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OG13 King
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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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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.
 

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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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For you guys that use band saws to cut tabs ect. Do you use any kind of fluid to lubricate/keep the blade cool? One of the local metal supply houses uses a water soluable solution and they say it triples the life. The reason Im asking is because Im looking around for a table saw and want to see what my options are. Pics?
 

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For you guys that use band saws to cut tabs ect. Do you use any kind of fluid to lubricate/keep the blade cool? One of the local metal supply houses uses a water soluable solution and they say it triples the life. The reason Im asking is because Im looking around for a table saw and want to see what my options are. Pics?
Obviously use a blade with a higher tooth count, it'll be better for cutting cold rolled. At work we use some sort of wax that looks like its in a grease can container that prolongs the life of blades.
 

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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.
That's why I try to pilot drill when I use my HF step drills. I just realized i've had the same set since '06 and I never did much sheetmetal at all until recently.

To add some quick tech. This is one that a lot of ppl probably know but it was one of those moments of enlightenment when shortbus showed it to me years ago. Let's say you need to make some tabs out of 1.5" wide flat stock and want to drill holes centered along the width. You could measure out .75" at every place you want a hole along the length, or mark .75 at either end and use a long ruler to make a line but all of that is a bit cumbersome. Set the calipers at .750" and run the top of the jaw along one edge, using the bottom jaw as a scribe. You now have a quick accurate center line. The same thing applies for panels or larger brackets, anything really. I also use them as a compass and to layout bolt patterns with some basic math and intersecting arcs. Calipers really help me speed up the one-off fabricated bracket/tab type of stuff.

I've always been fascinated by layout and know there's a ton of cool tools out there and it would be nice if someone posted some up layout tips and tricks. Yeh cad is faster but i'm not an engineer/graphics guy so doing a lot of manual layout really helped me break more complicated things into simple geometry when i finally started playing with cad.
 

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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 normally hole saw only halfway through, than drill the inside hole. Then use the hole saw again to go right through. Once the hole saw made a track, it wont need the arbor drill anymore.

Daan
 

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I use a water based coolant. It is white in color once you add water to it. looks like motor oil before you add the water. It doesn't allow the parts to rust and keeps the blades and tools cool. This is what is used in surface grinders, mills and other machines at a machine shop.
 

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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've got a bigger v notch in my drill press vise jaws. I just clamp them in. If your worried about marring them you could make a set of drop in soft Jaws with a v Notch.
 

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That's why I try to pilot drill when I use my HF step drills. I just realized i've had the same set since '06 and I never did much sheetmetal at all until recently.

To add some quick tech. This is one that a lot of ppl probably know but it was one of those moments of enlightenment when shortbus showed it to me years ago. Let's say you need to make some tabs out of 1.5" wide flat stock and want to drill holes centered along the width. You could measure out .75" at every place you want a hole along the length, or mark .75 at either end and use a long ruler to make a line but all of that is a bit cumbersome. Set the calipers at .750" and run the top of the jaw along one edge, using the bottom jaw as a scribe. You now have a quick accurate center line. The same thing applies for panels or larger brackets, anything really. I also use them as a compass and to layout bolt patterns with some basic math and intersecting arcs. Calipers really help me speed up the one-off fabricated bracket/tab type of stuff.

I've always been fascinated by layout and know there's a ton of cool tools out there and it would be nice if someone posted some up layout tips and tricks. Yeh cad is faster but i'm not an engineer/graphics guy so doing a lot of manual layout really helped me break more complicated things into simple geometry when i finally started playing with cad.
My only add on is not to use nice calipers as a scribe. The harbor freight digital 0-6in ones are decent (their flyer says they'll be on sale for $9.99 the week after thanksgiving). I've used these head to head with nice once, and they are pretty close usually (+/-.002) on the OD. ID and depth isn't as good, maybe +/-.005. Perfect for scribes and throwing around the garage.

Layout fluid is nice to help you see scribed lines, but spray paint will do in a pinch.

For drilling holes if you have CAD (or maybe even Google Sketch-up dont know if you can print perfectly from it), I'll often print out a pattern 1:1 scale so I can transfer punch it. I did this for my winch plate, which was already on the truck and I didn't want to take it off to drill 4 holes. Came out perfect. Word of advice: check your patterns against a ruler first, some printers need some setup to print to scale correctly.
 

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I know its not the tech this thread is about, but I mounted a box to the front of my welder with outlets wired to the welder power supply cord so I have instant extension cord with the welder at all times
 

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I don't weld every day and my welder always has a bunch of crap on it like gloves, clamps, etc so I wrote all the settings for each thickness of material on the outside. Now I don't need to clear it off and open it and look at the chart.
 

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I know its not the tech this thread is about, but I mounted a box to the front of my welder with outlets wired to the welder power supply cord so I have instant extension cord with the welder at all times
you run 4 wire to the welder? mine only came with 3 wire
 

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I dunno if everybody does this or not, but for making panels on tubing (like side panels), what I do is to tape a piece of posterboard over the opening.

Then I get a piece of tube that has not been cleaned, and slide it over the work surface while keep the tube touching at least two tubes of the surface I'm tracing onto.

The scrap tube rubs the outline in dirt on the high spots of the tube to the outside of the poster board recreating the shape of your desired panel.

Untape, trim it out with some scissors, and you have a good template to trace and cut on. If you want the panel to sit in a bit, just mark the lines in a little and re-cut the template before tracing.
 

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I normally hole saw only halfway through, than drill the inside hole. Then use the hole saw again to go right through. Once the hole saw made a track, it wont need the arbor drill anymore.

Daan
This is how I do them as well.:grinpimp:
 

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Just curious how fast you guys are spinning your hole saws? Everytime I try and drill one either 1.75 or 3" it ends up walking regardless of what I do. Just wondering if spinning them too fast might be causing problems as I cannot think of anything else.
 
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