metalworking tools....

72cruiser

 
 
 
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sup fellas,

just lookin through some of eshan's posts on pirate dealing with his halfdoors...(which are sicknasty, by the way)

i searched for this, but didn't really find anything conclusive, so here's my question:


what metalworking tools would you get? (i have none as of now. i have access to tig, mig, etc and an air compressor, but i'm more interested in hand tools...)

i have no clue as to the proper name for the various funny-shaped hammers and stuff like that, so, enlighten me, ha ha.

i wouldn't mind dropping a couple hundred bucks into this, so knock yourselves out




malphrus
(beginning search on google as of....now.)
 
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If you have a compressor I would say an air nibbler for sure, something to cut your metal without making a mess. Check out harborfreight.com and be sure to go in with no less the $500! Most of their stuff will get the job done but keep in mind, in many cases it'll be 30% or less of what a snap-on tool costs so while you get what you pay for most of it is just fine for the home hobbiest.

Also, metal working is a hard one to encompass as a lathe will run you $900 but I doubt you need that, I would get a pipe bender ($125) and some sanders, cutters and other things along those lines and you should be set for most jobs. Oh, and a cut off saw, like a chop box but a bigger wheel for metal.
 
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Malph get one of those little hammers and the block like they use on american hot rod. Then let me borrow it when I'm doing work on my cruiser. Seriously though I have learned a lot on there and on some of those shows on spike tv on sat morning.
 
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Ride in VA now in NOVA
Cant go wrong with the metal hammers $25 from northerntool.com!!! great for knocking out post trail dents! A angle grinder $60-80 is key for the real thick metal but a simple skill saw $50 with a metal bit does wonders too. And definatly do your research and pick a good welder, I went cheap with a $275 115 MIG farmhand cause you can operate it off an extention cord and its wire feed. Done all metal work with mine so far even boxing the rear portions of the frame.

Peace
Neal
 
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One thing I would love to have is a metal stretcher and shrinker to bend some metal with, works good to shape the flange for body panels. Next thing to get though is a tubing bender, already have a commercial welder. Also a good bench press, but I want to go with a mill/lathe for those really special jobs.... when I win the lottery
 

Gus

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As far as hand tools go for sheet metal fab, in addition to Eastwood or Snap-on check out www.autobodyhandtools.com . You'll definently want a few body hammers, (the vertical or curved chisel and pick hammers I find to be the most versatile). A few dolleys (the metal blocks), A General purpose/Universal dolley, a Toe dolley and Heel dolley are all nice ones to have(you can make your own out of pretty much any solid block of steel, i.e peice of rail road track. A spoon or two are nice to have around as well as a slapper(wood and/or steel) A shot bag and plastic mallets will allow you to get pretty crafty. Left, right and straight metal shears are very handy. A torch is usefull for anealling metal and heat shrinking. Forms/anvils are very usefull things for shaping simple curves, A steel tube or pipe can be easily used to creat radiused bends. Most of these tools can be made at home or you can improvise a bit and use regular shop stuff as shaping tools (i.e two peices of angle iron clamped to a work bench can be used as a sheet metal brake). There are ton of very cool, but $$$$$$$$$ bigger metal fab tools out there, but you can do almost all the same things with the previously mentioned tools and some determination coupled with patients. Before you even bend a peice of sheet metal a collection of drafting/crafts/layout tools are a mandatory: a compass, scribes, sharpie, squares, rulers, tape measures, card board/card stock for templates, etc, etc. It pays to make a template(s) of what you want to fabricate out of cardboard, card stock or some heavy construction paper, make all you sizing/adjustments with the template then use it as a guide when working the sheet metal.
You said you have access to MIG & TIG, use the TIG as much as possible, it produces a softer weld, thus you can go back and hammer on dolly the weld bead to smooth it out a bit; MIG produces too hard of a weld to do this. Gas welding produces the softest weld(that I know of off hand) but has a huge heat affect zone thus it's easy to warp the hell out of your sheet metal; that said you can hammer & dolley it back into shape in most cases with out much trouble. A few of the old-school hot rod guys do a lot of gas welding on sheetmetal, Gene Winfield and George Barris(both respinsible for countless movie cars and famous street rods) among others; their work speaks for itself.
Sheet matel fab is a very rewarding(not to mention satisfying) set of skills, it's kind of like creating functional sculture.
 

72cruiser

 
 
 
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yeah gus, that's what i'm talkin about, hammers and dollies and stuff like that....

i have a 40 therefore i already have a side grinder and sawzall (don't they just come together? some sort of combo deal?) i should own effin stock in blades and cutwheels, ha ha.

thanks guys, i'll probably post up what stuff i'm lookin to buy in a day or two after i make some decisions


also, any local-type stores other than northern tool or harbor freight?


malphrus
 
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I would recomed; quality welder, quality angle grinder, ballpeen hammer, chop saw, various files, magnetic triangles, C clamps galore, torch, drill press. Other things that are nice but may not apply to you are a tube bender and some sort of tube notcher. Finally, metal work can require a lot of patience.
 

honk

 
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This should be in "outfitting"?

Anyway, cutting metals is the biggest headache in metalworking. Sometimes just getting a piece of stock the right size to START a project can take hours without good cutting equipment.

So I'd look at a horizontal bandsaw, a set of torches (and a course in cutting/welding with gas if yo can find one anymore), a nibbler, and electric jigsaw, a recip, and of course a good top quality hacksaw. Buy good files and take good care of them. You can get a decent starter set of hammers and dollies at Harbor Freight for less than $30.00. Using those well takes a lot of practice so a small cheap set will be fine for a long time.

If there's any way that you can find someone who knows what he's doing and is willing to have you around being a pain in the ass grab the opportunity. I'm not kidding here - there are a lot of ways to do a job wrong and working your way through them could take years of your life.
 

72cruiser

 
 
 
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honk said:
This should be in "outfitting"?

yeah, but nobody ever goes there, ha ha

thanks for the suggestions guys, i'll let you know how the search goes...

i'm headin to northern tool right in a bit here to look for some stuff, this included



malphrus
 
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