PDA

View Full Version : Clamps Are Great



TheKid
05-04-2008, 08:07 PM
I don't have a nice solid steel welding table. That would be nice, because you could tack weld jigs to it, for instance, for making 90 degree angles. (Or any angle for that matter.) I used a 90 degree clamp to make my hauling platform for what is now the DW. The Platform is 24" x 27", so 3 sides will be made with a single 8' length of 1" square tube. First, I notched the tube to make the 90 degree angles. Normally, I would make the notches with a sawzall, but I ran out of blades. I had to settle for a 4" grinder with a 1/8" thick wheel.

http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z66/edpol_photos/hauling%20platform/000_0239Small.jpg?t=1209945537

Next, the tube is bent and placed in the clamp:

http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z66/edpol_photos/hauling%20platform/000_0234Small.jpg?t=1209945634

Then comes tack welding, switching sides to prevent warping:

http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z66/edpol_photos/hauling%20platform/000_0235Small.jpg?t=1209945784

The weld is finished, slag hammered, wire brushed, and sanded:

http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z66/edpol_photos/hauling%20platform/000_0238Small.jpg?t=1209945908

After three sides are welded, the final piece will be cut and welded in place.

AtomicZombie
05-04-2008, 09:02 PM
That clamp looks really handy. After you weld the inside corners, do they stay at 90 degrees once the clamp is removed?

Brad

TheKid
05-04-2008, 10:09 PM
They sure do. I let them cool before removing the clamp, just in case. I also tack weld the inside corner before welding the whole thing up. I was told that there's less of a chance for it to go out of whack if you notch and bend, then tack in several places on all welded seams before welding it fully. The theory is that you're only welding 3 sides. I used this method for the crossmember on the Streefox. Naturally, I had to use a different clamping method. I use the same type of system for capping tubes. I cut 3 sides off so there's a flap, then just bend the flap over, hit it with a hammer so it's as tight and straight as possible, then tack and weld the 3 sides. It's easier than having to hold it in place, or make a jig, and there are only 3 sides to sand.

Richie Rich
05-04-2008, 10:38 PM
...I use the same type of system for capping tubes. I cut 3 sides off so there's a flap, then just bend the flap over, hit it with a hammer so it's as tight and straight as possible, then tack and weld the 3 sides.Great tip, 'Kid'.....thanks for sharing...

.....Richie >>

TheKid
05-05-2008, 04:48 AM
It works great. You just have to make sure you add to the length of the tube you're going to cap.
Add 1" for 1" tube, 1 1/2" for 1 1/2" tube etc.

SirJoey
05-05-2008, 07:08 AM
Brad used the same method on the underside frame reinforcing brace for the DW. Unfortunately, when I made mine, I forgot to allow extra length for the flap, so I had to do it the hard way.

Doc Hollywood
05-05-2008, 09:31 AM
Those tack welds look a little cold without too much penetration. Have you tried beveling the ends so you can fill in the area. Nice clamp. I C clamp mine to a table with the ends to be welded off the edge. I can tack all four sides that way.

TheKid
05-05-2008, 11:41 AM
Those were the first tacks - I corrected that before going further. I use the same method of clamping to a table. I use a piece of 3/4" plywood to get a flat surface, because all the tables I have are thin metal and are warped. I rarely have to do more than 2 angles. This clamp was part of a package I found at a garage sale, so I tried it out for the first time.
What I normally do is use pieces of heavy guage metal studs screwed to the plywood, press the tube against it and clamp it down. I use pieces of 3/16" steel under the clamps to protect the plywood. I don't have plywood of the correct dimensions to allow letting all the angles hang over the sides. So I use Ricky Horwitz' method. I put a few layers of aluminum foil over the plywood to prevent burning the plywood. What I never got around to doing, is to weld pieces of the studs together at various angles so I'd have guides for any angles that I need. This clamp worked very nicely, because I didn't have to set up anything. Just clamp and weld. I"ll probably buy another one in case I need it.

TheKid
05-05-2008, 10:24 PM
BTW, Joey. Thanks for reminding me. That's where I got the idea to cap the tubes. From Brad's DW plans explaining how to make the frame reinforcement. It was so long ago, I forgot where the idea came from. Sorry Brad.

rickairmed
01-10-2009, 12:00 AM
I thought you guys might like to know the clamp Kid is using is from Harbor freight thats where I got mine for the Canooks :D try princes auto since they seem to be your version of Harbor freight :D.

Rick

tomas
02-02-2009, 07:50 AM
That does look like an excellent clamp.
In Bonanza, Brad and Kathy mention not to get to crazy with jigging. They seem to be able to line up a lot of stuff by eye. Part of me wants to wing-it like that, another part likes the precision of a good jig setup. But then I think I'd be building jigs ALL THE TIME, when all I want to do is RIDE!

t.


I thought you guys might like to know the clamp Kid is using is from Harbor freight thats where I got mine for the Canooks :D try princes auto since they seem to be your version of Harbor freight :D.

Rick

trikeman
02-02-2009, 09:52 AM
That does look like an excellent clamp.
In Bonanza, Brad and Kathy mention not to get to crazy with jigging. They seem to be able to line up a lot of stuff by eye. Part of me wants to wing-it like that, another part likes the precision of a good jig setup. But then I think I'd be building jigs ALL THE TIME, when all I want to do is RIDE!

t.

Using square tubing as Brad usually does, is one of the reasons that we can usually get away without jigs. On the other hand, if you start using round tubing you may find that jigs make the job easier.

You probably weren't serious when you said all you wanted to do is RIDE, but if you were, you might be better off just buying a used recumbent. Even though I scrounge as many parts as I can, I always end up buying a few parts and supplies. Add in the welder, other tools, and shop time, and I would be hard-pressed to build as nice a bike as my recent used $300 RANS purchase for that price.

On the other hand, if you enjoy the planning and building as most of us do, and want to have the tools to do numerous other things building your own is the way to go. In addition, you can probably slap together a HighRoller for under $100, if you don't care what the quality of the components are. Using quality components might raise the price to $300-$400, or more if you go crazy and buy all new stuff from bike shops. To buy a used high racer of most stripes would cost you somewhere around half its new price, so figure maybe $700. If you have patience and shop well you can always sell a commercially made bent for what you paid for it.

rickairmed
02-02-2009, 10:19 AM
TM I dont think Tomas has really gotten into the building phase of this hobby yet . I think once he does he will also start to enjoy thata aspect of it as well . I think Tomas is still sticking coupons together with his welder and once the building begins we will have created another Zombie monster :D. I know he seems to enjoy seeing 2 pieces of metal turning into 1 :D.

Rick

trikeman
02-02-2009, 10:52 AM
TM I dont think Tomas has really gotten into the building phase of this hobby yet . I think once he does he will also start to enjoy thata aspect of it as well . I think Tomas is still sticking coupons together with his welder and once the building begins we will have created another Zombie monster :D. I know he seems to enjoy seeing 2 pieces of metal turning into 1 :D.

Rick

Yeah. I still remember the first time I stuck two pieces of metal together. I was so excited. Being a "welder," and I use the term somewhat loosely in my case, opens up a whole new vista on the world. Without it you are stuck with whatever shape some other designer thought your steel should be in. With it, you are the Master of your own universe, so to speak.

But interestingly not everyone has the same desire to create. I do some web site work for a guy that owns a few million dollars worth of classic muscle cars. He never drives them, and never turns a wrench on them. He pays people to do it. His enjoyment comes from possessing them only. I will never understand that, but that's just me. I also don't see how anyone could major in any other subject in college than engineering, art, architecture, or maybe computer programming - probably for the same reason. I just always wanted to know how its put together and how it works.

rickairmed
02-02-2009, 11:04 AM
TM you make some good points there and as far as being a welder goes I have been welding for around 20 years even made a living doing it for a while and I still dont really consider myself to be a " welder " . I stick metal together pretty good and thus far everything I have made is still standing :D. I also cant understand why someone would own millions of dollars worth of toys and not want to enjoy them thats one thing I will give Jay Lenno he has amassed quite the collection of rare automobiles and motorcycles but he still turns wrenches " occasionally " he does pay a full time crew to do most of it for him but he also drives everything he owns thats roadworthy. The Engineering part is a little differant there are those like you that can actually buid it and there are those who draw it up on paper and say it will work but in reality it wont :D.

Rick

SirJoey
02-02-2009, 11:56 AM
If you plan on building more that a couple of bikes/trikes,
then some sort of (more-or-less) universal frame jig is indispensible, IMO.

I'm SO glad I built mine when I first got into this, not only
cuz it helps me keep everything straight & true, but it's just a great,
handy way to clamp & hold things for welding & brazing, too!

Besides, I really don't need the added handicap of working without one,
cuz personally, I need all the help I can get (in more ways than one)! :rolleyes4:


http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif

macka
02-02-2009, 12:12 PM
I have worked with jigs a bit, they make a difference when doing production work, but a lot of custom work is kept true by having a jig. The other aspect is that a jig is only as good as its creator.

tomas
02-02-2009, 08:38 PM
I was joking, sheesh, I very much enjoy the planning and building process. I can't see buying a used bent. The best ones are way too expensive, and this process is way too much fun.

I can see how this basic skill (welding, metal working...) can be used for all kinds of projects. I love the idea of turning a corner of my unheated garage into a custom fabrication facility ;). I'm under no delusions, I know I have a long way to go. The goals of course is to ride the thing once it's made.

I've been commuting by bike all my life, even now I've been riding the six miles into work in zero degrees weather, you just gotta have the right clothes! I ain't no survivalist, but I believe that biking, bike repair and bike/bent fabrication will become more important in the future.

t.


...You probably weren't serious when you said all you wanted to do is RIDE, but if you were, you might be better off just buying a used recumbent. ...

rickairmed
02-02-2009, 08:44 PM
Tomas I could aready tell by how much fun you were having sticking scraps together you were having fun :D. Thats one of the reasons I started the practice thread in the welding area to give you guys ideas for thing to make with those scraps rather than just sticking 2 pieces together. I highly recomend checking out the Miller link in that thread and checking out the projects area on millers site theres a piiiiiile of neat things there .

Rick

KoolKat
02-03-2009, 12:01 AM
You have a great attitude, tomas. We need more people like you in this troubled world! Keep up the enthusiasm and enjoy every day you learn something. :punk:

MoeMac
02-03-2009, 12:59 AM
Hey Tomas...

I am 52 years old this year and I just started welding last August 2008... Prior to that I knew nothing of it!!

So far I have built 8 bikes and I am on my 9th one... "The StreetCruiser"

My first 4 builts was welded by a client of mine as I did not have my welder yet and I knew nothing of it! As my client welded I watched and asked questions....

Then one day I found a Ming Welder (wire fed) on Kijiji for 150.00 so I grabbed it...

My first welds were pigeon droppings! but I was so excited and proud of it and the peices I did on one of my Choppers Stayed on!! and is still holding...

I did not practice much I just went at it! and now I have welded 4 bikes on my own (recumbents) and my 5th one the StreetCruiser is looking AWESOME!

My first welder is a stick one but it burned the thin metal tubes so I use my ming... I kept the stick welder as I am sure I will need it as well...

Keep going at it! One thing for sure ... after you have built one you never want to stop... Problem if you are limitted in storage... I would hate to move! :D

TheKid
02-07-2009, 03:17 AM
I thought you guys might like to know the clamp Kid is using is from Harbor freight thats where I got mine for the Canooks try princes auto since they seem to be your version of Harbor freight .


Actually, it's from Northern Tool. They deliver much faster than HF. There's no cheap tool outfit nearby, so I have to either buy high quality tools, take a chance and see if HD has the same thing in stock, or mail order. I do buy some high quality tools, but rarely by mail order. If something goes wrong, there's the hassle of returning it, and waiting for a replacement. I did buy 2 grinders from one outfit - 2 Makita 5" grinders for $75.

rickairmed
02-08-2009, 01:09 AM
Well of course Northern carries it to they are also a great importer of China's finest tools :D. I did get mine at Harbor Freight though and it looks to be the same one .

TheKid
02-08-2009, 04:37 PM
I only mentioned it for those who also have to mail order. Northern Tool delivers much faster.