There are three main methods of shaping metal by a machine in a commercial setting:
Metal can be turned in a lathe, which can be hand operated or controlled via a computer on a computer numerical controlled (CNC) lathe. A lathe spins the work at high speed as a cutting tool is introduced to the metal to produce round and cylindrical shapes. Round pieces of metal are held in a lathe using a three-jaw chuck, and metal that is not round is held by a four-jaw chuck.
Metal can be shaped using a milling machine - a very versatile tool for smoothing a surface or edge and for cutting grooves and profiles. Milling machines can work either horizontally (horizontal milling machine) or vertically (vertical milling machine) - both machines perform the same tasks; the main difference is the direction the cutting tool is held.
If a part is too complex to shape by hand or on a milling machine, it can be cast by melting metal and then pouring it into a mould. It is possible to cast pewter quite easily. The melting point is low, around 200°C, and moulds can be made from laser-cut or hand-shaped medium-density fibreboard (MDF).
Sandcasting can be used to cast larger and more complex shapes as it uses a two-part mould: