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Man discovered the utility of metal long before there were Ironworkers to shape it. In 8,700 BCE man was mining and working metal to create tools, jewelry, and art. As we progressed, our mining and smithing skills excelled us from the Bronze Age to the Industrial Revolution. Metal, and the ability to work it, is the foundation of nearly all of mankind's technological advancements.
Metalworking can be divided into three general categories. Forming, cutting, and joining. Forming metal means modifying the metal by deforming it without loss of any material. This is normally done with high pressure, high heat, or both. When working with bulk material such as ore and bars, it is almost necessary to use heat for forming. Methods of forming bulk materials includes forging, rolling, and drawing. Forming pre-processed materials such as tubing, sheets, and rods uses the application of mechanical force to alter the shape of the metal. This includes punching , bending, stamping, and spinning. Modern machines that form processed metal include presses, Ironworkers, Roll Benders, and Power Hammers. Cutting brings material to a specified size or shape by removing material; this is done either by chip producing machining or burning. The most common form of chip producing machining is drilling which can be done with Drill Presses. Chip producing machining also includes milling, turning, threading, grinding, and shearing. Cutting by burning includes laser and plasma cutting which can be done with CNC Plasma Tables. Joining metal is a process of adding material to an existing piece normally by using a filler material. Welding and brazing, two of the more common methods, use different means to create a molten filler material between two existing pieces. As this material cools it creates a strong bond between the two pieces. A similar process to welding is soldering; soldering, however, is done at temperatures under 450 °C. We at Elite Metal Tools know what it takes to work metal, it's in the name.