abbey road d enfer

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2019, 06:21:21 PM »
I've been formally trained for woodwork and metal-work, both hand and machine, but I don't have any heavy machinery, no lathe, no mill. One thing that has made this easier is mastering a CAD package, namely Autocad, but now I use Drafsight, that is just about the same, but free for non-commercial use, instead of about $3K for a basic version.
I print the drawing on paper (indeed you need to calibrate the printer) that I glue to the piece of metal I need to cut/drill/file.
A recent addition to my tool cabinet is an oscillating tool; it takes a little while to get the hang of it, but you can do things you wouldn't think possible.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.


Gold

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2019, 06:52:57 PM »
Too funny! The thrill is at maximum when the saw bites into the metal and the whole box starts spinning at 700 RPM.  A Bond villain couldn’t cook something scarier up!


I don’t like my drill press. I keep trying to make it something it’s not. It hasn’t worked.  It’s a 1/3HP. When I have room I’m getting one that is at least 1.5HP.

I use hand drills for anything 1/4” thick or less. I do hole saw meter cutouts with a hand drill. I did buy two Fein hand drills. They are good for metalwork because they are geared for low RPM and they have a lot of torque. They were expensive but a buy once buy right kind of purchase .

 I have a lot of money into a large assortment of C clamps.  Getting the workpiece hold down right makes all the difference. If there is any movement you’re screwed

Tool skills count for this. You have to keep the drill from bucking but not hold it so tight that if it binds you can’t let go.

Fein invented the hand drill. They also invented the oscillating tool. I’ve never used one but I’d like to try one out.

boji

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2019, 07:18:49 PM »
Quote
A related side skill that I find few people try on their own is powder coating

Hope you don't mind the side talk about powder coating, Gold.

I was intimidated by the prospect but turns out it's fun and easy. I learned the hard way that prep of the metal is key to a lasting finish.  Somehow I got brake oil on one piece I was working on and no amount of acetone and scrubbing would allow a good cure adhesion afterwards.   
I did the toaster oven thing until I had larger work, so I bought old kitchen oven off of craigslist and stuck it in the basement. Added an exhaust fan. Works a treat.  And you're right their are so many colors! I took a risk going with a flipflop color for my main project. Green from one angle, brown from another. 

Also anodizing looks to be much easier than I thought, now that we have all the youtube experimentation vlogs.  Not sure If someone here posted this guy before, but I really dig his shop. He expanded his diy interest nicely:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDA6EEo6dQA

rackmonkey

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2019, 07:55:01 PM »
I bought an anodizing kit about 10 years ago and you’re right, it isn’t that hard once you learn the lesson about very clean, lightly sanded metal. But the chemicals are pretty caustic. If Gold is concerned about odors in his space, he’d definitely need an exhaust fan for that, too.
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right.

Gold

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2019, 10:08:38 PM »
Hope you don't mind the side talk about powder coating,

Not at all.  The final faceplates for my console will be powder coated. I already have the RAL number picked out. I’m going to get a laser engraver and hand drill all the holes.

Gold

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2019, 10:55:05 PM »
The method I use for drilling out faceplates uses aluminum square tubes. I place the faceplate on two 3” square aluminum tubes. One at each end of the faceplate. I have a third one that I move around under the faceplate for support. I use two C clamps to hold everything down.

I use Starrett combination squares and a scribe to mark everything. Then I center punch all the marks. Then I drill everything out. The 3” gap under the workpiece  helps make clean holes. I de burr with a countersink and a scraper. Cleanup is easy with a brush and a vacuum.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2019, 05:09:13 AM »
The 3” gap under the workpiece  helps make clean holes. I de burr with a countersink and a scraper. Cleanup is easy with a brush and a vacuum.
I find it easier doing it the way I learnt at school, i.e. having the plate on a piece of wood (a "martyr") when drilling. The burr is even smaller.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

JohnRoberts

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2019, 09:36:38 AM »
That last (only) time I drilled a big hole in sheet metal was in the 1960s (something like 6" diameter)... IIRC I cut through several sheets of sheet metal at the same time with a fly cutter tool. The drill press was a serious big dog, as large as a milling machine with an automatic down feed for the drill chuck, and even pumped its own cutting fluid to lubricate/cool the drill or tool. It had a huge heavy bed with grooves to properly attach clamps to secure the metal (you don't want a big pice of sheet metal swinging around if the tool digs in.)

The bed right under the chuck was already chewed up by other workers drilling into it before me... I didn't screw that one up.  I also respected the sheet metal that could really tear you up, after seeing smaller pieces of metal grab and go rogue in normal sized drill presses.  I don't remember exactly, but I probably put a piece of scrap under the sheet metal to protect the machine, when cutting a hole that large.

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

Gold

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2019, 10:13:09 AM »
I find it easier doing it the way I learnt at school, i.e. having the plate on a piece of wood (a "martyr") when drilling. The burr is even smaller.

I don’t like that method for a few reasons. First you always need a sheet of wood. In a small room it’s one more thing to keep around. Second it generates more debris which needs to be cleaned up. Third it basically doesn’t work if you are using a step bit. You would need a 2” thick piece  wood and the step bit would go almost all the way through for an XLR sized hole. Lastly I think wood dulls  the bits faster than metal. I’m not sure that’s correct but I get that impression.

JohnRoberts

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2019, 10:28:55 AM »
I don’t like that method for a few reasons. First you always need a sheet of wood. In a small room it’s one more thing to keep around. Second it generates more debris which needs to be cleaned up. Third it basically doesn’t work if you are using a step bit. You would need a 2” thick piece  wood and the step bit would go almost all the way through for an XLR sized hole. Lastly I think wood dulls  the bits faster than metal. I’m not sure that’s correct but I get that impression.
All but the last one sounds valid...

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...


abbey road d enfer

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2019, 01:52:58 PM »
Third it basically doesn’t work if you are using a step bit. You would need a 2” thick piece  wood and the step bit would go almost all the way through for an XLR sized hole.
You only need a moderately thick piece of wood if you drill over a hollow. That's what happens when I use my column drill; the table has a hole about 1" in diameter. I typically use a piece of 3/4" plank. 

Quote
Lastly I think wood dulls  the bits faster than metal. I’m not sure that’s correct but I get that impression.
It's never been a serious issue so far. The piece of wood is drilled once and used many times.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Gold

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2019, 03:10:00 PM »
That's what happens when I use my column drill; the table has a hole about 1" in diameter. I typically use a piece of 3/4" plank. 
 It's never been a serious issue so far. The piece of wood is drilled once and used many times.

I only use a drill press for material thicker than 1/4".  I am talking about using a hand held drill.  If you are using a hand drill on a workbench you would need either a thick piece of wood or to elevate the whole thing like I do with aluminum square tubes. After you've raised the workpiece There isn't much advantage to backing it with wood. It takes longer to clean up the saw dust than it does to de burr.

I find using a drill press to drill out panels an exercise  in frustration. Without center punching all the marks, your average inexpensive drill press will have the bit wander when lowered. No advantage in that regard, you still have to center punch everything. Since there is play in most inexpensive drill press columns you have to line the bit up to the center punch mark, then clamp the workpiece down. Then drill. Then unclamp, line the next hole up, clamp it down, then drill. It takes forever.

With the piece setup on a bench and using a hand drill, once you have made all the marks you just move the drill where it needs to go. It takes me about a quarter of the time it would take on a drill press with no loss of accuracy.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2019, 05:01:50 PM »
I find using a drill press to drill out panels an exercise  in frustration. Without center punching all the marks, your average inexpensive drill press will have the bit wander when lowered. No advantage in that regard, you still have to center punch everything. Since there is play in most inexpensive drill press columns you have to line the bit up to the center punch mark, then clamp the workpiece down. Then drill. Then unclamp, line the next hole up, clamp it down, then drill. It takes forever.
That's because you don't use a drill vice.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Gold

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2019, 06:37:59 PM »
That's because you don't use a drill vice.


I don’t understand how you would use a drill vice with a 19” faceplate. I’d assume you would want to keep the vice centered under the column with the hole you are drilling also centered under the column for stability. I guess you would have the faceplate sitting on a wood block. If you have it set up that way and drill a through hole you would hit the bottom plate of the vice with the bit if you went through the wood.  I know some drill vices are more like a frame. That would work but it seems like a awful lot to keep track of and arrange. You still have to clamp, unclamp, clamp,unclamp, unless you have a cross slide. Maybe I’m missing something.

pvision

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2019, 07:29:13 PM »
DaveP really has this down.  I enjoy the metalwork I have to do.

I tried to emulate one of his chassis - not an embarrassing failure but not up to my standards

A sheet metal brake is the key, I think

Nick Froome

abbey road d enfer

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2019, 01:28:34 AM »
I know some drill vices are more like a frame.
  That's how mine is.

[/quote] That would work but it seems like a awful lot to keep track of and arrange. You still have to clamp, unclamp, clamp,unclamp, unless you have a cross slide. Maybe I’m missing something.
[/quote] You don't need to clamp. The vice is not fixed to the table, it's free. Due to the added inertia, it never goes spinning. You just need a moderately firm hand.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

madswitcher

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2019, 06:39:37 PM »
  That's how mine is.

 That would work but it seems like a awful lot to keep track of and arrange. You still have to clamp, unclamp, clamp,unclamp, unless you have a cross slide. Maybe I’m missing something.
 You don't need to clamp. The vice is not fixed to the table, it's free. Due to the added inertia, it never goes spinning. You just need a moderately firm hand.

I agree with Abbey on this in that a good quality drill press is probably the most useful tool you can get if you are doing a lot of metalwork.
 
I have also been formally trained in metalwork and wood work and there is a technique called 'touch centring' whereby having centre punched the centre of an intended hole, on the drill press you bring the drill tip down gently and slowly to just touch the centre dot: the drill will then self-centre and you can then apply pressure to drill through.  It takes some practice so experiment, but it avoids having to clamp the metal sheet down.

I was also trained to use a sacrificial block of wood under the metal when drilling sheet metal as it absorbs vibrations and stops you drilling into the drill plate.

Don't forget that when you have your sheet centre-punched up, write the intended size of the hole near it with a marker - it save tears later when you drill the wrong size hole.

Another tip is to use small drills to start you hole and then work up in increments of 3 to 4 mm ending on a size that is 1 to 2 mm below the final size, then use the end size.  This will give you a clean  edge if the drill is sharp and prolong the life of your larger drill bits as it is the drill point that takes the most wear and smaller drills are cheaper.

When using a step drill, you can 'step-drill' out a block of wood first and then use that under the work piece.  Your next best friend is a de-buring tool to clean up the edges of you holes and a small grinding wheel to keep your drills sharp, although bulk buys of twist drill are so cheap nowadays that they are almost throw-aways.

One of my fonder memories of metal work is using Engineers Blue, which is a kind of blue dye mixed with alcohol.  The smell was intoxicating.  The idea is that you paint it on the metal and then use a scriber to mark out you work so that it gives a contrasting colour to work with.  You can also use it for showing the degree of fit of two fitting metal pieces.

Cheers

Mike

Gold

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2019, 07:35:50 PM »
I have also been formally trained in metalwork and wood work and there is a technique called 'touch centring' whereby having centre punched the centre of an intended hole, on the drill press you bring the drill tip down gently and slowly to just touch the centre dot: the drill will then self-centre .

You have to do that even if you want to clamp the workpiece.  Lower the bit until it self centers in the centerpunch mark. Then clamp. When I don’t clamp the work down the holes aren’t as clean or as round. That may just be my radial arm drill press. It’s loosey goosey.  But without a radial arm drill press you can forget trying  to fit a bottom plate of a chassis.  I’ve given a lot of things a go.


Quote
Another tip is to use small drills to start you hole and then work up in increments of 3 to 4 mm ending on a size that is 1 to 2 mm below the final size, then use the end size. 

I decided when tooling up to go with imperial because the selection is greater here. I have #1-#50, A-Z and  1/32”-1/2” in 1/32” increments. I also have larger bits which the drill press I have doesn’t have enough torque to use.

Quote
One of my fonder memories of metal work is using Engineers Blue, which is a kind of blue dye mixed with alcohol.  The smell was intoxicating.  The idea is that you paint it on the metal and then use a scriber to mark out you work so that it gives a contrasting colour to work with.  You can also use it for showing the degree of fit of two fitting metal pieces.

I use engineers blue for panel layout. I’ve also used it to hand file parts to fit.

Brian Roth

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2019, 08:07:40 PM »

I decided when tooling up to go with imperial because the selection is greater here. I have #1-#50, A-Z and  1/32”-1/2” in 1/32” increments. I also have larger bits which the drill press I have doesn’t have enough torque to use.


I REALLY need to buy  new drill bit sets for my occasional projects.  Curious about brands besides the "Super-Duper Master China Crap" stuff sold at the big box stores.  I've seen Bosch and Mitsubishi (IIRC) as more expensive options at Blowes, etc, but I'm curious what everyone else prefers these days.  Looking for a brand new number/alphabet set as well as fractionals.

Bri
Brian Roth Technical Services
Salina Kansas, home of the best vinyl on the planet!

http://www.BrianRoth.com
recordingservicesandsupply.com/
www.qualityrecordpressings.com/
store.acousticsounds.com

Gold

Re: Metalwork by Hand
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2019, 08:19:56 PM »
I REALLY need to buy  new drill bit sets for my occasional projects.

I buy everything from McMaster-Carr. They have never sold me crap. When I know what brand I want and have loooked around for price McMaster was never more or much more.

MSC Industrial has a large selection with brand names listed.

I have no doubt that in a machine shop with a quality drill press using  it is better and faster than a hand drill. If you want to do a complete chassis in a drill press it needs to be radial arm drill press  to fit the dimensions. A radial arm drill press that is under say $1000 is not up to the task. I speak from experience. It is my experience that in a small multiuse space a hand drill is the better option.


 

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