From cutlery to cars, so many things in our everyday lives are made possible by metalworking. Metalworking is the process used to create these objects and, as such a diversely used resource, there are many tools, processes, and skills needed to make the most of it. In this blog, we will explore why metal and metalworking are useful for artisans and entrepreneurs. 

Metalworking

Benefits of Using Metal

Metal’s inherent qualities are so valuable that even our earliest ancestors recognized them. If Neolithic humans could master the art of metalworking, then we can too! Here’s how metal’s abilities can enhance your creativity and broaden your making horizons:

  1. Durability 
    1. The Benjamin Franklin Bridge originally named the Delaware River Bridge, is made from 760,000 tons of structural steel and masonry. Needless to say, that bridge is pretty durable.
    2. Metal is one of the world’s strongest resources, meaning your creations can definitely withstand a little wear and tear from everyday use! 
  1. Malleability 
    1. Despite its immense structural strength, metal is extremely easy to work with. 
    2. Its malleability means it doesn’t lose its strength when shaped or returned to its original state. Metal is the perfect opportunity to try a new creation, make adjustments, and still have a great end result. 
  1. Availability and Affordability
    1. Metal is an abundant resource globally, meaning it’s cheap to access and your supply won’t be limited (e.g. steel, copper, aluminum).
    2. This makes it perfect for large scale projects that require a lot of material, such as furniture or even airplanes. 
    3. You can create high-quality products at a low cost. The economic benefit is even greater if you avoid the large upfront costs of tools by joining a makerspace like NextFab. 
  1. Otherability 
    1. Yes, we know otherability is definitely not a word, but metal’s variation in form, size, strength, and color means the range of items you can make is endless. 
    2. With an understanding of metalworking processes, you can create anything from jewelry and sculptures to signs and furniture. 

Metal is undoubtedly a fantastic resource, so here are some of the processes, tools, and skills to help you make the most of these metal-abilities

Metalworking Processes

With so many opportunities for creation, metalworking processes are often divided into the following categories:

  1. Cutting: Material is shaped by removing excess using various tools (your usual kitchen scissors won’t quite cut it for working with steel).
  2. Forming: Metal is modified by deforming it. Forming does not remove metal like cutting, but simply re-shapes what is already there (often through heat).
  3. Joining: Two or more pieces of metal are brought together through welding, brazing, or soldering. 


Metalworking Tools

As the processes vary, so do the tools. With technological evolutions, metalworking tools now range from simple hammers and anvils to complex lasers and welding machines. NextFab has 22 metalworking tools that will help bring your ideas into a shiny, silver reality. Check our tools out here


Metalworking Skills

While the metal, the processes, and the tools are all incredibly important to successful metalcraft, they are nothing without the people operating them. Metalworking can be complicated and dangerous, so taking the time to properly educate yourself will not only make your creations better, but it will also teach you how to work with this powerful resource in a safe and responsible manner. 

Having the necessary metalworking skills is very important, which is why NextFab offers an array of opportunities to expand and develop them. These metalworking classes from NextFab will give you expert tips and allow you to push your creative boundaries with even more adventurous creations. 

Metalworking is a great area to boost your skills as a marker. These metal products can create a look sleek and can be easily incorporated with other crafts, such as woodworking and ceramics. To learn more about our metalworking classes, reach out to NextFab today!