Metal Shop

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Metal Shop

Nick Polanosky


In the warehouse, rear left section of the shop. Accessible via Laptop Bar or via Wood Shop

* Machine Shop 101 (Monthly)
* Machine Shop 102 (Planned)
* HAAS CNC Mill (Planned)

The Metal Shop allows people to create a wide range of items and to work on projects using various tools and equipment specialized for metalworking.

How Do I....

I get asked all the time if I can give a quick overview of <operation or process on machine tool>. Although I'm happy to help, there's a lot of great info available on-line. See the following link to an article I have compiled. So please - before you ask- I implore you to look at this article and see if there's a video or description of the process.

Machine Tool Skills Index


Equipment List and Required Training

  • Hydraulic Press - For squishing things, pressing bearings into place, unsticking things, and general shenanigans. Contact @cualer or @npolanosky for training.
  • Sandblaster - Great for stripping paint, rust, and other coatings off of metal. Training not required.

Stock Rack

The stock rack is in the back left corner of the Metal Shop. The top shelf is for large pieces of stock, the middle shelf has smaller pieces of aluminum and steel organized into bins, and the bottom has sheet stock and plastics. There are also vertical racks to the right for particularly long pieces of stock. Anything here without a name on it is fair game for use, but please contribute to it as well- If you take a piece, please leave equivalent-ish stock next time you have some scrap.

If you have something that does not fit in your bin that you would like to store there but retain ownership of, please put your name on it in multiple places. Make sure it is clean of oil and debris before doing this, cutting fluids do a great job of dissolving sharpie.

Last but not least, if it is not something standard (1018 or A36 steel, 6061 aluminum) please label it. For example, if I go to cut some "mild steel" and it is actually 4140, I'm going to (a) have a bad time and (b) use a MUCH more expensive material than I intended. Stainless, superalloys, tool steel, aerospace grade aluminum (2024/7075/etc) are all included in this, among others.



There are currently 11 workbenches in the Metal Shop.

1. Mini Machine Tools, back left of the shop
2. Companion bench for manual machine tools- In front of big mill and lathe. It's there so you don't have to set parts or tools on the machines themselves. Turn around and use that. Please keep it clear if you're not using the :machines.
3. HAAS Desk- Located in front of the HAAS, just outside the laptop bar. Has a computer connected to the HAAS and space for a laptop, as well as a spare monitor. Please try to keep clear of other items.
4. Rear workbench- Located in the back of the shop, this is the home for the small vertical bandsaw, bench grinder, drill press, anvil, and a pair of vises. Please clean it of debris after you are done working.
5. General use bench- Located adjacent to the HAAS desk
6. General use bench - Located adjacent to Pallet Racks- Has a light duty pegboard for tool storage
7. General use bench - Located in center of metal shop
8. General use bench - Located in center of metal shop
9. General use bench -Located in center of metal shop
10. General use bench - Located in back right of metal shop, future home of belt grinders and additional finishing equipment
11. Finishing bench- Located on the right side of the shop, is the home for a vibratory tumbler, bead blasting cabinet, and a bench grinder with a Scotch-Brite wheel and buffing wheel. Underneath there is equipment for jewelry and anodizing titanium and niobium.


Red Toolbox (behind HAAS desk)

Top Drawer: Coaxial Indicator, Complete Metric and US hex key set, sharpie, deburring tool, drafting pencil, scribe, edge finder, HAAS tool setter, dial indicator
Second Drawer: ER collets, boring bars, extra deburring blades, extra edgefinders
Third drawer: Misc large drill chucks, large US tap/die set.
Bottom: HAAS CRT, HAAS Manual

Black Toolbox (between HAAS and Bridgeport Mill)

Top: Drill Charger, Transfer Punches, Lettering Stamps, T-Handle Hex Keys, Light, Small bags, Thin Gloves, usually aluminum chips too.
Top Drawer: Snap gauge set, dial test indicators, sharpie
Second Drawer: Pliers set (Needs foaming plz)
Third Drawer: Angle Gauge, Digital Micrometers, Digital Calipers (2x), Micrometer Set (3pc, 0-3in)
Fourth Drawer: First Aid Kit, Indicator Set

Etiquette - How Not to Be a Jerk

10 Shop Do's and Don'ts.

  • Clean up after yourself.
  • Put tools back where you found them. If they were not in their home, put them there
  • If you're not sure about something, ask or look it up.
  • If someone is machining/using tools, don't talk to them. Wait until they are at a stopping point. These tools are dangerous and distractions can cause injury, ruined workpieces, and damaged tools.
  • Label your tools and material. If you don't, don't be upset if they are used. Likewise, if you aren't sure if something is available for community use, ask.
  • Keep up to date in #metalworking and keep others up to date as well.
  • Sweep the floor once in a while.
  • You're awesome, remind others of this too!

Experts and References


Internal Links

External Links

Books on Metalworking