• SkillCat Team

Miscellaneous

Key Hand Tools: Chapter 8

Measuring Tools


In this module, you will learn about the two most common measuring tools:

- The tape measure, and

- Calipers Skip to quiz!


Tape Measure


On a job site, you will need to measure the length of objects and spaces. A tape measure is the easiest way to measure anything. A tape measure is a flexible ruler that can be used to measure long or short lengths.


A tape measure has four parts:

  • The housing,

  • The tape,

  • The locking switch, and

  • The lip


The housing is a circular metal casing that holds the flexible ruler in a tight ball. The flexible ruler can be pulled out of the housing to measure a distance. The lip sits at the end of the flexible ruler. It is a metal “L”, that can be hooked onto the object you are measuring.


The ruler will display feet, inches, fractions of an inch, and centimeters. In the picture to the right, you can see the foot marker, inch marker, ½ inch mark, 1/8th inch marker, and 1/16th inch marker. 1/16th of an inch is the most precise measurement you will find on a tape measure.


To use a tape measure, you will grab the lip of the flexible ruler. Place the lip onto the far edge of what you are measuring. Pull the housing of the tape measure straight back to the distance you want to measure.


Be sure that the flexible ruler is resting directly against what you want to measure. Read the flexible ruler to determine the length.


If you need the tape to stay at a specific position, you can use the lock button.The lock button is a switch on the tape measure. Pressing the switch causes the tape measure to freeze the ruler in the specific position.


If you unhook the lip from the material, the flexible ruler will automatically retract into the housing. If the ruler gets stuck, you can grab the ruler and push it towards the housing.




Calipers


Calipers are a metal device used to measure the dimensions of an object. Unlike a tape measure, calipers can be extremely precise and are used on smaller objects. Calipers can be accurate down to thousandths of an inch. Rulers are only accurate to 1/16th of an inch.


Most calipers are digital and have three parts:

  • The handle,

  • The jaws and

  • The display


You hold a caliper by the handle. The display on a caliper displays the measurement results. For example, the display may tell you that an object is 2.004 inches.


The jaws of the caliper are adjustable and determine the length of what you are measuring.

There are two sets of jaws on a caliper. The jaws with the tip pointing inward are used for measuring the outside of an object. The jaws with the tips pointing outward are used for measuring the inside of an object, for example a pipe.


To start using a caliper, press the “on” button beneath the display. The screen should light up when you press the on button.


Open the jaws of the caliper so they are wider than the object you are measuring. Place the object between the jaws. Tighten the jaws so they are securely pressed against the sides of the object you are measuring.


Once the jaws are secure against the object, check the display. The display will show you the length of the object.


In this module you learned about the two most common measuring tools:

  • Tape measure, and

  • Calipers

A tape measure can be used to measure most objects on a job site. Calipers are used when you need a more precise measurement.




Miscellaneous


In this module, you will learn about a broad range of tools including:

- Deburring tools,

- Tap and Die,

- Chisel, and

- Level Skip to quiz!


Deburring Tool


A deburring tool is a common hand tool used on sharp metal or plastic edges. After you drill a hole or cut piping, there will be sharp metal left over from the cut. These sharp metal fragments are called “burrs”. A deburring tool cuts off the sharp edges.


A deburring tool has three parts:

  • A handle,

  • A swivel and

  • A blade

You will hold the deburring tool at the handle. The blade is a sharp metal point that cuts of the metal or plastic fragments. The swivel lets the blade rotate in a circle around the handle.


To use a deburring tool on a freshly cut pipe, place the deburring tool blade inside the pipe. Press the blade up against the edge of the pipe. The swivel should be outside the pipe. See the image to the right for an example.


Drag the deburring tool around the edge of the pipe. The blade will start cutting off the burrs. The swivel lets the blade rotate while you drag the deburring tool around the edge. Slide the blade along the edge of the pipe until there are no more burrs and the edge is smooth.




Tap and Die Sets


Threading is a metal ridge on a fastener that increases pulling resistance. A tap and die set is used to add threading to materials.


The tap is used to add threading to an existing hole. This is called tapping. For example, after drilling a hole through metal, you would use a tap to thread the hole. The threads in a hole allow bolts or other fasteners to be inserted into the hole.


The tap looks similar to a drill bit. It is a long metal object with sharp extensions at the tip. The metal extensions on the tip are what cuts the threads into the hole.


To tap a hole, you will need a tap and a tap wrench. The tap wrench has an adjustable hole in the center that clamps the tap. The tap wrench also has a handle on both sides of the tap, allowing you to easily rotate the wrench.


To start tapping a hole, find the size of tap you need and a tap wrench. Open the tap wrench. Slide the tap into the jaws of the tap wrench. Close the jaws of the tap wrench on the tap. Apply lubricant to the tap to make cutting threads easier.


Place the tap into the hole you cut. The tap should be at a 90-degree angle with the hole. Twist the tap clockwise to begin boring the tap into the hole. For every one turn you do with the tap, do a half turn backwards to clear any chips.


Continue rotating the tap wrench until you have gone all the way through the hole. To remove the tap, rotate the tap wrench counterclockwise until the tap comes loose from the hole.


The die is used to add threading to piping, bolts, or other cylinders. For example, you can use a die to add threading to a piece of pipe. Threads on a fastener or pipe allow the pipe to be inserted into tapped holes.


A die will usually be having a large hole in the center with several smaller holes around the center hole. You will insert the object into the center hole of the die.


A die has a bottom and a top. The bottom of a die will usually have a taper so that it is easy for you to begin adding threads to the pipe. The top side will not have a taper, and it will have a full cutting edge.


There is a special wrench, called a die wrench, that we use with the die. The die wrench has an adjustable center and two handles. The die fits into the die wrench and a nut is tightened to hold the die securely.


To thread an object, clamp the object you are threading into a vice. Grinding the end of the rod can be helpful to insert the rod into the die. Insert the die you are using into the die wrench. Tighten the nut to ensure the die is secure in the die wrench.


Insert the rod into the center hole of the die. Be sure to keep the die level as you begin to rotate the die wrench. If the die is not level, your threads will come out angled and uneven. You cannot use angled or uneven threads.


Continue rotating the die until you have added threads to the required depth. When rotating the die, it is important to do a half turn counterclockwise for every clockwise turn. The counterclockwise rotation breaks up any chips that could damage the die.




Chisel


A chisel is a hand tool with a sharpened metal edge at one end. The metal edge is used to chip, carve, or cut into materials like wood or stone.


A chisel has two parts:

  • The blade and

  • The handle

You will hold the chisel by the handle. In general, you want a handle with a metal end. A metal handle lets you hit the chisel lightly with a hammer. A wood handle cannot be hit with a hammer.


A chisel blade has two sides to it:

  • The flat side, and

  • The bevel side

The flat side of the blade is perfectly flat. The bevel side of the blade is slightly curved.


To use a chisel, press the flat end into the wood and gently strike the back of the handle with a hammer. This will cause the blade to enter the wood. Continue hammering the back of the handle while maintaining the proper depth with the chisel.




Level


A level is a tool we use to determine if a surface is flat. A level has three parts:

  • The housing,

  • The tube, and

  • The bubble

The housing holds the rest of the level together. The tube in the level is usually filled with a liquid. Inside the tube and liquid, you will find an air bubble.

To determine if an object is flat, place the level on the object. If the bubble is lined up in the center of the tube, the object is flat. If the bubble is to the right or left of the center, the object is not flat.


In this module you learned about a variety of useful tools including:

  • Deburring tools,

  • Tap and Die,

  • Chisel, and

  • Level

Each of these tools is not used all the time. They can be very helpful in specific situations.




Sheet Metal Tools - Part 1


In this module, you will learn about tools used on sheet metal like:

- Tin snips, and

- A seamer Skip to quiz!


Tin Snips


Sheet metal is a thin and flat piece of metal. Sheet metal can come in a variety of metals including aluminum, steel, and tin. You can shape sheet metal into many useful objects, for example a bracket.


Sheet metal comes in large flat pieces of metal. Sometimes the pieces can be several feet long. To use sheet metal in the field, we need to cut sheet metal into smaller pieces. Tin snips are used to cut the sheet metal.


Tin snips have two parts:

  • The handle, and

  • The blade

You will hold the tin snips at the handle with your dominant hand.


The blade is used to cut the sheet metal. As the blade cuts the sheet metal, the cut metal will begin to bend away from the tin snips.


To manage where the sheet metal bends, we use three types of tin snips:

  • Right snips,

  • Left snips, and

  • Straight snips

When cutting sheet metal, it is important that we do not damage the sheet metal. If the cut sheet metal bends in the wrong direction, it can damage the sheet.


When you cut sheet metal with right tin snips, the free metal will bend up and to the right of the blade. Use right snips when you are cutting the right edge of sheet metal. Generally, right snips will have green colored handles.


When you cut sheet metal with left tin snips, the free metal will bend up and to the left of the blade. Use left snips when you are cutting the left edge of sheet metal. Generally, left snips will have red colored handles.


Straight snips do not bend the metal when you cut it. Straight snips are good when you need both sides of the sheet metal to remain flat. The handles on straight snips will usually be yellow.


To cut sheet metal, start by selecting the correct pair of tin snips. Open the handles of the tin snips and place the sheet metal deep into the jaws of the snips. Squeeze the handles together. You should see the blade cut into the sheet metal.


Do not squeeze the handles fully together or you can deform the metal. Always keep the jaws slightly open at the end of a cut. Continue cutting until the sheet metal if the desired shape.




Seamer


A seamer is a tool you will use to bend or flatten sheet metal. Seamers are a great tool for shaping sheet metal into a useable shape.


A seamer has two parts:

  • The handle, and

  • The jaws

You hold the seamer by the handles. The jaws are used to grip the sheet metal.


To use a seamer, place the sheet metal in the jaws. Lightly hold the handles so the sheet metal is secure in the jaws. Squeezing the handles too hard can break the sheet metal.


While lightly squeezing the handle, bend the seamer to the required angle. Release the sheet metal from the jaws of the seamer. Measure the angle of the sheet metal bend. If the angle is not correct, repeat the process.


In this module you learned about a variety of sheet metal tools:

  • Tin snips, and

  • A seamer

Tin snips are great at cutting through sheet metal. A seamer is great for bending sheet metal.






Sheet Metal Tools - Part 2


In this module, you will learn about additional tools used on sheet metal like:

- A crimper,

- A crimper and

- Vice grips Skip to quiz!


Crimper


A crimping tool is used to create dents in sheet metal. The dents allow you to join together two pieces of sheet metal. Crimping tools are commonly used to connect two pieces of ductwork together.


A crimper has two parts:

  • The jaws, and

  • The handle

The jaws will put dents into the sheet metal. You will hold the crimper by the handle.


Each jaw on the crimper has a different number of blades. For example, one jaw may have three blades and the other jaw may have two blades.


When you are crimping, it is important that the jaw with more blades goes on the inside of the metal. If you place the jaw with more blades on the outside of the metal, the edge will not be crimped.


To use crimpers, insert the edge of the sheet metal deep into the jaws of the crimpers. Make sure that the jaw with more blades is on the inside of the pipe.


Squeeze the handles of the crimpers together. Loosen the handles. Move the jaws to the next section of the pipe. Continue this process until the entire edge of the pipe has been crimped.




Dividers


A divider is a tool used to mark circles and arcs on sheet metal. The divider has sharp metal points that cut into the metal as you move the divider. Once you have the lines, you can cut the metal with snips or another tool.


To use a divider, set the width of the divider to the radius of the circle you would like to mark.

Press one point of the divider into the center of the circle. Hold the point while rotating the other point in a circle.




Vice Grips


Vice grips are hand held tools used to clamp down an object. Vice grips are excellent for gripping objects that are tough to hold onto. Vice grips are commonly used on stripped screws or piping.


The vice grip has several parts including:

  • The handle,

  • The jaws,

  • The adjustment nut, and

  • The lever

You will hold the vice grip by the handles. The jaws of the vice grip will hold onto the object you are looking to lock down.


The adjustment nut is a nut at the end of the top handle. The adjustment nut determines the width of the jaws. To increase the width of the jaws, turn the nut counterclockwise. To decrease the width of the jaws, turn the nut clockwise.


The lever on a vice grip is used to release the vice from the material. Once the vice grip is locked, pressing the lever will cause the jaws to open and release the material.


To use a vice grip, start by adjusting the adjustment nut on the top handle. The jaws of the vice grip should be slightly larger than the object you are gripping. Place the object between the jaws of the vice grip.


Squeeze the handles together until you hear a clicking sound. The clicking sound means that the vice grip is “locked”. If you remove your hands, the vice grip will remain securely attached to the object.


To release the vice grip from the object, press the lever. Once the lever is released, open the jaws. Pull the vice grip away from the material.


In this module you learned about a variety of sheet metal tools:

  • A crimper,

  • Dividers, and

  • Vice grips

Each of these tools is critical to working with sheet metal.






Question #1: What measurements does a tape measure display?

  1. Feet

  2. Inches

  3. Fractions of an inch

  4. All of the above

Scroll down for the answer...
















Answer: All of the above

A tape measure can be used to measure feet, inches, and fractions of an inch.


Question #2: Calipers give you a more precise measurement than a tape measure.

  1. True

  2. False

Scroll down for the answer...








Answer: True

Calipers have more precision than a standard tape measure. A tape measure has the smallest measurement of 1/16th of an inch. A caliper can tell you an item is 1.004 inches.


Question #3: A tap adds threads to:

  1. An existing hole

  2. A fastener

  3. A wrench

  4. A screwdriver

Scroll down for the answer...












Answer: An existing hole

A tap is used to tap existing holes. As the tap goes into a hole, it cuts threads into the material.


Question #4: A die adds threads to:

  1. An existing hole

  2. A fastener

  3. A wrench

  4. A screwdriver

Scroll down for the answer...












Answer: A fastener

A die is used to add threads to a fastener - like a bolt.


Question #5: A chisel is used to chip, carve, or cut materials like wood and stone.

  1. True

  2. False

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Answer: True

True, chisels are fantastic for making small cuts into wood or stone.


Question #6: A level is used to:

  1. Determine if an object is flat

  2. Cut wood

  3. Thread a fastener

  4. Loosen bolts

Scroll down for the answer...














Answer: Determine if an object is flat

A level is used to determine if an object is flat. If the bubble is in the center of the tube, the object is flat.


Question #7: Right tin snips bend the cut sheet metal in which direction?

  1. Up and to the left

  2. Up and to the right

  3. Down and to the right

  4. Down and to the left

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Answer: Up and to the right

Right tin snips bend cut sheet metal up and to the right. They should be used when you are cutting the right side of sheet metal.


Question #8: You should strongly squeeze the handle of the seamer.

  1. True

  2. False

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Answer: False

You should lightly squeeze the handle of the seamer. Squeezing too hard can cause the sheet metal to break.


Question #9: The jaw with more blades should:

  1. Go on the inside of the pipe

  2. Go on the outside of the pipe

  3. Not be used

  4. Used on either the inside or outside of the pipe.

Scroll down for the answer...














Answer: Go on the inside of the pipe

The jaw with more blades should be placed on the inside of the pipe. If the jaw placement is incorrect, the pipe will not be crimped.

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