Tool and Die Technology

AWARD OFFERED Certificate (2 Semesters) *MTT is a prerequisite for Tool and Die Technology

Tool and Die Makers are among the most highly skilled workers in manufacturing and are knowledgeable in machining operations, mathematics, and blueprint reading. They must also be familiar with machining properties, such as hardness and heat tolerance, of a wide variety of metals, alloys, plastics, ceramics and other composite materials. Tool and Die Makers plan and execute the entire sequence of tool and die construction from design to final machined product. They perform the following tasks:

  • Study blueprints or specifications and visualize shape of die, part, or tool.
  • Compute dimensions of assembly and plan sequence of operations.
  • Measure, mark, and scribe metal or plastic stock to lay out machining, using instruments, such as protractors, micrometers, scribes, and rulers.
  • Set up and operate machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, and grinders, to machine parts.
  • Lift, position, and secure machined parts on surface plate or worktable, using hoist, vises, v-blocks, or angle plates.
  • Smooth and polish flat and contoured surfaces of parts or tools, using scrapers, abrasive stones, files, emery cloth, or power grinder.
  • Design tools, jigs, fixtures, and templates for use as work aids. Cast plastic tools or parts, or tungsten-carbide cutting tips, using pre-made molds.
  • Inspect die for smoothness, contour conformity, and defects by touch or visually, using loupe or microscope.

Tool and die making will appeal to those who enjoy solving practical, hands-on problems, working on their own, and making decisions. Tool and Die Makers need extreme patience and painstaking attention to detail since they must be precise to one ten-thousandth of an inch. Since the work involves intricate manipulation of tools and instruments, Tool and Die Makers need a mechanical aptitude, the ability to understand and analyze the workings of machinery, knowledge of shop mathematics, and the capacity to visualize mechanical and physical relationships between objects. Wallace State Tool and Die Technologists will be trained in a comprehensive program including design, setup, maintenance and repair. Other topics will include tig welding and metallurgy.

Median hourly wage-and-salary earnings of experienced tool and die makers were $18.99 in May 2012. The highet percent earned more than $28.75 per hour. Tool and die makers play a key role in building and maintaining advanced automated manufacturing equipment, which makes them less susceptible to lay-offs than other less-skilled production workers. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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Randy Moon, Department Chair

Gary McMinn, Instructor

Jonathan Minyard