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Old 10-31-2009, 11:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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General metal fabrication

Here is a place to see, show and learn simple fabrication. Tips, tricks and processes other people use that would make fabricating basic parts that we use on our wheelers easier if we only knew.
It's kind of like this thread but up to date and more focused on the processes.
It's not a thread about plasma tables, CNC lathes and other higher end equipment but how to fabricate with basic tools. It's also not about the tools so much, but how they can be used.

I'll go first
Tip: If you can, drill all holes first before cutting material to size. The parent material makes a good handle while working on your piece.
Here, a hole saw is used for the half rounds and a step drill is used for the smaller hole because it's fast, makes a clean hole and leaves a nice chamfer.

( Since the material used here is 4130, I should have made the circle cut outs with the hole saw complete so that they could have then been turned into weld washers )
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When you get into machining there's always a better thing to do first the more complicated the part the more before thought required- There are parts We make that require many different steps -in a peticular order or the out come is shiatty . The durability c/v we designed went thru stages and we learned as we went - its sometimes time consuming and does not bear fruit right off the batt . I have sold maybe 45 so far -there 1k each -and have another 15 next week to make happen -Jess
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This could be an awesome thread JR.


How about plasma templates for hand cutting.
We use 3/16-1/4" dustboard, cut with a jigsaw 3/16" smaller than needed(the distance from the edge of the plasma tip to the edge of the cut)
Just clamp it down and trace.

(I'll add a pic when I can dig one up)
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So what did you cut the rest of the material out with? Plasma, torch, jig saw? If offering this a tips and how to then make it complete. This is a good idea as I have people asking me how I make certain things. All I have is torch, henrob, cut-off wheel, jig-saw,saw-zall, chop saw and a large horizontal band-saw for cutting material. I would like a plasma but haven't dropped the coin for a good one yet. But I have took my time and made some nice parts with what I got.

I made this front truss by laying out my design from a piece of card board. Using my torch to cut it out. A flap disc on a grinder to clean it up. Then I cut out some 1/8" material 2 pieces each to fit width and length to the point. I used a hammer and bent the 1/8" to fit the radius. Welded everything up and used a flap disc to clean it up.

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Last edited by CaglezXJ; 11-01-2009 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know what dustboard is....

Quote:
Originally Posted by spidr View Post
This could be an awesome thread JR.


How about plasma templates for hand cutting.
We use 3/16-1/4" dustboard, cut with a jigsaw 3/16" smaller than needed(the distance from the edge of the plasma tip to the edge of the cut)
Just clamp it down and trace.

(I'll add a pic when I can dig one up)

But I do the same thing with 1/4" finished birch plywood. If you use a good jigsaw and a fresh blade you have a very clean line, depending only on how well you follow it. Great for repeatable cuts. It also is good to use just for exact copies when only marking to cut with another tool if you don't have a plasma.
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My tip of the day for backyard fabbers is- When you tack anything, if its possible only tack the outer edges so when you runn your bead you dont have to work around a tack in the center of your pass.

One of my biggest pet peeves.
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Heres one I recently started doing....

Since I always end up with alot of scrap pieces of tube 4"-6" I started to just notch both ends in 5 degree increments...

so I end up with a tube with a 5 degree on one end and a 10 degree on the other,next tube has a 15 degree and a 20 and so on....

these come in super handy when you need to know the correct notch angle(especially if if your notch intersects with a bend!!!) and cant tell if you need a 20 or a 30 degree notch....by having these scrap pieces around you can hold one up and know what your notch needs to be.

(note: if anyone needs pics I can get them for ya but I thing its pretty self explanitory....)

Also...

Before you go and buy one of these liquid filled angle finders(that are pretty hard to read....)



A piece of scrap tube,flat plate and a nut/bolt can build you something cheaper and easier to read!!!



Go to sears and buy this digital torpedo level that happens to have a magnet that keeps it stuck....


This tool comes in handy in multi-plane bends as well as two bends in phase...
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I use damn near the exact setup for my rotational bends...I love my digital level...works great. The only difference is that my jig to hold it to the tube uses a couple pieces of angle iron welded together and a nut welded to it..I'll add pics later to show.
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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A router can cut aluminum... I rought cut this plate to make a t-case adapter with a band saw. Bolted it to the t-case then finished it off with a 2 flute flush cut router bit in a router. The plate is 3/4" thick. I used wd-40 to for lubrication

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Old 11-01-2009, 07:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaglezXJ View Post
So what did you cut the rest of the material out with? Plasma, torch, jig saw? If offering this a tips and how to then make it complete.
The focus of my tip was not about how the pieces were cut and trimmed. I left that up to whatever means people have (skinny wheel, jig saw,plasma, etc)
I personally use a band saw and a belt sander but a skinny wheel and hand grinder with a flap wheel would work fine.

My thought is that if the focus is on the tip rather than the whole project, then the post will not get bogged down with too much detail.

Last edited by JR; 11-01-2009 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Great idea.


When I make tabs like this I make them mirror about the large hole center, thatway one holesaw cut is used for two brackets.

Tip, I fab my axle bracket like this out of 3.5" strip steel, that way I have less cutting.
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Last edited by 1wook; 11-01-2009 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Nice thread so far.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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it may be a bit more expensive but if you have std width tabs (say 3" or 4") buy flat bar rather than a piece of plate. That way the edges are always straight and pre rounded!

Great thread.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:14 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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A piece of scrap tube,flat plate and a nut/bolt can build you something cheaper and easier to read!!!
And I thought I was the only one doing this...ha,ha.

Same thing as Rock Ape only I dedicated a set of tube clamp piers (IMS $10.95)
and welded flat bar to it. The level is secured with thumb screws.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Weld washers.
Drilling either the inside hole or hole sawing the outside is easy. It's holding the little guy without marring it all up to do the second process is the trick.
What I do is hole saw the blank first all the way through, then tack it back in place to hold it for drilling the inside hole to the final diameter. Then cut the tacks and do a little finish sanding.
Pictured are 1-3/4 diameter washers with 3/4" inside holes.

How else do people do it?
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:49 AM   #16 (permalink)
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here's one if your machining a tube yoke out on say a toyota and you want to go thicker tubing - do 3 tack welds on the inside tube to yoke - and the last tack weld let it bleed thru the tube -now the bleed thru spot show the end of the journal - so use a v tool back a fourth close to the edge of the journal size your piece which is below the oem size to fit into thicker tube- the last step machine thru the weld usually going away fromt eh chuck and gravity will take the rest- the piece normally will fall off into the chip trey . My Father Taught me that . Its hard to hold onto a tube yoke end on a drivelien because you usually need a custom made blunt center . Maybe a pic if anyone is interested- Good stuff so though- Jess
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My step drill bits must be real pieces of junk. I hate using those things on anything other than sheetmetal and even then I don't really care for them.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:33 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:03 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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My step drill bits must be real pieces of junk. I hate using those things on anything other than sheetmetal and even then I don't really care for them.
Buy some from Harbor Freight. Seriously. I shattered one of the $40 Irwin bits and had pretty much given up on them. Then I discovered the HF units and they're awesome. I drill probably 90% of my holes with them. I think I've only shattered one and @ $8(on sale) for a 3 pack, they're cheap enough to replace when they start to get dull.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:04 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1wook View Post
Great idea.


When I make tabs like this I make them mirror about the large hole center, thatway one holesaw cut is used for two brackets.

Tip, I fab my axle bracket like this out of 3.5" strip steel, that way I have less cutting.
Ditto, AND you get a drop to make a weld washer out of
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:06 AM   #21 (permalink)
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My step drill bits must be real pieces of junk. I hate using those things on anything other than sheetmetal and even then I don't really care for them.
I finally broke down and bought a good set of step drills. Just take care of them by not spinning them too fast and keeping them cool with oil. Once the initial step is dull, the whole thing is junk.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:16 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I ended up making a new horseshoe piece for my bender (left) so I could make alternate bends within a decent distance of each other.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:53 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I ended up making a new horseshoe piece for my bender (left) so I could make alternate bends within a decent distance of each other.
Damn good idea there
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:07 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Heres one I recently started doing....

Since I always end up with alot of scrap pieces of tube 4"-6" I started to just notch both ends in 5 degree increments...

so I end up with a tube with a 5 degree on one end and a 10 degree on the other,next tube has a 15 degree and a 20 and so on....

these come in super handy when you need to know the correct notch angle(especially if if your notch intersects with a bend!!!) and cant tell if you need a 20 or a 30 degree notch....by having these scrap pieces around you can hold one up and know what your notch needs to be.

(note: if anyone needs pics I can get them for ya but I thing its pretty self explanitory....)

Also...

Before you go and buy one of these liquid filled angle finders(that are pretty hard to read....)



A piece of scrap tube,flat plate and a nut/bolt can build you something cheaper and easier to read!!!



Go to sears and buy this digital torpedo level that happens to have a magnet that keeps it stuck....


This tool comes in handy in multi-plane bends as well as two bends in phase...
i've also used a muffler clamp. dosent hold the level but has worked for me, i'll be making one of your get ups though.

Last edited by APU; 11-01-2009 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:44 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Weld washers.
Drilling either the inside hole or hole sawing the outside is easy. It's holding the little guy without marring it all up to do the second process is the trick.
What I do is hole saw the blank first all the way through, then tack it back in place to hold it for drilling the inside hole to the final diameter. Then cut the tacks and do a little finish sanding.
Pictured are 1-3/4 diameter washers with 3/4" inside holes.

How else do people do it?
I just have a set of solid rods that have been turned down on one end to fit in the pilot bit part of the hole saw arbour. Simply drill your center holes to the desired size, insert the right size rod in the hole saw arbour and finish the washer. If you don't want to make up a complete set you can use bronze bushings as spacers etc.

If a lathe idiot like me can make the bits on a lathe anyone can...
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