clang clang clang...

I love metal. LOVE it. I generally work with sheet metal and create all kinds of things seen here, but sometimes I work on other things. Like tools to help me work with sheet metal.


2011-02-13 19:52:17
by: jovial_cynic

After some use, I realized that having the helping-hand tool so close to me while working was annoying, so I took the cutting torch to another spot towards the back of the 3/4" plate. My workspace now has two hardy-holes, the rear one that'll likely keep the helping-hand in place full-time, and the front one that I'll keep free unless I need to do some shaping.

comments [0]

np category: forging
technorati tags:


2011-02-02 22:41:31
by: jovial_cynic
I've been looking for some chunks of metal with interesting curves to use to shape sheet metal. There's a local metal scrapyard that has an odd assortment of things coming in every day, and I figured I'd probably find something interesting.

I found this odd thing. I have no clue what it is, but I know that it spins inside that casing.

I also noticed that it has a 1.25" square hole on both ends, which makes it convenient to mount onto a shaft that'll fit into the hardy hole on my steel slab.

The casing comes off, giving me some more edges and angles that I can shape sheet metal around.

The casing itself has some great curves on the inside that'll be useful.

This should satisfy my need for metal for a while.

comments [0]

np category: forging
technorati tags:


2011-01-30 15:52:51
by: jovial_cynic
I spent about 20 minutes today building some additional tools for my metal-slab workbench.

This is a ball swage. It's literally a 2" trailer hitch ball welded on top of 1" square tubing. I'll use this to create rounded shapes in the metal.

Because I'm often working with small pieces of metal, having a tight corner is very useful. This tool allows me to bend metal around a 90-degree angle, and also lets me bend the metal around a 1" tube.

Keep in mind that I'm not hammering on these tools like you would on an anvil. I work exclusively with sheet metal, so I'm only tapping on the metal to shape it. The 1" square tubing is more than strong enough to handle what I'm doing with the sheet metal.

comments [0]

np category: forging
technorati tags:


2011-01-05 21:54:26
by: jovial_cynic
Last week, I put some time into upgrading my workspace, and one of my upgrades was the construction of a "helping hand":

As useful as the helping hand tool was, I noticed its limitations immediately. The swinging arm had a full 360-degree range of motion, but no matter what position it was in, I couldn't easily get to the back of any piece of metal that I was welding. An upgrade to my upgrade was needed.

Here's version 2.0:

This helping hand has four separate joints!

This is the main pivot arm.

This is an "elbow" of sorts, that gives me the ability to place the workpiece wherever I want it on my welding surface.

This joint is analogous to a wrist, and allows me to point the workpiece in any direction, either facing me or away from me.

On the same joint as the wrist is a secondary joint that rotates the clamp along the vertical plane.

And here's a little video of the helping hand in action:

All of this was put together with some 1" square tubing, a 220v stick welder, and a few nut/bolt assemblies. Not bad. Very useful.

comments [2]

np category: forging
technorati tags:


2010-12-31 15:57:44
by: jovial_cynic
I've recently made some significant changes/upgrades to my welding workspace, and I figured I'd share what I've done.

The first major upgrade was a change to the table I was using to weld. I previously had a scrap 2x4 table I threw together, and decided that what I really needed was something on wheels. I had a spare rolling toolbox that I didn't really use for anything important, so I threw the square tubing on top of the toolbox and used the drawers to hold my tools and sheet metal.

Because of the height of the toolbox (way too tall), the 4" square tubes were replaced with a 72lb slab of 3/4" plate steel that I picked up at a local scrap yard, and that put the workbench at a perfect height.

Since my workspace was now metal, I figured that the first modification I would make would be a torch holder. Works perfectly.

Around the same time of all of this upgrading, I figured I'd also make some additional shelving for my garage. Shelves are wonderful.

This shelf holds my big tools.

This shelf holds my electronic bits - resistors, capacitors, speakers, etc., etc.

This hanging shelf holds my repair manuals, nails, screws, and socket sets.

The next modification was to cut out a 1" hardy hole into the slab. Anvils have hardy holes in them, and they're very useful...

The first hardy tool I made was based on an old hammer. The handle was originally wooden, but I cut the handle off and replaced it with a 1" square tube.

Here is the hammer in the hardy hole, and I use it to shape the sheet metal around the curve of the hammer head.

This metal guy here is in the jaws of the next hardy tool I made.

It's a "helping hand" tool, which is simply a c-vise, welded to a 1" flat-bar, and then welded to a nut/bolt assembly.

Here, you can see that the nut/bolt assembly is welded onto a 1" square tube. This is VERY useful for holding figurines in place while I weld things onto them.

I wanted to increase the size of my workspace, so I built a square tube frame, extending the table several inches deep and wide.

On the left, I welded in some angle iron to serve as a plasma-cutter space. I haven't figured out what to do with the back space yet, but I may use it to hold additional tools.

Also, the plasma-cutter space is great for holding nails that I use for the figurines.

Fun fun fun. I can't wait to make more hardy tools!

comments [0]

np category: forging
technorati tags:

2010-08-21: NEW WORKBENCH 2009-04-05: FIRST FORGING PROJECT 2008-11-03: FORGING A SWORD 2008-09-03: FORGE 2008-08-23: ANVIL