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View Full Version : A Complete Metal Workshop! ($9.95)



Humanoido
08-19-2011, 01:54 PM
http://forums.parallax.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=84249&d=1313761912

kwinn
08-19-2011, 02:11 PM
WOW...that sounds...um...too good to be true. Anyone have any more info on or purchased this?

Humanoido
08-19-2011, 02:46 PM
WOW...that sounds...um...too good to be true. Anyone have any more info on or purchased this?It's a blast from the past, an antique, like you see in those old ads in issues of Mechanix Illustrated from the 1950's and 1960's.

Ken Gracey
08-19-2011, 03:06 PM
humanoido, you missed the introductory price in 1952. At that time it was only $6.95!

http://forums.parallax.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=84252&d=1313766376

GordonMcComb
08-19-2011, 05:17 PM
My step father had one of these in his shop, and it was my job to make short straps with holes along the length of strapping metal. Sort of homemade Erector set parts. Once I tried to punch holes into pennies, and ended up breaking off the punch. Man, was he sore!

This looks identical to the one I used, so I'm sure it was the same model. He would have bought his in the 50s, and no doubt for the introductory price!

-- Gordon

Microcontrolled
08-19-2011, 08:38 PM
Someone needs to remake this, though I'm sure it would cost more than $10!

erco
08-19-2011, 08:48 PM
I love all the metal fab tools in our machine shop. A good shear is great, and (as I've posted before), the Rotex punch is the single most useful tool. Punches various diameter holes & squares, and ejects the material cut out with a perfectly marked center. I can make 4 wheels in 12 seconds!

http://www.rotexpunch.com

GordonMcComb
08-19-2011, 09:41 PM
Whitney, Mittler, and a few others make these kinds of tools (or ones similar), and yes, they're a lot more than $10. I'd be surprised if there were any good ones out there for under $200.

Harbor Freight has this press for sale:

http://www.harborfreight.com/hamburger-press-44934.html

Looking good to finish off the summer.

-- Gordon

localroger
08-19-2011, 11:31 PM
Dollars sure were bigger back then.

HollyMinkowski
08-19-2011, 11:53 PM
I wonder what kind of tools it would take to be able to make
simple metal project boxes? Nothing fancy, just plain boxes.

I'm not sure how you would make holes for the knobs and such.
Whenever I try to do that with a drill I make a huge mess as I can't
get them in the right spot somehow. But then I have limited mechanical
skills.

HollyMinkowski
08-20-2011, 12:02 AM
@GordonMcComb

What a cool avatar :-)
Is that you and a homemade robot?
The robot looks like it has a coin slot on top
of its head. If that is homemade how did you
form the nice plastic case?

frank freedman
08-20-2011, 04:17 AM
I wonder what kind of tools it would take to be able to make
simple metal project boxes? Nothing fancy, just plain boxes.

I'm not sure how you would make holes for the knobs and such.
Whenever I try to do that with a drill I make a huge mess as I can't
get them in the right spot somehow. But then I have limited mechanical
skills.

Don't throw out the drill yet, you still need it for starter/guide holes. Rather go to the Greenlee site (not cheap) or Harbor Freight (lots of one offs) and look for panel punches. For communications connectors, you want to get the DB25 or DB9 punches. You can not nicely duplicate these with a drill, dremmel or router. I use the screw down type and they work great. You may be able to find these for presses and that would be a big time saver if you are doing a panel full of say DB9s or DB25s for sensors or comms to other devices. Of course you can make mistakes faster that way too.

For panel mounted controls, the drill is fine for say pots, but there is a reason for getting the punch that looks like a circle with one side flattened out. Pots don't have much turn resistance, but multiple gang wafer type switches and their attendant detents will work loose very quickly without the flat side to prevent the switch from turning in the hole. Other types of the same switch have a tab on them so you drill a smaller hole to preserve the alignment an prevent them loosening and turning when actuated.

Frank

GordonMcComb
08-20-2011, 06:51 AM
Holly, A sheet metal brake is the tool used to make metal boxes and other shapes. It's pretty much the table saw of metalworking, meaning if you work with metal you have one of these, in one size or another.

A lot of brakes have shears on one side, and the forming rollers or bars on the other, so that the one tool does the two major jobs (cutting, bending) required of most metal working.

On the robots in my avatar: The big bot is a very rare Arctec Gemini, a home/educational robot made and sold in the early 1980s. Here's a page on it:

http://www.robotgallery.com/robotgallery/arctec/index.html

The company made only about 60 of them, and only a few remain on the planet.

Also in the pic is the top of an Androbot Topo. Androbot is the robot company started by Nolan Bushnell, of Atari and Showtime Pizza fame.

Another view of Topo, Gemini, and the top of the HERO: http://www.amazon.com/Gordon-McComb/e/B000APXBTM

None of these are my designs or constructions, but they're all cool rides back in time. The 80s were a magical moment for robotics.

-- Gordon

Loopy Byteloose
08-20-2011, 07:11 AM
There are table top sheet metal brakes, but if you really want to do good work -- start looking into forklift and flatbed rentals for bringing one home. Sure you could just have it delivered, but you would save a bundle to buy one used at auction.

Some of us were lucky enough to have metal shop in junior high school (insurance no longer allows). Many holes can be drilled, but a set of nice punches for odd shapes really helps. I suspect the same punches would work nicely in plastic.

Humanoido
08-20-2011, 07:52 PM
humanoido, you missed the introductory price in 1952. At that time it was only $6.95!Ken:

That's a real bargain! I wonder up to what year it was still being sold.. A low cost modern day version could be a great hobby tool room supplement to a hobby Moto Tool that drills, grinds, cuts, and polishes. But since I started working with transparent plastic, all I've used is a soldering iron.

http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?124495-Fill-the-Big-Brain&p=970854&viewfull=1#post970854
http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?124495-Fill-the-Big-Brain&p=1005967&viewfull=1#post1005967

jrjr.
08-21-2011, 02:11 AM
Happen to still have one of these.

They work pretty well for their size.

It's not nearly a Whitney of course but
it's great for modifying Keystone brackets etc;

The shear works better than you might expect.

jack

Martin_H
08-21-2011, 03:11 AM
I could have used a sheet metal brake today. I was cutting aluminum using tin snips and bending it using wood.