Tag Archives: metal

  • Tips to tuning up your metal fab tools.

    You change the oil, rotate the tires, wax your car to keep it in tip-top shape right? Well why not your tools? Metal fabrication tools get used hard and often we forget that they need maintenance to keep them working well. I put together a handful of tips that will help you keep your tools cared for.  Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Beginners Metal Shaping Project- Making a panel blister.

    Metal shaping is one of those things that seems like black magic to beginners. There really is a science behind the process that takes quite some time to learn and understand. The quickest and easiest way to understand how metal shaping works on the granular level is by comparing it to pizza dough. The more you stretch it out, the thinner it gets and the excess material has to go somewhere (in the pizza's case its the rolled up crust) and the more you shrink the metal the thicker it gets and again it has to "go somewhere". I decided to demonstrate a great beginner project for gaining experience in metal shaping by making a panel blister out of a 12"x12"x12" piece of 5053 .035 aluminum. This process is great to help you understand the process and is pretty straight forward.   Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • MIG Welding Duty Cycles

    When you are using an arc welding machine, you will need to understand what its duty cycle is as it will help you preserve the life and quality of your tool. On this page, you will learn about what a duty cycle is and how it is relevant to MIG welders, specifically.

    The MIG Welding Duty Cycle

    When you purchase a MIG welder, you will notice a specification on the packaging or in the manual called the duty cycle. This refers to the amount of welding that can be achieved in a given amount of time. The reason this specification is important is it informs the user of how long the MIG welder can work at its optimum level, since MIG welders, or any other welders, do not perform continuously as opposed to some other automotive tools that do.

    A perfect example of a duty cycle can be found in the Eastwood MIG 175 Amp Welder. The MIG 175 has a rated duty cycle of 30% at 130 amps. This means that the power signal of the MIG 175 should remain on for 30% of the time and off 70% of the time at 130 amps of power. If you look at your welding time in increments of 10 minutes, the duty cycle is a percentage of that 10 minute increment. In other words, with a 30% duty cycle at 130 amps, you can weld for three solid minutes and should let the welder cool off for seven minutes. You can increase the duty cycle percentage by turning down the amperage output, but going above the amp output (in this case, 130 amps) will yield a lower duty cycle. If you exceed the duty cycle and the breaker is tripped, allow the MIG welder to cool down for at least 15 minutes. A rated duty cycle on any MIG welding machine is there to protect you and your welder from any long-lasting damage.

    To learn more about MIG welding and for more automotive articles, be sure to visit Eastwood.com.

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  • Street Rodder Road Tour 51 Ford Custom- More Metal Work, Filler, and sanding.. lots of it!

    The crew at Honesty Charley and Street Rodder Magazine have been doing a great job of keeping the 2013 Road Tour car under wraps. We've been bugging them for a while for some teasers and they finally shot us a few photos to keep us enticed.

    As we mentioned in previous posts, this car has had a lot of rust repair done already and equally as much custom work done. The work continues as they are whipping up some panels for the car using their Eastwood Shrinker Stretcher Set and Plastic Metal Shaping Mallets to build some panels that needed some shape built into them. Who can guess what part they're building in the photos below?!

    While some of the guys are working on some final metal fabrication, the rest of the team are starting on the body work in the areas they customized and repaired already. The tedious job of block sanding the car has been made a little easier with the use of Soft Sander Sanding Blocks and the Adjustable Flexible Sanding Blocks. The car is moving along quickly and we hear it should be getting some primer and color any day now. As soon as we smuggle some pics of the car in color you'll be the first to see it! Stay tuned!

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  • We have a Brake Pedal and The Firewall Becomes Three Dimensional

    In the last update I was working on cutting out metal to make the firewall and mocking up my new brake pedal setup from Speedway. Since then I've been pretty busy making something from nothing. I had to initially tackle how I was going to mount the brake booster and pedal assembly under the cab. The first problem was that where the pedal bracket needed to live the S10 chassis started to pinch in and put the pedal on a weird angle. This kit was made for an earlier frame that's mostly straight/flat and like anything with a custom build, I had to get creative.

    I first used some jack stands to hold the brake assembly in place and eyeball up the position it needed to be in. I then traced out the area that the mounting pad for the pedal bracket needed to sit. I decided I could make a "cheese wedge" shaped mounting box that I could sink into the frame rail so that the pedal bracket would sit straight and everything would jive. I used 1/4" plate and copied the mounting holes to the base plate and welded the mounting bolts to the plate since they'd be hidden once the box was built. I used our Small Magnetic Welding Jig Set to square up the pieces and welded them together with the TIG200 DC Welder. The result was a strong mounting box I could sink into the frame and mount to the pedal box. I made my cuts in the chassis and mounted the box into the frame. Once I was sure it was square, I tack welded it into place with the MIG175 Welder.

    Now that I had the shiny Right Stuff Brake Parts mounted in place I dropped the air suspension and checked my clearance when aired out. The booster sits a couple inches below the chassis, but even when the body is sitting on the ground the booster has 4 inches or more of clearance. I'd probably rip the front end off before the brake parts were touched. That would be a BAD section of road even here on the east coast!

    My celebration of having a brake setup was cut short when I slide the Speedway brake pedal on and found that the brake pedal landed where my throttle pedal should be. I like to heel-toe my brake and throttle when driving.. but this was unacceptable! I decided to cut apart the brake pedal arm, shorten it, brace it and move the pedal over a few inches so that it sat where a brake pedal should. I also had to "clock" the mounting tab for the linkage under the pedal so that the pedal sits up high enough that it won't contact the chassis when I am pushing the pedal. I again used 1/4" steel plate and the TIG200 DC to box and brace the pedal to handle the force of pressing the brake pedal. Don't mind the rough floor in the photos, we just welded that in temporarily to keep the cab from flopping around while we worked on the roof chop and the firewall.

    With the brake parts mounted in place I could finally turn my attention back to the firewall and engine/transmission tunnel. I started by making the back side of the firewall setback. I used one of our Adjustable Profile Gauges to transfer the radius of the top of the TCI Auto Transmission to the panel. After tracing out my pattern I cut the rough shape out of 16 gauge steel with our Electric Metal Shears. Now the electric shears work really great for cutting laser straight lines and gentle curves, but when you need to make a tighter radius cut those shears are out of their element. I decided to mount up one of our Throatless Shears to make the cuts I needed. The nice thing about the "throatless" shear is that you can go as slow or fast as you want so that you can make some really clean, accurate cuts. I cut out the top curves to match the top panel I made on the english wheel, then cut the transmission tunnel radius and I had my second panel of the firewall made.

    Now with the back panel of the firewall channel made, I decided that I wanted to ditch the panel I made on the english wheel and form the panel out of one piece. I decided to use 18 gauge steel and form the piece using our Shrinker Stretcher Kit to make the panel match the radius of the main portion of the firewall we had made already. I cut a piece of 18 gauge a little longer than I needed and broke a 1/2" bend on each side of the panel. These edges will allow me to work them with the stretcher to get the radius I need on the panel. This panel was a little more difficult to make as I had to evenly stretch each side little by little as I went to get the shape the same on the entire panel. I actually went a little far when initially stretching the shape I needed and I had to work backwards with the shrinker in a few spots to get the panel back into shape to match the panel. That's the nice thing with metal is that you can always undo what you've done if you stretched or bent the metal a little too much. Once I got the shape close, I used the hammer and dolly to match the rolled edge we made earlier match with this new panel. Then I used Cleco Clamps to hold the pieces together.

    Now that I have the pieces in place I can start to see everything taking shape. I need to tackle making the wheel tubs for the front wheels and the transmission tunnel next. I'm hoping I'll be able to start melting all of this metal together with an Eastwood Welder shortly! Thanks for watching!

    -Matt/EW

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