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Thread: working with sheet metal

  1. #31
    Fresh Paint
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: working with sheet metal

    i live in the u.s. ny. i don't need a super big one i need something that can roll sheet metal up to 12'' - 16" wide.

  2. #32
    High-tech Redneck crazybillybob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Currently Homeless

    Default Re: working with sheet metal

    Slip rollers are not cheap, the cheapest one is about $200
    HarborFreight 12" Slip Roller and only does up to 12" wide 20 gauge metal.

    The next one does 30" wide 20 Gauge, but also has a Shear and Press Brake built in, it's about $400
    HarborFreight 30" Sear, Press Break, and slip roll

    Now these Prices are with out shipping (these things are heavy up to 300+ lbs)
    and might now be the best quality, But they give you options!


  3. #33
    ^ Soon to be one. Computer-Geek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    New York

    Default Re: working with sheet metal

    hey fellow ny'er -naspc
    - Computer-Geek

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Las Vegas

    Default Re: working with sheet metal

    Nice basic start you have going here. I have a couple of things I'd like to add.

    Drilling ,
    Lube: As someone already stated most high speed tools are head treated. Cutting friction will cause these tools to heat up and fail. This is just as true of your run of the mill drill bit (in fact more) as it is for a carbide end mill. Machine shops use oil and other lubricant baths to keep the tooling cool and cutting properly. When we drill holes use machine oil or in worst case some 30wt motor oil to bathe the bit and hole preventing overheat. This will give you a cleaner faster cut and your bits will last longer.

    Backing: Another item when drilling holes, especially into sheet metal is to have a backing to drill into. I personally use scrap wood as I have a lot of it, but acrylic, acetel or any other soft solid surface will work. You’re going to cut into the backing so make sure it’s something you’re willing to have random holes cut into. Basically what you are doing is preventing the thin metal edges from pushing out as the drill goes through your workspace. This will keep the exit hole clean and in the case of thin sheet prevent tares.

    Center Punch: A good center punch can make the difference between a perfect hole and a total disaster. If you are using a drill or drill press this is a MUST have item. Harbor freight has a nice spring loaded punch for something like 5 dollars, so there is no excuse to not have one of these tools. This tool simply makes a small dent where you want to drill. This dent holds the drill bit in place and will prevent it from "walking" away from where you want to drill the hole.

    Drill Speed: The specific math for this can be found here for those who are cutting bigger things. From a modders perspective however we just want to know that the bigger the bit the slower you want to run it. Additionally you can drill aluminum parts faster as the materiel is softer and carries heat better than steel.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Las Vegas

    Default Re: working with sheet metal

    First off having been a Specialty Metals Welder\Fabricator I'll say there is alot more art and science to welding than I would even consider going into in a thread like this. If your serious about learning the basics hit up your local comunity college and take a class or two. Alot of times after you have the basics down the instructors will allow you to bring in your own project work and you can get grades for doing your mods

    I will put a couple of tips here for the folks who have some experience operating the gear and may want to do some sheet welding for a mod.

    Prepwork: Prep is 75% of a clean weld in steel and 85-90% with aluminum. If you just slap to peices of metal together and go to town you are not only going to have something that looks like ass but it also more than likely wont fit where you wanted it to go. Take the time to test fit everything, pick the apropriate joint for the weld you want to make and thouroghly prep your weld surface. Remember that butt and angle joints requrie space between them depending on the thickness of the materiel. Also practice on scrap and fine tune your settings.

    Know what you are welding and pick the filler and process acordingly. Mild steels are very forgiving on filler materiel, however Stainless and Aluminum are not. If you have questions about this your weld supplier will be able to sugest appropriate materiels to use with your particular project.

    Don't forget to clean your optics. When you are welding you get smoke etc in your face and it covers your lense. The problem is that with a 10 or 12 tint lense you dont notice this dirt build up and the next thing you know your welding your pliers to the table.

    Warpage: When it comes to sheet welding this will be one of your biggest enemies, even in the small scale of a PC mod. There are two things that can significantly help you with this. 1)Weld Hot and fast. Your heatscource will be at any given point for a shorter time and there will be less bleedthrough to the rest of the weldment. 2)Dont weld the whole thing in one go. Start from the inside and weld out.. go 4 inches then skip 4 etc.. then fill in the blank spots.

    Aluminum: Al is an interesting beast to weld. One of Aluminum's defining charitcteristics is that it forms an oxide skin on contact with air. The problem with this is that the oxide skin has a very high melting point and the aluminum has a very low melting point, if you dont clean your weld joint properly you will blow holes and make a huge ugly mess. Obviously tig is the 1st choice for welding this but a properly setup mig setup will do a nice job as well, even without a spool gun. The particulars of that are beyond the scope of this post, I may dedicate a thread to it later on or your more than welcome to hit me a PM if you have questions. End all be all, rememver clean.. very clean use a stainless brush to brush off the oxide at the minimum.

    After The weld: In the case of something as clean as what we want our mods to be you need to follow up and clean your welds. Even with an Inert gas process there will be contaminents left at the surface of your weld, if you paint over these they will cause corosion flaky paint etc.

    Additionaly resist the urge of quenching your weldment in water unless you have a specific metalurgical reason to do so. Quenching will change the properties of your weld, in the case of mild steel quenching typcialy hardens the weld causing it to be brittle and snap under stress. In most cases its best to just wait and let it air cool.
    Last edited by MrGoat; 12-24-2010 at 01:31 AM. Reason: added stuff

  6. #36
    Mentally Underclocked mDust's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: working with sheet metal

    It's never too late for great advice. +rep MrGoat
    I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

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