Introduction to Metal Fabrication Supplies
Metal fabrication supplies vary according to the size of the shop and the specific type of metal fabrication which is being done on site. The size of the project also determines the quantity and type of metal fabrication supplies required and the degree of complexity of the fabricated parts. Metal fabrication supplies purchased for home use where safety standards and quality assurance measures are not needed (decorative or general applications) will be different than those sought by a tool and die or professional fabricator.
Metal Fabrication Raw Material Supplies
When selecting metal fabrication supplies the sheet metal is the first consideration for equipping any shop for completing fabrication tasks. The type of sheet metal which is acquired will depend entirely on the project needs and vary in thickness (measured in microns) as well as mineral properties (i.e., heat and corrosion resistance). Plate metal is often required for anchoring or base welds. Welding wire is also required for threading.
Metal Fabrication Supplies Tools
When purchasing metal fabrication supplies there are a great many tools required to safely and effectively manipulate the metal. An "English Wheel" or "wheeling machine" is a popular tool which allows the metal worker to create smooth curves or half crescent shapes in sheet metal. This may be used to achieve a curved angle for a car door repair or for the creation of cylindrical metal objects such as containers or troughs. Specialty drills and quality millwork tools are always required.
Buffers and polishers are required to "finish" the metal products. Cleaning the "bushings" of any fittings is a common requirement after hot metal has been manipulated and the expected spatter is present on the component. The buffer will clean the surface of the fabricated metal component to remove any splatter and any burrs which might also present a hazard to handling during the product assembly process.
Metal Fabrication Machinery Supplies
Metal lathes, mills and magnetic based drills are common metal fabrication supplies found onsite. Tube bending machines and manual bending machines are required to provide certain shapes and angles manually if required. Hydraulic brake presses create "v" shaped forms. Other forms such as "wing brakes" and some types of hand powered brakes can also be found among metal fabrication supplies.
Chemical Treatments and Coatings
Part of the finishing process for all metal work is the application of a chemical coating or paint coating to protect the metal part from corrosion or insulate it from wear. Some specialised coatings are designed to prevent the part from conducting heating which is particularly important if the fabricated metal part will be lying next to a plastic component which could melt if exposed to excessive heat sources. Typical metal fabrication supplies include electrostatic powder coatings and traditional industrial paint however in most cases the application of coatings to a fabricated metal part is a technically challenging endeavour for the independent tradesman as it requires baking at hot temperatures (in an industrial furnace or oven) to set the coating. As such it is typically not one of the commonly purchased metal fabrication supplies and is usually reserved for professional fabrication businesses.Back to Top