I made these brackets from my own scrap material using the tools at Techshop Detroit (www.techshop.ws)!
P.S. I made these brackets using safe, one-off, garage-shop style procedures. Incorporating jigs, fine-tuned fixtures, and calibrated materials would increase accuracy and efficiency for production. RULE OF THUMB: "Making more than 3? Make a jig for it!"
P.P.S. This is a great example: Drill press repeat drill fence fixture
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Again, all tools can be found at Techshop (in case you're not familiar with "center punch" or "Rite Hite clamps.")
- Ruler/straight edge. Get a good steel one, aluminum ones bend, ding, and can even get whittled down accidentally by sharp marking tools.
L to R:
- Scrap angle iron (go for 1/8" thick or more, with sides that are 1" or wider)
- Fine point permanent marker
- Center punch
- Drill bit - one from the hardware store is fine for steel - make sure it's a little bigger than the screws you're using to install the brackets
- Tape Measure
- Wrench and Rite Hite clamps for holding work.
Step 2: Measuring and Marking Length
Decide just about how wide you need your brackets - mark that dimension down in your notebook, so you don't forget - and then measure from the end of your material with a tape measure.
If your material has a rough end, use the square to make a clean, square line across, then mark your length from that.
Use your marker to make just a little stroke mark at your length, then use the square to make a perpendicular line across the material. Put the lines on both "legs" of the material and make sure they go all the way to the edges.
Step 3: Saw Bracket
(Make sure you have a steel-cutting blade installed and that the motor speed is set appropriately.)
Advance your material nice and easily into the blade, let it cut at its own pace. When you get toward the end of your cut, ease up on the pressure so you don't lurch forward when the blade cuts through.
Step 4: Making Multiples
ALSO, always use that same first piece as a template to mark new brackets. Otherwise you might see your pieces getting longer and longer and longer...
Step 5: Mark Where the Holes Go
Next, eyeball how far in you want your hole (at LEAST make sure your screw head won't hang over the edge - but put it further inside than that anyway.) Write down the length so you don't have to remember for all the rest of the holes. ;) Make a mark across your center line. So now you'll have 4 evenly spaced cross marks on your material.
*Notice i'm marking INSIDE the legs of the angle iron, this makes it easier to clamp for drilling*
TAKE THE TIME TO MARK ALL OF YOUR BRACKETS AT THE SAME TIME. Moving ahead after only one bracket will mean a lot of pickin' up and puttin' down tools.
Step 6: Center Punch Your Holes
*AGAIN, plan to do these all at the same time. Avoid moving back and forth.*
Step 7: Drill Holes
(Yep, I've got an instructable on this too.)
This is the longest and, let's say, most zen operation of this project. There are a lot of holes to drill! It might be helpful to set up a fence that locates your pieces more quickly under the drill bit. In any case, set aside time to do all your holes at once so you don't have to reset the machine and drag out all the tools again later.
Step 8: CLEAN UP
IF IT'S YOUR OWN SHOP, CLEAN!
Sweep/vacuum chips! Put tools where they belong!
You'll thank me. Heck, you'll thank yourself. A neat, well-used shop is a beautiful thing.
Step 9: TA-DAH!
Holding on to eyeballed measurements and finishing one operation at a time for each part both promote same-ness in your pieces. :)