Generally, if craftsmen were not required to use these tools, it would be impossible to design craft and manufacture things that all of us use every single day of our lives. The measuring tools permit accurate inspection in the range of: .0002 in./.005 mm..
This may not mean much to regular people until it is put into perspective. To make it a little clearer, a cigarette paper that is typically, .0008 in. thickness, if you decided to split its thickness, you will get two identical pieces of .0004 in. thick paper.
If you further split the paper you will achieve .0002 in. thickness.
This is characteristic tolerance in all of the precision machining trades which are inclusive of micro precision trade and medical precision machining trade. By using your finger, you are able to feel the difference in two adjacent surfaces which vary by at-least .0002 after undertaking some practice.
To get an idea of the precision measurements tools, you can conduct the same splitting process with a human strand of hair to understand what kind of work toolmakers deal with on a regular basis.
Standard strand of hair measures approximately .004 in. in diameter. If you desire to reach the same tiny dimension, you will end up splitting the hair up to 4 times.
With the right training, technique and tooling processes, it isn’t a difficult task to hold these tolerances. However, you will take time to practice and grasp the whole concept. There is no need of rushing through the process if you do not want to end up with scrap.
However, there is a huge deterrent that emanates from the heating and consequent work-piece cooling. This process leads to the expansion and contraction of the metal; this also affects the part size.
Some of the machines that are used to produce these parts and tools are:
· CNC lathes
· Surface grinders
· EDM machines
· Cylindrical grinders
· Honing machines
· WEDM a.k.a. Wire EDM
· CNC machining centers
· Manual lathes
By glancing through your office or living room setting, you will see many manufactured items that are in need of these close tolerances. The most familiar and closest to you being: computer monitor, mouse, keyboard, chair, desk, smoke alarm, bulb sockets etc.
These there are all items we use on a daily basis; however, little do we contemplate what it takes to have them produced. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, especially the Y generation that was born in this generation look down upon manufacturing and opt for the so called professional ‘white-collar’ jobs.
It’s rather an unfortunate occurrence since some of the high-level skilled and highly talented individuals are mostly found in manufacturing. A regular toolmaker has enrolled into a technical school and in most instances he or she has served an apprentice for a whole four years.
Additionally, the toolmaker will attended special training class programs that they fully participate in annually to help them manufacture better products that both you and I will find satisfaction with.
The people who work in this industry can only be compared to geniuses due to the impeccable products that they produce.