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Old 02-04-2013, 09:48 PM   #1
xcflyn OP
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Fabrication 101

I was inspired to do a photo log of a recent job I did and was going to post it on the "wookie (rookie) wannabe" thread, but after looking at how many pictures and detail was in the project I did not want to hog up pages in that thread. I always find it interesting to read about what others here make at home and at their jobs and thought I would post this.
This job came to me early in the snow season from a guy who said- if you can fix it for under $4k, fix it- I am heading south. The 4k bench was set by the local dealer who said the replacement piece would cost him that ? Guess there was a lot of labor.
So here it starts - Load on to welding table so I can work at a height my old body can handle.

here you can see the ear for the lower control arm is snapped off

A little sample of Gods country right outside the door- but there was work to do

Measure original bushing so I can make a dummy shaft to align the bores.

do a little of this

on this

And get this half thou under so I can get it back out with out later without too much effort-

The reflection makes it hard to read- I did use a mic not just this caliper.
Looks like a winner - this will be split and sleeved later so I can collapse it to get it out after welding

Here I went to cutting this and squaring it up so it will be easier to make the piece to weld in, I did a lot of it with a hand file. The cast aluminum is soft and easy to file and keeps me from getting to aggressive and removing too much, for the machining end of this project the time taken here is well spent-little time now saves a lot later (I hope)



So there is my start. couple hours into it already at this point.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:14 PM   #2
xcflyn OP
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So on to the next-

locate a piece of 6061 to use, this looks good, maybe a little long ?

Saw it a little smaller

head over to start turing that piece into little tiny shavings - not all of it , but most.

Set up to do the bore and counter bore - its sad when you can just keep cheating the cutter size to get a perfect bore- I rarely use a boring head anymore on a mill.

cutting the first bore

Here is a good start. The back side there was already cut - this was a left over piece. The facing was way fast- finish at this point was not of concern


Thats it for tonight. That big piece will get pretty small by the time I am done
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:30 AM   #3
jar944
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Nice shop, i'm having some serious tool envy looking at the pics.

For some reason 4k seems really high to me?
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:02 AM   #4
xcflyn OP
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Taking shape

Checking the progress, here you can see where I took the alignment tool and cut the middle section out and put a inside sleeve in, this way I can get it all out easier down the road.

Ready for layout

proceed to hacking on it. Its getting smaller but closer to finished

Looking pretty good, not perfect


A few boring steps skipped to get here. This was where I really second guess myself. I decided to install a couple small cap head bolts (8-32), there was no easy way to clamp this piece and I have no idea how much this will want to pull from welding, at this point I can only guesstimate. The cast is soft and I think the 6061 will weld good to it, I will use 4043 filler which has been my most common filler used on aluminum castings. The cap heads do add strength in regard to the pulling force, but the casting is soft and even with over 1" of threads It is not near what the bolt strength is. Then there is the fact I added "holes" to the new piece that do weaken it. My thought is that most of the force on this other then when hitting a tree is actually pulling on it, and the force will be more in the center of the new cap then the sides. Either way the decision (right or wrong) was to go with two stainless 8-32's (had to order bolts). I used steel cap heads for now so I could make sure the drilling,reaming,and tapping were all good,plus keep moving forward.

Everything cleaned up, fit, and chamfered for welding.

Done welded,cooled down



You can see the fit was good, I snapped the side of the crappy bushing off popping it out during the test fit. A little file work and the new bolts and thats that.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:08 AM   #5
xcflyn OP
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Originally Posted by jar944 View Post
Nice shop, i'm having some serious tool envy looking at the pics.

For some reason 4k seems really high to me?
I agree, I think half that was in labor. What I was told was that a lot of this is riveted together so changing this piece is a lot of drilling. But then again how hard is it to drill an aluminum rivet ? In many cases its probably easier then trying to hold the nut while removing a bolt. Sad times, the Yamaha dealer charges like $95 an hour: I charge $50. Then again, 9 out of 10 homes seem to have a sled out front here, 1 out of 1000 need something fabricated ( and there is only 200 homes in town ) I have to be cheap.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by xcflyn View Post
Sad times, the Yamaha dealer charges like $95 an hour: I charge $50. Then again, 9 out of 10 homes seem to have a sled out front, 1 out of 1000 need something fabricated ( and there is only 200 homes in town ) I have to be cheap.
I like your reasoning. Great thread, thanks for taking the time to take pictures and post them.

- Bob
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:50 PM   #7
kirkster70
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Very nice shop! You have LOTS of neat-o play toys!

Nice fab work, too! No surprise there. Thanks for taking the time to post and explain everything you are doing.

What does the blue dye do? Act like a guide coat to see how much you're taking off?
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:56 PM   #8
xcflyn OP
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Originally Posted by kirkster70 View Post
Very nice shop! You have LOTS of neat-o play toys!

Nice fab work, too! No surprise there. Thanks for taking the time to post and explain everything you are doing.

What does the blue dye do? Act like a guide coat to see how much you're taking off?
Blue dye is layout fluid, couple uses for it, its nice for touching a tool off and in this case it was used so I could get the rough outline of where I needed to cut, lay fluid and a scribe are pretty handy and can be surprisingly accurate.

Today I made a high end tortilla cooker


Not really - it was a drop from this


rough cut here- machining on them starts tomorrow- thats the fun part
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:47 PM   #9
kirkster70
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Have you made it to $3995 yet?


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Old 02-06-2013, 08:27 PM   #10
xcflyn OP
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Have you made it to $3995 yet?


Nope , ended up a $525.00 Like it to be a lot more, but what goes around comes around, hopefully it will come back around next time he uses his sled for a chainsaw
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:41 AM   #11
Laconic
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Nice work and a cool attitude.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:13 PM   #12
kirkster70
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Nope , ended up a $525.00 Like it to be a lot more, but what goes around comes around, hopefully it will come back around next time he uses his sled for a chainsaw
You're a good man, Dan-o!

I agree 100%! Treat people right and it's amazing how many nice things happen for you.

You have a very nice shop! It looks like a beautiful place to live for an outdoorsman.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:34 AM   #13
xcflyn OP
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Originally Posted by kirkster70 View Post
You're a good man, Dan-o!

I agree 100%! Treat people right and it's amazing how many nice things happen for you.

You have a very nice shop! It looks like a beautiful place to live for an outdoorsman.
Ya its a pretty amazing place to live for sure. The fly fishing, hunting, and of course motorcycling ! I will show you around when you come visit


here was that plate getting a little finish work.


And my project that had working till 4:00 am- someone probably knows what these go to.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:14 AM   #14
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A hand brake lever for something quick?
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:45 PM   #15
kirkster70
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WOW!! Very nice all around! Scenery, craftsmanship and all!

Do you do anodization as well?
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