Getting started in metal fab

What's protecting your 4WD, and how do you melt it together?
jgrov2
Here and there
Posts: 86
Joined: October 21st, 2013, 9:11 pm

Getting started in metal fab

Unread post by jgrov2 » January 2nd, 2014, 1:09 am

Hello fellas
Just looking for some advice on gear to get me started in metal fab. I drive an LN106 hilux and I want to knock up my own bar work being rock sliders and bulbar for winch. I also want to do up the exhaust and intake pipes and later down the track maybe even a tray. I've used stick welder a handful of times ages ago but I am keen to learn and start practising been spending lots of time on welding tips and tricks website
I want to do it myself mainly because I'm on a tight budget and I think it will be cheaper in the long run and for the satisfaction of building it myself

What sort of welder should I be looking for? I'm thinking 190amp gas/gas less mig? I only have single phase power too
What sort of pipe bender should I look for or can I get away without one?
Is there any software that helps design metal fab work?
Any other tools I should be looking for I have the basics and a good drill and angle grinder
Thanks for the help
4.3L V8 LN106 Hilux Thread - viewtopic.php?f=189&t=159892

4xFourex
Been here a while
Posts: 407
Joined: November 2nd, 2012, 1:38 pm
Location: Brisbane, Inala Waters, QLD

Re: Getting started in metal fab

Unread post by 4xFourex » January 6th, 2014, 2:18 pm

Hey mate!
I'm in the same boat as you (well, minus the hilux part). I am slowly planning a list of new mods to the truck, a lot of which is barwork. Due the age of her, it will all have to be custom, so why not do it myself, save some coin, and learn in the meantime?
Now don't get em wrong, I'm an office worker, so I'm starting from scratch.

I'm doing a few smaller projects first thought to get msyelf up to scratch.
Side steps I'm confident in, bullbar I'm not too sure. Thinking I may cut and tack it all together, then take it somewhere and get it all welded properly. I don't think I'm comfortable in welding 8mm plate together safely.

I bought a 180amp gas/gasless from supercheap. I only have 10amp plugs, so this was the best I could get. I have seen more powerfull ones on ebay/bunnings/trade tools/etc for a better price, but you need 15amp power for them. So far only used it on gasless, but welding 1.6mm RHS, I have the amps turned down to lowest. And it seems to be doing a perfect job. Don't see any issues welding 3/4mm tube.

I bought a bow and arrow bender from supercheap as well (most of my gear comes from there). The bender is great, the dies absolutely suck! I can't bend anything other than reo. It just keeps kinking everything. So next step is to buy a decent die in the size I need (about $100 a pop, but it will last).
If you don;t want to outlay that much cash, you can buy buttweld bends in 45/90deg, then just weld em on to you tube. I'd sleeve it though if you're doing this.

Other than that, a decent work bench (busy building mine), a few milk crates/beer kegs/things of a consistent height to work on, and you should be good to go.

Honestly, my biggest hold back is
a) the price of the materials (trying to save for a house)
b) a lack of a set plan
c) the space to do it all and lock it all away at night.

Grinders are $25 a pop these days. I'd grab at least 1 more, one for grinding, one for cutting. Maybe even a wire wheel one for cleaning off gal/slag.

Have fun dude. And post up any pics of what you make
So many weekends, so many tracks...so little fuel!

The Black Mistress - 1974 Bitsa Landruiser fj45 ute: Holden 253 V8, Toyota 60s axles front and back, Mazda seats, Mistubishi seat belts, Ford thermo fans (almost installed). more to come...

jgrov2
Here and there
Posts: 86
Joined: October 21st, 2013, 9:11 pm

Re: Getting started in metal fab

Unread post by jgrov2 » January 8th, 2014, 12:47 am

Thanks for the info
I know what you mean about the bull bar. I want to mount a winch and use it for recovery points etc so I'm thinking getting it done by someone heard some people are getting quotes around the $500-$600 mark I need to investigate.

First things first I'm on the look out for a welder, I'm tempted by the cheap ebay migs but am worried about the duty cycle of some of them as they sound plain ***** and didn't even think about the plug amps so probably saved myself some dramas there.

Found out my mates brother is a panel beater or something along those lines so he can bend tube lol

First project I have planed besides decent welding bench is the exhaust. Should be fairly straight forward I'm just going to buy mandrill bends and weld them in where necessary.
4.3L V8 LN106 Hilux Thread - viewtopic.php?f=189&t=159892

4xFourex
Been here a while
Posts: 407
Joined: November 2nd, 2012, 1:38 pm
Location: Brisbane, Inala Waters, QLD

Re: Getting started in metal fab

Unread post by 4xFourex » January 8th, 2014, 10:52 am

That's pretty much my plan for the exhaust. It's just going to be real pain in the bum doing it all under the truck, so I'm avoiding it. And I have a fuel leak...

Honestly mate, I wasn't too worried about duty cycle. If you're a boily, yeah, but for me at home, 10% is fine. to weld non stop for 60 seconds is pretty unheard of around me, and then it takes me another 20 min to grind off the bat-dwang.
So yeah, I recon 10% is fine, and I've never cranked it right up.

My bullbar is off the cards for now, just picked up a TJM winch bar and scrub rails last night, so will mod them to fit the cruiser and I should be right for now.

Yeah, bends or donuts are the way to go I reckon. And good score on the bender mate :P
So many weekends, so many tracks...so little fuel!

The Black Mistress - 1974 Bitsa Landruiser fj45 ute: Holden 253 V8, Toyota 60s axles front and back, Mazda seats, Mistubishi seat belts, Ford thermo fans (almost installed). more to come...

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