Machine shops fulfill the tool service requests other shops need. The cost of rebuilding broken tools is on average less expensive than re-purchasing a piece. But how do you avoid making that trip to a machine shop? It’s simple: prevention, maintenance, and regular check-ups.
Machining tools are used in the shaping of metal and other rigid materials. The first machine shops started with one tool, the bow drill and bow lathe. These date back to about 1200 B.C. in Ancient Egypt. The lathe works pieces of material off the object being formed as it rotates at a high speed. Even the earliest versions of the lathe, without working unforgiving metal, were prone to breakage if not properly maintained. Over the years, lathes have been used to form objects that are uniform across a plane, such as table legs, cylindrical musical instruments, and candle sticks.
The preventative care for a lathe is straightforward. The machine needs to be regularly cleaned, with its wiper pads being re-oiled as needed. The industrial machine parts that rub together during operations should always be well lubricated to avoid unnecessary friction and possible damage. The gibs should also be regularly adjusted to minimize this risk. To avoid machine shop repair costs for easily avoided mishaps, check the drive belt for tension and consistency according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When a car makes a “funny noise,” you know it is time to take it in to your trusted mechanic. A machining tool is the same: a strange noise, such as unnecessary grinding or squealing, is a sign of a problem. A machine shop may ask to see the previous service records, as well as the routine maintenance logs. While most machining repairs are needed because of neglect, there are times when even the most well made and properly maintained piece of machinery simply breaks. Machining services are hard on the equipment, especially when that equipment is not maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have not done so for your gear, take the time to today to form a clear, concise maintenance log with regular check-ups scheduled. You’ll be glad you did.