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Thread: Aluminum Fabrication. Anyone?

  1. #11
    Constant Bitrate RPI Geek's Avatar
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    I see what I did wrong, I found the price for something 2 1/2 _inches_ wide, not 2 1/2 _feet_ wide. Aluminum is usually pretty expensive stuff: you're going to do better getting the fiberglass unless you can salvage some scrap metal from something else.

    A 1/8" x 48" x 24" piece of aluminum (not even long enough) is going to run you at least $60 without shipping (part #88895K66 at mcmaster.com - otherwise search for "aluminum sheet" then click through for the right dimensions you want - the search is weird, it returns different things if you search for thickness first then width then length, or other combinations). You might get a better price by butting 2 pieces together, but then you'll have the seam to worry about.
    Old plans out the window because of an accident .
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  2. #12
    Constant Bitrate RPI Geek's Avatar
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    I forgot to post this: the machine needed to bend the aluminum is called a brake. It works by clamping the sheet metal in place and having a chunk of metal fold up to bend along a straight line. To bend 1/8" aluminum that long, you'll need to find a pretty heavy-duty one, probably a hydraulic one.

    Which makes it good that you decided to make it out of a single sheet There's a machine that does the cutting there too: plate shears. If any of your friends has one of these, they must be VERY into fabrication: those tools really belong in shops. And to cut 1/8" aluminum, it'll have to be a hydraulic one. The shop at my college had one, so maybe if you can find a friend in a local tech school or community college, the shop supervisor might let you cut to size for a nominal fee or even for free.

    Otherwise you're stuck using (in order of preference): a plasma cutter, a cutting torch, a big bandsaw, a hacksaw blade clamped in pliers, or a dremel. You're most likely to find someone with a cutting torch, but be careful if you do because it'll leave a really jagged bad finish on the edge that'll need more work if you don't want to cut your legs on the bench as you sit on it.

    You might do well to think of using thinner material, or just fiberglass :P Plywood or fiberboard wouldn't look too bad, but I'm no expert in sealing them to prevent rot.
    Old plans out the window because of an accident .
    Have: M1-ATX, EPIA M10000, 256MB, 60GB 2.5", slim slot load DVD
    Need: Time, HU integration, ideas for Lilli

  3. #13
    Phillie Escalade182's Avatar
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    well yeah, I was kind of hoping someone had a metal-shop class or something that would be accessible to such tools. didnt expect my neighbor to have a hydrolic plate shear in their garage

    I would really hate to use fiberglass(use the stock bench) because of looks, and fiberboard is too flexible (in 1/8" pieces, obviously.)

    thanks for your help rpi.

    maybe I'll get lucky and find a friend with access to proper machinery around me. or maybe I could just buy the damn peice straight out of reliable metal.

  4. #14
    Phillie Escalade182's Avatar
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    the boat has a unique pattern on the inside to deflect light....an ugly pattern nonetheless. the stock bench, accordingly, has the same pattern and theres no sense in painting it, so I just figured aluminum would look nice, and last a while.

  5. #15
    Phillie Escalade182's Avatar
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    I'm goin for a stealth look. instead of the cheesy, cheap, stock look.

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