Machine Tools Date Back To Ancient Egypt

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // Machine shop and engineering services, Manual mill

Manual mill

Machine tooling generally involves shaping wood, metal, and/or other materials using a variety of different techniques, from grinding and shearing to cutting and boring. A lathe, for example, rotates an object, removing excess material and ultimately whittling objects down into the desired shape. Today, manufactures use lathes to create gun barrels, candlesticks, table and furniture legs, and even musical instruments. Lathes, however, have a much more comprehensive history — with some of the earliest lathes dating as far back as Ancient Egypt.

How Did Ancient Egyptians Use Lathes?

Ancient Egyptians likely had extensive experience with machining techniques — and mostly owing to their great need. Pyramids required tons and tons of precisely cut and shaped limestone. Similarly, many Ancient Egyptian artifacts and structures also entailed the precise and heavy duty cutting of diorite and granite. “There is plenty of evidence that core-drills were used at Giza. The classic example being the tool-marks found inside the sarcophagus of the Great pyramid,” explains. Similarly, there are several cave paintings depicting Egyptians using types of machine tools, such as lathes.

Why Should You Care?

If you are not a historian or history buff, you may be thinking, “So what?” And that’s okay. And there are several answers to your question. The use of machine tools as far back as Ancient Egypt suggests a very important thing: these tools were reliable and efficient enough to use thousands and thousands of years ago. With modern improvements and machine tool repairs, machine tools can help cut, shape, and produce materials and generally perform functions that would otherwise be impossible. Today’s machine tools typically last much longer as well, thanks to regular maintenance, inspections, machine tool rebuilders, and machine tool repair services.

Machine tools and machining techniques have literally been around for thousands of years. Modern improvements, repairs, and maintenance only makes these tools more effective, and — for that reason — it is safe to say that they’re not going anywhere soon.

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