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WHAT IS BORING?

Boring, in the broadest sense of the term, is an operation that can be performed by almost any machine tool with a rotating spindle and a feed motion, and most of them (excluding grinders) do perform boring of one sort or another.
    But boring is also a specialized operation and often involves requirements that are best met by machines designed specifically for boring. This specialization has proceeded along several broad, general lines, and the requirements include such varied factors as precision, workpiece size, versatility, and high productivity.
    Therefore, the machines known as boring machines are quite a mixed group. In fact, about the only thing they all have in common is that their primary purpose, or at least one of their primary purposes, is to perform boring.
    First, though, let's analyze boring in general, so that all boring is included. Then we can zero in on the operations that are performed on the various boring machines themselves. 
    Boring can be defined as the machining of an internal surface under three conditions, all of which must be met:
    (1) with a single-point cutting tool.
    (2) with either the cutting or the workpiece rotating about the axis of the surface being machined, and
    (3) with a feed relationship between the workpiece and the tool in a direction parallel to the surface being machined.
    Actually, it is not uncommon to see a two-cutter boring tool, but the essential factor is that these tools could still do their work, even if they had only one cutting edge. Drilling, reaming, and tapping do not meet this requirement and are not included in boring. Milling is out because the cutter does not rotate about the axis of the surface being machined.
    Precision was not mentioned in the definition of boring because it is not a basic requirement. However, in common usage, boring usually implies work within fairly close limits-accurate diameters, most important, true, straight holes. In fact, this is often the reason why boring is performed in stead of drilling.
    In the range of bole sizes that can be finished by either drilling or boring, drilling is more economical, and boring is done only if the quality of the product demands it.

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Last modified: November 29, 2001