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How A Little Maintenance Can Greatly Extend The Lifespan Of Your Machine Tools

December 20, 2017 9:01 pm0 comments

Milling tools

Machining services may be as old as human history, but the fundamentals have remained very much the same. Your machine tool, at its most basic, needs to keep your equipment working as smoothly as possible. Without their small and flexible efforts you could be losing a lot of money in the long-term on repairs and replacements, both of which eat up your already limited time and put you in a far worse spot to run your business. Machine shop repair is a resource you should consider when your tools aren’t up to snuff and your machine tools are lagging behind. Just like human history, greatness is only achieved by putting one foot in front of the other.

How long have machine tools been around? According to historians, these are some of the most ancient forms of human manipulation on the planet. The lathe, for example, is a very old tool that is believed to have originated in ancient Egypt. This tool has been used to drill, face and turn all sorts of products to create a smooth finish, though its highly specialized nature means even a minor error can compromise your end result’s quality. Over the centuries machine tools would be industrialized and transformed, creating some of the finished versions we know today.

The boring mill was an incredible invention at the time, created out of a demand for faster production without sacrificing quality. John Wilkinson’s need for perfectly bored cylinders led to the creation of the iconic boring mill back in 1775, changing how entire industries approached manual labor and production costs. While some machines were powered by water and others by steam, the fundamental need remained the same. Entire populations needed tools that could meet their needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The Industrial Revolution saw constant usage of lathes, with most powered by water wheels to create high-quality products for entire countries. These include candle sticks, musical instruments and table legs, among others, and war would see these production levels reaching astronomical heights. The first ever machine tools recorded into existence, in fact, were both the bow lathe and the bow drill. Although many of these tools have since been upgraded, the need for a machine tool repair service has remained very much the same. Knowing how to take good care of your tools will take time and practice.

Just like any other metal object, machine tools can be subject to dents, rusting, chipping and breakage. It’s your responsibility to keep every component working to the fullest of its ability. The drive belt on your lathe should be checked on a regular basis for the proper tension and consistency. The gibs on a lathe, as well, should be regularly adjusted to reduce unnecessary friction that could contribute to a more worn out machine. Overall, keeping your lathe clean and wiped down on a regular basis will extend its lifespan. Oil pads should always be kept close at hand for a quick maintenance session.

There are a few warning signs you should know about so you can better take advantage of your local machine shop repair costs. Any machine tool that makes unusual noises (such as grinding, clanking or sputtering) is a sign you have an inner mechanism problem that needs immediate repair. Machine tools may be very hard and durable as a rule, but that’s no reason not to keep a close eye on them in case they fail. Avoiding machine tool repairs is easier when you keep your station clean, well oiled and free of clutter. When in doubt? A quick check-up can go a long way in saving you money.

Human history is always changing, but our need for quality tools will remain a constant for the forseeable future.

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