The Metric System

While most of the world operates on the Metric System for measurements and standard fasteners, the United States of America uses the Imperial System. The best machine shops will be comfortable working from drawings that use both Metric and Imperial units. Choosing a...

Tolerance

When you build something, whether it’s from IKEA or Alibaba, think about how the parts fit together. It takes quite a bit of precision to make the pegs align with the holes of a bunk bed, or a functional gear box. As devices get more complicated, the chance...

Metal Surface Finishes

In metal fabrication, surface finish means how smooth or rough something feels to the touch. There isn’t a good or bad finish, and the proper finish should be determined by how the part will be used. Rough finishes look great painted and smooth finishes look...

Fits and Slips

In the manufacturing world, there are three classes of clearance. Slip clearance allows one part to freely move past the other part. This is used to create assemblies that fit together with room for movement, like how a shaft turns in a bushing or a door fits within a...

Hole Control

Machinists have many tools we use to make holes in material, but not all holes are equal. Most of the time we use Drill Bits, which are the fastest way to make a hole, but also prone to wandering and egg-shaped holes. For more cylindrical holes we use a reamer after...