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Thread: I need a tool to build a tool to build a tool!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Germany
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    Default I need a tool to build a tool to build a tool!

    I am sure you all have gone down this road!

    I need a angle plate for my horizontal mill. 12"X 12" X minimum 1" thick plates.

    What would be the best way to build this angle plate? Normally I would cut the plates, square them up on the mill and then weld them together with the braces on the back. Then I would heat it in an oven to 700 plus degrees and let it cool slowly. After that I would bolt it down on the mill and face the two sides.

    I then thought maybe I would be better to bolt it together and not weld.

    So how would you all build one?
    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Stevens Point, WI
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    Default

    I'd weld it because I'm a welder.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    52N 122W Western Kanuckistan
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    Default

    I would go to a steel supplier and buy a short piece of channel iron and square that up. It will be very close to start with so the work will be minimal.
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  4. #4

    Default

    "After that I would bolt it down on the mill and face the two sides."

    How would you position a 12" angle plate on the mill table to you could face the entire surface?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default

    I would make it out of angle iron as I have done in the past. It's fast and easy. Of course, buying one is easier.
    It's only ink and paper

  6. #6
    MuellerNick Guest

    Default

    I'd weld it. Then I'd put it into my oven if it would fit. If that oven is too small, I wouldn't stress relief it.
    If I would need a precise angle plate, I'd buy a cheap one out of CI and scrape it to my standard (that is very low ).


    Nick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    West Michigan
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan
    I would go to a steel supplier and buy a short piece of channel iron and square that up. It will be very close to start with so the work will be minimal.
    Channel iron?????

    Brian
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
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    Default

    It looks as though the replies have it nearly covered. Now you need to decide on what you are trying to accomplish in the end.

    Do you need something quick and dirty to just get by? Then weld up a bunch of angle iron and let her rip.

    Want something that will give you a few months of light service or a year or so of intermittent service? Order the channel and have at it.

    If you want something that will be a tool in your shop that you can use for years? In order - rough cut, weld, anneal, mill, drill, and use.

    Sometimes is it hard to decide how to go about making a tool because you haven't decided how much value it should have when you are done. In manufacturing, we did what we had to quickly so as to just get the job done. In tooling, we made things to last and had to invest more time into the project.

    What are you willing to invest?
    rock~
    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio
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    Default

    Structural shapes do not meet the 12" X 12" X 1" thick specs desired, so purchase of angle or channel will not work.

    Beyond that, it depends on your resources and desired accuracy. I would prefer the bolted assembly myself as it would probably entail less work than the welded and stress relieved construction and be every bit as accurate and serviceable. With reasonable care in machining the components, final maching of the complete assembly would be minimal if needed at all.
    Jim H.

  10. #10
    gary350 Guest

    Default

    After you weld them put them in a furnace or fire to relieve the weld stresses. A bag of BBQ charcoal works great so does a pile of unwanted old pallets. After they have been welded and heated to about 1100 degrees and air cooled they are ready to square in the mill.

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