever your project needs.
Finally, but most importantly, you will need clothes that will keep you protected! Fabrication is one hobby you cannot do in shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops. Metalworking requires gloves to handle the metal as it can be hot and jagged when fabricating anything. That also means you will need more protective eyewear than your welding helmet. While it will keep the light out of your eyes, you can’t wear a tinted visor throughout the whole project. Sometimes you’re going to need something transparent, or lightly tinted, to cover your eyes to keep the metal shards out as well when you’re cutting. That’s when a regular pair of clear safety goggles come in handy. Not to mention ear protection, closed toed shoes, and an apron, jacket, or smock to keep you safe from the sparks and debris.
That’s All Folks
That’s everything you need to get started into metalworking. Now I know this can be expensive, so here is some advice. Start small and get the things that are within your budget. For instance, if you own nothing and the budget is tight start off with the safety apparel because staying safe is more important than any build or project. After that start with a simple plan that needs simple tools, anything with the grinder and a welder should be enough to get you started.
Once you had more experience and saved up enough money, you can start adding to your collection of tools. But most of all have fun with your new hobby.
Did you find this article useful? Want to start a different hobby but don’t know what you need? Leave a comment down below about what you think of the article or what other hobbies you want to get into but don’t know where to begin. Check out our blog for our New Year New Hobby: Woodworking tool guide and all the latest tool news.
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