I'm having a lot of fun taking classes at Techshop! Here is the result of one of my latest classes. I can't wait to go back and make lots of personal projects on the tools. I absolutely love the hydraulic metal sheers and turret punch.
Step 1: What We Start Out With
We start with a pattern that is provided to us for the class. I'm assuming it's acrylic that has been cut on the laser cutter from a CAD drawing.
Step 2: Pattern Layout
We used machinist dye to coat the piece of 1/16 inch thick steel sheet and a scribe to mark out the pattern that we will cut out of the metal. Or you could just use a fine line sharpie but they seem to like the old school way here with the dye so it's fun to practice like that.
Step 3: Scribed and Ready to Cut
Here is the scribed metal ready for cutting.
Step 4: Metal Sheers
First cuts down to size were done on the hydraulically operated metal sheers. Just line it up and press the pedal. Easy.
Step 5: Turret Punch
Where the corners come together in the box we are making, we need some reliefs so the corners won't bind up. We used the turret punch to make some 1/4 inch holes. Again, very easy when there is an excellent instructor showing you how to use tools you have never seen before.
You can get all kinds of special shapes for these turret punches, even square holes.
Step 6: 90 Degree Sheers
This corner sheer makes easy work out of cutting a 90 degree corner out.
Step 7: Throat Sheer
The open throat sheer lets you get into some pretty tight spots but it is a little trickier to use, but not by much.
Step 8: Finger Brake
The finger brake is great and just too expensive to have at home. I'm glad there's a Techshop so near my house now. You can take some of the fingers out so you can bend the box structure without other fingers getting in the way. I've used a bending brake before in aviation sheet metal classes, but I never took the fingers out before. Great technique that I probably wouldn't have tried it without the valuable instruction they have at Techshop.
Step 9: Spot Welder
The box was spot welded on the seems to hold it together.
Step 10: Finished Box
The box was sandblasted by a fellow student for a finished look.
This class was a lot of fun.
You can make just about anything at www.techshop.ws
So have some fun and take a class.
If you don't have a techshop near you, give them an email and ask for one! I wouldn't hurt to let your city officials know about it and see if they can give techshop a deal on an unused building like Chandler did. Techshop teamed up with both Arizona State University and the Chandler city government to get this great thing going and I'm very glad they did.