Metalworking is a broad term that refers to a range of methods used to transform raw sheet metal into components and products. Steel forming technology is constantly evolving. Although it is difficult to find a blacksmith who pounds red hot steel using hand tools, the basic principles are the same. Forging and fabricating of blacksmiths are the most common methods used today by Aussie Outback Supplies.
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Fabrication is the general term for cutting, forming, and assembling processed metals. These processes add value to the metal and often produce welds that are stronger than the base material. Heavy machinery is used in fabric shops, such as laser cutting tables and press brakes. These machines can be combined to make components for larger projects or final products for customers.
Forging an industrial metalworking process where heated metal is shaped by repeated pounding using heavy machinery. Although not exactly the same as a blacksmith making horseshoes using a hammer, it is close enough.
To Forge or to Make
Each manufacturing process has its own pros and cons, depending on the product being made. Here are some key comparisons:
Forging costs are higher than blacksmith fabrication because the material required for fabrication is heavier. Forging requires extra processing; longer hours mean higher costs.
All common methods of blacksmith fabrication include plate rolling, press brakes, cutting tables, and pressing. However, expensive equipment is necessary to be precise and can handle multiple materials and projects.