Author Topic: Beginner Metal Workshop  (Read 3129 times)

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Offline 28Topic starter

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Beginner Metal Workshop
« on: August 22, 2011, 08:07:48 PM »
I have built my first robot but because it was a bunch of electronics stuffed in a cardboard box it kinda fell apart (Though it did work before it did fall apart).  ;D

I think that I need a metal workshop. It's kinda scary starting this I hope it works out well!  ;D

What tools do you guys often use when building metal frames for your robots?

Offline Sylvestre

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Re: Beginner Metal Workshop
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 08:53:02 PM »
Methods of Joining Metal Pieces:



Nuts And Bolts  Self Explanatory

Get the tools needed to accomplish these methods.  I can't think of any other methods at the moment.

Offline newInRobotics

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Re: Beginner Metal Workshop
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2011, 01:06:43 AM »
It is always handy to have CNC Machine, they are very expensive to buy, however, one can be made DIY style. If router (and other motors used in CNC) are powerful enough, You can use it to create custom aluminium and/or copper parts.
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Offline waltr

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Re: Beginner Metal Workshop
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 07:17:06 AM »
For hobby purposes one can make many metal parts with a few hand tools. What I use is:
a hacksaw.
a copying saw with a metal cutting blade.
an assortment of files.
a bench vice.

I only use two power tools:
a standard 3/8" hand drill motor and two sets of drills (fractional and number sizes)
a Dremel motor tool with:
  abrasive cut-off disks
  sanding drums
  various burrs and cutters

and very important: EYE PROTECTION.

I recommend starting with aluminum as it is fairly easy to cut and shape and is light weight.
However, there are other materials that work well for building Bots and other things. I also use plastics, wood and circuit board material (fiberglass). If you're on a budget (or just creative) many materials can be salvaged from discarded appliances.

Offline Soeren

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Re: Beginner Metal Workshop
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2011, 07:41:06 PM »

It can be tricky to drill large holes in thin plate (and sometimes you need holes larger than any drill you have), so a set of reamers are nice to have and for metal plate as well as PCB material a hand operated nibbler is another of those tools that you can live without... Until you have tried using one  :)

But going from cardboard to metal seems quite a step. Did you consider various kinds of plastic or thin plywood (which should be good if you own some wood shop tools)?

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline 28Topic starter

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Re: Beginner Metal Workshop
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 01:06:59 PM »
Thanks for the helpful advice everyone!

BTW maybe good for others too looking for a workshop, I found a book series called "Build Your Own Metal Working Shop from Scrap" by David J. Gingery. It looks quite daunting but I thought It would be worth sharing because it also looks doable.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 01:13:08 PM by 28 »

Offline Gertlex

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Re: Beginner Metal Workshop
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 05:18:49 PM »
Plastics are a good intermediate step, too.  Similar equipment can be used for both.

There's also the sheet metal + rivets option that Sylvestre forgot.  But using bolts intelligently is the best way to make something that's also easy to take apart.

I'm a fan of sturdy-mounted bench vises (aka the table doesn't move easily either), belt sanders, and aluminum.  Get a good quality center-punch for holes in aluminum, too.


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