What is Stock Removal?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2018
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Stock removal is a term that is generally used to describe the action of removing some amount of material from a workpiece. There are a number of different ways to go about this process, including common approaches like milling, drilling, grinding, filling and planing. The choice of how to go about the stock removal will often depend on the type of material involved, along with the type of piece that is being manufactured.

The idea of stock removal is common in many manufacturing applications, including anything that involves metalworking or woodworking. The idea is to remove any excess materials that will not be part of the final design of the object. For example, if the product is being created using metal components, grinding the components into the proper shape before joining is commenced would be an example of stock removal. In like manner, planing and sawing are common approaches to the stock removal process when it comes to woodworking projects such as building furniture.


One of the goals of stock removal is to aid in the reshaping of the raw materials to match the design for the finished product. An example of this type of activity can be found in the production of knives. Here, the goal is to shape the metal used for the blades into the proper thickness and form, often using grinding and other machining techniques to get rid of excess material that is not required. In this application, the metal may be heated to make the process of shaping easier to accomplish, then followed up with grinding to achieve the sharp edges needed for the knife.

Assuming that the handle for the blade will be composed of wood, the shaping of the wood using planing or some type of laving process may also be involved in the overall completion of each knife. Here, the stock removal is used to make sure the handle is the right size for the knife blade and that the handle will fit comfortably into the hand, minimizing the possibility of slippage and resulting in cuts to the hand during the usage of the device.

Stock removal can be used in both do-it-yourself projects at home as well as part of a larger manufacturing process in a plant environment. The scope of the building or manufacturing will also determine the exact methods that are used in the process. For simple home projects, removal tools will often be common devices such as hand mills, drills, and grinding wheels. Larger operations will utilize stock removal equipment that can stand up to repeated actions, making it possible to produce a number of finished units during the course of a workday.


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