TTORA Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if there are any good writeups on proper design/fabrication, or books even. Reason being is I don't want to go building stuff for my truck without doing it properly. I mean, there is common sense like using the right thickness steel, bracing everything properly and using triangulation, but surely there must be a right way and a wrong way to build bumpers?

Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
my best advice is to find somebody who knows how to fab a few things, you can fab something super ugly but still have it be strong. The worst is when you fab something and spend ALOT of time on it, and it doesn't work, or fails under load. It also depends on what kind of tools you're using; ie I dont have plasma cutter, so i avoid curved cuts because I'm not skilled enough with oxyacetylene yet to make perfect curved cuts.

You'll learn a lot from spending some time with somebody in their garage.

also learning how to weld and use oxy acetylene very well will be your best assets.
 

·
Hawaii's Damage Control
Joined
·
1,026 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
140 Posts
practice practice practice

As a self taught fabricator in the business for 13 years, I can say, I have a few books that I read over and over, but the best way to learn is Practice. Buy a book on welding, read it, practice, read it over, and repeat. Find a local fabricator and try to pickup a few ideas. Most guys will help with the basics, but most of the little tricks you will figure out on your own.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
7,735 Posts
Also, read every build thread you can (especially over on pirate). You'll start seeing techniques used (where and what kind of gussets, plating, etc) and be able to incorporate those into whatever you're building.

when you start building something, post it up, ask questions, take criticism, and get a somewhat thick skin so you don't get butt hurt when somebody says the design sucks.
 

·
truck ~n~ tow
Joined
·
10,917 Posts
buy a cut-off wheel/grinder and a mig welder...

Read the owner's manual's...

remember burns suck, paper cuts are nothing...
wear eye protection, gloves when U can :2cents:

get busy wit' 'da practice, starting out with 'da smaller things...

measure twice (maybe 3X), cut once...

Expect to fark up at least once, or twice...

If ya have no ingenuity, copy everyone else's chit :2cents: :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the awesome advice everyone!

My uncle gave me a "Mighty Mig" 70/35A 120V welder that I've played around with, but I haven't tackled any actual projects yet. I'm a little unsure about whether or not it's powerful enough to make solid welds on the size steel I'd need to use on bumpers and such. Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
I think your welder will do OKAY for 3/16" but if it's what I think it is, like those HF welders with a Hi and Lo setting I'd find something like a 110, or 220 if you want to weld anything over 1/4"-5/16", volt lincoln, miller, or hobart on CL. I've seen some nice Lincoln welders on there for like $250 with a cart and bottle. I think for 3/16 and 1/4 which is about all you're gonna need for a plate bumper these are great (just find a model that is capable of it)! I know some will say you need a 220 but I'd disagree (though 220 will do it better and easier). Also, run gas, flux core sucks unless you're welding outside.
Buy a nice hood, auto darkening are pretty sweet and really help when you're starting out, IMO. You'll probably want a welding jacket and some gloves as well. I usually just wear an old carhart and some welding gloves but my jacket is all full of welding burns and I try to avoid upside down shit.

The next best thing to do I think is learn how to weld proficiently, even a good design can't take you far with bird shit welds.

Probably the best thing though is to take a welding class at your local community college. You'll learn everything you need to know and quickly and much more easily than you would buy trial and error and reading on the net. OR get someone locally to help you out and teach you some shop basics.

If you don't have an angle grinder, buy one. Get a wire wheel for it. Cleaning the metal will help make a solid weld. You can pretty much cut whatever you need to cut with an angle grinder or a die grinder with a cut off wheel, until you can afford a torch.


Just my .02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The welder I have is one of the "hi/lo" variety. I want to be able to build tube bumpers and will probably have to weld some .25" plate for the winch mount and such, right? Would something like this work better? I'm also going to buy a real tubing bender, probably one of the ones recommended in the tube bender thread.

Now that you mention it, I can take a welding course when I go back to school in the fall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
As Mrdoug said read up on other builds and how function and support work. I have built numerous roof racks and swing out stuff just for myself. I leave a pad and pencil next to computer and when something pops up in my head or on the computer I write it down. I have found in the beginning of fab work I would forget something I wanted and have to go back and add it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,489 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
615 Posts
For sure the best way would be to learn from someone, but if you cant then like others have said read books, and other threads to pick up the tricks of the trade.

I myself am a certified welder and for the first 2 years of my career I learned so much, it took me that long to become efficent and skilled enough to build just about anything. If your patient and stick with it soon enough you will have confidence in your ability to fabricate GL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,984 Posts
I've found this guy's website to be helpful. http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/

...but yeah, like the other guys have said; get some scrap, a 4.5" grinder and a mig and start going at it. Make some yard art to begin with. You'll know pretty quick if it's for you or not. I've had a blast learning and experimenting and burning myself and such... well okay, the getting burned ain't fun. :p
 

·
Hawaii's Damage Control
Joined
·
1,026 Posts
Here's a goody but oldie
http://books.google.com/books?id=qCmoaBtYjYkC&lpg=PA140&ots=gT-4u_-08j&dq=welding an aluminum fuel cell&pg=PA95#v=onepage&q=welding an aluminum fuel cell&f=false

Cool stuff here as well
http://www.bii1.com/library.php

Some welding videos
http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/

Mostly, use common sense when working with tools you have never used before and read the saftey instructions.
I've found this guy's website to be helpful. http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/

...but yeah, like the other guys have said; get some scrap, a 4.5" grinder and a mig and start going at it. Make some yard art to begin with. You'll know pretty quick if it's for you or not. I've had a blast learning and experimenting and burning myself and such... well okay, the getting burned ain't fun. :p
already covered that one. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
i like building my own junk, just be prepared to have an even bigger pile of JUNK. welding stuff together is one thing but expecting it to hold together when you smash into something can be quite different. just for practice weld 2 pieces of metal together and smash it with a big hammer try to break it. if it breaks find out why ask a local welder for tips. my bumper may be ugly but it survived a collision with a moose and as always im proud to say i built it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
dont get fixated on numbers on the welder regarding voltage or wire speed settings as a matter of fact dont even look at them crank your welder to a random position and start welding if your weld sucks move it one way or the other till it looks good a good welder does not have a set setting to weld at for cirtin things it pisses me off to see lines drawn on welders showing where to set them for the weld needed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
dont get fixated on numbers on the welder regarding voltage or wire speed settings as a matter of fact dont even look at them crank your welder to a random position and start welding if your weld sucks move it one way or the other till it looks good a good welder does not have a set setting to weld at for cirtin things it pisses me off to see lines drawn on welders showing where to set them for the weld needed
THe "numbers" on the welder are a good starting point. You can adjust the welder from there. I can weld a piece of 1.5" X .188" 1020 DOM to a piece of 1/4" plate for a bumper at the same setting as welding a piece of 1/" plate to another piece of 1/8" plate and get a weld that looks great, but it wont have the penetration required for a good weld.

These days everyone is fixated on perfect welds that look like a perfect stack of dimes. Good looking welds are great, but strong welds that may not be as pretty are far better. Good looking welds that are strong is what you are shooting for.

Welding is pretty much like any other skill, it takes time and practice to become proficient. I would reccomend checking in to local schools that have a welding program. You can use a number of different machines and get some of the basics figured out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Another thing to get into the habit of doing is using good hearing protection... Get some ear plugs and wear them! After doing fab work for over 20 years my ears ring all the time, and I'm sure some of that damage came from grinding when I was younger and didn't wear plugs. ...my :2cents:
:saw:
C
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top