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Tool and Die Maker

Stamping dies on shelves

Tool making

Tool making typically means making tooling used to produce products. Common tooling includes metal forming rolls, cutting tools (such as tool bits and milling cutters), fixtures, or even whole machine tools used to manufacture, hold, or test products during their fabrication. Due to the unique nature of a toolmaker’s work, it is often necessary to fabricate custom tools or modify standard tools.

Die making

Die making is actually also tool making, but focuses primarily on making and maintaining dies. This often includes making punches, dies, steel rule dies, and die sets. Precision is key in die making; punches and dies must maintain proper clearance to produce parts accurately, and it is often necessary to have die sets machined with tolerances of less than one thousandth of an inch.

One person may be called upon for all of the above activities, and the skills and concepts involved overlap, which is why tool and die making is often viewed as one field.

At Bahrs Die & Stamping, our Tool and Die makers are engineers with over 60 years combined experience designing and building quality tools, dies and fixtures.

Tool and die makers are a unique class of machinists in the manufacturing industries who make fixtures, dies, machine tools, cutting tools, gauges, and other tools used in manufacturing processes. Tool and die makers are skilled artisans or craftspeople who typically learn their trade through a combination of academic coursework and hands-on instruction, with a substantial period of on-the-job training. Art and science are thoroughly intermixed in the work of tool and die makers, as they are also engineers. Manufacturing engineers and tool and die makers often work in close consultation as part of a manufacturing engineering team.

Working from engineering drawings developed by engineers and technologists, tool and die makers lay out or mark out the design on the raw material, usually metal. Tool and die makers then cut it to size and shape using machine tools, lathes, milling machines, grinding machines, power tools such as die grinders, rotary tools, and hand tools. Today, CNC, CAD, CAM, and other computer-aided technologies make it essential that tool and die makers have IT skills and the necessary equipment.

With over 60 years combined experience, the Tool and Die makers at Bahrs Die & Stamping have all of the traditional skills. They also have the digital skills and the equipment required for modern tool and die making.