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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


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TOOL (O. Eng. 161, generally referred to a root seen in the Goth. taujan, to make, or in the English word " taw," to work or dress leather), an implement or appliance used by a worker in the treatment of the substances used in his handicraft, whether in the preliminary operations of setting out and measuring the materials, in reducing his work to the required form by cutting or otherwise, in gauging it and testing its accuracy, or in duly securing it while thus being treated.

For the tools of prehistoric man see such articles as Archaeology; Flint Implements; and Egypt, § Art and Archaeology. In beginning a survey of tools it is necessary to draw the distinction between hand and machine tools. The former class includes any tool which is held and operated by the unaided hands, as a chisel, plane or saw. Attach one of these to some piece of operating mechanism, and it, with the environment of which it is the central essential object, becomes a machine tool. A very simple example is the common power-driven hack saw for metal, or the small high-speed drill, or the wood-boring auger held in a frame and turned by a winch handle and bevel-gears. The difference between these and a big frame-saw cutting down a dozen boards simultaneously, or the immense machine boring the cylinders of an ocean liner, or the great gun lathe, or the hydraulic press, is so vast that the relationship is hardly apparent. Often the tool itself is absolutely dwarfed by the machine, of which nevertheless it is the central object and around which the machine is designed and built. A milling machine weighing several tons will often be seen rotating a tool of but two or three dozen pounds' weight. Yet the machine is fitted with elaborate slides and self-acting movements, and provision for taking up wear, and is worth some hundreds of pounds sterling, while the tool may not be worth two pounds. Such apparent anomalies are in constant evidence. We propose, therefore, first to take a survey of the principles that underlie the forms of tools, and then pursue the subject of their embodiment in machine tools.

Hand Tools The most casual observation reveals the fact that tools admit of certain broad classifications. It is apparent that by far the larger number owe their value to their capacity for cutting or removing portions of material by an incisive or wedge-like action, leaving a smooth surface behind. An analysis of the essential methods of operation gives a broad grouping as follows: I. The chisel group.. Typified by the chisel of the woodworker.

II. The shearing group. „ „ scissors.

III. The scrapers. „ „ cabinet-maker's scrape.

IV. The percussive and „ hammer and the punch. detrusive group V. The moulding group. „ trowel.

The first three are generally all regarded as cutting tools, notwithstanding that those in II. and III. do not operate as wedges, and therefore are not true chisels. But many occupy a border-line where the results obtained are practically those due to cutting, as in some of the shears, saws, milling cutters, files and grinding wheels, where, if the action is not directly wedge-like, it is certainly more or less incisive in character.

1 Cutting Tools

2 Typical Tools

3 Box Tools

4 Shearing Action

5 Planes

6 Drilling and Boring Tools

7 Saws

8 Scrapes

9 Files

10 Screwing Tools

11 Shears and Punches

12 Hammers

13 Moulding Tools

14 Tool Steels

15 II. Reciprocating Machines

16 III. Machines which Drill and Bore Holes

17 IV. Milling Machines

18 V. Machines for Cutting the Teeth of Gear-wheels

19 VI. Grinding Machinery

20 VII. Sawing Machines

21 VIII. Shearing and Punching Machines

22 IX. Hammers and Presses

23 X. Portable Tools

24 XI. Appliances

25 XII. Wood-working Machines

26 XIII. Measurement

27 I

28 Early Lathes

29 Broad Types

30 Standard Lathes

31 Screw-cutting

32 Small Screws

33 Hollow Mandrel Lathes

34 Turret Lathes

35 Chucking between Centres

36 Methods of Holding and Rotating Work. Chucks

37 Steadies

38 Mandrels

39 Jaw Chucks

40 Planing Machines

41 Shaping Machines

42 Slotting Machines

43 Allied Machines

44 Types of Machines

45 Wall Machines

46 Radial Arm Machines

47 Boring Machines

48 Multiple Spindle Machines

49 Sand-blast

50 Steam Hammers

51 Pneumatic Hammers

52 Forging Machines

53 Forging Presses

54 Measurement by Sight. Rules and Scales

55 The Gauges. Fixed Gauges

56 Plug and Ring Gauges

57 Fixed Gauges. Limit Gauges

58 Fixed Reference Gauges. Reference Disks and End Measuring Rods

59 Movable Gauges

60 The Calipers

61 Vernier Calipers

62 Depth Gauges

63 Rod Gauges

64 Screw Thread Gauges

65 Surface Plates and Cognate Forms

66 Miscellaneous

Cutting Tools

The cutting edge of a tool is the practical outcome of several conditions. Keenness of edge, equivalent to a small degree of angle between the tool faces, would appear at first sight to be the prime element in cutting, as indeed it is in the case of a razor, or in that of a chisel for soft wood. But that is not the prime condition in a tool for cutting iron or steel. Strength is of far greater importance, and to it some keenness of edge must be sacrificed. All cutting tools are wedges; but a razor or a chisel edge, included between angles of 15° or 20°, would be turned over at once if presented to iron or steel, for which angles of from 60° to 75° are required. Further, much greater rigidity in the latter, to resist spring and fracture, is necessary than in the former, because the resistance to cutting is much greater. A workman can operate a turning tool by hand, even on heavy pieces of metal-work. Formerly all turning, no matter how large, was done by hand-operated tools, and after great muscular exertion a few pounds of metal might be removed in an hour. But coerce a similarly formed tool in a rigid guide or rest, and drive it by the power of ten or twenty men, and it becomes possible to remove say a hundredweight of chips in an hour. Or, increase the size of the tool and its capacity for endurance, and drive by the power of 40 or 60 horses, and half a ton of chips may be removed in an hour.

All machine tools of which the chisel is the type operate by cutting;. that is, they act on the same principle and by the same essential method as the knife, razor or chisel, and not by that of the grindstone. A single tool, however, may act as a cutting instrument at one time and as a scrape at another. The butcher's knife will afford a familiar illustration. It is used as a cutting tool when severing a steak, but it becomes a scrape when used to clean the block. The difference is not therefore due to the form of the knife, but to the method of its application, a distinction which holds good in reference to the tools used by engineers. There is a very old hand tool once much used in the engineer's turnery, termed a " graver." This was employedfor cutting and for scraping indiscriminately, simply by varying the angle of its presentation. At that time the question of the best cutting angles was seldom raised or discussed, because the manipulative instinct of the turner settled it as the work proceeded, and as the material operated on varied in texture and degree of hardness. But since the use of the slide rest holding tools rigidly fixed has become general, the question of the most suitable tool formation has been the subject of much experiment and discussion. The almost unconscious experimenting which goes on every day in every workshop in the world proves that there may be a difference of several degrees of angle in tools doing similar work, without having any appreciable effect upon results. So long as certain broad principles and reasonable limits are observed, that is sufficient for practical purposes.

Clearly, in order that a tool shall cut, it must possess an incisive form. In fig. I, A might be thrust over the surface of the plate of metal, but no cutting action could take place. It would simply grind and polish the surface. If it were formed like B, the grinding action would give place to scraping, by which some material would be removed. Many tools are formed thus, but there is still no incisive or knife-like action, and the tool is simply a scrape and not a cutting tool. But C is a cutting tool, possessing penetrative capacity. If now B were tilted backwards as at D, it would at once become a cutting tool. But its bevelled face would rub and grind on the surface of the work, producing friction and heat, and interfering with the penetrative action of the cutting edge. On the other hand, if C were tilted forwards as at E its action would approximate to that of a scrape for the time being. But the high angle of the hinder bevelled face would not afford adequate support to the cutting edge, and the latter would therefore become worn off almost instantly, precisely as that of a razor or wood-working chisel would crumble away if operated on hard metal. It is,obvious FIG. I.

A, Tool which would burnish F, G, H, Presentations of tools only. for planing, turning and B, Scrape. boring respectively.

C, Cutting tool. J, K, L, Approximate angles of D and E, Scraping and cutting tools; a, clearance angle, or tools improperly presented. bottom rake; b, front or top rake; c, tool angle.

therefore that the correct form for a cutting tool must depend upon a due balance being maintained between the angle of the front and of the bottom faces - " front " or " top rake," and " bottom rake " or " clearance " - considered in regard to their method of presentation to the work. Since, too, all tools used in machines are held rigidly in one position, differing in this respect from handoperated tools, it follows that a constant angle should be given to instruments which are used for operating on a given kind of metal or alloy. It does not matter whether a tool is driven in a lathe, or a planing machine, or a sharper or a slotter; whether it is cutting on external or internal surfaces, it is always maintained in a direction perpendicularly to the point of application as in fig. 1, F, G, H, planing, turning and boring respectively. It is consistent with reason and with fact that the softer and more fibrous the metal, the keener must be the formation of the tool, and that, conversely, the harder and more crystalline the metal the more obtuse must be the cutting angles, as in the extremes of the razor and the tools for cutting iron and steel already instanced. The three figures J, K, L show tools suitably formed for wrought iron and mild steel, for cast iron and cast steel, and for brass respectively. Cast iron and cast steel could not be cut properly with the first, nor wrought iron and fibrous steel with the second, nor either with the third. The angles given are those which accord best with general practice, but they are not constant, being varied by conditions, especially by lubrication and rigidity of fastenings. The profiles of the first and second tools are given mainly with the view of having material for grinding away, without the need for frequent reforging. But there are many tools which are formed quite differently when used in tool-holders and in turrets, though the same essential principles of angle are observed.

The angle of clearance, or relief, a, in fig. i, is an important detail of a cutting tool. It is of greater importance than an exact angle of top rake. But, given some sufficient angle of clearance, its exact amount is not of much moment. Neither need it be uniform for a given cutting edge. It may vary from say 3° to 10°, or even 20 °, and under good conditions little or no practical differences will result. Actually it need never var y much from 5° to 7°. The object in giving a clearance angle is simply to prevent friction between the non-cutting face immediately adjacent to the edge and the surface of the work. The limit to this clearance is that at which insufficient support is afforded to the cutting edge. These are the two facts, which if fulfilled permit of a considerable range in clearance angle. The softer the metal being cut the greater can be the clearance; the harder the material the less clearance is permissible because the edge requires greater support.

The front, or top rake, b in fig. i, is the angle or slope of the front, or top face, of the tool; it is varied mainly according as materials are crystalline or fibrous. In the turnings and cuttings taken off the more crystalline metals and alloys, the broken appearance of the chips is distinguished from the shavings removed from the fibrous materials. This is a feature which always distinguishes cast iron and unannealed cast steel from mild steel, high carbon steel from that low in carbon, and cast iron from wrought iron. It indicates too that extra work is put on the tool in breaking up the chips, following immediately on their severance, and when the comminutions are very small they indicate insufficient top rake. This is a result that turners try to avoid when possible, or at least to minimize. Now the greater the slope of the top rake the more easily will the cuttings come away, with the minimum of break in the crystalline materials and absolutely unbroken over lengths of many feet in the fibrous ones. The breaking up, or the continuity of the cuttings, therefore affords an indication of the suitability of the amount of top rake to its work. But compromise often has to be made between the ideal and the actual. The amount of top rake has to be limited in the harder metals and alloys in order to secure a strong tool angle, without which tools would lack the endurance required to sustain them through several hours without regrinding.

The tool angle, c, is the angle included between top and bottom faces, and its amount, or thickness expressed in degrees, is a measure of the strength and endurance of any tool. At extremes it varies from about 15° to 85°. It is traceable in all kinds of tools, having very diverse forms. It is difficult to place some groups in the cutting category; they are on the border-line between cutting and scraping instruments.

Typical Tools

A bare enumeration of the diverse forms in which tools of the chisel type occur is not even possible here. The grouped illustrations (figs. 2 to 6) show some of the types, but it will be understood that each is varied in dimensions, angles and outlines to suit all the varied kinds of metals and alloys and conditions of operation. For, as every tool has to be gripped in a holder of some kind, as a slide-rest, tool-box, turret, tool-holder, box, cross-slide, &c., this often determines the choice of some one form in preference to another. A broad division is that into roughing and finishing H FIG. 2. - Metal-turning Tools.

E, Diamond or angular-edge tool for cutting all metals.

F, Plan of finishing tool.

G, Spring tool for finishing.

H, Side or knife tool.

J, Parting or cutting-off tool.

K, L, Round-nose tools. Al, Radius tool.

FIG. 3. - Group A, Planer type of tool, cranked to avoid digging into the metal.

B, Face view of roughing tool.

C, Face view of finishing tool.

D, Rightand left-hand knife or side tools.

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C E 1 G Shape of tool used for scraping brass.

Straightforward tool for turning all metals.

Rightand left-hand tools for all metals.

A better form of same.

of Planer Tools.

E, Parting or cutting-off or grooving tool.

F, V tool for grooves.

G, Rightand left-hand tools for V-slots.

H, Ditto for T-slots.

J, Radius tool held in holder.

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tools. Generally though not invariably the edge of the first is narrow, of the second broad, corresponding with the deep cutting and fine traverse of the first and the shallow cutting and broad.

FIG. 4. - Group of Slotter Tools.

A, Common roughing tool. B, Parting-off or grooving tool. C, Roughing or finishing tool in a holder. D, Double-edged tool for cutting opposite sides of a slot.

- ?11 bar of steel. This is costly when the best tool steel is used, hence large numbers of tools comprise points only, which are gripped in permanent holders in which they interchange. Tool steel usually ranges from about z in. to 4 in. square; most engineers' work is done with bars of from 2 in. to i a in. square. It is in the smaller and medium sizes of tools that holders prove of most value. Solid tools, varying from 22 in. to 4 in. square, are used for the heaviest cutting done in the planing machine. Tool-holders are not employed for very heavy work, because the heat generated would not get away fast enough from small tool points. There are scores of holders; perhaps a dozen good approved types are in common use. They are divisible into three great groups: those in which the top rake of the tool point is embodied in the holder, and is constant; those in which the clearance is similarly embodied; and those in which neither is provided for, but in which the tool point is ground to any angle. Charles Babbage designed the first tool-holder, and the essential type survives in several modern forms. The best-known holders now are the Tangye, the Smith & Coventry, the Armstrong, some by Mr C. Taylor, and the Bent. The Smith & Coventry (fig. 5), used more perhaps than any other single design, includes two forms. In one E the tool is a bit of round steel set at an angle which gives front rake, and having the top end ground to an angle of top rake. In the other A the tool has the section of a truncated wedge, set for constant top rake, or cutting angle, and having bottom rake or clearance angle ground. The Smith & Coventry round tool is not applicable for all classes of work. It will turn plain work, and plane level faces, but will not turn or plane into corners or angles. Hence the invention of the tool of V-section, and the swivel toolholder. The round tool-holders are made rightand left-handed, the swivel tool-holder has a universal movement. The amount of projection of the round tool points is very limited, which impairs their utility when some overhanging of the tool is necessary. The V-tools can be slid out in their holders to operate on faces and edges situated to some considerable distance inwards from the end of the tool-holder.


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Box Tools

In one feature the box tools of the turret lathes resemble tool-holders. The small pieces of steel used for tool points are gripped in the boxes, as in tool-holders, and all the advantages which are derived from this arrangement of separating the point from its holder are thus secured (fig. 7). But in all other FIG. 5. - Group of Tool-holders.

A, Smith & Coventry swivelling holder. B, Holder for square steel. C, D, rightand left-hand forms of same. E, Holder for round steel. F, Holder for narrow parting-off tool.

traverse of the second. The following are some of the principal forms. The round-nosed roughing tool (fig. 2) B is of straightforward type, used for turning, planing and shaping. As the correct tool angle can only occur on the middle plane of the tool, it is usual to employ cranked tools, C, D, E, rightand left-handed, for heavy and moderately heavy duty, the direction of the cranking corresponding with that in which the tool is required to traverse. Tools for boring are cranked and many for planing (fig. 3). The slotting tools (fig. 4) embody the same principle, but their shanks are in line with the direction of cutting. Many roughing and finishing tools are of knife type H. Finishing tools a have broad edges, F, G, H. They occur in straightforward and FIG. 6. - Group of Chisels. rightand left-hand types.

FIG. 7. - Box Tool for Turret Lathe. (Alfred Herbert, Ltd., Coventry.) A, Cutting tool. B, Screw for adjusting radius of cut. C C, V-steadies supporting the work in opposition to A. D, Diameter of work. E, Body of holder. F, Stem which fits in the turret.

respects the two are dissimilar. Two or three tool-holders of different sizes take all the tool points used in a lathe, but a new box has to be devised in the case of almost every new job, with the exception of those the principal formation of which is the turning down of plain bars. The explanation is that, instead of a single point, several are commonly carried in a box. As complexity increases with the number of tools, new designs and dimensions of boxes become necessary, even though there may be family resemblances in groups. A result is that there is not, nor can there be, anything like finality in these designs. Turret work has become one of the most highly specialized departments of machine-shop practice, and the design of these boxes is already the work of specialists. More and more of the work of the common lathe is being constantly appropriated by the semiand full-automatic machines, a result to which the magazine feeds for castings and forgings that cannot pass through a hollow spindle have contributed greatly. New work is constantly being attacked in the automatic machines that was deemed impracticable a short time before; some of the commoner jobs are produced with greater economy, while heavier castings and forgings, longer and larger bars, are tooled in the turret lathes. A great deal of the efficiency of the box tools is due to the support which is afforded to the cutting edges in opposition to the stress of cutting. V-blocks are introduced in most cases as in fig. 7, and these not only resist the stress of the cutting, but gauge the diameter exactly.

Shearing Action

In many tools a shearing operation takes place, by which the stress of cutting is lessened. Though not very apparent, it is present in the round-nosed roughing tools, in the knife tools, in most milling cutters, as well as in all the shearing tools proper - the scissors, shears, &c.

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We pass by the familiar great chisel group, used by woodworkers, with a brief notice. Generally the tool angles of these lie between 15° and 25°. They include the chisels proper, and the gouges in numerous shapes and proportions, used by carpenters, These as a rule remove less than in. in depth, while the roughing tools may cut an inch or more into the metal. ' But the traverse of the first often exceeds an inch, while in that of the second $ in. is a very coarse amount of feed. Spring tools, G, used less now than formerly, are only of value for imparting a smooth finish to a surface. They are finishing tools only. Some spring tools are formed with considerable top rake, but generally they act by scraping only.

Solid Tools v. Tool-holders. - It will be observed that the foregoing are solid tools; that is, the cutting portion is forged from a solid Paring chisel.

Socket chisel for heavy duty. Common chipping chisel. Narrow cross-cut or cape chisel. Cow-mouth chisel, or gouge. Straight chisel or sett.

Hollow chisel or sett.

cabinet-makers, turners, stone-masons and allied tradesmen. These are mostly thrust by hand to their work, without any mechanical control. Other chisels are used percussively, as the stout mortise chisels, some of the gouges, the axes, adzes and stone-mason's tools. The large family of planes embody chisels coerced by the mechanical control of the wooden (fig. 8) or metal stock. These also differ FIG. 8. - Section through Plane.

A, Cutting iron. B, Top or back iron. C, Clamping screw. D, Wedge. E, Broken shaving. F, Mouth.

from the chisels proper in the fact that the face of the cutting iron does not coincide with the face of the material being cut, but lies at an angle therewith, the stock of the plane exercising the necessary coercion. We also meet with the function of the top or non-cutting A B C H FIG. 9. - Group of Wood-boring Bits.

A, Spoon bit. B, Centre-bit. C, Expanding centre-bit. D, Gilpin or Gedge auger. E, Jennings auger. F, Irwin auger.

FIG. 10. - Group of Drills for Metal.

A, Common flat drill. B, Twist drill. C, Straight fluted drill. D, Pin drill for flat countersinking. E, Arboring or facing tool. F, Tool for boring sheet-metal.

iron in breaking the shaving and conferring rigidity upon the cutting iron. This rigidity is of similar value in cutting wood as in cutting metal though in a less marked degree.

Drilling and Boring Tools

Metal and timber are bored with equal facility; the tools (figs. 9 and to) embody similar differences to the cutting tools already instanced for wood and metal. All the wood-working bits are true cutting tools, and their angles, if analysed, will be found not to differ much from those of the razor and common chisel. The drills for metal furnish examples both of scrapers and cutting tools. The common drill is only a scraper, but all the twist drills cut with good incisive action. An advantage possessed by all drills is that the cutting forces are balanced on each side of the centre of rotation. The same action is embodied in the best woodboring bits and augers, as the Jennings, the Gilpin and the Irwin - much improved forms of the old centre-bit. But the balance is impaired if the lips are not absolutely symmetrical about the centre. This explains the necessity for the substitution of machine grinding for hand grinding of the lips, and great developments of twist drill grinding machines. Allied to the drills are the D-bits, and the reamers (fig. I I). The first-named both initiate and finish a hole; FIG. I I.

A, D-bit. B, Solid reamer. C, Adjustable reamer, having six flat blades forced outward by the tapered plug. Two lock-nuts at the end fix the blades firmly after adjustment.

the second are used only for smoothing and enlarging drilled holes, and for correcting holes which pass through adjacent castings or plates. The reamers remove only a mere film, and their action is that of scraping. The foregoing are examples of tools operated from one end and unsupported at the other, except in so far as they receive support within the work. One of the objectionable features of tools operated in this way is that they tend to " follow the hole," and if this is cored, or rough-drilled out of truth, there is risk of the boring tools following it to some extent at least. With the one exception of the D-bit there is no tool which can be relied on to take out a long bore with more than an approximation to concentricity throughout. Boring tools (fig. 12) held in the slide-rest will spring and bend and chatter, and unless the lathe is true, or careful compensation is made for its want of truth, they will bore bigger at one end than the other. Boring tools thrust by the back centre are liable to wabble, and though they are variously coerced to prevent them from turning round, that does not check the to-and-fro wabbly gft s FIG. 12. - Group of Boring Tools.

A, Round boring tool held in V-blocks on slide-rest. B, C, Square and V-pointed boring tools. D, Boring bar with removable cutters, held straight, or angularly.

motion from following the core, or rough bore. In a purely reaming tool this is permitted, but it is not good in tools that have to initiate the hole.

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This brings us to the large class of boring tools which are supported at each end by being held in bars carried between centres. There are two main varieties: in one the cutters are fixed directly in the bar (fig. 13, A to D ), in the other in a head fitted on the bar F ?-- - -- ?^ A (fig. 13, E ), hence termed a " boring head." As lathe heads are fixed, the traverse cannot be imparted to the bars as in boring machines. The boring heads can be traversed, or the work can be FIG. 13. - Group of Supported Boring Tools.

A, Single-ended cutter in boring D, Flat double-ended finishing bar. cutter.

B, Double-ended ditto. E, Boring head with three cutters C, Flat single-ended finishing and three steady blocks. cutter.

traversed by the mechanism of the lathe saddle. The latter must be done when cutters are fixed in bars. A great deal of difference exists in the details of the fittings both of bars and heads, but they are not so arbitrary as they might seem at first sight. The principal differences are those due to the number of cutters used, their shapes, and their method of fastening. Bars receiving their cutters direct include one, two or four, cutting on opposite sides, and therefore balanced. Four give better balance than two, the cutters being set at right angles. If a rough hole runs out of truth, a single cutter is better than a double-ended one, provided a tool of the roughing shape is used. The shape of the tools varies from roughing to finishing, and their method of attachment is by screws, wedges or nuts, but we cannot illustrate the numerous differences that are met with.


The saws are a natural connecting link between the chisels and the milling cutters. Saws are used for wood, metal and stone. Slabs of steel several inches in thickness are sawn through as readily as, though more slowly than, timber planks. Circular and band saws are common in the smithy and the boiler and machine shops for cutting off bars, forgings and rolled sections. But the tooth shapes are not those used for timber, nor is the cutting speed the same. In the individual saw-teeth both cutting and scraping actions are illustrated (fig. 14). Saws which cut timber continuously with the grain, as rip, hand, band, circular, have incisive teeth. For though many are destitute of front rake, the method of sharpening at an angle imparts a true shearing cut. But all crosscutting teeth scrape only, the teeth being either of A, Teeth of band and ripping saws. triangular or of M-form, B, Teeth of circular saw for hard wood; variously modified. Teeth shows set. for metal cutting also act C, Ditto for soft wood. strictly by scraping. The D, Teeth of cross-cut saw. pitching of the teeth is E, M-teeth for ditto. related to the nature of the material and the direction of cutting. It is coarser for timber than for metal, coarser for ripping or sawing with the grain than for cross cutting, coarser for soft than for hard woods. The setting of teeth, or the bending over to right and left, by which the clearance is provided for the blade of the saw, is subject to similar variations. It is greatest for soft woods and least for metals, where in fact the clearance is often secured without set, by merely thinning the blade backwards. But it is greater for cross cutting than for ripping timber. Gulleting follows similar rules. The softer the. timber, the greater the gulleting, to permit the dust to escape freely. Milling Cutters. - Between a circular saw for cutting metal and a thin milling cutter there is no essential difference. Increase the thickness as if to produce a very wide saw, and the essential plain edge milling cutter for metal results. In its simplest form the milling cutter is a cylinder with teeth lying across its periphery, or parallel with its axis - the edge mill (fig. 15), or else a disk with teeth radiating on its face, or at right angles with its axis - the end mill (fig. 16). Each is used indifferently for producing flat faces and edges, and for cutting grooves which are rectangular in cross-section. These milling cutters invade the province of the single-edged tools of the planer, shaper and slotter. Of these two typical forms the FIG. 16. - Group of End Mills.

A, End mill with straight teeth. B, Ditto with spiral teeth. C, Showing method of holding shell cutter on arbor, with screw and key. D, T-slot cutter.

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A, Narrow edge mill, with straight teeth.

B, Wide edge mill with spiral teeth.

C, Teeth on face and edges.

D, Cutter having teeth like C.

E, Flat teeth held in with screws and wedges.

F, Large inserted tooth mill; with taper pins secure cutters.

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F FIG. 15. - Group of Milling Cutters.

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FIG. 14. - Typical Saw Teeth.

changes are rung in great variety, ranging from the narrow slitting tools which saw off bars, to the broad cutters of 24 in. or more in width, used on piano-millers.

When more than about an inch in width, surfacing cylindrical cutters are formed with spiral teeth (fig. 15, B), a device which is FIG. 18. - Group of Angular Mills.

A, Cutter with single slope.

B, Ditto, producing teeth in another cutter.

C, Double Slope Mill, with unequal angles.

essential to sweetness of operation, the action being that of shearing. These have their teeth cut on universal machines, using the dividing and spiral head and suitable change wheels, and after hardening they are sharpened on universal grinders. When cutters exceed about 6 in. in length the difficulties of hardening and grinding render the " gang " arrangement more suitable. Thus, two, three or more similar edge mills are set end to end on an arbor, with the spiral teeth running in reverse directions, giving a broad face with balanced endlong cutting forces. From these are built up the numerous gang mills, comprising plane faces at right angles with each other, of which the straddle mills are the best known (fig. 17, A). A common element in these combinations is the key seat type B having teeth on the periphery and on both faces as in fig. 15, C, D. By these combinations half a dozen faces or more can be tooled simultaneously, and all alike, as long as the mills retain their edge. The advantages over the work of the planer in this class of work are seen in tooling the faces and edges of machine tables, beds and slides, in shaping the faces and edges of caps to fit their bearing blocks. In a single cutter of the face type, but having teeth on back and edge also, T-slots are readily milled (fig. 16, D); this if done on the planer would require re-settings of awkwardly cranked tools, and more measurement and testing with templets than is required on a milling machine.

When angles, curves and profile sections are introduced, the capacity of the milling cutter is infinitely increased. The making of the cutters is also more difficult. Angular cutters (fig. 18) are used for producing the teeth of the mills themselves, for shaping the teeth of ratchet wheels, and, in combination with straight cutters in gangs, for angular sections. With curves, or angles and curves in combination, taps, reamers and drills can be fluted or grooved, the teeth of wheels shaped, and in fact any outlines imparted (fig. 19). Here the work of the fitter, as well as that of the planing and allied machines, is invaded, for much of this work if prepared on these machines would have to be finished laboriously by the file.

There are two ways in which milling cutters are used, by which their value is extended; one is to transfer some of their work proper to the lathe and boring machine, the other is by duplication. A "good many light circular sections, as wheel rims, hitherto done in lathes, are regularly prepared in the milling machine, gang mills being used for tooling the periphery and edges at once, and the wheel blank being rotated. Similarly, holes are bored by a rotating mill of the cylindrical type. Internal screw threads are done similarly. Duplication occurs when milling sprocket wheels in line, or side by side, in milling nuts on an arbor, in milling a number of narrow faces arranged side by side, in cutting the teeth of several spur-wheels on one arbor and in milling the teeth of racks several at a time.

One of the greatest advances in the practice of milling was that of making backed-off cutters. The sectional shape behind the tooth face is continued identical in form with the profile of the edge, the outline being carried back as a curve equal in radius to that of the cutting edge (fig. 20). The result is that the cutter may be sharpened on the front faces of the teeth without interfering with the shape which will be milled, because the periphery is always constant in outline. After repeated sharpenings the teeth would assume the form indicated by the shaded portion on two of the teeth. The limit of grinding is reached when the tooth becomes too thin and weak to stand up to its work. But such cutters will endure weeks or months of constant service before becoming useless. The A E F FIG. 21. - Group of Scrapes.

A, Metal-worker's scrape, pushed D, Diamond point used by straightforward. wood-turners.

B, Ditto, operated laterally. E, F, Cabinet-makers' scrapes.

C, Round-nosed tool used by wood-turners.

chief advantage of backing-off or relieving is in its application to cutters of intricate curves, which would be difficult or impossible to sharpen along their edges. Such cutters, moreover, if made with N 0 Q R S T U FIG. 22. - Cross-sectional Shapes of Files.

A, Warding. J, Topping. P, Round.

B, Mill. K, Reaper. Q, Pit-saw or C, Flat. L, Knife.


D, Pillar. M, Three-square. R, Half-round.

E, Square. N, Cant. S, T, Cabinet.

F, G, Swaged reapers. 0, Slitting or U, Tumbler.

H, Mill. feather-edge. I T, Crossing. ordinary teeth would soon be worn down, and be much weaker than the strong form of teeth represented in fig. 20. The relieving is usually done in special lathes, employing a profile tool which cuts the surface FIG. 23. - Longitudinal Shapes of Files.

A, Parallel or blunt. F, Tapered triangular. K, Tapered half B, Taper bellied. G, Parallel round. round.

C, Knife reaper. H, Taper or rat-tail. L, Riffler.

D, Tapered square. J, Parallel half E, Parallel triangular. round.

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'/i. ' A B FIG. 17.

A, Straddle Mill, cutting faces and edges.

B, Set of three mills cutting grooves.

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A A A B D E F G FI K L ii FIG. 19.

A, Convex Cutter.

B, Concave Cutter.

C, Profile Cutter.

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FIG. 20. - Relieved Teeth of Milling Cutter.

of the teeth back at the required radius. Relieved cutters can of course be strung together on a single arbor to form gang mills, by which very complicated profiles may be tooled, beyond the capacity of a single solid mill.


The tools which operate by scraping (fig. 21) include many of the broad finishing tools of the turner in wood and metal (cf. fig. 2), and the scrape of the wood worker and the fitter. The practice of scraping surfaces true, applied to surface plates, machine slides and similar objects, was due to Sir Joseph Whitworth. It superseded the older and less accurate practice of grinding to a mutual fit. Now, with machines of precision, the practice of grinding has to a large extent displaced the more costly scraping. Scraping is, however, the only method available when the most perfect contact is desired. Its advantage lies in the fact that the efforts of the workman can be localized over the smallest areas, and nearly infinitesimal amounts removed, a mere fine dust in the last stages.


These must in strictness be classed with scrapes, for, although the points are keen, there is never any front rake. Collectively there is a shearing action because the rows of teeth are cut diagonally. The sectional forms (fig. 22) and the longitudinal forms (fig. 23) of the files are numerous, to adapt them to all classes of work. In addition, the method of cutting, and the degrees of coarseness of the teeth, vary, being single, or float cut, or double cut (fig. 24). The rasps are another group. Degrees of coarseness are designated as rough, middle cut, bastard cut, second cut, smooth, double dead smooth; the first named is the coarsest, the last the finest. The terms are relative, since the larger a file is the coarser are its teeth, though of the same name as the teeth in a shorter file, which are finer.

Screwing Tools

The forms of these will be found discussed under Screw. They can scarcely be ranked among cutting tools, yet the best kinds remove metal with ease. This is due in great measure to the good clearance allowed, and to the narrowness of the cutting portions. Front rake is generally absent, though in some of the best screwing dies there is a slight amount.

Shears and Punches

These may be of cutting or non-cutting types. Shears (fig. 25) have no front rake, but only a slight clearance. They generally give a slight shearing cut, because the blades do not lie parallel but the cutting begins at one end and continues in detail to the other. But strictly the shears, like the punches, act by a FIG. 25. - Shear Blades. FIG. 26. - Punching.

a, a, Blades. a, Punch. b, Bolster.

b, Plate being sheared. c, Plate being punched.

severe detrusive effort; for the punch, with its bolster (fig. 26), forms a pair of cylindrical shears. Hence a shorn or punched edge A I always rough, ragged, and covered with minute, shallow cracks. Both processes are therefore dangerous to iron and steel. The metal being unequally stressed, fracture starts in the annulus of metal. Hence the advantage of the practice of reamering out this annulus, which is completely removed by enlargement by about an sin. diameter, so that homogeneous metal is left throughout the entire unpunched section. The same results follow reamering both in iron and steel. Annealing, according to many experiments, has the same effect as reamering, due to the rearrangement of the molecules of metal. The perfect practice with punched plates is to punch, reamer, and finally to anneal. The effect of shearing is practically identical with that of punching, and planing and annealing shorn edges has the same influence as reamering and annealing punched holes.


These form an immense group, termed percussive, from the manner of their use (fig. 27). Every trade has its own peculiar shapes, the total of which number many scores, each with its own appropriate name, and ranging in size from the minute forms of the jeweler to the sledges of the smith and boiler maker and the planishing hammers of the coppersmith. Wooden hammers are termed mallets, their purpose being to avoid bruising tools or the surfaces of work. Most trades use mallets of some form or another. Hammer handles are rigid in all cases except certain percussive tools of the smithy, which are handled with withy rods, or iron rods flexibly attached to the tools, so that when struck by the sledge they shall not jar the hands. The fullering tools, and flatters, and setts, though not hammers strictly, are actuated by percussion. The dies of the die forgers are actuated percussively' being closed by powerful hammers. The action of caulking tools is percussive, and so is that of moulders' rammers.

FIG. 27. - Hammers.

A, Exeter type.

B, Joiner's hammer. G, Sledge hammer, straight F, Ditto, straight pane.

C, Canterbury claw hammer pane.

H, Ditto, double-faced.

(these are wood-workers' J, K, L, M, Boiler makers' hamhammers).

D, Engineer's hammer, ball pane. mers.

N, Scaling hammer.

E, Ditto, cross-pane.

Moulding Tools

This is a group of tools which, actuated either by simple pressure or percussively, mould, shape and model forms in the sand of the moulder, in the metal of the smith, and in press work. All the tools of the moulder (fig. 28) with the exception of the rammers and vent wires act by moulding the sand into shapes FIG. 28. - Moulding Tools.

A, Square trowel. E, Flange bead. J, Button sleeker.

B, Heart trowel. F, Hollow bead. K, Pipe smoother.

C, D, Cleaners. G, H, Square corner sleekers.

by pressure. Their contours correspond with the plane and curved surfaces of moulds, and with the requirements of shallow and deep work. They are made in iron and brass. The fullers, swages and flatters of the smith, and the dies used with hammer and presses, all mould by percussion or by pressure, the work taking the counterpart of the dies, or of some portion of them. The practice of die forging consists almost wholly of moulding processes.

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Tool Steels

These now include three kinds. The common steel, the controlling element in which is carbon, requires to be hardened and tempered, and must not be overheated, about 500° F. being the highest temperature permissible - the critical temperature. Actually this is seldom allowed to be reached. The disadvantage of this steel is that its capabilities are limited, because the heat generated by heavy cutting soon spoils the tools. The second is the Mushet steel, invented by R. F. Mushet in 1868, a carbon steel, in which the controlling element is tungsten, of which it contains from about 5 to 8%. It is termed self-hardening, because it is cooled in air instead of being quenched in water. Its value consists in its endurance at high temperatures, even at a low red heat. Until the advent of the high-speed steels, Mushet steel was reserved for all heavy cutting, and for tooling hard tough steels. It is made in six different tempers suitable for various kinds of duty. Tools of Mushet steel must not be forged below a red heat. It is hardened by reheating the end to a white heat, and blowing cold in an air blast. The third kind of steel is termed high-speed, because much higher cutting speeds are practicable with these than with other steels. Tools made of them are hardened in a blast of cold air. The controlling elements are numerous and vary in the practice of different manufacturers, to render the L H AA. ...: .

FIG. 24. - File Teeth.

A, Float cut.

B, Double cut.

C, Rasp cut.

tools adaptable to cutting various classes of metals and alloys. Tungsten is the principal controlling element, but chromium is essential, and molybdenum and vanadium are often found of value. The steels are forged at a yellow tint, equal to about 1850° F. They are raised to a white heat for hardening, and cooled in an air blast to a bright red. They are then often quenched in a bath of oil.

The first public demonstration of the capacities of high speed steels was made at the Paris Exhibition of 1900. Since that time great advances have been made. It has been found that the section of the shaving limits the practicable speeds, so that, although cutting speeds of 300 and 400 ft. a minute are practicable with light cuts, it is more economical to limit speeds to less than 100 ft. per minute with much heavier cuts. The use of water is not absolutely essential as in using tools of carbon steel. The new steels show to much greater advantage on mild steel than on cast iron. They are more useful for roughing down than for finishing. The removal of 20 lb of cuttings per minute with a single tool is common, and that amount is often exceeded, so that a lathe soon becomes half buried in turnings unless they are carted away. The horse-power absorbed is proportionately large. Ordinary heavy lathes will take from 40 to 60 h.p. to drive them, or from four to six times more than is required by lathes of the same centres using carbon steel tools. Many remarkable records have been given of the capacities of the new steels. Not only turning and planing tools but drills and milling cutters are now regularly made of them. It is a revelation to see these drills in their rapid descent through metal. A drill of i in. in diameter will easily go through 5 in. thickness of steel in one minute.

Machine Tools The machine tools employed in modern engineering factories number many hundreds of well-defined and separate types. Besides these, there are hundreds more designed for special functions, and adapted only to the work of firms who handle specialities. Most of the first named and many of the latter admit of grouping in classes. The following is a natural classification: I. Turning Lathes. - These, by common consent, stand as a class alone. The cardinal feature by which they are distinguished is that the work being operated on rotates against a tool which is held in a rigid fixture - the rest. The axis of rotation may be horizontal or vertical.

II. Reciprocating Machines

The feature by which these are characterized is that the relative movements of tool and work take place in straight lines, to and fro. The reciprocations may occur in horizontal or vertical planes.

III. Machines which Drill and Bore Holes

These have some features in common with the lathes, inasmuch as drilling and boring are often done in the lathes, and some facing and turning in the drilling and boring machines, but they have become highly differentiated. In the foregoing groups tools having either single or double cutting edges are used.

IV. Milling Machines

This group uses cutters having teeth arranged equidistantly round a cylindrical body, and may therefore be likened to saws of considerable thickness. The cutters rotate over or against work, between which and the cutters a relative movement of travel takes place, and they may therefore be likened to reciprocating machines, in which a revolving cutter takes the place of a single-edged one.

V. Machines for Cutting the Teeth of Gear-wheels

These comprise two sub-groups, the older type in which rotary milling cutters are used, and the later type in which reciprocating single-edged tools are employed. Sub-classes are designed for one kind of gear only, as spur-wheels, bevels, worms, racks, &c.

VI. Grinding Machinery

This is a large and constantly extending group, largely the development of recent years. Though emery grinding has been practised in crude fashion for a century, the difference in the old and the new methods lies in the embodiment of the grinding wheel in machines of high precision, and in the rivalry of the wheels of corundum, carborundum and alundum, prepared in the electric furnace with those of emery.

VII. Sawing Machines

In modern practice these take an important part in cutting iron, steel and brass. Few shops are without them, and they are numbered by dozens in some establishments. They include circular saws for hot and cold metal, band saws and hack saws.

VIII. Shearing and Punching Machines

These occupy a border line between the cutting and non-cutting tools. Some must be classed with the first, others with the second. The detrusive action also is an important element, more especially in the punches.

IX. Hammers and Presses

Here there is a percussive action in the hammers, and a purely squeezing one in the presses. Both are made capable of exerting immense pressures, but the latter are far more powerful than the former.

X. Portable Tools

This large group can best be classified by the common feature of being readily removable for operation on large pieces of erection that cannot be taken to the regular machines. Hence they are all comparatively small and light. Broadly they include diverse tools, capable of performing nearly the whole of the operations summarized in the preceding paragraphs.

XI. Appliances

There is a very large number of articles which are neither tools nor machine tools, but which are indispensable to the work of these; that is, they do not cut, or shape, or mould, but they hold, or grip, or control, or aid in some way or other the carrying through of the work. Thus a screw wrench, an angle plate, a wedge, a piece of packing, a bolt, are appliances. In modern practice the appliance in the form of a templet or jig is one of the principal elements in the interchangeable system.

XII. Wood-working Machines

This group does for the conversion of timber what the foregoing accomplish for metal. There is therefore much underlying similarity in many machines for wood and metal, but still greater differences, due to the conditions imposed on the one hand by the very soft, and on the other by the intensely hard, materials operated on in the two great groups.

XIII. Measurement

To the scientific engineer, equally with the astronomer, the need for accurate measurement is of paramount importance. Neither good fitting nor interchangeability of parts is possible without a system of measurement, at once accurate and of ready and rapid application. Great advances have been made in this direction lately.


Lathes The popular conception of a lathe, derived from the familiar machine of the wood turner, would not give a correct idea of the lathe which has been developed as the engineer's machine tool. This has become differentiated into nearly fifty well-marked,types, until in some cases even the term lathe has been dropped for more precise definitions, as vertical boring machine, automatic machine, while in others prefixes are necessary, as axle lathe, chucking lathe, cutting-off lathe, wheel lathe, and so on. With regard to size and mass the height of centres may range from 3 in. in the bench lathes to 9 or io ft. in gun lathes, and weights will range from say 50 lb to 200 tons, or more in exceptional cases. While in some the mechanism is the simplest possible, in others it is so complicated that only the specialist is able to grasp its details.

Early Lathes

Space will not permit us to trace the evolution of the lathe from the ancient bow and card lathe and the pole lathe, in each of which the rotary movement was alternately forward, for cutting, and backward. The curious thing is that the wheel-driven lathe was a novelty so late as the 14th and 15th centuries, and had not wholly displaced the ancient forms even in the West in the 19th century, and the cord lathe still survives in the East. Another thing is that all the old lathes were of dead centre, instead of running mandrel type; and not until 1794 did the use of metal begin to take the place of wood in lathe construction. Henry Maudslay (1771-1831) did more than any other man to develop the engineer's self-acting lathe in regard to its essential mechanism, but it was, like its immediate successors for fifty years after, a skeleton-like, inefficient weakling by comparison with the lathes of the present time.

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Broad Types

A ready appreciation of the broad differences in lathe types may be obtained by considering the differences in the great groups of work on which lathes are designed to operate. Castings and forgings that are turned in lathes vary not only in size, but also in relative dimensions. Thus a long piece of driving shafting, or a railway axle, is very differently proportioned in length and diameter from a railway wheel or a wheel tire. Further, while the shaft has to be turned only, the wheel or the tire has to be turned and bored. Here then we have the first cardinal distinction between lathes, viz. those admitting work between centres (fig. 29) and face and boring lathes. In the first the piece of work is pivote

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Tool'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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