Machine tool accessories range from vises and clamps to cutting bits. For most shop services, a machine is of little to no help without the aid of several different kinds of machine tool accessories. Other machine tool accessories that are often overlooked, such as scribes, number stamps and bluing chemicals, are invaluable when embarking on an intricate and precise machining project. Measuring devices, hammers of various types and even brushes to wipe away metal chips are very useful tools when working on any type of metal machining tool.
Some metal working machines, such as a mill, are dependent on certain machine tool accessories to hold the workpiece in place throughout the machining process. Multifunction clamps are usually the right choice when working on any type of mill since the clamps can be adjusted to hold the workpiece in nearly any angle or position on the mill bed. Also required to operate the mill properly are cutting tools of various sizes and styles. Whether burnishing a control panel with engine turning marks or shaving some material away from a component to allow for a more precise fit, the proper cutting bit in the milling machine is often the ideal setup to accomplish the task.
Another of the many machine tool accessories that is not easily replaced is a threader attachment for a lathe. By placing this attachment onto a metal lathe, the operator is able to create a myriad of thread sizes and types by programming the correct adjustments into the threader attachment and turning the lathe on to perform its job. The knurling attachment is another invaluable tool when creating a grip for a hammer or screwdriver handle, among many other uses. While these types of accessories are helpful in creating results when using a machine, other accessories are used prior to ever placing the metal into the machine. Measuring devices are typically used in the selection process when searching for a piece of metal stock to use in the machine.
When making measurements and placing certain marks on a piece of metal, the machinist will often use a product known as machinist's dye or bluing. This ink-like product is painted or wiped onto the metal and allowed to dry. Once dried, the machinist uses another of the many machine tool accessories, an awl, to scribe a mark into the blued area. This process creates a reference line that is easier to see as the metal is being machined with other machine tool accessories.