Tag Archives: metal fab

  • How to Fit Seat Sliders to Your Hot Rod Seat

    The older the car you're working on, the harder it can be to find usable parts you need. This becomes increasingly difficult when you get into cars that were short production or year runs. The iconic 1932 Ford is the most covenanted cars to build a hot rod out of. Being that they are a one year only body style, parts get expensive quick (especially original parts!). The seat slider mechanisms for an original '32 Ford seat are as rare as hens teeth and command a pretty penny when you do come across one complete! Recently my friend Ace asked me to help with the task of getting his reupholstered original seat to bolt into the car AND slide easily. I decided to take some photos along the way and show our low-budget (and fairly low tech) fix.   Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • 5 Easy Ways to Strengthen Sheet Metal

    When you get a piece of flat sheet metal it tends to be very weak and it can be bent quite easily. So if it is so weak, why do we use this stuff for the bodies of our cars? Why not a heavier metal like metal plate? If we did that our cars would all be styled like and as heavy as a tank! This means none of those beautiful curves you see on classic cars (I don't want to live in that world!).  Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Plasma Cutters & Plasma Cutting FAQ

    plasma cutter can cut anything that is electrically conductive, which means all metals. Some metals conduct better than others, or melt at a lower temperature and therefor cut easier, but pretty much all of them can be cut. You would be surprised at just how thick of a piece of structural steel can be easily cut with the most basic of plasma machines.  Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Metal Cutting & Shears FAQ

    Can I cut sheet metal with a plasma cutter? – Sure you could cut sheet metal with a plasma cutter, if you have one, but it’s can be like hunting ducks with a bazooka. Plasma cutters will easily cut through metal from over 1 inch thick, to thin body work thickness. But if you are planning on cutting sheet metal for body work make sure you plasma cutter has fresh consumables and is "tuned in" with the correct settings or it could leave a rough edge on the metal that is more work to clean up than the actual cutting. Plasma cutting is best used for metal thicker than the 18 gauge that can't be easily cut with sheers or snips.

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    Can I use an oxy-acetylene cutting torch for sheet metal? – Yes, but the edge left on the metal will be even rougher than the plasma cutter. Again, the cutting torch is best used for more structural steel thicker than the 18 gauge that can't be cut with mechanical means.

    What is the difference between shears and snips? – There isn’t really much difference in function between shears and snips. Typically snips are just like super heavy duty scissors that can cut through metal with nothing more than a little leverage and the strength of your hand. Shears feature much greater mechanical advantage, or are powered by compressed air or electricity.

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    I need to cut a complex curved shape in sheet metal, what do I use? – The simplest way to cut a curve in sheet metal are right or left handed aviation or tin snips. They are small and can even be used to cut holes in sheet metal that is still a part of your project car. For shop use a bench mounted throatless shear can be very useful for making curved cuts.  For real tight curves the nibbler shears can be dropped into a ¼ inch hole in the middle of a panel and make very tight curves.

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    Is there a simple and effective way to punch round holes in sheet metal without distorting it? – Eastwood’s heavy duty punch kit will put perfectly round holes up to ¼ inch and a bit larger in most metals up to 16 gauge thick. It is designed with mechanical advantage to deliver 2000lbs of force with just your hand. It is a much better, neater option than trying to drill holes without distorting the metal.

    What is the difference between the red, green and yellow snips? – The yellow handle snips are to cut straight lines, and can’t form curves very well. Green handled snips are for cutting curves that go toward the right, or clockwise. Red handled snips are for cutting to the left or counter clockwise. This is basically a universal color code used by all manufacturers that was set in the Aviation industry.

    Are there any special precautions for working with sheet metal? – Good gloves are a must. Recently cut sheet metal is surprisingly sharp. Just a little slip can cause a serious cut on your hand, wrist or arm. Otherwise, no special precautions, just the usual gear like safety glasses.

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  • How to Control Warpage on Sheet Metal on a Weld Joint with Gene Winfield

    There's a misconception among enthusiasts and even some professional body guys about welding sheet metal. The fact is that no matter how good or careful you are, metal WILL warp when you're welding on sheet metal.   Click Here To Read Full Post...