What Metalworking Entails

Metalworking is a skill found in many households, not just those that specialize in creating art works. The truth of the matter is there are a lot of different reasons why people would like to start making their own stuff. The reason could be personal pride, wanting to have something special and unique, or even for the simple joy of being able to do something on your own. Whatever the reason there are a few things you should know about metalworking before you jump into the do it yourself mindset.


Metalworking is the process of forming and reshaping metal to produce practical objects, such as, tools, hand pieces, and furniture. Metalworking can also be related to the field of metallurgy, which deals with the design and production of metal products such as tools, gears, and ships. There are many different processes used to form metal. Some of the most common ones are shaping, bending, punching, sawing, drilling, and forming.

Rolling is one of the oldest metalworking processes and has been around since the earliest civilizations existed. Roll forming is essential in making metal, because it is a way of forming metals by taking smaller sheets of metal and rolling them into one solid piece. This process comes in two forms. The first involves rolling the metal in a vice while the other is where you manually do the rolling.

The earliest metalworking was done with bronze age metals. Bronze Age metals included bronze, copper, tin, steel, lead, and zinc. People in the Iron Age found ways to form iron into tools, weapons, and even armor. During the manufacturing and industrial revolution of the Early Industrial Period, metalworking began to be done on a large-scale. By this time the most commonly used metals were iron and steel.

Metalworking began to take shape as soon as the basics of forming became standardized. The first rolling machines were invented and used by wealthy families to form their own tools. Inventions such as the hammer, screw, drill press, and lathe allowed ordinary citizens to have the ability to produce small metal workpieces. With the advent of steel working, more materials could be used in the creation of metal work. The introduction of metalworking machines allowed mass production of metal workpieces. Improvements in technology allowed for injection molding and other extrusion processes.

Over the past century or so, advancements in metalworking technology have continued to dramatically improve the quality and the process involved in forming metals. Advances in CNC machinery have made the process faster and easier. Many metals are now produced in a spinning machine rather than a hand crafted, artisan made production. Metalworking machines have also given the hobby of creating metalworking work with sheet metalworking machines much easier.

While there is a wide range of different metalworking processes used today, many of the basic practices remain unchanged from days gone by. Metalworkers still cut metals by hand, using techniques that have evolved over the centuries. These basic processes include forming, stamping, chipping, nicking, grooving, and drilling. Metalworking is not only used to make useful objects but it is also used for decorations on tables and items like statues. The wide variety of metals included in most metalworking processes make it possible to create all kinds of useful objects.

A typical metalworking operation will start with forming metal by rolling and pressing sheets of metal into sheets that have been formed already pressed together. This is known as sheet metal forming. After the sheets are formed into shapes, metalworking workers will use tools like sanding wheels to smooth out the rough edges. This allows the item to be free of imperfections in the welding process. After the parts are ready, they are then sent to be engraved or painted. Metalworking workers apply stains and paint in such a way that the product appears to be of excellent quality.

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