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Just paint it black. :-D
 

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?
 

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Traded out the diamond plate mild steel for regular old mild steel plate. My buddy Brad had a cool little jig that allowed the plasma cutter head to be swung in an arc. Made short work of the outer radius and the center hole. Cut the hole a bit small and the outer curve a bit big so I could file-to-fit.



Versa saw with hack saw blade made short work of the straight cuts.



Many trips back and forth between garages -- and a perfect fit. REALLY happy with how this came out. All fitting done by hand-filing with a round file. For an idea of just how good the fit is - zoom in on the picture from overhead.





Start on the other side tomorrow. And here's my bending jig --- I'll heat the small area between plates you see; pull on the vice grips to bend the plate and form the vertical tab that the support tubes will attach to.

 

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Thought you had a brake to bend stuff like that? Or is it too thick for a vice brake?

Ive got probably twenty pairs of vice grips Of various sizes and even flat grips like those. Inherited from my late father in law. He worked at an iron foundry and they worked with lots of metals. Iron, of course, but lots of steel products and such as well.
 

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Super nice job on the fitment around the onion head. Your description of the trial and error is why premium hit rods cost big money.
 

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I’d settle for having a “dirty” work room right off of the garage where the car is!

Yeah, little bench vise brake won’t bend .125” x 6” wide. So, a bit of heat and fab’d brake.
 

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Driver's side plate came out just as good as the passenger side....



Tried heat/brake -- but I couldn't bend as sharp a radius as I wanted to. So it took some time, but I bent with the little vise brake. It bent the first one perfectly....




And then, at about 70 degrees, the vice handle decided it would become weaker than the metal I was trying to bend. Torque baby.



So I finished the second one off with a BFH. Can't get much closer than this....


 

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On to the pieces that will bolt to the firewall. Same 1/8" plate - but in 1 7/8" x 5" long pieces. Since we're bending across the narrow dimension, the brake would handle it. Tricky part is that 2 angles have to be considered. It's a bit more than 90 degrees coming off the firewall. And you have to put the piece in the brake at a slight angle as the firewall is slightly curved - if I wanted the tab to be parallel to the longitudinal axis of the car (I do) then a slight angling the piece in the brake is required before making the bend. I made some test pieces in aluminum (easy to cut/bend) as "go by's". Tested alignment in the car -- and then used them as gauges when I bent the steel.

You can see those here - you can see, driver's side 1/2 degree different than passenger side.





Here's the driver's side - final bend; pretty danged close to the gauge.



Took one mid-bend shot on the passenger side so you could see me 'sneaking up on it'; and then final piece. VERY happy with fit on the firewall. Tomorrow I'll mark/drill and bolt into firewall so they're secure for making my next tubing cuts/measurements.



 

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Ha, more than one way to skin a cat. You must have been laying on that vice pretty good to bend the handle like that. If you need a source for a bigger, vintage vice, I've got one. :)

I miss doing little custom things like that, need to get back to doing odds and ends stuff here and there.

Very nice work, of course nothing less than I expected.

Son has gotten his grades for this semester (working from home since mid February. 4A's and 2B's. He was very happy, of course. Was a very tough semester, but working from home the teachers were learning just like the students. They have already been told they will be back on campus this fall.

The last two weeks leading up to his finals, we hardly saw him except when he came out of his room for meals. I knew he didn't have much of a life with his major, but sheesh it can't be much fun studying all the time. Now that he's over the sophomore year hump, hoping things ease off on him a little bit.
 

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Freshman -- you don't know ****, and you don't know that you don't know ****.
Sophomore -- you don't know ****, but you know that you don't know ****.
Junior -- you know ****, and you don't know that you know ****.
Senior -- you know **** and you know you know ****.

All the weight I could put on the handle with a piece of chromoly tubing over the handle and an 18" 1/2" drive pull bar stuck into the end of the piece of pipe. As I said - torque. Vice is a Craftsman from 1985 or so. May have to replace/rebuild. I got some noise in the screw now - threads complaining. I actually greased the threads and the surfaces of the die/metal being bent. Still....
 

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Well, I need two or three of those LOL.

I have a barely used vise I got by eBay, $65 I think it was. I need to build a strong work bench, and I planned for the vise and wood structure. I just can't do it with my garage all full, maybe next year.
 

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And I can't properly spell "vise".... Just started searching around for a new one. REALLY hard to figure out where this stuff is made. Trying to avoid China....
 

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Pretty happy with the fit of things. Now if we can weld it without having things move around too much. Careful marking, punching, drilling of holes for firewall brackets. And cut/fit gussets for the top plates. You can't weld air -- so, no gaps!







And here's the other top plate -- "...second verse, same as the first..."

 

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A corral buddy buys and refurbishes vintage vise from 50’s and 60’s. If you want contact info I’ll be happy to provide. Very nice stuff and I’m sure not Chinese made. He has all sizes.
 

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