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Thread: Scion xB '06, in-dash Atom 330, Lilliput 889GL; details, pictures, links. Index: pg 1

  1. #601
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    As above, sorry to hear about your old man, knees suck - 3 surgeries(sp?) so so far and they are not exactly painless those stupid knees, and the kneecap ... even worse.

    I am from Hamilton, now in Whakatane and spent a week of hockey tournament in Dunners, quite like the place, cold but interesting

  2. #602
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the kind words. Dad's holding his own for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by captcol View Post
    I like the way you think, and that you try to make what you do achievable by the rest of us loonies. I really enjoy seeing work done by the masters; like the welders you speak of, but the stuff that inspires me is the guys with a screw driver, a piece of ribbon and a peanut slab produce something that looks fantastic - you go boy!
    Thanks, captcol. I'm having a great time at this project, and at documenting it. I grew up with parents who encouraged me to be inquisitive. I'd say, "Watcha doin'?, and they'd say, "C'mere, I'll show you." If I asked how to do something, their answer was always, "I'll show you," rather than "Go away, kid, you're buggin' me." My sister and I both grew up comfortable in the shop, the kitchen, and the garden, pretty much unafraid to try something new.

    I've passed that on with other people most of my life, and this MP3Car project is a chance to spread it even further.

    Doing a carPC has gotten me to explore areas I hadn't considered before -- like metalworking and plastic welding -- and has introduced me to a terrific group of innovators and outside-the-norm thinkers. This is good, fun stuff.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
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  3. #603
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Metalworking Tools, Part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by mcm View Post
    . . . Show us some of the metal forming/cutting/punching tools you are using! I am a pretty big fan of Grizzly metalworking tools, their Taiwanese and high end Chinese stuff is excellent value, but I do not have any of their sheetmetal forming stuff or any punch tooling at this time.. My garage is too full already and I need to build out a shop before collecting more ironmongery
    You know, I really didn't think I'd spent much money on metalworking equipment, but it adds up to over $400 at list price. But it's important to know that you can do all this with far less equipment than I have. I already had some of the tools, and with the rest I mostly just dribbled the money out in $20 and $30 increments. The tools are primarily from Harbor Freight or Northern Tool; a few are from Home Depot; there's not too much from Grizzly, yet, but they're a recent discovery. It's mostly low-cost stuff, but I don't buy junk; these all work well, at least for me as a hobbyist. Some of the tools are knockoffs of industry standard designs; the punches are a good example of that.

    When I get done with the list of what I use, it might be interesting to put together a list of the minimum you'd need, too. That's for later.

    I'll probably do this tool list over several posts; that will help keep the text together with the pictures and attachments. First, let's look at a couple of the hand tools I use:

    Spring-Loaded Centerpunch
    When I first started metalworking, I got a spring-loaded centerpunch from Harbor Freight for $3.99. That's been valuable; I can't imagine not having one, now.

    Metal Scribe
    A long time ago, my Dad gave me a metal scribe, used for marking cut lines and bend lines in metal. I like that one because it was his Dad's, and because it does what I need. A scribe is only a few dollars. You could fake it by grinding down a nail, or by using a long drywall screw, but a hardened scribe is better and more accurate. Grizzly has a combination deal -- centerpunch and scribe -- for $7.99:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
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  4. #604
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Metalworking Tools, Part 2

    Here are more hand tools I use for metalworking:

    Squares
    I use a couple of squares. For basic work I use a 12-inch steel square like this one.
    That's a good basic square for laying out cut lines and bend lines. But I also recommend a good combination square for measuring like this one from Harbor Freight for $5.99 or this one from Grizzly for $5.25.
    For a few dollars more, you can get a combination square set that lets you measure any angle, like this for $7.99.


    Either one will work; I have the basic combination square -- the middle illustration. But, if I had it to do all over again, I'd get the set shown in the bottom picture.

    In fact, Harbor Freight, Grizzly and Amazon have heavy-duty versions of the combination square set that run nearly $30. If you're gentle with your tools -- and I try to be -- the light ones should do just fine.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  5. #605
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Metalworking Tools, Part 3

    These are important for cleaning up the edges of sheet metal parts so they don't draw blood:

    Hand Files
    I have a bunch of metalworking hand files, the majority of which were originally my Dad's. I most frequently use the flat 12-inch mill file shown here. These generally come without a handle. The files are about $10 and up and the handles start at about $3, depending on the diameter of the handle (I like the large diameter ones because they're more comfortable in my hand, but they're also more expensive). You could do without the handle, or you can make your own. You can spend a lot of money on files, but basic ones work fine.

    I like the relatively fine ones -- coarse files cut faster, but make a rough edge. If you don't mindthe extra expense, getr a couple of them -- one for removing a lot of metal, and one for fine work. Make sure you get files specifically for metalworking.
    I added a set of precision mini-files for about $14. These little 6-inch files let me get into small spaces, such as for cleaning up holes I make for USB ports.
    It's a good idea to get a file card, which is a short-bristle brush for cleaning the filings out of the grooves in your files; the link and picture are of a file card for under $6:
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  6. #606
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Metalworking Tools, Part 4

    Along with the hand tools, I like equipment that leverages my "armstrong" power:

    Vise
    This is a tool for every shop, no matter what you're working on. Vise choice is mostly determined by what you need to hold, and by how much force you'll want to exert on whatever it's holding. I haven't used anything fancy -- my vise was just a plain old 5-inch (127mm) vise (that's the width of the jaw) with a base that swivels and locks in place.

    But Josh has a really interesting vise, and I've come to like it because it offers more flexible positioning. It's similar to the Harbor Freight vise pictured here, which costs $79.99.


    While it has the standard swiveling base and a built-in anvil, it has a couple of extra features, too: (1) jaws that rotate 360 degrees for variable workpiece positioning, which helps for a variety of jobs, and (2) built-in pipe jaws for round stock, opposite the regular jaws hold that flat stock.

    Grizzly has a similar vise for $69.95.

    If you decide to buy a vise, you may want to look locally, rather than having one shipped; this vise weighs 50 pounds, so shipping might be expensive.

    You can get less expensive vises, and smaller vises, too. Harbor Freight has a 5-inch vise that costs only $39.99 (it weighs 42 pounds), and a 3-inch vise that costs only $19.99 (it weighs only 14 pounds).

    For metalworking, I use softer faces for the vise jaws; that helps in gripping material that I don't want marred. I've just been using thin wood strips held in place by hand. I think I might like to make some nicer ones -- probably out of polyethylene -- that are formed to just slip down over the jaws and hold themselves in place.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  7. #607
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Metalworking Tools, Part 5

    We always need holes in sheet metal, and this is the basic way to get them:

    Drill Press
    I got a small drill press long before I started metalworking, and just that tabletop model has been fine. It's nothing fancy, just a 10-inch Ryobi DP100 5-speed unit. That model is no longer manufactured; the new ones have laser sighting, which seems like it would be a handy feature. A drill press roughly equivalent to mine is $79.99 at Harbor Freight:


    For basic hole drilling, you can get away with a simple power drill; the drill press simply makes the drilling easier and more consistent.

    If you already have a power drill and want to get a little closer to a drill press without the extra expense or space requirement, there's a way to get to the middle ground: get a portable drill guide for your power drill, like this one from General Tool:


    You put the drill bit in the guide chuck, and then put the guide shaft into the drill's chuck. The drill guide stabilizes the drill. It isn't as solid as a drill press, but it is a decent alternative.

    The drill guide is really intended for woodworking, so it has some prongs on the base that you may want to grind off for metalworking, or you can just make a small temporary base to fit under it from 1/4-inch (6mm) plywood or plastic.

    I'll have to admit that, except where I've needed portability, I haven't used the drill guide since I got a drill press.

    There's another way to make holes: a metalworker's hole punch. I'll cover that later.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  8. #608
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Metalworking Tools, Part 6 ** EDITED **

    To bend sheet metal, we could use a vise, or a couple of boards, but to they don't make really nice, smooth bends. For good bends, I like to use one of these:

    Bending Brake
    A couple of years ago, I was at a friend's house, and the guy across the street was having a garage sale. I picked up a Harbor Freight 30" bending brake, new in the box, for $30 (list price is currently $79.99). It handles up to 17-gauge (.054 inch) (1.4mm) steel, and looks like this:


    I set it aside for over a year, 'til I got the metalworking itch, and that little bender has made my metalworking a lot easier.

    ** EDIT: There's a similar 30-inch brake at Amazon for $41.99. **

    Realistically, for everything I've done so far, I could easily have used the smaller -- and less expensive -- 18-inch bending brake, which costs only $34.99. It handles even heavier 16-gauge (.060 inch) (1.5mm) steel, takes up less space, and looks almost the same:


    I looked at the Grizzly 30-inch ($59.95) and 18-inch ($24.95) units that are similar, but, according to the Grizzly website data, they only handle 22-gauge (.030 inch) (0.75mm) steel.

    None of these units is very fancy -- they're the most basic kind of bending brake we can buy. To use them, we need C-clamps to hold the work to the bender.

    C-Clamps
    I use 6-inch C-clamps; the ones pictured cost $9.99 for the pair at Harbor Freight:


    When you buy C-clamps, don't get light duty or shallow-throat C-clamps, because they'll allow too large a radius on your bends. Strong C-clamps help make tight bends.

    One interesting accessory is a set of C-clamp jaw pads ($1.99), which keep the C-clamps from marring the material. They wouldn't be used during bending, because the material is clamped between the plates of the bender; they'd be for other uses, such as holding the material to a work surface for edge filing.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  9. #609
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Metalworking Tools, Part 7

    To cut parts out, I use a variety of tools:

    Sheet Metal Snips
    I initially got some replaceable-jaw sheet metal snips from Home Depot, for about $25. They're handy sometimes, but I could live without them. They couldn't cut some of the heavier material I use, but they're fine for thinner material -- up to 22 gauge:


    Bandsaw . . .
    The heavier material requires a saw; my preference is a bandsaw. A few years ago, I bought a used combination bandsaw for $100. It was pretty tired, and the stand was so wobbly I had to reinforce it, but it worked okay to learn on. I gave it to a friend when I moved to Atlanta, and bought a used replacement from Craigslist. It's the Northern Industrial Horizontal/Vertical Metal Cutting Band Saw with 4 1/2-inch (114mm) throat and 3/4hp motor. It lists at $239.99, and I got it (used) for $140. It's like new, and it came with an extra blade.


    One note here about bandsaws: there are metalworking bandsaws, and there are woodworking bandsaws. Some can do both, but they're different animals, so don't let somebody sell you a woodworking bandsaw by saying, "Oh, sure, you can cut metal with this -- you just need to get a metal blade for it." Save yourself some frustration and get a bandsaw made for metalworking.

    . . . or Maybe Just a Saber Saw
    But if a bandsaw is too much for your budget, a saber saw with a metal-cutting blade would work very well, and it would get the job done for a whole lot less money. It takes a little more attention to cut nice, straight lines, but it really is a good low-buck approach. Northern Tool has a variable speed model for $34.99 with free shipping, and Harbor Freight has a variable speed model for $24.99.


    I buy the blades locally -- at my local hardware store, or at Lowes or Home Depot. I use 24-tooth-per-inch metal-cutting blades for all the metal I cut.

    To use a saber saw for cutting sheet metal, you can put a couple of boards on end -- I've used pieces of a 2x4*. I leave about 1/4 inch (6mm) between the boards, and they hold the sheet metal far enough off the work surface to let the blade move without hitting it.

    * In the U.S., a 2x4 is a standard board whose "nominal" size is 2 inches by 4 inches (51mm by 102mm), but whose actual size is 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches (38mm by 89mm). These boards were originally cut from the freshly-felled tree at 2 inches by 4 inches, but after drying and planing, the finished dimensions are somewhat smaller.

    Power Shears and Nibbler
    Later, I got Air-Powered Shears on sale for $14.99 (regularly $19.99) at Harbor Freight, and added an Air-Powered Nibbler for $18.99 (regularly $24.99). The shears have been handy, but I've only used the nibbler a couple of times.


    For the price, they were a good value, but neither is really necessary.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  10. #610
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    OH wow, your work log is like a text book, hehe, you break down everything. Like half those tools I have never seen in my life. Cant wait to see the case done. My install has slowed down :-( especially since Lilliput has my screen.
    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

    1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
    4X MK808b
    3x Perixx Touchpads
    3x 7 inch Screens
    1X 7 inch motorized Screen
    1x Win 7 PC

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