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Currently viewing the category: "Metalworking"

We often tease Makita about the number of motocross-related news items they seem to have. However, they also do this whole tool thing we like to mention once in a while. In this case they’re expanding their grinder products with the addition of a new 192618-2 and 192972-4 dust extraction system.

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Okay, so “dust extraction system” works out to a new guard around the wheel with a hose on the back of it — but that said, the issue of dust and particulate matter produced on a job site from cutting concrete isn’t fully appreciated until you’ve had the joy of choking on it once or twice.

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Every year, long-time reader Tmib_Seattle posts up his fine work with the local scout troop, where he teaches lads how to wrangle fire and form steel. I remember my own scout days very well, except they involve wood, not metal.

It’s pretty rare that young men are exposed to this kind of workmanship anymore. Just look around in the shots on the Flickr pool and you’ll see why. Had it not been for scoutmaster Tmib and his vast array of ironworking goodness, they’d be out of luck as well. But as it sits, the boys get experience with a craft that has been disappearing over the last few decades.

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If you’re a metalworker, you probably have a polisher sitting around with a knot-cup brush fitted. If not, you probably see them at the car wash where guys spend a lot of time trying to bring out the shine on cars that’ve seen a dearth of TLC over the years. Either way, you realize they’re not exactly spotlight tools. Generally you don’t call your friends and say “Holy crap, come see my new polisher!” like you do when you score a new table saw, welder, plasma cutter, or even cordless drill. But hey — that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep up with what’s going on in the polisher world, right?

So a couple of months ago DeWalt updated their 7″/9″ polisher line. Their focus: control.

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How many times have you been watching a movie where you see a guy cutting a hole in a 2″ steel plate with a little portable plasma cutter? Every time it happens I want to stand up and scream “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? A) That’s a tough job for a mounted big-ass cutter, and B) the duty cycle on a little 20A plasma cutter lasts about 20 seconds — not five minutes!” So we have to offer the producers of Green Hornet a big Toolmonger kudos for getting it right: Notice that the Hornet himself (Seth Rogen) in the screencap above is cutting the head off his father’s statue with a gas torch. Nice.

This is doubly-cool considering that so much of the movie is (hilariously) farcical. Love the car workshop, by the way. If I ever happen to end up that rich, you can bet I’ll have such a shop — though I’ll be the one working in it.

The Green Hornet [IMDB]

 

A radius turning tool lets you make ball shapes or radiused ends on your metal turnings. With the tool you can make convex curves up to 3/4″ in diameter in brass, aluminum steel, or plastic — you just mount the jig on your lathe’s tool post and swing the handle, which rotates the cutting tool in an arc.

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Milwaukee just keeps churning out cordless tools: The latest addition to their M18 line is a 5-3/8″ metal circular saw with a 1/8″ to 2″ cutting capacity for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, and general construction.

The saw weighs just 5.8 lb. with the battery despite having a stainless steel shoe. It features an impact-resistant window and an LED light so you can actually see what you’re cutting from above the saw. Milwaukee built the saw around a 4-pole frameless motor spinning at 3600 RPM. This setup allows you to make over 200 cuts of 3/4″ EMT on one charge.

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You’re tired of cutting sheet metal by hand, but you don’t want to invest in expensive metal shears. Solution: Grizzly’s inexpensive G9947 rotary shear mounts to your bench top and cuts sheet metal up to 16 ga.

With its 11″ handle, the compact rotary shear only weighs 4 lbs. The roller can be adjusted to make either straight or curved cuts.

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Why is the guy in the picture fencing with his lathe? Is he some sort of modern-day Don Quixote with delusions of slaying a swarf-breathing dragon? Okay, so he’s just cleaning the chips from his machine using a chip hook. The guard on the chip hook is there to keep his unprotected hand from getting cut by the sharp shavings.

There are a number of chip hook manufacturers. The best-looking products are from NOGA; they include the NogoGrip handle, are black finished, and can be sold with a detachable “shovel” blade.

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If you need to persuade something into position but you don’t want to damage it, a lead hammer is the tool you need. Sure, a dead blow mallet can do the job, but nothing else can give you the same force-per-size ratio as lead — except possibly depleted uranium, though getting that shipped to your house could be tricky.

American Hammer’s lead hammers are made with a hollow steel shank that ends in a ring shape inside the head. As you use the hammer, the head fuses to the handle so it won’t loosen or break off. The other end of the shank attaches to a solid aluminum cast handle.

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Chuck’s dad was one of those guys who had training and skill in many shop-related areas including wood and steel. Strangely enough, I benefit it all the time with this outfeed roller he made that spends most of its days in my shop.

The ShopSmith table is small — everyone knows this. It’s a source of constant nagging when you mention the table saw on the Mark V. However, with this custom roller I get a smooth feed and a car in the garage when I’m done for the day — win.

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