Showing posts with label Metalwork. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Metalwork. Show all posts

Thursday, April 13, 2017


We just learned about the Skiving Machine.

Another type of metal working is called Threading.

If you've ever seen nut that spins onto a bolt, you've seen something made by a tap and die.
The nut has to be cut exactly right to fit onto the screw, or else it won't screw on.

The tap is the tool that cuts the hole into the nut or other hole where the screw will go.
The die is the tool that cuts the lines onto the screw so it fits into the nut.

There are hand taps and dies that you can use with just your hands if you are strong enough, or there are machines that use strong motors to cut into the metal.

(from: wikipedia - nut (hardware))

(from: wikipedia - tap and die)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Category 1 Hurricane

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Skiving Machine

We just learned about the Hobbing in a Milling Machine.

Another type of metal cutting machine is a Skiving Machine.

Sometimes metal workers want to cut just a thin slice of metal off.
A skiving machine uses a sharp blade to slice down on a larger piece of metal and just cut off the perfect size every time.

(from: wikipedia - skiving machine)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

Thursday, March 30, 2017


We just learned about the Milling Cutter.

One type of milling cutter is called a Hob.
Cutting with a hob is called hobbing.

When you need to make a gear or sprocket to be used in a machine or something like a bike chain, the hob can be used to cut the teeth of the gear into the right size and shape.

(from: wikipedia - hobbing)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tropical Storm

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Milling Cutter

We just learned about Milling.

In the Mill that cuts the piece of metal, there is a tool called the Milling Cutter.

This is the piece that spins around and cuts the metal into shapes.
There are many different types of cutters, and each one has a special purpose for cutting different types of metals in different ways.

(from: wikipedia - milling cutter)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tropical Depresssion

Thursday, March 16, 2017


We just learned how a Metal Lathe is a piece of metal being spun around while a sharp tool cuts it.

Another type of tool for cutting metal is a Mill.

A mill is a machine that has a tool that spins around very fast, while the piece of metal you want to cut is being held still.
So in a way it's the opposite of a lathe, where the metal is spinning and the tool is held still.

(from: wikipedia - milling (machining))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tropical Cyclone

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lathe - Carriage

We just learned about the Lathe Bed.

Another part of the lathe is the Carriage.
The carriage is what holds the tool that is used to work on the metal that is being spun around on the lathe between the headstock and tailstock.

The carriage moves the tool in closer, and the tool works like a scraper or a drill and cuts parts of the metal off as the metal spins around.

(from: wikipedia - metal lathe)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: F5 Tornado

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Lathe - Bed

We just learned about the Lathe Tailstock.

Another part of the lathe is the Bed.

The bed of the lathe is the part in the middle connected to the headstock and tailstock.
The tailstock is attached to a rail along the bed, so it can slide back and forth to fit the metal being worked on.

(from: wikipedia - lathe)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Heart Wall - Pericardium

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lathe - Tailstock

We just learned about the Lathe - Headstock.

Another part of the metalworking lathe is the Tailstock.

Just like the headstock holds one end, the tailstock holds the other end of the metal being worked on.

When the piece of metal is put onto the lathe, first the metal is placed up against the headstock, and then the tailstock is moved closer and closer until it is holding the metal tight between both spindles.
The tailstock is moved by spinning a small wheel called the "handwheel" or "feed screw".
After the metal piece is in the right place and held tightly by both the headstock and tailstock, a locking lever is pulled down that works like a clamp to keep the tailstock from moving.

(from: wikipedia - metal lathe)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: F3 Tornado

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lathe - Headstock

We just learned about the metal lathe.

One part of the metal lathe is called the Headstock.

The metal lathe holds a piece of metal at two ends, and then spins it around very fast.
The two ends are called the headstock and tailstock, and each of them has something called a "spindle" that is what holds on to the metal.

At the headstock end, there is a motor which spins the spindle very fast, which spins the metal around very fast.
There are controls to make the motor spin faster or slower, and there are different types of connectors you can connect to the spindle to hold different metals.

(from: wikipedia - metal lathe)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: F2 Tornado

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Metal Lathe

We just learned about the blacksmithing fuel Coke.

We've learned a lot about the old fashioned ways of working with metal.
Let's learn about some of the newer things people do with tools.

One tool for working with metals is called a metal lathe.
This is a tool that takes a piece of metal and spins it around quickly, so that someone can cut or shape the metal easily.

(from: wikipedia - metal lathe)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: F1 Tornado

Thursday, February 2, 2017


We just learned about Coal.

Another fuel used for metalworking is called Coke.

Coke is made by taking coal and heating it up very very hot, sometimes over 2,000 degrees F!
It is baked and heated for a long time, sometimes for days.

When it is done, the coke is removed and then can be used as fuel for smelting, that will burn even hotter and faster than a wood fire or charcoal fire.

(from: wikipedia - coke (fuel))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: F0 Tornado

Thursday, January 26, 2017


We just learned about charcoal.

Another type of fuel used in blacksmithing is coal.

Coal is something that is mined or dug up from the ground.
It is made from old plants that turned to dirt and were buried and pressed underground for a long long time.
Blacksmiths use coal as a type of fuel to make other types of ashes that can be used to make different kinds of metal.

(from: wikipedia - coal)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Fujita Scale

Thursday, January 19, 2017


We just learned about Flux.

Another thing used in blacksmithing is charcoal.

When the blacksmith is making a fire in the blast furnace or the forge, they need something to burn very hot, very fast.
Charcoal is something that is made after burning up some fuel like wood, but not burning it up all the way.

After some of the water and other parts of the wood are burned up, the left over blackened pieces of wood chips are saved after being cooled, and then used later in large piles to burn up very fast and hot.

(from: wikipedia - charcoal)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Wall Cloud

Thursday, January 12, 2017


We just learned about Gangue.

Another part of smelting is something called flux.

When blacksmith has iron ore, they want to turn it into iron, and get rid of the gangue and turn it into slag.

Sometimes the only way to get rid of the gangue ore is to use another chemical called a flux.
There are a few different types of fluxes, but one that was used a lot is limestone.

When the iron ore is heated up in the blast furnace, the limestone melts and sticks to the gangue, and it all melts off and turns into slag, just leaving the iron behind.

(from: wikipedia - limestone)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tornado Family

Thursday, January 5, 2017


We just learned about slag.

The glassy chemicals that the blacksmith tries to remove from the iron ore are called Gangue.

One kind of gangue that is seen a lot is the rock Quartz.

(from: wikipedia - gangue)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Steam Devil

Thursday, December 29, 2016


We just learned about the Smelting.

When a blacksmith is smelting to get the iron out of iron ore, the left over stuff is called slag.

It looks kind of like glass, sand or rocks, and was usually thrown away as waste.

(from: wikipedia - slag)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Firestorm

Thursday, December 22, 2016


We just learned about Pig Iron.

Removing metals like iron from iron ore is called smelting.

The rocks that have metal in them get heated up, and the metal ends up separate from the leftover waste.

(from: wikipedia - smelting)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Fire whirl

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pig Iron

We've now learned about Sponge Iron and Wrought Iron.

Another type of iron made in a forge is pig iron.

This is iron after it has gone through a blast furnace, it is stirred and stirred while heated.
There are a lot of things called impurities in the metals, that make the iron harder to work with or not look as nice.
After heating and stirring, the metal can be cooled and turned into little metal bricks nicknamed "pigs".

They got this nickname because the way the iron was made in molds, it looked like a bunch of little piglets with a larger mother pig.

When they broke off the small pieces from the mother sow, they called them pigs.

(from: wikipedia - pig iron)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Dust Devil

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Blast Furnace

We just learned about the Wrought Iron.

Another tool for metal working is the Blast Furnace.

A blast furnace is like a giant bloomery, so it's a big chimney with ore going in the top, fire and air getting blown into the bottom, and it burns for a long time.

(from: wikipedia - blast furnace)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Supercell

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Wrought Iron

We just learned about Sponge Iron made in a bloomery.

Sponge iron is then turned into wrought iron.
After the sponge iron is made, it has a bunch of holes in it and is very messy.
A blacksmith can take the sponge iron, hammer it a lot, reheat it and keep hammering away at it to get it in better shape, and that is called wrought iron.

When it is all finished, the iron looks nicer and is easier to work with and shape.

(from: wikipedia - wrought iron)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mesocyclone