Machining and machine tools have a long history. Starting with simple tools our Neanderthal ancestors used, tools have evolved into boring tools, tool setters, and tool presetters. These tools have had a fascinating history, starting from the Renaissance to today.
Renaissance toolmaking was what made tool presetters possible. One of the earliest tools dates to 1483, which was a screw cutting lathe that used direct control of the path of the cutting tool. Other advances, such as the metal planer, milling machine, turret lathe and screw cutting lathe, were all in use by 1840.
Machining tools today are very advanced. Tool presetters are probe based devices that measure a form tool, and determine what precision cuts it needs. Boring tools can do challenging deep hole drilling and deep hole boring.
Today, machining is making a Renaissance, especially in the U.S. For decades, machine shops have migrated overseas for lower labor costs. Rising labor costs in Asia and increased transportation costs have reshored manufacturing and tools, like presetters. In fact, manufacturing has led the U.S. economic rebound after the 2008 financial crisis.
Less well known is that the quality of U.S. workers is better. They know how to use presetters and other tools. They have the skills to make tools. U.S. workers should be proud they are part of this rich history, and making quality products.