Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
9/16/20 10:02 a.m.

Since that first rock was used to carve another rock into a wheel, humans have had the innate desire to turn raw materials into useful objects. Our evolving society has brought us from stones to metals to plastics, while tools have progressed from rocks to a myriad of more sophisticated devices like drills, grinders and welders.

While the craft of …

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/21/20 12:34 p.m.

Just a bump for Monday since there's so much good info in here.

Enjoy and anyone have any tips to add? 

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/21/20 2:41 p.m.

Drilling is such a pandora's box. I've had a guy at a machinist's supply house tell me not to step up drill bit sizes because it loads one point on the cutting edge of the drill bit excessively when that loading is supposed to be spread over the whole cutting face. I get it, but i've never had bad results doing it. The one exception i can think of is that when each size of bit only has to cut a small amount of width it can end up self-feeding too aggressively and sucking into the part and stalling which is usually when parts crack and bits snap etc, but it's manageable. I think the main thing for that is that going slow on rpm seems like being careful but is actually counterproductive since most cutting bits and bobs are less likely to 'catch' if they're moving faster. 

One thing i failed at recently was preventing some carbide burrs from loading up with aluminum. Wish i'd looked for a helpful refresher before i started on that one. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/21/20 10:25 p.m.

Today I traced around a large-ish washer to give myself a target line for belt sanding a sharp outside corner smooth. Thanks, Carl!

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
9/22/20 7:56 a.m.

stuff like this is how GRM has made me a better mechanic. Also you forgot weld it strong, grind it pretty.

earlybroncoguy1
earlybroncoguy1 New Reader
2/13/21 2:43 p.m.

Re-use/recycle/re-purpose.

Unless it's complete and utter, rusted, mangled, melted, rotted, etc trash, save it. Metal scraps, hardware, wood, even plastic can turn to be useful down the road for other  projects, whether as parts , fixtures, or assembly aids.

An old BMX handlebar turned upside down and welded to short brackets made a perfect front bumper for my John Deere riding mower. Plastic cap from a small butane refill cylinder was perfect for capping off the open end of my hydraulic floor jack handle. Plastic cap from a spray paint can cut in half makes perfect wheeltubs for the bed of a model truck. Old center link from a Jeep steering linkage is handy as an extension when I need some extra leverage turning a wrench. Old 3/8" long socket extensions work great as a good strong punch to knock things loose or straighten out bent things that are hard to reach. Old bearing races and broken shafts make handy spacers or supports when using a hydraulic press to push things together or apart. Old valvetrain pieces (valves, springs, keepers, lifters, rockers, etc) make cool chess men for a custom gearhead chess set. An old Winston Cup piston, used NHRA aluminum connecting rod, old long 3/8 drive spark plug socket as a piston pin, and an aluminum R/C car wheel makes a pretty cool desktop clock. Unused, extra pieces of thick guage sheetmetal wall purlins/brackets from a metal building frame make perfect jeep-style trailer fenders with a little cutting and welding.  

 

feralcomp
feralcomp New Reader
2/15/21 1:33 p.m.

Disassemble small parts inside a plastic bag, especially if there are springs or springy things known to be included.  It's way easier (way) to find them in a bag than under your SOs stuff after the part hyperspaces across the room.

frenchyd
frenchyd GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/15/21 3:04 p.m.
earlybroncoguy1 said:

Re-use/recycle/re-purpose.

Unless it's complete and utter, rusted, mangled, melted, rotted, etc trash, save it. Metal scraps, hardware, wood, even plastic can turn to be useful down the road for other  projects, whether as parts , fixtures, or assembly aids.

An old BMX handlebar turned upside down and welded to short brackets made a perfect front bumper for my John Deere riding mower. Plastic cap from a small butane refill cylinder was perfect for capping off the open end of my hydraulic floor jack handle. Plastic cap from a spray paint can cut in half makes perfect wheeltubs for the bed of a model truck. Old center link from a Jeep steering linkage is handy as an extension when I need some extra leverage turning a wrench. Old 3/8" long socket extensions work great as a good strong punch to knock things loose or straighten out bent things that are hard to reach. Old bearing races and broken shafts make handy spacers or supports when using a hydraulic press to push things together or apart. Old valvetrain pieces (valves, springs, keepers, lifters, rockers, etc) make cool chess men for a custom gearhead chess set. An old Winston Cup piston, used NHRA aluminum connecting rod, old long 3/8 drive spark plug socket as a piston pin, and an aluminum R/C car wheel makes a pretty cool desktop clock. Unused, extra pieces of thick guage sheetmetal wall purlins/brackets from a metal building frame make perfect jeep-style trailer fenders with a little cutting and welding.  

 

That is the way I feel except for the storage issue. Sooner or later you run out of space for those scraps and odds and ends. 
    Plus the temptation to use the wrong piece because you have something close that you can make work.  I've spent the last 3 weeks clearing a space to work on my next car.     If I could eliminate all the left overs, spares, and odds and ends I'd have  1800 square feet  to build it. Instead I'm working like a pack mule to get 200 square feet 

triumph7
triumph7 Reader
2/15/21 8:16 p.m.

Something I learned a long time ago, when drilling use a center punch then while drilling rotate the drill so the bit travels like a cone.  It helps keep you in the punch and not traveling off center.

CatDaddy
CatDaddy New Reader
4/20/21 8:06 a.m.

Here's a little tidbit. Hammering metal on a flat surface makes it bow. Sometimes this is to your advantage and a lot of the time it's the opposite of what you thought you want. 

gearheadmb
gearheadmb SuperDork
4/20/21 8:13 a.m.

Keep your empty beer cases. Break them down flat and put them somewhere. They are the perfect material for templates when making complicated sheet metal patches for floor pans and such.

jackabadoo
jackabadoo None
7/30/22 3:51 p.m.

thanks for the advice,very helpful!

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/31/22 10:43 a.m.

In reply to Vigo (Forum Supporter) :

When drilling a pilot hole, you are supposed to only drill it as large as the root diameter of the final hole's drill bit.

This is great until you break all of your 3/64ths drill bits or whatever.

I think this is the magic of the Hyperstep drill bits.  They drill their own pilot holes.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/31/22 11:21 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

That's interesting. I was trying to think this through the other day as to what was ideal for pilot and steps up from there and got hung up on the notion that the difference between steps would be guided by the difference in surface speed between the existing hole and the new diameter. Like if you jump from 1/16" to 1/2", the worry is that you could be cooking the outer edge while not cutting effectively at the inner edge due to the 8x speed differential. Nevermind the ridiculocity of moving drill press belts every couple of sizes. Overthinking for the... hm, I don't think that's a win...

I didn't know about the Hyperstep bits, though I think expensive, proprietary bits are beyond my willingness to cope.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/31/22 11:36 a.m.

In reply to Jesse Ransom :

They are not all that expensive.  IIRC it was $350 or $400 for a set by 64ths up to 1/2".

For comparison, the last set of normal drill bits I bought (not counting disposable Harbor Freight junk good for cutting anything but steel) was also about $300, in the early 2000s.

 

I know, "but my $20 Harbor Freight bits work just fine".  And I am sure 500 treadwear all season tires "work" when autocrossing or driving in cold wet weather.  Sure you take a lot longer and are going to have some mishaps along the way, but that's life right?  It's acceptable until the first time you use something properly built for the job at hand, be it dodging cones in a parking lot, or driving on a salt flavored Slushie, or putting a hole exactly where you want it, making long curly shavings in the process, at amazingly fast speed, through anything including hardened bolts.  After that you won't go back smiley

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/31/22 9:20 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

That's a compelling comparison.

Hrm.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
7/31/22 10:31 p.m.

If you make a sheetmetal 90 deg. bracket, put a crease in the crown with a chisel. Stiffens the corner immensely.

frenchyd
frenchyd GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/1/22 2:38 p.m.
earlybroncoguy1 said:

Re-use/recycle/re-purpose.

Unless it's complete and utter, rusted, mangled, melted, rotted, etc trash, save it. Metal scraps, hardware, wood, even plastic can turn to be useful down the road for other  projects, whether as parts , fixtures, or assembly aids.

An old BMX handlebar turned upside down and welded to short brackets made a perfect front bumper for my John Deere riding mower. Plastic cap from a small butane refill cylinder was perfect for capping off the open end of my hydraulic floor jack handle. Plastic cap from a spray paint can cut in half makes perfect wheeltubs for the bed of a model truck. Old center link from a Jeep steering linkage is handy as an extension when I need some extra leverage turning a wrench. Old 3/8" long socket extensions work great as a good strong punch to knock things loose or straighten out bent things that are hard to reach. Old bearing races and broken shafts make handy spacers or supports when using a hydraulic press to push things together or apart. Old valvetrain pieces (valves, springs, keepers, lifters, rockers, etc) make cool chess men for a custom gearhead chess set. An old Winston Cup piston, used NHRA aluminum connecting rod, old long 3/8 drive spark plug socket as a piston pin, and an aluminum R/C car wheel makes a pretty cool desktop clock. Unused, extra pieces of thick guage sheetmetal wall purlins/brackets from a metal building frame make perfect jeep-style trailer fenders with a little cutting and welding.  

 

Until you can see that you are no longer going to finish everything you'd like to.  At that point start giving or tossing stuff away.  
      Don't burden your family to dispose of scraps.   

frenchyd
frenchyd GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/1/22 2:44 p.m.

In reply to Carl Heideman :

Off the subject but perhaps you have an opinion.  
   A friend of a friend threw a con rod through his block. 
Magnafluxing  revieled  2 cracks beyond the hole,  none going any place critical.   Can I just put the piece back in the hole and braze the cast iron block?    He's got a kitchen oven to heat the block up to 400 degrees  and complete access to both sides. 
 It's a driver quality engine not intended to race.  

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
8/1/22 5:00 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

I think the plan you're describing might work, but I've never done it so I can't offer any experiential advice.  I have brazed up minor cracks in water jackets and feel that JB Weld has been easier and just as successful.  

For a hole in the block, I'd find a new block unless it's super rare.  And if it's super rare, I'd probably find someone who's done it before. But I guess there isn't much to lose to try it on the holed block.

 

frenchyd
frenchyd GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/1/22 6:10 p.m.

In reply to Carl Heideman :

Yeh it's rare, MG only made 6000 in 1955 about 1/2 came here to America.  Plus it's a numbers matching engine. 
 It's not really stressed and it's well away from water jackets or cylinders. 
    

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/1/22 6:15 p.m.

The thing with brazing it back together is you run the chance of warping the block all to hell.  I have seen it done to put a rare Buick block back together, lots of peening while it cooled and it needed to be completely remachined.  I would like to say it sat for a while "finding itself" before being machined.

 

If the cracked out parts are non structural I almost wonder if metal stitching would work.  Probably more expensive and time consuming.

frenchyd
frenchyd GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/1/22 6:35 p.m.

When I was about 7 a 1948 Chevy was left over winter with water instead of antifreeze in the radiator. The owner had abandoned the car when it wouldn't start. Luckily he left the signed tittle in the glove box. 
  Anyhow with the guidance of the local hot rodder we neighborhood kids pulled the engine.   Put it on a wagon.  Then 8 of us tugged it 3 blocks up and 2 blocks over to a welding shop.   They welded it back together and we kids spent the rest of the summer getting it back in and running ( I wish I remembered his name.).  
 But I remember his 1927 Model T hot rod. Yellow with  
             Wee 

                 Weary 

                     Will

      ahead of the drivers door. 
  He also later built a 1950 ford. Chopped, channeled,  sectioned, and narrowed  with a 270 Offy  running on alcohol  that one was always in primer. 

Don49 (Forum Supporter)
Don49 (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/1/22 8:51 p.m.

Frenchy,

I have successfully welded  a block with a stick welder and nickel rod . I didn't heat the block and beveled where I was welding. It was a Ford Cortina block and it lived im my Turner for many races.

earlybroncoguy1
earlybroncoguy1 Reader
10/16/22 11:09 a.m.

A few more additions, mostly painting/detailing related:

Consider using paint "pens" or Sharpies when adding small details to paint projects - they're quick, easy, precise, and available in just about any color. No searching for just the right size brush, dealing with paint drops, cleaning afterward, etc.

Going to spray paint something? First, shake the hell out of the can, until you hear the ball rattle, then shake some more. Make sure the nozzle is clean - if not, a few swipes with a small steel brush will unclog the nozzle. Hang whatever you're going to spray from an wire old clothes hanger, straightened out and small hooks bent into the ends. Make sure whatever you're going to paint is CLEAN - paint won't hide things, it'll magnify them. I spray Windex all over the part I'm about to spray, then blow it dry with compressed air, or an old hair drier. Windex is mostly ammonia, does a great job of cleaning and degreasing, and evaporates quickly with no residue. I've used it for years.

After painting, let the parts sit out in the direct sunlight to help the paint dry faster.

Need to clean up some old, rusty bolts? Chuck them in your drill, head over to your bench grinder with a wire wheel, use the drill to spin them slowly against the spinning wire wheel to clean the threads, shank, heads, etc. WEAR EYE PROTECTION.

 

     

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